The NBC show American Ninja Warrior has viewers on the edge of their seats. Battling it out for cash prizes is already suspenseful enough, but the physical and mental skills you need to get through these obstacle courses make it that much more exciting. One slip up and you're done — or at least that's how it used to be. Over the course of the show, some things have changed.
Love it or hate it, several seasons into American Ninja Warrior, a Safety Pass was introduced. But what is it and why are some fans against the idea? They are a little controversial, and some people really don't want them on the show. Here's what we know about them and what they mean for contestants.
What is a safety pass on 'American Ninja Warrior'?
When someone made a mistake during the first 10 seasons of American Ninja Warrior, it eliminated them from the competition. But in the show's 11th season, the safety pass was introduced, according to American Ninja Warrior Nation. As the name suggests, this allows contestants who fall off to get another chance on the show.
Series host Matt Iseman recognized what a game-changer this would be back in 2019. As he noted, only six competitors would earn something as coveted as a safety pass during their runs.
Some fans like the idea of the safety pass because it allows more contestants to get further on in the competition. These courses are pretty difficult, after all. But some feel like it takes away from the suspense of American Ninja Warrior. One tweet said the passes "ruined" the season. Another tweet says, "A REAL ninja wouldn’t need a safety pass and would have the morals to win when he deserves it."
Joe Moravsky had to use the safety pass on Season 13 of 'American Ninja Warrior.'
Long-time contestant Joe Moravsky has made use of the safety pass before. He'd been successful in previous years and has made appearances on every season since Season 5. In the first stage of the Season 13 finals, he fell. But because he did well on the Power Tower in the semifinals, he got a safety pass. Unfortunately, he was eliminated on the first obstacle during Stage 2 of the finals.
Like it or love it, the safety pass is still in play as of 2022. In the Season 14 semi-finals, a safety pass was awarded as a prize to whichever one of two ninjas could outpace the other on the Power Tower. The pass was awarded to Josiah Singleton as he moved on to the finals.
You can watch American Ninja Warrior on Mondays on NBC at 8 p.m. EST and on Peacock.