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S06.E06: Venice Beach Finals

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I know a few of you have already started discussing this episode in the all episodes thread, but I thought it deserved its on topic since it was such an interesting episode.


Kevin Bull rocked that course! That was one of the most awesome things I've ever seen on this show. It was almost as entertaining to see the reactions of the other ninjas. What made it even better was that he was a rookie to the course, and a walk-on as well. I loved that he even shouted "Walk-ons baby!" as a dig at the powers that be for their stunt casting that likely knocks out some real competitors in favor of theatrics. What's even more awesome? He's an accountant and not a full-time ninja/athlete, and did better than all but one of the other ninjas. Then to thank the veteran ninjas later for their advice and support was just a class act all the way around. Yes, I'm a fan.


Sure, the "Godfather" had a slightly faster time, but that doesn't detract from what Kevin did at all. It just shows you what a little experience on the obstacles can do to increase your odds. I will concede that he held onto that last cannonball was definitely Spider-Man worthy, as was the way he ascended the Spider Climb as if he was wearing a jet pack.


However, the editing/production of this episode was even weirder than normal. We joined two racers in the middle of their run for no discernable reason what so ever. And while I went back to see Kevin's story after that spectacular run, I could have done without the length of them all. Though I will concede that I was sort of interested in the insulin-sniffing dog's new found notoriety over the actual ninja. Regardless, the length of the back-stories can be shortened considerably so we could see more of the competition. After all, how many times do we need to see someone doing parkour through a cityscape?


And thanks to the previews, we already know the first female to complete a qualifier makes it past the wall again to do the new obstacles. I'm glad, but surely the editing could have avoided that spoiler.

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Actually it was the Venice Beach finals which is California I think. :P 


I just fast forward through the stories mostly, because I want to see people tackling the course. The "in progress" starts caught me by surprise; not sure if someone messed up with the editing, or they're trying to trap PVR viewers like me. 


Kevin's win on the course was fantastic. Especially with his novel way of handling cannonball alley. As I said in the other thread, I have to wonder how many Ninjas (that ran and were about to run) were thinking "FUCK! Is THAT how they want us to do that stage?" I do think the designers vastly underestimated the difficulty of that obstacle, especially on an already upperbody-heavy course.

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I do think the designers vastly underestimated the difficulty of that obstacle, especially on an already upperbody-heavy course.



Absolutely. I wondered if the final specs were off from what was tested because it's crazy that only 3 people out of a field of amazing athletes got past it. Usually I think it's the body prop that thins out the field at that stage. Not a lot of excitement for the viewers and spectators once it was evident that, after awhile, they were all just going as hard as they could to get the best time knowing they probably wouldn't make it past cannonball alley. 


Kevin Bull was awesome. The best thing was he wasn't showboating when he did that, he just did what he had to do and it was spectacular. His fellow competitors' reactions were so fun to watch! I love how supportive they are of each other and Kevin was definitely a class act by thanking the vets. 


So rooting for him at Mt Midoriyama!

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It was a great episode.  


I have to wonder if the flaw here is that Cannonball stunt was tested somehow with testers who weren't near dead tired.

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That's what I suspect. I suspect when developing the obstacle, the testers either started on a ledge, or at best started after the salmon ladder. 


But this course had it after the quintuple steps (no biggy) the roller (some upper strength), the bridge (no biggy) the cargo net (LOTS of upper body strength), the peg board (LOTS of upper strength), the sloped wall (some upper strength), and the salmon ladder (all arms) and then the cannonballs. By the time you get there, unless you burn through it fast like the final guys did, your arms are going to be dead. 

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Kevin Bull was definitely awesome. I didn't understand why more guys didn't try what I was yelling at the tv for them to do - grab that third one with one hand, and use it basically as a brief handhold to get you to the platform. Ultimately, that's how at least one of the last guys got through it, but I thought more would try that considering that throwing yourself at it wasn't working for anyone (except one guy at the very end).


They were short contestants from the 30 who made it through to the finals - I think they only had 23 run this one?

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for some reason my NBC went out in the middle of this episode. People finished the course?

Yes.  But not that many.


The ep should be up on Hulu now, I think, if you want to see the rest.

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D'oh! Not sure why I entered Miami instead of Venice Beach. I appreciate the moderator changing that for me.

Only two people finished the course: Kevin and David Campbell. One or two others also made it past cannonball alley, but went out on the body prop right afterwards. The entire episode can be viewed on the NBC and Esquire web sites. And the two finalists runs are viewable on the Ninja Warrior FB and Youtube accounts.

I'm still amazed every time I see it. Kevin didn't have a perfect run, nearly missing that one rung on the salmon latter, but it's still inspiring to see. If he hadn't rested as long as he did between the later obstacles, he would have had the fastest time. However, I'm glad he did rest to ensure he didn't make a stupid mistake after accomplishing what appeared to be impossible.

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