Copycat Magician? Shin Lim Speaks Out About ‘Italia’s Got Talent’ Winner

Taylor Fox | Talent Recap

Earlier this month, magician Stefano Bronzato won Italia’s Got Talent 2021. The judges, as well as the public, were impressed by Bronzato‘s card tricks. However, some fans have accused him of copying AGT winner Shin Lim. Now, Lim gives his take on the situation.

Anyone who watched Shin Lim perform on America’s Got Talent in 2018 will recognize a number of similarities between Bronzato’s final performance and several tricks performed by Lim on the show earlier, now Lim has spoken out about the two acts.

‘Got Talent’ Winners: Stefano Bronzato vs. Shin Lim

The first similarity between Bronzato’s final performance on Italia’s Got Talent and Lim’s past performances is the music. Both magicians used music by Hans Zimmer from the film Inception. You can hear the same score playing during Lim’s appearance on Penn and Teller Fool Us in 2015.

But it wasn’t just the music — several of Bronzato’s tricks will be recognizable to anyone who’s seen Lim’s act. During Bronzato’s performance, he rubbed a card on his abdomen and made the image disappear. He then lifted up his shirt to reveal the image of the card seemingly tattooed on his body.


NBC / Sky Uno / YouTube Shin Lim on “AGT” in 2018 vs. Stefano Bronzato on “Italia’s Got Talent” in 2021.

This is extremely similar to something Lim did in his first audition for America’s Got Talent. Lim placed one of the cards inside the collar of his shirt and rubbed it on his skin, before revealing a blank card and the image in a tattoo on his chest.

Another notable similarity between Bronzato’s performance and Lim’s AGT tricks is the reveal of a folded-up card in his mouth, with the addition of smoke for dramatic effect.

NBC / Sky Uno / YouTube Shin Lim on “AGT” in 2018 vs. Stefano Bronzato on “Italia’s Got Talent” in 2021.

Almost immediately after showing off the tattoo on his stomach, Bronzato blew smoke out of his mouth and removed a folded-up card. This is exactly what Lim did in his semifinals performance on AGT Season 13.

Even More Similarities Between Bronzato & Lim

Bronzato continues by placing the card, which came out of his mouth, into a plastic bag, just like Lim did in his performance. Lim did this trick twice during his performance, and so did Bronzato.


At the end of Bronzato’s performance, he picked up a card with a question mark drawn on its back. He revealed it to be the six of spades, and then seemed to magically transform it into the nine of spades.

This trick uses the Kadabra effect developed by Raffi Kazama and sold on Lim’s website in 2018, although it has since sold out. Lim used this effect in his finale performance on AGT, turning a six of hearts into a nine of hearts.

NBC / Sky Uno / YouTube Shin Lim on “AGT” in 2018 vs. Stefano Bronzato on “Italia’s Got Talent” in 2021.

What Are ‘Got Talent’ Fans Saying About the Similarities?

Take one look at the YouTube comments on Bronzato’s performance, and it’s not hard to see that many fans noticed the similarities with Lim’s act. Some were angry about the comparison, and said Bronzato plagiarized Lim’s magic.

“RIP OFF,” one commenter wrote. “What are the consultants and producers thinking allowing a copy act? This has got to be taken away and re-run!”


Another comment, originally in Italian, joked about Bronzato’s audition, in which he turned back time.

“In the first audition, he set the clock back 7 minutes. In the final he moved it back a few years and did the same number as Shin Lim BEFORE Shin Lim put it into practice and he won!”

Someone else said (originally in Italian) that Bronzato didn’t deserve to win, adding that “not only did he play the exact same games … but he also repeated in detail all his moves, his way of presenting, even his soundtrack.”

@caseykathleen_ / Instagram

Lim’s Wife Quick to Respond to Plagiarism

Lim’s wife Casey first posted an Instagram story responding to the situation.

“I thought this needed to be addressed since Shin and I have received so many messages,” she wrote, adding that Shin hasn’t posted on social media because he’s, “taking his time to create new acts for his new show.”

“We do not condone plagiarism!” she continued. “Shin never gave this person permission to perform his Dream Act. This person never reached out either to ask if it was ok.”


Jill O'Rourke
Jill O'Rourke

Jill O’Rourke is a contributor at Talent Recap, writing news stories and recaps for shows like ‘AGT,’ ‘The Voice,’ and ‘American Idol.’ She graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English and Film Studies, and has been writing about pop culture since 2012, with previous bylines at Crushable and A Plus. Jill spends her free time binge-watching sitcoms and daydreaming about life as a hobbit

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