Fans of “American Ninja Warrior” know by now Foxboro resident Taylor Johnson didn’t advance in a qualifying event for NBC’s popular athletic competition show.
The show aired Monday night, with Johnson not making it through a third, new obstacle known as “Dangerous Curves” in Episode 5 of Season 11.
“I made it through the first two pretty easily, but on the third I slipped on the way down,” she said.
As a result, she wasn’t included in the 30 finalists out of the 100 who competed in the regional event held in Baltimore.
The show was taped in April.
However, there was a silver lining for the 25-year-old, highly-conditioned athlete.
She was invited to be a course tester for a regional event in Cincinnati and Las Vegas where the finals will be held.
Johnson was one of two athletes awarded a “top tester” designation in Las Vegas.
“I was super honored,” she said of the award.
“American Ninja Warrior” tests the physical skills and endurance of athletes who have already survived a rigorous application process just to qualify for the show.
Johnson, the daughter of Mary Johnson of Foxboro, said around 75,000 people a year fill out the 20-page application and make a three-minute video in which they talk about themselves and demonstrate their athletic prowess.
Out of those 75,000, only 600 are chosen to compete, which is less than 1 percent. The chosen are very few.
The 600 are then assigned to compete in a pre-qualifying event in one of six cities throughout the United States.
The chances of being chosen are small, but Taylor said her small stature, (she’s 4’ 11’’), may have worked in her favor.
She thinks the judges were impressed with what she can do despite not being tall at all.
“I was able to showcase my ability despite my height,” Johnson said.
Johnson, who earned a master’s degree in business administration from Quinnipiac University in Connecticut last year and a bachelor’s degree in marketing in 2016, was a standout athlete during her time there.
She competed in acrobatics and tumbling and was named an All-American.
She was the MVP for the team and its captain.
Johnson is a 2012 graduate of Foxboro High School where she was voted “most athletic.”
Her interest grew in “American Ninja Warrior” after binge watching the show.
Having a desire to stay in shape and compete, she decided to take a ninja class at New Era Ninjas in Hamden, Conn., where American Ninja Warrior Drew Drechsel also trained.
Johnson was able to learn from him and credits Drechsel for teaching her what she needed to know to take on the “American Ninja Warrior” program herself.
While she didn’t make through the first event, it was a good time and she intends to try again next year, hoping the experience she got this year will propel her to the top.
“It was such a fun experience,” Johnson said.