AGT magician Jon Dorenbos recently teamed up with Ellen DeGeneres to make some magic for a military family as we head into the Christmas season. The former football player, who finished Season 11 in third place, staged a reunion as part of his magic trick.
Jon also opened up to Ellen about his own story, the book he wrote, and his new collaboration with her. He’s hosting a web series called “Let Me In So You Can Win,” in which he surprises people at their homes with the chance to win money.
The surprise started when Jon Dorenbos and Ellen invited a pregnant audience member named Ashley to take part in a magic trick. Ashley’s husband Steve is a U.S. Marine who was deployed and would miss the birth of their baby.
After Jon performed a card trick in which he fused Ashley’s and Ellen’s chosen cards together, he made the big reveal — Steve was hiding in a nearby box. Ashley broke down in tears when she saw him there.
Ellen called it “the best magic trick you’ve ever done,” while Jon said he was close to crying. Steve called his wife a “superstar” for taking care of their kids and going to school while he was deployed for six months. Ellen then surprised the couple with $50,000 from Cheerios.
Later, Jon opened up to Ellen about his tragic family history. His father murdered his mother when he was 12 years old, which he writes about in his book. Jon recently reunited with his father after 27 years.
“I didn’t forgive him for taking my mom away, but I forgave him for being lost,” Jon said of their meeting. He added that, for him, forgiveness has “nothing to do with that other person at all.” Rather, it’s about “coming to terms with my own reality, doing the best I can with it, and being at peace with it.”
Jon is now a father himself, as he has a daughter with his wife Annalise.