Ninja’s ‘stupid rule’ sparks outrage
A surprise disqualification made for the most shocking moment of the first Australian Ninja Warrior semi-final of 2019, with even host Rebecca Maddern describing the decision as "unfair."
Inverloch aqua aerobics instructor Trudie Horskins, 39, had husband Ben and children Billy and Sam cheering her on as she approached the course, having previously finished 13th in the qualifying heats.
"Don't make the mistake of thinking Trudie's not a serious contender," co-host Ben Fordham told viewers. "She was outstanding in her heat - a genuine chance of a top 10 finish tonight."
That is until Horskins tackled perhaps Ninja Warrior's weirdest obstacle to date. Having cleared the course's first obstacle in three seconds flat, she then had to wrap herself around the 'Rolling Log' and hold on for dear life as it spun her in circles down a track at rapidly increasing speed:
As the log hurtled to the end of the track, Horskins' leg was dislodged by the force, thwacking against the safety mat - and knocking one of her shoes clean off and into the water below.
Undeterred, Horskins continued along the course - and it seemed even the judges took a few seconds to register what the missing shoe meant for her run.
"This is bad news. Are we going to see a disqualification?" asked Fordham as Horskins charged ahead.
Ominous red lights flashed on the course. The judges had called it: Horksins was disqualified. Even the hosts were gutted.
"It just seems so unfair, but the international Ninja rules are really clear about this," sighed Maddern.
"I need to stress for people watching at home that we've witnessed the briefings where they're told that if anything, even a hairclip, falls off you and goes into that water, you're disqualified," said Fordham, perhaps anticipating a viewer backlash.
"It would be unfair to the other Ninjas if she was allowed to continue against the rules," he said.
An emotional Horskins said that she was "so devastated" by the disqualification.
"I wanted this so bad. I had this course wrapped up, I was so focused. Far out, to finish like that, with a SHOE? Far out. It was on so tight - double knot, check it out.
"I'm so shattered. I'm just so shattered."
Social media has erupted with rage over the decision, with many branding it "stupid".
What if the shoe had come off but didn’t fall in the pool? Still DQ? #NinjaWarriorAU— Anita Lawes (@mrsjbj) July 21, 2019
Who cares if her shoe came off, what a stupid rule #NinjaWarriorAU— Andrew (@andrew_432) July 21, 2019
By all means disqualify the shoe....the shoe screwed up not her. #NinjaWarriorAU— Colonel Kickhead (@colonelkickhead) July 21, 2019
Australian Ninja Warrior continues 7.30pm Monday on Nine.