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  #601  
Old 09-02-2019, 03:16 AM
DKW is offline
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Someday I'd like an insider to write a book about how reality TV shows keep such a tight lid on events that won't air until weeks or months later to prevent leaks. (It'd be a helluva lot more entertaining than a huge chunk of what goes on in those shows, that's for certain.) The thing I find remarkable is that even years after the fact, you don't see anyone coming forward with the real scoop on how this season was filmed, or how much gets done in one city before moving on, or the dates of the actual competition. It may seem implausible that not a single person has broken rank and spilled the beans, but there are ways of gaining 100% compliance amongst a small, carefully chosen group. Ever notice that in over a decade, there hasn't been a single ugly incident...bum rushing the course, attacking a contestant, throwing something nasty, starting a fight in the stands, really nasty heckling, etc., the kind of stuff that's a not-infrequent occurrence in nearly every big sport? That's not a coincidence. NBC wants fans who will completely behave themselves, and for an event as popular as this, they have free rein to choose the cream of the crop.

adhemar - I know. And this just serves to illustrate why finishing siffies is a meaningless accomplishment, but NBC went all-in with Kacy Catanzaro a long time ago and they can't back down. I'm actually more concerned about how Jesse Labreck and Michelle Warnky are going to follow up. Graff's legacy is secure, but unless Labreck and Warnky can accomplish something outside of team events, the "yeah but"s are going to attack in force.
  #602  
Old 09-02-2019, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by DKW View Post
Someday I'd like an insider to write a book about how reality TV shows keep such a tight lid on events that won't air until weeks or months later to prevent leaks. (It'd be a helluva lot more entertaining than a huge chunk of what goes on in those shows, that's for certain.) The thing I find remarkable is that even years after the fact, you don't see anyone coming forward with the real scoop on how this season was filmed, or how much gets done in one city before moving on, or the dates of the actual competition. It may seem implausible that not a single person has broken rank and spilled the beans, but there are ways of gaining 100% compliance amongst a small, carefully chosen group. Ever notice that in over a decade, there hasn't been a single ugly incident...bum rushing the course, attacking a contestant, throwing something nasty, starting a fight in the stands, really nasty heckling, etc., the kind of stuff that's a not-infrequent occurrence in nearly every big sport? That's not a coincidence. NBC wants fans who will completely behave themselves, and for an event as popular as this, they have free rein to choose the cream of the crop.
I like to say that they all have "five million reasons" to keep their mouths shut.

When Survivor first started, everything, including revealing the winner, was done on the island. Needless to say, if the winner's name was leaked, it would ruin the show, so the contracts that each contestant had to sign said that if they revealed any information as to how the show worked, they could be sued for up to $5 million. For some reason, that amount started to appear in other reality shows' non-disclosure clauses.
  #603  
Old 09-02-2019, 11:04 AM
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Short and sweet: Does production take any measures to prevent spoilers? Confiscate phones? Politely ask people not to post spoilers to social media?

We ask because the promos are strongly implying that someone wins the million this year, and the latest promo lightly implied the winner is a woman.

If that's true, the question is how do we not already know this from leaked photos on Twitter or whatever?
People are not allowed to photo/film course and can't spill results of ninjas until after show airs. Threats of $1M fine.
  #604  
Old 09-02-2019, 11:07 AM
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I wanted to know how much time between each run. I noticed that there was time to not only reset the course but for everyone to put on different t-shirts or to shuffle in a new set of people to support the particular racer wearing their branded shirts or carrying branded paraphernalia. Does each racer or representative go around handing out a bunch of stuff in between races?

also there appears to only be about a hundred or so people unless there are bigger stands on the other side that we can't see. tickets must be really hard to get.
There is usually 2-5min between runs. Depends on resetting course and if they need to do some adhoc filming with the competitor that just ran.

Some racers give supplies to the crowd before they run to boost morale. Some ninjas are supporting multiple runners so they swap shirts while in the crowd to support their multiple friends.
  #605  
Old 09-02-2019, 02:54 PM
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200-400 people at a time, depending on city and how many stands they have. They do bring in people in waves though, so they can have 1,000 people in a night. I think Baltimore had 1,000+ people a night.

You can pre-register for ticket notifications and then register about 1 month before the show for free. There are different time slots for when you can enter to watch.

Filming goes all night, 9pm-6am. Depending on how many runners.
  #606  
Old 09-02-2019, 10:19 PM
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Spoilers for Stage 1 Night 2


One thing is clear: A woman isn't winning the million dollars since none got past Stage 1. In the promo at the end of the show, the final shot of a guy climbing a rope in stage 4 showed him with a red t-shirt (not tank top), and if that's the guy who actually wins then my guess is Adam Rayl. It's also possible that specific footage was of Geoff Britten when he got robbed, though. (EDIT: Youtube footage confirms Britten was wearing a yellow shirt, so it wasn't him, and Isaac Caldiero climbed shirtless.)

Joe Moravsky finished with the 10th best time but still got WWWA'd, which almost felt like the show was a spurned lover bitter that he isn't training as much this year.

Mady Howard, the rookie woman who finished 8th overall in city finals, also got WWWA'd but she went out on the double dipper. That's far enough to be respectable -- hell, it's as far as Jessie Graff got -- so I'm thinking StarvingButStrong is right: She just isn't looking for ANW fame.

I think they should add a $10,000 prize to the last woman standing. Or maybe $25,000. Either way, if they did, it would have gone to Flex Labreck. Overall I was surprised and impressed that Barkley Stockett and Tiana Weberly tied for second place in terms of going the farthest, both making it to the warped wall.

Drew Dreschel's first run looked off to me the whole way; he didn't seem confident or fluid in his movements. Maybe it was just the safety pass messing with his head, because his second run looked like the confident and fluid Drew we know and love.

I was wondering why Dreschel ran so early, but then realized it was because of the safety pass so he'd have time to dry off before his second run. Except, that's not it at all, because Kid Awadi (very impressive run!) went last. What if he fell? Would he have had to immediately re-run after a quick towel off?

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Originally Posted by DKW View Post
Ever notice that in over a decade, there hasn't been a single ugly incident...bum rushing the course, attacking a contestant, throwing something nasty, starting a fight in the stands, really nasty heckling, etc., the kind of stuff that's a not-infrequent occurrence in nearly every big sport?
It's not a sport, and it's also not live. If there were an ugly incident, why would they include it in the broadcast show?

Last edited by Ellis Dee; 09-02-2019 at 10:19 PM.
  #607  
Old 09-02-2019, 10:26 PM
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Ever notice that in over a decade, there hasn't been a single ugly incident...
Of course if there was, we wouldn't see it.

That said, here's a reddit post with a collection of "scandals" of various degrees of seriousness that allegedly took place:
take with a grain of salt?


A bunch of big surprises tonight... Jessie Graff falling so early, Drew Dreschel using his safety pass, Sean Bryan out (and not due to his injured ankle? unless that someone played into what happened to his shoulder?).


So who's the favorite now? Gill? Kid? Rayl? Swanson? Has to be one of those four, I would think, unless Joe Marovsky returns to his form from previous seasons.

Then there's a whole load of consistent young ninjas who I can't really keep straight: Josh Salinas, Hunter Gerrard, Tyler Gilette, etc. Can one of them break through?
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This post is merely corroborative detail, intended to add artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative
  #608  
Old 09-02-2019, 11:02 PM
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That said, here's a reddit post with a collection of "scandals" of various degrees of seriousness that allegedly took place:
take with a grain of salt?
Oooooooo, drama!

I was carefully scanning to make sure I didn't go past last season (10) and then ran across this comment from 6 days ago:

Quote:
No spoilers but wait until the controversy this year. Absolutely absurd.
I immediately stopped reading and closed that page, but curiosity piqued!
  #609  
Old 09-03-2019, 08:21 AM
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So who's the favorite now? Gill? Kid? Rayl? Swanson? Has to be one of those four, I would think, unless Joe Marovsky returns to his form from previous seasons.
I think Moravsky belongs in there with that group. Yeah, he didn't get the mega wall or complete Angry Birds, but neither did a single other person, including some pretty elite competitors. (People who got over the mega wall on a different course don't count, because it sure looked like there was something up with the wall when people who got it last year weren't even close this year.) One of the things that distinguishes elite competitors from the others is how effortless their runs look, and Moravsky's looked extremely comfortable on all the obstacles this season (except for the ones he failed, obviously).

And I'd definitely say Dreschel's still a fave.
  #610  
Old 09-03-2019, 12:39 PM
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I think Moravsky belongs in there with that group. Yeah, he didn't get the mega wall or complete Angry Birds, but neither did a single other person, including some pretty elite competitors. (People who got over the mega wall on a different course don't count, because it sure looked like there was something up with the wall when people who got it last year weren't even close this year.) One of the things that distinguishes elite competitors from the others is how effortless their runs look, and Moravsky's looked extremely comfortable on all the obstacles this season (except for the ones he failed, obviously).
I'm pretty sure the course was wet that night, making the megawall essentially impossible.

Quote:
And I'd definitely say Dreschel's still a fave.
Agreed.
  #611  
Old 09-03-2019, 06:17 PM
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Drew Dreschel's first run looked off to me the whole way; he didn't seem confident or fluid in his movements. Maybe it was just the safety pass messing with his head, because his second run looked like the confident and fluid Drew we know and love.
That's what we thought, too. Normally, he's so impressive because of his smoothness. Is the controversy that he "threw" his first run to create drama and not seem "too perfect?" Nah.
  #612  
Old 09-05-2019, 12:00 AM
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Stage 1, day 2! Hopefully with more of the good kind of drama!

0:01 Another replay of Danell Leyva’s un-freaking-believable save which, you’ll remember, still wasn’t enough to actually get him to the buzzer. I’m still not entirely sold on the idea of using spectacular moves which NBC will replay ad nauseum to garner publicity for their gym/business/commune/denomination/whatever in lieu of making one red cent in this contest (oh, BTW, confirmed numbers or there are no prizes for siffies), but whatever keeps them off the streets, I guess.

Quick rundown of the obstacles, then Sandy Zimmerman clears one lousy obstacle... Diving Boards this time...and gets a fist pump from Zuri Hall for her trouble. I never thought I’d say this, but this is even more pathetic than when Jake Murray did it.

And...wow, that is a big “2:30 TIME LIMIT” logo! And just to add insult to injury, Hall helpfully informs us that the contestants have...wait for it...only two minutes and thirty seconds! Can you say , everyone? I mean, shoehorning in “only” in a feeble attempt to pretend that something far too massive, tall, or long really isn’t is bad enough, but she expects everyone to conveniently forget that half the field has already gone and only two freaking contestants timed out. Furthermore, one of them got hopelessly hung up at Warped Wall, which I don’t think should even count. Seriously, the clock is about as much of a threat in 2019 as Osama Bin Laden. I will note, however, that on the converse, Hall has proven to be remarkably adept in cramming an astounding amount of BS into a short amount of time, as I’m already pushing 300 words and still haven’t gotten past the second freaking minute. Regrettably, I can almost guarantee you that this is not the last time this will happen tonight.

Huh. Had no idea Nick Hanson and Grant McCartney were buds. Worlds apart, in more ways than one.

0:03 Caleb Bergstrom takes the course and does...something with sister Caitlyn. I think it’s their reach-the-upper-cupboard maneuver. In the profile, we learn that Caleb...has a baby face. Seriously, that’s what they’re going with. Ooh, better avoid Sem Garay, he’s going to mess you up! Caitlyn meanwhile, is known for...her...hair. That’s right, a young woman having long, curly hair is considered noteworthy now. This country is beyond hopeless.

Caleb goes first, and in keeping with the depressing predictability of this show, does not hit the buzzer. A misstep at the end of Diving Boards seals his fate.

0:07 Profile of Nick Hanson. The big honkin’ deal with him is that he timed out on Stage 1 twice. Of course, that was when time mattered; now literally the only way it can happen is if the contestant gets horribly hung up somewhere (in all likelihood Warped Wall, and again, I consider that a plain ‘ol failure).

Eyes and Bodge are holding a container full of “akutaq”, a.k.a. “Eskimo ice cream”, which is made of... OH, COME ON!! Well, Eric Middleton introduced us to horrifying so-called food that war refugees would politely refuse, and David Wright taught us the joys of endless gorging oneself on empty calories, so I guess something that’s in the middle was the next logical step! Swear to Okina, the first contestant who puts the spotlight on tasty, wholesome vegetarian dishes has me as a fan for life.

As for the run itself, Hanson actually did pretty good up to Diving Boards. He still has 50 seconds left when he goes for it, and...oh. Remember that “horribly hung up” thing I mentioned? He nearly falls on the last board, barely manages to save it...and takes a while to get moving again. And then he sees the clock ticking, and despite not getting settled on the second spinner, he has to go for it...and it’s a long way down to the cold water. “So claings!” he moans, whatever that means.

Eyes and Bodge try one spoonful of akutaq and immediately decide that’s plenty enough, and it’s to Hanson’s credit that he never raises a stink about this. The way this show’s been going lately, I was half expecting him to forcibly cram the entire bowl down their throats.

0:13 Taylor Amann...<sigh> . What’s not to love. Drop-dead gorgeous, cheerful, fantastic shape, terrific attitude. Got her inspiration from Jessie Graff and may very well be supplanting her soon. Run is nothing special (gets too far forward on the Jumping Spider trampoline and splashes), but there’s still good news, as she was able to parlay her ANW fame into fitness modelling gigs. Run with it, champ. Run it with until you can’t run any more. To hell with the naysayers. You’ll get infinitely more out of it than you ever will from ANW, that’s for sure. (Four more seasons, tops; no siffies or Stage 1 clears. You heard it here first.)

0:16 Casey Suchoki, ANW’s designated “See? Not everything about Alabama sucks!” entrant. (Oh look, wife! ) Unimpressive run but still hits the buzzer with 4.34 left. I’ve never said “Stage 2 cannon fodder” before, but I’m thinking that I should start.

0:25 3WA: Garrett Lam (Spin Your Wheels), Caitlyn Bergstrom (Double Dipper), and Scott Behrends (Tire Run). Archer Steps remains scalpless. We really need to bring back Timbers.

0:26 Tiana “Tweb” Webberley. Y’know, upon further consideration, she looks more like something out of Tekken. Her mom’s about to get a kidney transplant, but that’s not quite the level of an Acceptable Story, so no weepy profile, just a front-row seat with the camera about three inches from her face, and it's a testament to her remarkable restraint that she's content to cheer at a reasonable volume. Out on Warped Wall, just the second so far.

0:29 Seth Rogers. Gee, it must really suck that you can only hype up “19-year-old” once, huh, Eyes? Nicknamed “Big Red”, which is neither completely moronic (he’s a redhead) nor suffocatingly omnipresent, so I’ll let it go. Clears with 7.40 left.

0:37 3WA: Matt Dolce (Spin Your Wheels), Julius Ferguson (Jumping Spider), and Dustin Rocho (Twist And Fly). Much like Sasuke, the one trick ponies are never long for Stage 1.

0:39 Brian Burk. Another unremarkable run (couldn’t stick the landing at Double Dipper and fell back in), but I’d just like to state for the record that “Burkinator” is the lamest nickname I have ever heard ANYWHERE, ANYTIME, so effective immediately, he is “BB”. Y’know, how Neil Craver is “CC”.

0:41 Sean “Church” Bryan! Much like Suchoki is the non-repulsive Alabaman, Church is the non-infuriating Catholic. He’s been on a tear lately; let’s see if that...no. On Jumping Spider, after what looked like a perfectly good jump, he immediately takes his right hand off and shakes his arm. A few seconds later, he works his way off the obstacle. It’s a dislocated right shoulder, and just like that, his season is over.

0:47 We get to see an on-site doctor work on Church (guess NBC finally figured out that they can’t expect Noah Kaufman to keep bailing them out). He’s fine now, but that’s the only good news for him tonight. Damn, how are we having so many injuries nowadays?

0:48 Ooh, it’s Karsten Williams’ “best season ever”! No way is he going out on Stage 1 a sixth year in a row! And...he...makes it! How about that? Okay, we all know he’s going to get destroyed in Stage 2, which will be so crushing that it’ll probably end his ANW career right there (he’s 38, so that’d hardly be a tragedy), but there’s still some good news, i.e. Eyes and Bodge can stop this “curse” crap once and for all. Guys...an elite baseball team rolling snake eyes 85 straight years was a curse. This isn’t anywhere close. Williams was cursed in Stage 1 the same way Jeff Tarrango was cursed at Wimbledon.

0:58 3WA: Mady Howard (Double Dipper), Anthony DeFranco (timed out), and Dave Cavanagh (finished, time not given).

0:59 Drew Dreschel, always focused, always powerful, and now has to be considered a prohibitive favorite now that Church has bitten the dust. But never mind that...what’s really important is that he’s about to HAVE A BABY! Because no matter what you accomplish on the course, you’re not a real man until you’ve contributed to overpopulation! Actual quote: “Potty training? Yikes.” Yeah, he’s totally ready for this! On to the course, and, oh dear, that was a bad leap to the second hoop on Tire Run, and he’s in the water. Luckily, thanks to his Safety Pass (as part of that stunning trifecta he pulled off), he gets to go again, and we should be in no way concerned that he blew his do-over in Stage 1 and will have extra mental baggage in Stage 2.

1:08 Highlight of Alyssa Beird’s Stage 1 triumph in ’17. One of the problems with the...Sasuke-ness of this contest is that with so few highlights to choose from, they have to show the same ladies’ triumphs over and over and over. Can you even imagine a highlight package that showcased only the Chicago Bulls’ first championship or Phil Mickelson’s first major?

And here she is, and what a crowd there is to support her! Sure hope there isn’t...aaaaand, there is. She gets to the moving wheel on Tire Run, shuffles forward, then, when the wheel stops, she shuffles backward, and continues moving backward until she’s in the water. The safest way to take this, assuming you can’t make a perfect dead-center landing and then one-time it to the second hoop, is to take a couple steps forward, hang on until the wheel reaches its farthest-back position, then climb up and make the jump to the hoop. Playing log-roll doesn’t make any sense; it just increases the chance of a blunder, which of course is exactly what happened. She’ll be second-guessing that one for a while.

1:11 Ben Udy, who goes by “Chad Flexington” in whatever wresting league he’s a part of (Seriously, does anyone have any idea?), or “Chaff”, as I call him because I still think four syllables is excessive. And he gets a yoo-ess-ay chant, and there isn’t anything that doesn’t make better! . Out on Double Dipper, and I honest-to-god didn’t know that was a wig.

1:18 3WA: Verdale Benson (Double Dipper), Tyler Smith (finished, time not given), and Joe Moravsky (finished, time not given). Geez, they just blew over Moravsky? It’s not like he’s fallen off like Brent Steffensen.

1:20 (Sheesh, that was a long 3WA...) Jody Avila, the “Big Dog Ninja”. According to his profile, he used to be afraid of dogs, but he visited dogs in a kennel, and now he’s all about the dogs. Now even though he’s not a dog person, he doggedly dogs the dogs of dogs dogs and dogs dogs dogs dogs. (On a related note, here’s my second favorite Baha Men song! ) Anyway, he gets overextended on the moving wheel and falls.

1:23 Ethan Swanson steps up, and the entire crowd starts doing that moronic arm flapping...

OKAY, TIME OUT: Folks, I’ve railed on about things like elevating Kevin Carbone to a god and cutting to a dozen instant replays in the middle of the run. But these are annoyances. Aggravating but ultimately harmless. This arm-flapping thing not only has the potential to utterly screw Swanson, it may be what very well drives him out of the event. See, NBC loves to foist “things” onto the contestants and some fans; it’s a common reality TV practice, it makes them easier to remember, and it’s just plain fun. But a lot of people don’t like being pigeonholed, and especially if said pigeonholing requires them to do a certain thing they might not want to do over and over, endlessly. Remember that cute boy who danced on the sidelines during his mother’s runs? And that became the whole purpose of his existence? Well, guess what, turns out he was just copying something he saw on TV, or practicing for a competition, or staying in shape, or trying to keep warm, or trying to impress his friends, or just goofing around like young boys are wont to, and he is not a prancing monkey who provides entertainment on demand anytime someone points a camera at him. He was tired of being The Sideline Dancer. Now, what happens when Swanson gets tired of being The Arm-Flapping Ninja? Because I tell you right now, corny body movements is the sort of thing that gets very old very fast, and the fact that it’s based on a corny pun will only accelerate the process. And that’s when he finds out there’s no way out. The arm-flapping, having been ingrained into his profile and every single one of his highlights, has become completely inescapable. It’s just like the tomahawk chop; it’s irritating as hell and everyone knows it, but it absolutely refuses to ever, ever, ever die. If he speaks up, even something as plain and humble as “Please, enough,” how massive will the backlash be? If he refuses to continue, will NBC drop him like a bad habit? Here’s hoping like hell.

Run, good, strong, finishes, better than Gil’s time, for whatever it’s worth, which is absolutely nothing, which means that Eyes has to pretend that it’s something. Whatever, I’m used to it.

1:30 3WA: Alex Blick (finished), Josh Salinas (finished), Hunter Guerard (finished), and Tyler Gillett (finished). Ah, the NBC Doesn’t Give A Crap About Them So You Shouldn’t Either Brigade, right on schedule. (Yeah, I’d like Salinas to fire a unibeam at Eyes...)

1:32 Grant McCartney, who somehow has become this show’s whipping boy. I honestly don’t get it. Sure, the dancing is annoying, but that’s more a function of Bodge going “DANCE, YOUNG MAN, DANCE, DANCE, DANCE, DANCE DANCE DANCE DANCE DANCE DANCE DANCE DANCE DANCE DANCE DANCE DAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNCE!!!!” than anything McCartney did. For the love of Sanae, have you seen some of the crap we’ve had to put up with??? And now the buzz on YouTube is how he “barrrrellllerrrulllyyyyyeeeeyyiiieieieieieieiee” made it to Stage 1, thereby implying that 1. This matters one Marvin The Martin subatomic particle worth of a damn, and 2. siffies are not outrageously ridiculous crapshoots with completely bizarre, random results, which is the only reason he didn’t make it last year to freaking begin with. In any event, I’m going to be rooting pretty hard for him to clear the stage, mainly because it’ll make his siffies results completely irrelevant for all time. It’s just like that in legit sports; win one championship at the pro level and all your college failures become ancient history...just ask Shaquille O’Neal. (I would say “shut everyone up”, but that’s a lost cause...just look at Lebron James, where the goalposts are on roughly their 25th trip around the planet by now.)

Plus that local boy thing I mentioned earlier.

Okay...burns up a lot of time on Spin Your Wheels, but the clock means crap, so who cares...didn’t see no stinkin’ “karate kick”...still good...moving wheel, does exactly what I recommended earlier, stays alive ()...still good...no trouble with Warped Wall...rock-solid across the boards...26 seconds left to finish...still good...

...and he hits the buzzer with 6.56 left! Welcome to the club, champ!

1:42 3WA: Jeff Harris (Double Dipper), Ben Wales (finished), and Michael Torres (finished). Harris came out in a garbage suit, perfectly encapsulating both the direction ANW is headed and his chances of getting past Stage 1.

1:43 The last female competitor remaining, Jessie Graff. She’s one of those eternally vexing stars who achieves greatness and just can never repeat it, and also gets repeatedly royally shafted by the system for no discernible reason. Kind of like the Seattle Seahawks. On top of that, she’s 35 and has a real job now, and I’m getting a pretty strong impression that she has better things to do with her life than cornball obstacle courses that pay zilch. Is it starting to sink in that she could’ve had a real career in a real sport, one where one teensy little mental error doesn’t wreck her whole year?

On to the course where...damn. Out on Double Dipper. Replay is no help in explaining how she missed the transition. In a nutshell, she was rusty and it showed. She had the look of someone who did not have anywhere near adequate time to practice. She tried to put a good face on it, but folks, we’ve seen the beginning of the end, and the end of the end could be coming up quickly.

1:47 Drew Dreschel’s do-over, and I agree with the guys on Primetimer, he’s had a lot of airtime tonight...so much that it’s suspicious. He finishes this time, of course...he’s not going to flub Stage 1 twice in a row...but I have the sinking feeling that all this overcompensation means that he’s not long for Stage 2.

1:55 Mathis “Cougar” Owhadi! Nope, still don’t give a damn about who gets the top time on Stage 1, nor understand why anyone else should!

1:59 Hold the phone...“THIS YEAR THE WINNER WILL TAKE HOME $1,000,000”. Note that it didn’t say anything about “Mount Midoriyama” or “The 6th Buzzer” or “Total Victory”. Does this means that...the lance is now worth a million? That...damn, that would be a huge development. If it’s true, of course. Never know with NBC.

Whew, that went on longer than I expected. Oh, hey, if there’s anything I said that you need clarifying, just ask. And yes, you can get up all at once.

Ellis Dee - I don't truck in vague rumors with zero evidence. Pics or it didn't happen. As for Caldiero, the most likely scenario is that he took flack for "not really being the first American Ninja Warrior" and, in the heat of the moment, shot back. I probably would've done the same. It never led to anything, so I'm past the point of caring.
  #613  
Old 09-05-2019, 12:48 AM
Ellis Dee is offline
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Some good stuff in there, DKW.

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Originally Posted by DKW View Post
And...wow, that is a big “2:30 TIME LIMIT” logo! And just to add insult to injury, Hall helpfully informs us that the contestants have...wait for it...only two minutes and thirty seconds! Can you say , everyone?
A couple minor nitpicks: I think Stage 1 is normally 2:12 or 2:18 (I forget) and then they added 12 or 18 seconds because those two wheels at the start are much more time consuming than the old propeller rope deal.

As for timing out, in fairness, more people failed transferring to the cargo net because they were running out of time and had to rush it than actually timed out, but those still count as the clock beating them in my book.

I agree with you that the time-outs at the warped wall don't count as real time-outs because they wouldn't have completed even with an extra minute or three. They're just failed runs, especially for the two women who might never have gotten up the wall. (I think a third person, a guy, failed on the warped wall as well, but he wasn't even WWWA'ed.)

Quote:
“Chad Flexington” [...] Out on Double Dipper, and I honest-to-god didn’t know that was a wig.
Ha! I kind of assumed it was in the back of my mind -- it's Joe Dirt-ier than Joe Dirt -- but I was still surprised. Based on the color commentary, I don't think Akbar had any idea it was a wig.

Quote:
1:18 3WA: Verdale Benson (Double Dipper), Tyler Smith (finished, time not given), and Joe Moravsky (finished, time not given). Geez, they just blew over Moravsky? It’s not like he’s fallen off like Brent Steffensen.
Totally agreed. Reminded me of Travis Rosen a few seasons back.

Quote:
1:20 (Sheesh, that was a long 3WA...) Jody Avila, the “Big Dog Ninja”. According to his profile, he used to be afraid of dogs, but he visited dogs in a kennel, and now he’s all about the dogs. Now even though he’s not a dog person, he doggedly dogs the dogs of dogs dogs and dogs dogs dogs dogs.
Ha! I'm honest-to-god laughing out loud over here. That's good stuff.
  #614  
Old 09-09-2019, 10:04 PM
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Spoilers for Vegas Finals, Night 3


Well, okay, something clearly went wrong in the course design tonight: 31 runs, 21 completions = 68% success rate. They even pointed out that before tonight, all time the success rate was around 13%. Was that the controversy mentioned on reddit? (That's rhetorical; I'm not reading it until after next week, and don't want to know until then.)

No more playing coy, the promo for next week flat-out says we're getting a winner next week. Hopefully they changed up the rules so that nobody gets Geoff Britten'ed. If not, maybe that's the controversy hinted at in that reddit thread?

They showed the red t-shirt (not tank top) rope climber again at the start of this episode, but after watching carefully, nobody who completed wore a red t-shirt. Dave Cavanagh wore a red t-shirt, but he failed to hit a buzzer. So my best guess is that when we get to stage 4, they have Cavanagh demonstrate it like Jessie Graff demonstrated that spinny thing.

Daniel Gil is starting to look like the man to beat. Drechsel (8th) and Moravsky (5th) both still look strong, but Gil (1st) looked smooth and confident, and quite frankly just better.

Of the 14 runs that got WWWA'd, 12 were completions. Only Alex Blick (?) and Ben Wales (?) got WWWA'd and failed to hit a buzzer. To put it another way, of the 10 failed runs, we saw 8 of them. Which makes sense because they take less time.

All told we saw 17 runs in their entirety with 14 WWWAs.

Do we know how many of the 21 left have hit 4 buzzers so far? I'm pretty sure I heard the interviewer say that Ryan Stratis has, and I'm sure there are others: Both Gil and Drechsel, I think, but not Moravsky. Up to this point, Geoff Britten is the only person to hit 6 buzzers in a season, yes? I'm pretty sure Isaac Caldiero did not.

Last edited by Ellis Dee; 09-09-2019 at 10:05 PM.
  #615  
Old 09-10-2019, 08:45 AM
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Last night was awful TV. All the dramatic tension of "will he make it?" was gone. I was straight up bored watching last night's episode.
  #616  
Old 09-10-2019, 08:55 AM
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Yup. They're being really inconsistent this year. Some super hard city finals, then a cream puff for the second round of the finals. I guess they wanted to for sure have an adequate number of ninjas to make Round 3 fill out the entire show.
  #617  
Old 09-10-2019, 03:53 PM
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I think on paper, the snap back was reasonably expected to be harder than the already-hard curved board hang thing that used to be there. In practice it turned out to be a little easier, which I can't really kill them for. That was surprising.

Ditching the rope on the wall after the 11 foot jump was a solid change: Instead of being wholly ignored, that obstacle became a little tricky. Nice.

Where I would criticize "What the he'll were you thinking?!" is that trivially easy spinny thing that replaced the extremely difficult wingnuts. Wingnuts were the "killer app" that made stage 2 difficult, and the dopey spinny thing was both super easy and way, way faster. What the hell were they thinking? At the very least, if you're going to keep that dopey "obstacle," you should lower the time limit, but instead they increased it.

Last edited by Ellis Dee; 09-10-2019 at 03:55 PM.
  #618  
Old 09-11-2019, 10:22 PM
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Folks...I know you're expecting your usual dose of timestamped goodness, but...I can't anymore. I could mention the usual gripes I've brought up in the past...the gross disparity of airtime, the bizarre choices of profiles, the screaming directly into the camera (good Reimy, could we please have less screaming into the goddam camera?)...but there's a more serious issue, and this week's Stage 2 made it absolutely undeniable.

First off, you may have noticed how, for the first time ever, NBC revealed a spoiler at the end of the episode, that "There will be a winner!" And just so it was perfectly clear that this wasn't just the usual misleading trailer or an embarrassing leak, we not only saw it at the end of every episode, "$1,000,000" was tacked on just last week. They've been pounding away at this for over a month. Now, why would anyone do this? I mean, one of the cardinal sins of any prerecorded program is to give away the ending, right? Because not having a million dollar winner was messing with the narrative. They've been harping on this instant millionaire nonsense for so long that not having one, again and again (and very predictably, too, given how crushing Stage 3 had become) was making them look dishonest. Or at least ridiculously stingy. (Something a sensible prize structure blah Recurring Gripe #6.) So someone decided that this would be the year that there would be a winner, and the only way to guarantee it was to make sure there would be Stage 3 finishers...a truckload of them if need be.

I mean, just look at the course. A completely unproblematic walking test, a largely ordinary Salmon Ladder, a fairly routine front-to-back-grip transition, the almost completely toothless Swing Surfer, a mildly trumped up Propeller Bar, and the underwater task that's more a test of nerves than anything. (Nice job Hall did selling Grim Sweeper as this super tricky obstacle, BTW. ) There was no way this was going to take out anyone who had any real skill. Daniel Gil? No doubt. Joe Moravsky? In like Rin. Drew Dreschel? Can of corn. Ethan Swanson, Kevin Carbone, Michael Torres, Chris Digangi? Hit, hit, hit, and hit. A half-dead Nate Burkhalter made it, for crying out loud. But do you think there's going to be any acknowledgement about this on the part of NBC? Ever? You can bet all the lances in the world that it ain't gonna happen. It's going to be "Oh, we had such a pheomenally successful class for no discernible reason!"

And you can predict how it's going to end. We get a bunch of Stage 3 finishers, they all go up the rope one at a time, one of them is a bit faster than the others, and he's the American Ninja Warrior Total Victory Grand Champion, plain as day, welp, we don't see anything that needs discussing! (Oh, in hindsight mega-screwing Geoff Britten was perfectly fine because these things just happen, y'know? )

Ever wonder why when a team event finishes, NBC usually never gives it the time of day again ("What was Taylor Amann in? Are you sure that's a thing that happened? Sounds pretty farfetched to us." ), and we haven't heard any news about a new one? (NvN ended in June of last year; ANWJ concluded this April.) Guess what, when you put two people head-to-head, lots of unpredictable things happen. Flat-footed scrubs find a way, shining favorites stumble to defeat, pipsqueaks play like giants, giants play like corpses. Why, if I didn't know better, I'd say that this was just like...gasp...a sport! No! Too much excitement! Too far off the script! Shut it down, shut it down now!

All of which points to the one underlying massive problem that's common to all reality TV...it's all so bogus. Yes, I've known for some time that Survivor and Hell's Kitchen cherry-pick good moments and stir the pot, but now anything that doesn't fit THE NARRATIVE is taboo. Wedding! Sick parent! Military! Injury comeback! Motherhood! Dancing! Ask yourself this: how is it that in 11 seasons we have not seen one LGBTQ contestant? Not one childfree militant? Not one reformed domestic abuser? Not one strident feminist or New Age guru or Libertarian or marijuana farmer or drag queen? These people exist, for crying out loud! And for that matter, bad people exist too! It's okay to acknowledge them! That a bad person wanted to take part in your event doesn't make the event bad! The name Antonio Brown ring a bell?

(Sigh)...be back for the finale. After that, wake me up if we ever get another NvN.
  #619  
Old 09-12-2019, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKW View Post
And you can predict how it's going to end. We get a bunch of Stage 3 finishers, they all go up the rope one at a time, one of them is a bit faster than the others, and he's the American Ninja Warrior Total Victory Grand Champion, plain as day, welp, we don't see anything that needs discussing!
Yeah, I think you're right. I'm dreading the finale.
  #620  
Old 09-12-2019, 11:06 PM
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Ask yourself this: how is it that in 11 seasons we have not seen one LGBTQ contestant?
I'm almost certain we have... although not any of the big names.

Maybe Quest O'Neal? Or some other somewhat hard-luck female contestant?


Anyhow, it's very hard to know to what extent the producers wanted 21 finishers on stage 2, or anything like it. I can't imagine they wanted zero finishers, zero finishers, ten finishers (or whatever it was) the last three weeks of city finals. So maybe they've just done a particularly poor job of figuring out how difficult obstacles would be this year. (Or in the case of stage 2, a poor job of choosing a time limit).

As someone on reddit pointed out, cut thirty seconds off the time limit, and there are eight or ten finishers, which I would bet good money is close to what they were aiming for.


(I _really_ feel for my favorite ninja, Flip Rodriguez. He's never beaten stage 2. There's finally a really easy stage 2, he does manage to hit the buzzer... but he's fighting a leg injury, and times out by just a few seconds. )
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This post is merely corroborative detail, intended to add artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative
  #621  
Old 09-15-2019, 11:26 PM
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I remember a similar situation with the US Open (golf), how for a long time it had a reputation as an extraordinarily difficult event where the winning score was close to or even over par. Problem is, in recent years equipment and training had advanced to the point where top golfers were getting under-par scores on even the most brutal courses, meaning that the only way to continue to get high scores was to make the greens brick-hard. To the point where any putt that didn't go in rolled completely off. It turned one of golf's most prestigious tournaments into an utter joke and got slammed harder than a Hulk Hogan opponent at Wrestlemania. Eventually the USGA accepted the reality that the era of over-par champions was over, and the US Open became watchable again.

This is what happened with siffies this season. A powerful group of deciders saying "It's a TEST! It's supposed to be CHALLENGING! We're not trying to HUMILIATE the greatest ninjas in the country, we're trying to FIND them!" And then Angry Birds turns a siffie into an absolute farce. And then Northwest Passage turns another siffie into a near-absolute farce. Decision time. "The contestants hate it. The fans are grumbling. We convinced ourselves that this is what siffies should be...is it?" And so we got a course reminiscent of '13 or '14, and it got a relative wealth of finishers, including Michelle Warnky and Jesse Labreck.

That, in a nutshell, is the problem with attempting to tailor the course to have a certain number of finishers...there's no telling just how strong or weak the field is, and since one tiny mistake is all it takes to kill a run, dumb luck is going to skew things even further. So pretty much the only choice is to become totally heavy-handed...and, as we've seen, this makes something of a mockery of past results. And I ask this again: Why does siffies need a certain number of finishers? How is 1 or 2 or 5 or 20 finishers a benefit or a detriment? By design the same number goes through every single time. i]That[/i] should be the milestone, not "finishing", which depends in a huge part on timing.

And yes, decreasing the time limit would mean fewer finishers...but it would also mean less time to put screaming fans on camera. They're everywhere now and the main reason this show has become hard to watch. I get the feeling we're not going to get another NvN until NBC finds a way to include more screaming fans.
  #622  
Old Yesterday, 05:31 AM
Ellis Dee is offline
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Originally Posted by DKW View Post
Why does siffies need a certain number of finishers? How is 1 or 2 or 5 or 20 finishers a benefit or a detriment? By design the same number goes through every single time. i]That[/i] should be the milestone, not "finishing", which depends in a huge part on timing.
Only 13 are guaranteed to go through: The top 12, plus the power tower winner from qualifiers. Potentially another 2 women advance for a maximum of 15.

Everyone who hits a buzzer advances regardless how many there are, so if you go above 12 to 15 finishers you're adding extra participants to Vegas that otherwise wouldn't have advanced.
  #623  
Old Yesterday, 08:53 PM
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Local TV station (or their translator station) just lost signal (right before Daniel Gill's run). 15 minutes later and I wouldn't have cared...

Brian
  #624  
Old Yesterday, 08:59 PM
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Looks like you can watch on youtube:
https://www.americanninjawarriornati...online-youtube
  #625  
Old Yesterday, 09:07 PM
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(sorry for the spam)
Saw both rope climbs, still missed Gill's stage 3 run

Brian
  #626  
Old Today, 02:58 AM
Ellis Dee is offline
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I can't believe they still haven't addressed how stage 4 finishers with slower times get nothing. Gil didn't finish so it's moot now, but I mean, come on. I think stage 4 finishers without the fastest time should get $100k. Done and done. It's the same last man standing prize because you beat the course; your run ended standing.

How nuts that there was only a 1 second difference in their stage 3 times.

Caldiero still holds the record for fastest time up the rope.
  #627  
Old Today, 02:28 PM
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WTG Drew!

what was the announcement they were hyping from Dwayne Johnson?
I wonder if Daniel had enough time to recover after his 3rd stage run to recover.
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