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We Visited The Set Of “American Ninja Warrior Junior”

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Some days are cooler than others.

Hi, my name is Mike, and these are my kids, Annie and James. Annie and James are HUGE fans of American Ninja Warrior Junior, so when I got invited to the filming of an episode of the upcoming season, I immediately asked, “Can I, uh, bring my kids?”


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Season 2 of American Ninja Warrior Junior premieres on Universal Kids on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

As you can imagine, bringing the kids won me a lifetime supply of cool dad points, and I expect them to keep their rooms clean indefinitely.

So what was it like being on the set of American Ninja Warrior Junior? Here are some of the coolest behind-the-scenes things we saw:

1.

At our episode, Jessie Graff was the mentor, which meant that the other mentors — like American Ninja Warrior legend Meagan Martin — were just standing around!


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Meagan was super nice and sweet, and patiently answered all of James’ questions. He had a lot — he’s a 6-year-old, LOL.

2.

We also got to meet ANW champion Drew Drechsel!


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Drew was also really nice!

3.

We crossed paths with Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbaja-Biamila — who are back as hosts — and Paralympian Victoria Arlen, who replaced Laurie Hernandez (who is off training for the 2020 Olympics!).


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Victoria has an AMAZING story — after developing a couple rare conditions as a child, she lost the ability to speak, eat, walk, or move, and slipped into a vegetative state. She stayed that way for four years, aware of what was happening around her, but unable to move or communicate.

After four years, she not only began to regain her ability to speak, eat, and move, but went on to become a Paralympian. Wow!

4.

On TV, you mainly just see the course, so it feels more like a sporting event than a TV show. But in person, you see a lot more of the TV production side.

5.

There are a LOT of cameras.


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In addition to a large team of camerapeople, there are mounted cameras hidden on the course, cameras on cranes, and a camera on a drone that films from above.

6.

In total, including the drone and GoPros, they had 27 CAMERAS on the course.

7.

There are even compartments on the course with cutouts for camerapeople to film through.

8.

Oh, and there are large lights alongside the course too.

9.

All of this made us even more impressed with the competitors than we were before we arrived. These kids are not only managing amazing athletic feats — they’re doing it while blocking out the numerous production-related distractions you don’t see on TV.

10.

All in all, the experience of competing feels a lot more nerve-racking IRL than it does on TV. For example, in this photo Annie and James are standing where the race begins, so this is what the competitors see before they start. You can imagine getting easily intimidated by the size of it all.


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We actually chatted with host Matt Iseman about this. He said, “People can very easily understand the physicality of it, but what makes a great ninja is the mental element, the fortitude to be able to do it when the lights are the brightest, to be able to do it when it counts. For these kids — some of whom are as young as 9 years old — to handle this pressure is remarkable.”

11.

There is a training gym set up directly next to the course for the kids to use to warm up before competing.

12.

Here’s a closer look:

13.

You know those cool shots taken from the side — like this one — where the camera moves with the kids as they barrel through the course?

14.

Well, this is how they get those shots — they have a camera mounted on a car/trolley that drives alongside as the kids race through the course.

15.

Oh, in case you’re wondering, that cool shot was taken from where we were sitting on the production side of the course.


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On the other side of the course were the stands full of the competitors’ family and friends, as you see on the show.

16.

We were sitting only about 50 feet away, and the races were VERY exciting to see in person!


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It’s a different experience, though, without all the different camera and sound effects. Each race somehow seems both longer (as you watch the competitors traverse the entire course from one angle) and quicker (at the end of each race you think, How the heck did they get to the end already?).

17.

If a competitor falls into the water, a crew member pops up with a towel on a stick to dry any wet areas on the course.


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Wiping down the course makes total sense (you don’t want the next kids to slip on water as they compete), but it’s not something you think about when you watch on TV.

18.

We got up close to the warped wall, which is the same one for all age groups. However, they open the lower slot (closed in the photo below) for 9–10-year-olds and open the top slot (open in the photo) for the 11–12-year-olds. Both slots are closed for the 13–14-year-olds — they have to reach the very top of the wall.

19.

Perhaps the coolest behind-the-scenes thing we got to do was go into a trailer 100 or so feet away from the course where the director (and their team) put the show together on the fly.

20.

As the races happened live outside, the team inside the trailer chose the camera angles, directed the camerapeople over a headset, and relayed questions to the hosts to ask the competitors!


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It was fascinating to see how much of the show was being shaped right then and there…and not later in postproduction!

21.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, like any TV production, there was a craft table with lots of goodies like Gatorade, Pop-Tarts, and warm potatoes and eggs. (We may have enjoyed a snack or three.)

Being on set was an incredible experience, not only to get a sense of how the show is actually made, but to see this year’s competition. I can tell you there are some staggeringly talented competitors this year, and — even from the little I saw — there are more than a few unbelievably close finishes.

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KKR vs KXIP Live Score: Kolkata Knight Riders lose Eoin Morgan, Sunil Narine in quick succession | Cricket News

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LIVE BLOG | LIVE SCORECARD
End of OVER 13: Just 2 runs off Murugan Ashwin’s over. Superb stuff from him. KKR 107/5. KKR’s run rate is now 8.23
Murugan Ashwin starts his second over. Chris Gayle is at the first slip.
End of OVER 12: 4 runs off Bishnoi’s over. KKR 105/5
Ravi Bishnoi starts his second over.
End of OVER 11: 9 runs and Narine’s wicket off Jordan’s over. KKR 101/5
Kamlesh Nagarkoti comes to the crease
OVERS 10.6: WICKET! Chris Jordan castles Sunil Narine for 6 runs. Jordan is pumped up. KKR are five down.
OVERS 10.5: FOUR! Short from Jordan. Narine plays a risky shot here. He uses the pace and cuts the ball towards third man.
Chris Jordan starts his third over.
10 overs gone! KKR 92/4
Sunil Narine comes to the crease
OVERS 9.5: WICKET! Ravi Bishnoi does the job for KXIP and his captain KL Rahul. Morgan goes over the top but fails to connect. Murugan Ashswin takes an easy catch at the boundary ropes. 81-run stand comes to an end.
OVERS 9.3: SIX! Shubman Gill picks the length and says thank you very much. The ball lands over long on fence. Superb shot from the youngster. KKR 90/3
Ravi Bishnoi comes into the attack. Can he break the stand between Morgan and Gill?
End of OVER 9: Just 2 runs off Jordan’s over. KKR 82/3
KKR’s current run-rate is 10
Chris Jordan comes into the attack.
End of OVER 8: 14 runs off Ashwin’s over. KKR 80/3
OVERS 7.6: SIX! What a way to end the over. Shubman smashes Ashwin over deep mid wicket region. Morgan and Shubman are well set right now. They have put KKR in comfortable position after early jolts.
OVERS 7.3: SIX! Ashwin to Morgan. It goes miles. The ball lands over long on fence. Morgan moves to 37 off 19 balls.
Murugan Ashwin comes into the attack
End of OVER 7: 12 runs off Maxwell’s over. Shubman and Morgan are resurrecting KKR’s innings. KKR 66/3
OVERS 6.6: SIX! Oh Morgan! What a hit this is. The KKR skipper pulls this away over backward square leg.
OVERS 6.2: FOUR! Morgan sends him towards deep extra cover for a boundary. KKR 58/3
Maxwell starts his second over.
End of OVER 6: 21 runs off Shubman’s over. KKR 54/3
OVERS 6: SIX! Shubman attacks once again and this time over deep mid wicket fence. What a shot from him.
OVERS 5.5: SIX! Classy from Shubman. He stands tall, picks the length and dispatches Shami over mid wicket fence.
OVERS 5.3: FOUR! Morgan plays this late. He uses the pace and cuts the ball towards deep backward point. KKR 41/3
OVERS 5.1: FOUR! Morgan welcomes Shami with a superb boundary between mid wicket and long on.
Shami starts his third over.
End of OVER 5: 10 runs off Arshdeep’s over. KKR 33/3
OVERS 4.5: FOUR! Short from Arshdeep. Shubman comes forward and pulls it towards deep backward square leg.
OVERS 4.3: FOUR! Short and wide from Arshdeep. Morgan gets a thick edge and the ball races towards third man.
Arshdeep starts his second over.
End of OVER 4: 5 runs off Shami’s over. KKR 23/3
OVERS 3.4: FOUR! What a shot from Morgan. He stays back and cuts this beautifully towards deep backward point for a boundary. KKR 23/3
Shami starts his second over.
End of OVER 3: 8 runs off Arshdeep’s over. KKR 18/3
OVERS 2.1: FOUR! Shubman clips this behind square for a boundary.
Captain Morgan comes to the crease
Arshdeep Singh comes into the attack
End of OVER 2: Just 1 run and 2 wickets (DK and Tripathi) off Shami’s over. KKR 10/3
OVERS 1.6: WICKET! Shami is on fire. The pacer sends DK back to the pavillion without troubling the scorers. Shami celebrates, DK departs for a duck. What a start for KXIP. Another easy catch for KL Rahul behind the wickets. KKR 10/3
Dinesh Karthik comes to the crease. This is his 300th T20 match.
OVERS 1.4: WICKET! Mohammed Shami dismisses Rahul Tripathi for 7 runs. KKR are off to a terrible start. First Rana and now Tripathi. Poor shit selection from Tripathi. KL Rahul takes an easy catch behind the wickets. KKR 10/2
Mohammed Shami comes into the attack.
End of OVER 1: 9 runs and Rana’s wicket off Maxwell’s over. KKR 9/1
OVERS 0.5: SIX! What a shot from Tripathi. He leans forward, picks the length and smashes Maxwell over deep mid wicket fence.
Rahul Tripathi comes to the crease
OVER 0.2: WICKET! Glenn Maxwell strikes early for KXIP, removes Nitish Rana for a duck. Rana goes for a slog sweep but fails to connect. Universe Boss Chris Gayle takes an easy catch at short fine leg. Maxwell raises his both hands and celebrates in style. Gayle exults after taking the catch. Big wicket for KXIP. KKR 1/1
Glenn Maxwell will open the attack for KXIP. Here we go..!!!
KKR openers Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana are at the crease.
TEAM CHANGES: Both the teams are unchanged.
CAPTAINS’ TAKE:
Eoin Morgan (KKR):
We would have bowled as well, pretty much for the same reasons. We did well against DC, played the way we wanted. Our fate is still in our hands, that’s good. We have depended a lot on match-ups, it works at times, it doesn’t at times. Andre Russell is unfortunately still not fit, so same team
KL Rahul (KXIP):
We will bowl first. Like to have a target on the board, the dew might have an effect as well in the second innings. Winning gives a lot of confidence to the group, it makes them keep performing better and better. The back-room staff have been phenomenal right from even the tournament started. No changes to our team
PLAYING XIs:
Kolkata Knight Riders: Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik(w), Eoin Morgan(c), Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Lockie Ferguson, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy
Kings XI Punjab: KL Rahul(w/c), Mandeep Singh, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, Deepak Hooda, Chris Jordan, Murugan Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh
TOSS: Kings XI Punjab captain KL Rahul wins toss, opts to field against Kolkata Knight Riders.
It’s TOSS time, folks.
Hello and welcome to the Live coverage of the IPL 2020 match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab.


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Bayern's Mueller says Champions League is 'our competition'

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Bayern Munich forward Thomas Mueller said on Monday the Champions League holders are “happy to be playing in our competition again” ahead of their group-stage game at Lokomotiv Moscow. Bayern visit the Russian capital on Tuesday looking to build on a 4-0 thrashing of Atletico Madrid in last week’s Group A opener.

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Don’t see reason why families can’t accompany players in Australia: Ganguly | Cricket News

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MELBOURNE: BCCI President Sourav Ganguly strongly feels that Indian cricketers should be accompanied by their families for the upcoming tour of Australia as a lot of them have been alone in an IPL bio-bubble for nearly 80 days.
“They (players) have already been living in a bubble for the last 80 days,” Ganguly told ‘The Age’.

Asked if the tour would be in doubt if families cannot accompany the players, Ganguly replied: “I don’t see a reason why the families won’t be allowed to come. The Australian cricket board is trying to accommodate the families. It should be okay.”

There appears to be some issues to be settled between the BCCI and Cricket Australia on the bio-security measures the host nation has devised but Ganguly said the Indian team will travel to Sydney immediately after the IPL ends on November 10.
“So far it is ahead. The initial part will be in Sydney. We are still in discussions on how to get the bio-bubble part and medical parts stronger because it’s a long tour,” Ganguly was quoted as saying by the Australian newspaper.
“But I am told Australia is COVID free at the moment, there aren’t many cases. Basically, we are trying to get everything in place and make sure it is safe. That’s all,” he said.
Ganguly also said that they have requested Cricket Australia to ensure that their players can train during the 14-day quarantine period.
“We have requested that because they have been in the IPL for a long time (in the UAE) and then they go straight from the IPL to Australia because there is a 14-day quarantine. It will be solved,” Ganguly told Australian newspaper ‘The Age’.
Sydney and Canberra are likely to host the white ball leg of three T20Is and as many ODIs while the four-match Test series is starting with a D/N pink-ball match in Adelaide from December 17. Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney are the venues of the other three Tests.
Ganguly is also hoping that the families of the Indian players will be allowed to be accommodated in the bio-secure bubble in Australia.
He, however, refused to speculate on India captain Virat Kohli potentially missing out a Test as he and his wife Anushka Sharma are expecting their first child.
“This is a personal question. I don’t like to comment and I have not asked him,” Ganguly said.
CA had originally planned to have the white-ball series after the Test series.
Asked about this, Ganguly said, “It’s just about the timing to get everything accommodated. There is a Boxing Day Test, New Year’s Day Test, all these remain on schedule. Then India will come back and play against England straightaway for the Test series and one-day series.
“The T20s were supposed to be before the (T20) World Cup but that has not gone through because of the COVID. We are trying to get the best possible schedule and finish the one-dayers and T20s so the players can get back.”
The former India captain is also hoping his “Super Series” plan for an annual one-day series tournament between India, Australia and England would go ahead once COVID-19 issues were resolved.
“It hasn’t gone anywhere because of COVID. We don’t know what is going to happen in the next six, seven months. A lot of tournaments and series have been cancelled so that needs to be rescheduled,” he said.


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