Adrian Saint (real name Amir Ghasri) is a UC Davis student, CoHo employee, and Mentalist performer. Saint has performed numerous shows around the Davis area. In 2004 he appeared on MTV in a special about his techniques and life as a twin. Saint astounded the Davis population in February of 2006 by "predicting" the results of the SuperBowl in a bet with The California Aggie, in which he would donate $1000 to charity if he was even a single point off.
Adrian Saint performed his last show in Davis at Historic City Hall and Bistro 33 on June 7, 2006. Fifty or so people were in attendence and some were quite astonished at some of his tricks. During the show he unveiled a new trick for him, a variant of Russian Roulette where there was a broken bottle inside of one of four paper bags, and he had a spectator tell him which bags to smash with his hand. Although from the side, it was obvious which bag had the bottle, so there was no risk to Saint, the audience was still pleased. It became especially funny when the spectator, who also knew which bag the bottle was in, told him to smash the bag that contained the bottle. Agitated, Saint kept asking "Are you sure?" until the spectator pointed to the correct bag.
Superbowl "Prediction" Controversy
In his SuperBowl bet, Saint gave The California Aggie a sealed envelope containing his alleged prediction, and the Aggie agreed to keep it safe and locked in a vault. On Tuesday Februrary 7th, Saint was given his sealed envelope during his presentation at Thompson Hall in front of an audience. Saint opened the envelope, which contained a cassette tape, and placed the tape into an A/V setup. He then played a recording of himself announcing the results of the SuperBowl.
What did Saint do? One possiblity is that Saint had a CD in the A/V setup, instead played that one (which contained the known results), and either transfered the audio during the presentation to the old tape or just gave them an altered tape entirely. Tiny prophetic gnomes, nestled in Saint's spleen, may have whispered to him the winning score weeks before the competing teams had even been chosen. It's also possible that Saint actually predicted the results.
KarlMogel also addressed the Super Bowl prediction in a guest opinion. Comments are encouraged on Karl's Blog. Saint addressed some of Karl's comments in this Aggie guest opinion two days later. It includes a few sports predictions and 5 predicted numbers for the March 18, 2006 Super Lotto. However, three of these predictions have already turned out wrong. None of the lotto numbers were predicted correctly, and Villanova was defeated in the NCAA men's basketball championship, and finally, the Detroit Pistons were beaten by Miami Heat in the NBA Championship.
On June 8, 2006, Saint was a guest on Karl Mogel's radio show on KDRT, where Karl revealed how he thinks Saint did it. It turns out that the stereo he used matches a modifed stereo you can buy from magic stores that is designed to do this trick, called the "Impossible Cassette Prediction." (Scroll down to see it) After the show, Saint denied ever claiming that he really predicted the Super Bowl, implying that the Aggie overblew it. When Karl brought up the fact that he said "I did predict the Super Bowl" in his guest opinion, Saint said that "you can use the word prediction in many different ways." This was off the air but recorded on tape.
2006-02-10 00:53:15 This trick has been done numerous times by "psychics," and was debunked by Penn & Teller over a year ago. If a prediction was indeed made, then it should have been revealed to someone before the Super Bowl. Because it was revealed more than a day after, all it takes is simple slight-of-hand.
Someone at The Aggie did suggest that Saint reveal the prediction right after the Super Bowl in the Aggie office, but he declined, saying he wanted to reveal it at the event. The prediction was given to them already sealed, preventing anyone from hearing it before the game. —KarlMogel
2006-02-10 01:14:56 Is he claiming he has ESP, is psychic, etc. or is he doing this for entertainment purposes only? If the former, he should take the JREF million dollar challenge, if the latter, give the guy some credit for stimulating critical thinking about how he could have achieved such a stunt. —CraigBrozinsky
2006-02-10 01:27:03 I am assuming his shows are for entertainment considering that we never see headlines such as "Psychic wins Lottery!" I bought a lotto ticket using Saint's predicted numbers and unfortunately lost my dollar. Well, I guess I paid a dollar for "entertainment." —DussonYeung
2006-02-10 08:50:39 Adrian does not claim to be a psychic. He is a mentalist which, as he points out, means he does get things wrong from time to time. He's just usually right. If you really doubt what he can do, go see one of his shows the next time he does one. —EricFox
- Actually, Adrian Saint does claim to be a psychic, after doing some term-redefining gymnastics in the FAQ of his website. Without saying "yes, I consider myself a psychic," he says:
Much like a sense that can be sharpened to compensate for the loss of another sense or the way human memory can be expanded and sharpened, one's psychic potential is always an unknown until it is revealed and explored. The ability to focus on that potential and to expand its boundaries is at the heart of a psychic's extrasensory power.
He also says that if by psychic, you mean 'talks to the dead,' then he is not. He does call himself a "Psychic Entertainer" which is kind of like saying it's "Orange Drink" instead of Orange Juice. Psychics also admit that they get things wrong from time to time. You misread/misheard him, as he used the "gets things wrong from time to time" to distinguish himself from a "magician", not a psychic.
Additionally, He claims on his website that he can read minds: "The two primary things a mentalist can do is figure out what you are thinking (read your mind) and he can influence your decisions and actions." However, in the first Aggie article, he claims that he can't: "I don't read minds"
He is no doubt an entertaining performer, but it is his claimed ability to predict the Super Bowl that is in question. Also, being there may bias your perception. Slight-of-hand works so well because you trust your eyes, and they are being fooled. - KJM
- Update: Adrian Saint did not handle the tape, he activated the stereo with a remote control during the presentation. Although the stereo had only one tape deck, it did have a CD drive. According to Jeff Katz, who opened the box, the tape was rolling in the stereo. However, this does not rule out that a CD could have been playing on the speakers while the tape was playing. As pointed out above, it could indeed have been dubbing from the CD to the tape while playing on the speakers, resulting in both the appearance of the tape playing and the appearance of a prediction being made. - KJM
2006-02-10 09:45:51 Or he can just bother to reveal his "prediction" ahead of time. —JosephBleckman - I agree totally. The fact that "it" was not revealed before the event to anyone really makes calling it a "prediction" problematic. - KJM
2006-02-13 17:14:46 The Aggie forgot to mention in the article that I never touched the tape, there was only one tape, I didn't switch it, and there was nothing in the CD player. I bought the tape for $1 from the student store and record it on my friend's tape recorder. Someone at the show accused me of having my entire show, including the super bowl thing setup and staged. I offer a reward up to $25,000 if you can prove anything I do in my show is set up or staged. I just wanted to clear things up, since there been so much rumor and gossip about what I do. I don't care if you believe in what I do, but if you think everything I do is set up and staged, come see one of my shows, you probably walk out with a new perspective. And I don't have any powers!! —AdrianSaint
2006-02-13 18:19:19 I'll take you up on it if you "disprove" the skeptics by announcing your predictions ahead of time for an upcoming sports game. —JosephBleckman
2006-02-13 18:27:33 I did the super bowl prediction cuz my friend bet me, and I studied it for a year or so. My friend wants to predict the NCAA tournment, so for the fun of it, I just put my prediction in the aggie classifed section. You can bet on it if you want, but like I said I have no powers, I am a entertainer. I don't have to prove anything to anyone, but I just made that post to clear things up to show people everything I do is natural and logical, I have no powers or anything supernatural! —AdrianSaint
2006-02-13 18:30:49 Guys don't you see?! He cannot announce the outcome ahead of time because that would affect the outcome! What part of Ashton Kutcher's "Butterfly Effect" did you not understand? —MikeIvanov -That they casted Ashton Kutcher. -KJM :)
2006-02-16 21:47:51 Predict the ASUCD election! —KrisFricke
2006-02-16 22:26:32 No thanks, I don't want to predict the ASUCD election cuz I predicted the fall ASUCD election. I done everything I wanted to do in Davis, with predicting the super bowl and election. I am in the process of moving on to bigger and better things. Working with my mentor on his TV special that is due out sometime next year and in process of possbilitiy appearing on Oprah and an A&E show in the upcoming year. But I do appreciate all the press that I got, from a $1 cassette tape that I bought from the student store. As they say in the mastercard commercials, it is priceless. Thanks to the press, my fee has gone up. —AdrianSaint
2006-02-16 22:34:38 The superbowl stunt was, well, a stunt. The real magic was getting all that free advertising from the aggie. —ArlenAbraham
2006-02-16 22:37:56 I am in showbiz, and it wasn't just the aggie. I got free press from the Sac Bee, LA Times, Orange Country Register, (since I live in OC) and the Aggie. —AdrianSaint
Can you provide links to any of these stories? I tried ocregister.com, latimes.com, proquest and lexisnexis. Did they pick it up from Uwire? — ArlenAbraham
It's entertainment; who cares how he did it. The point is that you can't figure out how he did it, that's what makes it interesting. Plus, he's said in like 1000 Aggie articles that he uses probability, psychology, etc to do all this stuff, hence why he gets stuff wrong sometimes. —ChrisMay
2007-09-07 23:18:38 What would blow my mind is if he could magically pull a personality out of his ass. —JoshFernandez