Hangin' With David Blaine
By Amber James Posted Sep 23rd 2008 04:24PM
Hangin' With David Blaine
UPDATE: So, he did it. David Blaine completed his Dive of Death... which, after watching, we'd like to rename David Blaine's Bungee Jump of Mild Discomfort. After his 60 hours (mostly) upside down, David Blaine capped the entertainment with a 44-foot jump and then seemingly disappeared into the night. Helicopter? Magic? Watch the clip below and be the judge.Skip over this content
(Sept. 24) - If you haven't heard, the magician and "endurance artist" David Blaine is currently suspended upside down over Wollman Rink in Central Park, a feat that will reach its climax tonight at 9pm EST with a top secret Dive of Death. According to his publicist, David is risking "stroke, hemorrhaging of the brain, permanent blindness." When we learned of the stunt, we may have thrown the word "toolbox" around a couple times. But we're man (and woman) enough to admit when we're wrong. We spent a little time under David's dangling form, chatting with his audience, and a miraculous thing happened... we sort of love David Blaine now. PopEater got a chance to talk to David Blaine, in our first interview conducted at 180 degrees.Skip over this content
David Blaine comments on the stunt:
"Physically, I know it looks really easy, but it's actually the most difficult thing I've ever done in my lifetime. If you can imagine all of the liquid ? all of your blood in your body starts to pool around your head, around your brain, around your eyes ? so it feels like there's this great pressure pushing your head outwards. That's just the beginning of it. The next thing is that your legs are always pins and needles. You know when you wake up and you slept wrong and your legs are all?it's like that all the time. And then the all the weight ? and you know, I'm 190 pounds- all that weight is just laying in one place continuously. So those three things combined, plus the cold weather plus I haven't slept in three days plus not eating, make it difficult, but everything ? you, him, her, all the people around help make it much easier, so I forget what I'm going through. If I tried to do this by myself I would never be able to.Skip over this content
"Night was the toughest, but it was also really cold last night. Night was tough."
On his confidence:
"I'm not sure, but I'm going to give it my best and expect the worst and go from there."
What DOES scare David Blaine?Skip over this content
"I'm really afraid of bugs, insects. Not cockroaches 'cause I grew up with them, but those weird crazy-looking ones. I squeal like a little girl when I see a beetle or something. My friends really find it ironic. My friend was making a joke because on my new show, I actually have someone take a .22 caliber rifle and fire a .22 caliber bullet into a steel cup in my mouth, which you'll see tomorrow night if you watch. But I'll have a bullet be shot at me or I'll hang off a building or run on ledges in the Grand Canyon but if a little bug goes walking by me, I'll go running and screaming."
Why does he do it?
"I'm into the idea of endurance. I like that humans can endure anything that you can put us into, I think we can adapt to it and we endure it, and that's what's remarkable. So with that, what's fascinating to me is? the same as most people? I lost my train of thought. [laughs]"
We had a few minutes to kill before our chat, while David Blaine took dozens of pictures with his fans and got a check up from the on-site physician. While we waited, we caught some reactions from the onlookers.
Passers-by weigh in on whether the stunt is impressive:Skip over this content
"It's crazy awesome. It's cool. He is upside down with nothing to eat or drink. But I would do it, if I could."
"No. This is really stupid. I?m trying to figure out when the magic trick is."
"It's like Cirque de Soleil."
"I think it's interesting. It is a pretty difficult endurance test. But it isn't like disappearing or crazy Houdini magic trick. He is just hanging there. But as an endurance test, I think it is pretty interesting for a stunt."
"We think he's cheating. By going horizontal. He is making up the rules as he goes along, just like Henry Paulson." [David's publicist explains: "We have to flip him over with the medics to check his vitals, his heart, blood pressure, to make sure everything is good and running." Also, David periodically rests on his back to stretch his legs, taking him out of the upside down position. We have no excuse for Henry Paulson.]
"It's impressive that he managed to bring all these people out here. He's made a spectacle out of it."
"He's only risking blindness. Doesn't he have second sight anyway? These periodic doctor's checks are all for hype."
"Yeah. Intrigued more than anything. Interesting. I admire the guy. Why he would want to do it, I'm not quite sure."
"For the critics, let them go out there and do it. See how long they can last."
"It's crazy. I can barely stand up here in line. He is upside down for three days. It's nuts. It's impressive."
On whether anyone might have come to see him fall:
"Actually no. Not at all. We just wanted to see him hanging."
"The risk factors are huge, that's why we're all here to see it. He could go blind or fall. Who knows! I'm being sarcastic. There is zero percent chance anything could go wrong."
"Not really. But probably half or ¾ are probably here for that reason and I'm an optimist."
"Actually, I saw him yesterday during lunch, so I knew all the cables weren't going to break. But what's funny is last night, as I was walking back, I did spread the rumor that he did fall. I saw a whole bunch of people run towards here. They were like, 'Oh no! David Blaine fell.'"
"I mean really. What other reason do people have to come out here? You're waiting for something to happen."
Who would win in a cage match - David Blaine or Criss Angel:
"David. He seems fearless."
"David would be able to sit in one place for a while. If it was pre-taped, Criss Angel could pretend to fly out of the cage. I guess, if the rules are whoever gets out of the cage, Criss Angel would probably win."
"I've never heard of Criss Angel, but he would win over this guy."
"Well, David is just going to stand in the cage for three days, so Criss Angel would probably get bored. In a few minutes, Criss would leave. It would be the last man standing? or hanging."
"Hand on hand battle, I'll have to go with David Blaine on this one because he is the one hanging here, not Criss."
"David Blaine would. He came first."
"Criss Angel is jacked. It would be a close match."
"David could just disappear for real. Criss is all fake."
"Definitely David Blaine. Criss Angel is just fake. David Blaine is all about strength and endurance. Criss wouldn't have a chance."
If you're compelled to try the stunt yourself, fans and the press can hang actually upside down, side by side with David Blaine from 3 to 11pm on Wednesday. Catch the (theoretically) amazing Dive of Death on David Blaine's live special, airing tonight at 9pm EST on ABC.
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