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Criss Angel is an awarding-winning magician who stars in the popular reality television show "Mindfreak."
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Some of the show's most infamous stunts include Angel walking on water, splitting a woman in half in a public park, and flying over the Valley of Fire while suspended from a helicopter by his bare skin. One of the most popular shows ever to air on A&E, Criss Angel Mindfreak has run for five seasons.
Propelled by the popularity of Mindfreak, Angel partnered with Cirque du Soleil to create a new live show, Criss Angel Believe,
to run at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas. Believe was named after the code word Angel's idol, the legendary magician Harry Houdini, gave his wife to confirm whether anyone had contacted him in the afterlife. The show, which weaves together Angel's illusions and theatrical acrobatics, premiered on the 82nd anniversary of Houdini's death in 2008. Unfortunately, Believe received relatively poor reviews from audiences and critics. At the end of one 2009 show, Angel infamously spewed insults at gossip blogger Perez Hilton, who had Tweeted mid-show that "Believe is unbelievably bad."
Angel added another TV series to his repertoire, when he performed as a judge on NBC's 2007 reality TV series Phenomenon, a show featuring contestants competing to be named the next great mentalist. In an interview about the show on Larry King Live, Angel, who does not believe that anyone possesses supernatural capabilities, stated, "If somebody goes on that show and claims to have supernatural psychic ability, I'm going to bust them live and on television." He lived up to his words. Angel got into a shouting match with contestant Jim Callahan after Angel called his attempt at necromancy "comical" and offered Callahan a million dollars if he could tell him the contents of a sealed envelope. Callahan could not, and Angel later revealed that the envelope contained an index card printed "9-11." He explained, "If somebody could predict, tell us on 9-10 that 9-11 was going to happen, maybe that could have prevented it."
Besides his career as an illusionist, Angel is also a musician. He has released five albums, a self-titled trilogy and two soundtracks for Criss Angel Mindfreak. In 2007, Angel published a memoir, Mindfreak: Secret Revelations, which appeared on the Los Angels Times bestsellers list.
Criss Angel maintains a rock star persona. He sports an all-black wardrobe, long hair, heavy eye makeup, and abundant metal jewelry. He counts rock stars Tommy Lee and Korn frontman Jonathan Davis among his closest friends, and since his wife of five years, JoAnn Winkhart, filed for divorce in 2007, he has dated a series of high-profile women including former Playboy covergirl Holly Madison.
Angel's live and televised performances have earned him the International Magicians Society's prestigious "Magician of the Year" designation a record five times (2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008). He is also the only magician ever to appear on the covers of both Magic magazine (October 2003) and Genii magazine (December 2003), the most popular and respected magic magazines worldwide.
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