American Ninja Warrior is a popular television show in the USA that is based on a Japanese TV show Sasuke. Athletes compete in a variety of obstacle courses nationwide in different levels and stages. The winner of the competition gets one million dollars grand prize. The reality show is ultra competitive, time-sensitive, and challenging. So far, Isaac Caldiero is the only one to win the competition in all the seasons since 2009.
American Ninja Warrior has won numerous awards including People's Choice awards, Primetime Emmy Awards, Kid's Choice Awards, and so on. The show's ninth season starts in summer 2017 and has millions of fans all over the country.
American Ninja Warrior is aired on NBC and is hosted by Matt Iseman. Akbar Gbajabiamila is the analyst host and Kristine Leahy is the sideline reporter cum co-host for the show.
The competition is famous for the players, obstacles, and difficulties. Every participant seems to be fit and healthy and ready to win. However, they are unable to finish the courses, despite all the practice they put in.
The applicants for the show must be legal residents of the USA and minimum 21 years old. Since the show is challenging, the athletes are expected to be fit and healthy. In order to apply for a season, participants must answer a questionnaire and prepare a personal story short video. Thousands of athletes apply every season. Only one to two hundred participants are chosen for the competition.
The application comprises of entering a lot of information about the participant. Some key information sought out include account creation, contact information, personal information, background information, personal story, athletic facts/records, photos/videos, and so on. Selected participants are expected to undergo strenuous tryouts and present for all recordings and sessions.
Selection of the candidates from thousands of applications is crucial. The photos and videos of the players play an important role in the selection process. The quality of the video lighting, the narration, the voice, and so on must be in accordance to the show's expectations. The selectors may call back the applicants to re-submit their video with suggestions. Most applicants wait until the last date of application, which makes selection harder. Show directors encourage applicants to submit as soon as the dates are open.
Every application and video are reviewed by eight to ten selectors and points are assigned. For the final candidates, almost all of them must have high approval rates from the selectors.
Selectors focus on the first few seconds on the video and expect it to be having most impact. The athletic abilities of an applicant must be showcased in the video along with a compelling personal story. The personality, physical ability, and backstory of each applicant is reviewed.
Some applicants are accepted in the city of filming it but are required to fill the form. The infomercial the candidates submit about their uniqueness plays a major role in the selection process.
Most of the communication is handled through the emails and phones. Candidates are informed about their future course of action and meeting places. If a candidate is disqualified, they will be informed as well. Selected candidates undergo a series of tests and training sessions for further shortlisting.
Selected applicants are informed of the schedule and nearest city for participation in the initial rounds of the Top American Ninja Warrior. Players must complete the different levels at these cities. Major host cities change in each season. Some of the recent cities include:
The competition and taping of the show are done simultaneously. The qualifying shows and final shows may be aired on different dates. At each hosting city fifteen to twenty ninjas race and the completed racers are sent to the national finals in Las Vegas, NV.
The national finals is divided in to four stages. Each stage becomes increasingly difficult and the racers find it harder to reach just the Stage 3. All the players who completed the four stages are ranked and the player who finishes the course with the least time wins.
Obstacles of the Top American Ninja Warrior show are the most important aspect that make the show successful. The viewers are enthusiastic and passionate about the creative obstacles. Stunt designers and set designers work together to make the obstacles challenging in every season.
Here are some of the obstacles in the different stages of national finals that players dread the most:
Some of the courses are never been seen and the players are totally unaware of the dynamics of the courses. Each stage gets difficult and the players feel extreme physical and mental pressure. The obstacles may change and are brutal. They are aimed at testing the player's physical ability and mental ability.
Winning the Top American Ninja Warrior show is almost impossible due to the brutal courses. The obstacle courses are increasingly difficult and challenge the athletes to their peaks. So far only two players Isaac Caldiero and Geoff Britten have conquered the Mount Midoriyama with a total victory. Isaac Caldiero won the grand prize by completing the course in less time in season 7.
Most players fail in obstacle courses such as the unstable bridge, roulette row, salmon ladder, globe grasper, floating monkey bars, cannonball alley, and so on. The show is also time sensitive in the final stages. Players are continuously tested for their physical ability and strategy.
Players undergo extreme training and dedicate their total time for the show. Some players quit their jobs and concentrate for the preparation. Certain players recreate the obstacle courses in their backyards for daily practice. The Top American Ninja Warrior is an inspiring show for many viewers and players.
American Ninja Warriors All Stars is another series in the show where top players from USA and Japan compete against each other. Teen Ninja is a similar competition where the former contestants of the American Ninja Warrior show compete.