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Chris Wilczewski feels like he’s, ‘playing with house money at this point’

With his “curse” behind him, he’s off to Vegas!

William Gray/NBC

American Ninja Warrior Chris Wilczewski can breathe a sigh of relief for a few reasons. First, at the Baltimore City Finals, although he was one of MANY victims of the Angry Birds, his time put him in the top 12. That means he’s off to the National Finals.

Second, Chris is just enjoying the success of the season overall. He has previously endured a Ninja “curse” where, if he had one strong year, his next year ended early. Season 10 was epic for Chris, with a Mega Wall completion in the Philadelphia Qualifiers, a City Finals buzzer, and making it to Stage Two in Las Vegas. If his previous luck had held, Chris would have been heading home after Baltimore.

But that’s not the case this year! We caught up with Chris in Vegas to ask about that nearly impossible eighth obstacle and find out what he expects from Stage One this season.

William Gray/NBC

“The Baltimore City’s Final Course was really rough. It was definitely one of the most technical courses I’ve ever seen in my Ninja tenure. They threw some really tough stuff at us after the Salmon Ladder, and surprisingly, none of us got through. I really thought there was going to be one or two that snuck through it, because that’s usually how it goes when they put something that tricky out. But this time nobody was able to pull it off.”

“It (Angry Birds) was tricky because you’re going into a blind catch. You don’t have a lot of space to laché up, so you’re kind of like laché-ing on a horizontal and you just can’t see what you’re grabbing at, so you’re just kind of hoping. Plus, it’s not like you can just grab it and be good. You have to grab it and be stable, which is a much harder move.”

On heading back to Vegas

“Oh, it feels great. I feel like, I’m usually not here on this off-year, the odd year, whatever you want to call it. So it feels great to actually be here. I feel like I’m kind of playing with house money at this point.”

What he expects to find on the National Finals courses

“I think that they have a unique opportunity to make the courses a little bit trickier with the Safety Pass because some athletes are going to have the opportunity to retry stuff on Stage One and Two. I think that can make the courses a little bit trickier, a little more technical. So it’s kind of what I’m expecting from the earlier courses.

I think it’s one of those that I could do well, but there’s always that what-if factor.”

We’ll find out if Chris’ Stage One predictions are correct when the National Finals kick off on August 26!