Another Twist This Season on American Ninja Warrior

When I finally decided to “cut the cord” and just purchase streaming services instead of paying for cable earlier this year, my one concern was following along a few shows that are fun to watch as soon as they’re released, including Top Chef and American Ninja Warrior. Fortunately, the latter is now available on Peacock, and we’ve watched all 6 available episodes.

Every season the producers add a few twists to the obstacle course, and season 13 is no different. In qualifiers, they added a “split decision” at a crucial juncture in the course: Instead of forcing contestants to overcome 1 balance obstacle, they have the option between 2 different balance obstacles. These obstacles are notorious among the ninjas, so I really like giving them an option.

It got even better in the semifinals. Near the end of a grueling 10-obstacle course, contestants have a choice between a slow, difficult upper-body obstacle or a fast, also difficult lower-body balance obstacle. I really like this, because if a contestant is completely gassed by the time they get to this part of the course, they can take their chances on the quick-feet obstacle, but if they want more precision and control, they can opt for the upper-body option. While more ninjas chose the upper-body obstacle, I was surprised by how many were relieved to have the option of the lower-body barrier.

Which do you think you would choose at that point on the course? I’m sure my upper body would be completely done by that point, and while my balance isn’t great, I have good fast-twitch muscles, so I’d be happy to try the lower-body option.

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