Former Ninja ‘winners’ annoyed at new $100K prize
AUSTRALIAN Ninja Warrior frontrunner Rob Patterson admits he was annoyed that guaranteed prize money was introduced this year after he walked away empty-handed for the same title.
Following backlash from viewers about the lack of an overall winner in the first two seasons because no one completed the course, Channel 9 introduced a $100,000 cash prize this year, to be awarded on the show on Monday night, for the contestant who makes it furthest fastest.
It comes after the Brisbane engineer was crowned furthest fastest in last year's grand final, but walked away with just a medal because he failed to complete the course, falling at the penultimate hurdle.
He was in the same boat as Fred Dorrington, also from Brisbane, who was furthest fastest in season one.
"Both Fred and I when we heard that … we both kind of went 'oh that's a little annoying', but that's TV. That's how it works," said Patterson, who made it through the first round of the Grand Final course on Sunday night.
"I'm a big fan of the original in Japan and they haven't had that (prize money) there at all. In that traditional sense I'm not the biggest fan but I understand there's a motivation to increase viewership."
But Patterson said he didn't feel he deserved the money and doesn't like being called a winner for his season two feat.
"Coming back for me it's not really about the money its more about conquering the course," he said.
"I've had people come up to me and say 'you're the winner' but not really because I haven't conquered the course.
"It was an honour and a big surprise and that was amazing, but most ninjas would be in the same boat - that it's not what we came to do."
On Monday night, he will be among the 11 final competitors attempting to earn the $100,000 prize in the Australian Ninja Warrior finale on Channel 9. A $300,000 prize is on offer if any competitor manages to complete the course.