'America's Got Talent': Magician Eric Jones Gets Tearful About Fatherhood, Amazes Judges With Epic
In the midst of one of the most competitive seasons of America's Got Talent yet, Eric Jones hit the stage on Tuesday's first night of the semi-finals round as the only magician still in the competition, and the talented illusionist was determined to deliver the performance of a lifetime.
Before he came out, Jones opened up in an emotional pre-taped package where he explained how important the night was for him as his young son, Cameron, would be watching from the audience.
"Tonight he's going to see me perform on a big stage for the first time ever," Jones shared, as he got choked up. "I want to make him proud."
Jones said that his son has "always had the biggest piece of my heart," but as a working magician who supports his family with his craft, the proud father is on the road a lot and it's required a lot of sacrifices.
"Because I travel 200-plus days a year, I haven’t been able to be the father to Cameron that he deserves," Jones said. "I didn't get to see his first steps, I didn't get to hear his first word. I wasn't there, but I want to be there now."
"Winning this thing means I can be the father to Cameron that I've always wanted to be," he added. "So this moment is the most important moment of my life."
As Jones came out on the stage, judges Mel B, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Simon Cowell were seated at two tables on stage with him, and the impressive magician pulled off some of the greatest close-up illusions imaginable, all with just four coins.
From making coins disappear while in the judges' hands -- and even while they were throwing them onto the table in front of them -- to making the coins reappear in impossible places, Jones left everyone in the theater believing in the impossible.
Even as a part of his act, the judges couldn't contain their excitement and amazement for Jones' astounding performance.
"You are truly, truly a superhero," Mel marveled, while Klum said the act was "really mind-blowing!"
Jones' toughest critic throughout the show has been Cowell, who has always praised him for his technical skill but criticized his stage presence and minimalist approach to theatricality. However, after Tuesday's demonstration, Cowell had nothing but love.
"It was magic! I thought your delivery was much better today, you were more confident. That's what it is about, stepping up for the semi-final," Cowell shared. "You know what, Eric? I think you're ready for the final."
After he got super positive feedback from the panel, host Tyra Banks asked Jones how it felt to have his little boy watching him from the audience.
"It means everything to me," Jones smiled as his son waved to him from the crowd. "That little boy is my life, and I'm hoping that through this I can be a better father to him. He deserves the world and I'd like to give it to him."
To see if Jones makes it into the finals, tune in to the America's Got Talent results show on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
Check out the video below for a look at Jones' amazing performance (involving a claw hammer and one of the judges' buzzers) during the Judge Cuts round earlier this season.