So completely on his own, Escher submitted a “try out” video of him playing pinball to a popular twitch streamer who runs talent contests on his stream, and out of thousands of submissions, Escher was picked to be one of the 20 (?) or so contestants on the show.
Escher thought a lot about how best to present pinball as a “talent” to a non-pinball viewing audience and judges, and he had lots of different ideas, but we recognized from the start is was going to be a really tough sell. He narrowed it down to either playing an Escape Nublar speed run (since “speed running” is a recognized “thing” on the internet), or collecting a billion hurry-up on Attack From Mars one handed - one handed, because we thought that even if the judges couldn’t appreciate the standard pinball skills, the one handed nature of the task would seem more impressive ? It was a tough choice, too, because JP probably would have presented a lot “cooler” for it’s LCD display instead of the old DMD, but AFM affords many opportunities to demonstrate pinball skills with drop catches out of the scoop, live catches from the orbits and loop passing, too. The contest was also going to have multiple rounds, so if Escher made it though, he would need a different “trick” the second time, so he decided to start with the one-handed, AFM bil hurry up.
The show streamed yesterday and here is the link to Escher’s turn (he went 6th out of no-idea-i-stopped-watching-after-eschers-turn).
I, of course, had never heard of this streamer, but he had over 100,000 people watching the thing live, and all of his past streams have over 1.5 million views, which is just crazy. For the record, Escher did manage to do the bil hurry-up one handed on his first try, but he was pretty nervous at the start and it took him a bit to settle down… There were some technical issues with the stream, too, such that he couldn’t talk to the judges as he was playing, which was going to be part of “the thing” - since he’s used to playing and answering questions as he goes when he normally streams pinball… So the judges never got it. He also had bad luck in that the first five contestants were all voted through and just before he went on, all the judges were kidding that they hadn’t rejected anyone yet, lol, so they were primed to say to no to someone, lol… One of the women judges streams chess normally and is a very high ranked chess player and we hoped she might get it because it’s such a specialized skill, but she was the one who best articulated why she didn’t get it - she knew it was probably amazing what he did, but she just couldn’t see it in the presentation.
I know that Daniele made it pretty far on Italy’s Got Talent a few years ago playing pinball, and I couldn’t find any video of what he did there to impress the judges (knowing Daniele, he probably hit the ramps on Iron Man 1,000 times in a row or something, lol), but other than the huge #DadHumbleBrag here (that I’m sure @pinwizj will definitely call me out on), I would pose the question here:
If you had 5 minutes in an internet talent show to demonstrate pinball, what game would you choose and how would you demonstrate your talent ?
p.s. Immediately after Escher didn’t make it through, he had over 3,000+ viewers turn up to his twitch streaming channel and it was CRAZY. The majority of comments were all super positive and nice and supportive and a LOT of interest in pinball. Escher went on to play a 100 billion, 3 RTE game on AFM to over 1,000 viewers, lol, and told them all about IFPA, and PAPA, and WPPRs and all the things we love! Escher’s sister, Ainsley, had to read the questions out to him because the chat was scrolling by WAY to fast to keep up… YMMV