Imagine this. You’re an American Ninja Warrior veteran. It’s the Qualifiers. Your run brings you all the way to the fifth obstacle. Your speed means you take the seventh position on the leaderboard for the night. You’re in the Semifinals.
But everyone, including you, are shocked that it happened that way.
That’s the position season 12 winner Daniel Gil found himself in as he started season 13. This marks his seventh year on the show. In all the time, Daniel had NEVER fallen on a Qualifying course. In fact, he’s only fallen once outside of the National Finals.
Running down the Qualifying course, it looked like Daniel was in for a repeat of his frequent success. The young teen competitors had set fast times to the buzzer and Daniel’s pace showed he wanted to stay at the top of the leaderboard with them. Then V Formation happened. As Daniel jerked the handle upwards, he did not realize it was resting in the perfect position to hold the lock slightly open. As Daniel readjusted his weight to make his next move, the lock released the handle and the jolt of the drop peeled Daniel into the water.
As he stared up at the obstacle from the pool below, Daniel looked just as baffled and confused as we were. It’s a sight we haven’t seen before. It’s a sight none of us would like to see again.
But as we said, Daniel is still in a top position as he advances into the Semifinals. If he can turn this twist ending into a new beginning, he’ll be unstoppable once again.