Illusionist David Blaine once again stunned viewers with his magic tricks during Tuesday night’s ABC special, Beyond Magic.
The 43-year-old magician performed for a new batch of celebrities that included Drake, Emma Stone, David Beckham, Stephen Curry, Dave Chappelle, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and more, all offered appropriately freaked-out reactions. Beyond Magic, which was two years in the making, featured plenty of dangerous stunts as well as some of his classic Street Magic fare (he wandered around parks to throw people’s cell phones away — only to recover them from a friend’s bag).
The following are the five wildest illusions, tricks, and reckless stunts from the special.
The classic ‘catch a bullet with your mouth’ trick
In 2009, Blaine caught a bullet fired by his friend. Now, equipped only with a mouth guard, he tried to repeat the trick with a .22 caliber rifle. In training, he positioned himself with an elaborate setup involving his cell phone’s forward-facing camera, a cup, and a string attached to the rifle’s trigger. The worst part of this trick? The excruciatingly long, teasing single shot of Blaine preparing to pull the trigger on himself. “That was like a punch,” he casually uttered after slowly walking away with his shattered mouthguard.
That was a preamble for Blaine pulling the stunt off in front of the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The mouthpiece was repaired just one hour before show time. Blaine said the pain was worse at show time, and the mouth guard shattered once again. He escaped with only a minor laceration in his mouth.
Find the ring
Blaine started his special by innocently asking to examine someone’s ring — not that anything can ever be innocent if Blaine asks. After examining it and blowing it, the ring inevitably wound up in his mouth, and then his stomach. No problem — all Blaine needs is a clothes hanger. All Emma Stone could do is repeat one word: “Nope nope nope nope.” David Beckham wanted him to yield. “No, don’t put that in your mouth,” he pleaded. Blaine did not head Becks’ advice, and instead jammed the metal hanger down his throat. When he asked for someone to pull it out, the ring was around the hanger. “David, that was a amazing,” lauded Johnny Depp. “I got to go to the bathroom.”
Frog in your throat?
Drake thought of a small animal that could fit in his hand, and Dave Chappelle was tasked with drawing it. “What if I drew Meek Mill?” he asked, cracking up the entire room. He ultimately scribbled a frog-like creature, after which Blaine grabbed a champagne flute and regurgitated a tiny amphibian into it. After handing it to Drake, he coughed up another one. Drake and Stephen Curry checked his mouth to ensure it was clean, and then he coughed up a third one. All Chappelle could do is pull his jacket up to cover his mouth. Blaine pulled the same trick over on Beckham — but this time, he sewed his mouth shut first.
Mind games with Margot Robbie
The Suicide Squad actress was asked to think of a personal childhood experience that few, if any, other people in the room would know. She was also tasked with privately Googling something, clicking on a result, and focusing on one word in the article. Blaine then described aspects of Robbie’s childhood experience and wrote “bunny” on a friend’s hand — nailing it. He also asked Robbie to think of a letter in the word she had chosen. Blaine called out that Robbie changed thinking of “M” to thinking of “R,” then penned another word on the same hand. “Numerous” was correct.
A simple card trick… over FaceTime… with Jennifer Lawrence
Blaine casually video-chatted with the two-time Oscar winner and talked her through an easy enough trick: Name one card, and name a number. Count off that number of cards. Sure enough, after 23 cards, Lawrence turned over the Jack of Clubs she named. She was stunned. “You’re a witch! You’re a witch! No! no!” she exclaimed. “If you started a religion, I would follow you.”