Grand Final, Stage 1
Australian Ninja Warrior
Australian Ninja Warrior is a sports entertainment competition spin-off of the Japanese television series Sasuke which premiered on 9 July 2017 on the Nine Network. It features hundreds of competitors attempting to complete series of obstacle courses of increasing difficulty, in hopes of advancing to the finals and becoming the season’s “Australian Ninja Warrior.”
The series was announced in 2016 with applications open until 9 September 2016, with filming between November & December 2016 on Cockatoo Island.The series was officially confirmed at Nine’s upfronts in November 2016 with Rebecca Maddern announced as host. A few days after the announcement, Ben Fordham was announced as second host & Freddie Flintoff as the series’ sideline reporter. The series began airing on 9 July 2017.[
The series was renewed for a second season during the season one final which was filmed between December 2017 & January 2018, with applications that closed by 3 September 2017. On 11 October 2017, the series was officially confirmed for renewal at Nine’s upfronts, also confirming Fordham, Maddern & Flintoff returning for the second season. The second season began airing on 8 July 2018.
On 17 October 2018, the series was officially renewed for a third season at Nine’s upfronts, also confirming Fordham, Maddern & Flintoff returning for the third season. Filming for the series was relocated to Spotswood in Melbourne with filming commencing 15 November until 1 December. The third season began airing on 8 July 2019.
On 17 October 2019, the series was officially renewed for a fourth season at Nine’s upfronts, also confirming Fordham, Maddern & Flintoff returning for the fourth season. The series will again be relocated, filming will take place at Melbourne Showgrounds in Ascot Vale. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nine has introduced Audience Lock-out meaning members of the public can not attend as audience, only family members of contestants will be allowed to attend, as well as co-host Rebecca Maddern, who was put in self-isolation, was temporarily replaced by Shane Crawford for two heats, she has since been cleared and returned to filming. Crawford returned to the season as sideline commentator for the Semis and Grand Final after Freddie Flintoff had to fly back to the UK before coronavirus pandemic measures came into effect. The fourth season began airing on 26 July 2020.
Ben Polson became the first contestant to win after four seasons. His prize was $400,000 and the title of ‘Australian Ninja Warrior’.
Nine Network announced a fifth season on 16 September 2020. Casting applications are open until 30 November 2020. The series will again be relocated, filming will take place in Homebush, New South Wales. In June 2021, Nine announced Nick Kyrgios will be joining the series as a sideline commentator along side Shane Crawford, Freddie Flintoff won’t be returning due to travel challenges and a busy schedule. The fifth season will begin airing on 20 June 2021.
Potential contestants go through a rigorous series of obstacles before the possibility of becoming the next Australian Ninja Warrior and win a cash prize, starting at $100,000. If there is no winner in a season the prize will jackpot and rise by $100,000 until someone eventually conquers Mount Midoriyama.
From the third season, the format changed slightly with the most successful contestant who goes the furthest and fastest guaranteed to win $100,000 should they not conquer the course, but will win the growing jackpot should they conquer Mount Midoriyama.
Australian Ninja Warriors Winners
Season 1 – Fred Dorrington
Season 2 – Rob Patterson
Season 3 – Charlie Robbins
Season 4 – Ben Polson