It took seven seasons, 80-some-odd episodes, and countless face plants off giant metal scaffoldings, but American Ninja Warrior finally has its first official winner.
The show, which puts contestants through a rigorous obstacle course of incredible physical challenges, until Monday had never once had a contestant complete all three stages. Contestants need a practically superhuman combination of core and upper-body strength, agility, and endurance to get through the course's more difficult segments, like the warped wall and salmon ladder. The increasingly difficult courses culminate at Las Vegas's Mount Midoriyama course, the seemingly impossible final stage that no one had ever completed before last night. Isaac Caldiero, a busboy from Colorado, achieved that landmark on last night's season finale with an astounding run.
As he faced the final jumps separating him from the metaphorical peak of Mount Midoriyama (starting around the four-minute mark in the below video), the crowd began to realize that history might actually be made here.
Caldiero made all four jumps, which brought him to the mount. While fellow contestant Geoff Britten had also made it to this stage, Caldiero scuttled up that final rope to claim the title with a better time — by just three seconds. He even made it look easy.
As the first winner of American Ninja Warrior, Caldiero is also the first contestant to win the $1 million prize — which at this point, producers probably figured they'd never have to give up, not least to a busboy.