Monday, March 29, 2010 | 8:59 a.m.
Mindfreak magician Criss Angel will attempt a death-defying “teleportation jump” over the Grand Canyon as one of the extraordinary and spectacular illusions he has planned for the new Season 6 shows. Criss told me: “I can’t wait to get the cameras rolling. I am so excited about the new challenges. They truly are remarkable.”
One of his Mindfreak producers told me exclusively: “This new season has the most incredible -- yes, crazy -- demonstrations of his career.” I’ve learned from reliable TV sources that Criss also will attempt the largest vanish of more than 100 people completely surrounded. He also plans an interactive mind-reading experiment to connect with viewers on their cell phones and through their TV sets while the program is broadcasting.
“These are illusions that no other magician has ever attempted, let alone put on television,” the producer added in a Vegas DeLuxe interview. “They will be the highpoint of his TV career to date. Trust Criss to go even one more mind-blowing step beyond what he’s already achieved. It simply doesn’t get wilder or more outrageously dangerous than this.” He will use a specially designed Campagna T-Rex for the Grand Canyon attempt.
Filming starts April 19 with the production crew and executives headquartered at the Luxor, where Criss appears nightly in Cirque du Soleil’s Believe.
Mindfreak Season 6 begins airing this summer on A&E.
I also can reveal that Mindfreak viewers will get their first look at his new $25 million castle home, which Criss has named Serenity. “It’s truly magical,” one of my real estate friends who researched the Las Vegas mega property told me. “It’s a breathtaking, 22,000-square-foot, magnificent mansion inspired by an Old World Tuscan Mediterranean castle that overlooks the Las Vegas Valley to the Strip.
“The spa and pool is a 2,000-square-foot wonder in its own right and was given a gold award by the American Pool designers organization. HGTV promptly named it one of the Top 5 most beautiful homes in all of America when Criss bought it and started adding new elements to his own redesign. People who have been able to get in to see it say it’s the nicest home they’ve ever seen and definitely the top estate in Las Vegas.”
If I was back in the recording studio for a Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous segment, it would sound like this: The fully integrated ‘smart house’ with lighting, climate, security and audio video controls features the latest Crestron technology with more than 25 miles of cable, 30 TV screens, a state-of-the-art home theater that seats 15, more than 100 speakers and 10,000 watts of power throughout the property.
It also has an arcade game room, Olympic gym facility, elevator and of course a magic museum that includes artifacts and memorabilia from Houdini, Doug Henning, Richiardi, Siegfried & Roy and other magic legends.
Additionally, there’s a 14-car garage, eight fireplaces/fire pits, a wine cellar, a ‘secret’ room , three full-service laundry rooms with dry cleaning, priceless sculptures and paintings that decorate the onyx-finished rooms. To top it all, a beautifully manicured landscaping design wraps around the estate.
Criss has promised me an exclusive tour when I am back in Las Vegas after an Easter trip to the Caribbean to my old home at Jumby Bay in Antigua. Upon my return, Vegas DeLuxe readers and Twitter followers will get an advance look ahead of MTV’s Cribs and A&E’s Biography on Criss.
Meantime, he is finishing work on the illusions being added to Believe that we’ve previously reported. When completed at the end of April, there will be more than 30 new illusions, twice the amount of any other magic show on the Strip. I’m told that the majority of them have been completed and are being slowly added to Believe now.
Criss plans to unveil the new production in early May after he’s begun filming Mindfreak and the production schedule has settled into a cohesive routine with Believe.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.