Kansas City is the latest city finals for this installment of “American Ninja Warrior” is brought to you by ‘The Body Prop’. Got an arrogant athlete? This little obstacle will hit them with a huge dose of reality, complete with quivering muscles and shame. The Kansas City Finals saw some surprises both in the winners and losers group, with a cowboy in jeans proving country boys can handle the course. We also saw the only female in the competition fall short in a hurry to the dismay of the crowd and other athletes.
Brandon Mears got it started and is the “best looking big man” Akbar Gbajabiamila has ever seen. I was unclear if that pertained to the former NFLer’s entire life or just on the show. This cocky fireman got doused when he ran into the Body Prop. Dude was fit upstairs but those bird legs let him down on the obstacle that required him to stretch across two columns and inch his way across the fall.
The Ring Toss is one of the more entertaining stops on the course, but it rarely eliminates these athletes. Dan Polizzi got a little careless on his run and ended up getting tossed into the water as a result.
It’s cool to see everyday guys do well in American Ninja Warrior. Contractor, Dan Banura had a good run going until he slipped on the Shelf Grab. This guy was left hanging by his wife and used this competition to find a bond with his kids. The back story of his training was better than his city finals performance, but that is part of the appeal of ANW. The journey is what matters, not necessarily the final goal.
There was a first in the K.C. Finals as an accountant got injured for the first time in the history of the world. Kevin Hogan got a nasty cut / burn as he slid down the barrel pole at the end of the Bungees. The Shelf Grab ended this CPA‘s night.
For the Salmon Ladder to be a part of every single backyard training course, it can still bite these guys when it counts. ANW fanboy Alan Adams was pretty cocky during the first half of the course and I thought he may try to kiss co-host Kristine Leahy right on the mouth if he finished the course. He never got the chance as he failed to get up the Salmon Ladder safely.
Nice to see old guys doing it big on American Ninja Warrior also. 53 year old construction foreman Jon Stewart didn’t finish the course or move on to Vegas, but he showed what the older folks can do. While most guys his age are drinking a twelve pack a night, this guy was running around with twenty year olds competing on a world class stage.
Isaac Caldiero looks like the guy we all love to hate. Long hair, a sweater tied around his waste, and fit as a fiddle. The elite rock climber was impressive with his strength and agility right up until the Body Prop humbled him right into the pool below. The Prop laid waste to the first eight competitors as they just couldn’t get through it fast enough to keep from tiring out. There is no way to rest on the damn thing at all.
Noah Kaufman was a big let down as he was a victim to the seemingly easy Bungee Ropes. The light rain was the difference as he fell trying to dismount on the barrel pole.
Dan Yager was oh so close to getting through the Body Prop only to crash at the end. His run showed just how helpful it is to watch others compete before you. The Shelf Grab could mess you up if you don’t know the best technique. Watching the dos and very wet don’ts is a great cheat sheet.
The Body Prop was finally conquered not by a gymnast, rock climber, or tight rope artist, but by a French sailor! Of course! Brendan Couvreux was the lightest guy there which certainly helped his cause as he conquered the Prop on his way to finishing the entire course. Kid ended up third on the night with an impressive performance. I’m not sure this guy isn’t a real life Spiderman judging by the ease with which he beat the Invisible Ladder.
Brandon Barret was a tough competitor with a tougher history having grown up with parents who fell victim to drug abuse. Luckily for him he was adopted at age 13 by a family that gave him stability. This guy was driven. You could see it in his face during his interviews. His run came to an end at the Body Prop like so many others. He fell immediately at the start of the Prop. He would’ve benefited more by just diving into the water to stop the clock!
The crowd favorite had to be Michael Stanger. The guy started working out to get stronger in order to help his sick wife move around their home. The guy could have benefited from a fast run since most of the competition got dropped at the Body Prop. But I felt like Stanger was living in the moment and there was no tomorrow for him. He didn’t care about Vegas. He was intent on finishing this course. The fairy tale ending was not to be though as he fell victim to the Body Prop. He and his wife were super pleased with his efforts as she exclaimed how she was “so proud of him” over and over.
Ian Dory had the right shoes for the Prop is my only guess as to how he flew through it. The tube socks may have been a factor as well, but I don’t see how they affected physics in this case. Dory ended up at number two on the night as he finished this extremely difficult course in 6:44.51.
If ever there was a let down on ANW, we witnessed it as Meagan Martin fell right out of the gate. No obstacle should be underestimated here and it only takes a slight miscue to end a run. This sport is one of inches just like many others. A little off here, a little slow there, and bam…you are out of the mix.
The ladies in the audience sure seemed to love the cowboy ninja, Lance Pekus. Wearing jeans may not have been the best choice of attire, but he made it through the course like a champ. The Body Prop was no big deal for him and he even got up the Invisible Ladder to beat Dory’s time by more than a full minute. This guy has the right frame and strength to win at nationals. He also has a big personality to go along with it.
ANW heads to Houston next week for more high flying drama and super athletes to do the seemingly impossible.