'Celebrity Ninja Warrior for Red Nose Day' starring Derek Hough, Ne-Yo, Nikki Bella and more to air in May
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/02/2018
American Ninja Warrior will air its second celebrity special as part of NBC's Red Nose Day charity television event next month.
NBC has announced Celebrity Ninja Warrior for Red Nose Day will air on Thursday, May 24 at 8PM ET/PT, and feature stars attempting to tackle the obstacle course.
The participating celebrities in the hour-long special will be World of Dance judge and former Dancing with the Stars pro Derek Hough, World of Dance judge and singer Ne-Yo, WWE star and former Dancing with the Stars contestant Nikki Bella, actor and comedian Colton Dunn, actor Scott Evans, Olympic gold medalist Nastia Liukin, and actor Gregg Sulkin.
Hough will be participating for the second straight year, as he also tackled the American Ninja Warriorobstacle course during last year's Red Nose Day special.
In addition, for the first time, Akbar will take on the course he has watched so many ninjas face and attempt to conquer, all to support Red Nose Day and its mission to end child poverty.
Each of the celebrities will be paired with "an elite ninja," according to the network, who will serve as both a mentor and cheerleader, helping them prepare mentally and physically for their run from the floating steps, to a spinning bridge, to the iconic warped wall.
The "elite ninjas" will be Kevin Bull coaching Akbar, Drew Drechsel coaching Ne-Yo, Natalie Duran coaching Colton, Meagan Martin coaching Derek, Grant McCartney coaching Nikki, Flip Rodriguez coaching Scott, Barclay Stockett coaching Nastia, and Maggie Thorne coaching Gregg.
Each celebrity's upper body strength, agility and stamina will be tested in each of the obstacles they'll face.
The American Ninja Warrior special is part of NBC's initiative to raise money on Red Nose Day by calling viewers to action to donate throughout three hours of special primetime programming on May 24.
NBC will also air a special edition of Hollywood Game Night at 9PM ET/PT followed by The Red Nose Day Special hosted by Chris Hardwick at 10PM ET/PT.
Red Nose Day, which launched in America three years ago, is a long-running annual U.K. campaign that uses the power of entertainment to raise money and awareness for children living in poverty.