Ratings magic from non-magic, says New York’s Newsday, have given Mr. Blaine a reason to survive for another sweeps period.
Some have claimed David Blaine’s stunning ability to remain underwater for six plus minutes was either fake or not magic. (If he was only appearing to hold his breath that long, he was technically doing magic).
“Alive” is still “alive” and for that amazingly simple yet complicated act – at least in this absurdly fascinating context – David Blaine may be the de facto champ of the 2006 May sweeps.
No, he didn’t achieve his cherished (and much hyped) nine-minutes-without-a-breath record, but he got something better – my educated guess is about 18 million viewers – and ABC was happy and – my other educated guess – so were most of those viewers.
The columnist is right on the button with his analysis of the reason for Blaine’s success.
The whole strange spectacle still worked because no one ever bothered to ask why. By last Monday, the media had dubbed him Bubble Boy, while the particularly savvy setting in Lincoln Center (just up the block from ABC) elevated the stunt to “performance art.”
And just like that, the question “why?” seemed kind of irrelevant.
But the best stuff was the pre-packaged pieces, the filler that revealed Blaine’s magic with people. He goes off to a Louisiana prison, billed
as some sort of super-lockdown, to learn what confinement is all about, but seems to spend most of his time playing card tricks or bending metal bars.
Bizarre, yes, and you couldn’t take your eyes off it.
Describing David Blaine as “the loony attention grabber,” Mitch Marconi of the Post Chronicle reports the daredevil’s newest stunt will have him under water for a week.
“If you can believe this one, Blaine is planning to live underwater for a week in a human-sized aquarium outside of New York’s Lincoln Center.
“The loony attention grabber has in the past spent 61 hours in ice and 44 days fasting in a glass box suspended over London’s River Thames.
“This latest escapade will end after seven days and seven nights of underwater pananoramas with Blaine attempting to break the record for holding one’s breath underwater.
“To prepare for his newest stunt, Blaine reportedly trained with U.S. Navy Seals.”
Mr. Blaine performed three shows at the center: the Amputee Care Center; the Burn Center; and, the hospital auditorium.
The Armed Service Press reported “thrilled his BAMC audience with his street-style magic as he moved about the rooms performing sleight of hand and card tricks for the patients.”
Blaine is often called the “Ice Guy” – after freezing himself in a solid block of ice for three days in 2000. One center patient from New York, Marine Cpl. Merlin German, remembered watching Blaine as he emerged from the ice block in Times Square. Now recovering from burns sustained in the global war on terrorism, German was pleased Blaine took the time to come see the wounded.
“He was very inspiring to me,” German said, adding that Blaine, who invited him and his parents to a show in New York after he recovers, now sees him as a friend.”
Mr. Blaine was so moved by the “wounded troops that he returned Nov. 23 and 25 to personally visit with them.” Sgt. Kevin Downs told reporters Mr. Blaine visited him as “a special birthday gift.”