After being off the air for over a year, The Amazing Race is finally back!
The Amazing Race has never quite gotten the buzz (or the ratings) of Survivor but I’m glad that it’s back. I’ve always liked The Amazing Race, largely because my sister Erin and I have always jokingly talked about trying out for the show. Beyond that, I love seeing all the countries that the teams go to. I love seeing which teams can work together and which teams fall apart. And I love Phil. He’s a great host. Much as how the snarky Jeff Probst is the perfect host for Survivor, the always compassionate Phil is the perfect host for The Amazing Race.
That said, I worry about The Amazing Race. I don’t know how much longer it’s going to be around. I suspect that the ratings are suffering because the show’s frequently been switched around on the schedule. As well, the previous few seasons have been gimmicky in a way that the show never was in the past. There was one season where The Amazing Race turned into a dating show. And then, that was followed by a season where everyone was a social media superstar.
This season, the gimmick is that the teams are made up of strangers. Everyone showed up in Los Angeles and, after running a race through the streets of L.A., they got to pick their partners. Everyone was making their pick based on first impressions. No one knew anyone before selecting them. They’ll be getting to know each other during the race.
Which, to me, kind of misses what made The Amazing Race so special in the first place. The fun thing about The Amazing Race was watching people with a history try to work together as they raced across the world. The fun was watching marriages collapse, friendships fall apart, and siblings become closer. That’s gone now.
With all that in mind, last night’s episode was good enough. We met the racers. We got to know some of them. The first leg of the race took them to Panama, where almost all of them got lost and struggled with the detour. As always, one team came in first and one team was eliminated. In this case, the eliminated team was eliminated as the result of a time penalty.
Here are a few thoughts on the teams, in order of their finish. Keep in mind that we still don’t know a lot about these people so these thoughts aren’t going to be particularly in-depth. Hopefully, that will change as we get to know these people:
Coming in first, Seth and Olive! Seth is a cop. Olive is a fire fighter. They bonded as soon as they met and worked really well together. They are the early front-runners.
Coming in second, Becca and Floyd! Becca and Floyd are Team Fun and they annoy the Hell out of me. Becca is every teeth-grindingly annoying tour guide that you’ve ever had to deal with.
Coming in third, Matt and Redmond! Matt’s a snowboarder. Redmond has one leg. Together, they solve crimes. No, actually, they are this season’s bro team. They seem like they’ll be a strong, physical team.
Coming fourth, Brooke and Scott! Brooke and Scott finished well but still spent most of their time fighting. When Phil asked Scott if he regretted picking Brooke, Scott may have said no but his body language said yes.
Coming in fifth, Shamir and Sara. Shamir and Sara both seem to be really likable. That’s pretty much the only impression they made.
Coming in sixth, Tara and Joey! Tara’s a drill sergeant. Joey’s a cop. Tara picked Joey despite the fact that he was the last one to arrive in Los Angeles. They worked well together but I don’t see this team making it far in the race. Joey doesn’t seem to be that smart.
Coming in seventh, Vanck and Ashton! Vanck is socially awkward. Ashton won’t stop talking. These two are doomed.
Coming in eighth, London and Logan! They’re both just so pretty. I’m Team London because we’re both artists.
Coming in ninth, Jessie and Francesca. They fought in Los Angeles but they got along famously in Panama.
Coming in tenth, Liz and Michael. I have a bad feeling about these two. Liz is neurotic. Michael is a bearded butcher who doesn’t know how to talk to people. They would have been eliminated if not for the fact that another team got a penalty.
Coming in eleventh, and getting eliminated, Jenn and Kevin! Jenn was a model. Kevin was an athletic trailer. They both had great hair but no sense of direction. They got lost in Panama. They had to leave the Detour when the sun went down and it became to dangerous to compete. They managed to beat Michael and Liz to the pit stop but, because they couldn’t do the detour, they got hit with a two hour penalty. They were the first to be eliminated. It had to happen to someone.
So, as of right now, Seth and Olive seem to be the definite front-runners to win it all. We’ll see what happens!