7:00pm PT by Lexy Perez
See How Nik Wallenda Fared in Attempt to Tightrope Walk Across Active Volcano
Nik Wallenda on Wednesday night took a walk into history once again — this time attempting to cross a wire located above an active volcano.
Wallenda, a seventh-generation member of the famed Flying Wallendas circus family, and his wife Erendira both took on the Masaya Volcano in Nicaragua during a live broadcast on ABC in a two-hour special, Volcano Live!, hosted by Chris Harrison and Sage Steele.
Wallenda, who is known as "The King of the High Wire," took on his highest and longest endeavor, walking a wire located 1,800 feet above the volcano floor. Meanwhile, Erendira, a famed aerialist, intended to perform aerial ballet hanging from a helicopter. After the stunt pilots determined the wind was too unpredictable, which would put her in grave danger, she had to perform her act from the wire hanging above the volcano. "She wasn't going to have to worry about this toxic fog, but now she has to," Harrison explained of the sudden change. "She has never practiced any of this with a mask."
Throughout Erendira's performance, she wore a mask and slowly showcased her aerial twists. During frightening moments, she hung upside down by her toes and performed a myriad of splits.
Wallenda, who was standing nearby watching his wife, could be overheard encouraging her throughout her performance. "You're doing great, darling," he told her at one point.
Described as the "most difficult and dangerous part" by Harrison, Erendira took off her mask in order to showcase herself hanging by her teeth clenching on to a rope.
"It was definitely in the way and very distracting — we were brought up where we don't use safety devices. We don't have this sort of thing," Erendira said of wearing a mask during her performance. "At first I was nervous, but then I remembered, 'No, this is what you do.' I could hear my music, and then I just calmed down." She also said she didn't look down for the majority of her performance.
Meanwhile, Wallenda's walk was described as being "eight times higher than his walk in New York City" and an endeavor his mother said made her "the most apprehensive" she's ever been.
Ahead of his walk, Wallenda's intense training methods were explained, as he practiced walking across a rope as he was surrounded by smoke from a machine. He also used a wind machine to cause the rope to be unsteady to accurately represent the environment he would be in. "My biggest concern are these deadly gases that I'll have to avoid breathing in," Wallenda said. "Being dizzy on a wire 1,800 feet above a volcano is not a good thing to be."
While walking through the fog, Wallenda was kept track of via a thermal camera. As the walk became more difficult (the rope declined at one point), he sang the words, "I'm no longer a slave to fear," as his three children, parents, sister and wife watched. Wallenda's father was the only one communicating with him through an earpiece as he walked. During moments the wind was strong, Wallenda would stop walking.
"I'm reciting chapters of my new book as I walk," Wallenda joked. "I'm writing chapters as I walk, I think."
As Wallenda neared the end, he shouted, "There is light on the end at the end of the tunnel! There is hope for the hopeless!"
The challenge was hardly the first for Wallenda, as he's also successfully walked across a three-quarter-inch wire 25 stories above Times Square; was the first person to walk on tightrope across the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls; and walked across a portion of Chicago blindfolded.
Volcano Live! With Nik Wallenda was produced by Dick Clark Productions, which shares a parent company with The Hollywood Reporter.