Starting in October 2007 he appeared as a judge on Phenomenon, with Uri Geller and in a CNN interview about the show he told Larry King "no one has the ability, that I'm aware of, to do anything supernatural, psychic, talk to the dead. And that was what I said I was going to do with Phenomenon. If somebody goes on that show and claims to have supernatural psychic ability, I'm going to bust [him] live and on television."
|Wikinews has related news: Criss Angel challenges Uri Geller and Jim Callahan over paranormal claims|
On the October 31, 2007 episode of the reality show Phenomenon, Paranormalist Jim Callahan performed a summoning, purportedly of author Raymond Hill, to help discover the contents of a locked box. Although fellow judge Uri Geller praised the performance, Angel called it "comical" and subsequently challenged both Callahan and Geller to guess the contents of two envelopes he pulled out of his pocket, offering a million dollars of his own money to whomever could do so. This led to an argument between Callahan and Angel, during which Callahan accused Angel of being an "ideological bigot", and after Angel rose from his chair and approached Callahan, the two were pulled apart as the show promptly went to a commercial break. Angel has since revealed the contents of one envelope and at the unveiling he challenged Geller one more time. Geller was unsuccessful, and the envelope was revealed to contain an index card with the numbers "911" printed on it for September 11, 2001. Criss' explanation was this: "If on 9-10 somebody could have predicted that 9-11 was going to happen, they could have saved thousands of lives". The other envelope's contents will be revealed on the first episode of Season 4 of Criss Angel: Mindfreak.
"I will give you a million dollars of my personal money right now if either one of you can tell me specific details of what’s in [this envelope] right now." While Geller ignored Angel's challenge, Callahan started to confront Angel in a hostile manner, as host Tim Vincent held him back and Geller held Angel back.
In “Believe” (which takes its name from the last word supposedly uttered by legendary magician Harry Houdini before his death), Angel, according to the official Cirque Web site, “stars as a surreal, enigmatic Victorian Noble. Along a path of imaginative exploration, he encounters Kayala and Crimson, two women who represent different aspects of femininity, four bizarre Ushers, who will introduce the audience to the baroque theater of Criss' mind and a high-energy troupe of characters and dancers who mix a multitude of styles into a high-energy visual feast, punctuated by moments of grace and sensuality.”
That’s a far cry from Angel’s most famous incarnation, that of goth bad-boy on his shocking A&E cable series “Mindfreak.” Angel will now be stepping up to bat in a town famous for its megaproduction shows and its magicians, most notably the iconic Sigfried & Roy and the perennial David Copperfield. Is he ready for a 10-year commitment — with 4,600 shows on the schedule?
In Las Vegas,
his mash-up with Cirque du Soleil
is a magic trick gone terribly wrong.
November 3, 2008
CRISS ANGEL Believe, by Cirque du Soleil is a haunting exploration deep inside the inventive mind of mystifier Criss Angel as he hovers between the land of the living and a surreal world uniquely woven together by the distinctive imaginations of Criss Angel and Cirque du Soleil.
Unlike traditional magic-themed shows, CRISS ANGEL Believe transcends any preconceived notion of what it means to be emotionally engaged by the arts of mysticism and illusion. The show is a fantasy, an allegory, a highly theatrical tableau of mood, reverie and emotion set against a backdrop of dreamlike darkness and light.
I have just returned from Las Vegas where I went to his show BeLIEve at the Luxor hotel where I stayed.
He just signed a 10 year contract with the Luxor, and the critics are starting to cook him in the press...
I must say as a fan I was not impressed and disappointed, he lacks showmanship and has a potty mouth, and doesn't know how to use a hand held microphone (Criss must be taught how to use a hand held microphone...placing ones mouth on metal sounds terrible, he cackles, crackles and his slurs and diction vanishes.
From the cheap seats where I sat, 100.00 per ticket x 2 the Dark Angel appeared very human with Cirque wires and the stage holes showing. (I'm an amatuer magician, so his opening act with birds from his sleeves was kids birthday party magic-sad!)
The WOW effect of the A+E shows of his in your face no where to hide style of magic has disappeared! Even his signature version of Metamorphosis had too much smoke and the illusion vanished.
Criss Angels greatest magic vanish appears to be his making his audiance disappear long before his 10 year contract vanishes.
Gone were the astounding levitation of audiance members we witnessed during his Mind Freak show, gone were the walking thru glass effect in broad daylight.
And the show is pale in comparison to others in Las Vegas magic shows, Too Little WOW Magic and Too Much Cirque Du So Low.
He now must be compared to the stage performances of David Copperfield ,Lance Burton,
Lance Burton Master Magician, Monte Carlo, Las VegasPenn and Teller,Nathan Burton Comedy Magic,Rick Thomas, The Magic of Rick Thomas at the Tropicana, Las Vegas,Steve Wyric, Steve Wyric at the Aladdin Casino & Resort.
Yes...Im still a fan, in spite of his apparent use of green screen technology.
I'm still in awe of Criss's Lexor levitation thru the use of hologram projection over the Luxor Pyramid beam on mind freak (see video in this post).
I even forgive him for his use of CGI Hollywood style camera illusions.
In magic we must suspend our disbelief, but BeLIEve is a Lie and the cost to Criss may be 10 years of torture on stage at the luxor Theatre.
but I'm still a fan of his Mindfreak illusions!
The Survival Journals
Walter Huertas lives in Las Vegas and has seen every Cirque show here. On a scale of 1 to 10, he gave it a 1. He coaxed a friend to go. They left 20 minutes before the end of Friday's debut.
"There's no magic in it," Huertas said.
Huertas knows Angel for his "antics" and death-defying stunts from his "Mindfreak" show on A&E. But he said "Believe" has no compelling storyline, and it's more about dancing and unimpressive tricks, like pulling doves from a sleeve.
"It's something that should be in a variety show," he said. "It's about a bunch of 'rabbits' dancing around in costume."
Huertas equated the quality of "Believe" to that of Mandalay Bay's disastrous old "Storm" show. If you ever saw "Storm," you realize how dismal that comparison is.
Two other Angel fans, Steve Moffett and Jordan Wilson, flew in from London for Friday's debut.
"We were hysterical about coming. We came. It was a waste of time," Wilson said. "The magic's not even magic."
They complained they could see wires and stage holes used in unconvincing acts.
"Belief was not suspended once," said Moffett, who called the show a "dead end." "They fake an accident at the beginning, and it sets the tone of the rest of the show -- fake."
"David Copperfield is better, and he's a boring old" guy, Moffett said.
Wilson said it should be called "Criss Angel -- Don't Believe."
Moffett and Wilson walked out before the ending, because Angel started singing the finale, a cover of his "Mindfreak" TV theme song.
"He broke into song. I said, 'He's singing. Now we're leaving,'" Wilson said.
They thought he was lip-syncing. Ranger did, too: "I'm a musician. It's lip-syncing. The audio wasn't matching the video."
On a scale of 1 to 10, Moffett gave it a 4; Wilson a 3.
Like most people I interviewed, they thought Cirque's background elements were great. Wilson said the red-motif set design is "phenomenal," costumes are "good," the dancers are fine, and the proscenium arches are "elegant."
Kevin Saum of Chicago added, "The Cirque music is awesome."
But despite the best elements, Angel's show is appalling, Saum said. On a scale of 1 to 10, Saum deemed it a 3.
"It's embarrassing to put the Cirque name on it," Saum said. "He walks around the whole time and doesn't do anything. It's not his TV show. It's just really bad."
Saum and his friend Ranger flew in for a "bro's" weekend, specifically to see "Believe" plus Foo Fighters at the Hard Rock. They loved Foo Fighters. They hated "Believe" so much Ranger exited the theater by calling out to random people in the Luxor to not see it.
Criss Angel fans flew in from as far away as London to see his new Cirque du Soleil show open at the Luxor on Friday. The verdict by many? Creatively, "Believe" is a possibly unsalvageable "waste of time" and a "dead end" that literally bored some audience members to sleep.
People streamed out of the theater on Saturday screaming about how poor it was. A group of six women was led by a woman yelling furiously, demanding their money back.
"Dude, it's a train wreck," Ranger said. On a scale of 1 to 10, he declared "Believe" a zero.