Criss Angel is named Magician of the Decade; Mindfreak starts up in May

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Criss Angel and Tony Hassini.
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The International Magicians Society has awarded its first Magician of the Decade award to illusionist Criss Angel, who stars in Cirque du Soleil’s Believe at the Luxor. The Merlin Award was presented after Criss’s second show Saturday night.

Previously, Criss won Magician of the Year honors from the society in 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008 -- the first entertainer to win five titles.

The 41-year-old superstar told his fans and showbiz friends attending the ceremony: “I never set out to win awards, just to push my own envelope and try to create something that’s never been done.”

Leach Blog Photo

Criss Angel with his unprecedented five Merlin Awards.

The award was presented by IMS President Tony Hassini, who said: “The International Magicians Society boasts over 37,000 members worldwide and has never named a Magician of the Decade in its 40-year history.” Previous Merlin Award winners for Magician of the Year include Siegfried & Roy, David Copperfield and Lance Burton.

Criss has begun plotting the fifth season of his A&E series Mindfreak, and I’ve learned that preliminary production should get underway in May, with nearly all of the filming to be done in Las Vegas and throughout the Luxor.

It’s believed that instead of shooting 22 new weekly episodes, which would cut into his Believe schedule, Criss will shoot a debut two-hour special, and that would be followed by six other specials over the season in order to reach his milestone 100th show!

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