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Looking back at the Power Tower: Love it or leave it?

What did you think of season 11’s huge new addition?

Brett Deering/NBC

As American Ninja Warrior charges ahead to the National Finals, we’re leaving behind the six qualifying regions. That means we’re done with one of season 11’s new, and most discussed, elements: The Power Tower.

In each of the six Qualifying rounds, the two fastest finishers raced on the tower for the Speed Pass. It assured them a place at the National Finals, regardless of their performance in the City Finals. In fact, they could have skipped that course all together if they’d wanted.

In the City Finals round, the two fastest finishers, or the two who went the farthest the fastest in the case of no finishers, raced for the Safety Pass. The Safety Pass allows for a do-over in case of a fall (or timing out) on Stage One or Two of the National Finals. (It’s no help on Stage Three.)

The goal of the Power Tower was definitely to up the ante on the season’s early courses. Ninjas were suddenly incentivized to take more risks and move quickly through the obstacles. New strategies were developed and implemented with varying levels of success. We’ll see if and how the Safety Passes come into play starting on August 26, when the National Finals begin to air.

You can find a full list of the Power Tower match ups and winners here.

But the new addition wasn’t completely without debate within the fanbase. Frequently, we read comments regarding what the use of a Safety Pass at the National Finals would really mean to the Ninjas and the viewers. Also, that there was no equivalent opportunity for just the female competitors. (They absolutely could have gone to the Power Tower if they had a top time, but we didn’t see it happen this season.)

Both those points could be discussed for hours and debated in either direction. It’s not a simple subject. We do want your overall thoughts now that we’ve seen all 12 of the Power Tower races this season. Did you like it? Do you want to see it back for season 12? Tell us your reasons in the comments.


Did you like the Power Tower and do you want to see it return next season?

This poll is closed

  • 84%
    (423 votes)
  • 15%
    (79 votes)
502 votes total Vote Now

To help refresh your memory, we’ve pulled together Tweets and videos regarding all the match ups.

Cincinnati City Finals: Ethan Swanson vs Michael Torres

Winner: Michael Torres

Baltimore City Finals: Dave Cavanagh vs Lucas Reale

Winner: Dave Cavanagh

Seattle/Tacoma City Finals: Dan Yager vs Karson Voiles

Winner: Karson Voiles

Oklahoma City Finals: Daniel Gil vs Mathis “The Kid” Owhadi

Winner: Mathis Owhadi

Atlanta City Finals: Drew Drechsel vs Kevin Carbone

Winner: Drew Drechsel

Los Angeles City Finals: Flip Rodriguez vs Brian Kretsch

Winner: Flip Rodriguez

Cincinnati Qualifiers: Ethan Swanson vs Jackson Twait

Winner: Ethan Swanson

Baltimore Qualifiers: Dave Cavanagh vs Conor Galvin

Winner: Dave Cavanagh

Seattle/Tacoma Qualifiers: Leif Sundberg vs Sean Bryan

Winner: Sean Bryan

Oklahoma City Qualifiers: Daniel Gil vs Matthew Day

Winner: Daniel Gil

Atlanta Qualifiers: Tyler Gillett vs Drew Drechsel

Winner: Drew Drechsel

Los Angeles Qualifiers: Hunter Guerard vs David Campbell

Winner: Hunter Guerard