Season 8 of American Ninja Warrior started with a bang on Wednesday. The top 30 finishers advanced to the semifinals, and history was made.
Jessie Graff became the first woman of the season to complete the course while also clearing the new 14.5-foot warped wall, per Ninja Warrior:
Kevin Bull finished with the night's top time of 2:02.81 and had the show's Run of the Night. Here's a look at each finisher's top time:
|American Ninja Warrior—Completed Course|
|Source: NBC Broadcast|
The brand-new qualifying course featured four new obstacles—the floating steps, Tick Tock, escalator and the ring jump—along with the usual I-Beam Cross and warped wall.
Brennan Mejia kicked off the new season as the first participant. Mejia plays the role of the red Power Ranger in Power Rangers: Dino Super Charge. Mejia cleared the floating steps with ease but struggled on the Tick Tock obstacle. He grabbed onto the pendulum and attempted to swing using his hands, but fell into the water.
Naval officer Tory Garcia and marketing assistant Jackson Meyer both struggled to get beyond the Tick Tock obstacle, but they didn't have as tough a time as cowboy Chad Sorrells.
Sorrell's didn't get past the floating steps. He fell into the water less than five seconds into his run. Ninja Warrior tweeted after his attempt came to a sudden end:
Tiana Webberley and Steve Seiver came the closest to completing the course up to this point. Webberley was inches away from completing the I-Beam, but she fell short of the pad. Seiver, meanwhile, became the first to complete the course but came up fingertips shy of clearing the wall.
After revealing his wife left him while he was with the military overseas, his performance was one of the best stories of the night, per Ninja Warrior:
But it was Nick Hanson, known as the Eskimo Ninja, was the first to complete the course and climbed the warped wall. It took the Alaska native a time of 4:33.68 to finish, and he climbed the wall on the first try.
YouTube personality Natalie Duran was the first woman to make it to the warped wall, but couldn't clear the entire 14.5 feet. Grant McCartney was one of the notable spectators watching Duran complete her run, per Ninja Warrior:
Speaking of McCartney, he became the second to complete the entire course, including the warped wall, with a time of 4:23.47. The Island Ninja earned himself a spot into the next round and capped off his run with a dab, per Ninja Warrior:
If the first night is any indication for how the season is going to go, it's bound to be exciting. Graff's run, while not the fastest, was crisp and efficient. It also looks like the season will come down to Bull and Rodriguez, who both completed the course with ease.
They look like the favorites so far, but there's plenty of action left to go with the competition shifting to Atlanta next week.