Qualifying Week 1
S2 episode 6 Aired on April 18, 2017

By Nikki Lee

After a long wait, a new home and a new premiere date, we finally got to lay our eyes on season two of Team Ninja Warrior!

The first episode got right into the action, including season one champions Party Time and the charismatic (and shiny) Golden Hearts. Tre’s Amigoz were chomping at the bit for a win and the NorCal Ninjas featured some of the most experienced American Ninja Warriors, plus a rookie.

TL:DR: Season one champs Party Time were eliminated. Golden Hearts advanced to the finals. Anna Shumaker had an incredible Ninja Warrior debut and Natalie Duran landed her first Warped Wall. You pretty much didn’t have a chance to catch your breath for the whole hour.


The match ups:

  • Party Time vs NorCal Ninjas
  • Golden Hearts vs Tre’s Amigoz

A refresher on the Team Ninja Warrior rules is at the bottom of this article.


The Obstacles:

  • Sonic Swing
  • Ring of Fire
  • Swing Jump
  • Floating Tiles
  • Supersonic Shelf Grab
  • Warped Wall


The Teams:

Party Time (Season one champions)

  • Brian Arnold
  • Jennifer Tavernier
  • Jake Murray

NorCal Ninjas

  • David Campbell
  • Anna Shumaker
  • Brian Kretsch


Heat One:

  • Party Time’s Jake vs NorCal Ninjas’ Brian

Brian’s snag on the Ring of Fire gave Jake the edge he needed to grab the win.

Point= Party Time

Heat Two:

  • Party Time’s Jennifer vs NorCal Ninjas’ Anna

Anna dismounted off the Ring of Fire first, but Jennifer wasn’t giving up. On the Floating Tiles, Jennifer fell, but managed to hang on. She stayed in the race, but Anna took the win.

Point= NorCal Ninjas

Heat Three:

  • Party Time’s Brian vs NorCal Ninjas’ David

It was a close race until Brian slipped on the Floating Tiles and was disqualified. David fell from the Shelf Grab, and was unaware of his win until his teammates broke the good news.

Points= NorCal Ninjas

Winner of Round One: NorCal Ninjas

Golden Hearts and Tre’s Amigoz were next


The Teams:

Golden Hearts

  • Neil Craver
  • Natalie Duran
  • Grant McCartney

Tre’s Amigoz

  • Tremayne Dortch
  • Melody Schofield
  • Andrew Lowes

Heat One:

  • Golden Hearts’ Grant vs Tre’s Amigoz’ Andrew

Once Grant got off the Ring of Fire first, there was no catching him. He held the lead over Andrew for the whole heat.

Point= Golden Hearts

Heat Two:

  • Golden Hearts’ Natalie vs Tre’s Amigoz’ Melody

Melody lost momentum on the Sonic Swing. Natalie was hung up on the Ring of Fire, but once Melody hit the water, the win went to the Golden Hearts.

Point= Golden Hearts

Heat Three:

  • Golden Hearts’ Neil vs Tre’s Amigoz’ Tremayne

In a surprising turn of events, Neil fell from the jolt of the Ring of Fire, handing the 2 point anchor run to Tremayne and forcing a tie.

Points= Tre’s Amigoz

Sudden Death:

  • Golden Hearts’ Grant vs Tre’s Amigoz’ Tremayne

This was a dramatic run. Grant dismounted from the Rings first, but on the Shelf Grab things were almost tied up. However Tremayne had gotten his feet wet on the Swing Jump. When it came down to the Warped Wall, his wet shoes caused him to slip while Grant grabbed traction and the win.

Winner of Round Two: Golden Hearts


Knockout One:

NorCal Ninjas vs Tre’s Amigoz

Heat One:

  • NorCal Ninjas’ Brian vs Tre’s Amigoz’ Andrew

The Ring of Fire struck again when Brian fell from the obstacle, allowing Andrew to claim the win.

Point= Tre’s Amigoz

Heat Two:

  • NorCal Ninjas’ Anna vs Tre’s Amigoz’ Melody

Anna and Melody were in tight competition during this race. Anna made some space for herself by getting off the Swing Jump first. Melody struggled on the obstacle and ultimately went out there while Anna went all the way to the buzzer.

Point= NorCal Ninjas

Heat Three:

  • NorCal Ninjas’ David vs Tre’s Amigoz’ Tremayne

The second obstacle ended a heat again when Tremayne fell from the Ring of Fire.

Points= NorCal Ninjas

Tre’s Amigoz is OUT.

The NorCal Ninjas maintained their strong competitive edge and waited to see who they would face in the Relay Race.


Knockout Two:

Party Time vs Golden Hearts

Heat One:

  • Party Time’s Jake vs Golden Hearts’ Neil

Jake was a blur during this run. He tore off the Ring of Fire and crossed the Floating Tiles in huge leaps. Neil got close to him on the Shelf Grab, but Jake was up the Wall in a flash.

Point= Party Time

Heat Two:

  • Party Time’s Jennifer vs Golden Hearts’ Natalie

Natalie had a strong lead the whole run and Jennifer took a painful spill on the Floating Tiles. Natalie had the opportunity to complete her first Warped Wall in Ninja Warrior competition.

Point= Golden Hearts

Heat Three:

  • Party Time’s Brian vs Golden Hearts’ Grant

This race was anyone’s guess until the very end. The Ninjas were close to one another on the Shelf Grab, but Grant got up the Wall just a moment before Brian

Points= Golden Hearts

Party Time is OUT.

In a Team Ninja Warrior shake up, the season one champions are sent home in the first episode.


NorCal Ninjas and Golden Hearts in the Relay Run

In the relay, all three team members will be on the course at the same time. Each will complete three obstacles, meaning the course is extended. It’s up to each team to decide which member runs when.

NorCal Ninjas’ Anna and Golden Hearts’ Natalie would start the run.

After they completed the Swing Jump, Golden Hearts’ Grant and NorCal Ninjas’ Brian would be tagged in.

At the top of the Warped Wall, Golden Hearts’ Neil and NorCal Ninjas’ David would be tasked with completing the final three obstacles.

  • Dueling Salmon Ladders
  • Globe Graspers
  • 40 foot Invisible Ladder

Relay Race

Natalie started off the Golden Hearts strong by beating Anna to the Ring the Fire and getting the first tag.

This gave Grant the advantage and Brian had to push to catch up. They were briefly tied on the Shelf Grab, but Grant landed the dismount and tagged in Neil.

David caught up to Neil on the Dueling Salmon Ladders, but Neil pulled ahead on the Globe Graspers.

It was once again close on the Invisible Ladder but Neil found an extra tank of gas and yanked himself into a strong lead.

The NorCal Ninjas are out of the competition and Golden Hearts advance to the finals!


Next Tuesday, April 25, four more teams will take the course.

Qualifying Week 2: April 25 at 10/9c

  • Team Tarzan
  • Mega Crushers
  • Team TNT
  • The Wings


Rules

  • There are three Ninjas on each team.
  • Competitors from each team run the course side by side.
  • The first two heats are worth one point each. The third heat, also called the anchor run, is worth two points. If there is a tie after that, they’ll go into a sudden death heat.
  • The first matchup winner will then face the second matchup loser in a knockout round of three heats.
  • The winners of the knockout round will then face off in a relay race to move on to the championships!
  • Touching the water is allowed as long as you don’t lose your grip on the obstacle entirely.

READ MORE!
Here are the obstacles and rules for Team Ninja Warrior
Exclusive behind-the-scenes look at season two of Team Ninja Warrior
Here’s the full Team Ninja Warrior season two roster