American Ninja Warrior: Two Earn the Title — But Who Won $1 Million?

In the end, it all comes down to that thing you hated doing in gym class in the sixth grade. For 75 feet, straight up into the sky.

On the Season 7 finale of NBC’s American Ninja Warrior this Monday, not one but two competitors — 33-year-old bus boy/professional rock climber Isaac Caldiero (above), and 36-year-old cameraman/dad Geoff Britten (below) — conquered Stage 3, American Ninja Warrior - Season 7which involved a stretch of four obstacles where your feet never touch the ground.

So where the competition series never before had crowned an American Ninja Warrior, now it has two touting the title.

But only one could walk away with the $1 million prize.

The gents thus faced off at Stage 4 aka Mt. Midoriyama, a 75-foot rope climb. Britten went first and traversed the vertical path in juuuuuust under the 30 allowed seconds.

Caldiero followed, and shot up the 75-foot rope with almost four seconds to spare, earning him the boffo payday.

Did you tune in and lay witness to the historic ANW event? More thrilling, would you say, than watching famous-ish people learning to ballroom dance on the other channel?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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114 Comments
  1. J says:

    They should split the money.

  2. Steve says:

    With 2 doing completing the course and becoming ANW’s it’ll be interesting to see how ratings are next season

    • Tieg says:

      You can bet next seasons courses will be off the charts insane. No worries about numbers there. This will only grow as it did in Japan.

  3. Patsy Anderson says:

    I think they should split the money

  4. That was an amazing finale. We watched as a family, shouting and cheering and groaning the entire way. I’m so thrilled for both, but I’m a little heartbroken for Geoff and his wife that they didn’t get any sort of monetary prize!

    • Letscheck says:

      ANW has made millions for years without ever paying out anything to the contestants….they owe Geoff for being the first finisher.

    • Jon says:

      SO agree! LOVED that finale (and this whole season) and cheered for everyone all night long. One of the best things about ANW is that despite the intense competition ALL the ninjas support each other and are happy for each others’ success. ANW really is the best family sports program on TV, IMO.

      Having said that, it was a crime that Geoff, the first American Ninja Warrior ever, walked away with nothing. Either NBC or Pom Wonderful should have ponied up a runner-up prize — maybe $100K. For that matter, now that ANW has become a consistent ratings success for NBC (and we FINALLY have two winners) they need to make a rule moving forward that anyone who makes it to the end is rewarded in some way.

  5. Ellinaras78 says:

    Yes way better than Z-list celebrities trying to dance.

  6. jv says:

    Finish the course. Get the money. That’s how it was marketed, and that’s what should happen.

    • Exactly! it’s crap that BOTH finishers didn’t get paid.

      • TheArbiterofWhatsFair says:

        Agreed! NBC really cheaped out on this – give them both $1M, that’s the way I interepreted their hyping stage 4.

    • Audrey says:

      I agree. They haven’t paid anything the last seven years. Both guys should get a prize. I’m not sure I’ll watch next year …I don’t want to watch another person work so hard to not get rewarded when they made it sound like they would

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        Alas, game/competition shows submit to the FCC a formal set of rules that must be enforced, so the show can’t just adapt on the fly.

        • Barbara says:

          Poor planning. How egotistical of NBC to believe that they had a course that would or could yield only one finisher. They need to make this right immediately and tell us loyal viewers when they do.

          • Tieg says:

            I agree. It tarnished the broadcast to learn that only the fastest stage four finish would get paid. Totally weak.

    • Mark says:

      I’m so with you. I was shocked when I realized that wasn’t how it was going to be.

  7. Morisot says:

    Hope Geoff at least gets on a Wheaties box!

  8. James says:

    Watch the safety rope holding Caldiero, it is very taught there is no slack. How much help did he get?

  9. Paul barbrick says:

    I’m certain ANW has made enough money in the last seven seasons to award the two finishers the top prize. Survivor has paid out two million a year for 20+ seasons. I don’t know if I can watch another season if this wrong isn’t righted.

  10. Mit says:

    It is stupid that they both don’t get the million dollars. The deal is to pass all the stages and the BOTH did. This show rakes in millions and pays out nothing! Both men deserve the million!

  11. Chris says:

    Out of the two, Geoff was the one that actually hit all 6 buttons. But Isaac did win the climb-off. That’s how it goes. He gets the money. They are both champions, but you reward winners. It’ll give him a reason to come back next year.

  12. Paul barbrick says:

    Come on Pom, be wonderful!!

  13. Nick says:

    Bogus. All year it was marketed as a million dollars for completing stage 4. They must have thought it wouldn’t be possible to win, then scrambled to cover their losses. Pathetic NBC.

  14. Rtorres23pr says:

    Love the show!! My opinion is that they both finished the 4 stages; both should get paid!

  15. Babybop says:

    I don’t understand, because Geoff was made to go right after he did stage 3. Isaac went before him on Stage 3 and therefore had more time to rest his arms to go second on Stage 4. Geoff deserves the title AND the money. He hit all 6 buttons! Such bull.

    • mrmcgee says:

      With editing, it’s not clear how much time passed between the two stages. It could have been the next day for all we know.

    • SassySasuke says:

      I agree it’s disappointing that Geoff didn’t get any money after completing the course, but the order the contestants ran Stage 4 wasn’t bull. As the announcers told us, because Issac had the faster time in Stage 3 he was allowed to choose whether he went first or second in Stage 4, hence why he got the extra time.

  16. Chris says:

    You guys need to stop crying. Climb-off has always been in the rules. In Sasuke, they have had to do a climb-off for a winner before. This is not new. Isaac won with like 3 seconds to spare. Geoff did fabulous and he was the first. Congratulations. I was so excited for him. It would be GENEROUS for NBC to reward two people, but they certainly aren’t obligated to do it. Don’t get it twisted.

  17. TvPeong says:

    Great season. Great ending. I screamed at my tv for most of the episode. I hope Geoff gets something.

  18. Patrick delaney says:

    I think its b.s. they both deserved a million

  19. Dick Stubig says:

    Splitting would be ridiculous! The winner should keep it all! But I think the both should be paid!! In Japan all winners have been paid there! For 7 seasons they have made 100s of millions of dollars of the backs of all these contestants, who are making the entire show and nobody gets a dime but the show itself! It’s ridiculous they make all that money and not pay the very contestants who make them all Their money! Contestants should be paid for completion of any and all stages completed! And all who complete the entire course be paid 1 million dollars!!!

    • Chris says:

      The fastest to win a city qualifying wins $2,500. The fastest to complete a City Final gets $5,000. Of course, that’s small compared to the million. At least it is something. In Japan, I believe you get $200,000 for completing Stage 4.

      And some of these guys have sponsors, they own gyms, they are mentors, and they get paid to speak or just show up some place. Sam San has disciples, even though he’s never made it past the 2nd obstacle on stage 2. The show profits more, but a lot of these guys make a living off of this show.

      People go on Shark Tank and get nothing but publicity if they don’t get a deal. People go on Project Runway or Next Top Model and don’t win and walk away with nothing. The contestants may get paid a certain amount per episode. Most networks do that. I just can’t find anything to confirm that.

      These guys want the money, but it can’t be about that. It’s about the challenge and the title. Geoff will always be the first. But the all sign a contract and know what they’re getting into. I’m sure the climb-off was mentioned in what they signed.

      One winner collects the million. That’s how it goes.

      • I would be completely fine if Geoff got $200k for finishing. He just deserves something, it doesn’t need to be a Million also, even though that’s how it was marketed. If you look at american ninja warriors twitter page, they say Isaac is the first american ninja warrior too so they won’t even give him that title either for achieving total victory first

  20. Gail says:

    The money was to go to whoever reached the top of Mt. Midoryama first, as in, the fastest, because they obviously cannot climb at the same time. Some people took it literally and thought Geoff should win because he did it first. But both competitors knew the rules and Isaac deserves the full million. It wouldn’t surprise me if Isaac set up a trust fund for Geoff’s kid’s education, though!

  21. Jackie says:

    It amazes me that people can actually do those physical feats.

  22. Steve F. says:

    Screw night 1 of DTW”S” (the quotation marks are for this season’s “stars”) – ANW was where it was at! Yes, Isaac was the one who won a million dollars, but Geoff was the first to conquer Stage 4… either way, BOTH of them should be recognized.

    And yes, Geoff Brittain should get a little something for being the first to conquer Stage 4. Make it happen, NBC and Pom!

  23. SmartyPants405 says:

    Actually, i was flipping back and forth between ANW & DWTS – how’s that for eclectic taste! And agree, they should split the $.

  24. JenFul says:

    It seems like you should get something for finishing the stage 4, even if it’s just 50k or something. Considering how much backlash I’ve seen about this online so far, maybe they’ll change the rules next season.

  25. Melissa says:

    Thanks for spoiling it on Twitter, jerks. Instant unfollow.

  26. Okay so I have been watching this since before NBC picked it up when it was just a competition to make it to the original Ninja Warrior in Japan and well they are using the same rules here they did in Japan. The rules which were outlined in the beginning are the person with the FASTEST TIME wins. And while it is a bit of a cop-out to say that since Caldiero did it fastest he wins and Geoff Britten, although finishing first, was slower therefore lost, its within the rules of the original series. But to be honest, I seriously doubt Geoff will be going home with nothing. They wont make a big deal about it but he will most likely get something for having made though Stage 4 and having climbed Mt. Midoriyama.

    • MadMax says:

      I agree with you. They all had to have received some type of $$$ during the competition. All type of competitions have money that they pay out to the contestants that advance to the next stage but it is the spirit of the competition that NBC (gotta love Mr. NBC though) and the compeititors endorse the most.

  27. Sandy says:

    fantastic finish 2 finalists both deserve million dollar prize! They should split is the fair decent thing to do. Second climber winner had advantage … Reach for buzzer cut time by seconds . First guy up rope just finish course! Not enough recovery time. Split prize!

  28. JF says:

    Pay Geoff the $1M also, with the ratings on ANW, they can afford it. Calls for splitting the money are ridiculous, both deserve the full amount.

  29. Letscheck says:

    ANW has earned tons of money and never paid out before….they should pay another million to Geoff for becoming the First ANW.

  30. The show is all about man vs. course, not man vs. man – they both finished, they both should get the million. We need to get an online petition going if there isn’t on already.

    • Ed A says:

      YES, We need an online petition to NBC that they pay Geoff 1 Million!! Otherwise we boycott the show. NBC paid these guys nothing to be the stars, meanwhile making millions on advertising of ALL these regional qualifying, Finals, S1-4, etc. All while essentially having free volunteer reality starts. Where’s the justice???

  31. EME says:

    I’m so glad other people are annoyed with how the show ended. Hopefully NC will pay Geoff something under the table or above – $250K or $500. It was a bad ending when it should have been so awesome!!

  32. ninamags says:

    Everybody here sounds like those entitled parents and their kids. Every kid that participates gets a trophy! NOT.

    There is one winner, the one who made it up the fastest. That’s it. End of.

    I’m really glad Isaac won, I was rooting for him. He looks like he needed the winnings more.

    • Robert says:

      Your a retard. No recognition to Geoff at all online almost. It claims everywhere isaac won with no mention to Geoff. Both completed and beat the course. Period. Both were winners. NBC sucks a big one. Flithly rich, just richer now. By the way, 3500 people competed. Only 2 finished the course. Both deserves their thropy. That’s 1 million each.

  33. dsunglasses says:

    I’ve watched for all seven seasons, and I’ve heard it said over and over that if you beat the course you win the Million($500,000 previously). Never once, until last night right before these guys were about to climb the rope, did I hear any qualifier about only whoever climbs the fastest gets the money. I’m sure that was hidden in the fine print all along, but legally because of the way they advertised it for seven years, there is an argument to be made that anyone who finished should get the prize.

    • Eric says:

      The rules of multiple people doing a rope climb-off for the grand prize are actually pretty well-established (same rules as the original show in Japan) but it hadn’t been used before because they’ve never had someone even attempt the final event. Sucks that Britten doesn’t get something for doing something only 1 other person has done, but that’s sometimes the way things are.

  34. AW says:

    What happen to the team competition like last year’s? Where US was competing with teams from Europe and Japan?

  35. T says:

    I agree, there should be one winner who gets the top prize, but there should also be a pay out for anyone else that finishes stage 4. Until this year no one got that far, which means they are not exactly giving the money away. So if you finish the course you should get something, in the order you finish.. As an example first gets the $ 1,000,000, second gets $ 500,000, third gets $ 200,000 those are just suggested payouts. But for someone to do something no one has done before and not get paid, there is something wrong with that picture.

  36. Bil Van Ness says:

    The plaque on the trophy read “First American Ninja Warrior.” At the very least, Britten should have been awarded the trophy, since he was actually the first one. Let Caldiero keep the million, since he had the fastest time, but since he let Britten go before him, he shouldn’t get the trophy too.

  37. ren598 says:

    It’s crazy that the only guy to hit all 6 buttons (successfully completing all obstacles) gets nothing.

  38. Lisa says:

    NBC makes enough money to afford to give 1 million to both men.

  39. Marsha Singleton says:

    Ok I got a question, how do they keep who wins the finals quiet? With this not being Live how does that happen?

  40. Diz says:

    As long as it took for them to finally get 1 winner they should give both of them all the money they haven’t had to cough up for all these years.

  41. m3rcnate says:

    It was fantastic, glad someone (two someones!) finally won! Kinda funny it was two fairly unknown guys compared to the vets/pros who practice everyday with their backyard replica of the course.
    .
    Only thing I was wishing, especially after having seen the video of the camera man with his wife and kids, was that second place was given at least like $50,000 or something. So that was a bummer.
    .
    I wonder what this show will be like going forward….will the ratings hold strong now that the mountain has been conquered? Will they continue to have seasons where no one gets to stage 4? Now that the mountain has been climbed, is a season that ends with no one even getting that fair a failure now? Hmmm.

  42. Virginia Paulino says:

    The 2nd place guy should have been compensated something 100k or 200k.

  43. eileen says:

    we watched both,but enjoyed Ninja better

  44. ozhawgs says:

    Geoff should have hootenanny some monetary compensation. Did he get anything? He is the first ANW!!

  45. ozhawgs says:

    On Survivor, each contestant earns something. Geoff should get some compensation! Period. He was the first to complete and the show owes him something. Lots of viewers are upset that he did not earn some cash! Super Bowl runner ups get cash BTW!! Will this hurt your ratings for being CHEAP?!! I think so.

  46. Joel Mahler says:

    should compensate 2nd place finisher now , the public would have a better feeling about it. Do whatever changes you want for next year. He deserves it

  47. Bonnie Harris says:

    Geoff Britton should have received a consulation prize. Before tonight I never knew that more than one could win. All other individual sports have second place money. Why don’t you?

  48. Bonnie Harris says:

    If there can be only one winner, does that mean the ANW will cease?

  49. Nahed says:

    I think that it was a great show with a good ending that was unfair for one of the winners. Geoff should have won a prize also, he was the first to complete stage 4. I think half a million should have been given to him. These champions are like employees to the show, they make this show what it is , let’s encourage them to keep up the good work and entertain the country and the world.

  50. superbro1234 says:

    Pay Goeff SOMETHING… Geeezzz…..!