Bec Maddern and Ben Fordham host Australian Ninja Warrior.
Bec Maddern and Ben Fordham host Australian Ninja Warrior.

Host slams claims that Ninja Warrior is ‘unfair’

NINJA Warrior co-host Ben Fordham has shot down complaints from some viewers that the show is "unfair".

Some fans of the Channel 9 show have vented online about the fact the Ninja Warrior course was changed for each of the six heats.

The top 20 competitors from each heat made it through to the semi-finals which begin airing on Sunday night. Some heats featured fairly simple obstacles but others were much tougher and way fewer competitors were able to complete the course.

On last night's episode for example, professional rockclimber Lee Cossey was on the course for just 15 seconds before he bombed out on the second obstacle. But he still made it through to the semi-finals because so many people crashed out on that obstacle in his heat.

The night before, there were four contestants who were each on the course for 12 seconds or less and all failed to complete the second obstacle, yet they all managed to advance through to the semi-finals.

It was a different story in heat four which aired on Sunday night. The course appeared to be much simpler with 15 Ninjas completing the whole course and making it up the Warped Wall. The remaining five spots went to competitors who made it to at least the fourth obstacle and were on the course for at least 90 seconds.

So is the format of the show unfair to those Ninjas who had to tackle the tougher courses?

"It's entirely fair because the competition is based around a very simple premise that the top 20 furthest, fastest proceed to the semi-finals," Ben Fordham told

"You're competing against the course and you're competing against your fellow Ninjas. And whoever achieves the best results goes through.

"It doesn't matter if it's the most impossible heat or the world's easiest heat, only the top 20 will go through."

Fordham used a tennis analogy to further prove his point.

"In tennis you have grass courts and you have clay courts. Some players perform better on a grass court and others on a clay court. The court might change between tournaments but the result is still decided on whoever performs best on the day."

As for why the Ninja Warrior course was changed for each heat, Fordham said that's purely to keep the audience interested.

"People want variety," he told

"If you had the same obstacles every single night, then you'd run the risk of audience members not getting variety each time they tune in. You want the audience to be engaged in what they're watching and part of that involves giving them different obstacles so they can see different challenges each night."

The first of four semi-finals will air on Channel 9 this Sunday with the eight Ninjas who go the furthest and fastest in each semi making it through to the grand final.