David Blaine: 'I'm in pretty bad shape'

David Blaine says he's in "pretty bad shape" as he nears the end of his latest feat -- a week in an aquarium -- but vowed to go through with his finale of holding his breath underwater for nearly 9 minutes.

The 33-year-old magician, wearing a diving helmet that allows two-way communication, has been submerged in the 8-foot snow globe-like acrylic sphere since last Monday.

"Everything is still on as planned, and I'm going to give it my best shot," Blaine said Sunday from his perch on the plaza of Lincoln Center of the Performing Arts as spectators gawked and waved at him.

Blaine's finale was to be aired live in a two-hour ABC special, "David Blaine: Drowned Alive," starting at 8 p.m. EDT Monday.

He told AP Television News he "will do his best" to complete the feat despite peeling skin, sharp pains in his joints and a severe earache.

The stunt artist planned to put on 150 pounds of chains and handcuffs, remove his oxygen tube and then escape while holding his breath longer than the record of 8 minutes, 58 seconds.

"If I don't get out of the chains and I black out in 9 minutes, which is about the length of time it would take these guys here (who) have been preparing a stretcher to pull my body out and do what they have to do, so I have to have faith that they know what they are doing," Blaine said.

He said he was suffering "sharp, shooting pains in every part of my body." Doctors have been monitoring his condition.

Blaine started training in December, with some help from Navy SEALS. He lost 50 pounds so his body would require less oxygen.

He has been fed and, uh, relieving himself by tubes.

Blaine's previous feats included balancing on a 22-inch circular platform atop a 100-foot pole for 35 hours; being buried alive in a see-through coffin for a week; and surviving inside a massive block of ice for 61 hours, all of which were performed in New York. In 2003, he fasted for 44 days in a suspended acrylic box alongside the Thames River in London.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.