The Cannonball Drop is an obstacle, firstly introduced as the second obstacle on American Ninja Warrior 9 in Los Angeles.
Competitors must grab onto a 16-inch diameter cannonball and ride it down a slightly steeped track, with two drops that would test the grip strength of the competitors.
During Los Angeles qualifiers, the obstacle took out 28 competitors, including Mike Ibasco, Tajma MaBon, Joe Heiden, Sandy Zimmerman, and Liam Buell. Typically, most of its victims failed to acquire a firm grip on the cannonball while sliding down the track, thus making it difficult to resist the jolts on the track. Some also were unable to stick the dismount, either failing to stick a steady landing or ramming onto the side of the landing platform
The Cannonball Drop was attempted early during Celebrity Ninja Warrior: Red Nose Day. However, the number of the drops on the track was reduced from two to just one, in order to make the obstacle easier for celebrity competitors. Among the 9 celebrity competitors who attempted it, only Nikki Glaser failed to complete it.
Other Season Appearances
American Ninja Warrior 10
The Cannonball Drop returned on American Ninja Warrior 10, as the second obstacle during Indianapolis qualifiers. Coincidentally, the Indianapolis qualifiers also featured Block Run, in which both obstacles were used in Los Angeles course on the previous season.
During Indianapolis qualifiers, the Cannonball Drop was proven to be more disastrous, as the obstacle ended the runs of Derrick Pavoni, Amy Pajcic, George O'Dell, Sophia Oster, Sean Noel, and most shockingly, Lorin Ball (due to a disqualification when he grabbed the truss). The obstacle eliminated more competitors during Indianapolis qualifiers than during Los Angeles qualifiers on the previous season, ending 32 competitors in total.
Later on the same season, the Cannonball Drop reappeared as the second obstacle during Miami finals, replacing the Fly Wheels during Miami qualifiers. The obstacle also swapped place with the Fly Wheels, which replaced the Cannonball Drop during Indianapolis finals. Both obstacles were coincidentally used in Los Angeles course on the previous season.
Although it was just the second obstacle, the Cannonball Drop was proven to be extremely and unexpectedly lethal during Miami finals, as the obstacle was responsible for eliminating a total of 10 competitors, which were:
- Lindsay Eskildsen,
- Jessica Clayton,
- Jason Bergstrom,
- Eddy Stewart,
- Devin Harrelson,
- Greg Manders,
- Jordan Brown,
- Eli Bell,
- Nico Long, and
- Kevin Carbone.
Each competitor fell in various ways, ranging from losing their grip midway through the obstacle (e.g. Devin Harrelson and Eli Bell), to failing to land safely on the dismount (e.g. Lindsay Eskildsen, Jessica Clayton, Eddy Stewart, and Kevin Carbone). One unique elimination came from Eddy Stewart's run, which resulted in him grasping the truss and falling off the course, technically resulting in a double disqualification. Although she made a great save on it, the obstacle also nearly took out Jessie Graff, when she almost lost her balance at the dismount.
In the end, the Cannonball Drop took out the most number of competitors out of any obstacle during Miami finals, eliminating 31.25% of all 32 Miami finalists who attempted it.
Ninja Warrior Poland
The Cannonball Drop appeared in Ninja Warrior Poland in the final stage one as the 2nd obstacle. The obstacle turned out to be one of the most difficult in this final, as it eliminated as many as 4 participants.
Competitors' Success Rate
- All results based on the NBC broadcast and external information found
- To date, The Cannonball Drop during American Ninja Warrior 10's Miami finals has the largest knockout rate in a city finals course that had every competitor participating in a city finals course attempted it. Statistically speaking, 10 out of all 32 competitors during Miami finals were eliminated by the obstacle.