David Blaine has outdone himself once again by completing another death-defying feat – as he floats 25,000 feet above the Arizona desert with only helium balloons in his new live stunt “Ascension.”
“Ascension” broadcast on a YouTube livestream, shattering records. It became the most watched YouTube Original Live Event to date, with more than 770,000 concurrent viewers at its peak. This beat the previously held position by “Dear Class of 2020,” which peaked at 665,000 concurrent viewers.
“Ascension” takes YouTube by storm
YouTube funded and organized the entire “Ascension” project for Blaine and recently congratulated the 47-year-old for successfully completing the live stunt. Global Head of Original Content at YouTube, Susanne Daniels, said: “David Blaine exceeded expectations once again! What an inspirational moment for viewers all around the world and we’re so thrilled with what he accomplished today live on YouTube.”
David Blaine has a ton of previous live stunts including spending a week buried underground, fasting for 44 days inside a Plexiglas box, submerging himself in an underwater tank for seven days and breaking the Guinness World Record for holding his breath underwater for more than 17 minutes.
Originally scheduled to take place in New York on August 31, the event was postponed and shifted to Arizona to take place on September 2 due to weather and logistical issues.
A look behind the balloons with David Blaine
Although the live stunt began two hours after the livestream started, the first two hours saw Blaine explaining the entire process in organizing this stunt, including licenses needed to legally pull it off and the rigorous training that went into achieving his vision. From getting a sky diving license to learning how to read the wind and fly a hot-air balloon, Blaine said “Ascension” required the most preparation for any stunt in his career so far.
Blaine took off shortly before 8 a.m. PST and rose to 19,000 feet in just 40 minutes. With Blaine reaching a height of 24,900 feet before parachuting to the ground, “Ascension” completed within an hour, even though the livestream ran for nearly three hours.
The livestream was hosted by YouTube content creator and tech expert Marques Brownlee. It also featured appearances from other celebrities including Casey Neistat, Will Smith and son Jaden Smith, Jason Sudeikis and wife Olivia Wilde, among others. The event also saw a surprise appearance from Blaine’s daughter, Dessa, to which Blaine dedicates the entire live stunt. When he landed safely back to the ground, he told Dessa, “I love you! This is all for you!”
You can watch the entire event here.
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