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Old 07-27-2017, 03:27 AM
DKW is online now
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 2,964
Took me a while to get to the taping...been a fair amount of personal stuff on my mind; won't bore you with it. Anyway...

As I've mentioned a number of times, Cityfinals occupies this uncomfortable no-man's-land between the free-for-all of prelims, where NBC can cherry-pick the choicest, juiciest stories, and the real contest starting from Stage 1, where the pieces are set and it's all about who's good enough to get through. They're still very much in storyteller mode, but with much slimmer pickings due to, y'know, having a much smaller pool to draw from, and until this season it was actually WORSE than Stage 1 because that was when the wildcards kicked in. In fact, I think the move from wildcards to guaranteed women's spots was done at least partly to fix this, as making Cityfinals less testosteronal* could really help spice up the soup, as it were.

Going through this week's selection to see if it worked...

Nick Hanson: Wow, if you come from a village of 750 people, having success on a wildly popular nationally televised reality show really makes you stand out! Whoda thunk?
Natalie Duran: I used to crash red-carpet events. But now...I crash AWARD SHOWS! Hey, NBC said I needed a story and I hate pop rock, get off my case, dammit!
Jackson Meyer: Training for ANW is like my tech job, in that it's...uh...a lot of work. Yes, that's all I got! We can't all be Flip Rodriguez, dammit!
Zhanique Lovett: Despite being one of the strongest female competitors in Los Angeles, not only will all the buzz be about my family, the camera will be on my son for about two-thirds of my run. I have been warned by very powerful and scary-looking men to never be anything less than 100% positive about this!
Gabe Hurtado: My family lost everything in a fire in 2015, so my response was to enter a competition where I'll have effectively zero chance of making a penny. My hope is that if I do this enough times, it'll someday make sense. Oh yeah, headband!
Charlie Andrews: Man, you'd never expect someone from a brainy college to be a jock! What a surprise, right? Brains and brawn, you never see that combination! This is a huge surprise! No, seriously, it's a big, big, big, BIG surprise! I have been warned by very powerful and scary-looking men to never mention Team Ninja Warrior College Madness! Whatever that was!
Rebekah Bonilla: It's okay, guys, I know a man! I'm not some scary manless ballbuster like Jessie Graff! Oh, and mightykacy mightykacy mightykacy.
Adam Rayl's mother: Adam is such a good boy for letting me make this promo all about me, me,, me, me, me Sadly, because I'm not an overemotional spaz, I'll probably get only one lousy shot during his run. Ah well. Take what I can get.
Sean Bryan: See? See? The Church does more than protect child rapists, deny vital medical prodecures, and squeeze money out of suckers! That totally justifies shoehorning religion into a reality show that God gives even less of a damn about than basketball!
Grant McCartney: I haven't actually been super-close to total triumph, but I'm going to pretend that I did because I have a royally inflated sense of self-worth. No way is that going to bite me in the butt!

Well, it's a journey, not a sprint.

As for the actual Cityfinals...dang, it's almost scary how good some of these guys are. One year ago Step Slider was an absolute monster; now it's just a little tricky. In fact the field, as a whole, seems to have improved by leaps and bounds; did anyone go out on the first four obstacles? Considering that this is still overwhelmingly an amateur competition, that's pretty awesome.

*, not any better sounding than "sausagefactorious". Sorry.