This year the course moves to a new location of Olympic proportions: Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, where a new wave of Ninjas will be welcomed, as well as returning fan favourites. A fresh cohort of Ninjas and fan favourites who have been there for every season including, Ashlin Herbert, Ben Polson, Olivia Vivian and Sam Goodall, test their skills, scrambling through the course and taking on the legends to become the furthest fastest. Former competitor Jack Wilson also returns after an accident prevented him from appearing last season.
Hosts Rebecca Maddern, Ben Fordham and Shane Crawford will be joined on the course by Nick Kyrgios, the man John McEnroe described as the most talented tennis player he has seen in ten years, as he makes his Ninja Warrior debut.
This year the Ninjas will be challenged in new and unexpected ways. For the first time ever, Ninjas will be able to choose their own path, taking them through to the gravity-defying Warped Wall, which is now ten centimetres higher. New obstacles include the Underwater Escape and the Dragon Back.
The two furthest fastest Ninjas in each Heat will compete head to head on the new Power Tower, with the winner skipping the Semi-Finals and gaining a “fast pass” straight into the Grand Finals, a game-changing advantage.
In the Semi-Finals the stakes are even higher, with the two furthest fastest Ninjas on the night making their way up to brand new and even tougher Power Tower to try and hit the buzzer first. The first one to hit the buzzer gets a second chance at a Grand Final if they splash out on their first attempt.
The Grand Final course is also the most difficult yet, and it comes to a head at the mighty Mt Midoriyama. After being conquered by Ben Polson and two other Ninjas last year, the 22 metre-high monster is seeking revenge and has morphed into its most challenging form ever. Once they reach the base of Midoriyama, each Ninja must scale the seven-metre Chimney Climb, the seven-metre Salmon Ladder (20 rungs) and the seven-metre Rope Climb to reach the summit and be crowned Australian Ninja Warrior.
The competitor who goes furthest on the Grand Final course in the fastest time will be the Season 5 winner and will take home $100,000. However, the competitor who conquers Mt Midoriyama in the fastest time will win an additional $100,000 and take home the title of Australia’s Ninja Warrior.
Earlier this week, Nine announced a record six major sponsors for the 2021 season of Australian Ninja Warrior, with leading health insurer AIA Australia joining Nutri-Grain, ALDI, Energizer, KFC and Bendigo Bank.
Season five of Australian Ninja Warrior will feature innovative, bespoke in-show branding that compliments both the editorial of the series and the brands’ campaign messaging.
“Ninja Warrior’s return brings with it a stellar group of brand partners, all looking to capitalise on the exceptional communal viewing this family favourite delivers. We are thrilled to be working with each partner, using deep sponsorship effectiveness know-how to ensure we deliver strong ROI,” said Nine’s director of Powered, Liana Dubois.
As part of AIA Australia’s sponsorship, Nine’s Powered Studios has produced eight integrated TV commercials utilising four Ninjas and Australian Ninja Warrior sideline commentator Shane Crawford that reflects the brand’s ‘Small steps to a healthier you’ campaign.
THE GENERAL RULES
• Ninjas must only use the designated sections of the obstacles.
• Ninjas cannot return to the platform once they have left it (unless otherwise specified)
• Ninjas cannot touch the water with any part of their body or clothing (even if it has fallen off their person)
• There is no dress rehearsal; the first time the Ninjas try the course is when they step up to the plate
• It’s not gender-biased; the course is exactly the same for men and women every season
PREVIOUS SERIES STATS
Furthest Fastest in Season 1: Fred Dorrington
History making moment: Blue Mountains rock climber Andrea Hah was the first female to make it up the Warped Wall in Australia – she did so in the semi finals
Furthest Fastest in Season 2: Rob Patterson
History making moment: Six women made it up the Warped Wall in the heats – a first for Ninja Warrior globally.
The women were:
Olivia Vivian Betsy Burnett India Henry Georgia Bonora Celeste Dixon
Furthest Fastest in Season 3: Charlie Robbins
History making moment: Five Ninja’s making it to the Grand Final Stage 3 The Ninja’s were:
Winner: Ben Polson being crowned the first ever Australian Ninja Warrior and taking home $400,000.
History making moment: Three Ninjas make it up Mt Midoriyama – Ben Polson, Zak Stolz, Charlie Robbins