Colin Cloud

Twitter prediction


Ahead of his performance in the semi-finals of America's Got Talent, Colin Cloud asked the audience on twitter to pick a random celebrity, city and object, and tweet their random choices. He got thousands of responses, each follower twitting a different combination of celebrities, cities and objects.

On the night of the performance, all the tweets were printed out and distributed among the audience.

Colin first asks Howie and Simon to run around and grab a lot of papers with tweets which the audience members are holding. When they are done, they hand all the papers to Mel, who checks that all the tweets are different and there are no duplicates. She then spreads them out across the table and selects one piece of paper at random.

Colin then hovers his hand across the piece of paper containing different randomly selected tweets and asks Heidi to tell him to stop whenever she likes. Heidi says »stop« and Colin stops his hand, selecting the tweet. The selected tweet says: Ellen, Rome, cheese.

Colin then revealed that he has predicted these exact choices in advance. Not only that, he went undercover and follow the judges for weeks in advance, exposing them to the words 'Ellen', 'Rome' and 'cheese' in various different ways witout them even realizing it!

Watch this amazing mentalist illusion, then read the explanation below.



How does he do it?

Well, the first thing we need to make clear is that he didn't actually influence the judges to select that exact tweet. Even if he could subliminaly prime them for those three words, there is no way he could make sure that Simon and Howie will get the correct paper from the audience and that Mel will pick the correct paper out of many different papers se was choosing from.

So, if he didn't influence the decision, how did he do it? There is only one good alternative: he forced it.

However, this was not what is usually considered forcing in magic. In proper forcing, the 'predicted' tweet would actually be printed on one of those pieces of paper and Colin would just mke sure that they pick the right one, while making it look like it was a free decision. But this wasn't what happened in this case. In this case, the selections that the judges were making didn't matter at all. After all the choices were done, Colin simply sneaked the 'predicted' tweet to the corect location of the selected piece of paper.

How did he do that?

He had a small piece of paper with the 'predicted' tweet in his hand. When he circles his hand across the paper and Heidi says 'stop', he just shows the tweet that the was holding in his hand this whole time. Notice how he continues to tightly hold the paper even after the selection has been made. He is holding a small piece of paper with his 'predicted' tweet over the originally selected, large piece of paper.

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