Ninja Warrior course too tough for grand finalists

For the second year in a row no competitor on Australian Ninja Warrior has made it to the dreaded Mount Midoriyama.

All 23 finalists were defeated by the brutal Stage Two of the grand final course, battling 8 obstacles in a punishing 2:45 min time limit. Nobody completed the course to face Stage Three.

That left another anti-climax to the Nine series although a medal was awarded to Queensland’s Rob Patterson who finished furthest, fastest.

Watch as Rob Patterson tackles the course, going furthest, fastest on our second season of #NinjaWarriorAU! ??

Posted by Australian Ninja Warrior on Tuesday, July 31, 2018

In the USA the gruelling series took 7 seasons before somebody claimed the title, a point frequently repeated by hosts Rebecca Maddern & Ben Fordham. Across a total of 31 seasons to air in 19 countries, only six people have ever completed the final course. Four are from Japan, two are from the US.

The final was not without plenty of drama with “Tradie Ninja” Sam Goodall, impacted by Ross River fever, whose energy was so zapped mid-course he had to be assisted by the production team.

The Nine series saw a 45% drop in its ratings this year, partly-attributed to Seven’s copycat series Australian Spartan, as well as sheer competition and a diminished novelty factor. Nine has opened casting for a third season.


  1. Again a network has to ruin a great format. Around 20-something contestants qualified for last night’s Grand Final, yet we only saw the full run of about half of those to accommodate the ‘star ninjas’ whose back stories we’ve seen again and again and again.

    If you’re good enough to get to the GF the producers should have the decency to show your full run, even if you don’t have a back story. Commentary is inane as well but I guess there’s only so many ways you can say the same handful of cliches. Not surprised the viewing numbers crashed.

    I assume number of obstacles, time limits, etc are determined by the format owner, not Channel 9? Be interesting to know if all GF formats and time limits are same around the world.

      • I agree there. My mate was one of those cut, reduced to “during the break”. His run is on the website but there’s a couple of fantastic athletes who had more than their fair share of air time who could’ve made way for someone else’s run. We’re still proud of him though.

    • Unfortunately this is the format for the show, not just during grand finals but also during heats as well. “During the break, another (number) of ninjas ran the course…”

    • “we only saw the full run of about half of those to accommodate the ‘star ninjas’ whose back stories we’ve seen again and again and again”
      Don’t you mean the competitors from Season 1?

  2. battlestargalactica

    Surely part of the ratings drop-off must also be attributed to there being no winner last year. Viewers of these shows want a result for their time investment. I assume many who were disappointed didn’t return.

  3. I absolutely loved this series and was cheering on one of my mates who made it to the final. It is a bit disappointing that there was no winner again at the end of this season but such is the nature of the beast. I reckon they should move to two seasons per year though. This was shot in December so could have made it to air earlier in the year.

      • You think? It’s only a three week / nine episode run so hardly a massive commitment from viewers compared to say MKR or The Bachelor (both of which should have died long ago but manage to crawl on regardless).

  4. I just wish that they stop saying “ninjas”. I cringe every time they say it. Japanese has no plurals, so the plural of ninja is ninja. There’s no such thing as “ninjas”. That’s why the movie is called “Seven Samurai” and not “Seven Samurais”.

  5. Just like last year, a massive fizzer in the end.
    If anyone was going to win it was moptop headband boy, Ashlin Herbert.
    He was phenomenal throughout but the pressure of being labelled outright favourite obviously got to him in the GF.
    Didn’t help that it was raining by then and the course equipment was clearly slippery for the last few strongest contenders, including Ashley.
    Also that time limit of 2 min 45 secs is unreasonable and virtually impossible, considering the ridiculously hard course.
    Would have loved to see a handful make it through as there are half a dozen highly talented contestants there that really deserved to get up the mountain.

  6. Unfortunately for 9 , Ch7 very poor clone of “Australian Spartan” may have damaged the brand this season.
    Live competition, maybe towards end of year may improve viewer numbers in the future.

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