Thanks everyone for being patient! I've been working hard on a few of projects that I'm planning on unveiling soon™ and I procrastinated in taking time away from that to post this blog! Without further ado I'm back to blogging about this year's American Ninja Warrior 7 Special - USA vs. World special that aired on Sunday, January 31, 2016 on NBC. I'm happy to report that many of the things that made me RAGE in last year's special has actually been addressed! Not all.. but it seems the major issues that TBS officially protested last year were fixed for this year. A few stupid things remain but I'll point them out as I do the blog.
Continuing on with the Second Stage we have the next heat!
American Tim Shieff from England!
Skipping ropes and clearing faster
Could be because I'm so used to seeing certain techniques that are different then what I'm seeing.. but he looks like he is pushing too much.. labored? I can't find the word.. I just don't like the look of his technique on this.. I don't know why..
Having issues.. not major but I see it.
He just looks tired.. but he's still clearing.
a lot of straight arms.. that's not good..
He looks exhausted..
Yeah.. sadly I expected that.
Seems like they did too..
Yeah that technique just looks weird to me. IMO I think that is what is taking a lot of his energy.
Poor guy. He had nothing left and was hanging on to dear life.
Tim Shieff - Death by Unstable Bridge
Yeah.. she's taking a fancy to him..
Going back in time.. and into commercials!
K at the commercial bump you see what I was talking about with the timers. Red time is yours, Green time is what you have to beat. And it's visible to not just the crowd but the competitor as well. THAT is a great change and should be commended. I like this a lot.
Jessica Britten (his wife) on her way over to console Geoff as he has been told that he is not cleared to compete on USA vs. World. Poor guy, he's breaking down seeing his wife come over to console him. He really REALLY wanted to compete and they wouldn't let him. I've been asked a lot so I asked Geoff what happened to him since it was a lot more than just a fever. Paraphrasing his response: His legs were really torn up and bleeding through the bandages. He was completely exhausted and passed out (fainted) before he was about to run. He ended up getting examined by medics since he passed out and they noticed he had a fever of 103°F (39.44°C) and a very high blood pressure. He was diagnosed with extreme exhaustion.
Geoff hadn't slept since he woke up the day of ANW7's Second Stage at 11am (which was the night before this competition). So basically he was not only awake but active for 36 hours and it was a crazy 36 hours with him clearing 3 stages of intense competition and ended up winning ANW7. You know of course the chaos after that happened with all the press and television hoopla that goes with the first ever winners of ANW. He went on to say stuff like him being embarrassed for breaking down but I strongly believe he shouldn't feel ashamed for crying his heart. He said he felt like "a quitter" but I think he shouldn't feel that way especially since he worked hard in clearing all 4 stages of the Vegas course making history! Personally they should wait at least 1 day before filming another grueling event (if it should happen at all in the same course - they can take the time to alter the course for this competition specifically to level the playing field) but that is a topic for another day. I asked how he recovered and he said he passed out and slept 20 hours straight. Thankfully he felt 100% after that. However, not being able to compete bothered him... A LOT. I think that's perfectly natural for someone who as competitive as him. In this shot in particular you can see it.
So this actually happened before the runs were to start on the Second Stage. This is after all why they have alternates on Team USA. ANW has the benefit that the competition just happened the night before so they were able to get them immediately since all of the alternates were in attendance. For the record, Japan doesn't have an alternate. I've been asked a lot about this. I'm not sure about Team Europe but given that they've taken dual citizens out of American Ninja Warrior to compete for Europe in the past, I'm sure they would have done that for any of the alternates for either of the teams should something like this happen again. The stable in ANW is really deep.
Joe Moravsky had to literally get out of the stands where he had been cheering.. get dressed with a Team USA uniform and immediately get himself ready to compete. Luckily he's been in this before so we know he can compete.
However, I don't envy the "pit in your stomach" feeling he's going through right now. I can imagine how fast his heart rate is going right now. These are not the ideal conditions you want to enter.
"This is now now.. When will then be now? Soon™" ©Spaceballs
So this is the point where the past and the present are back in alignment (within reason of course.. this is NBC after all. LOL)
Back to our regularly scheduled programming.. already in progress.
Sasuke 30 Finalist/Sasuke 31 Third Stage Competitor - Tomohiro Kawaguchi 川口朋広
He's a cement truck driver. He delivers cement to construction sites.
Hah.. he talks about Sasuke instead of ANW.
Tomo is cool. He's no nonsense, no excuses type person. Sometimes he comes off the wrong way because he is as blunt and brutally honest. I happen to prefer people that way. At least I know where they stand.
This is the first time he's ever left Japan. He's excited to be in the USA and post his first stamp ever on his passport.
Kong screaming encouragement
Bad time for an attack of the giggles Tomo.. bad time..
Hah! Now that he doesn't have the rules of going through every rung (since Japan in the recent past couple of years had the Swap Salmon Ladder) he's going to take advantage.
Skipping rungs he's flying through this.
Jumps 2 rungs to the top to get the hell out off the obstacle.
This isn't ghetto bridge™ Tomo..
Though this is built quite differently than the one in Japan..
Taking his time since he's fallen off this at the dismount when he the obstacle debuted in Japan years ago.
Finally Japan has something to get excited about.
Time for the butterfly wall..
Let's is spin around
Blind jumps backwards instead of turning himself around before the jump!
awkwardly going up the wall. LOL
LOL he jumped straight down.. didn't think that through did ya Tomo?
Hioki trying to get him to think of the time.. he knows who's next up.. LOL
Japan Flag represent!
no man's land in Roulette Row
Awwww tried to blind jump that one..
Yeah.. yeah.. I agree with that..
Replay of him blind jumping backwards on the Butterfly Wall. That didn't work so hot on Roulette Row.
Replay on that wild ride at the end. I think if he had some practice on it he would have passed it. That lack of experience on how to dismount it really hurt him.
Tomohiro Kawaguchi 川口朋広 - Death by Roulette Row
Still an impressive debut considering last year no one got past the Butterfly Wall.
I'm not sure even if Tomo passed the Second Stage he would best Drew Dreschel ドリュー・ドレッシェル .. just saying..
Plausible real time. LOL
and he's OFF TO THE RACES!
The fastest through this so far
Pipe slider reverse grip™ for those who aren't familiar with this grip.. it was developed in Sasuke. It's not easy though, you have to really learn how to control that. He has. Veteran of 3 Sasuke tournaments himself (27, 30, 31).
Giggles. It's really cool though, I've seen him do this blind backward and doing somersaults so yeah this is a joke obstacle to him.
3 jumps and past the whole thing. LOL
Ahahahahaha Wow.. that transition.. screw that sideways bar! LMFAO Just about skipping the whole damn obstacle!
A little hung up on the dismount but still ahead of Tomo.
Jumping across the Butterfly wall
and not waiting for it to spin as he immediately jumps across to the rope.
Team USA birthing kittens
Countdown to jumping
He's of course passed this the night before so he knows how to do this.
Makes it look easy! (which it isn't)
Time for the weird walls.. I'm sooooo not used to the hydraulic system..
It seems easier.. though I know that Drew can crush the real ones..
He did break the ones in Sasuke just a couple weeks before. LOL!
Drew Dreschel ドリュー・ドレッシェル - SECOND STAGE CLEAR
Ah so that's where the team seats are in the Second Stage.
replay of the massive jumps
Serious fangirl™ action going on here.. she's leaning!
LOL the cheesy grins of Matt and Akbar watching that ridiculous display.
And just like that Team USA vaults over Europe with one more heat to go in the Second Stage.
Yes time for a commercial again
From the stands
to the heat of competition
Geoff's Joe's turn to compete.
Wait.. wtf is up with the booties? Did someone spill their water bottle or something? A flood? Are we in a hospital? LOL!!!!!
Reminder why Joe is on next instead of Geoff. I mean.. it's been 3 commercial breaks.. you might have forgotten..
The last heat of the Second Stage
Joe's is up first
And we're off!
Really fast time into the Salmon Ladder
Easy clear on the Salmon Ladder
A little hung up at the end but still really fast
Same set up as Drew
as he jumps across without waiting for the Butterfly Wall to turn
He also drops down.. that's a long fall..
More squeals .. more kittens..
On Roulette Row
Serious height on that jump
Onto the walls
seriously.. I can't get used to those walls just taking their time lowering.. I guess I'm used them crushing you if you lift them and let them drop.. LOL I'm a sadist.
Look at that time! Faster than Drew!
Joe Moravsky - SECOND STAGE CLEAR
LOL Drew is impressed
So is Sean. He's in this heat!
And Kenji! Yay they showed Japan smiling this time!
replay of the perfect transition.
aww.. she's far away.. she knows he's married. LOL
Veteran Kenji Takahashi 高橋賢次
Japan's version of Ninja Warrior? MATT SHUT UP.. ANW is America's version of Sasuke.. not the other way around you dope..
Anyway back to the action.. seriously.. I need to mute this.. gaaaaah
Hioki being vocal again (he usually is the loudest at Sasuke)
Sideways already. This version of the Salmon Ladder is quite different here in the USA.
He probably should have done it like Tomo and try to skip the rungs since it doesn't catch the same way like it does in Japan.
And down he goes ( > . < )
They weren't expecting that. Kenji is usually a lot better on the Salmon Ladder. Just not today.
The frustration level on the new guys (which would include him since this is the first time he's here) just multiplied. They were nervous to begin with but no amount of explanation on how different the course is replaces actually feeling how different it's built here.
I know I'm beating a dead horse.. but they really should have had the opportunity to practice on it so they can be up to speed with the difference of the course.
No one likes to see that.
Kenji Takahashi 高橋賢次 - Death by Double Salmon Ladder
I'll go into depth at the end of the blog on Team Japan's take on this whole thing. And mine. LOL
Up next is the World Champion
Oooooh Caaaaanada... our home and native land... whoops.. wrong country.. Allons enfants de la Patrie...
He's super excited yo!
Last year the swandive that turned the tide!
and the final climb that not even NBC could steal.. LOL
LOL more Strategizing™
Trying to catch Joe's time
A little crooked but still powered his way through the salmon ladder
LOL reaaaaaach over to that pole..
also getting caught at the end of this
Squeeeeeeaks onto the Butterfly wall..
and jumps just like Drew and Joe but barely catches the rope!
Channeling his inner Tomo going just about backwards to get up the wall. LOL
Screams as he starts his jump
Stops himself to control the spin of the 2nd wheel
Joe with that grin knowing Sean is going to beat him..
Team Europe on their feet
Powering through the walls.. to be honest.. not sure he can pull off that feat in Sasuke.. those walls just seem different to me. I should ask Drew since he's done both.. this seems easier for some reason.
Still though.. that's an awesome run with the fastest time. Period.
Sean McColl - SECOND STAGE CLEAR
Team Europe in awe
LOL He looks like he's about to throw up..
Diving finish to the buzzer. Pretty epic run!
Gasping for air lady.. give him a minute. LOL
Europe ahead now at the end of the Second Stage.