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Watch American Ninja Warrior's Teen Invasion Prepare To Make History In The National Finals

American Ninja Warrior is heading to the National Finals, and the crop of competitors ready to tackle the most formidable obstacles so far in Season 13 are going to make history. The decision to lower the age limit to 15-years-old has paid off, as the teenagers who invaded the hit series proved more than capable of keeping up with the adult athletes. The "Teen Invasion" means history will be made with the youngest competitors ever in American Ninja Warrior, and they look more than ready to tackle the challenges ahead of them in the sneak peek clip at the first night of National Finals on August 30!

As American Ninja Warrior co-host Matt Iseman noted, for the first time ever, a pretty significant chunk of the finalists aren't old enough to enter a casino, with 18 teens making it all the way to the National Finals. Clearly, the teens are old enough to present some serious competition for the adults when it comes to trying to earn the $1 million prize! American Ninja Warrior (produced by A. Smith and Co.) always delivers some spectacular athletics to the small screen, but never has it been more unpredictable than in Season 13.

There was no telling at the beginning of the season how well competitors as young as 15 would fare on the very grown-up courses, but it's safe to say that they are worthy competitors for the top prize. Of course, a number of the teen competitors actually made their American Ninja Warrior franchise debut even younger, as contestants on American Ninja Warrior Junior, which welcomes kids between the ages of 9 and 14. There's no saying whether one of the teens or one of the veterans will end up on top by the end of Season 13, but the younger competitors have certainly given the older a run for their money.

And it's clear enough by this point that adding some teen "invaders" hasn't lowered the level of intensity in Season 13. Executive producer Arthur Smith of A. Smith and Co. production company spoke with CinemaBlend earlier this year, and he explained then the criteria for casting teens who could keep up with (and even surpass) the competition:

We saw this teen invasion coming, and I think the show kind of feeds itself. And it's interesting, what's happening. This is our thirteenth season, as you know, and you could feel the sport of Ninja just growing exponentially. And the massive turnout that we've had, and then combine that with starting American Ninja Warrior Junior. We've done two seasons of that and the third season's coming on Peacock later this year. And it's just the growth of the sport. We've been watching not just what we do, but what happens all year round. There's local ninja competitions, and there's ninja gyms everywhere. We had already identified some of the people who were stars, I think all of which have been on Ninja Junior. There may have been a couple who haven't, but most of them are from Ninja Junior, but at least the ones who excel.

Now that viewers have had nearly a full season of teens tackling the same course as adults, they can likely agree that the show "kind of feeds itself" with how much the competition has evolved this year. The competition is still stiff, and there's no guarantee that any of the teens will come close to the adults in the National Finals. Be sure to tune in to see who outpaces the rest and who falls earlier than intended! The first night of America Ninja Warrior's Season 13 National Finals in Las Vegas airs on Monday, August 30 at 8 p.m. ET.

A second night of finals follows the next week, and then American Ninja Warrior will wrap for 2021. That said, American Ninja Warrior Junior will return with Season 3 on Peacock starting on Thursday, September 9 at 12:01 a.m. PT as part of the packed 2021 fall TV premiere schedule.

Laura Hurley

Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.