American Ninja Warrior is unlike other reality television competitions in that there isn’t a guaranteed winner each season. In fact, when it comes to ANW, there is rarely a winner.
Historically, only two men have ever completed the finals course, also known as Mount Midoriyama. Those two men, Geoff Britten and Isaac Caldiero, achieved that goal on season 7 of the show. While Britten was the first to complete the course, Caldiero beat his time by 3 seconds, crowning him the winner of ANW and the winner of the $1 million grand prize. So, while there have been two people to ever finish the finals course, only one person has ever won American Ninja Warrior.
After winning season seven of the show, Caldiero took some time away from ANW. This spring, however, fans were excited to learn that he was returning for another shot at $1 million. While he breezed through the Indianapolis qualifiers, everyone was shocked when the Block Run got the better of him at the Indianapolis City Finals.
In May, we also learned that Geoff Britten plans on returning to the show for its 11th season. Speaking on American Ninja Podcast, Geoff told the hosts, “I don’t regret taking a little break. But I’m excited to be back.”
So what exactly is Mt. Midoriyama, and what does it entail?
Mt. Midoriyama is split into four stages; each has its own set of obstacles. In total, the daunting course consists of 23 obstacles. The final stage is a 75-foot rope climb, and this is what decided the winner back in season 7.
Stage 1 tests the competitors agility and speed.
Stage 2 tests strength and speed, focusing heavily on the upper body.
Stage 3 is all about grip strength and body strength, and unlike stages 1 and 2, does not have a time limit.
Stage 4, as mentioned previously, consists of the 75-foot rope climb, which competitors have to climb in less than 30 seconds.
Ninja Warrior is a global phenomenon when it comes to the world of reality television competitions. The ultimate test of men and women’s strength, the show airs in 19 countries, across a total of 31 seasons. In all that time, only six people have ever completed the Ninja Warrior course, according to Men’s Health. The four other finishers (apart from Britten and Caldiero) are from Japan.
Be sure to tune into part 1 of the finale tonight to see if any of the finalists has what it takes to become the next American Ninja Warrior. The show will air on NBC beginning at 8pm ET/PT.