Host of NBC’s American Ninja Warrior, Matt Iseman joined us on the phone this morning to talk about the sixth season premiere tonight at 9!
The action-packed premiere follows competitors as they tackle a series of challenging obstacle courses in both qualifying and finals rounds across the country. Those that successfully complete a course in their designated region will move on to the national finals round in Las Vegas, where they face a four-stage course modeled after the famed Mt. Midoriyama in Japan.
Matt tells us the show has come a long way since its humble beginnings.
“This is crazy, this thing started off as a little cable show on G4 and now it’s just grown and grown,” said Matt. “It’s been awesome to watch people discover the show and embrace it.”
For those new to the show, Matt tells us America Ninja Warrior pits contestants up against the “world’s most difficult obstacle course.” Not only do they get professional athletes competing on the show, but the majority of the contestants are the normal, everyday people.
“These people are in fantastic shape…people who have jobs and families and still find time to train…it’s been a blast doing this,” he said.
The show is based on the hit Japanese show “Sasuke,” and many of the obstacle names are derived from the Japanese version, including the “cat grab” and the “door knob grasper.”
The “cat grab” obstacle features six-foot walls you have to jump ten feet out to, land on them like a cat, grab the top of the wall, pull yourself up and leap to the next wall. The door knob grasper is like a “rainbow arch” with no support underneath and contestants have to work their way across by grabbing door knobs, which rotate as they move. Not a cake walk for even the most athletic contestants.
In order to guarantee a spot in the national finals, competitors must successfully complete the finals course in their respective city. From there, competitors will travel to Las Vegas and earn the chance to win the title of “American Ninja Warrior,” along with the $500,000 grand prize.
And it’s not just macho men who are making it through these difficult courses, more and more women have coming out to represent on the show.
“This year has really been the year of the women. We for the first time ever had a woman get through the qualifying course. She was five-feet tall, one hundred pounds,” he said.
Don’t miss out on the season six premiere of American Ninja Warrior tonight at 9 on NBC! Listen to our complete interview with Matt Iseman in the clip below!