St. Petersburg Times via tampabay.com

CLEARWATER — Las Vegas illusionist Criss Angel pulled off an elaborate escape from a beach hotel moments before its demolition Wednesday night, first scaring, and then pleasing, tens of thousands of fans on hand.

The stunt, televised live internationally, began with Angel shackled to the sixth floor balcony of the nine-story Spyglass Resort. It ended more than four minutes later with Angel emerging, looking dazed, from the rubble that had been the hotel.

Angel had been expected to escape via a ladder dangling from a helicopter that hovered over the hotel’s roof until 30 seconds before the demolition.

For roughly the first minute of his stunt, Angel was viewable to the crowd on the beach, which spread northeast and southeast from the hotel. He picked the Smith & Wesson handcuffs retired Clearwater police Lt. David Hardman had used to shackle him to the balcony railing.

He then attempted to pick the padlock on the balcony door, but when he failed, he kicked in a window and jumped into the hotel room.

Be sure to read the comments at the end of the article. The crowd would have been screaming for their money back if it hadn’t been free.

Found by MJ.




  1. McCullough says:

    I read the comments. I love the way people were complaining that it was “faked”. Uh, hello, magic is not real people…..

  2. Shocked that an illusionist would use trickery? I wonder what the overnights were? People love to be tricked it seems. Please just make my entire TV disappear.

  3. hhopper says:

    I think the crowd expected him to suddenly materialize on top of the building and were disappointed. Har!

  4. jasmoran66 says:

    Who?

  5. Rider says:

    Yes all magic is to an extent fake. There is a major difference though between magic that takes skill, and the new wave of fake video taped tricks.

  6. pedro says:

    Chris Angel: Plain Freak

  7. Randall Lind says:

    It was so fake. Like Penn & Teller says it was complete bullsh*t!

  8. lou says:

    A load of rubbish.

  9. Mr. Fusion says:

    On the one hand it is just an entertainer trying to make a buck. On the other hand it is just another annoying piece of fluff.

  10. George says:

    What was it Seinfeld said about magic?

    “Here’s a quarter, it’s gone, you’re an idiot, it’s back, you’re a jerk, show’s over.”

    The problem is that this crap will never stop. Only as I’ve gotten older have I realized that there is always a new crop of people who don’t know that magic is for idiots. There is no societal growth of intellect, as there is for an individual.

    Perhaps not all is lost. When I was a kid David Copperfield did his tricks on network television, now this crap is relegated to the cable networks.

  11. WmDE says:

    Hi George

    Seinfeld was a great magician. He turned a mediocre sitcom into millions of dollars.

    I like to see a good magician perform and I don’t think that I am an idiot. The typical audience watching the lady being sawn in two, doesn’t believe they are watching an actual murder.

    A most important magic trick was making Germany believe that George Patton was in command of a large military force about to invade Nazi-held Europe across the Pas de Calais.

  12. reweiseriii says:

    Of course he wasn’t going to make it to the top of the building before it exploded, it is part of the drama of his performance. He is a performance artist who happens to do illusions. The helicopter was the “distraction” and added the sense of heightened emotion when he didn’t make it and it had to leave the area. My take is that it was always intended to end with him walking out of the rubble instead of actually getting to the helicopter. If i say look for me a the helicopter, I’ve been trained on how to get on this helicopter ladder (and they showed clips of this), now look for me to be there 3:30 after we start because otherwise I’m going to die. Then I don’t show up at 3:30. The helicopter leaves. People are concerned, then a few moments after the dust clears he walks out of the rubble for the “no one could survive this type of destruction.” People were entertained. So how did he fail? He’s alive, the building exploded. 15,000+ fans were there to see him live, how many people watched this thing on tv and therefore how much ad revenue can he generate for A&E?

  13. Chrys says:

    Why didn’t anyone notice that Criss Angel started calling himself an illusionist after the movie “The Illusionist” came out? He’s a bad magician who can’t do a decent magic trick without hiring actors or without being socially awkward.

  14. enjoy727 says:

    i know he is an illusionist howevr istill dont know how tha trick was done it baffles me all f magic baffles me adn ifindit entertaining but iwonder what ws up withthe sawing off of the mans arm theydidnt put it backon and it looked real eventhoguh chris said it was an illusion they whisped him off pretty quickly if it was such an illusion thenwhy didnt theyput it back onin front of us i believe that guy was offred alot of moneyto have his arm cut off withteh promise that he woudl have it surgically repaired and it was his moment for fame he was given drugs prior to the show teh arm was electronically stimulated to stimulate teh nerves to move teh hand after the removal then eh was immediately taken away to have teh arm surgically put back on illusionor no illusion it shoudl have been pu t back on before our eyes if it was such an illusion same withthe guy who had his head cut open for teh card i woudl sue someone who cut my head open fo ra card and left a car i believe he was paid proir toteh show for having his head cut open othr wise i would be pretty pissed off if someone did that tome woudlnt you ?

  15. former Cirque fan! says:

    Saw this Cirque du Solame show, “Believe” on Sept. 30 after the previously ticketed show was canceled. Should never have repurchased for another date! There are NO cirque attributes whatsoever in this stinky so-called “franchised” production. I predict they will close before Christmas.

    In NYC, “Wintuk” bombed last year and when they brought it back this year for the holiday season, they are practically giving away discounted tickets on TDF.org. That was the first rip off and now “BeLIEve” which is the furtherest thing from “magic” I have ever witnessed.

    Don’t belive me, go watch Chris Angel attempt to dance and lipsynch to his “MindFreak” theame song!

    Yuck!

    I was too embarassed to join the others and demand my money back! I regret I wasted my time sitting through that crap!