Wednesday, May 31, 2017

It's 'American Ninja Warrior' vs the World

TV American Ninja Warrior - USA vs the World
(l-r) Josh Levin, Daniel Gil, Jessie Graff, Drew Drechsel, Jake Murray,
Brian Arnold (Photo by: David Becker/NBC)


One week before American Ninja Warrior begins its regular summer season, NBC will host the American Ninja Warrior: USA vs. the World this Sunday, June 4. Per usual, the competition will consist of three teams of six players, but this time, Japan will not be represented. Instead, joining USA will be teams from Europe and Latin America. The three will compete in Las Vegas on the first three stages of Mt. Midoriyama, the famed four-stage finals course featured in American Ninja Warrior.

Also always, Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila are set to host and Kristine Leahy will co-host so things are pretty much normal, but NBC teases that the audience will be in for a surprise as one of the ninjas makes history.

Team USA features several members hoping to make a big impression, including veteran competitor Brian Arnold and six-time repeat competitor Drew Drechsel, both of whom have nearly made it to stage four in Las Vegas in years past. Also joining the team this season will be Daniel Gil and Los Angeles stuntwoman Jessie Graff, who wowed audiences last September with her stunning appearance in the Las Vegas finals. Rounding out Team USA are Josh Levin and Jake Murray.

Team Europe features several all-stars, including returning ninjas Stefano Ghisolfi (Italy), Alexander Mars (Sweden), Sean McColl (France) and Tim Shieff (England). McColl and Ghisolfi are world-class rock climbers and Shieff is a world champion free runner and the top performer in the U.K.’s version of Ninja Warrior, while Mars is a top finisher in the Swedish version. Two new team members include England’s Owen McKenzie and Denmark’s Bjarke Tonnesen.

For the first time, this season’s USA vs. the World will feature competitors from Latin America. The intrepid ninjas include Santiago de Alba (Mexico), Wid Eriksen (Mexico), Karl Fow (Venezuela), Diego Gonzalez (Mexico), Danee Marmolejo (Mexico) and David Saikin (Argentina). De Alba and Gonzalez are both highly decorated Mexican climbing champions, Eriksen is an acrobat by trade, Fow and Marmolejo are both world renown freerunners and stuntmen, and Saikin is an Argentinean climbing champion.

American Ninja Warrior: USA vs. the World airs Sunday, June 4 from 8:00-11:00 p.m. and the new season of American Ninja Warrior season begins the following Monday, June 12 at 8:00 p.m.

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