Mike Super crowned 'Phenomenon' winner, claims $250,000 prize
By Christopher Rocchio, 11/26/2007
Mystifier Mike Super was revealed to be Phenomenon's grand prize winner during Wednesday night's live finale broadcast of the NBC reality competition series.
The Canonsburg, PA-resident claimed Phenomenon's $250,000 grand prize after being chosen as "the next great mentalist" by home viewer votes cast immediately following the show's penultimate November 14 broadcast.
Ironically, Mike wasn't one of the 10 originalPhenomenon contestants initially announced by NBC. He entered the competition as a replacement for mystifier Jason Scott prior to the show's premiere last month.
"Thank you to everybody that voted," said Mike after Phenomenon host Tim Vincent revealed him as the winner. "Everyone on this show was a winner... God bless all the Super-freaks!"
Phenomenon's live finale broadcast began with the four remaining finalists -- mentalist Guy Bavli; illusionist Angela Funovits; mentalist Eran Raven; and Mike -- being introduced to the audience along with celebrity guests that included Dancing with the Starsfourth-season participant Shandi Finnessey; The Tonight Show with Jay Leno intern Ross Mathews; Extra co-anchor Dayna Devon; and several Deal or No Deal girls.
Tim then revealed that Guy finished fourth and was out of the competition.
"Guy is a wonderful practitioner of the arts and he has been working and he will always be working," said Criss Angel Mindfreak illusionist and Phenomenon judge Criss Angel. "We'll run into each other and you're going to do fantastic as you always have been."
"Guy, I loved your entertainment," said fellow Phenomenon judge Uri Geller, who also served as a mentor on The Successor, the Israeli reality series that Phenomenon's format was based on. "I'm sorry you didn't win, I wanted an Israeli to win."
Following Guy's ouster, Eran performed a body-stiffening trick with Ross and Shandi. Afterward, former Phenomenon contestants Jim Karol, Jan Bardi, Ehud Segev, Wayne Hoffman, Gerry McCambridge and Jim Callahan -- all of whom had previously been eliminated from the competition -- then took turns performing tricks with some of the Deal or No Deal girls.
Mike then performed a trick dollar bill serial number with Dayna's help before Angela performed a box chainsawing trick with Ross taped and tied up in one of four boxes. Dayna and Shandi also assisted Angela's routine. Tim then revealed Eran was eliminated from the competition.
Before revealing whether it was Angela or Mike who would be crowned Phenomenon's champ, Criss revealed what was inside the sealed envelope that had caused a heated altercation between the Mindfreak star and Jim Karol earlier in the show's season.
"We're going to reveal one of the envelopes, the other envelope will be revealed on the premiere episode of Mindfreak," said Criss. "Before I do that, I would just like to ask Mr. Uri Geller, with all due respect, would you like to take a gander at this?"
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"I knew you'd challenge me once more," answered Uri.
"A million bucks, cash," replied Criss.
"But let me tell you something," continued Uri, "Although we were born one day apart -- I was born on the 20th of December and you on the 19th -- there's a lot of years between us, 40 years. You were one year old when I came out with my spoon bending..."
When Criss called Uri on his attempts to procrastinate, Tim hurried the two along as the live broadcast drew to a close.
"Guys, we're live on national TV and we need to know what's inside that envelope please," Tim persisted.
"Here it is," said Criss as he opened the envelope, which yielded a piece of paper with "911" written on it. "It's a travesty that happened to people all around the world -- but specifically to New Yorkers... If somebody could predict, and tell us on [September 10] and tell us that [September 11] was going too happen, maybe that could have prevented it. That's why it's a sad day that nobody one could do it, and people claim..."
"An incredibly sad day," said Tim, cutting Criss off. "Thank you so much for revealing that. At last, the mystery has been solved."