Kristine Leahy’s job on ‘American Ninja Warrior’ is to recap the competitors’ runs after they’re off the course. This season, she interviewed a deaf contender, but in doing it, the two shared a beautiful moment.
American Ninja Warrior brings to television a fierce competition, with an emotional twist. From contenders who have suffered a tragedy, to women who are defying the odds, to what we saw this season — a deaf competitor — take on the Ninja course, American Ninja Warrior is the TV show America needs, right now. Nominated in the Outstanding Reality – Competition Program for this year’s Emmy Awards, American Ninja Warrior is in the midst of its 10th season. Host Kristine Leahy spoke to HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVE ahead of the Emmy Awards, to discuss this season’s empowering contestant Kyle Schulze — who was born with a bilateral profound hearing loss.
“Being hearing impaired can affect your balance, and he did so well, and made it all the way to Vegas,” Kristine explained. “So, when he came to do the interview with me, we had to creatively have our conversation, because I don’t know sign language, and they put that interview on the show.” She continued, “I was able to tell him congratulations and that he was going to Vegas in sign language, and I surprised him with it. It’s always good to see people who beat the odds, or who people think they won’t make it through, and they do. It’s a really cool thing for me.”
Kristine feels just a proud and inspired when it comes to the fierce AF women who compete on the show, like the viral Kacy Catanzaro, Jessie Graff, and Meagan Martin. “There aren’t many sports that women and men compete on the exact same playing field. On Ninja Warrior, they have the exact same course, and the exact same timing,” she explained. “A lot of times the women are asked if they would want a separate course, and they all say no. They can compete just as well with the men, and go even further. We’ve seen more women be successful throughout the years, and I think that is in large part due to Kacy, Meagan and Jessie. People are watching at home and think, “Okay, if that woman can do it, then I can too.’”
Girl power, baby! Tune in to see if American Ninja Warrior takes the top spot at the Emmys on Sept. 18, and lands the W for Outstanding Reality – Competition Program!
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