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American Ninja Warrior National Finals night two: Shocking falls and corn dogs

As the rest of the Ninjas faced Stage One, we were in for some surprises.

David Becker/NBC

Night two of the American Ninja Warrior National Finals was not short on action. We saw some thrilling course completions, along with some truly upsetting falls. At the end, we knew our final field of Ninjas who will now face Stage Two.

Nick Hanson timed out while trying to complete the Flying Squirrel.

Brent Steffensen splashed down from the dismount from the Giant Log Grip.

Jon Stewart failed on the Propeller Bar.

Jon Alexis Jr. was unable to best the Flying Squirrel.

Josh Levin continued his fantastic rookie season with a course completion.

Mack Roesch was defeated by the Jumping Spider, but held on to his crown.

Natalie Duran flew right past the Propeller Bar, and not in a good way.

Adam Rayl completed the entire Stage One.

Drew Drechsel, a fan favorite to complete the course, didn’t let his admirers down.

Najee Richardson, the hometown hero from Philadelphia, also completed the course.

Nicholas Coolridge is heading to Stage Two.

David Becker/NBC

Unfortunately, Meagan Martin is not, failing on the Giant Log Grip.

Neil Craver will be taking his crazy style to Stage Two.

Kacy Catanzaro was unable to complete the second obstacle for 3 National Finals in a row.

Ethan Swanson and Joe Moravsky were both able to hit the buzzer.

Geoff Britten broke our hearts with a shocking, and very early, fall.

Jake Murray decided to party his way through the course and it earned him the fastest completion time on Stage One.

Here’s What You Missed:

Stage One Completions on night two: 9

Ninjas taken out by new obstacle the Flying Squirrel (including those who timed out on it): 4

Ninjas taken out by the Propeller Bar: 7

The course:

  • Snake Run
  • Propeller Bar
  • Giant Log Grip
  • Jumping Spider
  • Sonic Curve
  • Warped Wall
  • Broken Bridge
  • Flying Squirrel

Heartbreaker Moment:

No doubt, this belongs to Geoff Britten. Last year, he saw the grand prize of $1 million slip out of his hands by just moments when Isaac Caldiero completed the Mt. Midoriyama climb slightly faster than him.

Everyone was thinking this was his season of redemption. He completed the Philadelphia Qualifying course, and had a great City Finals run. He was ready.

There were no words to describe the moment he slipped on the first obstacle of Stage One. It was the exact misstep taken by Travis Rosen on night one. Everyone was shocked into silence. This was not supposed to have happened. This was Geoff’s season and now it was just over.

Never one to dwell, Geoff was smiling and laughing the moment he climbed out of the water. He had a “That’s just life,” attitude in his post-run interview with Kristen Leahy and was more concerned with comforting his bummed daughter than worrying about what had just happened.

Geoff will be back. We can feel it.

Heart-pounding Moment:

There’s nothing better than watching someone who just has a great time on the course. Tonight that was Jake Murray for sure.

We’ve gotten used to his course antics, where unnecessary flips and dance moves abound, but he was on a whole other level during his Stage One run. He ran the course wearing a mysterious fanny pack.

Whatever he had in there seemed to be giving him extra motivation as he flowed through the course without a hitch. He secured the fastest time on Stage One, and then showed off what he had been carrying: Goggles and a corn dog. Of course. Why would he have anything else?

After a quick bite of the corn dog, he donned the goggles and jumped into the water, a place so many Ninja avoid.

Maybe Jake’s tactic of turing a plunge into the water into a reward is what’s keeping him dry on this National Finals course!

Lesson of the night: Study the trampoline

On night two, we got a good hard look at what happens when a Ninja doesn’t nail the strategy of hitting a trampoline. Seven Ninjas were taken out by the Propeller Bar, and much of that was due to their initial leap.

It seems simple enough. Just jump, right? But that’s the trick. Jump incorrectly and the trampoline will shoot you forward, or suck all your momentum away, preventing you from reaching the Propeller Bar.

It’s a great reminder that strength, heart, and technique have to combine to create a flawless run.

Here are the Ninjas advancing to stage two from the 9/5 broadcast:

  • Josh Levin
  • Adam Rayl
  • Drew Drechsel
  • Najee Richardson
  • Nicolas Coolridge
  • Neil Craver
  • Ethan Swanson
  • Joe Moravsky
  • Jake Murray

In total, we have 17 Ninjas who will face Stage Two! With only one episode remaining of season eight of American Ninja Warrior, will we be seeing anyone on Mt. Midoriyama?