Christian Magician Dustin Tavella Wins AGT, Wants to Spread ‘the Love of Christ in a New Light’
By Movieguide® Staff
After a rollercoaster Season 16 of AMERICA’S GOT TALENT, the finale featured the last two contestants, aerialist Aidan Bryant and magician Dustin Tavella.
Based on overall votes from fans, Tavella became the third magician in AGT history to win the $1 million prize.
From the outset, Tavella has made it clear that his faith takes priority above the competition.
“When I get to celebrate the principles of God, when I get to celebrate the things that God’s done in our lives, … that, to me, is the main thing that we want to do,” Tavella said in an interview. “[It is to] continue to be intentional with every story we get to tell and every bit of airtime.”
Although Tavella grew up in a household where his parents were both addicted to drugs, he credits God for transforming his life and his parent’s lives.
“Over time, my family just began to transform,” Tavella said. “The drugs went away, the affairs stopped.”
Tavella and his wife, Kari, are active in ministries to the homeless and are involved in a crisis pregnancy ministry.
“We just want to help empower people, and we want to be a bridge between the church and the not-church – to get the people not in church into the church, and to get the people in the church, outside of the walls,” Tavella said.
Although he performs magic, Tavella noted that it is only sleight of hand to bring joy and not contrary to the word of God.
“I don’t have powers. This is just me trying to have fun and kind of create wonder for people,” he said.
“I’ve never seen a magician on stage … or on YouTube or on a Netflix special or on AGT where it’s not just a magic trick,” he added. “… A lot of people who are magicians, they are atheists. And a lot of people have been very hurt by the church. And I feel like that’s part of even my mission field is just being an encouragement to people and kind of trying to [spread] the love of Christ in a new light.”
Along with the cash prize, Tavella earned the opportunity for to headline a show at the Luxor Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Dustin and Kari also share their two adopted sons, Xander and Sylas.