Kevin James is practically the icon of America's Got Talent letdowns. He performed what is widely considered one of the best magic tricks ever featured on America's Got Talent only to follow it up with one of the most useless things to ever appear on the AGT stage.
With a reduced format of only twenty live show qualifiers, the judges apparently decided that there was only room for one magician in the Top 20 (though still had room for Mohammad Kashif). Whether he knew this or not, James met up with Anthony Reed, a magician he once mentored, in Las Vegas and decided to bring out "the big guns."
The trick involved James appearing to cut a man in half, after which the two halves continued to move independently from each other until James stapled them back together.
It's a trick that holds up with viewers even to this day against the likes of Landon Swank and Michael Grasso, though "how to" videos have since appeared online that attempt to explain the processes behind it.
Typically, videos like this only become a trend if the trick is old hat and not really a secret anymore, or if the magician who developed it did something to really upset what had previously been a loyal fan base.
In the case of James, it's probably the latter.
After advancing as the sole magician into the Top 20, and by extension, the greatest hope of variety enthusiasts for a non-musical act to win in Season 2 (apparently Terry Fator didn't count), James performed a routine in which he took out an animatronic severed hand puppet, waved it around for a few seconds, then put it back and cracked open a beer.
Notice that I never once said the words "trick" or "illusion" in that description. Because there genuinely wasn't any magic to it. There was no slight of hand or optical illusion -- it was just James showing off a prop that could just as well have cost him fifty bucks at Spencer's Gifts.
The AGT judges cut many talented acts, Anthony Reed among them, just so Kevin James could completely waste America's time.