Last night, tightrope walker Nik Wallenda crossed a 1,400-foot wide channel of the Grand Canyon in just under 23 minutes, a stunt that was viewable online and through the Discovery Channel. The tightrope walk, which stretched over a distance long as four football fields and 1,500 feet above the canyon floor, was watched by many, including celebrities like Carrie Underwood and Piers Morgan. Two of our interns, Colby Bermel and Casey Lee, watched it live. Here's what they thought.
Colby Bermel: Casey, I thought this was a really cool experience overall. Nik Wallenda obviously did something really bold, and it was fun – is that the right word? – to watch him walk on the wire from all the different camera angles.
Casey Lee: It was amazing! I feel like we hardly get to see dangerous stunts pulled off anymore, with all the waivers you have to sign for everything these days. But this was great entertainment! Of course, I’m only saying that now because I know he got across OK.
Colby: Yeah, when he walked across Niagara Falls last year, he had to be cabled in at the last minute. But just to clarify for our readers, he was NOT hooked in to anything when crossing the Grand Canyon at a height that's the equivalent of the Empire State Building! Yowza! And this was all live – but there was a ten-second delay, probably in case anything did happen.
Casey: He crossed the Niagara Falls, too?! Kudos to this guy, but I think he might be a little bit crazy. I couldn’t believe he wasn’t hooked up to anything. The way his shirt was billowing, it must have been so windy up there!
Colby: He was wearing bootcut jeans. Bootcut jeans!
Casey: Right? I can’t even move in my jeans in day-to-day life, let alone trapezing across the Grand Canyon. What about those cameras? No. 4 was my least favorite (secretly my most favorite!).
Colby: I did like No. 4 – it was essentially a GoPro attached to his chest pointed downwards – but I got bored of it after a while. So I switched to Camera No. 2, which was the helicopter swirling around him. That was super intense. I kept waiting for “Survivor” host Jeff Probst to poke his head out of the helicopter and go on some spiel. I just LOVE this clip of Probst on a helicopter in last year’s “Survivor: One World.”
Casey: I could only watch No. 4 camera for a bit, too; it started making me dizzy. But there was that moment when he kneeled – KNEELED – on the stupid cable thing and I was like, “What are you doing?! This is already hard enough! Just CROSS!” I really got into the spirit of the thing. A lot of other people did, too, like Piers Morgan, as you could tell from the Twitter comments appearing on the side.
Colby: Yeah, this was clearly orchestrated to be a “social” event for viewers. People could tweet about the event with the hashtag #skywire, which is what the Discovery Channel was calling this whole spectacle. My favorite tweet was from Frankie Muniz. Where has he been since the mid-2000s?
Casey: Living in his mansion – I just Googled it. I’d get lost in that place. Plus I’d buy a Segway with a GPS to navigate the halls with. You’ve seen that Samsung commercial with Ozzy Osbourne, right? The one where he’s using the map function to get around his house? It’d be like that.
Colby: My favorite celebrity-cellphone commercial is last year’s Apple ad with Samuel L. Jackson, where he’s asking Siri how to make risotto. I mean, how can you not love that guy?
Casey: Talented, funny, and he cooks. This is why Samuel L. Jackson is a keeper!
Colby: Agreed. Case closed.
Colby Bermel and Casey Lee are Monitor contributors.