Veteran PEOPLE blogger focuses on three competitors as they face a "touchy" new obstacle

By Kacy Catanzaro
Updated May 26, 2015 01:00 AM
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Credit: Ryan Tuttle/NBC; Getty

Kacy Catanzaro is competing for a third season on American Ninja Warrior. She made history last season by becoming the first female competitor to reach the top of the 14-ft. warped wall and also became the first and only woman to earn a spot to the Las Vegas finals by completing a city finals course.

ANW is back for its seventh season and is bigger than ever. With more than 10 times the amount of submissions as last year, you will see a lot of new talent showing up to prove themselves on the course. Rookies who have been eagerly waiting will finally get their shot at the course and give the veterans a run for their money.

Three of the six obstacles that make up this Venice Beach qualifying course are brand new. One new obstacle that proved to be a showstopper for many Ninjas was the Hourglass Drop. A lot of competitors had trouble with this touchy trampoline transition.

It’s common for obstacles involving trampolines to take a lot of competitors out because if your body position is slightly off when you make contact with the trampoline, it will send you shooting in a direction you don’t want to be going. Whether your knees buckle, your back gives out or your body is bent the wrong way, the trampoline is very unforgiving and will send you into that cold water below.

The Hourglass Drop took out all types of competitors, including the Godfather David Campbell, badass stuntwoman Jessie Graff and backyard-course-building rookie Arnold Hernéndez.

David Campbell, a five-time Mount Midoriyama veteran, had completed every single qualifying course he had ever faced. But even the Godfather couldn’t navigate the transition from the Hourglass Drop. He shot too far forward on the trampoline and missed the second half of the obstacle.

Jessie Graff was back and stronger than ever after having to sit on the sidelines last year due to a knee injury. Even though her knee held up strong during her run on the course, her chest was a little too far forward when she hit the trampoline and it sent her flying forward and not quite up enough to reach the S board.

Backyard-course builder Arnold Hernéndez was a rookie who has been anxiously waiting to get his shot at the course. Arnold took all of the pain from the death of his mother and turned it into something positive. He built the best backyard obstacle course in L.A. As passionate and inspiring as Arnold is, the Hourglass Drop came out on top once again.

These Ninjas are just a small fraction of the competitors who were taken out by this obstacle, but it goes to show that the Hourglass Drop did not favor any specific type of athlete. It took out men, women, veterans and rookies from all different types of skill sets and backgrounds.

What obstacle will be the showstopper next week? I can’t wait to find out and tell you all about it!

American Ninja Warrior airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on NBC.