Josh Salinas’ third season on American Ninja Warrior saw him return to the National Finals for the third time. He also advanced himself back to Stage Two for the third time. This year though, he did it with a buzzer that opened the door to Stage Three.
To get there, Josh had to face an obstacle that took him out earlier in the season. On the Oklahoma City Finals course, he was kept from the buzzer by the new Snap Back. It appeared again on the Stage Two course. But, although Josh’s Ninja career isn’t that lengthy yet, he’s known for being a strong contender. He didn’t make the same mistakes twice.
Josh spoke with us before that run to talk about what it felt like to see Snap Back again. He also had some sharp instincts about Stage Two, predicting the large number of course completions, and his own advancement to Stage Three.
“City Finals in Oklahoma was eye opening. It really was. Unfortunately, I went down where I did not expect to go down. It was a little technical, but it was a huge learning curve for me. I felt strong, I felt ready, and I felt like I deserved another patch on the arm. But things happen. You got to learn from stuff like that, and move forward and get ready for Vegas.
The obstacle that took me out was Snapback, and it’s in Vegas this year. It’s in the back of my head, for sure.”
“To be honest, I knew I had a good shot to make it to Vegas.
I think this year is the first time I feel like I can really enjoy it. The first year I felt like I had something to prove because I was a rookie and nobody knew who I was. Second year I felt like I had to own up to my expectations. This year it’s all on me. I’m here just because I want to be here, and I genuinely enjoy the sport.
The only nerves I feel is the possibility that somebody is going to win this year is very high. So I feel like that’s what makes me nervous. I want to be the next finisher. But, there are so many good athletes.”
“So this year I feel like everybody’s been over-training, trying to get past Stage Two. I think there’s going to be a lot more Stage Three competitors, and I hope that’s what it turns out to be, just because we need to see it. We haven’t got a chance to see a whole bunch on Stage Three, and they took out Wingnuts. So my nemesis right there, they took it out.
I honestly feel like I would be disappointed if I don’t get to Stage Three. If I get to Stage Three based on my past training, I’ll be super pumped about that. But, this year there’s a lot of tricky stuff, like Snap Back. There’s a lot of new obstacles that I haven’t gotten to touch before, so I have to accept the fact that I might go down on something that’s super simple, or technical, but strength-wise I don’t see myself going down until Stage Three.”
But does Josh actually even go down on Stage Three? There’s still more action to come on the American Ninja Warrior finale, Monday, September 16!