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Woman Nearly Drowns During NBA Halftime Show Gone Wrong

Feb 3, 2009 – 5:06 PM
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Matt Watson

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Halftime shows in the NBA are rarely exciting, and to be honest, I think that's by design. Why keep the fans glued to their seats when there's money to be made at the concession stand? But last month, the Oklahoma City Thunder booked an act that I'm sure everyone in attendance will remember for a very long time:

That was Kristen Johnson, one half of the Ridgeway & Johnson Grand Illusion & Escape Show act, in the water. She was supposed to escape the chains and free herself, but as you can see, something went wrong and she appeared to pass out, prompting a quick end to the show so she could be rescued. Fortunately, as soon as she got to the surface, she regained consciousness.

I'm actually surprised this hasn't garnered more attention -- this took place on Jan. 16 but didn't gain the attention of the blogosphere until today, most likely because an interview Johnson did about the incident was recently featured on CNN.

That said, the cynic in me can't help but wonder if this was staged. For one, the duo posted a message on a magic message board (um, the board itself isn't magic, it's simply targeted toward magicians) the day before the act took place, telling everyone to "keep an eye on ESPN," followed by advice from another poster the day the stunt went awry after to "HIT the talks shows up NOW!" to capitalize on the attention.

Who knows, maybe I'm wrong. But a performer needing to be rescued from a stunt does nothing to hurt his or her credibility; instead, they can point back to this incident as proof of just how dangerous it really is. Either way, the video is creepy to watch, even if you think there's a chance she's faking, so they're definitely earning their entertainment dollars.

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Filed under: Sports