We want to hear your opinions on the walk-on line process!
The walk-on line has always been a cherished and slightly controversial part of American Ninja Warrior’s production.
The essence of the line is to give those that didn’t get the “call” to be on the show another avenue to have their moment in the spotlight. For the past 10 seasons of the show, the line was almost its own standalone entity. It was governed by the Ninjas. Whoever showed up first started the line, and as a group, they needed to set rules around when you had to physically be there in order to maintain your place in the line. It led to some lines starting a month or more in advance.
The show generally tries to runs the walk-on contestants at the start, middle, and end of the taping of the Qualifiers. However, this is subject to change based on the amount of time available to get through the almost 100 contestants who were guaranteed a running spot. A bought of rain, a delay in taping, the sun coming up, quite a few factors can cut walk-ons from the course. Frequently, athletes who gave up weeks of their time to be in the walk-on line never stepped on the course.
Everything changed for season 11 as Ninja Warrior debuted the walk-on lottery. Now, no long line is needed. At a time and place designated by production, walk-on hopefuls enter into a lottery. Numbers are pulled at random and the order is determined on the spot. No need to show up early. No need to stick around if your name wasn’t called.
The goal behind the change was to allow more people who aren’t in a position to leave their families or work for weeks on end to still have a shot at walking on. Hopefully, it also softened the blow if a walk-on didn’t get the run the course. They hadn’t spent days and days waiting, just to be let down.
The lottery has been in place for the past four regional locations of American Ninja Warrior. The Seattle/Tacoma and Cincinnati walk-on lotteries remain. Things are always evolving at American Ninja Warrior, so it’s anyone’s guess as to if they’ll keep the lottery the same next season, or make any changes to it.
How would you change the walk-on line process? Would you make any edits to the lottery introduced this season? Did you prefer the Ninja-governed version?
Let us know in the comments below and describe your ideal walk-on process.