TV Recap: S09E11 – America Ninja Warrior Season 9 Kansas City Finals

America Ninja Warrior Season 9 Kansas City Finals

Your Announcers: Matt Iseman, Akbar Gbajabiamila, and Kristine Leahy

The Course, In Order: Floating Steps, Hang Glider (new obstacle), Broken Pipes (new obstacle), Crank It Up (new obstacle), Bar Hop, Warped Wall, Salmon Ladder, Floating Monkey Bars, Iron Maiden (New Obstacle), Elevator Climb

  1. Morgan “Moose” Wright, 42 year old PE Teacher

Just once, I would love to see the show open with one of the stronger runs of the night. You know, someone sets the tone instead of having everyone struggle until the last competitors go.

Well, “the Moose” sure made a good run at just that. Despite falling through most of the obstacles and hurting his ankle on Bar Hop, Wright made it all the way to Salmon Ladder before falling.

Also, “the Moose” pays his kids allowance for physical fitness instead of chores. Pretty good idea if you ask me.

  1. Alex Carson, 30 year old Tuba Player

The number 19 qualifier made it all the way to Bar Hop (the obstacle that took him down in qualifying).

But the engineer’s form was much improved this time as he handled the Bar Hop with ease.

Akbar really overplayed the whole Tuba thing encouraging Alex to “play music here” or “keep the rhythm” before the tuba player fell on Floating Monkey Bars.

After the break, Drew Hendry fell at Broken Pipes, Daren Perez fell at Crank It Up, and Jelani Allen (the competitor who waited twelve days in line with his grandfather as a walk-on) fell at Floating Monkey Bars.

  1. Sara Heesen, 31 year old Bartender

“Beastin Hessen” made a valiant effort before falling on Crank it Up, the same obstacle that took her down in qualifying.

  1. Ethan Swanson, 27 year old YouTube Stuntman

The first of the Chicago four was the fifth qualifier.

But in the first of night’s biggest shockers, Swanson fell on Broken Pipes, the course’s third obstacle.

  1. Wes Whitlam, 36 year old Software Manager

Whitlam’s mother passed away last year in October from colon cancer, and “The Kilt Ninja” wears the Kilt in honor of his mom’s Scottish heritage.

Whitlam made it to Bar Hop (the obstacle he fell on in qualifying) before slipping on the bar yet again.

After the break, Eric Middleton fell on Floating Monkey Bars, Abby Paul fell on Broken Pipes, and Broc Bebout fell attempting a 15 foot leap on Bar Hop.

  1. Michael Bougher, 21 year old National Guardsman

The number 26 qualifier fell at Crank It Up during qualifying.

He didn’t even make it that far this time, falling on Broken Pipes and ending his run in less than 20 seconds.

  1. Dan Polizzi, 35 year old Firefighter

The first “Tower of Power” placed 16th in qualifying. And while both men have made it to Vegas, neither one has made it in the same season.

And the two men will not be making it together this year as Polizzi became another surprise victim of the Broken Pipes.

Before the break, Devin Harrelson fell on the first obstacle, while Kyle Schulze and Tyler Smith both fell on Bar Hop.

  1. Mitch Vedepo, 26 year old Grad Student

“The Science Ninja” was the number 20 qualifier. And he moved quickly through the first part of the course making it up the Warped Wall.

Then, Vedepo became one of the few competitors on the night to make it past Floating Monkey Bars.

Now, it is rare that the first person to ever tackle an obstacle succeeds at it.

That was the not the case with “the Science Ninja” as he moved quickly through Iron Maiden.

In fact, Vedepo made it all the way to 30 feet before his arms gave out on Elevator Climb.

But the run would still be good enough to get Vedepo to Vegas.

After the break, Dennis Lappan became another victim of Broken Pipes.

  1. Kyle Mendoza, 27 year old FedEx Delivery Driver

The long legged Mendoza had no issue with Broken Pipes leaping over the obstacle in three single bounds.

The number 14 qualifier even overcame the Bar Hop, the obstacle that took him out in qualifying.

Unfortunately, Mendoza fell trying to jump two rows at once on Salmon Ladder

  1. Maggie Throne, 35 year old Marketing Consultant

Throne credits her friends for helping her get through her qualifying run, her first since her divorce from fellow ninja competitor, Alex Throne.

Throne nearly became another victim on Broken Pipes. But she gathered herself at the midway point and made it through.

Then, Thorne became the first woman to get past Crank It Up before falling on Bar Hop.

Thorne’s run seems likely to qualify her for Vegas as one of the top 2 females.

After the break, Spencer Johnson fell on the Salmon Ladder, while Dave Cavanagh fell on the Floating Monkey Bars. Cavanagh’s run was good enough to qualify for Vegas.

  1. Brad Spine, 31 year old Arm Wrestler

The national champion arm wrestler became another competitor who really had to take his time on Broken Pipes. Not one person competing tonight fell on it in qualifying.

Fortunately for Spine, he made it past the third obstacle and all the way up the Warped Wall.

Spine could have clinched a spot in Vegas if he completed Salmon Ladder. But the rookie runner fell, leaving his spot in the National Finals in doubt.

  1. Tyler Yamauchi, 31 year old Stay-at-Home Dad

The third of the four Chicago competitors was being watched by the “Towers of Power” (who are watching him in fire gear for no reason at all).

The number 3 qualifier assured his spot in Vegas after completing the Salmon Ladder.

But Yamauchi wasn’t done yet.

He became the second man to make it to Iron Maiden and was looking great. But Yamauchi skipped the last peg and fell awkwardly on the dismount.

After the break, Hunter Guerard fell on Floating Monkey Bars and qualified for Vegas. Annie Dudek fell on Crank It Up. Dudek’s fall sent Maggie Throne to the National Finals.

  1. Sarah Schoback, 32 year old Ninja Gym Owner

In order for the top female qualifier to make it to Vegas, she must take the spot of her friend, Sarah Hessen.

Schoback either needs to get through Broken Pipes in 1:10 or get through Crank It Up to beat Hessen.

Schoback made it through Broken Pipes, but her time came up just short as Sarah Hessen advanced by .25 seconds.

  1. Brandon Mears, 34 year old Firefighter

The number 2 qualifier became another victim of Broken Pipes, the same obstacle that took out three of the four Chicago competitors out on the night.

  1. Lance Perkus, 30 year old Rancher

Will anybody finish the course in Kansas City? “The Cowboy Ninja” had the last shot to get it done.

The top qualifier barely overcame Broken Pipes, the night’s thorn in the side.

And after missing Vegas last year, Perkus qualified for Vegas after completing the Salmon Ladder.

But for the second time in “American Ninja Warrior” history, no one completed the course in Kansas City as Perkus fell on Swinging Monkey Bars.

And your top 15 heading to Vegas

(Failed on Elevator Climb)

  1. Mitch Vedepo

(Failed on Iron Maiden)

  1. Tyler Yamauchi

(Failed on Floating Monkey Bars)

  1. Hunter Guerard
  2. Eric Middleton
  3. Dave Cavanagh
  4. Lance Perkus
  5. Jeremiah Morgan
  6. Jelani Allen
  7. Alex Carson

Failed on Salmon Ladder

  1. Kyle Mendoza
  2. Spencer Johnson
  3. Brad Spine
  4. Ben Baker
  5. Morgan “Moose” Wright

(Fell on Bar Hop)

  1. Donovan Metoyer

And your top 2 females….

  1. Maggi Thorne
  2. Sara Heesen

The National Finals are just two weeks away!!!! The Denver City Finals are next week. See you then.

 Photo Credit: Eddy Chen/NBC | 2017 NBCUniversal Media, LLC




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