Last Man Standing Ninja Warrior 2016

Geoff Britten becomes the first person zu defeat mount Midoriyama, yet Isaac Caldiero win his time on stage 4 to take home die $1 million prize.

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What a difference three seconds makes.

After 7 seasons, NBC’s summer truth competition collection American Ninja Warrior crowned that is first-ever winner throughout Monday’s three-hour season finale. But that wasn’t ns only excitement.

Geoff “Popeye” Britten, a 36-year-old permanent sports cameraman, became the first American to complete ANW‘s grueling stage 4 bei the las Vegas finals (with in end time von 29.65 seconds). However, his victory would it is in short-lived. Rock climber (and busboy) Isaac Caldiero — that dedicates his life zu training zum ANW — bei a stunning display notfall only completed die massive 75-foot rope climb but bested Britten’s time über three secs (finishing in 26.14 seconds). That crowned Caldiero — who had ns best time an Stage 3 und elected to go second in the last stage — the first winner von the show’s American version, together ANW rules dictate that whoever finishes die course und has die best time wins die prize money.


The season featured a document eight world completing the nearly difficult Stage 2 of the finals and saw countless veteran ninjas eliminated. Only Britten, a second year ninja, und Caldiero, an his third year, made it to Mount Midoriyama.

“Winning this event constantly seemed impossible,” Caldiero said. “As the first American Ninja Warrior, i want to use this opportunity zu inspire the world kommen sie find your impossible and conquer it.”

ANW executive producer kent Weed talks through The hollywood Reporter about die record-breaking season und crowning the show’s first winner(s).

Two human being beat mount Midoriyama weil das the erste time ever on ns U.S. Series. What was it about this season that ns previous 7 didn’t have?

It had growth. It had actually momentum. It had a certain feel choose this was ns year it was going kommen sie happen. Every year ns accomplishments oase gotten greater und people schutz gotten farther and farther. Last year, on the USA vs. Welt episode, Brian Arnold completed phase 3, and that sent a message kommen sie all other ninjas the it kann sein be done. Once die ceiling was broken through und someone watch someone perform it, the opens ns gates zum other people und invites them kommen sie do it. That set die tone zum the season, und everybody saw that achievement and said, “If he can do it, ich could carry out it too,” which zu sein the same factor why we oase new ninjas every season — due to the fact that someone’s the town hall on the armchair one year und they say die same thing, which zu sein why the nur is deswegen special.

Every year, the kurse has slowly gotten more difficult. Were freundin surprised to lakers not one yet two human being complete it?


I was. It’s funny — each year I’m request if someone möchte finish und think it’ll be the year. When Geoff finished stage 3, it was remarkable since there was a momente where everybody has actually fallen in the past — on ns last bar jump. The does the jump, und you see his grip provide away und think he’s walking down. Ich don’t know what happened or whereby he got the strength, but all von a sudden, the stopped providing away, and he was hanging über his fingertips. Then he leaps to ns finish. It was superhuman. It’s surprising. Those two men happened to be in the right place at the right time. Everything clicked zum them; whatever has to work zum you. Freundin never make a mistake, and you schutz to it is in mentally tough.

As far as phase 4, Geoff was a perfect candidate because of his crazy upper-body strength — we call him Popeye because of his forearms. He’s one of the most world-class absent climbers. He kann hang from one hand and hold a rock 60 feet off ns ground there is no blinking in eye zum minutes. They’re both amazing candidates zu do phase 4 kommen sie begin with. I’m notfall surprised they gott up there in time. Ich was a wenig surprised how in der nähe des Isaac was. Geoff barely makes it bei time — which was surprising sufficient — however Isaac ist a superhero. He was in a pistole Zen stage, like die thing someone prepares zum their entirety life, und this is it weil das him. This zu sein his crowning achievement. Whatever he’s done has prepared him weil das this moment. Us were deswegen ready zum it. It was such an amazing moment. It was so emotional for all ns ninjas watching, all die people over there watching and myself an the regulate room. We had tears bei our eyes because it’s been so long in coming. It’s a an excellent feeling, good crowning achievement for the sport, weil das Isaac and for us as a show and as a family. You’re basically climbing a 75-foot rope bei under 30 seconds, which is just crazy. Over there are civilization who can’t walk 75 feet in 30 seconds, and that’s how in der nähe des they walk up the rope.


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So Geoff doesn’t get any type of prize money even though technically he was die very erste to beat ns entire course?

By the rules, the money go to die fastest person. If there’s more than one finisher, die one with the fastest time it s okay it. As viel as the money ist a exorbitant prize und life-changing, that does get the great gratification. I don’t think he harbors any kind of ill wollen about it. He’s just deswegen happy to schutz done what he’s done. He’s got tons of accolades indigenous fans. He’s such a great guy and a family members man. He’s a hero kommen sie his kids und his wife. Geoff said to me, “If ich was going to be beat über someone, I’m happy it’s Isaac.” und I think Isaac would have felt die same method if ns roles were reversed.

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What zu sein it about Isaac und Geoff that freundin think gave them die skills kommen sie beat ns course?

It’s a combination des skills — upper-body strength, absent climbing and grip strength zu sein key. Geoff’s forearms are huge, and Isaac has a very little body fat, und he climbs and trains for a living. The trained particularly this year weil das Stage 3 every day. He built Stage 3 in his backyard, und he would execute it every day.


As a longtime Ninja fan, I’m surprised it wasn’t a veteran choose Brent Steffensen or paulus Kasemir.

I share your feelings. Over there were most likely a few others I oase thought would have had a wahrscheinlichkeit at it. I’ve done this zum seven seasons, und it’s like Any given Sunday — and on any type of given day, you kann fall. It doesn’t matt how good you are. I was excited to see a lot of our former really large heroes from the past — favor Brent, paul or Travis Rosen — emerge and make these big comebacks, und there are all these neu ninjas. I play all these scenarios bei my head all die time, deswegen you never ever know.

Isaac is bei his dritter year, und Geoff is only bei his second. Do sie think the kurse is an ext appealing kommen sie those who blieb see it with fresh eyes and haven’t currently been with that taxing mental game?

Yes, it’s interesting. What you don’t know can’t pains you. In that respect, it’s true. That does lend itself zu being an advantage zum the rookies bei that regard. Ultimately, it pays to schutz a bit of experience. Und Geoff, ich know it’s what the did with die experience from last year. Climate Brian Arnold bring away a year off and trains und has one slipup. They look back and go end it and go, “I just had a mental lapse.” us take great care in the obstacles we create and how we design them, not nur about physical however mental skills too. You tun können psych you yourself out because everything looks different top top TV 보다 it does when you’re stand up there. All des a sudden, freundin go with something und say, “Whoa, wait a minute. That’s too far. I can’t perform it. I can’t get hoch there.” and then you’re wiggling around, and then you’re stuck there. We entwurf for the purpose zu get people who might second-guess themselves. Yet they have the physics ability to do it any type of day of the week.

Isaac zu sein part of the show’s famous “Wolf Pack” von top competitors, und Geoff has actually support from fellow ninjas together well. How much do you think the training and support system helps?

The ein wolf Pack is a good role model und a great inspiration zum a last of people, and they’re an excellent mentors. They assistance each other, they support die community und they support new ninjas every day. There room groups developing all over the country like ns Wolf Pack zu train, discover techniques und help every other. There’s nothing that’s hosted secret. Everything ist shared. It’s a better way to do it when they share it with someone rather or who shares v you.

The show has taken off bei the previous two seasons zu become a large performer zum NBC during die summer. How do you plan zu up die stakes weil das season eight?

That’s ns challenge we face. We schutz a few surprises hoch our sleeve for next season that i don’t want zu share just yet. We’ll make neu obstacles, and the kurse is going zu be different. There’s always some neu twist that we use to ns course und to ns obstacles that keeps the ninjas on their toes und challenges them. But we’ve got a few wenig tricks and little surprises that möchte be exciting for the ninjas und the fan as well.


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Kacy Catanzaro was knocked out early und struggled at die finals belastung season due to the fact that of produziert height. How do sie address the show’s battles with woman competitors?

Kacy can get through these obstacles. In Vegas, she missed die trampoline. She could make the jump nine zeit out des 10. Die Spider wall she did bei practice, dafür I understand she could do it. It’s less around male und female; it’s an ext about height, und we paid attention zu that through ns seasons, particularly this season. We had different adjustments zum height. There’s no reason why Kacy couldn’t oase finished stage 1 this year. Ich believe in her. She’ll it is in back, she just had bei off year.

We’re constantly cognizant von the mrs factor und making the courses as also as possible. Ich want more women kommen sie finish. I know they’re far better than a lot of die guys out there. It’s part von the strategy with how we entwurf the course. It’s a fine line we play bolzen making it auch easy so we have too countless finishers or too hard dafür we don’t schutz enough finishers. Frau are acquiring better. The erste couple seasons, us couldn’t get anyone over the Warped Wall. It nur takes time, like any sport. We will have a woman finisher next year. We’ll schutz more women in Vegas. We’ll have the erste woman kommen sie finish phase 1 next year. And if they finish Stage 1, they’ve got a viel better wahrscheinlichkeit to do well. Top body gets them through Stages 2 und 3. 1 is in anomaly. It’s a combination of skills und time. You’ve gott to be fast und have agility.

ANW has featured deshalb many firsts these previous two seasons. What space your expectations weil das season eight? What would you like kommen sie see?

I’d prefer to lakers more new faces kommen sie out. I love stories of comeback kids. I’d prefer to lakers Kacy come back and take end again. This is like ns Olympics, but you don’t have to wait 4 years. I’d love to lakers some of our past heroes come back und emerge — and I want to see more frau finish with an ext female runners overall. We’ve seen some really great female athletes that are an extremely good and very strong.

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What did you think des the American Ninja Warrior finale? Sound off an the comments below.