America's Got Talent Wiki

Shin Lim was a card magician act from Season 13 of America's Got Talent. He was the winner of the competition, claiming the $1,000,000 prize and the headlining of a show in Las Vegas. Shin returned for America's Got Talent: The Champions. He was the winner and recieved the title Best In The World.


Suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome and a career-ending injury to his thumb tendons, Shin Lim had a tough start in his journey through sleight of hand magic. Despite all of this, through painstakingly hard work and perseverance, Shin Lim is now the reigning world FISM champion for close-up magic. A self-proclaimed "sleight of hand artist," Shin Lim admits he is not actually a magician or a wizard, and has no intention of lying to the audience. He performs carefully choreographed routines rather than pretending to defy the laws of physics. Combining dexterity, precision and grace, he has distilled a lifetime of training into a devious display of dancing digits. His mind-blowing finger moves are so masterful that the audience is left to wonder if what their eyes have seen is truly possible. According to both Simon and Howie, Shin Lim is "the BEST close-up magician they have ever seen." [1]

Shin previously appeared on Penn & Teller: Fool Us in seasons 2 and 4, fooling Penn and Teller both times.  His first appearance in the show's second season went viral, with over 50 million views on YouTube.

He has had a multinational upbringing. He was born in Vancouver, Canada, spent much of his childhood in Singapore, lived in Massachusetts, and now resides in Las Vegas with his wife.


Shin Lim's audition in Episode 1301 consisted of performing a cards routine with host Tyra Banks, in which he had her sign a randomly selected card. He then created the illusion of the card appearing on top of a deck of cards, the imprint of a card rubbing onto Shin’s skin as a tattoo, the card vanishing and reappearing in the deck, as well as inside of a sealed envelope, the deck of cards transforming into a deck of clear plastic sheets, then into a glass case with Tyra's card sealed inside, and finally appearing to insert the glass case into the deck’s box and tearing the box, revealing the case had disappeared. Howie Mandel, Mel B, Heidi Klum, and Simon Cowell all voted "Yes," sending Shin to the Judge Cuts.

Judge Cuts

Shin Lim's Judge Cuts performance in Episode 1308 consisted of performing a trick with "Queens" and "Aces" (known as 52 Shades of Red). Shin made the "Aces" vanish, then reappear under guest judge Olivia Munn's hand. Shin then progressed to vanish the remaining queens in various ways. Howie Mandel, Mel B, Heidi Klum, Simon Cowell, and Olivia Munn gave him standing ovations. His performance was strong enough for the judges to send him to the Quarterfinals along with Rob Lake.


Shin Lim's Week 1 Quarterfinals performance in Episode 1311 consisted of a routine involving fast-moving cards that disappeared and reappeared and even started smoking, changing into a different deck which spelled out "Vote For Shin Lim America’s Got Talent". Howie Mandel, Mel B, Heidi Klum, and Simon Cowell gave him standing ovations. Shin received enough votes to advance to the Semifinals in Episode 1312 instead of Lord Nil.


Shin Lim's Week 1 Semifinals performance in Episode 1317 consisted of doing a close-up routine (known as the Dream Act) with assistance from Heidi Klum and Tyra Banks. He had Heidi pick and sign one card, and makes the marker in his hand disappear. He laid it face down and erased the face, then extracted it from his mouth. Tyra also chose and signed a card, making it appear from several different places including his pants, pocket and mouth. Heidi's card in a plastic bag flipped into Tyra's card and back before making it disappear along with the deck box. Howie Mandel, Mel B, and Simon Cowell gave him standing ovations. Shin received enough votes to advance to the Finals in Episode 1318 instead of Us the Duo.


Shin Lim's Finals performance in Episode 1321 consisted of performing a close-up trick with Tyra Banks. He had Tyra roll 2 dice and made 4 cards of the same number appear. Tyra then chose a suit, and he made multiple cards of that chosen suit appear. To the left of the table was a card with a question mark on it, changing the number with mental magic, then made the number and suit appear among floating cards. Howie Mandel, Mel B, Heidi Klum, and Simon Cowell all gave him standing ovations.


For the finale in Episode 1322, Shin Lim performed a card trick with Tyra Banks and American Ninja Warrior hosts Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbaja-Biamila. He received enough votes to advance to the Top 5 instead of Daniel Emmet. Shin was announced as the winner of Season 13 ahead of Zurcaroh, Brian King Joseph, Samuel J. Comroe and Michael Ketterer, winning $1 million and the headlining of a show in Las Vegas.

The Champions Preliminary

Shin returned for The Champions. His performance in Episode TC05 consisted of performing a card trick with Terry Crews in which he makes cards appear and disappear, and even spelling out the word "Champions". Howie Mandel , Mel B , Heidi Klum and Simon Cowell all gave him standing ovations. It was revealed that the superfans voted Shin into the top 3 along with Attraction and Sons of Serendip. He received more votes than Attraction and Sons of Serendip, sending him to the Final.

The Champions Final

Shin Lim's Finals performance in Episode TC06 consisted of performing a card trick in which he made cards appear and disappear including two cards each selected and signed by Terry Crews and Howie Mandel.  At one point in his performance, he made one of the cards appear as a tattoo on his chest.  Howie, Mel B , Heidi Klum and Simon Cowell all gave him standing ovations.

The Champions Finale

For the finale in Episode TC07, Shin Lim performed a card trick with Terry Crews' co-star from Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Melissa Fumero. The superfans gave him enough votes to enter the Top 5 along with Kseniya Simonova instead of Deadly Games. Shin won the competition ahead of Darci Lynne, Kseniya Simonova, Cristina Ramos and Preacher Lawson, receiving the honor of Best Talent in the World.

After "The Champions"

Shin returned in Episode 1412 as a guest performer. He performed a card trick with Jay Leno and the audience.  He later appeared in Episode TC202 as part of Marc Spelmann's act, and as a guest performer in Episode TC207 teaming up with mentalist Colin Cloud. He also appeared in Episode 1614 as a guest in a music/magic mash-up performance with Lindsey Stirling.

He and Colin perform together in the show "Limitless" at the Mirage in Las Vegas and across the country.


  • Shin is the second magician to win America's Got Talent after Mat Franco. He was followed by Dustin Tavella.
  • He is the first non-Golden Buzzer act since Season 9 to win, the first non-Golden Buzzer act to win since the format was adjusted in Season 10, and the highest placing non-Golden Buzzer act of Season 13. He was followed by Dustin Tavella from Season 16, who didn't receive the coveted buzzer in his audition.
  • Shin currently holds the record for having the earliest televised audition in a season for a winner. He was just the second full audition televised in Season 13's first episode.
  • Shin is also the second Asian to win America’s Got Talent since Kenichi Ebina.
  • Shin is the only two time winner on America’s Got Talent, winning in consecutive years (Season 13 and Champions).
  • Heidi Klum is the only main judge to not give him a standing ovation on every performance as she did not stand for his Semifinals performance.

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