AGAIN, the red carpet was rolled out at NBC’s American Ninja Warrior luncheon in LA! Yours Truly was able to sit down with #ANW host Akbar Gbajabiamila and contestant Kevin Bull for an intimate discussion about the show and it’s EMMYs nomination!! Special thanks to Allied Moxy.
Photos by RobinLori
Akbar is a former professional American football player and is the co-host for American Ninja Warrior: Celebrity Edition (2017) and works as a sports analyst for the NFL Network. He was signed by the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted free agent in 2003 and also played for the San Diego Chargers and Miami Dolphins.
Kevin competed in Venice Qualifying as a walk-on and finished the course with the fourth-fastest time to qualify for the Venice Finals. In the Venice Finals, he used an unorthodox approach to complete Cannonball Alley by using his feet to grab the third cannonball. He would eventually be one of only two competitors to complete the Venice Finals course. – Sasukepedia.com
First, I’d like to thank Akbar and Kevin for being such great hosts! The room was filled with positive energy and they were genuinely excited to give us all the scoop (on & off the show). See for yourself… take a look at my little mini video :-):
NOTE: As you can see in the video… Akbar was in a ninja battle with a fly. He politely apologized while mentioning his hatred for the species. LOL! Too funny… I had my own battle sitting directly in front of him. I was so nervous and could barely eat the fabulous food on the table. Ughhh, I wanted so much more. 🙁 Ok… so I broke the ice by showing him a pic we snapped at the Atlanta Ninja Warrior taping.
Akbar: Ahhh yes… I remember. This was taken by the trailers… so what part of Atlanta were you from?
RobinLori: I lived in Stone Mountain.
Akbar: My favorite wrestler “Jack the Snake” is from Stone Mountain.
RobinLori: Ummm… I noticed your bowl of soup vs. food on the menu. Are you eating a tomato paste?
Akbar: LOL, now that’s funny. I’m actually in my 3rd week as a VEGAN. I watched a documentary called “What The Health” and immediately went to In & Out for my last double double burger and strawberry milkshake. And that burger was with onions…
As you can see…. I had so much fun with BOTH of our guest!! Check out this beautiful #ANW cake! Akbar DID NOT partake (eat)… but he certainly had fun with a “finger” race up the warped wall.
Last but not least… BRAVO to Cecconi’s Italian Restaurant located in West hollywood. First class all the way with beautiful decor and service. Here’s a few pics from my iPhone:
About The Show
ANW returns for its ninth season this summer and its sixth full season on NBC. Matt Iseman returns as host with Akbar Gbajabiamila and co-host Kristine Leahy.
The action-packed series follows competitors as they tackle a series of challenging obstacle courses in both city qualifying and city finals rounds across the country. Those that successfully complete the finals course in their designated region move on to the national finals round in Las Vegas, where they face a stunning four-stage course modeled after the famed Mt. Midoriyama course in Japan. The winner will take home a grand prize of $1 million.
New obstacles and several new cities await our competitors in their continuing quest for physical excellence. This season, hundreds of competitors will test their skills to see if they can make history and join Isaac Caldiero, who became the show’s first winner in season seven.
Check out the trailer and be sure to watch NBC MONDAY’s 8/7 c!!