American Ninja Warrior: Was the first contestant eliminated denied a fair race in the Season 14 premiere?

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Spoilers ahead for the Season 14 premiere of American ninja warrior.

American ninja warrior is officially back for season 14 on NBC, and the teenage invasion of season 13 which allowed to competitors from the age of 15 continued in the new cycle of competition. There were plenty of veterans too, so the two-hour premiere was packed with the kind of action fans have been waiting for since last September. However, I asked myself the question from the start of the episode: was the first competitor who was cut off unfairly advantaged?

The first competitor of American ninja warrior Season 14 was also the first contestant to be cut, as David “The Cake Ninja” Wright faced formidable obstacles to start the evening. He worked his way through the first two challenges before arriving at Split Decision as third, where he had to choose between the Domino effect – which involved running on vertical boards in the shape of a domino – and the Serpent, who look at as if it was roughly like a serpentine cylindrical pendulum.

He chose the Serpent and unfortunately discovered the hard way that the serpentine beam was not stationary. Instead, it’s made up of a series of bead-like cylinders that rolled when he put his weight on them. The Serpent was also new for Season 14, so he had no idea what he was getting into with the hurdle that ultimately turned out to be his downfall. Everyone watching from the sideline looked absolutely shocked, and Wright reached out to feel how the cylinders moved after falling into the water.

To his credit, David Wright had a smile on his face as he was in the water after his fall, but I couldn’t help but feel bad for him. For many new obstacles it’s at least more or less clear which muscles they should use and what changes to expect, but no one seemed to see it coming as the serpentine cylinders shifted and he dove into the water. Hosts Matt Isman and Akbar Gbaja-Biamila even seemed surprised too when he fell.

So was it fair? Well, all of the other contestants saw exactly what the Serpent was doing when they saw David Wright fall, and it’s worth noting that most of them seemed to be choosing Domino Effect over risking the same thing happening to them. . Whoever went first – or whoever decided to try the Serpent first – may have been doomed to be the example of why it’s such a risky obstacle, and the order of the day. means unfortunately it had to be Da Cake Ninja.

Sure, somebody had to go first, and David Wright could always have chosen Domino Effect or just taken the time to take a closer look at the Serpent before trying to cross it, so the race might have ended better for him, but the last race of the day just made me feel for him again. RJ Roman was last, with bragging rights as the competitor with fastest consecutive qualifying finishes, so expectations for him were high in Season 14 qualifying

And it did not disappoint. He easily had the fastest time of the night and earned the $10,000 bonus after reaching the top of the upper mega warp wall without any issues. I can’t help but think he wouldn’t have been so fast if he hadn’t been able to see all the other competitors ahead of him, including of course David Wright.

I don’t hit Roman at all, and it was a thrill just to watch him through the TV screen, but I can’t help but wish I could see Wright get another chance on the course now that he knows what to expect from Serpent. American ninja warrior is a rare spectacle that pits contestants of all ages (from 15) and gender against each other in the interests of fairnessbut that’s one element of the season 14 premiere that didn’t feel right to me.

Someone had to descend first on the Serpent; maybe I would feel a little differently if it was later in the course rather than third. Find out how the next group of hopefuls will fare against the odds of Season 14 with new episodes of American ninja warrior Mondays starting at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. More familiar faces are on the way, including superhero stuntwoman Jessie Graff!

For more viewing options now and in the coming weeks, be sure to check out our 2022 TV premiere schedule. You can also find past seasons of American ninja warrior and American Ninja Warrior Junior (which feature some of this season’s novelties ANW athletes who have aged to the adult version) streaming with a Peacock subscription.

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