The judges handed their drawings to host Nick Cannon, who held them up one by one over Dittleman’s noggin, letting the audience clearly see each drawing.
Everyone could plainly see the first one said "Howie" in huge letters, and seemed to show the side of his face with an ear. The next one, labeled "Howard" in the same huge letters, showed a kind of self-portrait. The third, with "Sharon," showed a pair of glasses.
Dittleman guessed them all, garnering wild applause.
"That’s amazing!" said Mandel, declaring the judges weren’t in cahoots on any deception. "... This is absolutely real, which is even more fantastic."
"I’m really shocked and stunned," said Osbourne.
"I don’t know how you did that. I thought it was awesome and a lot of fun," said Stern.
Three yes votes won Dittelman the right to compete in the next round in Las Vegas.
Now, how about doing some mind reading of our own?
As Dittelman was up there, listening to the raves, he’s thinking, "I can’t believe these fools never guessed a pal in the audience was feeding the info to the tiny microphone in my ear."
The names were pre-written in huge letters. Perfect for the confederate to see, perhaps even from the back of the auditorium, thanks to binoculars.
Dittelman instructed the judges to make their drawings "big and bold." For the TV cameras? Or for Mr. Co-Conspirator?
The drawings were then held up high, facing the audience. Get the picture?
Isn’t funny how Dittelman made a big deal about covering his eyes, but had no one check his ears?
Kind of the way magicians use the art of distraction.
It all fits perfectly. Both the theory and the earpiece.
Check out the NBC video on Philly.com.
OK, maybe there was some other way for the confederate to spill the beans, like Morse code via some hidden remote controlled vibrator. Or yelling answers aloud in Lithuanian pig Latin.
But there was one amazing part of the stunt (besides how gullible the judges were).
After the duct tape was yanked off, Cannon yelled:
"He still has eyebrows!"
Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or firstname.lastname@example.org.