Film and TV

Isaac Caldiero's Win on American Ninja Warrior Shows He's One Badass Busboy


Before last night, American Ninja Warrior had run for seven seasons without ever anointing a champion.

That's because the four-stage contest is so damn tough.

But finally, we have a winner — and he's from Colorado.

Congratulations, Isaac Caldiero.


On the show's graphics, Caldiero is identified as a resident of Fort Collins, while 9News says he's from Boulder.

However, everyone agrees on his profession: busboy.

Make that the most badass busboy who ever lived.

Aside from busing tables, Caldiero is also mighty adept at rock climbing and bouldering, as is clear from this 2013 video profile by Dead Point magazine.



The intro to the clip reads: "Isaac Caldiero is one of the most prolific desert rats who has made it his mission to revive the bouldering in southern Utah."

This wasn't Caldiero's first run at the American Ninja Warrior crown. He previously won a spot in 2013's fifth season thanks in part to the heavenly audition video below.


He made quite an impression during the season, as this video shows.

Nontheless, the ultimate prize eluded him, as it has everyone else.

This season was different, however — Caldiero's achievement even got the attention of Deadspin.

Here's an excerpt from the site's piece about him:
Before tonight, no competitor had ever completed the punishing Stage 3 of Mt. Midoriyama, which features a bunch of insanely difficult climbing obstacles that I don’t have the vocabulary to describe properly. In the three seasons since a replica of the Japanese version of Mt. Midoriyama was built in Las Vegas instead of flying competitors to Japan, 10 have made it to Stage 3, where they all failed.

But on tonight’s show, the Season 7 finale, professional rock climber and buff-Jesus stunt double Isaac Caldiero ripped through the course.

Caldiero wasn't the only person to master stage three. Also getting over the hump was cameraman Geoff Britten.

That meant a faceoff in stage four — which required the competitors to race up a 75-foot rope.

Guess who did so the fastest.

This accomplishment netted Caldiero a $1 million prize — which presumably means he won't be a busboy for much longer.

Look below to see the photo shared by American Ninja Warrior after Caldiero came out on top, followed by two more videos — clips from last night's show and an interview with Caldiero.



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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts