J C Sum & ‘Magic Babe’ Ning on The Amazing Race Asia

If you tuned in to AXN Asia tonight, you would have caught us on the season finale of “The Amazing Race Asia”. We had a fun time being part of the TV show and I think the contestants found this a very different challenge to overcome.

Here is some behind the scenes info for the episode we filmed back in July but had to keep hush hush till now.

When we were first approached to do the show, we were thrilled that the producers thought of us when they were thinking of celebrity personalities to present a unique challenge for the season finale.

Having watched the show (both the US and Asia editions), I was quite familiar with the format so brainstormed with the team to see what we could do.

We worked out a budget and we suggested St James Power Station as the venue to stage this illusion challenge.

We originally came up with four different illusions that we thought might work with the concept the producers had in mind. Eventually, we narrowed it to just one.

The illusion was designed based on the requirements, bearing in mind contestants have to learn the illusion within a specific time frame and are expected to execute it. At the same time, we did not want to give any big secrets away to the contestants.

The producers shared the philosophy of ensuring none of the magic secrets are exposed. It was great they respected the art and its secrecy, otherwise, we would have turned the show down or come up with a creative work around. We’ve been known to do that – to come up with creative elaborate methods to fool both the audience and the client who is behind the scenes.

We also developed key performance indexes which formed our judging criteria were also designed for the challenge to ensure there was an objective benchmark for a performance-based challenge.

Finally, we came up with a magical way to reveal the clue to present it to contestnats if/ when they passed our challenge.

Our challenge was originally planned as a “Detour” which meant that teams had a choice to do our challenge or another.

But after the producers and executive producer saw what we had developed and the personalities and illusions we brought to the show, they made the executive decision to change our challenge to a “Route Marker” challenge.

This mean that all the teams had to go through our challenge thus giving us guaranteed exposure and airtime on the show.

Besides the illusion challenge, we also filmed performances of our “Crystal Metamorphosis” and “360 Sawing”. Unfortunately, they did not make it to air due to time.


Part of our stage set-up on the St James Boiler Room stage.

The iconic “The Amazing Race Asia” clue that we magically produced for each team as they completed our “Illusion Challenge” “Route Marker”.

Ning & I were so happy when we thought we cleared a “Route Marker” and received an official “The Amazing Race Asia” clue!

Concept:Magic team members who worked on this TV shoot.

The producers were so pleased with our involvement in the show that they called us to be part of another country’s instalment of “The Amazing Race” but we had to turn it down due to conflict of schedules.

We were proud to once again represent Singapore in the biggest show on an Asian English cable channel and an international TV show brand. After our successful appearance on Indonesia RCTI’s “Duel Mahakarya Magician” where we represented Singapore amongst an international line-up of magicians, we are happy to continue to put our country on the map once again in such an iconic TV show that airs throughout Asia.

If you watched us on The Amazing Race Asia, catch us live in a mega illusion, “The Aerial Exit” this Sunday, 12 Dec 2010 @ 5pm at the Asian Civilisations Museum. Bring the family down for this FREE event!

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About J C Sum

International Headline Entertainer, Content Creator and Investor
This entry was posted in Behind The Scenes, Television and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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