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Ninja Warrior (Sasuke)


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#631

Lantern7

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Posted May 22, 2012 @ 10:01 PM

To review:

1. ANW is leading to an all-American version of Mt. Midoriyama, yes?

2. WTF happened with Leevi? On his worst day, not even Makoto Nagano ever fucked up that badly on the first obstacle. I would've been placated with the news that somebody shot Leevi in the ankle or something.

3. Are the cutaways to the commentators annoying, or is it me?
3a. Has Jonny Moseley always been that short? I'm a fan of The Challenge, and I don't remember J-Mo looking that short. Then again, his last season was Battle Of The Sexes 2, and I kinda blocked it out for painful reasons.
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#632

SVNBob

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Posted May 23, 2012 @ 2:43 AM

1. ANW is leading to an all-American version of Mt. Midoriyama, yes?

The Mountain has come to the 'Mericans, yes.
From the brief glimpses of the course on the Vegas strip, it's the same Midoryama. Just different colored padding, and the water is blue blue. Much like the qualifying course.

2. WTF happened with Leevi? On his worst day, not even Makoto Nagano ever fucked up that badly on the first obstacle. I would've been placated with the news that somebody shot Leevi in the ankle or something.

Had to be jet lag and a lack of training.

3. Are the cutaways to the commentators annoying, or is it me?

Cutaways during a run?, yes. Cutaways between runs and around commercials, like a normal sporting event?, no.

3a. Has Jonny Moseley always been that short? I'm a fan of The Challenge, and I don't remember J-Mo looking that short. Then again, his last season was Battle Of The Sexes 2, and I kinda blocked it out for painful reasons.

Well, J-Mo's not been standing next to anyone during other hosting gigs. Plus, it's not like RW/RR cast members are giants, physically or mentally.
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#633

gwlisa

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Posted May 23, 2012 @ 12:11 PM

So happy to see this show has come to network tv in the US!

Who was the guy wearing the pink shirt? I got the feeling if the cameras weren't around he'd not give a second thought to breast cancer. Where was his SIL or brother? Odd situation. All the back stories are stretching my capacity for tolerating BS. Just show the competition, damn it.
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#634

osc630

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Posted May 23, 2012 @ 10:40 PM

All the back stories are stretching my capacity for tolerating BS. Just show the competition, damn it.


I kinda feel like ANW is taking the entire Sasuke concept much more seriously than the original (for now, at least; things may change with the bonus ten spots in the Vegas round). Not that I mind seeing well-built dudes running courses that show off fine, fine musculature, but I always enjoyed seeing more of the actual course racing - even (especially) the epic fails.
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#635

WubPaigeJones

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Posted May 24, 2012 @ 2:48 AM

Good Lord that Speedy guy's girlfriend was freaking annoying. Glad he went out early so we don't have to hear her ever again.
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#636

diznee

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Posted May 28, 2012 @ 4:00 PM

First of all, since when is Dallas, TX considered the Midwest? Or are they running both the Midwest and South Central trials there because they're cheap?

The sob stories are really getting ridiculous at this point. I'm convinced that there's a section in the application that asks, "What's the most horrible thing that happened to you or someone close to you?" Next week we'll probably see someone stubbed a toe 10 years ago.

Are we in agreement that the Curtain Slider is much easier than the Devil Steps? Swapping obstacles is good for the home viewers because it keeps things fresh, but it does seem unfair that some regions get arguably easier obstacles. That said, if they had the Devil Steps in I kind of wonder if anyone from the Midwest regions would've been able to finish, given how many had trouble on the Warped Wall. And I suppose the Bridge of Blades was technically harder since it's much tougher to recover if you slip on it.
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#637

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Posted May 28, 2012 @ 11:23 PM

All the back stories are stretching my capacity for tolerating BS. Just show the competition, damn it.


Agreed. One of the best things about the Japanese competition is that it doesn't stink of reality TV even though it technically is. Any backstory shown for the competitiors doesn't last for more than 10 seconds, tops. Meanwhile, ANW treats most of its challengers like people getting ready to go on America's Got Talent. I could not possibly care less that you're running the course for Jesus and children and whatnot - just run the goddamned course and fall already.
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#638

SVNBob

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Posted May 29, 2012 @ 12:06 AM

Or are they running both the Midwest and South Central trials there because they're cheap?

They're cheap. They only went to 3 cities for the 6 regionals: Venice Beach for the North and Southwest, Dallas for Midwest and South Central, and Miami for North and Southeast. After Miami next week, I suspect we'll cycle through the cities in the same order again.

Are we in agreement that the Curtain Slider is much easier than the Devil Steps?

I don't think so. The Devil Steps is relatively straightforward, and something you can easily practice, provided you can find the right stairwell. It's also more or less a rock climb, which is one reason Lee Yen Chi did so well on it.

The Curtain Slider looks easy at first, but not after seeing the first person try it. There's lots of potential complications. Grip, tangling, too little slide, too much slide leading to a bounceback, etc.. And how do you practice the Curtain Slider without building one?

Man, was that Midwest group pathetic. They should have just gone with the 12 that actually completed the qualifying round and added the remaining 3 spots to the wildcards. The only 4 worth watching out of that group are the 4 they highlighted at the end of the finals: the walk-on pastor, the veteran cheerleader, the unemployed kid, and the dodge-baller. Ok, the Shaolin guy with the bum wrist is pretty good too, so that's 5. The other 10 are course fodder.
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#639

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Posted May 29, 2012 @ 8:19 AM

I appreciate a little that they backed off of the pastor's story of bringing the kids to watch Ninja Warrior and they dared him to do it, so he did it. It was changed moreso to the kids encouraged him. I didn't believe the first story because you don't go from Grand Rapids, MI to Dallas and complete the course on a whim.

I should have figured this is what would become of ANW with what NBC did to American Gladiators. I don't hate this, but I'd prefer the style of the Japanese broadcast.
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#640

diznee

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Posted May 29, 2012 @ 12:45 PM

Wow, Ninja Warrior was down only 17% on NBC, which is impressive considering that it was Memorial Day.

I don't think so. The Devil Steps is relatively straightforward, and something you can easily practice, provided you can find the right stairwell. It's also more or less a rock climb, which is one reason Lee Yen Chi did so well on it.

The Curtain Slider looks easy at first, but not after seeing the first person try it. There's lots of potential complications. Grip, tangling, too little slide, too much slide leading to a bounceback, etc.. And how do you practice the Curtain Slider without building one?

Yeah, from a technical standpoint it can be trickier, but I would think it requires less upper-body strength than the Devil Steps and would have been potentially more fair for female competitors. Then again, height and arm length also seemed to play a role in people completing it.

Man, was that Midwest group pathetic

I don't mind seeing less-experienced athletes. I was afraid that we'd have 90 people completing the first stage in the finals, so having cannon fodder is perfectly fine with me. I think what it boils down to is that most of the Midwest competitors weren't crazy enough to build their own course replicas.

Speaking of which, one of my favorite sob stories was the guy who had to sleep on the floor, yet somehow had enough room to build a Salmon Ladder replica.
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#641

omophagia

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Posted May 29, 2012 @ 1:03 PM

I should have figured this is what would become of ANW with what NBC did to American Gladiators. I don't hate this, but I'd prefer the style of the Japanese broadcast.


This. Though if NBC were as committed to ruining Ninja Warrior the way they did American Gladiators, they'd have Johnny Moseley stop each competitor before every obstacle on the course to ask about their strategy going into that obstacle and how that particular obstacle relates back to their sob story.

Relatedly, Evan "Rocket" Dollard still has the most impressive overall run we've seen, and Toni Oppliger, who was the oldest woman to compete in season 1 of the AG reboot, went out on the quad-steps during the qualifying runs at the midwest regionals that aired on G4. So there's been some overlap between the two series thus far, even beyond the production aspects that NBC is screwing up.
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#642

lostinube

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Posted May 29, 2012 @ 9:37 PM

The reason that the Japanese broadcast (the G4 version of the show cuts even more though) is not as weighed down with glurge is because there is usually a SASUKE Navi, a one hour "preview" show that airs mainly only in the Tokyo market. During Navi, they will sometimes go deeper into some of the back stories.

For example, in SASUKE 27 there was a competitor from the Tohoku area who was affected by the disaster in that area. It was covered a bit more in detail during Navi but given only a bit of time in the main show.

Also, a given SASUKE is maybe two to four hours (there was one that was even longer) in a single broadcast so there simply isn't enough time to cover everyone.

And then there's the fact that NBC is putting this product out for people for the first time (not including G4 viewers) whereas SASUKE is often made up of newbies, veterans and celebrities. Most of the vets and celebs are known so they don't need to rehash who they are all the time. However, if you put together all the times TBS has mentioned Katsumi Yamada and shown clips of his life (albeit recycling a few, most amusingly the crying clip) you'd probably end up with at least a one hour special.
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#643

Lantern7

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Posted May 29, 2012 @ 10:01 PM

omophagia . . . now I have this image of Jonny interviewing competitors, magically appearing after each obstacle is completed. After two minutes, he mutters, "So . . . you know I'm holding, right?" If Jonny Moseley doesn't get stoned, he looks like he does.
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#644

SVNBob

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Posted May 30, 2012 @ 2:18 AM

I don't mind seeing less-experienced athletes. I was afraid that we'd have 90 people completing the first stage in the finals, so having cannon fodder is perfectly fine with me. I think what it boils down to is that most of the Midwest competitors weren't crazy enough to build their own course replicas.

I agree that having too many finalists complete the first stage would be bad, and that fodder is necessary. I should clarify by what I meant by "pathetic." (Realistically, that word would apply to me if I were ever to attempt the course. I'd be in the water faster than Octopus-sama.)

Comparatively, the Midwest group was weaker than the Southwest group. Put the 30 finalists from the Midwest in the Southwest qualifying round, and probably only the top 5 would make the cut, and just barely at that. My main judging point was the Jump Hang. Minus a few exceptions, the Midwest group grabbed the net around the 3rd or 4th "rung". However, the majority of the Southwest finalists grabbed either the top of the net or the first rung. That lack of height on the Jump Hang is what killed the Midwesterners.

Then again, maybe I'm spoiled by the Southwest group, and the All Stars and New Stars from Japan making the Hang look easy after all these years.

If Jonny Moseley doesn't get stoned, he looks like he does.

I'm pretty sure he did at least once. "What if it snowed in San Francisco?" The kind of question that you can only come up with while baked.

Edited by SVNBob, May 30, 2012 @ 2:28 AM.

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#645

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Posted May 30, 2012 @ 6:50 AM

The Southwest group should be much better than all of the other groups. They have more returning veterans from having the previous versions of ANW filmed there, and we've seen over the years how important practice and preparation is for the course. Is free running bigger there than in other regions? That would help too.
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#646

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Posted May 30, 2012 @ 2:26 PM

I kinda feel like ANW is taking the entire Sasuke concept much more seriously than the original (for now, at least; things may change with the bonus ten spots in the Vegas round). Not that I mind seeing well-built dudes running courses that show off fine, fine musculature, but I always enjoyed seeing more of the actual course racing - even (especially) the epic fails.


yeah, I am liking this so far, but I don't much like that there are going to be at least 90 out of 100 people who are serious contenders.

I wish so much that NBC had done it more like this. Do the trials, that's fine and fun. But only let 8 from each region make it for 48. Then 25 tv celebs or comedians. I mean it's NBC. How awesome would it be to see Ron Swanson or Jim Rash try out the course? Then throw in a few sports stars or atheletes. And ideally the last 20 or so slots would be made up of the Japanese stars + Japanese regulars like Octopus man, etc.
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#647

Lantern7

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Posted May 30, 2012 @ 10:13 PM

I like the idea of celebs running the course . . . but how about they run it the day before the big event, like how sports have celebrity exhibitions before their all-star games. Have 'em run for charity, and the person that goes the farthest gets six figures to give to a worthy cause. Better to hit the water in a humiliating fashion than suffering the indignity to sucking up to Donald Trump on Celebrity Apprentice.

I have a problem with the title of "American Ninja Warrior." "Ninja Warrior" was the name G4 gave Sasuke. I know the appeal of branding, but how about "Ultimate Obstacle" or something like that?

Edited by Lantern7, May 30, 2012 @ 10:15 PM.

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#648

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Posted May 30, 2012 @ 11:26 PM

They need to keep it Ninja Warrior because that's what everyone knows it as.

And the Japanese show always had Japanese tv celebs and comics running the course along with everyone else, so that's why I like the thought of the US version doing the same.
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#649

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Posted May 31, 2012 @ 1:58 AM

Then 25 tv celebs or comedians. I mean it's NBC. How awesome would it be to see Ron Swanson or Jim Rash try out the course?

Hell, I say they leverage the frack out of their massive corporate girth and resurrect Battle of the Network Stars on the Sasuke course. You would easily have teams of NBC, USA, Syfy, G4 & E!...and a Bravo team would be epic if you could get some combination of Padma, Gunn, Klum and/or Colicchio to run the course.

The big question, though, would be if you would make them all run the regular OG Sasuke course where the women would probably hit a brick wall at the spider walk and 99% of the celebs would get destroyed by the warped wall...or if you'd do some sort of Sasuke/Kunoichi hybrid to give them a sporting chance?
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#650

lostinube

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Posted May 31, 2012 @ 5:13 AM

One reason they probably shouldn't change the name of the show is that despite the uncertainty surrounding SASUKE in Japan, the ones who do best/impress the most/have the best story during ANW 4 are probably going to be the ones who will represent the US at the actual course. I wonder if new viewers realize that they are watching something that was/is considered only a preliminary event?

Several women, all Muscle Musical members, have cleared the Spider Walk only to fail the Half-Pipe Attack. Non-athlete female competitors rarely make it to the Jumping Spider to begin with.

The course should be the same for celebs, regular joes and pro athletes. That's the whole point.

VIKING on Fuji TV (but by the same production company as SASUKE) tried a separate celebrity version but the whole VIKING concept never caught on (it was considered a Kinniku Banzuke retread even by Fuji execs) so we'll never know if it truly could have succeeded.

There were celebrity versions of Sportsman No. 1 but it was a bit skewed since some of the "celebrity" competitors were people like Naoki Iketani, brother of Olympic gymnastics medalist Yukio Iketani and a nationals level gymnast in his own right.
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#651

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Posted Jun 5, 2012 @ 6:27 AM

Watched the last 2 sps of this on NBC - the Midwest in Dallas and Northeast in Miami. They had two different courses in each place - that seems kind of unfair. I think the NE also had more parts to their course.

Huge fan of Ninja Warrior, but lukewarm on ANW. There's too much BS going on with all the yakking, competitor profiles & interviews. Plus, I suspect that the water below the course is not that murky brown stuff like on Original Recipe which I perversely enjoy.

I don't get why they have a profile and broadcast the runs of people who don't make it, but then don't show the runs of someone who completes the course and makes it to the final 15. The guy with the brother in Afghanistan (Marine) seemed very nice, but he wiped out on the first obstacle yet I know his age, height, backstory, family history....and nothing about the guy who completes the course (I can't find his name since I can't easily find a list of the Regional Qualifiers for Vegas)
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#652

shoshie

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Posted Jun 5, 2012 @ 2:28 PM

At least that guy made it to the second round. What about the other military guy that had an intro package and wiped out on the quad steps? Too much filler.

I think the commentary has been okay, about the same as last year. I appreciate that Jonny Moseley is talking strategy about the course, even if I don't agree with it all. As long as no one ever "blazes through the course" (TM Blair) again.

Is there anything to the voiceover saying that the fastest person will be the American Ninja Warrior and win the $500K? Are they just referring to that sponsorship contract? Even though it's unlikely to have two kanzenseihas (assuming same course difficulty as Sasuke), I wouldn't really want ANW to deny a prize to the slower winner. It reinforces that whole man vs man instead of man vs obstacle course.
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#653

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Posted Jun 6, 2012 @ 4:09 AM

Northeast division was better than Midwest, even with the harder course. Nearly 2/3rds of the finalists actually completed the qualifying round, unlike the Midwest's 2/5ths.

Too bad Captain [insert network here] didn't make it. He was just the right mix of serious competitor and wacky guy. Maybe he'll get one of the wildcard spots.
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#654

diznee

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Posted Jun 6, 2012 @ 10:13 AM

Okay, seriously, what was up with the harder course for the Northeast region? The Jump Bars would've been hard enough on their own, but adding the Wall Lift was unnecessarily cruel. And what was up with running even the qualifying round at night?

I did love the Bungie Bridge, though. It wasn't necessarily hard, but I loved how it tripped up even seasoned competitors.

The NBC airing did amazing in the ratings. Somehow it pulled in even more viewers than the premiere.
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#655

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Posted Jun 6, 2012 @ 11:40 AM

While I'm happy that it's not tanking in the ratings, I'm finding 18 hours of qualifying is just dragging on interminably. Of course it's worlds better than the training camp crap, so let's count our blessings.

I've always liked the Bungie Bridge. I kind of want it to be the last obstacle of the real first stage instead of the cargo net climb. Having a guy scramble across it with the final seconds ticking away would be hilarious.

As for why this was at night, my guess is that they squished the qualifying tapings together between the two sets of competitors to save time and money. Therefore, the Northwest tapings will be at night, the Southeast will be during the day, and the South(Midsouth?) will be at night as well. Do previews support/disprove this?

I don't mind if one course is more difficult than another, as they're not competing across courses but amongst people attempting the same course. The Southwest should have had the most difficult course, however, as they have the most veterans.
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#656

SVNBob

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Posted Jun 7, 2012 @ 1:40 AM

And what was up with running even the qualifying round at night?

As for why this was at night, my guess is that they squished the qualifying tapings together between the two sets of competitors to save time and money. Therefore, the Northwest tapings will be at night, the Southeast will be during the day, and the South(Midsouth?) will be at night as well. Do previews support/disprove this?

As I recall from the rules page (which is no longer available), the taping schedule in all 3 locations was 3 days minimum.

The course in Miami is on a university campus (in front of the business school building according to their media center webpage), and in late March, not during Spring Break. So class schedules had to take precedence over the taping schedule. Hence the night shoot.

And according to this article, the qualifying rounds in Dallas were scheduled for day shoots, but the finals for night shoots (the 3 a.m. end time jiving with the Venice shoot going after midnight as mentioned in this article.)

So I suspect that other than the SouthEast division, the remaining qualifying rounds will be day shoots. But all the finals are nights.
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#657

lostinube

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Posted Jun 11, 2012 @ 7:34 AM

Programming note: Due to Game 6 of the Stanley Cup, ANW on NBC will be on Tuesday 6/12.
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#658

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Posted Jun 11, 2012 @ 9:08 AM

Oroscoooooooooooooooo! Darn you, Brian. There was no reason to rush the qualifying run. Ah, well.
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#659

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Posted Jun 11, 2012 @ 1:21 PM

I love how the Northwest region still had a ton of people from California. The Pipe Slider is definitely one of the trickier Stage 3 obstacles, even with the easier landing. I'm beginning to wonder if the Southeast region will have the Ultimate Cliffhanger before the Warped Wall.

Poor, poor Brian. At least he got farther than Levi. David dominated as expected, and his nephew wasn't far behind even though they decided to fast forward through his run. The sob stories are really getting out of hand and taking up way too much time. Say what you will about Wipeout, but at least they don't deal with this drama BS.

Programming note: Due to Game 6 of the Stanley Cup, ANW on NBC will be on Tuesday 6/12

Thanks for this. I just checked NBC's schedule and it says it'll be at 8PM EST.
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#660

omophagia

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Posted Jun 11, 2012 @ 4:45 PM

I was worried about Orosco when they showed his sideline interview early in the episode, and he seemed uncomfortable that his, "This course looks easy," off-the-record quote had been brought up. The editing might as well have had a clap of thunder and a flash of lightning behind him when he said that, but I still thought he'd make it through the qualifying run and then fall during the finals. He and Adam Truesdell, the other former finalist who went out early, both made surprising errors of indecision, but I think he still has a strong run in him.

The sob stories are really getting out of hand and taking up way too much time. Say what you will about Wipeout, but at least they don't deal with this drama BS.


Honestly. The number of times Johnny Moseley said "Type I Diabetes" was just straight-up comical by the end of the two episodes.
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