Wednesdays at 8 p.m.
Whatever you want to call them – “illusionists,” “mentalists” – the majority of the competitors on NBC’s “Phenomenon” are no different than your average bar-mitzvah magician: insistently annoying and basically talentless. Each week contestants perform one “trick” on live television, and we decide who’s voted off the show.
For the most part, the contestants’ illusions come up short, but the show’s judges, Criss Angel (“Criss Angel Mindfreak”) and mystery man Uri Geller, give it some credibility. While the two legendary magicians aren’t adequate TV judges – it seemed as if Angel wanted to be somewhere else during the pilot – their names alone should draw viewers to the show.
If you find yourself laughing hysterically while people embarrass themselves on shows like “American Idol,” don’t expect a similar result with “Phenomenon.” Botched magic tricks aren’t funny. They just suck. It might be better to just wait until the shitty magicians are gone and then watch the legit contestants do battle in the finale.