Tonight’s episode of American Ninja Warrior took us St. Louis, Missouri for the qualifying round.
There were six obstacles tonight, and two were never before seen.
As usual, it started off with the Quintuple Steps.
Next was the Rolling Log, where competitors must wrap themselves around a log and use it’s momentum to roll down and safely land on the mat.
Next was the Bridge of Blades, where competitors must make it through several upright mats, which also spin.
The fourth obstacle, never before seen, was the Rope Swing. Two ropes stand in the way of the Cargo Net.
The fifth obstacle, the second new, was the Double Tilt Ladder. Competitors must climb their way up the first ladder, which tilts half-way up, climb down, jump to the second, and repeat.
Last but not least, the infamous Warped Wall.
As usual we saw many inspiring stories, and also saw the second woman in history to make it through the qualifying course. Here are their stories:
First up we saw Pavel Fesyuk who is an exterminator by day. Keeping up with today’s social media craze, he took a “selfie” before starting the qualifying course. Unfortunately he tripped up on the Bridge of Blades and was eliminated.
Emily Rhoads grew up on a farm doing hard labor and building her strength. She is a scientist looking for a cure for cancer after losing a friend to the disease in high school. She showed valiant effort, but couldn’t hold on to the Rolling Log and ended up in the water.
Brant Axt is a college student who credits American Ninja Warrior for saving his life. He grew up with the idea that “skinny” is the way an athlete is supposed to look, and found himself anorexic. He then started watching ANW and saw that athletes come in all shapes and sizes, and dedicated his life to changing for the better. He was doing great on the course, but lost his grip on the cargo net and ended up in the water.
Jim Steffen is on the course tonight to raise awareness for Cystic Fibrosis. His 18 month old daughter suffers from CF, and he is competing for her. He showed promise on the course, but his strength gave out on the double tilt ladder and he was eliminated.
“Wild Bill” Bill Westrick, also the self-proclaimed “World’s Greatest Plumber” wanted to show that 46 is just the beginning. Unfortunately, he was thrown into the water from the Rolling Log.
Professional wrestler Matt Capiccioni showed great promise throughout the course. He made it all the way to the Warped Wall, but failed to make it to the top after three attempts.
Oleg Ossayenko immigrated here from Russia and became a citizen just seven years ago. He makes his living as a stunt man and youtube star. After a nearly flawless first-half of the course, he lost his grip on the Double Tilt Ladder.
Roland Seward is a massage therapist who also spent 9 years serving in the United States Navy. He looked great on the course and was the first competitor to make it up the Warped Wall and move on to the St. Louis Finals.
“Captain NBC” Jamie Rahn is back and ready to continue quest to Mt. Midoriama. After a flawless performance he completed the course and moves on to the city finals.
The oldest competitor tonight is 50 year old Carlos Canadilla. While rock climbing with a friend he fell and suffered severe memory loss and has been using exercise to rebuild his life. He looked great on the course with the exception of some trouble on the Rope Swing. He made it to the Warped Wall and had his fingertips on the top, but failed to pull himself up.
Michelle Warnky made history tonight. This event coordinator became the second woman in ANW history to complete a qualifying course. Last week in Dallas, Kacy Catanzaro became the first. The difference: tonight Michelle made it up the Warped Wall on the first attempt! Let’s just say it was so incredible, my screams and claps brought my kids running to my room. Way to go Michelle and Kacy!
Proud New Jersey native Joseph Hyndman started a campaign to bring ANW to New Jersey. He may have succeeded with his stellar performance, finishing the course and moving on.
If you watched ANW last season, you know Joe Moravsky. He made it to the third stage as a rookie and gained fans everywhere. This year his cousin Rob Moravsky showed up to compete, and compete he did. He made it through the course in a flawless performance and advances to the city finals.
Joe Moravsky wasn’t far away. “The Weatherman” was the last competitor of the night, and is here just five days before his wedding to fiance Stephanie. He finished in a blazing 1:04, getting the fastest time of the night and unsurprisingly moving on to the city finals.
Ethan Swanson is an actuary by day and a daredevil by night. While coming off the Rolling Log, it seemed that his foot lightly grazed the water. The buzzer never sounded so he kept going. He made it through and up the Warped Wall, but celebrations came prematurely. After review, it was decided he did in fact touch the water and he was disqualified.
Amy Pajcic is a veterinary student who loves to prove people wrong. She made it to the Warped Wall but failed to make it up in three attempts. She still had a phenomenal performance and hopefully makes in the top 30 to advance.
“The Redneck Ninja” Brent Ruffin can often be found hunting out in the wild. Tonight he was tearing up the course, making his way up the Warped Wall and moving on to the city finals.
Last year Michael Bernardo had a hard fall that was hard to forget. The firefighter is back this year to redeem himself. He did the exact opposite. Instead of running through the Bridge of Blades with speed, like the other competitors, he took the slow approach and fell off.
Travis Rosen is no stranger to ANW. This is his fifth time competing, and last year he made it all the way to stage 3. This year he once again made it up the Warped Wall and advances to the city finals.
Tonight was a very exciting qualifying round in St. Louis. The 25 competitors who completed the course, and 5 who went the farthest the fastest, will move on to the city finals. Next week we go to Miami, Florida for the city qualifying round.
American Ninja Warrior is on Mondays at 9/8c on NBC.
What did you think of tonight’s episode? Let us know!