Tonight, ABC will be airing the terribly-named special, Volcano Live! with Nik Wallenda where the tightrope daredevil will once again put his life in danger in front of cameras. I have always appreciated Wallenda because he isn’t any more afraid to share his faith in God than he is to dangle over a volcano. When asked why he continues to do these crazy stunts, he says that he has a motto of “never give up.” He feels that all people walk different tightropes in their lives and he wants to be an inspiration to them.
Nik is the seventh generation of the Great Wallendas, so I understand that while you can take a man out of the circus, you can’t really take the circus out of the man. For at least a few of these televised stunts, Pastor Joel Osteen has prayed with Wallenda before his stunts. No word if he will be around for tonight’s stunt or not. But I have to wonder, is it okay to do crazy stunts like this and then ask God for safety? (I’d love to know your thoughts on this!) Against his wishes, ABC is making Nik wear a safety harness.
Tonight’s two-hour special takes place at the Masaya Volcano in Nicaragua. The actual 1,800-foot “walk” across the volcano is expected to take about 25 minutes or so. This will mark Nik’s longest and highest highwire walk ever attempted and make him the first person to walk over the famed volcano. (I don’t think they need to worry that this will start a trend.)
Part of the famed Pacific Ring of Fire, Masaya encompasses multiple craters and is one of very few volcanoes to possess a lava lake. The extreme environment at Masaya will add an extra set of risks to Nik’s already daring walk. Throughout the televised event, Nik and his family will be featured in interviews about the rigging, planning and execution of the walk. Volcanologists and various professionals will also be on-site to lend their expertise.
“After spending years scouting and researching volcanoes, I fully realize why no one has ever attempted this feat: Mother Nature is extremely unpredictable. It is by far the most dangerous walk I have EVER attempted, and that alone makes it very intimidating,” said Nik Wallenda. “I am pushing myself beyond my comfort zone by the feat itself, but I know that I am up to the challenge. I must admit, it is scary.”
Chris Harrison, of The Bachelor franchise, will serve as host alongside ESPN anchor Sage Steele.
“Nik Wallenda and his family are legendary. I’m extremely honored and also a little nervous to watch this death-defying walk over a live volcano,” said Harrison. “I’m proud to bring this live event to the world along with my friend and co-host Sage Steele.”
“I have been a fan of Nik Wallenda for years and am beyond thrilled to be part of his next feat,” said Steele.
Volcano Live! with Nik Wallenda airs Wednesday, March 4 at 8 p.m. on ABC.
Main Image: ABC
I write about arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.