American Ninja Warrior Season 7 Comes to a Shocking End…and We Spoke With …

15 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘American Ninja Warrior’ Crowns First Winner — With a Twist.

In the previous six seasons of , thousands of competitors tried and failed to be the first American to conquer Mount Midoriyama. Spoilers: On Monday night, NBC revealed that 33-year-old professional rock climber Isaac Caldiero became the first person to complete all four stages of “Mt.After seven seasons, NBC’s summer reality competition series American Ninja Warrior crowned its first ever winner during Monday’s three-hour season finale. Actually, he was the second: Geoff Britten, a Maryland cameraman who was the only other athlete to compete in the final stage — a 75-foot rope climb that had to be scaled within 30 seconds — finished first.

But in the Season 7 finale, two men made it past the third stage of competition Monday night, clearing insane obstacles like Roulette Row and the Ultimate Cliff Hanger, and showing off their superhuman agility, grip strength and endurance. Britten’s run was especially dramatic as he nearly slipped on the final obstacle: In a way, it’s a bit of a shame Caldiero and Britten both had to scale Mount Midoriyama in the same night.

Given the way the episode was shaking out, you weren’t sure how many Warriors would manage to reach Stage 3 at all, let alone the last stage at Mount Midoriyama. You can fall on the most basic obstacle you’ve done a million times.” The final three stages were filmed over about 10 hours in late June, with Caldiero emerging the victor shortly before sunrise after an unusually hot day. Isaac Caldiero, a rock climber and busboy, was calm and confident. (You can see him complete Stage 1 of the Vegas finals in the video above.) The athlete elected to climb second, because he finished the previous course faster. But he’d never made it quite as far as he did during tonight’s episode, in which he conquered the increasingly difficult Stage 3 while hardly seeming like he was even straining himself. As if transitioning between the two hoops weren’t difficult enough, Yager demonstrated making the dismount was no small task either, as he managed to just get one foot on the landing pad before falling into the water below.

With up-close-and-personal profiles and returning favorites, the competition has moved from a male-driven niche cable series to NBC’s No. 2 summer show among younger viewers, and 52% of its audience is women, says executive producer Kent Weed. Excitable co-host and former NFL player Akbar Gbajabiamila says he was “completely shocked” by the first win and believes it will make the show – averaging 7.2 million viewers, up 22% from last year in its most-watched season yet – even more popular. “To see their dream realized was big,” he says, especially after some skeptics wondered “’Is this thing for real? That set the tone for the season and everybody saw that achievement and said, “If he could do it, I could do it, too.” Which is the same reason why we have new ninjas every season.

Upon clearing the 120-pound wall, Dory was the first Warrior on the night to complete Stage 2: Kevin Bull then posted the time to beat, completing Stage 2 in a little over two minutes and one second. And then Caldiero came in and scaled that rope as if a million dollars were on the line –which was timely – and he ended up beating Britten by 3 seconds. We found our first, now who can be the next?” “It’s as much a mental game as a physical one,” Weed. says. “You can psych yourself out very easily. I can’t think of any time in my life where I’ve been 3 seconds away from something so life-changing that wasn’t devastating in nature like a traffic accident or something. When you look down you’re basically spotting your landing point and you’re going to fall” into one of the course’s splash pools. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone look down and make it.” What will Utah native Caldiero, who now lives in Vegas with his girlfriend and fellow contestant Laura Kisana, do with his million-dollar prize? “I’ve never been to Disneyland,” he says.

It looks like he won’t have to worry about being a busboy for much longer, and he almost definitely has a career ahead of him in something related, like the potential American Gladiators reboot. If there’s more than one finisher, the one with the fastest time gets it,” Weed explained. “As much as the money is a wonderful prize and life changing, [Geoff] does get the great gratification. Whatever happens to him in the future, I’m sure Isaac Caldiero will be celebrating the present in style, probably with a lot of ice and muscle cream. Actually, the upper body strength I think the women have cracked now, the problem is they can’t get through Stage 1 because of the clock, they’re a little bit slower than the guys. [Many of the female competitors] have upper body strength that’s insane, and you’ll see that in All Stars when some compete in Second and Third Stage obstacles how well they do. You see these stories where the contestants are working in movie theaters and living out of their car, and I wonder if they should they get paid for their participation once they make it past a certain point in the season?

But it feels like they fall between the gap being a professional athlete — who would get paid — and a reality show participant—who would also get paid. There’s a modest prize for the fastest finisher in the city qualifier and finals in each city, and there’s a per diem and we take care of their travel to Vegas. Geoff said to me, “If I was going to be beat by someone, I’m glad it’s Isaac.” And I think Isaac would have felt the same way if the roles were reversed.

They look back and go over it and go, “I just had a mental lapse.” We take great care in the obstacles we create and how we design them, not just about physical but mental skills, too.

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