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Piff the Magic Dragon

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Piffthemagicdragon

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Information
Age (at audition) 34; 38
Sex Male
Act Magician/Comedian
Seasons 10, The Champions
Position Reached Finalist; Preliminaries

Piff the Magic Dragon was a magician/comedian act from Season 10 of America's Got Talent. He finished in the Bottom 5 of the Top 10. Piff returned for America's Got Talent: The Champions, where he was eliminated in the Preliminaries.

Background

John van der Put was a star of Penn & Teller: Fool Us (although he did not fool Penn & Teller), imagine Larry David in a dragon suit performing magic tricks and you’re on the right track. With over 12 million YouTube hits to his name, Piff the Magic Dragon has performed to hundreds of thousands of civilians in venues such as Radio City Music Hall, Shakespeare’s Globe, the O2, London and Sydney Opera house.

His solo show has had five record breaking runs at the Edinburgh Fringe, two sell-out seasons at Soho Theatre in London’s West End, a national tour of the UK and Australia. He was the opening act for Mumford & Sons on their 17 date UK tour and has just completed a six month residency at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in their flagship show Vegas Nocturne. [1]

He is also seen in the Mumford & Sons album cover, "Babel", behind the band. [2]

Audition

Piff the Magic Dragon's audition in Episode 1001 consisted of inviting Heidi Klum to the stage. He sealed a card in an envelope and had Heidi pick one card randomly from a deck of cards and signed it. He opened the envelope to reveal a different card to the one she picked. Then, through bending the card in different arrangements, Piff created the illusion of Heidi's card transforming into that of his prediction. Notably, Piff ate a banana during the judges' comments because "dragons love snacks." Howard Stern, Heidi, Mel B, and Howie Mandel all voted "Yes," sending Piff to the Judge Cuts round.

Judge Cuts

Piff the Magic Dragon's Judge Cuts performance in Episode 1008 consisted of inviting Heidi Klum on the stage so that she could sign a playing card. He then gave a full deck of cards with the random card to his dog Mr. Piffles. Mr. Piffles than tossed the cards into the air; Piff grabbed one of those cards. He revealed the card was not actually Heidi's card; in fact, her card was actually in an unopened can of dog food. Impressed by the performance, guest judge Neil Patrick Harris pressed his Golden Buzzer for Piff, sending him straight to the Quarterfinals.

Quarterfinals

Piff the Magic Dragon's Week 1 Quarterfinals performance in Episode 1012 consisted of having Howie Mandel instruct Piff which of four boxes hanging from the ceiling contained Mr. Piffles. Three boxes were brutally destroyed, while the fourth was revealed to contain Mr. Piffles. Piff received enough votes to be sent to the Semifinals in Episode 1013 instead of Triple Threat.

Semifinals

Piff the Magic Dragon's Week 2 Semifinals performance in Episode 1020 consisted of handing two pieces of bread to Howie Mandel, and placing them in a toaster. He then had each of Mel B, Heidi Klum, and Howard Stern pick cards from a deck. He then revealed the card and suit values of one card seared in the bread and a second card inside the bread itself. Piff than ran off the stage, to "Las Vegas," picked the last card, and brought it back to the judges along with Mr. Piffles. Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, and Howie Mandel gave him standing ovations. Piff received enough votes to be sent to the Finals in Episode 1021 instead of Alondra Santos.

Finals

Piff the Magic Dragon's Finals performance in Episode 1022 consisted of having Howie Mandel sign a 20-dollar bill, and then changing it to a voucher for one free magic trick. He then took Heidi's ring and gave it to Mr. Piffles. He then placed him in a cannon and launched him through a hoop. A robotic Mr. Piffles then walked on the stage. When it fell, Piff covered it with a cloth and then revealed a real Mr. Piffles. Inside a walnut released by Mr. Piffles was the original 20-dollar bill.

Finale

For the finale in Episode 1023, Piff the Magic Dragon performed a magic trick with Penn & Teller. While Piff was suspended in the air (to simulate flying), Penn & Teller "assisted" him with a magic trick involving Mel B picking a playing card to stop a shuffled deck at. Piff then stuck a knife in the deck and lit it on fire. The knife was then revealed to have only one card on it; the one Mel B had picked. Piff did not receive enough votes to be included in the Top 5, eliminating him from the competition instead of Paul Zerdin.

After the Show

In 2017, Piff made a guest appearance on an episode of Penn & Teller: Fool Us, performing a trick with Penn & Teller during the show's final segment.

Piff returned to the Season 5 premiere of Fool Us, guest performing again with Penn & Teller in the show's final segment.

The Champions Preliminary

Piff returned for The Champions.  Piff's performance in Episode TC02 consisted of performing a magic trick where he appeared to make his dog Mr. Piffles eat Heidi Klum 's ring, only for it to appear inside an egg.  Howie MandelMel BHeidi Klum, and Simon Cowell all gave him standing ovations.  Piff did not receive enough votes to advance to the night's Top 3, eliminating him from the competition.  

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