Stephen Amell, you did not fail American Ninja Warrior.
Unsurprisingly, the very fit star of Arrow dominated the course during the show’s first-ever celebrity edition on Thursday. The special episode was part of NBC’s annual Red Nose Day programming.
Amell easily made it through all six obstacles, never exercising the option to tag-in his coach Kacy Catanzaro. (I get why this choice was needed for some of the competitors, but I have to admit: I felt a bit cheated.) Once he got to the top of the Warped Wall, the final obstacle, Amell then requested to do one more: the Salmon Ladder — you know, just because he could. So after greeting his old friend, the actor got up the five rungs easy peasy and moved on to the Swinging Pegboard. Unfortunately, that would be the end for him; he thanked the crowd, and then let himself fall into the water below. Still, it was damn impressive — Amell was the only competitor to attempt the back half of the course — and he raised $35,000 for charity, to boot.
The surprise of the night, however, even though I had a feeling she was going to be a sleeper competitor? Parenthood vet Erika Christensen! (How much did you love that they also mentioned Swimfan as one of her credits?) The actress was a beast on the course, proving to her baby girl that she’s a ninja mama. Christensen practically flew through the Floating Steps before improvising on the Battering Rams (“Get of my way, you thing!” she shouted at one pad). Then she took on the Warped Wall, climbing up coach Flip Rodriguez as he hung from the ledge. All this while her Parenthood hubby Sam Jaeger cheered her on in the audience. (Awww!)
American Beauty/American Pie actress-turned-American Ninja Warrior contestant Mena Suvari also deserves props. From the moment she began the course, you could tell Suvari was completely petrified. But she went on to complete several obstacles and, with the help of the pros who formed a ninja ladder, she reached the top of the Warped Wall, probably surprising even herself.
What did you think of American Ninja Warrior‘s celebrity edition? Did any other contestants stand out for you?