On the final night of the American Ninja Warrior semifinals Monday, the show took a break from the intense competition to give a couple of popular social media influencers a chance to run the course.
Josh Richards, a 19-year-old Toronto native who has more than 30 million followers on TikTok and Instagram combined, was joined by 22-year-old Griffin Johnson from Paris, Ill., with 14 million combined followers.
Richards was first to run the course and the show listed him at 5-foot-11 and 127 pounds, which could actually be a good thing given the success of teenagers in recent years. But as Richards found out, without much training, it’s hard to be a ninja warrior.
Although he made it through the first obstacle with relative ease, Richards hit the Lunatic Ledges which required hanging and swinging from one awkward station to the next. And after jumping up and swinging a couple times, he lost his grip and fell into the water.
Viewers on Twitter seemed to enjoy watching the young star’s short-lived run on the course, especially with an ending that involved a “belly flop.”
I wanted to see Josh Richards face plant but that belly flop was pretty great too #AmericanNinjaWarrior
— Gianna Nicole (@giiannanicolle) August 24, 2021
Was the run the length of a tiktok video? #AmericanNinjaWarrior
— ♉️Emerald (@1LadySky2Blu) August 24, 2021
Seems the Tik Tok star should just stick to tik toking. 😂#AmericanNinjaWarrior
— Depressed Lakers Fan (@CLF__423) August 24, 2021
i just watched josh richards fall on the second obstacle in american ninja warrior goodbye
— lucy²⁵ :) (@lucyiswag) August 24, 2021
— Ninja Warrior Nation (@anwnation) August 24, 2021
Then it was Johnson’s turn, and let’s just say the former high school baseball player hopefully wasn’t trying to turn his run into a TikTok video, because there may not have been enough time to even press the record button.
Johnson was able to safely run across the opening five steps, but abruptly crashed body-first into a short slide wall and down into the water. And after the short run, he had to give credit where credit was due.
“Josh, you did better than me bro,” Johnson said to his fellow TikToker Richards.
Watch what happened with an American Ninja Warrior veteran cracked his head open mid-run: