‘Rat man’ blitzes Ninja Warrior course
A self-confessed geek from Victoria who has pet rats stole the show on the opening night of Australian Ninja Warrior.
Jake Baker, 28, was easily the most memorable contestant featured in the first episode of the show's fourth season and was given the nickname 'Rat Man' by host Ben Fordham.
In a profile piece which aired before he ran the course, Jake revealed that he plays Dungeons and Dragons once a week and has the role of 'Dungeon Master', which apparently is a big deal.
"The Dungeon Master controls where you are, what happens, the monsters, the scenery," he explained. "All of it comes together to try and make for the best game."
He also revealed that he has three pet rats which are named Ratalie Portman, Elizabeth Warren and Gnawdrey Hepburn.
"I think rats get a really bad wrap," he said on the Channel 9 show. "They're actually really clean animals. They're extremely stealthy and they're really good at balance."
Jake brought one of his rats with him to watch from the sidelines as he ran the Ninja Warrior course, and the rat was not disappointed.
He completed the course with ease and finished fourth overall, advancing straight through to the semi-finals.
And he was a hit with viewers.
Funny voices in a Devo hat during your profile before your heat is probably not a great idea, but Jake made it! #NinjaWarriorAU— Mal Booth (@malbooth) July 26, 2020
#NinjaWarriorAU Sensational effort Rat King! You rock!— 𝔹𝕦𝕣𝕘𝕖𝕤𝕤 𝕄𝕖𝕘𝕒𝕕𝕖𝕥𝕙 🇦🇺🤘🇦🇺 (@ClandestineWays) July 26, 2020
I would like to marry jake baker he is just perfect #NinjaWarriorAU— Sarah (@sassyxsarah24) July 26, 2020
The fastest on the night was fan-favourite Ashlin Herbert.
After the episode aired, news.com.au caught up with Jake Baker and we can reveal that the rat-loving geek is in fact a police constable in Victoria.
Jake also revealed that this wasn't his first time on Australian Ninja Warrior.
"I actually ran the course in season one," he told news.com.au. "I didn't do super well though, so my name was shown on the results board but my run wasn't televised."
Jake applied to be on seasons two and three but wasn't selected by producers to run the course.
He credits a creative application video for getting him back on the show for season four.
"I had a better looking application this year," he said. "I had a friend do the video for me because I was terrible at it.
"The video showed off more of my personality. He showed my rats and we got a nice camera angle of the rats crawling all over me as I introduced myself (laughs). He showed me training and I also mentioned a few things about being a police officer."
Jake obviously has to be fairly fit to be a police officer, but he also did a lot of training with former Ninja Warrior contestant Sheena Steinert in order to get ready for the show.
"She's a bloody slave driver," he laughed. "Apart from that I was doing a whole lot of ninja-related fitness like bouldering, climbing, chin-ups and all that sort of stuff."
News.com.au also asked Jake about Dungeons and Dragons and he said that his weekly games are still going ahead even though Victoria is in lockdown.
"I'm in Melbourne and the boys are in Geelong so we've been playing online," he said. "I've had to learn a couple of computer programs to make all the pieces work online instead of just painted figurines on a board. I've had to upskill!"
In the episode, it showed footage of Jake playing Dungeons and Dragons with his mates while his rats roamed free on the table.
But he assured news.com.au that's not what usually happens.
"The producers just thought it might be a good shot," he laughed.
After Jake's course-run aired, he received a few messages online from female admirers. He told news.com.au that he is single, and when we asked if he's hoping to meet someone nice through the show, he replied: "I'm not averse to the idea."
For all those interested ladies, Jake's Instagram handle is @jakeinmidair.
Australian Ninja Warrior continues on Monday night on Channel 9 at 7.30pm
Originally published as 'Rat man' blitzes Ninja Warrior course