Tonight on NBC their obstacle course competition American Ninja Warrior returns with an all-new Monday, August 19, 2018, episode and we have your American Ninja Warrior recap below! On tonight’s “Cincinnati City Finals,” season 10 episode 12 as per the NBC synopsis, “”American Ninja Warrior” returns to Cincinnati for the City Finals round of the competition.
Competitors will face up to ten challenging obstacles including Slam Dunk, which is new to the course this year. Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila host and Zuri Hall reports from the sidelines.”
Tonight’s episode looks like it is going to be a great season 10 episode 8, so be sure to tune in for our coverage of NBC’s American Ninja Warrior at 9 PM – 11 PM ET! While you wait for our American Ninja Warrior recap make sure to check out all our American Ninja Warrior news, spoilers, recaps & more!
Tonight’s American Ninja Warrior recap begins now – Refresh Page often to get the most current updates!
American Ninja Warrior (AJW) begins with the Cincinnati City finals where Zuri Hall reveals the course has 10 tough obstacles, with a new challenge called “Slam Dunk” where the athletes need to use their basketball skills; at the end of the night the top two competitors will duke it out on the Power Tower for their spot in the finale in Las Vegas.
Competitors tonight include Jesse “Flex” LeBrek, the Chicago Gym Owner who is in the city finals for the fourth straight year. Ohio’s own Michelle Warnky is back, shown bloody from qualifiers. To get the crowd dancing there is Grant McCartney, who is desperate to get back to Vegas after missing the last two years.
Philip ‘Ninja Phil” Scott is the first one up who almost didn’t make it. Philip is 22 and a Web Manager from Plymouth, MI. He has Aspergers and had multiple panic attacks, but fought his way through it and with less than an hour to do his run, he decided to do it. Philip explains how he was bullied throughout school, so his father, Mike left his job to home school him, together building obstacles in their yard and joined Jesse’s gym, where everyone accepted him as Chris Wilczewski, 9 time ANW veteran agrees, saying he is a “misfit” like the rest of them.
Philip is quite proud of how far he has come, never thinking he would ever be on ANW. He is through the slingshot, which he fell in during qualifiers; everyone cheers him on and he clears the wall. The first one to ever try Slam Dunk and clears it, everyone elated that he fought through his anxiety, going through spinball wizard, but falls. His proud father cheering and hugging him shouting how proud he is of Philip.
Remember August 26, 2019, is the beginning of the Las Vegas National Finals, a 4-week television event!!
Jeri D’Aurelio, 29 years old and an Army Captain from Bagram, Afghanistan is up next. After air assault school she was deployed to Afghanistan; she found ways to keep training for ANW overseas, working out at least 2 hours every night; claiming to be “ninja strong.” Her dad Frank Lane and sister Amie Karnes are in the crowd cheering her on, as well as military friends and family.
She has fallen 5 times in her 5th year Ninja career, but hasn’t qualified for National finals in 2 years. The top 2 women will move on. She continues to smile as she knows she is at the fifth obstacle; one that has always been her nemesis – the slingshot. Her best performance ever and knows this is a special moment; taking three chances to beat the wall and now in brand new territory and in combat mode when she does the salmon ladder. Her grip gives out on the last ball and falls from Slam Dunk.
During commercial break, three athletes ran the course. Cameron Nave from Somerset, KY was running with his kilt on, running for his father who passed away a few months ago from cancer. His dream was shattered when he fell on the Wing Nuts. Phillip Hucke from Springdale, OH ran with tiger stripes in his beard, a very bright orange. He made it to Vegas last year but he was bounced out by the Slingshot. Christopher Gabayan from West Hampstead, NY is an army officer who also fell in Slingshot.
Brandon Mears a 37 yr old, Firefighter from Streamwood, IL is racing with his firefighter jacket on. Dan Polizzi will be competing later, is cheering him on. Brandon dedicates his run tonight to his family – after 5 years of trying, Brandon and his wife, Erica had their son, Ashton; life was perfect and suddenly his wife reveals to him that she is pregnant again and welcomed their baby girl, Joelle recently. Ever since his son was born, he wanted him to be at the sideline and now he is. Erica is home with the baby, watching while Ashton is there with his aunt and grandparents. He is the tallest competitor they’ve had at 6’5”.
He fell during Slingshot at qualifiers, clearing the obstacle this time. He looks at his son for inspiration and clears the wall, determined to finish this course. He clears Slamdunk with two obstacles left, clearing Spinball Wizard and on to the final obstacle where he needs to climb 35 feet of the spider trap. He is the first one to make it to the buzzer, greatest performance ever!! He finishes, hitting the button and going to Las Vegas, shouting to his son that he did it for him and loves him!!
Amanda O’Dell, a middle school lunch lady made it to the fifth obstacle in qualifiers but tonight she got hung up on the second obstacle, falling. Eddie Russell from Fayetteville, WV was shredding the course quickly, but even though he is an experienced climber he fell on the Wingnut obstacle. Mike Wright a USA Diving Team Coach aka Speedo Ninja, fell on the Slingshot obstacle as well.
Sem Garay is up next; a 19-year-old Pro-Wrestler from Chicago, IL. He has some rowdy fans, along with his family at the sidelines. He encourages everyone to root loudly for him as he crushed it in qualifiers. He definitely has some dance moves and footwork, clearing obstacles quickly, including the wall. It looks like he is starting to feel it on the salmon ladder. He gets body slammed into the water, but since he made it to the eighth obstacle he still has a chance to make it to the Vegas finals.
Michelle Warnky, a 34-year-old gym owner from Worthington, OH. She is a warrior as it is explained that she has the BRCA 2 gene, meaning women who have this gene have a much higher risk of getting breast and ovarian cancer; 85% higher to be exact! Doctors recommend her to remove ovaries by the time she is 40 and since she dating someone, this is something they need to discuss. She mentioned it to him and how it would affect things; he is very supportive of her, leaving her with some very heavy decisions – something she grapples with. She always feels like she needs to run like it is her last run.
Michelle, during qualifiers, proved how tough she was with a bloody face and still hitting the buzzer and receiving 8 stitches. Allyssa Beird cheers her on, after her own advancement to Vegas finals. Michelle clears the salmon ladder and slamdunk and quickly makes it to the spider trap. Michelle opens the final door to the top and hits the buzzer. The second woman ever to clear the course.
Mike Bernardo a firefighter from Cincinnati was sent home by the wingnut, losing his dream of heading off to Vegas. Reese Pankratz, 19 yer old from Rockford, MI, showed off his circus skills by arriving on a unicycle. He made a rookie mistake on the salmon ladder and was out of the competition.
Bootsy Collins, music legend from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame escorts Grant McCartney, 30-year-old Flight Attendant from Honolulu, HI onto the stage. The crowd is loving this but McCartney needs to get serious as the past couple years haven’t gone the way he wanted it to. He was definitely the slowest competitor both years, being 16th. He feels it was wearing on him physically and mentally; he trained, dieted and truly prepared; with this year being the top 12, not 15 anymore. His father, Rod McCartney a former linebacker in the NFL (Atlanta Falcons) is there; never missing his son compete. He has great technique and makes it through the slingshot, clears the wall and salmon ladder; onto slamdunk needing to make it through it to be safe, falling on the last ball.
Derrick Pavoni, brought pizza for the whole crowd, courtesy of his family’s pizza joint. Derrick made it to the third obstacle, falling on the spinning balls. Then, the other half of the “Towers of Power”, Dan Polizzi, a firefighter was up for his chance at getting to the Vegas finals. He stumbles in the spider trap but recovers and finishes with the fastest time (4:23.87), even beating Mears (4:43.50); ripping off his shirt like Hulk Hogan. If it remains this way, we could be seeing the Towers of Power competing against each other on the Power Tower tonight!
Michael Torres, 24 yr old Gym Manager from Chicago, IL appears on stage with his Yorkie named Hershey; hoping his lucky charm will keep him calm from the sidelines. Michael is moving fast as his dog, his parents and girlfriend, along with fans cheer him on. He is very fast, over a minute ahead of Polizzi’s time. He has never finished a city’s final course as he climbs the tower. His time is 4:01.20, fastest time of the night.
While we were on commercial break Dustin Rocho from Las Vegas, NV was a top competitor in ANW’s earlier years but is finally returning after a 4 year break. He is the oldest competitor who unfortunately fell at the slamdunk obstacle. Chris DiGangi from Naperville, IL is cheered on by his fiance Jesse LaBreck; he climbs the spider trap finishing the course for the first time in 7 years. We have 5 finishers tonight and several more competitors still to come.
Jackson Twait is a 21 yr old, College student from Hudson, IA. He comes out on a scooter with a stuffed cat in the basket. He finished qualifiers with the second fastest time of the night; earning the safety of the power tower means everything to him. He promises his cat Hades that they are going to Las Vegas. Hades is watching him on FaceTime, knowing he needs to be almost flawless and the fastest time to get to Vegas. He switched up his movements and is out in the third obstacle in city finals; the spinning bridge, his foot touched the water and he is done.
This is the last stop before the National Finals,
Tyler Smith, the “Ninja Bug Man” came to the finals in his exterminator suit. He killed it on the course, making a great one-armed saved on spinball wizard but fell seconds later on the same obstacle. Jamie Ross from Minneapolis, MN is a beast and passes the spinning bridge, only to fall on the wingnut course. Chicago Pastor, David Womelsdorf had his family and many church members there to support him, along with his three children and pregnant wife. He fell at slingshot getting “baptized.”
Ethan Swanson, 29 year old gym owner from Chicago, IL is encouraged by his fans who are doing the swan flap, his signature move. If he falls it won’t matter as he has the safety from the Power Tower. He clears the slamdunk, with 2 more obstacles to go; Swanson is on pace to beat Torres time. He wants the fastest time and does it, completing courses at 3:43.26; the crowd erupts with the swan flap.
Grant McCartney is currently in 11th place; concerned about how fast others are, with 3 more left.
Jesse Wildman, a physical therapist assistant is quick but fell on the fifth obstacle, the slingshot. Jonathan Cooley, an auto factory worker also falls during slingshot; causing Grant McCartney to celebrate as he is still in the competition in 11th place; guaranteeing a trip for him to Las Vegas’ Nationals.
Jesse “Flex” LaBreck is a 29 year old Gym Manager from Naperville, IL and the final runner for the night. She has come close but never hit the buzzer in any city finals. She strongly believes Michelle really deserved the buzzer and it has motivated her to get it as well. Many women competitors are cheering her on fron the sidelines along with her fiance, Chris DiGangi.
If Jesse can hit the buzzer it will be a historical moment as they have never had two women hit the buzzer in the same night. She is going at a great pace and looks as relaxed as anyone has ever seen her. She clears the wall in one shot and is encouraged that she has got this. She needs to make the salmon ladder and will be ahead of Jeri, who is still cheering for Flex, who has guaranteed a spot in Vegas now. She surpasses slamdunk, two obstacles away from hitting the buzzer. Spinball Wizard is a cinch for her as she dismounts skipping the last bar. Everyone senses this as a night to remember, she struggles to open the doors which are 50lbs each. She creeps quickly up the wall, encouraged to push the doors and nothing is stopping her as she completes the course, hitting the buzzer with tears in her eyes. The third women to ever do it; Allyssa crying, celebrating as two women made history tonight!
The Power Tower is between Michael Torres and Ethan Swanson, two good friends racing for the final safety pass before the Nationals. Michael Torres beats Ethan Swanson, who is Michael’s boss and gains the safety for Las Vegas; it really was neck and neck until Swanson hesitates on the dismount and Michael wins.
Please remember Nationals begin next week in Las Vegas!