OMG i hate all of this. All you guys ever say about Criss Angel is that he uses stooges. If us amateur magicians (yes, we ARE amateur) can't find out how he does a trick, then we always say it involves stooges or camera tricks. YOU DO NOT KNOW THIS FOR SURE. Come on, you have Criss, Luke, and Banachek all working together. I think they could of made on effect like that random number one. So please, if you don't know for sure, quit accusing him of using stooges. I'm expecting one of you people to say he is using stooges when he does a simple ACR, or a dove production. Seriously, most of these forums are just Criss Angel hate forums. Its not like Blaine is any better. So lets just give him credit, he's made it big and has tons of money, and can build those expensive illusions. That's just my opinion.
A few people on this forum, most notably sirbrad and MichalAngelo, are working professional magicians who are outspoken against Criss. MichalAngelo holds a world record (for escapes, I believe). They know quite a bit about magic. Criss uses camera edits to make magic look much different than it would in person. In many cases, the camera effects are all that the effect is based on.
Blaine has actually displayed sleight of hand skill many times on his specials, something that Criss has failed to do.
And actually, most of the things people say about stooges are just jokes, based on the fact that Angel HAS used them in several segments of his show.
I personally haven't done enough paid performances to be even considered semi-professional. I don't have as extensive a library as some. However, I do research these things before I post about them. We never said we hate him for making it big. We dislike the image and unrealistic expectations he is giving the art of magic.