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 Post subject: 'Cheating' David Blaine booed by crowd as upside-down stunt
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 8:26 am 
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'Cheating' David Blaine booed by crowd as upside-down stunt ends in ridicule after three days

Illusionist David Blaine's "dive of death" stunt ended with a massive anti-climax last night amid claims he cheated.

The 35-year-old magician has spent three days hoisted by his heels over the Wollmann Rink in New York's Central Park.

But his stunt, which was billed as an attempt to hang upside down for 60 hours, disappointed many unimpressed onlookers who found him standing upright on a cherry picker, drinking water and relieving himself during frequent breaks.

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On the way down: David Blaine is lowered to the ground at the end of his 60-hour stunt, which some have criticised as a 'fraud'



The New York Daily News declared 'Give us a break' while several observers and bloggers labelled him a 'cheat'.

The U.S. illusionist suffered the added indignity of being booed by onlookers as he stepped down from his supposedly death-defying stunt.


Blaine was suspended from a four-storey high metal frame, but was frequently only a few feet from the ground as he spoke to fans face to face.

But at the end of a televised two-hour finale on ABC, an undeterred Blaine waved to the crowd as he stood upright on top of the 44ft-high metal frame.

Attached to a series of wires with a safety harness, he then jumped from the structure to the ground before being hoisted back up again and, wearing black, disappeared into the night sky.


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Check-up: Blaine taking a break to be examined by a doctor during his 'Dive of Death' endurance challenge

His latest stunt brought back memories of when he endured abuse, ridicule and the occasional missile from the visiting public as he spent six weeks crouched in a 7ft by 3ft box over the River Thames in London in October 2003.

Before being hoisted above the ground from his ankles in New York, he told reporters he intended to drink through a straw and urinate through a catheter during the stunt.

But when it came to the reality, Blaine took five-to-ten minute breaks every hour, drinking water but not eating as he stood on the raised platform while disappointed spectators looked on.

He dismissed his detractors as he gave an interview while hanging upside down.

'I'm not going to pee all over myself to satisfy those people,' he said.

'It's pretty hard-core, worse than I thought.'

His spokesman Pat Smith told the New York gossip website Gawker.com: 'There has been no claim that David was going to hang upside down for 60 hours without a break.

'In all of his discussions with the media, he said he would have to occasionally get his head above his heart and lower his legs to correct circulation.

'About once every hour, David comes upright for about five minutes for a medical and equipment check. He has something to drink and he relieves himself, something even David can't do upside down.'


Earlier, doctors raised concern about the effect of the stress on his internal organs and blood circulation.

Half-way through the stunt Blaine said he was 'doing all right' but his head felt like it was 'about to explode'.

Blaine has said he likes to test his endurance 'because it gives me a different perspective, for a short duration'.

His previous stunts have included standing on a 100ft pole for 35 hours, living for a week buried in a glass tank 'coffin', and encasing himself in a six-tonne block of ice for more than 60 hours.


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