While Britain’s Got Talent dropped two magic acts from the competition last night, Asian magicians were keeping the dream alive on the show’s American counterpart.

Shin Lim set a crazy high bar just by, you know, being Shin Lim. That elegant sleight-of-hand routine set to Un Nouveau Soleil by M83 is a perfect example of why the Canada-born, Singapore-raised magician is so highly regarded in magic circles. That and the fact he’s a FISM winner. Oh, and stuff like this.

But while several people think Lim deserves to win the competition outright, he had stiff competition from Asia’s Got Talent winner, The Sacred Riana, whose act speaks for itself. 

The 25-year-old illusionist from Jakarta, Indonesia, isn’t a flashy technician like Lim, but instead sells her tricks with a cool Ringu-inspired persona, complete with plenty of head twitching and spooky glares. You’d think the gimmick would get old, but Riana took Asia’s Got Talent by storm last year. Her appearance on AGT has prompted some to complain that winners from other regions should not be allowed to compete.     

Oh, and if you’re wondering how Simon Cowell can appear in two different shows in two different continents on the same night, he can’t teleport and he doesn’t have an identical twin. The audition stages of the show are actually recorded weeks in advance.


Ever since we spotted the Sacred Riana’s tryouts from Asia’s Got Talent on YouTube, we’ve been following her rise through the finals, along with magic acts from Sobhi Shaker and Akira Kimura. In the video above, she’s finally been crowned winner of season two after weeks of performances, and even in victory, she’s as stone-faced and hauntingly unresponsive as ever. 

As a bonus, check out her spooky performance from the results show, where she summons spirits to move a giant table around the stage and then predicts one of the hosts’ biggest fears with a Ouija board.

We’ve been following the results of this season’s Asia’s Got Talent pretty closely here because not one, but two magicians have made it into the Grand Finals: Syrian close-up magician Sobhi Shaker and Indonesian horror illusionist the Sacred Riana. While we wait for the results to come on the season finale on December 14, Asia’s Got Talent’s YouTube page has hosted a few behind the scenes videos for each of the contestants, which you can watch in the videos below.

First up is Sobhi Shaker, who talks about his surprise in making it past the tryout phase of the show, and where he hopes to take his career if he wins:

Next is the Sacred Riana, who continues her unwavering commitment to the bit:

Both illusionists face stiff competition this year from beatboxer Neil Rey Garcia Llanes, dance troupes ADEM Dance Crew and Urban Crew, digital dancer Canion Shijirbat, and kid guitarist Feng E. However, The Sacred Riana’s behind the scenes video is currently sitting at over 200,000 views and rapidly climbing, while the other performers hover around 2,000, if you want to get a sense of who the clear favorite of the show is. Stay tuned as we find out who wins in a couple days.

It’s been a great year for magicians in this season of Asia’s Got Talent, and two illusionists have both wowed the the judges and won enough votes to progress onto the Grand Finals. 

First up is The Sacred Riana, who has been spooking the hell out of everyone with her horror-tinged illusions. Now, you’ve probably seen a vanishing/reappearing act before, but you’ve probably never seen one with dozens of zombies pouring out of a box:

Next is Syrian close-up magician Sobhi Shaker, who uses his card magic to tell a heartfelt story about overcoming adversity to follow your dreams:

They’re both facing off against Canion Shijirbat’s impressive dance skills, who even whips out a little bit of magic of his own: 

Whoever ends up taking home the grand prize, both magicians will likely have a long career ahead of them thanks to their impressive performances. 

The “creepy girl with long hair” is a worn out trope of Asian horror flicks by this point, often found murdering hapless victims in films like Ringu and The Grudge. The Sacred Riana, an illusionist who hails from Indonesia, asks an important question: what if she also did spooky card tricks? 

In a recent performance on Asia’s Got Talent, The Sacred Riana stalks out onto the stage clutching a dilapidated stuffed animal, twitches a bit, then proceeds to freak the hell out of the show’s three hosts with magic tricks. The tricks themselves are fun standards, but what sells her performance is her unwavering commitment to the bit. During the entire five minute video, she says a grand total of three words, and stays in character even when the hosts are cracking jokes or voting on whether she’ll make it to the next round. Take a few minutes to watch the video embedded above for a hilariously sinister performance, and follow her on Instagram to see more.