American Ninja Warrior
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2009)|
|American Ninja Warrior|
|Presented by||Matt Iseman
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||27|
|Executive producer(s)||Arthur Smith
Holly M. Wofford
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Production company(s)||A. Smith and Company
Tokyo Broadcasting System Television
Lake Paradise Entertainment
|Original channel||G4 (2009–2013);
Esquire Network (2014-present)
|Original run||December 12, 2009– present|
|Preceded by||American Ninja Challenge (2006–08)|
American Ninja Warrior is a sports entertainment competition spin-off of the television series Sasuke. The series began on December 12, 2009, in Los Angeles, with the top 10 competitors moving on to compete at "Mt. Midoriyama"[note 1] in Japan. American Ninja Warrior succeeded G4's American Ninja Challenge as the qualifying route for Americans to enter Sasuke. Beginning with the fourth season in 2012, regional finalists and wild card competitors competed on an identical Mt. Midoriyama course in Las Vegas rather than traveling to Japan to compete on Sasuke. NBC (who owns G4) announced in September 2013 that it would air a special USA versus Japan series later that year wherein top American and Japanese competitors would go head-to-head on the Las Vegas Mt. Midoriyama course.
The fifth season of American Ninja Warrior premiered on June 30, 2013 on G4.
- 1 Season 1 (2009)
- 2 Season 2 (2010)
- 3 American Ninja Warrior Season 1 and 2: Format changes from Sasuke
- 4 Season 3 (2011)
- 5 Season 4 (2012)
- 6 Season 5 (2013)
- 7 USA vs Japan (2014)
- 8 See also
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
Season 1 (2009)
The first season of American Ninja Warrior was held in Los Angeles, where hundreds of competitors came to challenge themselves against the course and qualify for a shot at making it to Japan to compete in Sasuke 23 later in the year. The special premiered on December 12, 2009, on G4 TV and was hosted by G4's Blair Herter and Alison Haislip.
|Place||Name||SASUKE #||Failed obstacle|
|1st||Brian Orosco||75*||Unstable Bridge|
|3rd||Travis Furlanic||44||Jumping Spider|
|4th||Paul Darnell||43||Half-Pipe Attack|
|5th||Rich King||42||Unstable Bridge|
|6th||Caine Sinclair||41||Timed Out Rope Ladder|
|7th||Shane Daniels||Timed Out Tarzan Rope|
|8th||Geoff Iida||Warped Wall|
|9th||Joop Katana||Timed Out Slider Jump|
|10th||Rick Huelga||Timed Out Slider Jump|
- Despite Orosco finishing first overall, Meeuwenberg received a higher number due to his SASUKE experience.
Sasuke 23 (Mt. Midoriyama)
Stage 1: only Rich King, Levi Meeuwenberg and Brian Orosco successfully completed this stage. The majority of the American Ninja Warrior competitors ran out of time.
Stage 2: Levi Meeuwenberg was the only American competitor to complete this stage.
Stage 3: Levi Meeuwenberg was the only American competitor to advance to this stage, but he fell on the "Shin-Cliffhanger".
Season 2 (2010)
The second season called American Ninja Warrior 2 began on December 8, 2010 in Venice Beach, California where 300 competitors took on the course. The 15 semi-finalists moved on to the "Ninja Warrior Boot Camp" in the remote California mountains, where they competed in a series of team challenges. Then the final moved on to compete in the season finale of American Ninja Warrior 2 as a part of Sasuke 26 at Mt. Midoriyama in Japan.
The 15 semi-finalists headed to "Ninja Warrior Boot Camp" where they were broken down into three teams: Red Dragons, White Tigers, and Blue Monkeys. From then on, 5 were eliminated from competition and 10 moved onto Mt. Midoriyama in Japan to compete in the season finale of American Ninja Warrior 2 for a chance to win $250,000 and be the first "American Ninja Warrior".
The 10 finalists earned the chance to compete at Sasuke 26 (Ninja Warrior) which aired on January 2, 2011 on G4.
Final 10: In order they received their American flag "colors" (bandannas):
Season finale in Japan
None of the American Ninja Warrior season 2 competitors were able to complete stage 3, but half (5 out of 10) completed stage 1 and progressed onto stage 2, where 4 out of 5 made it onto stage 3.
|1||Adam Laplante *||Failed||Half-Pipe Attack|
|2||Patrick Cusic||Failed||Rolling Escargot|
|3||Paul Kasemir||Completed||Time: 129.15|
|4||Adam Truesdell||Failed||Giant Swing|
|5||Evan Dollard||Failed||Rolling Escargot|
|6||Brent Steffensen||Completed||Time: 121.29|
|7||Travis Furlanic||Completed||Time: 115.27|
|8||Shane Daniels||Failed||Timed Out Final Climb|
|9||David Campbell||Completed||Time: 108.49|
|10||Brian Orosco||Completed||Time: 109.04|
* alternate, replaced Levi Meeuwenberg who broke his wrist during a taping of Jump City: Seattle
|1||Paul Kasemir||Completed||Time left: 2.57|
|2||Brent Steffensen||Completed||Time left: 21.64|
|3||Travis Furlanic||Failed||Balance Tank|
|4||David Campbell||Completed||Time left: 23.43|
|5||Brian Orosco||Completed||Time left: 5.76|
|1||Paul Kasemir||Failed||Doorknob Grasper|
|2||Brent Steffensen||Failed||Ultimate Cliffhanger|
|3||David Campbell||Failed||Ultimate Cliffhanger|
|4||Brian Orosco||Failed||Roulette Cylinder|
American Ninja Warrior Season 1 and 2: Format changes from Sasuke
The first and second seasons of American Ninja Warrior has a few notable differences from the Japanese ("Sasuke") version. They are:
- Stage 1: in the American version competitors compete against each other for the 30 fastest times to advance to stage 2, while in Japan competitors are required to complete the course in a designated time limit. Consequently, the American version sets a fixed, predictable number of 30 competitors advancing to stage 2, while in the Japanese version, number of qualified competitors could technically range from any number between from 0 to 100, making the result highly unpredictable. There's no official limit of competitors for stage 1 stated, whereas in Japan, only 100 competitors can attempt stage 1.
- Stage 2: in the American version, it is an expanded version of stage 1 (a repeat of Stage 1 with a few additional obstacles at the end), while in Japan, Stage 1 and 2 are entirely different. Again, in the American version, competitors are competing against the course and each other, only 15 competitors with the best times advance to stage 3, whereas in Japan competitors are competing against a rigid time limit.
- Stage 3: In stage 3, competitors have to complete 4 different tasks with the lowest combined time (consisting of carrying 10 bricks across a beach while being held back by bungee cords, carrying barrels over logs, hopping through tires, etc.). Only the 10 competitors with the lowest times win a trip and a chance to compete at Mt. Midoriyama in Japan. As such, there is no "final" stage in the American version.
Season 3 (2011)
The third season began airing on July 31, 2011 on G4. Tryouts took place in May 2011 at Venice Beach, California. After the tryouts, the top 15 competitors competed in Ninja Warrior Boot Camp with the top 10 moving on to Japan for the finals of the competition as apart of Sasuke 27 and a chance at becoming the first American to conquer the course and win a $500,000 endorsement deal with K-Swiss. No competitors made it beyond stage 3.
This season was once again hosted by Matt Iseman and Jimmy Smith, with Haislip as a sideline reporter.
Notable competitors this year included Denver Broncos wide receiver Matt Willis, professional freerunners Tim "Livewire" Shieff (2009 World Champion) and Michael "Frosti" Zernow (who competed in Survivor: China and Jump City: Seattle).
|5||Drew Dreschel||Failed||Warped Wall (Injury on half pipe attack)|
|8||David "Flip" Rodriguez||Completed|
|1||Brent Steffensen||Failed||Metal Spin|
|5||Travis Furlanic||Failed||Metal Spin|
|6||Travis Rosen||Failed||Metal Spin|
|7||David "Flip" Rodriguez||Failed||Slider Drop|
|8||Jake Smith||Failed||Double Salmon Ladder|
|1||Ryan Stratis||Failed||Ultimate Cliffhanger|
|2||James McGrath||Failed||Ultimate Cliffhanger|
|3||Paul Kasemir||Failed||Ultimate Cliffhanger|
|4||David Campbell||Failed||Ultimate Cliffhanger|
Season 4 (2012)
The fourth season of American Ninja Warrior began airing on May 20, 2012 on both G4 and NBC. There were six regional competitions held in three locations: Venice Beach, CA (Southwest and Northwest), Dallas, TX (Midwest and Midsouth), and Miami, FL (Northeast and Southeast) that determined the 100 competitors to participate in the qualifying rounds. The winner of the ANW Season Four competition receives $500,000 and the coveted "American Ninja Warrior" title. The season finale, held in Las Vegas, NV, was the first time that Mt. Midoriyama was held on U.S. soil. Submission videos for American Ninja Warrior Season 4 have been collected since January 25, 2012.
Notable competitors this year included film actor William Moseley, Tennessee Titans defensive end Kamerion Wimbley, stuntman Dan Mast, "Roam" (a.k.a. A.J. Amores) and "Chairman Platinum" from MMO video game company Artix Entertainment, freerunners from Jump City: Seattle David "Young Flip" Rodriguez and Drew Drechsel, and Harlem Globetrotters basketball player Bull Bullard.
100 finalists made it out of the regional competitions and were invited to Las Vegas.
|1||Tom Hutchman||Failed||Giant Swing|
|2||David Money||Failed||Final Climb|
|3||Cade Halada||Failed||Jumping Spider|
|4||Ronnie Shalvis Sr.||Failed||Jumping Spider|
|5||Michael Pericoloso||Failed||Half-Pipe Attack|
|6||Marcus Ramos||Failed||Giant Swing|
|7||Alan Connealy||Failed||Half-Pipe Attack|
|8||Ben Wicks||Failed||Warped Wall (Time Out)|
|9||Michael 'Frosti' Zernow||Failed||Jumping Spider|
|10||Nick Kostner||Failed||Rope Ladder (Time Out)|
|11||Matt Mings||Failed||Jumping Spider|
|12||Andres De La Rosa||Failed||Jumping Spider|
|13||Tremayne Dortch||Failed||Half-Pipe Attack|
|14||Paul O' Connor||Failed||Half-Pipe Attack|
|15||Ronnie Shalvis Jr.||Failed||Jumping Spider|
|16||Nathaniel Aye||Failed||Giant Swing|
|17||John Sapsoto||Failed||Warped Wall (Time Out)|
|18||Gunner Bahn||Failed||Half-Pipe Attack|
|19||James Wyatt||Failed||Half-Pipe Attack|
|20||Tony Reddick||Failed||Giant Swing|
|21||Dylan Curry||Failed||Jumping Spider|
|22||Andrew Lowes||Failed||Spin Bridge|
|23||Natalie Strasser||Failed||Rolling Log|
|24||Phillip Pirollo||Failed||Spin Bridge|
|25||Brian Kretsch||Failed||Jumping Spider|
|27||Niko Bogucki||Failed||Warped Wall (Time Out)|
|28||Kelvin Antoine||Failed||Fell Off Course after Giant Swing|
|29||Ryan Thompson||Failed||Half-Pipe Attack|
|30||Joshua Grant||Failed||Spin Bridge|
|31||Bradley Smith Jr.||Failed||Jumping Spider|
|33||Selena Laniel||Failed||Jumping Spider|
|34||Bob Pondrom||Failed||Giant Swing|
|35||Adam Grossman||Failed||Giant Swing|
|36||Dan Mast||Failed||Half-Pipe Attack|
|38||Ryan Saegert||Failed||Warped Wall (Time Out)|
|40||Kevan Reoli||Failed||Rolling Log|
|41||Jake Smith||Failed||Warped Wall (Time Out)|
|42||Brendon Kelly||Failed||Jumping Spider|
|45||Ryoga Vee||Failed||Warped Wall (Time Out)|
|46||Scott Robinson||Failed||Jumping Spider|
|47||Andrew Wood||Failed||Step Slider|
|50||Thomas Hall||Failed||Spin Bridge|
|51||Dorian Cedars||Failed||Rope Ladder (Time Out)|
|52||Jonathan Morin||Failed||Jumping Spider|
|53||Risa Scott||Failed||Step Slider|
|54||Christopher Digangi||Failed||Jumping Spider|
|55||Justin Walcker||Failed||Jumping Spider|
|57||William Brown||Failed||Jumping Spider|
|58||Joyce Shaboz||Failed||Rolling Log|
|60||Nickolas Stephen||Failed||Spin Bridge|
|61||Jesse Villarreal||Failed||Spin Bridge|
|62||Nathan Sausedo||Failed||Rolling Log|
|64||Sean Morris||Failed||Spin Bridge|
|65||Chad Simpson||Failed||Jumping Spider|
|66||Michael Silenzi||Failed||Warped Wall (Time Out)|
|67||Travis Graves||Failed||Spin Bridge|
|68||Joshua Horsely||Failed||Warped Wall (Time Out)|
|69||Sat Khalsa||Failed||Spin Bridge|
|70||William 'Bull' Bullard||Failed||Final Climb (Time Out)|
|72||Arthur Skov||Failed||Jumping Spider|
|74||Justin Sweeney||Failed||Spin Bridge|
|75||Kevin Klein||Failed||Jumping Spider|
|76||Michael Eckert||Failed||Jumping Spider|
|78||Stephen Volcko||Failed||Jumping Spider|
|80||Kyle Cochran||Failed||Spin Bridge|
|81||Jaret Salas||Failed||Warped Wall|
|82||Jared Woods||Failed||Half-Pipe Attack|
|84||Jack Morgan||Failed||Giant Swing|
|85||Dan Galiczynski||Failed||Jumping Spider|
|89||Jesse La Flair||Failed||Jumping Spider|
|90||Andrew Karsen||Failed||Half-Pipe Attack|
|91||Luis Moco||Failed||Warped Wall (Time Out)|
|92||David Campbell||Failed||Spin Bridge|
|96||Matthew Derouen||Failed||Step Slider|
|97||Tim 'Livewire' Sheiff||Failed||Spin Bridge|
|1||Nathaniel Spencer||Failed||Double Salmon Ladder|
|2||Ben Snead||Failed||Double Salmon Ladder|
|3||Will Dodd||Failed||Double Salmon Ladder|
|4||Danny Johnson||Failed||Double Salmon Ladder|
|5||Paul Darnell||Failed||Unstable Bridge|
|6||J.B. Douglas||Failed||Unstable Bridge|
|7||Lorin Ball||Failed||Double Salmon Ladder|
|8||Josh Lobeck||Failed||Double Salmon Ladder|
|9||Derek Nakamoto||Failed||Metal Spin|
|10||Ahmed Toure||Failed||Balance Tank|
|12||Elet Hall||Failed||Unstable Bridge|
|13||Remi Bakkar||Failed||Double Salmon Ladder|
|14||Chris Wilczewski||Failed||Slider Drop|
|15||Kole Stevens||Failed||Slider Drop|
|16||Sean Noble||Failed||Unstable Bridge (Dismount)|
|17||Brian Arnold||Failed||Balance Tank|
|18||Travis Rosen||Failed||Balance Tank|
|19||Brandon Douglass||Failed||Unstable Bridge|
|20||Drew Drechsel||Failed||Unstable Bridge (Dismount)|
|21||Evan Dollard||Failed||Double Salmon Ladder|
|22||James McGrath||Failed||Slider Drop|
|23||Paul Kasemir||Failed||Metal Spin|
|24||David Rodriguez||Failed||Balance Tank|
|1||Brent Steffensen||Failed||Hang Climb|
Season 5 (2013)
The fifth season of American Ninja Warrior premiered on June 30, 2013 on G4 with subsequent shows airing on NBC and G4. Notably, the sideboard advertising along the course listed Esquire Network as the broadcaster as the fourth season was to premiere after G4's transition to Esquire on April 22, 2013. The network switch was eventually delayed to September 23, 2013 and Esquire took over Style Network's channel space instead. Because of this, additional reruns of the season aired on Saturday nights on NBC through the summer, to maintain ratings momentum due to G4's lame duck status, with ANW being their only new program since they wound down all their original programming in January 2013.
Regional competitions were held in the following four locations to determine the 100 competitors to participate in the other stages: Venice Beach, CA; Baltimore, MD; Miami, FL; and Denver, CO. Tryouts for the season began in February 2013, with the last of the regional rounds taking place the following May. The winner of the ANW Season Five competition receives $500,000 and the coveted "American Ninja Warrior" title. Like the previous season, the season finale will be held in Las Vegas, NV, making the U.S. version of Mt. Midoriyama its permanent home.
Notable competitors this year included: Tennessee Titans safety Jordan Babineaux, freerunners from Jump City: Seattle Brian Orosco, Michael "Frosti" Zernow, David "Flip" Rodriguez, Drew Drechsel, Jake Smith and Brent Steffensen (the first American to complete stage 2). His run ended on stage 3 the "Ultimate Cliffhanger" obstacle, Sasuke (TV series) & ANW veteran David Campbell, stunt-woman Jessie Graff (first woman in ANW history to make it to a regional finals ), personal trainer/former American Gladiator "Venom" Beth Horn, world champion freerunner Tim "Livewire" Shieff, Harlem Globetrotter William "Bull" Bullard, "Artix" (a.k.a. Adam Bohn) from the video game studio Artix Entertainment, Olympic Gold Medalist runners Dee Dee Trotter and Lauryn Williams, Olympic Silver Medalist heptathlon athlete Hyleas Fountain, 7th grade English teacher Colby Frontiero, Emergency Room physician Noah Kaufman, MD who reduced another competitor's dislocated shoulder (Alan Connealy,) former National Guardsman & ANW veteran Ryan Stratis, professional MMA fighter Jason Soares, Olympic silver medalist gymnast Terin Humphrey, former professional snowboarder Graham Watanabe, professional UFC MMA fighter and The Ultimate Fighter season 14 winner John Dodson, and former NFL player Shawne Merriman.
This was the first season where females attempted the Warped Wall (obstacle #6) of a course. Nika Muckelroy made it to the Warped Wall in the Denver qualifying course. Jessie Graff fell in the Flying Nunchucks (obstacle #5) during Venice qualifying but advanced in 30th position and reached the Warped Wall of the Venice finals. Both were unable to get up the wall in the 3 attempts given.
|Order #||Competitor||Time Left|
|6||Jesse La Flair||00:26.97|
|18||Andres De La Rosa||00:07.60|
|Order #||Competitor||Time Left|
|1||Brian Arnold||Failed||Flying Bar|
No one defeated Stage 3, but Brian Arnold fell on the last obstacle, the Flying Bar, making him the farthest-going American on the Mt. Midoriyama course since Kane Kosugi reached the final stage on SASUKE 8. He also made it farther than any competitor in American Ninja Warrior history, surpassing Brent Steffensen, who failed on the Hang Climb in Stage 3 the previous season.
USA vs Japan (2014)
During the season 5 finale of American Ninja Warrior, NBC announced that a special USA vs. Japan matchup would take place, the first-ever team competition in ANW's history. The two-hour special premiered on January 13, 2014 at 8pm EST. It featured five of the top American and Japanese Ninja Warrior competitors facing off at Mt. Midoriyama on American course in Las Vegas, Nevada to win the first championship trophy. It was hosted by ANW analysts Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbaja-Biamila with Jenn Brown conducting interviews on the sidelines.
The American team, represented by Brent Steffensen, Paul Kasemir, James McGrath, Travis Rosen and Brian Arnold, competed against five Japanese stars from Sasuke (the original Ninja Warrior) series: Shingo Yamamoto (29-time NW veteran), Yuji Urushihara (2-time grand champion), Ryo Matachi, Hitoshi Kanno, and Kazuma Asa (record holder for the fastest new-era NW stage 1 time of 1:14.70).
Competitors from opposing teams were paired against each other, with the athlete who made it the farthest winning the round. The first national team to win three rounds earned the points for that stage. Stage one was worth one point; stage two was worth two points; and stage three was valued at three points. Competitors would attempt stage four only as a tie breaker.
- This stage was worth 1 point team per team
|Match-up||Team USA||Finish Time||Team Japan||Finish Time||Point|
|1||James "The Beast" McGrath||1:16.67||Shingo "The Godfather" Yamamoto||Failed on Warped Wall||USA|
|2||Paul Kasemir||1:24.80||Hitoshi "The Muscle" Kanno||1:25.43||USA|
|3||Brent Steffensen||1:14.53 (new record)||Kazuma "The Speed Demon" Asa||Failed on Giant Cycle||USA|
- This stage was worth 2 points per team
|Match-up||Team USA||Finish Time||Team Japan||Finish Time||Point|
|1||Brian Arnold||1:14.63||Ryo "the Superfan" Matachi||Failed on Double Salmon Ladder||USA|
|2||Travis Rosen||Failed on Metal Spin||Yuuji "The Grand Champion" Urushihara||Failed on Double Salmon Ladder||USA|
|3||James McGrath||1:15.00||Kazuma "The Speed Demon" Asa||Failed on Double Salmon Ladder||USA|
- This stage was worth 3 points per team
|Match-up||Team USA||Finish Time||Team Japan||Finish Time||Point|
|1||Brian Arnold||Failed on Flying Bar (3:55.04)||Ryo Matachi||Failed on Flying Bar (3:55.03)||JAPAN|
|2||James McGrath||Failed on Floating Boards (0:37.53)||Yuuji Urushihara||Failed on Floating Boards (0:37.54)||USA|
|3||Brent Steffensen||Failed on Hang Climb||Shingo Yamamoto||Failed on Floating Boards||USA|
|4||Paul Kasemir||Failed on Flying Bar||Hitoshi Kanno||Failed on Ultimate Cliffhanger||USA|
Final Score: Team USA (6), Team Japan (0)
ANW Team Champions: Team USA
- The name used on the American show redundantly includes both "Mount" and "Yama," the suffix meaning "mountain" in Japanese.
- "'Ninja Warrior' plans USA vs. Japan matchup". USA Today. September 16, 2013. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
- "American Ninja Warrior". Retrieved June 30, 2013.
- O'Hare, Kate (2011). "'American Ninja Warrior' storms Japan's Mount Midoriyama". Zap2it. Retrieved August 17, 2011.
- Hale, Mike (2011). "A ‘Ninja Warrior’ Upgrade Into Network Prime Time". New York Times. Retrieved August 21, 2011.
- Ishimoto, Moye (February 4, 2013). "American Ninja Warrior Tryouts Begin -- Calling All Aspiring Ninjas For Season 5!". G4 Media. The Feed. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
- "Finals for 'American Ninja Warrior' Denver auditions slated for Monday night". Gannett Company. KUSA (TV). May 20, 2013. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
- Levin, Gary (16 September). "'Ninja Warrior' plans USA vs. Japan matchup". USA Today. Retrieved 4 October 2013.