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  #151  
Old 07-12-2016, 05:23 PM
Ellis Dee Ellis Dee is offline
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Speaking of the wedge, I think the difficulty of the dismount was due to the bar rolling as you swing, basically making grip somewhere between extremely difficult and impossible.

I'm surprised nobody else tried Graff's simple solution to that issue: reversing grip on one of your hands. That technique has a name, at least when it's used for the salmon ladder, but I don't remember it offhand.

The stats ended up being something like 1-10 when using standard grip, 1-0 when using reverse grip.
  #152  
Old 07-12-2016, 05:35 PM
DKW DKW is offline
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To recap: I never claimed for a second that ANW wasn't a legitimate sport. Heck, I wouldn't call Sasuke a legitimate sport, and it's a helluva lot closer to it than ANW. I'm saying that it could be handled better, run better, bigger, wider, grander. I feel much the same way about Dancing With The Stars, and its bogusness was blindingly obvious from almost day one.

Oh, and it's Tiana Webberley. Why do I keep saying Jennifer Tavernier.

Before I get into the first Cityfinal, just for fun I'd like to recap all the stories NBC foisted upon us. As I've mentioned before, this is an awkward time for them, being after first quallies and before the wildcards, meaning they have absolutely no say in who's competing. This, as you might imagine, leads to some prety-ty big reaches, and tonight was no exception. In order:

Ben Antoine - He has a day job! And wears Clark Kent glasses, whatever the hell that means! Boy, he's not like Isaac Caldiero at all!
Alan Connealy - He's "funny" in his submission videos! And he waxed his chest! Which is kinda ironic since in ANW you want to avoid swimming! I'm pretty sure that was supposed to be funny!
Scott Wilson - He teaches chess! Which is a lot like ANW because...um...uhhhh...it has words that get repeated over and over.
Natalie Duran - 1. A YouTube sensation 2. really disappointed she didn't beeh daah waww 3. and trained in Europe for a bit. All of which adds up to...something, dammit.
Adam Rayl - He has a day job! And ate lots of peebeeanjay while waiting in the walk-on line! Maybe if he also had Pom Wonderful it would've been a more balanced diet?
Brian Kretch - Owww! (Oh, side note, was I the only one a little disturbed by Akbar Gbajabiamila's really tasteless comment about him possibly getting injured again? This isn't the first time, either.)
Chris Workman - His family moved to Las Vegas, so he wants to do well enough to make it to Vegas. So his family can watch him. Um...yay?
Grant McCartney - He opened a skate park in India! (Okay, I admit that's pretty cool, but did we really need a whole profile segment just for that?)
Jessie Graff - Glad she's getting her due (and man, those are some killer abs!), but they still haven't done the story I really want to hear...the injury that kept her out of 2014 and allowed Kacy Catanzaro to be the first woman to complete a Cityfinals, and her long struggle to overtake her. C'mon, a legitimate rivalry between two of the stars of the show, how could anyone miss that?
Gabe Hurtado - "Because my family lost everything in a fire, I've decided to enter a competition where I'll have next to no chance of making a damn cent!"
David "Flip" Rodriguez - Ugh...definite mixed feelings about this one. On one hand, it takes real guts to bare one's soul about such a horrifying past. On the other hand...there's next to no chance that there will ever be any justice, which is more than a bit disheartening. And of course, count on the usual conspiracy nut BS about how he's just making it up and he's a drama queen blah blah blah etc. This is one of those heavy subjects that I really feel would be better handled in a special episode; I don't like thinking about the depths the dregs of humanity can sink to when I'm watching what's supposed to be an exciting contest. (Also, what does this have to do with masks?)
Josh Levin - This is where NBC hit the jackpot. A legit star, a very powerful athlete, possibly an outright favorite...and he has a sick mentor to jerk those tears. The fact that he finished the course meant that they could cram even more gratuitous cutaways than they normally would have.
Kevin Bull - "Damn you, Invisible Ladder! Damn you to Hell!"

Not exactly the Olympics, is it? I did get a sense that one of the motivations for leaving so many competitors in the cold during first quallies was that they were saving their stories for this round, but even then there were always going to be slim pickings.

As for the actual Cityfinal. I was actually a little surprised in how it turned out. I thought that tweaking Tick Tock, Escalator, and Ring Jump would cause problems, but only 5 went out that early. I knew The Wedge would be tricky, but I didn't expect it to become the be-all end-all course killer that Cannonball Alley was. To reiterate, I do not like this. The entire course should matter to some extent; putting in one killer task changes the paradigm from "finish" to "get as fast as you can to a certain point". This does not generally lead to an exciting contest. The worst part is that we don't get to see just how brutal the later tasks really are. Helix Hang had the potential to be a harsh, merciless test, and now we'll never know. And hey, do you really want almost no one to reach Invisible Ladder and deny the chance for Iseman and Gbajabiamila to scream their heads off for ten minutes?

As for why the Wedge was so painful, I think it was one of those obstacles that just wasn't tested enough. The instability of the bar or the length to the landing platform weren't especially murderous, but put them together and you have an absolute monster. The crew have erred on the side of too safe a few times (I remember that one Denver qually where something like 38 competitors finished the course), and now it looks like the pendulum has swung too far the other way. Will be interesting to see if this happens in other Cityfinals. I hope not.

And because I need some positive note...man, did Jessie Graff kick butt or what? Please not that her time through Salmon Ladder was well behind Ben Melick (4:44.16), meaning she had to clear an obstacle that TEN MEN before her had failed miserably on. And. She. Did. One of the most clutch performances I have ever seen from anyone on this show, male or female. It's a damn shame that the difficulty of Cityfinals ramped up so much just as she was coming back from injury, and there's no realistic chance of her ever hitting a buzzer, but being able to rock a city and an event like this has to be the next best thing. Now all she has to do is get farther than Meagan Martin in Stage 1 and she will definitely be the #1 woman in ANW!
  #153  
Old 07-12-2016, 05:50 PM
Ellis Dee Ellis Dee is offline
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Now all she has to do is get farther than Meagan Martin in Stage 1 and she will definitely be the #1 woman in ANW!
If I remember correctly, Martin got as far as the warped wall. The thing is, Martin seems to run stage 1 with the sole intent of getting as far as she can, as opposed to actually moving on to stage 2. When she got to the wall she was already almost out of time.
  #154  
Old 07-12-2016, 07:46 PM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Originally Posted by Ellis Dee View Post
If I remember correctly, Martin got as far as the warped wall. The thing is, Martin seems to run stage 1 with the sole intent of getting as far as she can, as opposed to actually moving on to stage 2. When she got to the wall she was already almost out of time.
Both Martin and Graff have gotten to the warped wall on stage 1. I _think_ Martin has done it two years in a row, Graff has done it only once. Neither has gotten past it.
  #155  
Old 07-12-2016, 08:37 PM
BeepKillBeep BeepKillBeep is offline
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I predict Jessie gets by it this year. I really believe it. She's seems to be on the right track of continual improvement.

I'll certainly be cheering for her!

Go Jessie!!!!!!
  #156  
Old 07-18-2016, 11:56 PM
Ellis Dee Ellis Dee is offline
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Finally a Travis Rosen sighting, woohoo!
  #157  
Old 07-19-2016, 03:48 AM
DKW DKW is offline
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Hoo boy, if last weeks stories were a thin gruel, tonight's offerings were a handful of breadcrumbs.

Joseph Greene II - His nephew was in foster care. Aaaaand...that's about it.
Brent Ruffin - Bow hunting! Driving through mud! Throwing a wheel! Yeeee-haw!
Chad Hohn - He was cut last year! Blood! AIIIEEEEEE!
Tyler Martin - His mom died, so he took up parkour. Uh-huh.
Lucas Gomes - Brah-zee-brohz! Brah-zee-brohz! Brah-zee-brohz! Brah-zee-brohz! Ree-lee ah-noi-eeng! Ree-lee ah-noi-eeng!
Casey Suchoki - Waited three weeks in the walk-on line for his grandpa to show up. Or something.
Travis Rosen - I'll just quote his wife here. "Having three kids definitely helps Travis in knowing how to overcome different obstacle. As a parent, you never know what's gonna come around the corner." Okay, then!
Brett Sims - He's a newlywed! And his wife competes too, meaning that NBC is finally free from hyping up Brent Steffensen and Kacy Katanzaro! (I looked it up...Grace Jones was in Team Ninja Warrior, where her greatest achievement was not flubbing as quickly as Cassandra Dortch.)
Caleb Watson - Dairy farming is so supposed to be a ginormous detriment to getting a fast time in quallies!
James "The Beast" McGrath - New hairstyle! Hey, that was a big deal for Andre Agassi, wasn't it?
Drew Dreschel - He owns a gym, so if he stinks up the joint, he doesn't eat! Presumably. Maybe. Because students apparently do have the memories of goldfish. Hey, work with it, all right?

Not a lot to say besides. Flying Monkey Peg was a challenge, but not the be-all end-all The Wedge was, which was comforting. A little surprised there were four finishers in an era where we've come very close to having none more than a few times. It looks like Atlanta was simply blessed with stars this year. Joseph Greene II went out at Warped Wall, making this the first time in forever that someone failed the Wall in both rounds of qualifying (Rodolfo Burgos failed in the first). And Caleb Watson should serve as a harsh warning against grossly overhyping the utterly meaningless prelims results.

Does anyone have anything on Yuri Force? He wasn't shown at all last time or this, and he was 11th in Cityfinals. Any reason for leaving him completely in the cold like this?
  #158  
Old 07-19-2016, 10:48 AM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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I thought this was a fairly uninteresting episode. Three of the four finishers were the three by-far best known ninjas. None of the inspirational stories were all that inspirational.

I do like how hard the city finals courses all seem. Finishing them is more of an achievement these days than finishing stage 1 at Mt. Midoriyama, it seems. The two new obstacles were both at least somewhat exciting and fun to watch.
  #159  
Old 07-19-2016, 12:10 PM
StGermain StGermain is offline
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I watched last night and I have some questions. First, when was this filmed? It's July in Atlanta and they had people wearing heavy coats. Trust me, with highs in the mid-90's, no one's wearing a coat.

How long can they stop between obstacles? It seems that it would be good to let your arms regain some strength, since it seems all upper-body. I know it's timed, but it's better to go farther than faster.

Is there a monetary prize?

StG
  #160  
Old 07-19-2016, 03:47 PM
DKW DKW is offline
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Unfortunately, NBC is incredibly tight-lipped when it comes to...well, anything.

I can tell you that all the recording is done in advance, and this "while we were away" business is utterly bogus. There isn't time during a commercial break for two or three runs, and it gets especially ridiculous when you consider that some go the 6th or 7th obstacle. It's like the tryouts of a show like America's Got Talent, The Voice, or So You Think You Can Dance. There isn't time to show everyone, so they're going to show who they think are important. The difference is that in ANW the "tryouts" go all the way up to flippin' Stage 1. It's literally the last show of the season that you get to see everyone.

So all this was shot some time ago. How long, who the hell knows. Do they have to sign Survivor-esque contracts? Possibly.

Presumably they're allowed to take as much time as they want to get started in the qualifying rounds. I've seen some very long finishing times. The only place I could see excessive stalling being an issue is Stage 3, which is untimed, and at least one source said that they have a limited time to get going on any one task. How limited? Who knows.

The winner gets 1 million dollars. Note that even if more than one contestant clears Stage 4, there is only one winner (which resulted in no small amount of headaches last season). Someone here said there's a prize for the fastest time in qualifying and for being awarded the "Pom Wonderful Run of the Night". How much? I have no idea.

It's reality TV. If we knew too much, it wouldn't be as compelling, now, would it?
  #161  
Old 07-19-2016, 04:07 PM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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The show is clearly filmed at night. How late at night is unclear. On one episode of something somewhat recently, maybe Team Ninja Warrior, they mentioned in passing that it was nearly morning.

What I've often wondered is how much time there is between the prelims and the city finals. It seems unlikely that they would move the entire set all the way around the country, and then do it all again. So I kind of assume that it's just filmed the next day, or maybe there's a day's break in between, or something. But it's never made clear.

During one of the city finals a few years ago, there was a talking head with one of the contestants, who was talking about how he had been recognized a lot since the prelims were shown. I guess the talking head was filmed much later, after the prelims had been broadcast, so after both the prelims and finals had happened.
  #162  
Old 07-26-2016, 02:36 PM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Meagan Martin holding steady as second best female competitor, slightly behind Jessie Graff.

Brian Arnold and Ian Dory looking impressive. But what happened to the rest of the wolfpack? Ninja Doctor Noah Kaufman? American Ninja Warrior Champion Isaac Caldiero? I'm slightly afraid to look it up on google lest I accidentally stumble on someone who has already spoiled the results of this season (assuming it's already been filmed).


Jake Murray rubs me the wrong way, but I gotta admit he's impressive.

Lorin Ball continues the subtheme we've had all season of experienced vets failing in embarrassing ways.

I really like the short gymnast guy who was maybe the second runner overall. I wonder if he'll just be too small to stick the jumping spider? Because he looks pretty impressive. I wouldn't be surprised to see him making deep runs at Mt. Midoriyama in a few years.


That video of a jump from the high roof to the house roof to the circular stairway... YIKES!
  #163  
Old 07-27-2016, 04:09 AM
DKW DKW is offline
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[Okay, here's what took me so long...our cable provider, which was SUCH A HUGE GIGANTIC IMPROVEMENT over the last one, crapped out on Monday from about 5:30 to the entire freaking end of the day. So I recorded Esquire Network's 5:00 repeat today, and then discovered that, for some nefarious reason, our device cannot properly record this channel. Meaning I had to watch most of it in real time, and then the 9:00 repeat to get the first 35 minutes that I missed the first time. Oh, and apparently what caused this massive service interruption was a "tropical storm", which had exactly the same effect where I live as the past five or so hurricanes (saunalike humidity, a couple of middling showers, saunalike humidity, more goddam fricking saunalike humidity). I remember when the island was hit full-force by an ACTUAL hurricane, and it didn't cause a hundredth as much damage as these dinky-dink storms. Oh, and did I mention that the cable provider is also the internet provider and the telephone provider, which meant that we were essentially blind for half a day? Anyway, not much fun.]

Tyler Yamauchi - He's short. And a gymnast. Which makes him a short gymnast. And he got up the six inches taller Warped Wall. Which, in turn, makes him a short gymnast who made it up the six inches taller Warped Wall.
Eric Middleton - Entymology! Insects! The study of insects, entymology!
P.J. Granger - Just a small town boy...uh...Tom Petty song...wait, I mean John Mellencamp song...
Andrew "Roo" Yori - Who let the dogs out! Roo, roo, roo-roo! Who let the dogs out! Roo, roo, roo-roo! Does anyone know a single other word of this song! Roo, roo, roo-roo!
Ethan Swanson - Wow. This was a good one. So good, I'm amazed it made it through. He's a daredevil who makes some really impressive YouTube videos, and that's pretty much sells itself. If Pom Wonderful had a "Crazy Wonderful Story of the Night", this would be it!
Ian Dory - He built a tower to simulate Staaaage Foooouurr! Which is a rope climb! But it's a really long rope climb, so shut up!
Dan Polizzi - Damn you, Ring Toss! Damn you to Hell! Oh yeah, bro bro bro bro bro bro bro bro.
Meagan Martin - Demolished prelims three times, yet failed to even make it to the back half in Cityfinals. Which, of course, has nothing to do with the fact that some of the obstacles get tougher in Cityfinals and the pressure's about a thousand times greater.
Jake Murray - He bought a used car for $600, and he says it's a great car but it's actually a total piece of junk ha ha ha ha ha ha. No, I'm not kidding. No, it didn't lead to anything. No, seriously, that was it.

Competition-wise, it was a pretty interesting night. This was the first time in a while where the knockouts were pretty evenly spread among the obstacles, which was a welcome change. Wasn't sold on toughening up multiple obstacles, but it hasn't been a killer and this new crop of experienced competitors looks like they're up to the challenge. Liked the revamped Hourglass Drop, and I truly hope this teaches the producers a lesson that going easier can sometimes be beneficial. I was sure Circuit Board would be a killer (that thing looked nasty) and was actually surprised that more succeeded than failed, 5-3.

And of course, there was Meagan Martin. And look, I'm all for inspiring efforts and breaking barriers, but at some point we have to acknowledge that, even within certain groups, some competitors are a lot better than others. Tonight was the night when Martin not only broke away from all the Allison Topperweins and Dayna Fishers, but even the likes of Michelle Warnky and Tiana Webberley, whom, in years past, most of us would've put together without a thought. Martin truly is on another plane, and she's kept a fantastic attitude throughout. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what she can do in Stage 1.

Oh, trivia: this was the first Cityfinals where all 30 qualifiers got some screen time. I'll have a full reckoning later, of course, but just thought you'd like to know.
  #164  
Old 07-27-2016, 04:27 AM
Ellis Dee Ellis Dee is offline
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Originally Posted by MaxTheVool View Post
Meagan Martin holding steady as second best female competitor, slightly behind Jessie Graff.
Agreed that she's firmly second, behind Graff and ahead of everyone else, but for my money I think she's significantly behind Graff. Graff flew over the warped wall on the first try; she would have easily cleared 15' or more. By contrast, Martin required all three tries and barely cleared it.

In other words, Martin will continue to have no shot to clear the warped wall in stage 1 with the shorter run-up, but I don't think Graff has any specific concerns in stage 1. She's demonstrated that she can handle the jumping spider, she can easily clear the warped wall, and most important, her runs this year in both qualifying and city finals have been fast. So I don't think the time limit will be an issue either. (Martin continues to run slowly and methodically, which is great for qualifying but kills you in Vegas.)

Quote:
Brian Arnold and Ian Dory looking impressive. But what happened to the rest of the wolfpack? Ninja Doctor Noah Kaufman? American Ninja Warrior Champion Isaac Caldiero? I'm slightly afraid to look it up on google lest I accidentally stumble on someone who has already spoiled the results of this season (assuming it's already been filmed).
At the start of the Ian Dory run, they actually said something to the effect of "and former member Isaac Caldiero." They clearly said the word "former," meaning Isaac is no longer part of the wolfpack.

Quote:
I really like the short gymnast guy who was maybe the second runner overall. I wonder if he'll just be too small to stick the jumping spider? Because he looks pretty impressive. I wouldn't be surprised to see him making deep runs at Mt. Midoriyama in a few years.
Same. He advanced to Vegas, right? He was the guy who I was specifically looking for in the final rundown of the top 15, and I'm pretty sure he made it.

Quote:
That video of a jump from the high roof to the house roof to the circular stairway... YIKES!
Agreed. Good lord.
  #165  
Old 08-03-2016, 03:00 PM
DKW DKW is offline
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(Still no responses to Oklahoma Cityfinals? Hmm, well, the Olympics are putting everything on ice for two weeks, so I guess there's no rush.)

Geoff Lancaster - He's sick of being overshadowed by his sister Jill! Sick, sick, sick! I have no idea who Jill Lancaster is! All these one-and-done washouts kinda run together for me!
Nate Burkhalter - It took him a loooooooooooong time to get his chance. No, really, twelve o's!
Reid Pletcher - All I really got to say is that this has to be the first time rock climbing has been shown in a negative light on this show.
Mitch VeDepo - He's a medical researcher. Nicknamed "The Science Ninja". Hey, he's a medical researcher, not a flippin' rapper!
Thomas Stillings - He proposed to his girlfriend, and she said yes! Which will help his chances in ANW! Somehow! Hey, don't harsh his buzz, dammit!
Grant Clinton - He nearly died six months ago! Now he did a backflip, pretty impressive considering that he nearly died six months ago! Here's hoping that he can improve on his lackluster qualifying effort, which would be sweet justice considering that he nearly died six months ago! That's going to be something of a theme during his run!
Andrew Potter - A REAL AMERICAN <cough, gag, retch, choke, retch, cough, retch, splutter, gag, retch, retch, retch> HERO!!!!
David Campbell - He really wanted to be the thing Isaac Caldiero is before Isaac Caldiero! Which is really nothing special. But he made it to Stage 1 every year! Which, honestly, isn't a vast improvement.
Tremayne Dortch - Oh, thank you so much for reminding us of Cassandra Dortch again...
Daniel Gil - It's only his second season competing and he's already such a force! That never, never, ever happens!
Jon Stewart - "We are family! I got my 7 year old daughter and me!"
Karsten Williams - Has a foster kid. WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED TO KNOW??

Pretty good night overall, although nothing really groundbreaking or shocking. Daniel Gil's become a big, big force in this competition, and I still think he would've won TNW easily if only he chose his partners better; if he wanted an old guy so badly, he should've gone with Jon Stewart. As for Stewart himself, what more can be said? Every run from him is a new milestone. He's the Jerry Rice of ANW; just keeps going and going and never seems to lose a step. Brent Steffensen got out there, avoided mistakes, and did what he needed to do to get to Stage 1. His accomplishments are without question, but you get the feeling that even he knows his best days are behind him. And Tremayne Dortch and David Campbell gave a sober reminder that the course doesn't play favorites and there are no free rides.

Aside: Is this the first time that two competitors who cleared the EIGHTH obstacle got shunted to the 3WA dungeon? This seemed a bit egregious to me, especially since neither man was shown at all in quallies. They didn't take that long, either. If NBC had to cut corners, Reid Pletcher and James Wyatt would've been much more sensible choices.
  #166  
Old 08-03-2016, 04:41 PM
StarvingButStrong StarvingButStrong is online now
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And Brent Steffensen got 'joined in progress.' Definitely has lost his bloom as far as the producers are concerned.
  #167  
Old 08-03-2016, 05:08 PM
Ellis Dee Ellis Dee is offline
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And Brent Steffensen got 'joined in progress.' Definitely has lost his bloom as far as the producers are concerned.
However, he did qualify for Vegas so maybe he's turning a corner.

I think it was politic of them to join his run in progress. No need for another "He and Kacy broke up" segment.
  #168  
Old 08-03-2016, 08:21 PM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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I really really don't like Daniel Gil. He just rubs me the wrong way. Also, he's not a very good opera singer. And his hair is stupid. And his face is stupid.

But damn he's good.



Very sad to see David Campbell go out, he's always been a class act. The other two guys who made it to the invisible ladder (Thomas Stillings and Grant Clinton?) were both very impressive.
  #169  
Old 08-23-2016, 03:50 AM
DKW DKW is offline
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Wow, is it just me or did the Olympics seem to last a really long time? Well we're back, and you know what that means: Our final round of scraped-the-bottom-of-the-barrel-so-hard-they-cut-a-hole-in-it stories!

Alyssa Beird - "If you set to mind to anything, you can do it! Which means that if you fail to accomplish something, it means that you're a hopeless underachiever and will never amount to anything! Oops, better leave that part out!"
Carl Fantauzzo - Empty nest syndrome! Took up ninja competition because he had nothing better to do with his life! Hey, beats drinking!
Alex Dell'aquila - He portrays a knight for dinner theater. Which is good preparation for ANW because, well, running around and swinging heavy objects and all that.
Fabio Figueiredo - Cutting hair is a lot like ANW because...okay, now these are starting to get a bit ridiculous.
Michael Torres - Took woodshop in high school...and now he's a CAPRENTER! Wow, what are the odds?
Najee Richardson - Gymnast, injury, career over, tragic, family, sacrifices, family, ANW, family. Did I mention family?
Jamie Rahn - He has a girlfriend! AND a dog! Thereby proving that [widely mocked subculture Rahn is a part of] isn't a bunch of losers!
Jesse Labreck - (Oh sweet Suwako, we really are going to see THAT FACE every goddam second of her run, aren't we?)
Geoff Britten - "I hit 6 buttons, so now there's no pressure! It's all fun now! Which is good, because I sure as hell aren't making any damn MONEY off of this! Oops, better leave that part out!"

Lot to unpack later on. For now, my top thoughts, in order:

5. I don't think it's really that huge a deal that we've had no finishers for the first time ever. There have been a few close calls prior to tonight, and this one was an absolute monster. Step Hopper, in particular, was flat-out evil; it's had the look of three Stage 3 obstacles piled on top of each other. And putting Rolling Thunder and Invisible Ladder on the same course is just cruelty. I really think that NBC needs to take a good, hard look at easing up a bit. Remember, if no one (or almost no one) can finish, that means that finishing means nothing. Not the kind of attitude you ever want to foster, even in the wackyland Cityfinals.

4. There's going to be the usual hand-wringing from the testosterone-poisoned "SJW"-barfing tiresome meathead crowd about NBC crowing so hard about there being four women in Cityfinals. Me, yeah, I think it was a bit overboard, but I've seen far more objectionable stuff on this show (see #1), and let's face it, this is almost certainly a one and done. I don't begrudge them their one shining moment. If anything, I don't think enough has been made about Michelle Warnky's place on the ladder. It's become abundantly clear in recent seasons that she's just not in the same echelon as Jessie Graff or Meagan Martin, or even Kacy Catanzaro, and it's getting increasingly disingenuous to put her with them.

3. Wow. Jesse Labreck kicked butt. Never saw that coming. She deserves whatever accolades she gets this season. Too bad that she has to bring THAT FACE, and she had to dedicated everything to THAT FACE, and we're going to be seeing THAT FACE in Stage 1 as well, meaning that I absolutely refuse to watch her ever ever ever again (see #1).

2. After this season, I'm definitely going to have to watch the whole thing on mute from now on. Between the endless banal cheerleading ("You can do it! You got this! Stay focused!"), that ridiculous sound effect at Floating Steps, "beeh daah waw", and of course the announcers, who seem to get worse every year, this show is rapidly approaching nails-on-a-chalkboard territory. Enough. Three more eps and I am done with this crap forever.

1. Okay...I'm taking a risk here, but dammit, I feel really, really strongly about this, and this bothers me more than ANYTHING else I've ever experienced on this show...and given Iseman and Gbajabiamila's record, that's saying a LOT...so if I'm going to get crucified, I'm going to get crucified. I don't actually think I will, but I'm willing to accept the possibility. It just bothers me that much. [Deep sigh]...here goes.

I know that special needs people exist. I know that unattractive or even downright ugly people exist. I know that "alternative lifestyles" exist. I know that very often it's through no fault of their own. I think that judging based on appearance is at best wrongheaded and at worse offensive. I do not think they should be persecuted, discriminated against, or mocked. I believe they deserve as many opportunities in life as anyone else.

I do not, for a moment, dispute these people's right to exist.

That does not mean that I want to see CONSTANT EXTREME CLOSE-UPS OF THEM.

Good lord, THAT FACE. It was disturbing. It was unsettling. It made my skin crawl. Gaah! And worst of all, it completely took me out of what should been the highlight of the Cityfinals. Probably the most astonishing, jaw-dropping breakout performance, in the history of this stage, and I couldn't even enjoy it, and can't ever watch another second of it because of THAAAAAT FAAAAACE!

I mean, okay, Labreck's thing is that she has a big heart and cares for our most unfortunate citizens. Hardly think that should be any kind of prerequisite for getting the time of day in Cityfinals (that certainly doesn't seem to be the case for the majority of them), but whatever. Compassion is cool, taking care of others is cool, making the world a better place is cool, I dig it. I mean, if I was going to pick a story for her, that would've been a no-brainer.

So have the story, show this unfortunate individual's life to remind us that we're all human, show what a wonderful person Labreck is...an then have the actual goddam run be about the goddam incredible athlete doing the run, and not have us forever look at THAT FACE, THAT FACE, THAT FACE!!

Huh...

I need a shower. Be back when I get back.
  #170  
Old 08-23-2016, 07:40 AM
Ellis Dee Ellis Dee is offline
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I'm only halfway through last night's episode, but I'm wondering if they made Rolling Thunder easier than in qualifying. The guys keep repeatedly saying they made it harder by adding a third plexiglass panel, but as I recall the plexiglass panels covered their entire wedges in qualifying. The three panels in the finals only covered half of each of their wedges, making each one far less difficult to deal with. By, like, a huge amount.

Am I remembering that wrong?
  #171  
Old 08-23-2016, 10:48 AM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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I'm only halfway through last night's episode, but I'm wondering if they made Rolling Thunder easier than in qualifying. The guys keep repeatedly saying they made it harder by adding a third plexiglass panel, but as I recall the plexiglass panels covered their entire wedges in qualifying. The three panels in the finals only covered half of each of their wedges, making each one far less difficult to deal with. By, like, a huge amount.

Am I remembering that wrong?
I'm pretty sure you're right. Unless there was some other change that made it harder, it was actually made easier for city finals, and then they kinda sorted pretended that wasn't the case.


DKW: I appreciate your passion and your lengthy posts but... I gotta say I 100% disagree with you on this one. And I think you're being a dick about it. It's not like ANW went out of its way to turn into "American Ninja Warrior presents: let's find underrepresented people and preach at you about them". Rather, someone who is clearly very important to the life of one of their competitors, and someone who herself clearly a fan, showed up to watch the city finals, and they put her on air without judgment, despite her unusual and (to some) disturbing condition. And because her friend had a remarkably good run, she was on the air a fair bit. Good job Flex. Good job ANW. Bad job you.


More minorly, I agree that it's a bit silly of them to get too worked up about whether or not they had any finishers, given that that clearly doesn't directly matter. But, fundamentally, the show is about ninjas trying to complete things. If they're not talking about whether the ninjas completed things, what ARE they going to talk about? Well, obviously, the answer is, backstories of competitors, which you seem to hate even more...
  #172  
Old 08-25-2016, 04:48 PM
crazyjoe crazyjoe is offline
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Is it just me, or a lot of these elite-level competitors complete dipshits? Even the great Joe Moravsky...he knew if he made it past the penultimate obstacle that he was sealed to go to Vegas, right? Why not take some time to let your arms recover before attempting what you know to be a an absolute killer final obstacle? I always flash back to Kacey K's groundbreaking run when she stopped several times to make sure her muscles had time to recover, shaking them out, massaging them...

Oh well...
  #173  
Old 08-25-2016, 04:52 PM
Ellis Dee Ellis Dee is offline
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Agreed, but for Moravsky in particular they pointed out that before his run, he said he was aggressively going for the fastest time of the night.

Last edited by Ellis Dee; 08-25-2016 at 04:53 PM.
  #174  
Old 08-25-2016, 05:17 PM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Is it just me, or a lot of these elite-level competitors complete dipshits? Even the great Joe Moravsky...he knew if he made it past the penultimate obstacle that he was sealed to go to Vegas, right? Why not take some time to let your arms recover before attempting what you know to be a an absolute killer final obstacle? I always flash back to Kacey K's groundbreaking run when she stopped several times to make sure her muscles had time to recover, shaking them out, massaging them...

Oh well...
If you watch the clock in the upper left, you'll see that they often do this, and it's just edited out. But they'll get to the end of one obstacle at 1:30, then they begin the next osbtacle at 2:15. I assume that there's some rule that they can't just stop and have a 15 minute nap between each obstacle, but the TV viewing audience presumably won't be interested in "and now he's stopping to rest... and he's still resting... and he's still resting... and now the judges are telling him to get a move on..." over and over.
  #175  
Old 08-26-2016, 11:59 AM
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Ah, so it's the editors and announcers that are the dipshits. I guess I already knew that.
  #176  
Old 08-27-2016, 05:44 PM
DKW DKW is offline
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All right, this show is just plain wearing me out now; not in the mood for a lot of unpacking anymore. Just responses:

Ellis - Yes, Rolling Thunder was definitely easier. It had to be, because someone had to make it to the back half. What you saw were two talking heads who were given a company line and told to hold to it no matter what. Everything has to get constantly harder, harder, harder, so that's what Iseman and Gbajabiamia tell us happened to Rolling Thunder.

Frankly, I find this troubling. Not only because nothing good ever happens with reality TV starts creating its own reality, but because it points to a certain obligation to actually make things harder, harder, harder, and then it might reach the point where nobody has any chance of winning this.

Remember, the competitors on Saskue are amateurs. They have day jobs. They have obligations other than some exhibition obstacle course and don't have the means to build their own courses (assuming they could even find the space) or train full time. Because of this, the bar doesn't have to be so high. Remember the first one, where Stage 3 had only three obstacles and four competitors made it to Stage 4? They could do that. ANW, you have rock climbers and former gymnasts and weightlifters, and some of them are full time trainers, for which "ninja" is the job. So the bar has to be a lot higher, and, as I've mentioned before regarding video games, it's really, really difficult to make something that's very hard but not impossible. It's a fine line, and if we keep seeing breakouts like Jesse Labreck, and Michael Torres, I can easily see NBC shooting right over it.

joe - The most sensible solution (and therefore one which will never, ever be implemented) is to impose a time limit on Cityfinals. As it is, competitors are (as far as anyone can tell) strongly encouraged to get a move on, but there's no way to actually force their hands. Kind of like Joe McCarthy in the early UFCs: he could yell "C'mon, work!" all day, but if the fighters didn't cooperate, he was simply out of luck.

As for Moravsky, I think he was just being respectful to the competitors who had yet to go on. And it's not like he needed to finish, anyway.

Max - All right, let's get one thing straight. I grew up overweight, absolutely terrible at sports, not particularly attractive, fond of books, not finding the humor in offensive jokes, not from a privileged bloodline (my father arrived in Hawaii with a single-digit English vocabulary and the clothes on his back), not able to come up with blistering witty retorts in an instant, and sadly ignorant of the hillion jillion bazillion quillion unwritten requirements for gaining any level of respect. If I ever harbored one tiny soupcon of dickishness, I would not have survived to adulthood. For a child of my station, keeping my nose clean and being polite and respectful didn't get me a shiny motor scooter or an Eagle Scout badge, it was the bare minimum to have a home, have food to eat, and be able to walk down the street without getting beaten to a pulp.

And I don't care if NBC gets preachy. I can fast forward past that junk. What I don't like is having THAT FACE shoved in my face...constantly, continuously, endlessly...when the spotlight should be on someone else. Note that I didn't say that she didn't have the right to have a face, or that she's somehow inferior, or that I hate her as a person, or that she should be discriminated against. No, of course not, never. Discrimination was utterly vile when it was against me, and I'm not going to start finding it peachy-keen when it's against poor black men, homosexuals, transsexuals, Muslims, or anyone. They have every right to exist. But they do not have to exist on my TV, when I'm trying to watch someone else. Imagine if, when Simone Biles was doing one of her gold medal routines, the camera cut to her mother every six seconds. Imagine if during the NFC Championship, the camera cut to the third-string quarterback on the bench in the middle of every play. That's what I felt I was going through.

Which would be barely tolerable if I had some assurance that this was a one-time and LaBreck would be front and center for Stage 1. But you know NBC. They can never leave well enough alone. Heck, how many times did they replay the competitor who blew out his knee on Halfpipe Attack? Two years after the fact, they kept replaying it.

I stand by my words. I don't care how "bad job" anyone thinks it is. (Good lord, if that's your benchmark, some of my peers have already done enough "bad job" for twenty lifetimes.

Oh, and I don't hate stories. I hate boring stories. I hate pointless stories. I (really) hate trite stories. So much untapped potential. How good is Warnky really? How do you keep going with no income? What do your conventional-sports jocks think of what you're doing? How much would finishing really mean to you? For that matter, why limit it to the competitors? What to the crew have to say, about the obstacles, about how much harder it's gotten, about injuries, about hoping everything goes off without a hitch? Or, I almost can't believe I'm saying this, but how about some candid, no-BS, off-the-cuff commentary from Iseman and Gbajabiamila? Get them away from the crowd and pull the swords from their backs and let them get brutal. Any of this would be way more compelling than some guy waiting for his grandpa to show up.
  #177  
Old 08-27-2016, 06:33 PM
Telemark Telemark is offline
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That's what I felt I was going through.
Get over it, seriously.
  #178  
Old 08-28-2016, 12:53 AM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Oh, and I don't hate stories. I hate boring stories. I hate pointless stories. I (really) hate trite stories. So much untapped potential. How good is Warnky really? How do you keep going with no income? What do your conventional-sports jocks think of what you're doing? How much would finishing really mean to you? For that matter, why limit it to the competitors? What to the crew have to say, about the obstacles, about how much harder it's gotten, about injuries, about hoping everything goes off without a hitch? Or, I almost can't believe I'm saying this, but how about some candid, no-BS, off-the-cuff commentary from Iseman and Gbajabiamila? Get them away from the crowd and pull the swords from their backs and let them get brutal. Any of this would be way more compelling than some guy waiting for his grandpa to show up.
I endorse this line of suggestion.
  #179  
Old 08-30-2016, 07:53 AM
N9IWP N9IWP is offline
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Not only did Jessie Graff finish stage 1, she did it with a decent time to spare.
Imagine the relief of the guy who finished with 0.08 seconds to spare...

Brian
  #180  
Old 08-30-2016, 08:53 AM
BeepKillBeep BeepKillBeep is offline
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Jessie Graff was definitely the story of the night. She was extremely impressive, although it looked to me like she almost missed the second jump on Flying Squirrel. That would have been heart breaking. I hope she beat Stage 2 but it seem unlikely. In Sasuke, the course is (usually, especially in early seasons) made much harder following a Total Victory. Stage 1 is a bit harder. The giant log drop is a nice alteration to a normally (relatively) easy obstacle. Stage 2 will be extremely hard though, probably only 1-2 people will make it through. Nobody will make it through Stage 3. I'd love to see back to back Total Victories, but I'd be surprised (and thrilled) if it happens.
  #181  
Old 08-30-2016, 01:42 PM
Ellis Dee Ellis Dee is offline
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Poor Michelle Warnky got while-we-were-away'ed. Ouch. For that matter, so did James "The Beast" McGrath. Worst of all was the guy who just barely missed the buzzer on time. I would think that's the kind of exciting run they'd want to show, but what do I know.

Jessie Graff rules. Right now I view her as equivalent to any of the high caliber males, but not the elite rock climbers. So like a Drew Dreschel or Flip Wilson type, but not quite up to Brian Arnold or Isaac Caldiero territory. So I could definitely see her beating stage 2. She has no speed issues, which is what seems to kill the other women. Jesse LeBreck has potential to join her in that status next season. All the other women still feel like "female competitors" instead of just "competitors."

Previews seemed to imply that Kacy might do well next week. Fingers crossed; that would make me so happy. So tired of watching her underwhelm. Even if she just gets to the warped wall then runs out of time I would consider that a massive win. Hmmm. Maybe that's an unrealistic standard: Even if she "just" gets as far as any woman has ever gotten until last night...heh.
  #182  
Old 08-31-2016, 12:46 AM
DKW DKW is offline
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Well, now. This year's Stage 1 is turning out to be (Gordon Gekko voice) intriguing...for lack of a better word. I'd like to begin with my early take on the new obstacles.

Snake Hop: Wasn't quite sure what to make of this one. Can't see anything about it that makes it appreciably harder (or easier) than Timbers. Brought out the usual "You CANNOT take any obstacle for GRANTED!" bluster but didn't make a big impact, as it should've been.
Giant Log Grip: I can see how it can be harder than Silk Slider (harder to get a solid grip, can't see directly in front of you). However, there are two ways in which it's easier: There's no risk of being spun around, and you can drop off after hitting the end and swinging back, which looks to me much easier to time then during a full-speed-ahead descent. I'd call it largely a wash.
Broken Bridge: Hmm...don't think this is especially challenging for anyone good enough to make it to Stage 1. It's mostly a matter of staying calm and not screwing up your footing. Maybe tougher than Coin Flip, but I actually think it's a shade easier than Spinning Bridge because the surfaces are cylindrical and not spherical. If Cannonball Alley has taught us anything, it's that spheres drive these athletes absolutely nuts.
Flying Squirrel: Two unconnected bars, with a leap to the same, and with a considerably longer distance to the net. Definitely harder than anything that's been here before. I'm surprised only one person failed on it so far; this really goes to show you how much the level of competition has risen.

I'm going to have to see this again. So much to digest here, including what's looking like a large-scale changing of the guard. The attrition was tremendous, way higher than what I'm used to seeing from even Stage 1, and right now I can't really see why. I remember one year where Jumping Spider took out like 40 competitors; now it seems like nothing special. In fact, no one particular obstacle looks like a killer, not even Warped Wall. Even the clock wasn't a huge factor, with only two timeouts.

We're definitely breaking new ground here; right now, I'm just glad I stuck around to see it. I'm so hooked I don't even have to mute it. Yet.

Oh, and YOU GO, GRAFF! Second best jock Graff after that tennis player! Woo HOOOOOO!

(Um, you all know who I'm talking about, right? I'm not THAT old, am I?)
  #183  
Old 08-31-2016, 01:57 AM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Well, now. This year's Stage 1 is turning out to be (Gordon Gekko voice) intriguing...for lack of a better word. I'd like to begin with my early take on the new obstacles.

Snake Hop: Wasn't quite sure what to make of this one. Can't see anything about it that makes it appreciably harder (or easier) than Timbers. Brought out the usual "You CANNOT take any obstacle for GRANTED!" bluster but didn't make a big impact, as it should've been.
Well, except for Travis Rosen.


So there were two big stories tonight:
(1) Jessie Graff, absolutely living up to the hype. I really wanted her to succeed, but I have to admit I doubted she could do it. I was thinking a good realistic goal would be to beat the warped wall and maybe one more obstacle and then run out of time, but she crushed it

(2) So many experienced competitors failing. I'm not sure it's a changing of the guard per se, as opposed to just being really really hard. Certainly Ian Dory isn't old and washed out...

So the 8 finishers were... Flip Rodriguez, Daniel Gill, breakdancing-pants-guy, Brian Arnold, Chris Wilczieski (sp?), Grant McCartney, Jessie Graff, and carpenter guy (Daniel Torres?)?

Of those, Flip, Brian, Jessie and Chris are clearly veterans, Daniel and Grant and pants are 2nd-or-3rd season, and Torres is a rookie. So a good cross section, really. Sure, some of the better known old timers failed... but so did a bunch of Brazi Bros and the equivalent.
  #184  
Old 08-31-2016, 11:30 PM
DKW DKW is offline
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Work let us off early due to impending nightmare traffic, so I get to watch the whole thing over today (didn't take long; I fast forward a lot, especially when Gbajabiamila is bleating about chinny-chin-chins and not letting the spider bite you). A few things to say about some individual performances:

Ryan Stratis: I could tell he really, really wants to be a part of this, and it's just tragic that his bum shoulder meant that he had essentially no chance of getting past Stage 1. If we had more than one of these a year, maybe he could've been persuaded to take time off, heal properly and go in at 100%. Shame. He looked strong.

Jojo Bynum: Damn, he was furious. It was almost scary. I rarely see that level of emotion on Stage 3, much less here. Are there underlying emotional issues? Were there sky-high expectations on him (and if so, who the hell's putting them on Jojo Bynum)?

Lucas Gomes: Oh, jesus. That...that was CRUELTY. It played out like an athletic representation of the Sad Trombone. I wanted to hug him. Honestly. (On a related note, now I know why Yuri Force's run was never shown. He was the only Cityfinals qualifier whom NBC didn't show at all.)

Tyler Yamauchi: More proof that we need to forget about inspiration and groundbreaking and "this guy is a X!!!" once the real contest begins. He simply didn't have the height (or the speed) for Warped Wall, and I'll be very surprised if he ever completes a Stage 1.

Michael Torres: I don't put too much stock in "SOOOO CLOOOOOSSSSEEEE!!!!!" finishes in Stage 1, but this definitely ranks as a clutch performance, and he should be proud of it no matter how he does in Stage 2.

Jesse LaBreck: Definitely looked like one of the best of the female contingent (by far the best of the Philadelphia Four), but we need a year or two before we know how good she really is. (I thought it was funny how they cut to Meagan Martin saying "That was the weirdest thing! Like, she was right on it!")

Daniel Gil and Thomas Stillings: Gil looked as overpowering as he was in Team Ninja Warrior, and Stillings was a revelation. No telling who's better yet as the contest's focus changes a lot in Stages 2 and 3, but no matter what, I'm glad they're around to set the bar. And I definitely want to see Stillings in a TNW!

Cassie Criag, Erica Cook, Alyssa Beird, Michelle Warnky, and Rose Wetzel: There's been plenty of bellyaching about how Kacy Catanzaro doesn't deserve a wildcard, but as long as competitors like these are getting free passes, I don't want to hear it. Yes, I understand that the constant sausage factory of Cityfinals is almost unbearable, but why bother putting them on if you're not even going to show their runs in full? Heck, it's not like it would've taken much time (Craig was the only one who made it past Propeller Bar). IMO, male or female, wildcards should go to those who actually have a chance, and this bunch isn't anywhere near that territory.

And of course...

Jessie Graff: What more can anyone say at this point? Well, a couple of things:

1. The thing that stood out the most about her groundbreaking round was how textbook it was. No hesitations, no stumbles, no flops, no missteps, no desperation saves, no bumps. Look at how solidly she wedged in at Jumping Spider, how she floated to the platform on Sonic Curve (that ALONE made this worth the Pom Wonderful Run of the Night), how she casually jogged past Broken Bridge. It was the smoothest, cleanest performance I've ever seen from anyone on Stage 1.

2. Let me really, really drive this home, because I don't think it's been stressed enough. Jessie Graff is unmarried, unengaged (and from all apperances has no interest in hooking up with anyone), and childless, she's a powerhouse, she has a full-time job, she's soft-spoken in interviews, she doesn't get emotional, and her life, as far as anyone can tell, has been pretty ordinary with no great tragedies. She should be a damn pariah on a reality show, much less with NBC's super-maudlin guidelines in play. But they're paying attention, and they're hyping her up, and they're making her their big star...because now they have absolutely no choice. She's made her mark the absolute only way a woman in her station could have...by being better than everyone else. This, the smashing of the great reality TV barrier, is, for me, the story of this season.

Man, I do not envy Meagan Martin at ALL.
  #185  
Old 09-01-2016, 06:47 AM
Ellis Dee Ellis Dee is offline
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Lucas Gomes: Oh, jesus. That...that was CRUELTY. It played out like an athletic representation of the Sad Trombone. I wanted to hug him. Honestly. (On a related note, now I know why Yuri Force's run was never shown. He was the only Cityfinals qualifier whom NBC didn't show at all.)
Remind me what happened to Lucas Gomes, and also who Yuri Force is and what it explains about his run not being shown.
  #186  
Old 09-01-2016, 11:12 AM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Remind me what happened to Lucas Gomes, and also who Yuri Force is and what it explains about his run not being shown.
One of the Brazi bros ended up 16th at his city finals, and thus did not qualify for Mt. Midoriyama. Then someone got injured, so he made it after all. DKW is (reasonably) assuming that that was the mysterious "Yuri Force", who we never saw at all in city finals other than his name on the leaderboard.
  #187  
Old 09-01-2016, 11:19 AM
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All the heats have sort of run together, but I think this Gomes bro fell in the water about 2 seconds into his run.

Here's a clip, down the page a bit. You have to wait through all his backstory for the money shot

http://deadspin.com/i-respect-americ...erc-1785938652
  #188  
Old 09-02-2016, 12:00 AM
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Addendum: One hour after Lucas got the word, he was badly injured when the chain on a tow truck on the side of the road broke and hit him in the chest. There were serious doubts as to whether he'd be able to compete in Stage 1 at all. He made an amazing recovery, he joined his brother, and the stage was set for the feel-good victory-from-the-jaws-of-defeat-story. He went out on the first obstacle.

CRUELTY.
  #189  
Old 09-02-2016, 12:13 AM
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One thing I liked from the original was that you'd have these guys who'd show up in some crazy costume, not expecting to win but just wanting to have a fun story for the water cooler on Monday. The American version is just too serious.
  #190  
Old 09-02-2016, 08:31 AM
Ellis Dee Ellis Dee is offline
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One thing I liked from the original was that you'd have these guys who'd show up in some crazy costume, not expecting to win but just wanting to have a fun story for the water cooler on Monday. The American version is just too serious.
Those fun-loving costume stories who don't expect to win show up in the first event only, pretty much by definition. For the original, that's Stage 1. For the American version, that's city qualifying. And they do show up there.

It'd be like complaining that the original doesn't have enough of the crazy costume goofiness in stage 3. Stage 3 is just too serious.
  #191  
Old 09-02-2016, 07:10 PM
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Those fun-loving costume stories who don't expect to win show up in the first event only, pretty much by definition. For the original, that's Stage 1. For the American version, that's city qualifying. And they do show up there.

It'd be like complaining that the original doesn't have enough of the crazy costume goofiness in stage 3. Stage 3 is just too serious.
Do they ever show the city qualifiers?
  #192  
Old 09-02-2016, 08:05 PM
BeepKillBeep BeepKillBeep is offline
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There are no city qualifiers in Sasuke. The selection process is similar to the process for selection for the city qualifiers in ANW. Competitors send in a tape and past competitors who had done well are sometimes invited to apply. Those invited are pretty certain to get a spot of course.

If I recall correctly, starting after a couple of seasons they started seeding the competitors as well, putting those expected to do well later in the competition. This seems to be the similar to the city qualifiers in ANW (but that might be editing).

Last edited by BeepKillBeep; 09-02-2016 at 08:08 PM.
  #193  
Old 09-03-2016, 07:28 AM
Ellis Dee Ellis Dee is offline
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Do they ever show the city qualifiers?
The American version does, yes. The original version has no qualifiers at all. It literally starts with stage 1. Thus, the very first event (where costumed goofiness has the largest presence) in the American version is city qualifying and in the original it's stage 1.

In the American version, stage 1 is the third event, where most of the fun-loving no-chance competitors have already been weeded out. In the original, the third event is stage 3. How many "just happy to be here" runs do you see in stage 3 in the original? Is stage 3 too serious?

Last edited by Ellis Dee; 09-03-2016 at 07:30 AM.
  #194  
Old 09-06-2016, 07:20 AM
N9IWP N9IWP is offline
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Ouch! Geoff Britten fails on the first obstacle. And Kacy fails on the propeller bars AGAIN.

Curious about the new obstacles in stage two.

Brian
  #195  
Old 09-06-2016, 08:46 AM
StarvingButStrong StarvingButStrong is online now
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I really think they need to stop calling her "Mighty Casey" -- it's coming across as snide.
  #196  
Old 09-06-2016, 09:13 AM
Machine Elf Machine Elf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewder View Post
One thing I liked from the original was that you'd have these guys who'd show up in some crazy costume, not expecting to win but just wanting to have a fun story for the water cooler on Monday.
Tako-san - the diminutive, elderly-looking skin-and-bones Tokyo restaurateur - comes to mind.

Come to think of it, this reminds me of maybe 2/3 of the competitors on MXC, who seemed to possess no athletic ability whatsoever.

Last edited by Machine Elf; 09-06-2016 at 09:14 AM.
  #197  
Old 09-06-2016, 11:18 AM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Nothing as exciting as Jessie in the second week of stage 1. The major storylines were big names continuing to go out unexpectedly (Geoff Britten), the former royal couple continuing to struggle, and the emergence of some powerful new rookies (Josh Levin and the Philadelphia Phoenix guy).

The real question is whether anyone will even make it to stage 3 next week. The way they've been promoting things makes it seem vanishingly unlikely that anyone will make stage 4.


Stage 2 is traditionally upper-body intensive, but not pure grip strength the way stage 3 is. Anyone have any predictions as to who it favors, among the 17 qualifiers?
  #198  
Old 09-06-2016, 11:27 AM
Duke of Rat Duke of Rat is offline
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On what channel does it originally air? I glanced at the schedule last night and didn't see it, but Esquire has been advertising it all weekend for Tuesday night. I thought maybe the holiday had altered the programming for Monday, and catching it tonight is no big deal, but there wasn't jack on TV last night, anyway.
  #199  
Old 09-06-2016, 12:18 PM
Telemark Telemark is offline
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Originally Posted by Duke of Rat View Post
On what channel does it originally air?
NBC on Monday night, Esquire on Tuesday.
  #200  
Old 09-06-2016, 12:19 PM
Ellis Dee Ellis Dee is offline
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NBC, which is why it went off the air for two weeks during the Olympics.
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