Tonight American Ninja Warrior headed back to Venice, California for the city finals. The top 30 athletes are back to take on the course once again.
Competitors must complete the same six obstacles from the qualifying round: the Quintuple Steps, Spinning Wheel, Slack Ladder, Jumping Bars into Cargo Net, Monkey Peg, and the Warped Wall. After they make it up the Warped Wall, there are four more obstacles: the Salmon Ladder, Cannonball Alley (new), Body Prop, and the Spider Climb.
The top 15 competitors will move on to Las Vegas to take on Stage One of Mount Midoriama. Tonight we saw the top thirty in reverse: those with the slowest times will compete first, the top competitors will attempt the course last.
Danny Goler is an Israeli Army Veteran who barely made it to the city finals, coming in at 30th place during qualifying. He ran out of steam on the Monkey Peg and decided to attempt an early landing. He failed to reach the platform and fell in the water.
Brennan Mejia is a circus performer who went out on the Monkey Peg during qualifying. Tonight he didn’t even get that far, going out on the Spinning Wheel.
Keita Kashiwagi is a high school physics teacher. Due to Glaucoma, he has lost 90% of vision in his right eye, and 40-50% in his left eye. During the qualifying round he failed to find his way up the warped wall in three attempts. He suffered the same exact fate tonight.
Justin Taylor is a gym owner from Santa Ana who is recovering from breaking both ankles, and severing both Achilles tendons in 2012. During the qualifying round he went out on the Monkey Peg. Tonight he was the first competitor to finish stage one, however he went out on the Salmon Ladder.
James Sclar is the first competitor tonight that completed the qualifying course. He was having a strong run, however he failed to find the first rung on the Salmon Ladder and fell in the water.
Derek Nakamoto is one of the strongest competitors, and one of my personal favorites. He looked shaky throughout the course, however made it to the second set of obstacles. Unfortunately he failed navigate his way through Cannonball Alley.
Travis Brewer is an exciting competitor who is knows for his fantastic handstands atop the Warped Wall. Tonight he was competing with a broken pinkie finger, which led to his demise on Cannonball Alley.
Evan Dollard is a former American Gladiator who is quick to express his disdain for wearing shirts. I’m sure my fellow ladies don’t mind. He looked to be the first to complete the finals course, however he became the ninth competitor in a row to go out on Cannonball Alley.
Kyle Cochran is a motivational speaker and fan favorite known for inspiring those with diabetes along side his service dog Leeloo. He attempted to bypass the third ball on Cannonball Alley and jump to the landing mat, however he failed to generate enough swing and ended up in the water.
Thaddeus Robeck is my hometown hero from Fresno, Ca. Although he went out on Cannonball Alley like the ten competitors before him, his fast time guaranteed him a spot in the top fifteen.
Kevin Bull is a stock investor who waited three days in the walk-on line. He took a new approach to Cannonball Alley, opting to wrap his legs around the third ball and flip backwards onto the platform. Not only was he the first to make it through Cannonball Alley, he made it through the Body Prop and Spider Climb to be the first person to complete the finals course.
Dustin Rocho became only the third person to make it past Cannonball Alley, but his body became very shaky on the Body Prop and he lost his grip.
James McGrath flew through the course, cementing his nickname as “The Beast”. He went out on the Body Prop, but still earned a trip to Vegas for the fourth year.
David Campbell is known as “The Godfather” amongst the competitors. He showed everyone how it was done, becoming only the second person to complete the finals course, and doing it five seconds faster than Kevin Bull.
Tonight was an exciting night on American Ninja Warrior, and the obstacle course was one of the hardest yet. These fifteen athletes will be going to Las Vegas for Stage One:
1. David Campbell
2. Kevin Bull
3. James McGrath
4. Dustin Rocho
5. Thaddeus Robeck
6. Alan Connealy
7. Dorian Cedars
8. Vadym Kuvakin
9. Derek Nakamoto
10. Alex Kane
11. Travis Brewer
12. Brian Kretsch
13. Kyle Cochran
14. Robert Ing
15. Ben Melick
Next week we travel to Dallas for the city finals. Do you think Kacy Catanzaro can continue her history-making quest and complete the course? Find out next Monday at 9/8c on NBC and Tuesdays on Esquire Network.