Sayonara! should be the catchphrase for the single most toughest, bone crushing game show on television. ‘American Ninja Warrior’, a million dollar gauntlet, returns to NBC in July, and they are bringing Uncle Sam with them. The limb twisting series is hosted by Matt Iseman, former NFL star Akbar Gbajabiamila and co-host Kristine Leahy. The show follows of a list of competitors as they painfully tackle obstacles in both city qualifying and city final rounds across the country. The lucky winner takes home a hefty prize of 1 million dollars, most of it covering hospital bills of course.
The contestants range from military soldiers, college athletes and stuntwomen. Jessie Graff, a former Nebraskan pole vaulter, became the first woman to make it past the qualifying rounds in 2013. The popular show which is in its seventh season, includes gung ho military personnel to its latest slate of would be ninja warriors. The hit show is based on Tokyo’s original series Sasuke, the original show is in its thirty-first season. Only three contestants have completed the course. The difficulty of the gauntlet is what makes the return of the million dollar show ‘American Ninja Warrior’, so dramatic.
Former Army National Guard, and six-time veteran of the show Ryan Stratis, and active Navy Lieutenant Dustin Mckinney, return for another shot at glory, and “to those who are about to die, we salute you! The Military Round will be the last of the city qualifying rounds before the show heads to the city finals rounds, it may sound confusing, but it really isn’t. The premise of the show is pretty simple. Travel to Japan home of the Ninja, take real cool selfies on Mount Midoriyama, and win one of the hardest obstacles in the world, since Moses did it when he parted the Red Sea.
The winner of the bone smashing competition has to complete all four stages of the Japanese gauntlet, but it takes a truly disciplined samurai to understand the rules of the qualifying stages. Many contestants have tried to win, and the return of the million dollar gauntlet has made ‘American Ninja Warrior’ a must see TV event. The best part of the show is knowing exactly how excruciating and brutal the Japanese themed thrill ride is. The heartwarming backstories of the show, add heart to the muscle and carnage.
In the first six seasons of the ground breaking tough man show, no one has survived past the third and fourth stages in the final round. The real challenge of show is figuring out where the props for the final challenge are, since no fan has actually seen the final stage. In an attempt to inspire its brand of pit falling contestants, the producers of the show increased the prize from 250,000 dollars to 1 million dollars.
The return of the million dollar gauntlet, American Ninja Warrior, consists of a qualifying round at the Universal Orlando Resort. where competitors Sean Murray and William “Spartan” Brown will take on obstacles named The Tire Swing, and Paddleboards . This season more than 700 contestants are expected to come out to test their skills and will on the course. If that’s not enough for fans, the show will be rolling out 23 new obstacles.
By Phillip Hernandez
TV Guide:American Ninja Warrior
Esquire: American Ninja Warrior Rules:Cast and Details
IBT: American Ninja Warrior Tryouts 2015, How To Get Cast on Season 7
Photo Courtesy of slownsilent’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License
Second Photo Courtesy the Georgia National Guard’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License