Here’s why nobody won season 9 of NBC’s American Ninja Warrior. A spinoff of the popular Japanese show Sasuke, American Ninja Warrior aired its first season in 2009 and is still going strong eleven seasons later. Each season, contestants at the peak of physical fitness try to complete a series of ridiculously difficult obstacle courses in the hope of nabbing the much-coveted title of "American Ninja Warrior" and a hefty cash prize.
Alongside the main show, American Ninja Warrior has grown to include several spinoffs like the self-explanatory American Ninja Warrior Junior and Ninja Vs. Ninja, which features show alumni competing in teams of three. In the past few years, NBC has also aired a couple of celebrity-focused specials raising money for the charity Comic Relief USA that has seen stars like Runaways’ Gregg Sulkin and Arrow actor Stephen Amell take on the notorious obstacle course.
American Ninja Warrior 2017 was the show’s ninth season and the first to feature fan-designed obstacles with qualifying rounds in six cities across the U.S.A – Los Angeles, San Antonio, Kansas City, Denver, Daytona Beach, and Cleveland. During the different stages of the national finals held in Las Vegas, the competition was gradually whittled down to just three contestants – Sean Bryan, Najee Richardson, and Joe Moravsky – who were all defeated by the course in the third round. Contestants must complete all four stages of the final round to achieve ‘total victory’ and be crowned "American Ninja Warrior," which meant nobody won season 9.
It’s not unusual for no winner to emerge from a season of NBC's American Ninja Warrior – in fact, it’s quite the norm. Throughout the show’s eleven seasons and the hundreds of hopefuls that have competed, only two – Geoff Britten and Isaac Caldiero – have completed the four stages of the national finals and achieved total victory; strangely enough, Britten and Caldiero both won the title of American Ninja Warrior in season 7. Being the first person to complete all four stages, Britten was technically the first-ever "American Ninja Warrior" but as Caldiero finished just a few seconds faster he took home the $1 million prize money, in addition to the title itself.
In the entire international Ninja Warrior franchise - which now spans over 20 countries worldwide - only six people have achieved total victory including Britten and Caldiero. That’s a testament to just how truly difficult progressing through the show’s obstacle courses is and why nobody was crowned the winner of American Ninja Warrior 2017.