Insert weekly spoiler warning here!
Monday night featured a couple of American Ninja Warrior's most promising and decorated Ninjas: "The First American Ninja Warrior" Geoff Britten and Joe "The Weatherman" Moravsky. Both men continued their impressive streaks of having never fallen on either the city qualifier or city finals courses (3 straight seasons for Geoff and 4 straight for Joe). However, both men are working on even more impressive streaks.
For Geoff it's the number of consecutive buzzers slapped, which is now 7! Continuing off his "perfect season" last year of 6 straight buzzers (Geoff does like to point out that there is no buzzer at the end of stage 3, but that's not really the point, standing up on the landing platform is the buzzer).
And for Joe it is number of consecutive non-stage 3 completions, which is now 13! In each of his first 3 season Moravsky has advanced all the way to stage 3 without ever getting wet, he's the only ninja to even do this more than once.
As impressive as the streaks of these ninja greats are, there was one historic stat that stood out more than any other on Monday.
Stat of The Week:
4 women qualified for the Philadelphia city finals! Before this season, the most women to qualify for any city finals course was 1. That record was broken earlier this year in Los Angeles when Jessie Graff and Natalie Duran both punched their tickets to the LA city finals.
Now the record stands at 4, as Michelle Warnky and three rookies: Jessie Labreck, Rachael Goldstein, and Allyssa Beird all went far enough fast enough to qualify for city finals. The 4 ladies who qualified last night, plus the two who qualified in LA, plus Meagan Martin in Indianapolis brings this year's total to 7 female's advancing to the city finals. This is equal to the total number to do so in all 7 previous season combined!
The 14 city finals appearances actually only belong to 8 different women, as Michelle Warnky, Meagan Martin, and Jessie Graff each have 3 city finals appearances. With Kacy Catanzaro's indescribable city final's completion, and the three rookies this year (again: Jessie Labreck, Rachael Goldstein, and Allyssa Beird) rounding out the rest of the 8.
Interestingly, in both Season 6 and Season 7 three different women qualified for city finals from three different cities. This year, again the women qualified from 3 different cities, but instead of just 3 qualifiers there were 7.
Those numbers are amazing but as far as statistics go they're pretty basic so here are a couple more complex ways to look at just how impressive the women were in the this year's city qualifiers.
Looking only at the number of women who've been aired/annotated on the show, the proportion of women to qualify of these totals has increased each season, except last season. For example, when Jessie Graff qualified in Season 5 she was just 1/18 women aired/annotated that season, thus when she qualified 5.56% of aired/annotated women advanced to the city finals. This season 23.33% (7/30) women who were aired/annotated qualified for city finals.
With varying numbers of city qualifying courses and the occasional city where more than 30 ninjas complete the city qualifying course, the number of ninjas to qualify for city finals has varied each year since Season 3.
Using this information, and looking at the proportion of city qualifiers who were women again, shows an increase each season, except last season. For reference, when 1 women qualifies for a normal city finals field of 30 ninjas, 3.33% (1/30) of the city finals qualifiers are women.
This season 4.67% (7/150) of city finals qualifies were women, in Los Angeles 6.67% (2/30) of city finals qualifies were women and in Philadelphia 13.33% (4/30) of city finals qualifies were women.
By all accounts Philadelphia's 4 women city finals qualifiers and this year's 7 are incredibly impressive.
This week's Ninja Killer was so devastating that at the end of the broadcast Matt Iseman even used the phrase and called it, "a ninja killer". Of the aired/annotated runs Monday, Rolling Thunder had a completion rate of just 28.13% (9/32).
This is by far the lowest of the season and the second lowest ever by a city qualifying obstacle, only Season 7's hourglass drop was lower, 21.21%. Rolling Thunder's 28.13% completion rate is actually lower than some of the most dreaded city finals obstacles like Seasons 7's Walking Bar 31.25% (5/16) and Cannonball Alley 30.56% (11/36 in Seasons 6&7).
Rolling Thunder, much like the Fly Wheels in Indianapolis, doesn't seem all that tricky. Just spin this big wheel down a track, how hard could that be? Well when you're spinning the wheel by hanging underneath it things start to get difficult quick.
Then take into account, that the 24 foot wheel weighs over 100 lbs, and you can tell it's not going be rolling too easily. Since all that wasn't enough, every 4th sector between the spokes is blocked off with plexiglass meaning ninjas must reach up and over 3 feet to get the wheel to roll!
This obstacle was so tough that it lead to one of the funnier parts of Monday's episode when Geoff Britten told Kristen Leahy after his run that he hoped the producers replaced it in the city finals.
Fantasy Update:(Fantasy Ninja? - What's that? Check it out here, some behind the scenes creation here, Unfortunately we are no longer accepting entrants for Season 8 - but you can check results for all your favorite ninjas!)
Monday's 9 city qualifying finishers is the second fewest in the history of the show, behind only Venice last year (7). Finishers included the most common fantasy pick of the season, Geoff Britten (134), and the third most common pick Joe Moravsky (111).
Other finishers Ryan Stratis (18), Jamie Rahn (11), Jon Alexis (1), and Najee Richardson (1) were also selected to fantasy teams this season.
For the first time this season a rookie, Anthony Defranco, took home the fastest time of the night and earned the 0.5 fantasy point bonus, but unfortunately he was not written in on any fantasy teams. The conference champion pole vaulter from Rider University was impressive in his nearly flawless debut.
Although a rookie to American Ninja Warrior competition Defranco did make quite an impression winning the National Ninja League event hosted by the Movement Lab. In that competition Defranco finished faster than former Vegas veterans: Jamie Rahn, Noel Reyes, Dan Galiczynski, and Aaron Himelright. He could certainly be someone to watch out for going forward.
In our prize pool 12 players have selected fantasy teams which earned 6 points in from their ninjas city qualifying performances. Congrats on the lead to this point everyone:
- Alex Desjardins (Strong fog)
- Alex Desjardins (Bone crushers)
- John Desjardins (Strong fog)
- Allyssa Beird (Action Squad) - Yes the same Allyssa Beird who was part of the 4 women to qualify!
- David Jacobs (Team Popeye)
- Etan Ginsberg (NinjaWarrior.info)
- Jean-Claude Chacon-Saucy (SaucyNinjas)
- Kaitlyn Beha (Wildcats)
- Mark Reddoch (Baylor Nation)
- Noah Büttner (The Professor's beasts)
- Richard Smith (GORMR_Ninjas)
- Trevor Parks (Hacking Zero)
Some Quick Stats:Sticking with our ladies night theme, last year the Log Grip eliminated more than 50% of the women who attempted it, this year only 2/7 of the aired/annotated women were eliminated by this obstacle.
At 64 years old John Loobey became the oldest to make it past the first and second obstacle. He was also a walk-on, which makes it just even more impressive.
On Monday the Philly Warped Wall became the only obstacle this season to not eliminate at least one Ninja.
244 ninjas were aired/annotated in city qualifiers this season.
He made it through the course just fine but it did take Geoff Britten 2 swings to hit the buzzer atop the wall.