If you’re a fan of “American Ninja Warrior,” or if you just love watching TV shows in which world-class athletes run insane obstacle courses, you should really check out the first three seasons of “American Ninja Warrior Junior” currently streaming on NBC’s Peacock network. So far, it hasn’t been announced when, or if, season four will take place.
The show follows a group of incredible, young challengers as they compete to become the next “American Ninja Warrior Junior” champion. In this article, we’ll tell you where you can catch the show, what it’s about, how its producers choose competitors and some interesting facts about the show’s hosts.
About “American Ninja Warrior Junior”
“American Ninja Warrior Junior” is a spin-off from the hit show, “American Ninja Warrior.” “American Ninja Warrior” itself is an American version of the Japanese show, “Sasuke.” In every version of the show, challengers take on a series of incredibly difficult obstacle courses designed to test their strength, speed, and balance.
Many of the obstacles the competitors face in “American Ninja Warrior Junior” are pulled directly from the original “American Ninja Warrior” show, like the Spin Cycle, the Sonic Swing, and, of course, the dreaded Warped Wall. Many of the obstacles have been modified for the younger competitors. For example, the Warped Wall is only 13 ft high as opposed to 14.5 ft high for adults.
“American Ninja Warrior Junior” also features cameos from several “American Ninja Warrior” heroes and some celebrity athletes. The show’s young athletes benefit from coaching from mentors like Kevin Bull, Drew Drechsel, Barclay Stockett, Najee Richardson, Natalie Duran, and Meagan Martin. Mentors help train the kids on how to complete obstacles. They also shout encouragement and advice from the sidelines as the young contestants take on a course.
How Do You Compete on “American Ninja Warrior Junior?”
If you think your kid has what it takes to be a contestant on “American Ninja Warrior Junior,” you’ll need to fill out an online application for the show. As part of the application, you’ll need to include information about your child’s athletic history, images of them growing up and playing sports, as well as a video showcasing their talents and personality.
Only adults can fill out applications for their children, and there’s typically a deadline for when applications can be received. For season three, for example, applications needed to be in by April 30, 2021. The show was filmed in June 2021 and was released on September 9, 2021.
At this point, the Peacock streaming service hasn’t announced season four of the show, but the “American Ninja Warrior Junior” site has a list of requirements and suggestions that will help you make your child’s submission video when it’s time. According to the site, the show’s producers are looking for high-energy, unedited videos and images that show off your kid’s athletic ability and hometown spirit.
What Is the Age Limit for “American Ninja Warrior Junior?”
“American Ninja Warrior Junior” qualifiers are grouped into three categories based on their age, with girls and boys competing in the same groups. At the end of each season, a winner from each category takes home a $15,000 prize. Here’s how the age groups are split up.
- Nine and ten-year-olds
- Eleven and twelve-year-olds
- Thirteen and fourteen-year-olds
Contestants need to be between nine and fourteen at the start of filming. To compete in season three, competitors had to be between nine to fourteen on June 18, 2021.
How Many Seasons and Episodes Are There of “American Ninja Warrior Junior?”
So far, there have been three “American Ninja Warrior Junior” kids seasons and a grand total of 52 episodes of the show. The first season was shot in Los Angeles in 2018. It aired on the Universal Kids network and was licensed by the Family Channel in Canada. However, the show’s third season aired on NBC’s Peacock streaming service, where you can currently binge the show’s entire run.
About the “American Ninja Warrior Junior” Hosts
Like any sports broadcast, a big part of the competition’s appeal comes from the show’s knowledgeable and entertaining announcers. Here’s a look at some of the commentators that help make the next generation of ninjas look good.
About Laurie Hernandez
Laurie Hernandez was born in Township, New Jersey to two Puerto Rican parents. She’s known for being a member of one of the most dominant U.S. Olympic gymnastics teams of all time, “The Final Five.” In addition to Hernandez, the team consisted of Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Madison Kocian, and Aly Raisman.
Ever since her bubbly personality made her a fan favorite on the gold medal-winning team in 2016, Hernandez has garnered a slew of accomplishments. Following her Olympic success, she won the 23rd season of “Dancing With The Stars,” and became a New York Times bestselling author with her children’s book, “She’s Got This.” Hernandez was the on-course correspondent for the first season of “American Ninja Warrior Junior.”
About Akbar Gbajabiamila
Akbar Gbajabiamila was raised in the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles, California, by Nigerian immigrants. He’s one of seven children. Both Akbar and his brother Kabeer would go on to play college football for San Diego State University, and later in the NFL.
Gbajabiamila knows just how much grit it takes to be a professional athlete. After going undrafted in 2003, he signed with the Oakland Raiders as a free agent. He had to fight to make the team’s final squad after training camp. Throughout the rest of his NFL career, he would also play linebacker and defensive end for the San Diego Chargers and Miami Dolphins.
In addition to his work as a co-host on “American Ninja Warrior Junior,” Gbajabiamila is a co-host on the original “American Ninja Warrior” and “The Talk.” He also works as a sports analyst for the “NFL Network.”
About Matt Iseman
Matt Iseman was born in Denver, Colorado. He has a long television resume and an interesting career arc. Before pursuing a career in entertainment, he started out as a doctor — like his father. Iseman practiced medicine in Colorado and California before making the switch to a full-time comedian in his thirties.
Much of Iseman’s stand-up comedy is inspired by experiences from his medical career. He’s performed comedy for a number of medical organizations and done several USO shows for American troops in places like Afghanistan, and South Korea. Iseman generally does clean humor and avoids raunchy subject matter.
Since making the shift to stand-up comedian, and eventual television host, Iseman has hosted several shows including “Sport’s Soup,” “Live Rescue,” and “Dumbest Stuff on Wheels.” Iseman also hosts the original “American Ninja Warrior” alongside Gbajabiamila.
About Victoria Arlen
Victoria Arlen was born in Exeter, New Hampshire. Arlen and her two brothers are triplets. Though the swim star is only in her twenties, she’s already lived an incredibly inspiring story. Arlen was only 11 years old when a rare disease took away her ability to walk, talk, and even eat on her own.
Arlen spent the next four years in a vegetative state. During that time, she was fully conscious of everything going on around her but completely incapable of moving her body or communicating with anyone near her. Arlen’s doctors were convinced that even if she, somehow, managed to survive, she would almost certainly never recover.
Then a miracle happened. With the help of a new medication, Arlen started to communicate with those around her by blinking her eyes. After that, she began the slow process of learning how to use her body again. Just two years later, she was swimming (and winning gold) in the 2012 Paralympics.
Not only would Arlen learn to walk again, but she would also dance on “Dancing With The Stars” in 2017. In 2015, she became one of the youngest ESPN commentators ever. She joined “American Ninja Warrior Junior” as a co-host for its second season.
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