I cannot watch the ‘Skyscraper Live’ event with Nik Wallenda tonight on the Discovery Channel at 7 PM ET. Nick Wallenda walks the rope tonight, and he is the great grandson of the famous tightrope walker, Karl Wallenda from the famous ‘Flying Wallenda’s Circus Family. At age 73, Karl Wallenda fell from a tightrope to his death in front of a horrified audience.
Not that I disapprove of Nik, but my empathy levels are off the charts for his wife and children. I understand he comes from a legacy of aerialist performers, some of whom have even died like Karl in front of a crowd as they tempted fate. But I just cannot stomach someone flirting with death so brazenly as to give up precious life as a very possible outcome.
But millions will tune in tonight on the Discovery Channel which has elected to use a 10-second delay for the broadcast, allowing producers to cut away if Wallenda falls. He plans to perform the walks without a net or harness. They even made attending journalists sign waivers exonerating the network from legal culpability for emotional distress claims if in fact tonight’s stunt turns into a reality TV snuff film.
The Great Wallendas of Europe were known for their four-man pyramid and cycling on the high wire. The act moved to the United States in 1928 and began an association with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Combined Circus. Now legacy perfomer Nik Wallenda begins from the Marina City west tower to the top of a skyscraper on the other side of the river. Next, he’ll walk blindfolded between the two Marina City towers – Chicago landmarks with Hollywood credits.
This is reportedly a two part event where he will walk on a 15 degree incline across one Chicago skyscraper and will actually be blindfolded during the second part. This is the first public walk since his Grand Canyon event in June of 2013.
According to Fox News, Nick and his team have been preparing for this for months now at his home base in Florida. They have been preparing by using helicopters to lift cables onto the rooftops of the skyscrapers, closing the roads, and clearances by the U.S Coast Guard and the Federal Aviation Administration.
Allegedly there are bans on flash camera, laser pointers, open barbecue grilling and even drones because these things could interfere and cause him a fatal fall.