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American Ninja Warrior season 13 recap: Night three of Semifinals

The teens ruled this night right down to the final moments.

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Elizabeth Morris/NBC

Night three of the American Ninja Warrior season 13 Semifinals brought back a strong group of veterans. But in the end, the teens ruled this night right down to the very final moments of the episode, with one teen snagging a Safety Pass and continuing on with a pretty epic season.

Ninjas such as Sean Bryan, Adam Rayle, and R.J. Roman all wanted the Power Tower, but it would be the rookies who put together the top times. The surprises didn’t end there. A new obstacle, Drop Zone, brought a few seasons to a literally bloody end. Here’s how it went down!

The course:

  • Shrinking Steps
  • Double Twister
  • Ring Chaser
  • Diamond Dash
  • Drop Zone
  • Warped Wall
  • Salmon Ladder
  • Padlock
  • Split Decision
  1. The Dungeon
  2. Diving Boards
  • Spider Trap

Sean Bryan: Oh, Sean. We’ve seen Sean injure himself on the course before. He approaches obstacles with full force, always. After telling us more about his new gym, Traverse Fitness, and his dedication to serving his community, Sean went all out once again. Everything was going smoothly until the new obstacle, Drop Zone. As Sean unlocked the second bar, the sudden drop brought it straight into his face. It happened again on the third bar. Now bleeding quite impressively, Sean took on the back half. After a bit of a struggle on the second wheel of Padlock, Sean picked the Dungeon on Split Decision. He still looked so strong (although a bit bloody) as he started the Spider Trap. What a dramatic and impressive way to start the episode!
Result: Complete (Don’t worry. After Sean’s run, production paused while the course was properly cleaned.)

Brad Giles: The healthcare CEO was out on Double Twister.

Josh Wagg: The 25-year-old rookie (who is incredibly nice, don’t let the makeup fool you) fell on Ring Chaser.

Megan Budway: The elementary school music teacher ended her season on Diamond Dash.

Francisco Barajas: Francisco has a speech stutter and has struggled with it at times. Ninja Warrior training helped him develop the confidence he needed and that showed on the course. He wasn’t flustered when he missed the ring on obstacle three. Francisco smiled after a face-plant off of Diamond Dash. He was ready for the pops of Drop Zone and made it through without injury. On the back half, he quickly corrected an error on the Salmon Ladder. He miscalculated his jump up to Padlock and didn’t really get a chance on the obstacle. But his fast time meant his season wasn’t necessarily over just yet.
Result: Out on Padlock

Elizabeth Morris/NBC

Enzo DeFerrari Wilson: Enzo has the distinction of being the youngest course finisher ever on the show. He had just turned 15 when he completed the Qualifying course. Off the course, Enzo has started his own ocean conservationist group called Ocean Needs Everyone. After the first five obstacles, Enzo took a big breath before toppling the Warped Wall. Enzo was swiftly on Padlock, but he lost control of the second wheel and it spun him into the water.
Result: Out on Padlock

Charity LeBlanc: Charity, known as the Mermaid Ninja, slipped off Ring Chaser.

Glenn Davis: At 58-years-old, Glenn was the oldest competitor of the night. His run ended on Diamond Dash.

David Campbell: David has participated in every season of American Ninja Warrior. Like Sean, David took a huge hit on Drop Zone. At one point, he dropped to hanging by just one arm from the impact. Bleeding, he tried to muscle his way off the obstacle but ultimately was out when his foot hit the water on the dismount.
Result: Out on Drop Zone

Elizabeth Morris/NBC

Nate Pardo: The 16-year-old moved carefully through Drop Zone, keeping his face away from the pipes. After shaking out his arms on the back half, he skipped rungs heading up the Salmon Ladder. On Padlock, Nate did a great job controlling the rolls of the wheels. When the third tossed him from side to side, Nate stayed calm and dismounted safely. Maybe feeling the effects of that effort, Nate opted for the Diving Boards but took a swim.
Result: Out on Diving Boards

Brittney Durant: Brittney is a dancer and a clothing designer. Her run got a little rocky with extra spins on Double Twister and missing the ring on Ring Chaser. Brittney managed to survive another hiccup on Diamond Dash before digging into Drop Zone. She was so close to making the dismount before she peeled off the obstacle. But that could position her for the women’s leaderboard.
Result: Out on Drop Zone

Sophia Lavallee: Sophia, 16, was out on Ring Chaser while attempting to use the smaller ring.

DeShawn Harris: After dancing it out on the start line, the four-time veteran passed the fifth obstacle for the first time. His run ended on Padlock.

Josiah Pippel: Josiah, 15, has found a trainer and mentor in Najee Richardson. Najee sat out season 13 due to an injury, but he was on the virtual sideline for Josiah. The young Ninja sped through the front half of the course without incident. Josiah marched determinedly down the runway to the Salmon Ladder. On Padlock, he balanced out the moves of the second wheel and launched into the third, riding the momentum to a perfect dismount. After stomping directly to the Dungeon, Josiah sailed through to the Spider Trap. He completed the course and overtook Sean Bryan’s time.
Result: Complete

Elizabeth Morris/NBC

Tage Harrington: Tage ended his run on Padlock.

Kevin Carbone: One of the obstacle designer’s recent creations was Ring Chaser. He passed that and ended the run on Padlock.

Brian Kretsch: The other American Ninja Warrior OG was one of the many to become a victim of Padlock.

Megan Rowe: Talk about interesting hobbies. Megan spends her time throwing axes and making Ninja Warrior custom earrings. She bounced through the course energetically, grabbing the ring on obstacle three and somersaulting on Diamond Dash. Megan did take a little bump on Drop Zone, but shook it off and locked in her trip to Vegas. After joking around with Matt and Akbar, she put the Warped Wall behind her and cracked jokes about her shaking legs. Her fun run came to an end when she bounced off the second wheel of Padlock.
Result: Out on Padlock

Elizabeth Morris/NBC

Alyssa Varsalona: Alyssa took a yucky smash to the face when she tripped on Diamond Dash and hit the water.

Tyler Gillett: Tyler had a great run, and opted for the Diving Boards on Split Decision. He didn’t make it through dry, but he was definitely going to Vegas.

Adam Rayl: We joined the veteran on the back half of the course. Adam muscled through Padlock, making sure there were no mistakes. He carefully weighed the options of Split Decision before selecting the Dungeon. The thought process meant he wouldn’t face the Power Tower, but his strength handled the obstacle. With the Spider Trap seeming to be simple for Adam, he had another buzzer.
Result: Complete

Jose Gomez: There were bowties all around to celebrate Jose’s birthday. He celebrated with a fun ride on Drop Zone, including a one-handed save. After spending quite a bit of time on the second pipe, he didn’t have the energy to catch the third.
Result: Out on Drop Zone

Cody Johnston: Cody was joined in the Qualifiers by his daughter, Riley. The family’s season ended on Double Twister.

Mike Wright: When the diving coach knew it was over on Diamond Dash, he threw in a lovely dismount.

Vincent Pane: The Stanford Ph.D. student makes his own clothing. On Ring Chaser, it looked like Vincent was going to slip off the hook but he made it through. There was another close call on Diamond Dash. Vincent took David Campbell’s advice to survive Drop Zone and slowly navigated the obstacle. Another slow trip up the Salmon Ladder signaled Vincent’s exhaustion and he was out on the Padlock soon after.
Result: Out on Padlock

Austin Hair: Austin’s wife Lisa revealed they were having a baby girl at the start line. The wakeboarder then fell on Diamond Dash.

Brett Sims: Brett Sims used his 10 seasons of experience to bounce back from a scary moment on Padlock, completing the course and heading back to the National Finals for the fourth time.
Result: Complete

Meagan Martin: Meagan was freshly back from her job commentating Sport Climbing for the Tokyo Olympics, and still smiling from her buzzer in the Qualifiers. The eight-time veteran almost had the ring on Ring Chase but it slipped from her hand. Still, she was able to move on to Diamond Dash which locked in Vegas for her. Meagan went into Drop Zone ready for the jolts. She shook out the nerves with a little dance after the Warped Wall. The Salmon Ladder was in her skill set, but what about Padlock? Meagan had a wild ride on the first wheel but didn’t survive the second.
Result: Out on Padlock

Elizabeth Morris/NBC

Jonathan Godbout: Jonathan, 16, selected Dungeon on Split Decision and it opened the door to the buzzer.
Result: Complete

R.J. Roman: The always speedy R.J. had his sights set on the Power Tower. To save precious seconds, he tried for the Diving Boards, but the buzzer and the Tower slipped away when he hit the water.
Result: Out on Diving Boards

Vance Walker: The final run went to 16-year-old Vance Walker. He made big waves in the Qualifiers with his run up the Mega Wall. Could he repeat that level of success? Yup. Vance was clean and efficient on the front half of the course. He didn’t even pause to set up his run into the Warped Wall. It was all one fluid motion for Vance. He was smiling on Padlock, making all the right moves. At Split Decision, he had plenty of time to make a choice. Vance opted for the Dungeon and showed zero cracks in his concrete strength. Vance tossed aside the doors on Spider Trap and claimed the top time by more than a minute.

Elizabeth Morris/NBC

Power Tower

  • Vance Walker vs Josiah Pippel

In yet another showing of the teens’ abilities, we had a 16-year-old and a 15-year-old on the Power Tower. These kids are just incredible. Josiah had a seven-inch height advantage over Vance, but would that factor into the action?

Both looked focused and calm in the starting position. When the bell rang out... It turned into a brawl down to the last second. The two were neck and neck all the way. Vance claimed the win by one narrow swing to the landing platform. So a teen now how has a do-over in the National Finals. What could that mean to the end of the season?

Safety Pass winner: Vance Walker