American Ninja Warrior, NBC’s obstacle course competition airs tonight with an all new Monday, August 24 season 7 episode 13 called “Best Runs of 2015.” We’ve got your recap down below! On tonight’s episode the season’s best runs are spotlighted.
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 the last episode “American Ninja Warrior” traveled back to San Jose, California where the top 30 competitors from the Military Qualifier tackled the Military Finals course. In addition to the obstacles from the Military Qualifier, contestants faced Salmon Ladder, Arm Rings, Doorknob Arch and Spider Climb. Top competitors Army National Guard Captain Ryan Stratis, active Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade Dustin McKinney and Coast Guard Aviation Survival Technician Robin Pietschmann took on the course. The Military competitors vied for a chance to compete in the Las Vegas finals, to win a cash prize of $1,000,000 and the title of “American Ninja Warrior.” Did you watch last week’s episode? If you missed it we have a full and detailed recap, right here for you.
On tonight’s episode per the NBC synopsis, “re-live the best moments from the season so far during this original, jam-packed special chronicling the best runs of this season.”
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.
Tonight’s episode begins now – Refresh Page often to get the most current updates!
#AmericanNinjaWarrior starts with Matt and Akbar in Las Vegas at the site of next week’s Las Vegas finals where 100 ninjas will compete. The course is still under construction. Stage One has three new obstacles plus some old faves like the Jumping Spider. Stage Two, Roulette Row, promises to be troublesome and Stage Three has three tough new obstacles. Then Stage Four is the $1 million tower that no one has ever reached.
2015 saw 40,000 applicants, more than 750 athletes and 450 rookies. We see a look at the top rookies who ran the fastest times on many regional courses. Then we see a montage of the veteran athletes then a look at the older competitors this year that finished. 35 rookies made it to the national finals. Matt says Nicholas Coolridge was a big deal in Venice. We get a look at the guy who lives in his van and gets food from a dumpster.
He says someone taught him three rules of dumpster diving – first come, first serve – leave the place cleaner – and don’t take more than you can eat. We see a clip of him eating dumpster yogurt. We see him at the regional final in Venice and he’s moving along at a good clip. He moves flawlessly through the first half then moves on to the back half of the course and onto the salmon ladder. Akbar and Matt say he’s one of the smoothest performers they’ve seen.
He’s on the invisible ladder then dominated it to be the first Venice final finisher. Nicholas made it onto Matt and Akbar’s list of “Rookies to Watch” including:
Nicholas Coolridge (Venice – only finals finisher)
Grant McCartney (Venice – made it to 9th obstacle)
Brendan Couvreaux (Kansas City – one of only 3 finishers)
Daniel Gil (Houston – fastest qualifying time)
Sean Darling-Hammond (Pittsburgh – made it to 9th obstacle)
We next see a montage of hard hits, face plants and painful fails. Then we see early outs for fan favorites. Kyle Cochran went out early on the mini Silk Slider that took out 48. Rob Morovsky was taken out by it as well. Then 51 Houston competitors went out on the Tilting Slider. The rolling log took out a lot of Ninjas – 21 – but even the ones who made it suffered consequences. Each city had a new obstacle that took out 57% or more of competitors.
The hourglass drop took out 80% of Ninjas in the qualifying round. The biggest shocker was the smallest athlete – Kacy Catanzaro. She was the first woman to get up the warped wall back in 2014 and made history then made it again with the city finals. Kacy says a lot of women have told her that she has inspired them to get more athletic, get off the couch, and even apply to American Ninja Warrior. We see pics of #MightyKacy with Michelle Obama and Kathy Lee Gifford.
But 2015 was hard for Mighty Kacy. She ran in Houston after her BF qualified. She made it through the first three obstacles easily. She missed the transition on the Cargo Crossing – she just wasn’t tall enough to get there. But Kacy earned a Wild Card spot and will be competing in Las Vegas next week along with two other lady Wild Card spots Meagan Martin and Michelle Warnky. They are the first three women to make it up the warped wall and will be in Vegas.
Next is a look at Ninjas and redemption starting with Brent Steffenson who was a top ninja and had an early exit in Dallas in 2014. But this year, he got redemption in Houston. Drew Dreschel failed at Mt Midoriyami last year and found redemption this year. These two are favorites this year. Flip Rodriguez was a surprise in Orlando after a fail last year when he dipped his booty in the water and went out early and for no good reason. He was so upset, he almost quit Ninja Warrior altogether.
He says fan mail from kids inspired him to try again and he started training all new and hit it hard. He even ran without his mask and zipped up one side of the steps. He said he was more serious this year and brought much less of an entourage. He made it all the way through and Flip Rodriguez got his shot at redemption. We see people working on the Vegas course. We see a montage of the Armed Forces competitors.
Matt says the biggest moment from the military special was from 5’2” Dustin McKinney the Naval officer from Georgia. The little guy was a powerhouse in 2015 after falling hard on a spider obstacle. He has since studied his weaknesses to make them strengths. He’s headed to sea duty for a few years so 2015 was his last chance to really compete. He’s determined to make it up the million dollar tower. His run was spectacular.
He cleared the front half of the course, the back half then was the first competitor at the military finals to make it to the invisible ladder. He was the first to complete the course. Next is a look at the senior class – the oldest competitors in the 2015 qualifying rounds. We see 53 year old John Stewart become the oldest Ninja to make it up the wall in 2014 then 55 year old Vance Yarter became the oldest to qualify. Then Miles Avery, even older, kicked butt and moved to the semi-finals at 56 years young.
Then 72 year old Chuck Mammay competed in the military episode even though he fell on the first obstacle. Then we get a look at 48 year old Sam Sann who runs the most popular Ninja Warrior gym. The nimble ninja is twice the age of many other Ninja competitors but moves like someone much younger. He got stuck on the back half but recovered and made it to the end. This will be Sam Sann’s third year in a row in Vegas.
Now it’s a look at the female competitors like Rose Wetzel, Cassie Craig, Marybeth Wang, Tory Garcia, Caitlin Shukwit, Annie Dudek, Asya Grechka. All of these ladies earned Wild Card slots and will compete in Vegas. Next we get a look at Meagan Martin’s run in Boulder. We see her free climbing in Boulder, Colorado. She says it feels like being a pioneer. She was the first female to compete a qualifier, the first to do the jumping spider in Vegas. She says she wants to inspire the kids she teaches.
She says she was athletic and always had big muscles and it was embarrassing so she’s glad it’s in to be strong. We see all of her rock climbing skills in use on her run. #MightyMeagan takes no prisoners. We see her run the warped wall and slap the buzzer then tell the girls of American that they can do this. Next is a look at notification calls for people who find out they got on the show. We see people shouting, flipping, dancing, screaming, and even crying.
Then we see fire fighter Mike Bernardo’s qualifying run in DC. He usually wears his fireman cost and hat to the starting line. Then we see him fail in 2014 on the third obstacle and says it was a disaster and embarrassing for him. He says he let people down that were rooting for him. His lieutenant told him to put on the gear only if he made it through the course. A fellow fire fighter held his jacket to the side to see if Mike made it through. Mike made it up the warped wall and then came back down the front to put on his firefighter gear to represent his profession.
Next we look at costumes and craziness. We see super heroes, fire breathers and a Ninja baby in a diaper. Captain NBC has worn a costume for five seasons. Hunter Seide in Venice had a great hair day. We all see Daniel Gil and his gorgeous hair. We see him talking about how get got lazy about cutting his hair then he decided to keep it. He and his GF have very similar hair. Matt calls it Kenny G hair. Daniel set the fastest pace of the night on his run in Houston beating the top time by 20 seconds.
Next we take a look at walk ons that camped out for days including Gordon White and Adam Arnold who waited 10 days but didn’t get in then drove to Orlando and camped out 10 more days and made it to the finals where he was the first to complete the finals. PJ Granger camped out for 10 days and bathed in the river – the former addict has turned his life around drastically. He talks about how American Ninja Warrior has changed his life.
Then we see PJ’s qualifying run again. He moved through the first part of the course easily but had never been up a warped wall since there’s no Ninja gym near him. He failed on the first attempt and hung on by his fingertips to make it through as the first Pittsburgh finisher on his second run up the wall. Then he had another good run at the city finals which will take him all the way to Las Vegas.
We next see a montage of inspirational stories including amputee Stephen France and Artis Thompson. Daniela Bright was a cancer survivor when she made her run and autistic Stephen Maul also ran. Then we see the amazing story of Michael Stanger who went from pudgy to athlete to help his ailing wife. The rookie spent eight days in the walk on line and his wheelchair-bound wife was there cheering him on. He made it through then says he had to do it this year because his wife may not be alive next year.
Finally, we get a look at the four stage course for Las Vegas. Akbar says this will be the first year they crown an America Ninja Warrior. Then we see the runs of Jessie Graff at the qualifying and city finals and her remarkable runs that took her farther than any woman this season. Then we see Jon Horton’s Olympic worthy run then made it up the warped wall as the shortest man to conquer it. Last we see Lance Pekus in Kansas City in his city finals run.
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