How To Compete As An 'American Ninja Warrior' Walk-On

May 20, 2019

Even though you may have missed the Jan. 2 entry deadline for American Ninja Warrior, filming here this weekend, you still have a shot at competing on the NBC reality show through the "walk-up line."

Walk-up line information was announced late Monday on the A. Deign & Co. Facebook page.

The line will form at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, at the Schmidlap Event Lawn, 115 Joe Nuxhall Way, near the Moerlein Lager House.  

Producers this year have initiated a lottery system to select walk-on contestants. Twenty names will be selected, but the production company "does not anticipate being able to accommodate more than 15 walk-ons in each city," the website says.

"In an effort to provide people who can’t take weeks away from work a chance to run the course, we’re adopting a lottery system… Everyone that is on location by the announced time will write their name on a slip of paper or ticket, as provided by production. Production will randomly select 20 names. The winners will be selected as the walk-ons and will be invited to compete in the order that their names are selected," the site says.

Entries for this season closed six weeks before the Cincinnati taping was announced by Film Cincinnati on Valentine's Day. The lottery system was implemented so people do not have to "line up weeks and weeks in advance for a chance to be a walk-on," says a Feb. 25 post at the AmericanNinjaWarriorNation website.

The website says that walk-ons compete "before, during, and after the 'cast' athletes (the Ninjas who got a phone call and guaranteed spot to compete)." Not all 20 walk-ons may run the course. If the taping is delayed or slowed due to technical reasons or weather, "the walk-ons can be cut to save time for the guaranteed competitors," the site says.

Ten walk-ons will be selected for the start of the show. The other 10 will be slotted later on Friday night, if possible.

Leslie Schwartz, NBCUniversal publicist for the show, says it's worth a shot.

"Sometimes we have walk-ons that go through" to the second night, she says.

American Ninja Warrior will tape at 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, May 24-25, on an obstacle course built on Second Street by the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

Tickets are available online through the "Waitlist." NBC plans several audience sessions each night. Here's my  story about getting tickets.

The 11th season of ANW premieres Wednesday, May 29 (8-10 p.m., Channel 5), before moving to its regular time slot on Monday, June 10 (8-10 p.m.).

The Cincinnati qualifier taped May 24 will air Monday, July 1 (8-10 p.m.), Schwartz says. The Cincinnati finals taped on May 25 will air Monday, Aug. 19 (8-10 p.m.), she says.

Hosts Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila will be joined by new sidelines reporter Zuri Hall, an actress