American Ninja Warrior, NBC’s obstacle course competition airs tonight with an all new Monday, May 25 season 7 premiere episode called “Venice Qualifying.” On tonight’s show season 7 opens with a qualifying round in Venice Beach, Cal., and features obstacles such as the Mini Silk Slider, Spin Cycle and Hourglass Drop. Contestants include “Ninja” veterans Kevin Bull and David Campbell; former Baltimore Raven Brendon Ayanbadejo; and Seattle Seahawk Jon Ryan.
For those of you who don’t know, the action-packed series follows competitors as they tackle a series of challenging obstacle courses in both qualifying and finals rounds across the country.
On tonight’s episode per say the NBC synopsis, “the heart-racing obstacle course competition series “American Ninja Warrior” returns to NBC this summer with all new episodes. The action-packed series follows competitors as they tackle the world’s most difficult obstacle courses in qualifying and finals rounds across the country. Those that successfully complete the courses in each city will move onto the national finals round in Las Vegas and compete for a $1,000,000 prize. In the first Qualifying Round from Venice Beach, California, competitors must tackle six obstacles, including three brand new ones: the Mini Silk Slider, Spin Cycle and Hourglass Drop. “American Ninja Warrior” veterans Kevin Bull and David Campbell return for another shot at completing the course, while former Baltimore Raven & Super Bowl Champion Brendon Ayanbadejo and current NFL player Jon Ryan of the Seattle Seahawks take on the course for the first time. Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila return as hosts as Kristine Leahy co-hosts.”
Tonight’s episode looks like it is going to be great and you won’t want to miss it, so be sure to tune in for our coverage of NBC’s American Ninja Warrior at 9:00 PM EST! While you wait for our recap hit the comments and let us know how excited you are about the show so far.
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#AmericanNinjaWarrior season seven starts tonight in Venice Beach. The 2015 season has more difficult courses and tougher competitors. Matt and Akbar talk about the more than 50,000 applicants they had this year. There’s a new sideline reporter – Kristine Leahy. She talks about the qualifying course and the obstacles. There are quintuple stacks then the mini silk slider. Next is a tilting table then a spin cycle. Finally it’s the hourglass drop and the warped wall to the end.
The Venice City finals starts with Kyle Cochran, a 26 year old motivational speaker who’s a diabetic. He starts off and clears the first obstacle quickly but gets stuck on the second and can’t reach the rope. He failed to jump when he should have. His wife cheers him on but then he falls and is out of it. He’s a four time veteran and now he’s out. The next warrior is retired NFL lineback Brendon Ayanbadejo who was with the Baltimore Ravens.
He says he missed competing so that’s why he started the obstacle training. He grew up with Akbar and is a good friend of his. He starts out and hops through the stacks. He clears the second easily. He calls for applause. He rapidly runs the tilting table and now it’s the spin cycle which is new. These are like playground spinners but rapid and far apart unlike the kid’s version. He failed when his foot his the water on the third hoop to the platform. That was close. He says he wishes he had another try.
Next is Jackson Meyer, who is a 23 year old student and an Eagle Scout from Oregon. This guy looks like your standard nerd who doesn’t seem to be in good enough shape for this. He works with animals and travels all around. He says he wants to show that Boy Scouts can be ninjas too. He’s in his Scout uniform and all. He hops stack to stack and clears the first one, clears the silks, then runs the tilt table and clears that too.
Now he’s on the spin cycle and dangles between two and three. He hits hard and looks like he hurt his shoulder but keeps going to the hourglass drop. That one kills him but he made it farther than the other athletes before him. Jackson did the Scouts proud. He says he dropped and his knees buckled and he didn’t jump up like he shouldn’t have. He demonstrates the Boy Scout salute and then Jackson is done and out of the qualifying round.
Biochem student Hunter Seide but he also lost it on the pin cycle. Waitress Tiana Webberley was thrown by the tilting table and new dad Justin Yan fell on the silk slider. Next is 31 year old police officer Jeff Clement from Phoenix. He wears a shirt in honor of his best friend and fellow cop who was killed in the line of duty. He wears a shirt with his friend’s last name Raetz and his badge number. He says that’s his motivation for this and every day at work.
He clears the stacks then the silks. He runs the tilt table then loses momentum on the spin cycle and falls hard. Next up is 37 year old April Gould, a former pro athlete who was a world class water skier but now she’s a mom of three plus a farm of goats to take care of. She demonstrates doing squats holding her goats as extra weight. She has 70 supporters there with her. She clears the stacks then moves to the silks but falls and takes the silk down with her.
But she keeps smiling and Matt and Akbar talk about how her submission video was one of the smilingest they had ever seen. LaTony Witherspoon fell on the silk slider. Ninja vet Travis Weinand fell prey to the hourglass and was out. Rashad Richardson failed on the hourglass as well. Next is Kevin Cleary, CEO of Clif Bar energy bars. The millionaire businessman wanted to run the course. He says he’s not a CEO who has a driver and does pushups in meetings. He set up a training room at work so his employees could train with him.
His employees, family and friends are there to cheer him on. Kevin clears the stacks then moves on to the silks but he takes a dunk and is out. He gets cheers anyway. Next up is Brian Kretsch who has competed in every season and has trained many people for the competition. His younger sister Shannon is also running the course. She says she did the obstacles at her brother’s gym and her brother encouraged her to try out.
Brian is up first and he bounce through the stacks easily. He clears the silks too. He takes a tumble and whacks his knee coming off the tilt table. He holds his knee and his sisters call out to him. He hit the platform hard. He rubs on it and then stands to great cheers. He leaps onto the spin cycle and clears it but you can tell it hurt when he lands. Next is the hourglass which he needs his knee for.
Brian decides to press on. He can’t clear it because he needed his knee to bounce and was in too much pain. He has to get help to even get out of the water and medics go help him. He’s lowered onto a stretcher and his sister is running next and they wonder how this will affect her confidence in her own run.
The medics say that Brian may have broken his leg just below his knee but he doesn’t want to leave for the hospital until his sister Shannon runs. She’s up next and clears the stacks quickly. Brian coaches her from the sidelines and she makes it through the silks. He whoops for her. He tells her how to clear the tilt able and she takes is tips and makes it through. Next is the spin cycle. He shouts some more advice. Shannon misses the dismount and is now stuck. She can’t make it past that one and falls.
Brian says she was amazing and he’s proud of her. Next up is bus boy Arnold Hernandez. He lost his mom and then set up his own training course and let other potential Ninjas train with him. He clears the first three obstacles quickly. Now he’s at the spin cycle but has 25 obstacles in his back yard. He gets stuck but then manages to swing, build momentum and clear it. Now he’s on the hourglass which no one has cleared tonight.
Arnold makes the platform but misses the second bridge. He’s the second one to do that tonight. You have to fall straight down. Arnold says this is a new obstacle and the angle is throwing everyone off. He says this is something to practice for next year. Sam Goldstein, software developer, misses on the hourglass as well. Electrician Laurence Penera fell on the tilting table. Dustin Rocco made it to the second bridge on the hourglass but then fell.
Next is David Campbell, the godfather, who has never failed to clear a qualifying course. He hops through the stacks, easily clears the silks and tilting table. Te Spin cycle is easy peasy for this guy then he faces the hourglass. He misses the second bridge too. Matt and Akbar call the hourglass a Ninja Killer. David says the trampoline shot him forward and he just couldn’t grab it. Akbar says that trampoline is deadly. Next up is rookie Alvaro Campos.
We see his audition video that’s silly and looks like a 70s martial arts flick. Alvaro starts his run and clears the first two obstacles quickly then the tilting table. He gets hung up on the third hoop of the spin cycle but gets momentum going and clears it. He pulls off his shirt and the crown screams. He’s on the hourglass and makes it to the bridge. The crowd goes wild. He dismounts and has done it! He’s the first to make it to the warp wall. The crowd chants and he easily scales the wall and is the first to move on!
Kristine is with Alvaro who says he’s overwhelmed. He says he just wanted to tear the course apart. He’s a slimmer build – maybe those that have more weight and muscles can’t get the spring to make the height they need. He moves on to the City Finals. Next up is Rob Moravsky, the pretty boy of the Ninja Warriors. He pulls off his shirt and the crowd goes wild. Matt says he loves watching him compete. The Adonis has now moved to LA to pursue an acting career.
Rob clears the stacks easily but then falls fast on the silks and he is out early. The crowd is shocked and so are Matt and Akbar. He just missed the grab on the rope in an unfortunate accident. Kristine tells him she’s sorry and he says he just missed it. He smiles and says he just missed it and doesn’t know if he was coming in too fast. She asks if he’d change anything and he says he’d grab the rope. Next up is Grant McCartney, a flight attendant.
His dad was an NFL player for the Falcons and Rams and says athletics runs in his family. He clears the stacks and then makes it through the silks. He bounces over the tilting table then moves on to the spin cycle. He gets hung up like a lot of the other people have done. He grabs the second one again and uses it to build momentum and clears it. He’s at the hourglass and clears that one too! The crowd goes wild. Now it’s just the wall. He tackles the wall, slaps the button and he’s the second finisher – and second rookie to complete it!
His dad picks him up in glee when he’s done. Kristine asks Grant if he had doubts about the hourglass and he says he doesn’t even remember half of what he did because he was so pumped. Matt and Akbar have Kacy Catanzaro with them – she was one of the big stars of last season. #MightyKacy says she has a lot of women come to her for tips. Matt says she’s so little at five feet tall and asks what she would say to her little fans. She says to do what you want and follow your dreams.
Next up is Jessie Graff, a Hollywood stunt woman, who had to take a year off after she was injured. Last time, Jessie wore a chicken dress and tutu and didn’t really know much about the show. She went out on the warp wall. Last year she couldn’t compete because of an ACL injury but she came to spectate. She’s back now and stronger than ever. She says she worked her upper body like crazy while her knee was out of commission. She says she’s more prepared now than before.
Kacy says she hopes Jessie does well. She hops through the stacks easily then moves to the silks. She clears those then it’s on to the tilting table. She rolls to the platform and clears it. Now it’s the spin cycle. She clears that with grace too and now it’s the awful hourglass. She misses the second bridge and falls ending her run. Kacy says that was amazing and she has such athleticism. Her knees buckled on the trampoline and that was it.
Kristine talks to Jessie. She says she flung forward a little too much. She says her knee was great and didn’t bother her at all. Jessie can still earn her way into the finals because of her good time. Ben Melick failed on then hourglass too and Thavius Roveck fell ont eh tilting table. Theo Agu was knocked out by the hourglass too. Olympian Nick Symmonds fell on the silk sliders. Kristine talks to Kevin Bull about his success last year after being a walk on.
Next is Jon Ryan, punter from the Seattle Seahawks, who has been in the last two Super Bowls. Two of his teammates are there to cheer him. He clears the stacks fast and he barely clears the silks. He falls on the tilting table. Tyler Lumpkin fell on the stack and lady boxing champion Danielle Wolf went out on the sliders. Jason Tirado took a hard fall on the hourglass. Now it’s veteran Ninja Travis Brewer. He’s on the hourglass and grabs the second bridge easily.
He runs up the wall, does a horizontal hang and then a flip. It was a pretty cocky run but he made it. Then next is Travis’ buddy Nicholas Cooleridge. He’s from Venice as well and is an amateur acrobat. We see him doing construction parkour. He lives in his tricked out van in LA. He even has a shower. He says he lives in his van or on a trampoline. That guy is one bouncy freak. Nicholas clears the stacks then easily clears the silks. He rolls off the tilting table then hops onto the spin cycle. He makes it! Now he’s at the hourglass. He kills that one then is on to the wall. Nicholas makes the fastest time of the night and made it look easy. That bouncy boy made child’s play of the course.
Circus performer Almas Meirmanov also destroyed the course. Then highwire artist Brian Robinson lost it on the hourglass by grabbing a support structure. Selena Laniel failed on the silks after a foot grab. Up next is five time veteran Alan Connealy known as “The Beast.” He’s wearing yellow in honor of his business partner and former competitor Allison Leitheiser. He bounces through the stacks, kills the silks, glides over the tilting table then gets hung up on the spin cycle but clears it.
Alan is on the hourglass and pauses to consider it. He masters the hourglass and is on to the wall. He scrambles up take over the fastest time. He’s the sixth finisher. It’s #EskimoNinja time. Nick Hanson played in the Eskimo Olympics then started watching the show a couple of years back and built some training obstacles. He’s from a remote tribe in Alaska but has brought a huge group of fans with him. He hopes through the stack steps then glides over the silks.
He makes it over the tilting table and then the school coach smiles at cheering fans. He clears the spin cycle. He fails the hourglass because he bounced past the second bridge. Cop Paul Joyce fails then Tajma Deon and several more take hard spills. There is one competitor left – Kevin Ball. He was a walk on last year who camped out for several days then was just one of two to complete the course. If he makes it to the hourglass in one minute, Nick Hanson is out.
Kevin clears the stacks then the silks. He jogs over the tilting table then leaps onto the spin cycle. He’s a blur. He’s onto the hourglass and Nick Hanson is out of it. He grabs the second bridge and makes it out fast. He beats the best time of the night by more than 30 seconds. It was a #BullRun. Wow! Kristine says he continues to amaze them. He says he decided that the course was built for momentum and just went for it. Seven athletes completed the course which is the fewest ever. Jessie Graff is among those that advance as is the Ninja Scout. Next week is Kansas City.
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