I'm not angry when you call me "sadly naive" because you can only judge me by my words and compare them with your own thoughts.
We don't know each other personally. If you knew me, you would know that I could fill books with my thoughts, analysis from different points of views and philosophies...
Maybe I didn't point out clear enough that what I said was only one
suggestion while others are as possible as this one. I added it because noone mentioned it before on this thread.
And this is one of the reasons why I like Criss Angel so much: his thought-provoking art and all those discussions pushed me to open my mind to think in other dimensions, and in turn this has impacts on my own art (not only magic), and on my life. He inspired me in the past and to date this didn't change. I don't persuade anybody to agree, but maybe you understand me better when I let you know some of my thoughts and reasons.
Just a question, if he's not talented as you think, why did he win the Merlin Award so many times? People here always harp on the same tricks that could be explained the way you did, but what about the big things? The Luxor levitation for example... just to name one of the many illusions where it's obvious that he cannot have a whole city on his paycheck.