In fairness to Jay Mattioli, it was not entirely his fault that he disappointed on America's Got Talent. But the fact that there is plenty of blame to go around does not negate the fact that he was definitely a letdown.
Mattioli followed a recurring trend of magicians being among the most anticipated, if not the most favored, following the open calls. He did this with an illusion in which he appeared to levitate his mike stand, then using it to hold himself up as he leaned very far to the right.
What many overlooked was that, while Mattioli's trick was pretty unique to magic, it was not completely original. It was actually a spin on Michael Jackson's anti-gravity lean.
Later, as was mentioned in the previous Breaksk8 article, the producers completely threw out Vegas Week for Season 4 and delivered a verdict upon all but three acts just based on their open call performances.
First, they divided the acts into four groups and eliminated one of them, Group B, in dramatic fashion right at the airport. Mattioli was one of the acts eliminated in this group, along with many other acts that had been, up until that point, some of America's favorites.
Along with Mattioli in Group B, for example, was Nathan Burton, who had almost made the finals twice during Season 1 and was later voted, by America, to return as a guest performer for Season 7.
Following the judges' default picks for the Top 40, which included the likes of Coney Island Chris, David Johnson, Eleisha Miller and Carol Lugo, America once again took to the NBC message boards to fume and express their intention to boycott.
Fortunately, the Vegas episodes ended with the hint that executive producer Simon Cowell had a serious issue with their choices, and was later revealed to have chosen eight additional acts to also compete for the season.
The year before, America had succeeded given the credibility of the judges a big black eye by pushing a last-minute replacement act, Donald Braswell, all the way to the finale. Needless to say, after the judges' demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that they had learned nothing from the year before, many viewers were giddy at the prospects of doing so again.
When America finally saw those eight acts, however, they were once again disappointed. Cowell's picks were generally viewed as either filler acts or novelties.
With only one exception: Jay Mattioli.
When it was finally Mattioli's chance to stick it to the judges who so readily eliminated him just as Braswell had done the year before, however, he came armed with doves, scarfs, and a shadow box with a puppy inside it.
It was birthday party magic, definitely not the kind of caliber the judges nor America was looking for.
To Mattioli's credit, he never actually gave any indication that he was any more than such.
But everyone fell for it anyway.