St. Paul native works his magic, makes 'America's Got Talent' finals

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A longtime magician and comedian from the Twin Cities hopes to pull a victory out of his hat now that he’s advanced to the finals of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” competition.

College campus favorite Derek Hughes, born and raised in St. Paul and now living in Los Angeles, has earned a spot on stage at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Sept. 15-16. The results were announced Wednesday night based on votes for his performance on Tuesday night.

The 10th season’s winner is awarded an exclusive engagement of “America’s Got Talent Live!” in Las Vegas on Oct. 22-24 and collects a $1 million annuity.

The 44-year-old Hughes’ act Tuesday night had him in his PJs and reading a bedtime story

to his two sons. He flipped through newsprint with an illustrated Humpty Dumpty tale, tore up the pages and — right before your very eyes — abracadabraed them back to their original form.

Hughes isn’t the only local artist dazzling judges on national TV.

Minnesota native Andy Erikson advanced to the final five Wednesday on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” which will air its season finale next week. Roseanne Barr, Norm Macdonald and Keenen Ivory Wayans were the celebrities who helped push her forward. Erikson, the winner of the 2009 Aspen Rooftop College Comedy Festival, is a veteran performer at Acme Comedy Co. and was named Minnesota’s best Comedian Tweeter by the Star Tribune in 2012.

The grand prize, worth $250,000, includes a development deal at NBC.

Source: www.startribune.com

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