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New details on how the Power Tower will play a role in season 13

The vertical obstacle course is back, with some changes.

Elizabeth Morris/NBC

We have some behind-the-scenes details for you today! American Ninja Warrior will bring back the Power Tower for season 13 but expect things to be a little different this time around.

First, let’s break it down. The Power Tower is a 40-foot-tall, vertical obstacle course that was introduced in season 11 and used again in season 12. Here’s what to expect for season 13.

  • There are no Power Tower races after the Qualifying rounds.
  • That means there is no Speed Pass.
  • The obstacles involved will be different from seasons 11 and 12.
  • The top two competitors in each Semifinals round will race on the Power Tower.
  • The winner will get the Safety Pass that allows for a do-over on Stage One or Two of the National Finals.
  • We’ll also see the Power Tower in this year’s Ninja Warrior family special.

Okay, let’s dive into the details.

When the Power Tower was introduced in season 11, it was used in both the Qualifying and City Finals episodes. In the Qualifiers, the top two Ninjas from the night (that went the farthest the fastest) raced on the Power Tower in a bid to earn the Speed Pass. This prize immediately qualified them for the National Finals. That meant the pressure was off to have to do well in the City Finals.

The same format was used for the season 11 City Finals, with the prize resulting in the Safety Pass. That pass gifted a re-run on Stage One of Two of the National Finals. It ended up having a dramatic effect on the competition. All but one of the Safety Pass winners had to use it to advance at the National Finals.

In season 12, the Power Tower was brought back in the Qualifiers with a new incentive on the line. The Ninja who won the race was allowed to advance their other two “teammates” into the Semifinals. Additionally, the season culminated with the top eight competitors racing in the Power Tower playoffs until a champion (Daniel Gil) was crowned.

And that brings us to season 13.

The Power Tower will make its return in 2021. We’ve been told to expect “many new elements” from last year’s design, so the Ninjas shouldn’t get comfy with the idea of what they’ll face.

The first time we’ll see the Power Tower this season will be after each Semifinals episode. The show won’t break it out for the Qualifiers. That means there’s no Speed Pass to speak of, but it does mean the Safety Pass will be back on the line. The show is returning to the National Finals this year, so we know this pass will once again play a big part in how the results come about.

As in the previous seasons, getting to the Power Tower will involve being one of the two top Ninjas of the night.

It was previously confirmed that the Power Tower would be part of the first-ever Ninja Warrior family competition. However, we didn’t have any confirmation of its role in the regular season until today. We can now say with assurance that the Power Tower is back for the Semifinals with the Safety Pass incentivizing the Ninjas to move fast.