7:10pm PT by Allison Crist
See How Nik and Lijana Wallenda Fared in Attempt to Cross High-Wire in Times Square
A crowd of New Yorkers anxiously watched as Nik and Lijana Wallenda — seventh-generation members of the famed Flying Wallendas circus family — attempted to cross a 1,300-foot-long wire, strung between two skyscrapers in Times Square on Sunday night.
The never-before-attempted stunt was broadcast live on ABC in a two-hour special, Highwire Live in Times Square, hosted by Erin Andrews and Michael Strahan.
Ultimately, the siblings — both wearing safety harnesses as required by New York City — met in the middle and passed each other as planned. To do this, Nik had to pause until Lijana could reach him. She then sat on the wire as Nik stepped over her. Though Lijana successfully stood back up, she had to first readjust her balancing pole.
"Now it is all fun," she said after switching sides with her brother.
Throughout the walk, the two communicated with the help of earpieces — discussing everything from the sound of traffic to the feel of the wire. Lijana even sang a Gospel tune.
"Dream big people. Nothing's impossible," Nic said before reaching the end of the wire. Lijana finished approximately 10 minutes after him, bringing the entire walk to a total of 36 minutes.
The end result was particularly rewarding for Lijana Wallenda, as this marked her first high-wire stunt since she was severely injured in 2017 while attempting an eight-person pyramid on a wire.
"I do this because walking the wire is my passion. I love every second of it, but I kind of lost that and I forgot who I was after the fall," Lijana told Andrews and Strahan before the stunt. "But it's something you have to push through. And I finally remembered who I was through this whole training session."
Pretaped segments detailed the accident and Lijana's rehabilitation, along with other Wallenda family stunts that date back to the late 1700s.
"Our life and our career has always been about inspiring people to believe that nothing is impossible no matter what challenges you might face, and my sister’s the perfect example of that," Nik Wallenda told THR ahead of Sunday's stunt. "That wire almost took her life, and not only is she going to do something that people think is impossible but she’s doing it against all odds mentally and physically."
Crossing a three-quarter-inch wire 25 stories above Times Square is certainly impressive in itself, but the accomplishment is just one of many for Nik. "The King of the High Wire" was the first person to walk on a tightrope across the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls, and to this day, he holds a number of Guinness World Records.
Highwire Live in Times Square With Nik Wallenda was produced by Dick Clark Productions, which shares a parent company with The Hollywood Reporter.