Truth of Nine’s big Ninja Warrior claim
Promos for the new season of Australian Ninja Warrior have promised that there will be a winner for the first time ever - but not all is as it seems.
No ninjas managed to defeat the grand final course in the previous two seasons of the show, with disappointed viewers labelling the results TV's "biggest anticlimax".
Even Lisa Wilkinson, who was still on Channel 9 at the time, vented her frustration that there wasn't a winner.
"You invested all of that passion and energy and you have made sure that you are sitting in front of the couch every night to see every single jaw-dropping moment and when you get to the end you at least want one person, who was better than everybody else, to have their moment of victory - and we didn't have that," Wilkinson said on the Today show.
This series finale is right up there with Seinfeld's for pointlessness. Zero winners. What an anticlimax/waste of time. #NinjaWarriorAU— The Bont is God (@TheBontIsGod) July 25, 2017
I don’t get it they compete for three weeks and there’s no winner what’s the point #NinjaWarriorAU— Sumo7769 (@sumo7769) July 31, 2018
People complaining there’s no “winner” on #NinjaWarriorAU? The whole point of the show is that you’re the winner if you get up Mt Midoriyama. It took plenty of season in other counties to get a winner.. Chill out people. The course isn’t easy for a reason.— Mel (@Mel_Johnson_01) August 1, 2018
In response to the fan backlash from the past two years, Australian Ninja Warrior has guaranteed there will be a winner this season, but that doesn't necessarily mean anyone will actually defeat the grand final course.
"If someone finishes the course they get $300,000 but if nobody finishes the course, whoever gets furthest fastest, we'll throw $100,000 at them," co-host Ben Fordham explained to news.com.au.
"Nobody will be crowned 'Australia's First Ninja Warrior' until they get to the top of Mt Midoriyama, but this year we are going to hand out a $100,000 cheque to whoever is the most successful ninja."
Fordham believes the prize for whoever goes the furthest, fastest is a good incentive for the competitors who spent months training for the show.
"Some of them have taken three, four, five months off work to focus on getting ready for their big moment so if we can compensate people for the hard work they've put in and the work they might have missed through training for Ninja Warrior, that's got to be a good thing," he told news.com.au.
That's not the only change coming to this year's Ninja Warrior, which kicks off on Channel 9 on July 8. A second Warped Wall, dubbed the Mega Warped Wall (it's one metre taller than the other one), has been added to the course and ninjas who choose to attempt it and go on to conquer it will pocket $5000.
"I think it's a nice little jeopardy moment to pop into the show," Fordham told news.com.au.
"It's a great dilemma. The ninjas can choose the Warped Wall or the Mega Warped Wall. If you go the normal Warped Wall, that's going to be easier but there's no cash bonus. If you go the Mega Warped Wall, there's a cash bonus, but for some their run will end early because they couldn't refuse the smell of the cash.
"Once you lock into doing the Mega Warped Wall you can't change your mind and go back and do the other one. You've only got three attempts to get up there."
The new season of Australia Ninja Warrior was filmed in Melbourne late last year and Fordham has guaranteed that viewers won't be disappointed by what happens in the grand final this season.
"If a whole team of talented crew and producers sat in a room trying to dream up the ultimate ending, they couldn't have come up with this," he told news.com.au. "We all walked away this year just saying, 'Wow!' The ending is going to be something that people will love."
Australian Ninja Warrior will premiere on Monday, July 8, at 7.30pm on Nine