Ginuwine has always had a fear of being submerged under water. When presented with the opportunity to confront his fears on an episode of Criss Angel’s Magic With The Stars, he took it anyway. But the “Pony” star never could’ve predicted what happened once he arrived on-set. For his stunt, Ginuwine was encased in a small glass box of water and expected to hold his breath for over a minute.
Fifteen seconds in, he began banging on the glass and needed to be pulled out. Criss Angel addressed the incident last month, telling Daily Mail, “My heart was in my mouth at that moment. I didn’t know what the hell was going on until we got him. You just never know. My concern was whether he had a stroke or heart attack.”
Ginuwine reflected on the harrowing moment in a recent interview with AllHipHop and was clearly relieved he lived to see his 52nd birthday.
“I never knew how to hold my breath for a long time, so I wanted to conquer that fear, and I knew if anybody could ever help me do that it would be Criss,” he explained. “It was something outside of the norm for me. I knew this was something that I want to conquer ’cause I just hate anything to beat me. You tell me no, that’s when I really want to do it.”
He continued, “Something happened. The best word I could use is I panicked ’cause I wasn’t able to hold my breath for but 15 seconds. Once Criss got there, he and his partner showed me some techniques to learn, and lo and behold, I was able to hold my breath for a minute and 40 seconds. As I said, I just don’t want nothing to beat me. He didn’t want me to do it again. I was like, ‘I’m here now I might as well. I’m good.’ He allowed me to do it, but he wanted to make sure I was safe. It was an emotional moment for me also because I was really scared. A lot of people, when they hear magic, in the back of their minds they think it’s a trick somehow. Nah, this really wasn’t no trick. I was underwater. You can’t fake that.”
Ginuwine admitted he had second thoughts prior to climbing inside the glass box, but his determination wouldn’t let him quit.
“I was even nervous ‘cause it’s outside of the norm for me,” he said. “Once I got there, I didn’t want to turn around and say I didn’t want to do it now, but once I saw the box, I was like, ‘How the heck am I going to get in there?’ I’m like 6’1. It was just one of those things where I really had to conquer that fear because I love being in my boat and being on the water, but I always had a fear of something happening and having to be in this big old body of water, treading water, and I’m horrified of that.”
Ginuwine’s fear of treading water can be traced back to when he was a kid—he almost drowned.
“You know how kids be playing and jumping on top of each other and holding em down?” he asked. “When I was young, that actually happened to me and they had to pull me out. I think after that I didn’t really like going into the deep end anymore. I used to always just stay in three or four feet. As long as I could stand up, I was fine, but if I had to tread I would be scared. With me, I had to conquer it.”
Even after the near-death experience, Ginuwine has plans to skydive in an effort to overcome a fear of heights. He added with a laugh, “I guess I’m going through a midlife crisis.”
Criss Angel’s Magic With The Stars featuring Ginuwine airs via CW on Saturday (November 12) at 8 p.m. ET.