Talent Recap

‘AGT’ Winner Dustin Tavella Heads to ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ with a Mind-Blowing Trick

Dustin Tavella on EllenYouTube

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Magician Dustin Tavella is still processing winning Season 16 of America’s Got Talent. He captured viewers’ hearts with his meaningful tricks and took home the $1 million prize. He stopped by The Ellen DeGeneres Show to perform an all-new astonishing trick. Some might even be shocked to find out this was actually not his first time on the show.

Dustin described winning AGT as an “incredibly wild ride.” He was told immediately after winning that he had a lot of press appearances lined up including The Ellen DeGeneres Show. He could not believe how “nonchalantly” the producers were telling him about this. It was “the goal” all along for him to end up on Ellen again. Dustin first rose to fame as a viral YouTube singer.

‘AGT’ Winner Dustin Tavella Has Performed on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ Before

“So a lot of people think when you’re on shows like America’s Got Talent that everything kind of happens overnight which is not really the case,” Dustin said. “This has been a long journey for me, a journey that you have actually been a part of. And you don’t know this but we’ve met before. You don’t remember me. I’m not offended.”

He handed DeGeneres an envelope with a photo inside. The photo was from the first time that they met. In both his music career and his magic career, Dustin has experienced a lot of “random and unexpected moments.” The AGT winner had DeGeneres plug in random numbers on his phone calculator before pulling out two stacks of flashcards.

One stack of cards had emotions written on them and the other had celebrities on them. The card that DeGeneres chose said “ski mask” on it. Dustin claimed that the card she chose was actually not supposed to be in the deck but he kept rolling with it. The other card DeGeneres chose said “Jared Leto.”


In the envelope was an Instagram post of Dustin’s from about seven years ago. He performed with Thirty Seconds to Mars on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Dustin took a photo of the artist’s entry at the show. He was actually at the show singing backup for Leto while wearing a ski mask.

The random number that DeGeneres wrote down on the phone calculator in the beginning actually corresponds with the date that Dustin’s photo was posted, September 22, 2014. DeGeneres’ face at that moment was hilarious. She looked absolutely shook and in disbelief. Her expression after the trick is going to become a meme.

Dustin Reflected on Adopting His Two Sons

“My mom didn’t believe me either, this was like a random day of my life,” he said. “I found out I was going to sing on Ellen. I found out I was singing for Jared Leto. Before I came out he was like ‘Oh by the way there’s 10 of you. You’re gonna wear a jumpsuit and a ski mask.’ I was like ‘Oh cool, my mom’s never going to believe that was actually me.'”

Aside from his successful AGT magic career and music career, Dustin has always been dedicated to giving back. He and his wife, Kari, have been “super passionate about wanting to help and inspire people.” They started a homeless ministry for a while down on skid row. They also decided to work with an organization to help women in crisis pregnancies before AGT.

The couple got close to one woman who eventually asked if they would adopt her baby boy. They adopted Xander and got a phone call shortly after Dustin’s AGT audition to adopt Xander’s older brother Sylas. DeGeneres praised Dustin for sharing his story with the world.

Let us know what you feel about this article

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Calling all Talent Enthusiasts!

Subscribe to the Talent Recap Newsletter for all Talent News, and/or subscribe to our EXCLUSIVE America's Got Talent Newsletter for all the latest AGT Scoop!

Enter your email address in the box below, click "Subscribe", and find the latest news delivered to your inbox weekly. Be prepared to experience the thrill, the drama, and the sheer talent that all of these shows have to offer!
Choose the news YOU want
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x