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S11.E15: Las Vegas National Finals Night 3

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The competition heats up in Las Vegas as 28 competitors move forward in an attempt to conquer stage two at the national finals, where six dynamic obstacles await, including three new to the course -- Giant Walk the Plank, Snap Back and Grim Sweeper.

Kid Owahdi just wiped out on Grim Sweeper, which looks to be a gnarly obstacle to overcome. He does have a Safety Pass, so he'll get another shot.

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Is the safety pass in play until they use it?  Could someone make it past stage 3 and get a second shot at stage 4?

The producers/NBC must have gotten really annoyed at no one ever making it past stage 3.

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5 minutes ago, Lantern7 said:

Kid Owahdi just wiped out on Grim Sweeper, which looks to be a gnarly obstacle to overcome. He does have a Safety Pass, so he'll get another shot.

I was impressed by how he did on Snapback. Made it look like nothing. (And okay, he got me a bit with his little backstory about anxiety. Been there, done that. Wanted to give him a hug.)

Just now, ParadoxLost said:

Is the safety pass in play until they use it?  Could someone make it past stage 3 and get a second shot at stage 4?

The producers/NBC must have gotten really annoyed at no one ever making it past stage 3.

I think it can only be used in Stage 1 and 2.

I cannot imagine doing this after having food poisoning. I got...something...several months ago and the next day I was so drained it was a feat just to slice up an apple and make a cup of tea (which was pretty much all I ate for two days).

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Nate Burkhalter just cleared Stage Two after losing a lot of weight due to food poisoning.Tune in next season, where all finalists will dine on truck stop tuna fish sandwiches.  🤮

15 minutes ago, ParadoxLost said:

Is the safety pass in play until they use it?  Could someone make it past stage 3 and get a second shot at stage 4?

Good for the first two Stages only. If you get to Stage Three without using it? Congrats! You got a souvenir! Cherish in forever or slap it onto eBay.

ETA: Michael Torres keeps his Safety Pass. Also, we now have as many people doing Stage Three as lat year, and we're barely thirty minutes into this episode.

Edited by Lantern7
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Ooh, poor Flip! Akbar telling him to "hustle hustle" when he's clearly in pain is really annoying.

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Flip Rodriguez doesn't clear Stage Two in a very brutal fashion. He probably regrets burning his Safety Pass earlier. He also probably regrets slamming his leg so hard that it became a liability on Stage Two. Shit, man. He's one of those ninjas whom everybody knows and most people like . . . but I don't know if we'll ever see him on Stage Three.

5 minutes ago, ams1001 said:

Akbar telling him to "hustle hustle" when he's clearly in pain is really annoying.

Even with the mics and Akbar's general heightened vocal volume, I wouldn't be surprised if some tune him out.

ETA: Karsten's kompletion gets WWWA, so I'm guessing he doesn't win. Just as well . . . his mom looks like she would explode out of joy  if he did.

Edited by Lantern7
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Just now, Lantern7 said:

Even with the mics and Akbar's general heightened vocal volume, I wouldn't be surprised if some tune him out.

Can they even hear them when they're running?

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WTF WTF WTF with a WWWA for Karsten's complete run, but there's time for a mini back-story for the next person?  I am STEAMED!

Edited by EllenB
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6 minutes ago, ams1001 said:

Can they even hear them when they're running?

Good question. They can hear him in the Regionals, since they have no time limit. ("I see you! I see you!!!" "And I see you too, Akbar!") I'm thinking ninjas train themselves to tune out everything in Las Vegas, including Akbar.

3 minutes ago, EllenB said:

WTF WTF WTF with a WWWA for Karsten's complete run, but there's time for a mini back-story for the next person?  I am STEAMED!

I get that . . . but Adam Rayl did clear the Stage with plenty of time to spare and with a little panache. Apparently, that beats "awesomely enthusiastic mother."

Edited by Lantern7
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3 minutes ago, Lantern7 said:

Good question. They can hear him in the Regionals, since they have no time limit. ("I see you! I see you!!!" "And I see you too, Akbar!") I'm thinking ninjas train themselves to tune out everything in Las Vegas, including Akbar.

 

I imagine all the audience noise probably helps block them out, too.

Yay, Chris DiGangi! Even if he did get WWWA'd.

Edited by ams1001
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Does this stage 2 seem like its a lower level of difficulty than the usual stage 2?

Or am I just expecting too much because wing nut alley appeared for the first time in the first season I watched.

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Why the hell are we getting WWWAs on stage 2 finishers?? Cut the crap back stories and show us ALL the runs, dammit!

Edited by Omeletsmom
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1 minute ago, ams1001 said:

Do we really need the Dating Adventures of the Island Ninja?

How would following Grant be any worse than watching The Bachelor? You wouldn't need a shot of penicillin just watching him.

Oops, he just wiped out on Salmon Ladder

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"And you're going to Stage Three! And YOU'RE going to Stage Three! And YOU'RE going to Stage Three! EVERYBODY IS GOING TO STAGE THREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!"

Hey, they earned it, but I'm thinking next season's Stage Two will involve snipers. Also: plugged-in appliances at the water obstacle."

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9 minutes ago, Lantern7 said:

Hey, they earned it, but I'm thinking next season's Stage Two will involve snipers. Also: plugged-in appliances at the water obstacle."

Or an eating obstacle on stage 1.  Everyone gets food poisoning.

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2 minutes ago, ParadoxLost said:

Or an eating obstacle on stage 1.  Everyone gets food poisoning.

Losing weight should make it easier, right?

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Apparently they should have used the Baltimore course for Stage 2.  🙂

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44 minutes ago, ParadoxLost said:

Does this stage 2 seem like its a lower level of difficulty than the usual stage 2?

Or am I just expecting too much because wing nut alley appeared for the first time in the first season I watched.

I wonder if they thought that Grim Sweeper would take more time than it does?  It's more technical than anything else, rather than a strength or grip issue.  I bet they expected Snapback to do more damage too.

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Drew Dreschel is Ninja #20 to clear Stage Two. That's out of 27 (with Daniel Gil awaiting his run). That's about 75 percent of competitors passing. The question: was this Stage Two too easy? I don't think it was . . . but 20/27, with a potential 21/28.

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How many competitors got screwed by a WWWA just so there would be enough time for the Drew Dreschel show?

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I think its time for Drew to win Stage 4 as long as they don't change the rule about the winner not being able to compete the next season.

His last package put me over the edge with him.  He has gone nocturnal with his training and the other Ninja's came to train with him at night couldn't keep up.  Please.  Just stop.  

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3 minutes ago, ParadoxLost said:

I think its time for Drew to win Stage 4 as long as they don't change the rule about the winner not being able to compete the next season.

His last package put me over the edge with him.  He has gone nocturnal with his training and the other Ninja's came to train with him at night couldn't keep up.  Please.  Just stop.  

I think he's starting to veer dangerously close to Brian Arnold "You Are Taking This Too Seriously" territory.

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6 minutes ago, Courtney said:

I think he's starting to veer dangerously close to Brian Arnold "You Are Taking This Too Seriously" territory.

I think he's beyond taking it too seriously.  He already made Ninja gyms his life work.  He brings larger and larger bus  loads of kids to wear his shirts to the show.  He seems to travel to most of the cities even where he isn't competing.  And I don't begrudge him his advertising tour.

But he needs to throttle back his mouth when it comes to getting too cocky.  On top of all the other stuff, its not a good look.  And really not a good look when he'd be out if they hadn't invented the safety pass and finished 8th on stage 2.

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My question is, did they miscalculate the difficulty of the course (especially Grim Sweeper), or did they purposely want a lot of competitors in Stage 3 for a bigger and better show next week? I thought this was ridiculously easy. I think they should aim to take out at least 50% at this stage.

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36 minutes ago, EllenB said:

How many competitors got screwed by a WWWA just so there would be enough time for the Drew Dreschel show?

Because he wins the whole thing. That's more of an educated guess than a spoiler . . . it's a toss-up between him and Daniel Gil as to which has the biggest "name" in ANW. Daniel's run was just about flawless, and he only needed goggles to get through the final obstacle. Turns out his hair looks great wet as well as dry. I'm sure he'll have at least three production aides drying that hair because he returns to Stage Three. Still, I'm thinking Drew will be revealed as the second American Ninja Warrior.

12 minutes ago, ParadoxLost said:

But he needs to throttle back his mouth when it comes to getting too cocky.  On top of all the other stuff, its not a good look.  And really not a good look when he'd be out if they hadn't invented the safety pass and finished 8th on stage 2.

Well, Isaac Caldiero missed a buzzer in the Regional Final, but his win still holds up. Meanwhile, Geoff Britten hit all six buzzers, and he's seldom mentioned as being one of only two ninjas to clear all four stages.

I still think a "Ninja Seeks Kunochi" dating series with Grant McCartney would work if the episodes are limited in number. And, once again, how would that be ANY worse than anything from The Bachelor franchise?

I will say that the new obstacles looked intimidating as hell. I guess notes were shared about Snap Back. If that hadn't been brought out in a Regional Final, I'm thinking we wouldn't have as many people going for Stage Three.

Edited by Lantern7
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1 hour ago, ParadoxLost said:

Does this stage 2 seem like its a lower level of difficulty than the usual stage 2?

Since I don't fly through the air and catch assorted hand holds, I have no idea what a lower level of difficulty really would be. 

But the one criteria I have is how many people have trouble doing something.  Baltimore being shreiking example.  Tonight, was there a single part that was Harder?  

They may have done a sort of bait and switch by showing Jessie mastering a new obstacle and if Jessie was needed to show it could be done, then it must be hard.  Except it wasn't that hard, especially it wasn't that hard for something that hadn't been done before.

Then there's Grant McCarthy.  Out so early I was surprised he wasn't a WWWA, and then there was the film of him traveling to do ninja things all over the world and he's firmly in the publicity machine.

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I guess they reached a new high with 21 athletes completing Stage 2 - that's what, 75%?  they must have made it easier to give more people a shot at stage 3.  And a new low with WWWA-ing Stage 2 completers.   

And something tells me with 21 people running stage 3 and them saving time for big brouhaha after someone does finally win it all, we will get WWWA on Stage 3 as well.  Hopefully not on anyone completing Stage 3.  

I am actually not sure what would make me laugh harder - if all of these 21 fail on Stage 3 or if some ridiculous number, like 15, complete it and go on to compete on who climbs that rope the fastest.

1 hour ago, ams1001 said:

Can they even hear them when they're running?

A lot of what we hear on TV is voiceover recorded after all the runs are done, so who knows what they actually say during runs?

1 hour ago, ams1001 said:

Do we really need the Dating Adventures of the Island Ninja?

NO.  Could have shown another complete run in that time!

49 minutes ago, ParadoxLost said:

His last package put me over the edge with him.  He has gone nocturnal with his training and the other Ninja's came to train with him at night couldn't keep up.  Please.  Just stop.  

If someone other than him wins it, I won't be surprised if he ends up with a total mental breakdown.

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1 hour ago, ParadoxLost said:

His last package put me over the edge with him.  He has gone nocturnal with his training and the other Ninja's came to train with him at night couldn't keep up.  Please.  Just stop.  

I rolled my eyes at "I'm...smarter than I've ever been."

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This was definitely easier than the "Wingnut Alley X 5" version. I think they overshot the adjustment. I'd prefer around a 50% pass rate for Stage 2, rather than the 75% of this version or the 15% or so of previous versions. I want around 10-12 people running Stage 3. At least they took out all but 1 of the Safety Passes.

Jesse LaBreck has to be kicking herself. If Chris was able to clear Stage 2, then she would have been too as their results have been almost identical. Same with Jessie Graff and Alyssa Beird. A woman totally could've made Stage 3 this year. Oh well.

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5 hours ago, Fukui San said:

This was definitely easier than the "Wingnut Alley X 5" version. I think they overshot the adjustment. I'd prefer around a 50% pass rate for Stage 2, rather than the 75% of this version or the 15% or so of previous versions. I want around 10-12 people running Stage 3. At least they took out all but 1 of the Safety Passes.

Jesse LaBreck has to be kicking herself. If Chris was able to clear Stage 2, then she would have been too as their results have been almost identical. Same with Jessie Graff and Alyssa Beird. A woman totally could've made Stage 3 this year. Oh well.

I could speculate that this course was purposely made easier was maybe not to get a lot of ninjas through to stage 3, but to make it more likely that a woman or two got through to stage 3. Imagine how much hype there would have been from Matt and Akbar if that had happened. 

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Stage 2 has always been too hard with annoying, interminable obstacle design. Too many obstacles which were an endless slog like Wingnut Alley. I want to see 10+ people on Stage 3, the most interesting, heart wrenching stage. They over corrected a bit but better this than only three Stage 3 contestants. 

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Way too many finishers on Stage 2. 

Way too many WWWA’s. 

Way too many backstories. 

Hate the “Somebody wins a million dollars” spoilers  

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Easier course.  Too long on the clock.  Result, a let down.  It cheapens the successes.  One of the things about ANW, is that if you finish a course, it was truly a wonderful achievement.  But when 75% of people finish, it is less special.

And I think unless stage 3 is brutal, anyone getting to stage 4 will have a bit of an * after their name.  Still a great achievement, but not at the same level as seasons past.

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Hey, they earned it, but I'm thinking next season's Stage Two will involve snipers.

Snapback but in between each of the pieces of snapback, you have to land on the diving board, run to another diving board and jump back up to another snapback.  Think of the wipeouts!  Think of the blood!  Think of the deep muscle trauma!  

As I watched the first 20 minutes of this course, I thought - too easy.  I know Stage 3 is an upper body, brutal nightmare - so I'll be happier next week.  🙂  [please not daniel gil, please not daniel gil, please not daniel gil]

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1 hour ago, TimothyQ said:

Way too many finishers on Stage 2. 

The disappointments are going to be drowning the training buddies next week.

8 hours ago, Fukui San said:

A woman totally could've made Stage 3 this year. Oh well.

But not just any woman.  A tall woman could have stood at the base of the double salmon ladder and grabbed hold of the bar.  An altitudinally challenged woman (I speak from experience)would have had to take a heck of a vertical jump from a stopped start to reach the bar that all the men just had to reach up to.

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2 minutes ago, enoughcats said:

But not just any woman.  A tall woman could have stood at the base of the double salmon ladder and grabbed hold of the bar.  An altitudinally challenged woman (I speak from experience)would have had to take a heck of a vertical jump from a stopped start to reach the bar that all the men just had to reach up to.

I don't think that jumping up would make or break any of these women.

Can we talk about how MAJESTIC Adam Rayl looked in that slow-motion handstand at the buzzer, dripping wet? If they make a Men of ANW calendar, that should be July.

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11 hours ago, ParadoxLost said:

I think he's beyond taking it too seriously.  He already made Ninja gyms his life work.  He brings larger and larger bus  loads of kids to wear his shirts to the show.  He seems to travel to most of the cities even where he isn't competing.  And I don't begrudge him his advertising tour.

But he needs to throttle back his mouth when it comes to getting too cocky.  On top of all the other stuff, its not a good look.  And really not a good look when he'd be out if they hadn't invented the safety pass and finished 8th on stage 2.

I think showing up at the other cities is contractual/social-a lot of ninjas show up at the other events. 

But seriously, I kind of hope NBC has a psychiatrist on hand if Drew doesn't win. I know I read ABC has therapists on hand for failed Shark Tank pitches and I think NBC might want to hustle poor Drew into therapy before they find him climbing Mt Midoriama at 4am some random night, muttering about his precious. 

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Wow, a 75% completion rate (including 2 safety pass/second go completions) couldn't of been what the course designers and the producers were looking for. Literally the only eliminations were the shocking Dave Cavanaugh double early out; the heartbreaking Flip run and time out; the not surprising falls of Grant McCartney, Dan Polizzi, and Lorin Ball (three guys that always over factor in the storylines and under deliver year after year after year), and two rando's (Alex Blick and Ben Wales). And one last guy who apparently made zero impression on me because I can't remember his run/fall at all.

They must of thought the learning curve on Snapback was not going to be as pronounced as it was, and that the Grim Sweeper was going to knock some people out. Instead it barely knocked anyone out except for The Kid who recovered to beat it on his second try.

At this point, if it's not Drew, Daniel Gill, or Adam Rayl winning the whole thing (or all three finishing S4 and it coming down to time) I will be stunned. Certainly, some other guys could make it to Stage 4 as well (I'm looking at Chris DiGangi, Lucas Reale, and maybe RJ Roman too) but my eyes are definitely on Drew/DG/AR for a winner. The fact that Adam Rayl got a package tonight after being glossed over a lot of this season and some of last season makes me think he's got a legitimate chance (from an edit perspective) now too.

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22 minutes ago, Tachi Rocinante said:

Why couldn't they have WWWA'd that douchebag McCartney and shown some new guys who actually, you know, finished??  He chokes every year.

Because he is - according to them - "one of the most beloved ninjas evah" 

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2 hours ago, ClareWalks said:

Can we talk about how MAJESTIC Adam Rayl looked in that slow-motion handstand at the buzzer, dripping wet? If they make a Men of ANW calendar, that should be July.

2 hours ago, PhD-Purgatory15 said:

The fact that Adam Rayl got a package tonight after being glossed over a lot of this season and some of last season makes me think he's got a legitimate chance (from an edit perspective) now too.

That edit? Was, as we used to say, "a little somethin' for the ladies". And boy howdy is he a specimen! I wish they'd kept the camera more on him and less on his Sarah-Palin-esque mom so dramatically clutching the arm of Jake Murray. (Makes me wonder if there's a side bet going on among the parents for who will be featured most in a given ep. Ludicrously bewigged mom? Drum-banging dad? Bring it on!)

While a few more fails on this stage would have lent more credibility to the design, I didn't have a problem, knowing that stage 3 is coming up. Isn't that the one with the Ultimate Cliffhanger? I have zero rock climbing experience (and could probably barely traverse a set of monkey bars let alone complete an ANW obstacle), but that is the single most cringe-y obstacle for me. I cannot understand how a human can dangle by one's fingertips, let alone spin around and cling back on... ugh. I actually find it uncomfortable to watch. JMO. I don't mind a larger field running up to the finale.

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14 minutes ago, Hellga said:

Because he is - according to them - "one of the most beloved ninjas evah" 

I read this as "according to HIM" and laughed out loud 😄

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I think its time for Drew to win Stage 4 as long as they don't change the rule about the winner not being able to compete the next season.

His last package put me over the edge with him.  He has gone nocturnal with his training and the other Ninja's came to train with him at night couldn't keep up.  Please.  Just stop.  

He may be a little glum about looming fatherhood and is trying to get it all the NINJA fun now before the baby.  In his earlier packages, he did not look that excited about being a father and his comments seemed very rehearsed.  

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1 hour ago, Dewey Decimate said:

Isn't that the one with the Ultimate Cliffhanger? I have zero rock climbing experience (and could probably barely traverse a set of monkey bars let alone complete an ANW obstacle), but that is the single most cringe-y obstacle for me. I cannot understand how a human can dangle by one's fingertips, let alone spin around and cling back on...

Yes and it also usually has some version of body prop, which is one of obstacles I'm always amazed by. How they wedge themselves between those two plexiglass walls and move across and then up is astounding to me. Looking forward to next week.

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