Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011 | 4:58 p.m.
Robin Leach's Vegas DeLuxe
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“Beyond our wildest dreams.” Twice in the past 12 hours, Criss Angel has told me that as he revealed that his 4-year-long on-and-off romance has finally turned into the real “love of my life.” He gave me the exclusive news about his girlfriend Sandra during the launch of his Magic Broadcast Network last night that shattered all existing records for an internet TV launch.
In fact, in the first moments that MagicPlace.com went live, there were 4,000 hits in the very first second. By the first minute, the views had escalated to 240,000, and in less than 10 minutes, the volume from around the world was so massive that both of the giant servers shut down from the overload. Criss’s Internet team resolved overnight the technical problems caused by the unexpected mega volume.
“The launch was so huge -- incredible and beyond our wildest dreams,” Criss said as he met with guests at the celebration party for the premiere at Bare Pool Lounge at the Mirage. “The Web traffic was insane.”
But it was the news of Criss making his romance with Sandra official and public that topped the excitement of the night. The ecstatic couple posed exclusively for Tom Donoghue for this special photo gallery in their luxury, high-roller villa at the Mirage. Thanks also to Denise Truscello for her wonderful photographs.
Criss and Sandra have known each other for four years and have dated on and off. “I literally had an epiphany,” Criss confessed to me. “I had this sudden realization that what I had been really looking for was all along right in front of my eyes. Sandra is the love of my life. Now we’ve made the decision it’s a great feeling -- beyond our wildest dreams.”
The head-over-heels happy couple will go on vacation together on the beaches of a luxurious resort in Mexico next week. Naturally, I pushed to see if an engagement was imminent now that they’ve gone public with their love match! Said Criss: “We’ll let you know first as we get a little more into our future.”
One of their closest friends told me: “His fans will be thrilled to share their happiness now that they’ve finally made the commitment. It’s certainly now for real, and they have a very solid romance going. They truly are a great match, and everybody in the circle is very happy for them and that they’ve decided to let everybody know about it. We wish them the very best for a very long, long time into the future.”
Among the VIPs celebrating the romance and the network launch were his entire creative team behind MagicPlace.com and his co-star Maestro and the cast from Cirque du Soleil and Criss’s Believe at the Luxor. Mirage President Felix Rappaport, Luxor President Renee West and Araceli Gutierrez, who won a contest to be onstage with Criss at the party as one of his fans -- The Loyals -- attended along with magicians The Amazing Johnathon, with Bill Malone and Michael Chaut in town for the World Magic Convention at the Orleans.
The first of the new shows that kicked off the launch included Criss’s interviews with Ice T and wife Coco and Las Vegas magician Johnathan Pendragon demonstrating the newest close-up magic and illusions. As previously reported, the new shows include Lance Burton, Siegfried & Roy, Ke$ha and even yours truly.
Criss has been a good friend for many years, and he invited me to take on the duties last night as MC. I told the crowd that Criss had become the biggest name in magic since Houdini with more than 4 million fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter. Single-handedly driving magic’s resurgence, Criss has more primetime hours of Mindfreak magic in TV history, and combined with the monstrous YouTube viewers, has become the most watched magician in Web history.
Congratulations from all of us at VegasDeLuxe.com to Criss and Sandra -- and to the launch of the Internet sensation! We’ll continue to keep you informed first with all their exclusive news in the months ahead.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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