×

‘American Ninja Warrior’ Crowns First Ever Winner After 7 Seasons

After seven seasons and thousands of competitors, NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior” finally crowned a winner, after not one, but two competitors completed the fourth and final stage of the challenge for the first time in the show’s history.

Since the series began in 2009, no athlete had ever progressed past the third stage of the competition, but in the season seven finale, both Geoff Britten and Isaac Caldiero finished the seemingly impossible course. Britten completed Stage 4 first, but Caldiero subsequently beat his time by 3.6 seconds, enabling him to win the challenge and the $1 million grand prize.

Watch Caldiero’s performance on Stage 3 and his Stage 4 win below:

The series is based on Japanese competition series “Sasuke,” which has run for 31 seasons since 1997. Only four competitors have ever completed the course and achieved “total victory” in the Japanese version of the show. The “American Ninja Warrior” season finale was held in Las Vegas, and the course consisted of four stages and 23 total obstacles. The competitors had to successfully complete all three stages before tackling the ultimate Stage 4 obstacle, Mt. Midoriyama, which stands at 8-stories tall with a 75-foot rope climb. Britten and Caldiero had 30 seconds to scale the rope and hit the buzzer.

“Winning this event always seemed impossible,” Caldiero said. “As the first American Ninja Warrior I want to use this opportunity to inspire the world to find your impossible and conquer it.”

Caldiero is a 33-year-old rock climber and busboy who honed his skills by building replicas of Stage 3 in his back yard, while Britten is a 36-year-old sports cameraman.

“American Ninja Warrior” is executive produced by A. Smith & Co. Productions founders Arthur Smith and Kent Weed (“Hell’s Kitchen,” “Wizard Wars,” “Ellen’s Design Challenge”), along with Brian Richardson and Anthony Storm.

An encore of the finale airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the Esquire Network.

More TV

  • UTA

    UTA Launches Sports Division, Invests in Klutch Sports Group

    UTA is diving into the sports arena through an investment in Klutch Sports Group, the agency that represents LeBron James and other stars. Klutch Sports founder Rich Paul will serve as head of the newly created UTA Sports wing in addition to running his own banner. Paul launched Klutch Sports in 2012 in Cleveland. UTA [...]

  • The Ultimate Guide to 2019 Comic-Con

    The Ultimate Guide to 2019 Comic-Con Parties and Activations

    Hollywood is heading down the California coast to San Diego because It’s time for 2019 Comic-Con International. The annual cosplay celebration officially kicks off tomorrow, July 18, with a preview happening tonight. Here, Variety gives you a guide to this year’s parties and activations. Make sure to check back for updates. Wednesday, July 17Amazon Prime [...]

  • Ken Ehrlich Jane Ortner Education Award,

    Grammy Awards Producer Shuffle: Ben Winston to Take Over From Ken Ehrlich in 2021

    As Variety reported in December, Ben Winston will take the reins of the Grammy Awards as executive producer in 2021 after longtime telecast leader Ken Ehrlich completes his 40th ceremony next year. Winston has become a prolific producer for CBS and other outlets since he moved to the U.S. nearly five years ago to launch [...]

  • Sarah Wright Takes Charge of Sky

    Sarah Wright Takes Charge of Sky Cinema After Management Shuffle

    Sarah Wright, Sky’s top acquisitions exec, will take on responsibility for Sky Cinema after a management shuffle at the pay-TV giant. Wright fills a role vacated by Ian Lewis, who recently left Sky after 20 years. He was one of several Sky staffers to leave after its takeover by Comcast. As director of Sky Cinema [...]

  • Jodi Long Running for SAG-AFTRA Secretary-Treasurer

    Jodi Long Running for SAG-AFTRA Secretary-Treasurer on Matthew Modine Slate

    Veteran actress and union activist Jodi Long is running for secretary-treasurer of SAG-AFTRA as a member of Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate. She is facing Camryn Manheim, who announced her candidacy on July 9 as part of the Unite for Strength slate for the re-election of union president Gabrielle Carteris. Unite for Strength and United [...]

  • BAFTA Backs BIFA’s Unconscious-Bias Training for

    BIFA’s Unconscious-Bias Training Rolls Out to BAFTA Voters, Wider Industry (EXCLUSIVE)

    The British Independent Film Awards is opening up its unconscious-bias training to BAFTA voters and, more widely, to anyone who judges the work of others in the film and TV business in the U.K. With the makeup of award-nominee and -winner lists under close scrutiny, BIFA introduced its unconscious-bias training last year. Its voters, jurors, [...]

  • New U.K. Film and TV Studio

    New U.K. Film and TV Studio Proposed for Leeds, in Northern England

    With studio space in high demand, a sizable new film and TV complex has been proposed for Leeds, the city in northern England that is fast becoming a major U.K. media hub outside of London. It has already been selected as the base for Channel 4’s new national headquarters, and companies such as pay-TV giant [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content