SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — American Ninja Warrior (ANW) has chosen three local superstars to compete on the show’s upcoming season. Geoff, Jenson and Andre’ of the Saratoga Ninja Lab are perfecting their skills as they look to become the next American Ninja Warrior.
As with any game show or competition, the question of how you get selected comes to mind. The local ninjas explained that ANW opens a casting call each year where competitors fill out an application and submit a three-minute video. They all emphasized the importance of the video, which highlights who you are, your backstory and your motivations. For competitor Andre’, he submitted a video of him jumping out of a plane and sky diving with an ANW t-shirt on, quite impressionable I would say! From then on casting directors decide whether to send you on to the producers or not.
For these three athletes working out and ninja training is not just good exercise but it’s an imperative part of their lives. Whether they’re preparing for the ANW competition or more local ninja competitions, they understand the hard work that needs to be put in. Fortunately, the participants are no strangers to ninja competitions and are ready for the challenge ahead. Andre’ commented, “I have been consistently training and doing Ninja since 2016/2017. I told myself I would apply for the show by the time I turn 50 years old. So last year I applied and was invited to participate in season 15. This was a very exciting time in my life. I was so happy they chose me.” For Coach Jenson, it was when his cousin brought him to a Ninja Warrior-style gym that started his love for ninja. “I did well that day, and after dabbling in it for a couple of years I decided to apply. I thought my experience of living life as a trans man would be a good story to bring and give representation to my community. I’ve applied every year since 2018, and was selected for seasons 10, 14, and now season 15.” Coming off a finger injury, Jenson is making sure he trains hard bringing 100% to the show. For competitor Geoff he’s applied every year since Season 8 and was selected for Season 9 in Cleveland, he explains it’s been a long-awaited return to this season. For Geoff, it has also become a family affair. “We never missed an episode, and we would then go to the playground and pretend we were on an obstacle course. My son would always say things like “Dad, you could do this.” Or “Dad, you should try out for this show.” I didn’t think about it seriously until he and I took a trip to our first real ninja gym in New Jersey back in 2015. My younger daughter started to join in on the fun, too.” Geoff was also born with a heart defect leading to a pacemaker implanted when he was 16. Now at 46, the Bionic Ninja is ready to compete!
Each athlete explains this opportunity is a dream come true. They’re fortunate to have been selected, let alone three from the same place! They explain taping begins between mid-March and early April in Los Angeles at Universal Studios. The airing dates are not solidified yet but sometime in the summer around June seems to be the consensus. Unfortunately, not all athletes get airtime, Geoff explains you often don’t know if or when your episode will air until right before. Make sure to keep an eye out for our local ninjas on American Ninja Warrior!