In a world of his own ... David Blaine floats in his water-filled sphere.
Photo Credit: Brendan McDermid
The amazing David Blaine, was good, but not world record breaking. His performance stunt captivated the attention of New Yorkers and an East Coast television audience but in the end, he did not even get all of the chains and handcuffs off, his feet were still bound when he came out.
Excerpts from The Sydney Morning Hearld -
By Dylan Welch and David Braithwaite
May 9, 2006 - 11:16AM Sydney Australia Time
Illusionist David Blaine has been rescued by divers after failing to hold his breath underwater for a record breaking nine minutes.
Blaine managed to hold his breath for seven minutes, eight seconds before starting to shake and blow bubbles out of his mouth.
Blaine spent the past week submerged in a plastic sphere in New York City's Lincoln Square in preparation for his world-record attempt.
The Herald's New York correspondent, Mark Coultan, watched the two-hour US television special which climaxed with Blaine's stunt.
"He failed - he got to seven minutes, eight seconds,'' he told smh.com.au.
"He was a very sick puppy when he came out - it was horrible to watch, quite frankly.
"He started to shake after seven minutes and blow bubbles out of his mouth so they've gone in and got him.
"He wasn't exactly unconscious but he was losing it.
Yesterday Blaine described his seven days in a sphere of water as "horrific", saying he had never experienced pain like it before.
"I think the time has started to really take its toll on my body. It has started to become horrific in many, many ways.
"Every muscle doesn't just ache, it feels like a sharp shooting pain, like a knife being stabbed."
Blaine's skin had shrivelled and pruned, and he was concerned for his muscles, which had begun to atrophy.
Public interest in the spectacle was huge, with thousands of people flocking to the Lincoln Center in downtown Manhattan to stand in line and get a chance to make brief eye contact with the water-logged magician.
In a society increasingly weary of in-your-face reality television, it seems that Blaine's self-declared magic trick has been elevated to art.
Even president of the Lincoln Centre Reynold Levy, whose centre has played host to such performers as Placido Domingo and Yo-Yo Ma, is quick to jump on the Blaine bandwagon.
The Times reported comments by Ann Sheridan, who popped in to visit Blaine on Thursday night and drew comparisons with contentious New York public art project The Gates that covered Central Park in saffron last year.
"It's like The Gates ... nobody understands what The Gates meant, but everybody went and saw them."
It was fun but a little unfulfilling. Kinda' like a muffed magic trick. Great photo opportunity though!