Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Criss Angel

Today on live television Criss Angel is going to attempt an escape out of a building that is minutes away from implosion. If he does not make it out in time, the implosion will go on as scheduled and Criss will die.
Like him or hate him, I'm sure everyone has the same idea regarding this stunt - he will make it out alive, but does anyone ever really stop to think about the magnitude of such a trick?
First, Criss will be handcuffed and shackled - and while I'm sure no one is under the delusion that he will not have the key (somewhere) he still has to get to that key (or get it out of whatever orifice he keeps it in on his body) and then while cuffed unlock his hands and feet.
After that, he is (I believe) three stories below the roof of the building - behind three more locked doors. Again, I'm sure he will have a key, or at the very least something he can use to pick the locks, but he is under a time constraint now, and if he did not escape the cuffs and shackles in a timely manner, he will need to begin to rush here. If he presses too hard, it just might slow him down even further.
An article on the St. Petersburg Times' website (since the stunt is taking place in Clearwater, Florida) states that once Criss reaches the roof of the building - he will have to grab hold of a ladder dangling from a hovering helicopter above. If he does do this, the article continues, he will need a good minute or two for the helicopter to be able to pull him far enough from the implosion to avoid being hit with debris. The article expresses that Criss will have approximately a three and a half minute window in which to escape the handcuffs, shackles, the locks of the doors (and the stairs that ensue to reach the roof), and grab the ladder so he can be pulled to safety with enough time to spare to avoid the imploding building. Criss mentions in the article that he hopes to accomplish his task in two and a half minutes - "just to be safe."
My question is not in Criss' ability, but more about what happens when something goes wrong? I, and this is only my opinion, believe Criss will not reach the ladder in time. However, I feel this will be "part of the act" and he will appear somewhere else (possibly IN the helicopter?) in a "how did he do that?" type tactic. But what happens when Criss does not show up? Obviously, the man is only human. So what happens when something goes terribly wrong? What happens when he is stuck fighting that first lock? What happens if the building's implosion occurs with Criss still inside? Does our live feed television program break off into "technical difficulties?" or does A&E simply move on to their next scheduled program (since this stunt is to take place in the waining minutes of the live episode)? Does the all-mighty dollar win out when we, as the viewer at home, are sent to commercial during a tragedy, or will the sympathies of the executives of A&E win out, so we, as viewers at home, are able to learn what happened, if (and this is only for argument's sake) Criss does not make it out alive?
Criss Angel does not deny that he continues to push the envelope much like his idol - Harry Houdini - but we all know Houdini died in a stunt gone wrong, and who out there truly doesn't think that can happen today with Criss Angel on live television? I will admit, I don't expect him to NOT dazzle the audience tonight (as I said, I am sure he will not reach the ladder, but will show off in that "how did he do that" type way), but in the off-chance that he does not escape, it would be interesting to see how the executives of A&E respond; if human emotion takes over, or if they pursue the next commercial or program; thus showing what truly is important.
So what wins over? Human life or the all-mighty dollar? I hope we do not find out tonight.
Good luck, Criss, and I guess only one question remains: "Are you ready?"

Update - Thursday, July 31st:
The stunt is over, and I am assuming it was a success for Criss Angel and his team. However, I was less than satisfied. I will admit there was a time where I wondered if he would make it out alive - but as time was waining down for him to reach the ladder, the host (I do not know who this was) did not panic enough. I believe the host needed to play his part to a greater extent and exhibit more genuine panic. Given his reaction (or lack thereof), I knew Criss had not gone down with the buliding (and at the time I was still holding on to my beleif written above that he would not make it to the ladder anyway).
So all in all, the stunt was a success, but I was not dazzled as expected. To see Criss simply walk away from the rubble left something to be desired. At least for Criss and his team the stunt went over without a hitch.

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