Magic trick on America's Got Talent - Anyone have a clue how it was done?

I am referring to the act involving the dollar bill and the $100 dollar bill in which the corners are torn off, ‘swallowed’ by the magician, and the made to reappear on the wrong bill (which was made available for scrutiny by the judges).

I think I have solved small portions of the trick, but I can’t figure out the main details.


I don’t know specifically what he was doing there. He was on Penn and Teller’s Fool Us last year and P&T said they’d have been fooled if he hadn’t already shown them his techniques. They said Blake could do anything with a piece of paper. He is extremely skilled at attaching torn paper together so it appears to have never been torn. I don’t know if he is so good that he could perform that trick on the fly or he relied on switching in prepared bills. If he didn’t switch in prepared bills then he had prepared corners ready to attach to the original bills.

Link here.

Looking at it on youtube, it looks like he attaches more than just the corners. Look at this screenshot here - you can definitely see along the right side of the edge that there’s a whole 'nother piece of paper underneath, since the edges don’t line up.

Also, I’ve never tried to rip up money before, but the edges look far too smooth when he removes the corners. Like they’ve been pre-cut perhaps?

The judges don’t seem to really try to check it that closely. Both of them appear to be holding the whole bill and trying to pull it apart, rather than actually just pull the corner off like any reasonable person would.

My guess is that he attaches the new corners as he folds back the corners of the bills. They may even have the part the judges tear off also so that they come off just right. But he is very skillful in tearing paper, and very skillful in appearing to seamlessly reattach it. Obviously the new corners are folded behind the bill until he pretends to attach them with his mouth.

I doubt he switched in previously prepared bills. That technique has been used with playing cards, his skill in using bills and paper allows him to do a lot of things on the fly. Penn and Teller were sincerely impressed with his ability, that should tell you something.

Most of this is pretty basic. Sort of. The “tearing” (with incredibly straight lines and the waste of time having the judges finish the job), the folding back of the real corners, the restoration of the real corners are all fairly standard.

Except: There’s the switch of the corners. Which makes some/all of the above not so basic.

The shot at 2:08 shows … something. So does the shot from behind showing both bills at 2:06. There’s … something else on the bills.

My first guess was that he didn’t actually tear off the real corners, they were folded back. Then they were unfolded and the fake corners added over.

But the mysterious “something else” on the bills means that, well, there’s something else. (Well, duh?)

The extra material extends for far more of the bills than would seem necessary. And we have to assume the judges were playing along in some way because it would be all to noticeable to their hands.

So, this is a trick that started off ho-hum and turned out fairly nicely.

I’m don’t know what extra material you mean. I don’t see anything extra on the bills. If you mean the orangish part, that’s a color marking on the bill as can be seen at the beginning. It’s not running over the replaced corner of the bill.