After judging thousands of performers on America’s Got Talent, it takes a lot to shock the show’s judging panel (except for the famously grim Simon Cowell, nothing seems to shock him these days). But Indonesian illusionist Demian Aditya seemed to do just that with the death-defying stunt he pulled off on the most recent episode of AGT.
The Jakarta-based magician, famous locally for his appearances on numerous TV shows including “Gara-Gara Magic”, made his American TV debut, in front of AGT’s audience of millions, alongside his wife Sara Wijayanto and a menacing looking death-trap filled with 900 pounds of sand.
Both Sara and the show’s judges seemed horrified as Aditya explained that he would enter the box with his ankles, wrists and neck held down with locked restraints and only have two minutes to free himself before he would be buried alive in nearly half a ton of sand.
Watched it? Pretty thrilling, huh? Just don’t think too much about how he probably did it. Certainly don’t go back and watch too closely at about 3:03 or 3:15.
Regardless of what you think about the difficulty of the trick, there’s no doubt that Demian (and Sara) sold it incredibly well as the judges were all aghast the moment the sand fell (except, of course, for Simon who didn’t even drop the toothpick in his mouth).
Well, Demian should be good at selling it. Although he said it was only his second time doing that particular stunt, he has definitely performed extremely similar illusions before.
Besides death-defying escapes, Aditya also specializes in close-up street magic. He has some impressive videos of this on Youtube, such as this one in which he appears to turn random pieces of paper into Rp 100k bills (if he wasn’t an illusionist, he could have easily started up a cult in Indonesia with that particular skill).
He’s also engaged in some David Blaine style endurance tests, such as in 2015 when he had himself encased in cement up to his neck for over 50 hours at Jakarta’s FX mall.
Aditya was apparently asked to be on AGT last season but was unable due to visa issues (curiously, you don’t have to be an American citizen to compete on America’s Got Talent). However, Aditya persevered and made it onto last night’s show and get through to the next round. We’ll just to wait to find out what he’s got up his sleeves next for Simon Cowell and the judges.