No one has a better seat for American Ninja Warrior than the hosts. Akbar Gbajabiamila, Matt Iseman, and Zuri Hall are up close with every single run as it happens. That’s a lot of Ninja-action!
We asked Akbar to tell his his top five moments from season 12. We’re absolutely sure he could have made a list of 20 or more moments, but these are the very special memories that rank right up at the top for the seasoned host!
1 - Donovan Metoyer’s (Classy Ninja’s) 360 on the Warped Wall
“Nobody had ever done anything like that. It’s not like NBA or the NFL where you get a lot of showboating, that was the first time it had been introduced to American Ninja Warrior.”
2 - Daniel Gil winning after coming close in season 11
“The ability to go back to back seasons and in the Finals and win it all... That’s rare. It’s really hard just to make it there but to make it back just speaks to the high level competitor that Daniel Gil is.”
3 - Jesse “Flex” Labreck finishes Finals course
“Her run this season just shows that she’s one of the top 5 Ninjas. Male or Female.”
4 - Pauline Avila getting through an obstacle while being COVID nurse
“Most inspirational run of the year. To have a front line worker come out there and try the course, through all the sacrifice she’s made personally and professionally, but to make room for American Ninja Warrior is amazing.”
5 - Pulling off season 12 in a pandemic
“It was never supposed to happen and the fact that it happened four months after we were gonna lose the season is incredible. NBC and A. Smith and Co. productions worked tirelessly to put something together and it happened. All the procedures and protocols that went into it not only saved the season, it really helped to inspire so many who were desperately in need of inspiration. Not to mention the hundreds of Ninjas just sitting around not knowing what to do with themselves.”