Seven seasons into “American Ninja Warrior,” the NBC show is more popular than ever and countless fans find themselves wondering if they could take on the warped wall or the invisible ladder. Well, it may be too late for those sitting at home to try to climb Mount Midoriyama this year, but NBC is now accepting contestant applications for Season 8 in 2016. Here is what you need to know if you want a shot at being the first American Ninja Warrior.
The first obstacle in becoming an “American Ninja Warrior” contestant is not the salmon ladder or the quintuple steps, but some paperwork. Would-be ninjas need to fill out an in-depth application on the show’s casting website (to submit a valid application you must be a legal U.S. resident, at least 21 years old, and in able physical shape). The application gauges potential contestants’ physical abilities, inquiring about medical history and one’s athletic résumé, but also the depth of their personal story – “American Ninja Warrior” is technically a reality show after all – asking questions such as, “What was the worst job you ever had?”
The application also requires contestants to submit an audition video. The short (5-8 minutes) videos must display a variety of factors about the contestant – from athletic ability to background story and charismatic personality.
Watch national finalist Joe Moravsky's Season 7 submission video below:
If selected by the show’s producers, contestants are required to participate in their local regional qualifying round (at their own expense). The locations for these rounds have not yet been announced, but Season 7’s locations included Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Houston and Orlando, Florida.
Don’t fret if you do not get selected from your application. There is still another way to make it onto the show. At every regional qualifying city, some lucky contestants will have the opportunity to run the course as a walk-on. Prospective walk-ons must arrive in person, likely days in advance, at the regional qualifying city and wait it out for a chance to compete.
Contestants on “American Ninja Warrior” compete to advance from the regional qualifying rounds, to the city finals, to the national finals on the formidable Mount Midoriyama course in Las Vegas. The national finals course consists of four stages, but no athlete on the show has ever completed all four stages to claim the title of American Ninja Warrior and the million-dollar prize that accompanies it. Viewers have yet to see if any Season 7 contestant will conquer Midoriyama – the finale does not air until Sept. 14 – but it is probable that Season 8 applicants will have the chance to be the first.
Watch Geoff Britten compete in Season 7's Pittsburgh finals below:
Who will be the first American Ninja Warrior? Only time will tell. Season 7 of “American Ninja Warrior” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. EDT on NBC.