• Clairton native makes magic happen on NBC's ‘America's Got Talent'

    By: Kellie B. Gormly , TribLIVE


    CLAIRTON, Pa. - Many young children have imaginary friends. For paranormal magician and mystifier Mike Super -- a Clairton native who won the NBC show “Phenomenon” -- Desmond has special abilities and never left him.

    Super still attributes many of his magic tricks to Desmond, who he says could make light bulbs explode as a kid. And on June 22, Desmond might get the credit for the 90-second audition Super will perform on the hit NBC show “America's Got Talent.”

    (This article was written by Kellie B. Gormly, a staff writer for Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE.)

    The fifth episode of the season is airing on a special night at 9 p.m. June 22 on WPXI-TV. Super auditioned at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark.

    You can draw your own conclusions about Super's magic tricks, which have a supernatural element.

    “I never tell anybody what to believe,” said Super during in a phone interview from a cruise ship where he was performing near St. Thomas. “The way I describe it is a spirit energy: an angel, a figment of imagination. You wouldn't believe the skeptics, including Howard Stern and Heidi Klum.”

    A panel of four judges — Stern, Klum, Howie Mandel and Mel B. — decide whether Super goes on to the next round. The taping has already occurred, but contestants cannot discuss the results. If he gets through the initial audition, there are several more rounds until a winner is picked and awarded $1 million.

    This will be Super's second time on an NBC reality show; he won “Phenomenon” in 2007. The show, which aired for one season, had 10 contestants competing to become the next great mentalist, judged by Uri Geller and Criss Angel.

    Some people call Super's craft black magic, but he says he is a Christian and that nothing involves speaking to the dead or any demonic activity. The lively Super jokes that it may sound crazy.

    “It's not a possession thing,” Super said. “Desmond is a voice in my head assigned to the physical world. I just quit trying to figure it out. It's always been a part of my life.”

    Super — a longtime “America's Got Talent” fan who enjoys anything scary — lives in Peters with his wife, Brooke, and daughters Farrah, 4, and Fiona, 1. But he regularly tours to perform his magic shows and spends a lot of time in hotel rooms.

    He says that “America's Got Talent” offers a new challenge, because he only has 1 1/2 minutes to perform. On “Phenomenon” contestants got six minutes and featured all magicians, whereas “America's Got Talent” features performers from multiple genres, so there's no telling what the competitors will bring.

    “I am completely excited,” Super says. “TV is a magical medium. ... I'm just honored and humbled that I get to briefly come into millions of homes with my magic.”

    (Kellie B. Gormly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at kgormly@tribweb.com or 412-320-7824.)

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