Las Vegas Finds Magic on HBO MAX with ‘Finding Magic Mike’

The reality competition show shot at the Sahara is streaming now on HBO Max

*Note, there are spoilers here with the exception of revealing the final winner*

Let’s talk Magic Mike shall we? You know you’ve made it in Hollywood when you have a hit movie that turns into a hit movie franchise. Then, that franchise turns into a stage show in Las Vegas and then itself gets franchised with shows all over the world. 

But, when a television show bearing the same name comes to the small screen,  well, that is an entirely different pop culture zeitgeist. Clearly there is a market for sexy, smart and shirtless men out there. 

The Las Vegas shot show has a simple premise. Take a handful of men who have, by their own admission, lost their magic, and put them through a “Magic Mike-style” bootcamp. The winner will get 100,000 thousand. 

the “mikes”

Among the contestants is a former Olympic athlete, a farmer, a chef , a soldier and other professions. There also are abs, dad bods, rail thin men and different ethnic backgrounds. Simply put, they are normal men with normal bodies. They have insecurities like all of us. The only difference is they had a double shot of courage injected into their morning coffees. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take two shots please! 

taking more than their clothes off

For the record, the men do take their clothes off. Yes, one contestant, Nate Byran, even performs naked while he holds a hat over his family jewels. Quite a leap for the self professed ‘mama’s boy.’ 

And yes, some of the guys have abs so defined little green toy soldiers could make a day of traversing their tummies. But, that isn’t the only body type required for the show. The men are each pushed to look within and tap into a part of themselves they may not even be aware of. Dare I say, that’s the magic of the show? 

The men are encouraged to let down their guard along with the tearaway pants and instead pick up life lessons that are priceless. Done in a series of competitions, these fellas are each pushed past their self drawn limits and discover a hidden part of themselves. 

A lap dance competition is used as a tool not to show a man’s moves, but rather to look at the person they are dancing for and give them what they desire. Put simply, it’s not about them, it’s about who you are dancing for. Seems like a given right, but most women can tell you that is usually far from the case. 

The guys are taught to look for cues of what is comfortable and what is allowed by their lap dance partners making everyone’s experience exceptional. Now tell me where that lesson in life can’t be applied. 

a band of brothers

The seven episodes of “Finding Magic Mike” starts with 50 men with eliminations every week. Soon it is whittled down to 25, and then ten. Those ten are a majority of the season. Along the way the men form a bond that is tighter than their skivvies. 

Whereas other reality shows highlight catty and underhanded behavior, “Finding Magic Mike” shows nothing but support. Each contestant is shown praising and encouraging one another. 

That is a message that was intentional and injected into the show from the top down. It was done without manipulation, or at the very least it appeared to be. Being emotional and open was allowed and even encouraged.  Men often cried. Not just for the camera but out of real emotion. 

The message given to the men, and everyone that watches the show: Sexy is more than being fit and attractive. 

That’s a message we fully support. 

dudes with drama

That is not to say that it’s a cry fest for all seven episodes. There is drama for sure. C’mon, this is a competition show and there are 100,000 reasons to keep it 100 right?

The entire production was shot while observing covid protocols. That meant that once the guys were done rehearsing, they were sent straight to their rooms. Outside activities of the Sahara (where they shot the show) and no outside guests meant the men were on lockdown unless for the television show. That proved too much for one contestant, Ross Harris, who was busted with a “friend” in the room. An on camera altercation ensued when it was discovered and he was sent packing. 

Read More: Enjoy These 17 Shows On The Strip »

An accident involving another contestant while shooting on-location in the desert resulted in one player, Kevin Klass, in surgery with pins in his leg. The men were torn up, and not just from their clothes either. Each incident caused “Finding Magic Mike” to go from six episodes to seven. 

What you need to know

WHAT: “Finding Magic Mike”

WHEN: Streaming on HBO Max now

WHO: Adam Rodriguez, Alison Faulk, Vincent Marini, Luke Broadlick. Guest judges include Whitney Cummings, Nikki Glaser, Nicole Scherzinger, Amanda Seales and Robin Thede.


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