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April 19, 2015

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Criss Angel escapes just inches from 250 alligators in Florida for Spike TV series


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Criss Angel launches at Bare Pool Lounge in the Mirage on Monday, Aug. 15, 2011.

Criss Angel

Criss Angel

Magician Criss Angel’s escapes, stunts and demonstrations of physical endurance are getting more and more dangerous for the Spike TV cameras filming his new fall series. His latest came perilously close to a disaster as he hung inches above a pit of 250 hungry alligators.

To make matters worse, he was covered in blood poured over him from a bucket of dead rats. He coolly whipped the gators into a feeding frenzy throwing fish chum to their snapping mouths.

The Cirque du Soleil “Believe” illusionist at the Luxor flew to Florida to perform the death-defying stunt at the Everglades Alligator Farm.

He was locked in shackles and had to pick open no less than five locks before the dangling rope lowered automatically into the pit. As Criss explained, he was re-creating a “Houdini escape” that the master magician never accomplished.

A stunned crowd of more than 300 watched in amazement as Criss contorted his body, squirmed and wriggled free from the head-and-neck locks and his chained legs. He had a 5-minute deadline to free himself and jump to a safety line before the contraption was lowered into the muddy, murky lagoon of angry alligators.

He escaped with just inches — and seconds — to spare above the snapping jaws. The footage will become a segment on one of the 12 Criss Angel “Believe” episodes.

Now that he is safely back in Las Vegas to resume his shows at the Luxor, Criss has to make time to catch up on the two recent planned Strip stunts that were aborted.

“We are pushing the envelope this new season of shows,” Criss told me. “I am doing highly dangerous things I have never attempted before. So far, we are succeeding. It’s an amazing new level.”

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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  1. ....I keep hoping I'll read a headline saying he gets eaten by an alligator, stuck in cement, or falls off a tight rope.