Although American Ninja Warrior first went on-air in 2009, the show wasn’t picked up by NBC until Season 4. Since then, the competition has acquired a massive following of loyal viewers who live to see contestants nearly kill themselves every Monday night.
On May 31, viewers were introduced to a new generation of ninjas, and they did not come to play. In the new season, competitors face several new courses at the Tacoma Dome, and each obstacle is more difficult than the last. But is American Ninja Warrior fake?
Is 'American Ninja Warrior' fake?
In preparation for American Ninja Warrior, most athletes reportedly train at least a year in advance. And while the obstacle courses in each episode may be so outrageous that they seem fake, the competition is as real as it gets. Just ask Season 8 Ninja Warrior Kaden Lebsack, who says that he began training to become part of the Ultimate Ninja Athlete Association at only 10 years old.
In an interview, the 15-year-old shared, “I took it really seriously, pretty much right away. I had a competition around two weeks into training and it qualified me for UNAA and then about a month after, I took third place in UNAA finals.”
Dr. Robert Shoemaker, who first competed in Season 7, also opened up about his time on the show. According to the physician, although he sustained several injuries while filming American Ninja Warrior, he would definitely do it again, and he did exactly that in Season 8.
He explained, “At first, the decision was easy, as my friends and family all wanted me to re-apply and so did I. I had a few injuries in the fall that left me a bit discouraged, but ninjas overcome obstacles — that is the point of the show."
While things get way too real on American Ninja Warrior to be fake, there are moments where “exceptions” are made for fan-favorites. In a Reddit post, a user who claimed to be a former American Ninja Warrior contestant revealed the real reason some scenes seem scripted.
“If we say something a certain way they'll want us to re-say it or re-act coming up to the sideline reporter after passing the stage or failing a certain obstacle,” the user wrote. “That can be a bit annoying at times. So if any competitors seem rather bland with their responses it’s usually because they were asked to say it a different way three or four times to the point where it sounds fake."
As we approach the Season 13 finale, fans anticipate that the obstacle courses will only get more complicated. But where is American Ninja Warrior filmed?
Where is 'American Ninja Warrior' filmed?
According to reports, the initial episodes of Season 13 of ANW were filmed in late March of 2021 at Tacoma Dome in Washington while the National Finals are filmed in Nevada.
Tune in to new episodes of American Ninja Warrior on Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.