I have already debated all your questions and gripes a thousand times over, since you're new here you might want to go do some searching. Yes I do find it odd that some of the greats in magic would even be involved with Criss. Blaine does easy effects? As I have already discussed millions of times here, an effect's complexity does not define it's entertainment value or worth. That is the magician's job, and if you were one you would probably know that already.
That type of mindset is equivalent to relying on a self-working card trick, when in fact there is no such thing if you think about it. Criss has awards because he rubbed elbows with those who could help further his career and open doors. It has not as much to do with his skill as a magician. Just because Blaine, or any other magician for that matter decides not to perform for a panel of other magicians, or hang out with them, does that mean they are not great? Not at all.
Another thing I have already discussed many times, Blaine's lack of presentation IS his presentation. That of a drifting shaman, not a typical coats and tails one-prop-wonder with a lot of canned patter that sounds robotic like. Think a little outside the box as opposed to just surface arrangements. Also stop insinuating that I hate Criss, I already said I simply do not like his style or show; and no I will not go away with my opinion of him or it.
As meaningless as his awards are, he got them for a different kind of magic; not for a poor emulation of his real idol (Blaine) who he claims to despise. But in reality you can hear it in his voice every time he walks up to somebody on the street that he has watched Blaine literally thousands of times. Criss is also one of the biggest sell outs out there. He says "David who?" one week, then thanks him for his support during one of his stunts. He is all fine and dandy with Blaine so as long he is kissing his butt.
Also as meaningless as both of their stunts are, Blaine actually did his own and did not use a stunt double. But let's not get into that. I could go on, but I already said it all previously so there is no need.
I never said that him doing simple effects is bad. It just doesn't impress me. He peforms them really well, but I'm not impressed. I did like his card throwing abilities though. And I like the act he did when he dressed up as Tarquo the Great. But for the most part, I'm not impressed by him. Most of the time I'm not impressed by Angel either, especially recently. I would rather watch Cyril Takayama.
And I am a magician. I do magic for a living. Right now just at resturuants. But I'm putting on my first live show in December, a show for charity. And I know that it doesn't matter how hard the effect is to accomplish. The Ambitious Card routine is very easy to do, yet it gets some amazing reactions. I'm just not enteratined by Blaine. No offense to him.
Criss is a good magician. If you don't like what he does, that's fine. It doesn't make him any less of a magician. He has the skill. His presentation lacks sometimes, and his directing skills sucks (which really doesn't benefit his show at all). But he still has the skill. And Blaine does hang out with other magicians. He did hang out with Tarquin Churchwell. He has hung out with Paul Harris. And he says a good friend of his is Uri Geller (who I consider to be a magician, even though an unethical one).
I never said anything was wrong with Blaine's presentational skills. I just said I don't like them. It works for him, personally, I think it makes him sound mentally incompetent. But whatever works. It's just an opinion.
Angel doesn't claim to dispise Blaine. He says that there is no rivalry. I posted a link to an article about the whole "rivalry" in another thread. Criss respects Blaine. And I believe it's true that Blaine also respects Criss. The only rivalry is between their fans.
And even though Angel didn't get the awards for his street work, the fact is still that he got them. He has entertained millions of people. Before he was doing his show, he did a live show, that had great turn outs. He has the skills as a magician. You may not like his show, or his presentation, but that doesn't mean he isn't a good magician.
For the stunt double thing, many have claimed that Blaine has also used stunt doubles, especially for his Frozen in Time stunt. I believe neither one of them need to though.