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Old August 29th, 2013, 08:06 AM #1
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CBS' The Amazing Race- the redheaded middle stepchild reality competition show

http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethe...-and-more.html

The new season starts Sept 29th and among the contestants are two ex-NFL players and the wives of Major League Baseball players...
a couple of LA Kings' team ice girls (not a watcher of hockey, my first thoughts were: do they drive the zambonis?? Do cheer/dance routines on iceskates?)...

The show has gotten tons of critical acclaim, though it seems to lag in fandom (compared to its network siblings: Suvivor & Big Brother): case in point, I haven't seen a thread dedicated to the Race in a few years...

The Double Express Pass is back this season (gives the ability to skip a task to two teams, one of which chooses the other) but hopefully the inane "Win two million dollars IF you finish the race in first place" incentive is out (if only because its pretty unlikely any team saddled with that target would get the chance to do so)...

As a longtime watcher of the Race (from the premiere of Season One to present) there are tons of things I still love about the show: the adrenaline rush of the first episode where all 11 teams are in the mix on equal footing and anything truly can happen (compared to much later on in the race where things get a little more predictable and strong teams start to overshadow the weaker ones)...

And the show usually imprints at least some interesting tidbits of culture or at least memorable scenery every episode...

True some things that have developed are annoying: the U-Turn & Double U-Turn especially (they seem only to serve as stumbling blocks for the last place teams...they need something to stop a front-running team in their tracks to make things really interesting) and how team alliances seem to have taken over the show (much like every other reality competition show from originator: Survivor to more recent fare like Whodunnit? and Capture) where previously all teams mostly operated on their own...and there is always the ugly American tourist team who meltsdown in a foreign country at some point (not to mention the bickering married/ex/dating team that always provides tension...but often in a good way)...

thankfully there seems to be no stunt-casting from other CBS shows this year....

Last edited by bearytrek; August 29th, 2013 at 09:43 AM.
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Old August 29th, 2013, 03:59 PM #2
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Grateful there's finally a TAR thread here on RB.

The cast seems pretty generic, all told. The casts have tended to all resemble each other, recently (although last season had some memorable folks). And gee, they keep going back to the well in terms of cheerleaders, don't they?

The Double Express Pass is back this season (gives the ability to skip a task to two teams, one of which chooses the other) but hopefully the inane "Win two million dollars IF you finish the race in first place" incentive is out (if only because its pretty unlikely any team saddled with that target would get the chance to do so)...
See, I don't mind the "win two million dollars thing". It ratchets up the tension on one of the teams even more. I also like the double express pass (provided one of the teams isn't too stupid to use it, like last season. I loved how even Phil was totally flabbergasted by that).
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Old August 31st, 2013, 08:23 PM #3
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Peter wrote: View Post

The cast seems pretty generic, all told. The casts have tended to all resemble each other, recently (although last season had some memorable folks). And gee, they keep going back to the well in terms of cheerleaders, don't they?


See, I don't mind the "win two million dollars thing". It ratchets up the tension on one of the teams even more. I also like the double express pass (provided one of the teams isn't too stupid to use it, like last season. I loved how even Phil was totally flabbergasted by that).
they always have to have the obligatory good-looking girl team, it is tv after all! I'm sort of glad there are no obvious stunt-casting teams (though I love having the Globetrotters on) just so that we can sort of get back to the roots of the show and see 'normal' people competing...

as for the two million bucks, if they're going to award it then just announce it as the prize...or if you have to make it an incentive, make it a secret one, something someone can win on a fast-forward...

speaking of which, I miss the days when there were multiple fast-forwards awarded over the course of the race...they really could shake-up the results of the show (though they played havoc with the production when nobody would go for them) and would be sort of the perfect foil to the U-Turn that has never really been worth having (its mostly the kiss of death to bottom-dwellers)...
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Old September 1st, 2013, 12:04 AM #4
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bearytrek wrote: View Post

speaking of which, I miss the days when there were multiple fast-forwards awarded over the course of the race...they really could shake-up the results of the show (though they played havoc with the production when nobody would go for them) and would be sort of the perfect foil to the U-Turn that has never really been worth having (its mostly the kiss of death to bottom-dwellers)...
The demise of the fast-forward was most about saving money. Having a whole extra challenge on just about every single leg of the Race (one that often went without being used) was probably pretty expensive.

I miss it as well, and the show was better because of it. But it's one of those things.

Not so keen on the U-turn, either (although occasionally it's used to knock out teams I don't like, so I'm okay with it then, heh).
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Old September 1st, 2013, 04:01 PM #5
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Peter wrote: View Post

The demise of the fast-forward was most about saving money. Having a whole extra challenge on just about every single leg of the Race (one that often went without being used) was probably pretty expensive.

I miss it as well, and the show was better because of it. But it's one of those things.

Not so keen on the U-turn, either (although occasionally it's used to knock out teams I don't like, so I'm okay with it then, heh).
I think they need to create a new challenge (based on whatever traffic signs they haven't used yet) to mix things up...One of the old ones was the work-with-another team to complete a challenge (though you could argue in the current years team alliances is pretty much the norm now)...

I still think there needs to be a way for a back-of-the-pack team to stop a team ahead of them in their tracks for a set amount of time...often you don't know for sure what teams are in front of you unless you are running neck and neck together...maybe sort of like a last place team in a non-elimination leg has a choice of completing a speed bump and gaining a XXX ability to stop one team in their tracks for 15-30 minutes or bypass the speed bump entirely...

the speed-bump penalty would be such that it goes into effect for the tagged team when they arrive at the next challenge/detour/pitstop and forces them to wait out (like a penalty) before continuing...

the producers would have to place the speedbump far enough into the next leg so that there might be some question as to where teams ahead of them might be (I think currently all teams are sequestered at the end of the leg so they don't know who came in first or last unless they happened to be at the mat when that team arrived)...
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Old September 20th, 2013, 10:07 PM #6
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Big Brother has wrapped and Survivor just started, so its time to bring on the Amazing Race!

amazingly (maybe not in this day of social media) fandom has pretty much charted the path the teams have travelled across the globe...they must have a hard time getting people to sign those release forms (if they are non-disclosure) out in the field!
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Old September 20th, 2013, 11:11 PM #7
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I keep hearing rumors about Amanda/McCrae being on Amazing Race but I'm not sure if there is any truth to this whatsoever.
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Old September 20th, 2013, 11:19 PM #8
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My wife has really gotten into this show so we are looking forward to the season premier. Only thing that sucks is that the show is usually on at the same time as Once Upon a Time, so we usually have to record one to watch later.
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Old September 23rd, 2013, 11:54 AM #9
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MastaDan wrote: View Post

I keep hearing rumors about Amanda/McCrae being on Amazing Race but I'm not sure if there is any truth to this whatsoever.
that would be absolutely great if only to see Amanda meltdown the way Rachel did during her race...

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My wife has really gotten into this show so we are looking forward to the season premier. Only thing that sucks is that the show is usually on at the same time as Once Upon a Time, so we usually have to record one to watch later.
i watch the Simpsons too, but tend to favor watching competition shows 'live' rather than potentially be spoiled by reading something later...
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Old September 23rd, 2013, 03:23 PM #10
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bearytrek wrote: View Post

that would be absolutely great if only to see Amanda meltdown the way Rachel did during her race...
I actually haven't watched Amazing Race since like the 3rd or 4th season, but for that I would watch it again.
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Old September 24th, 2013, 03:41 PM #11
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bearytrek wrote: View Post

that would be absolutely great if only to see Amanda meltdown the way Rachel did during her race...
Rachel was an annoying competitor though, wasn't she? It was all fake. She'd burst into tears at something, then they'd solve the challenge, and she'd jump up, and be perfectly fine.

It's like, no.

And then in the final episode (with the finish line, and a cheque for a million bucks on the line), Rachel and her partner get lost and run the wrong way. When they figure out their mistake and turn back, her partner runs like hell, but Rachel just dawdles along like a angry toddler. I just wanted to shout through the scream, "Play the blame-game later, honey, but if you don't want it this badly, then maybe you shouldn't be here."
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Old September 24th, 2013, 06:13 PM #12
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Peter wrote: View Post

Rachel was an annoying competitor though, wasn't she? It was all fake. She'd burst into tears at something, then they'd solve the challenge, and she'd jump up, and be perfectly fine.
that's pretty much how she played Big Brother: Obnoxiously haughty when in power and dismally pathetic when out of power...

I think the best crossover team was Rob and Amber from Survivor...they had the race in the bag, getting on a flight back to the States before any other team and their plane had pulled away from the terminal when it was shadily called back to pick up Joyce and Uchenna...

If anything screamed "Production intervention" that was it!
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Old September 24th, 2013, 09:25 PM #13
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bearytrek wrote: View Post

that's pretty much how she played Big Brother: Obnoxiously haughty when in power and dismally pathetic when out of power...

I think the best crossover team was Rob and Amber from Survivor...they had the race in the bag, getting on a flight back to the States before any other team and their plane had pulled away from the terminal when it was shadily called back to pick up Joyce and Uchenna...

If anything screamed "Production intervention" that was it!
Adam Troy-Castro talked about that in his unofficial TAR book (which is well worth reading, if you can find a copy. "My Ox is Broken!"), where he pointed out that those kinds of things are ultimately left up to pilot discretion. It didn't look like it was a Heathrow-level busy airport, so the pilot figured, fair enough. More to the point, Team Romber benefited from that kind of treatment earlier in the Race, and nobody called "conspiracy" that time.
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Old September 29th, 2013, 10:02 PM #14
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And they're off!

I love the mad scramble of 11 teams jockeying for position in the first episode of the season...the raised eyebrow of Phil to wish them a safe journey...even more amazing is the invisible camera crews...they do such a good job at editing them out that you only get a fleeting glance of them in a passing car most of the time...

With so many teams at the start its not easy to hate any of them yet, but it looks like the ex-es team has grated on other teams' nerves...

I cannot believe how many teams misread a clue already...Yes its fun when they play around with the wording to trick someone into thinking they're going skydiving when its actually the other person, but these weren't as tricky as a tiny little sign next to someone that could be overlooked or a huge non-english billboard as a clue...these were written in plain english and people just rushed through it...

The Doctor team will not be getting the other express pass, they've proven themselves to be a strong team despite the clue misread...

The Afgani team looks to be entertaining in a buffoonish way...I thought he was going to get slammed for saying the girls couldn't row as well as a guy but it was even better when they realized he was supposed to be doing the task...

I feel sorry for the Father/Daughter team, but at least they didn't get eliminated at the starting line like one team did in that horrible decision a few seasons back...they looked to be pretty dysfunctional and wouldn't have lasted long anyway...


I don't see the Oklahomans lasting too long, just based on their lack of worldly experience (it was somewhat hilarious they already ran into language problems while still in the United States)...

The theatre guys look like they're going to have a lot of fun win or lose...the majority of the teams don't have a "personality" yet but its only the first episode...

hm, teams need to be in swimsuits next episode? I guess that explains why casting got so many attractive women on this season...
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Old September 30th, 2013, 12:17 AM #15
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bearytrek wrote: View Post

And they're off!

I love the mad scramble of 11 teams jockeying for position in the first episode of the season...the raised eyebrow of Phil to wish them a safe journey...
Haven't watched it yet, but I've always said that the opening few minutes of any season of "The Amazing Race" with the teams at the starting line... and then Phil drops his hand and all hell breaks loose, is some of the greatest television ever.

I don't know when the ep airs on Aussie TV, I'll watch it sometime later in the week.
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Old September 30th, 2013, 12:29 AM #16
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Is Hoskote and Naina the quickest father/daughter elimination ever?

bearytrek wrote: View Post

I don't see the Oklahomans lasting too long, just based on their lack of worldly experience (it was somewhat hilarious they already ran into language problems while still in the United States)...
Silly out-of-towners. We L.A. natives know this is actually part of Mexico.

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hm, teams need to be in swimsuits next episode? I guess that explains why casting got so many attractive women on this season...
Amy's amazing. Not only is she a genius, but she has the biggest tits out of everybody.
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Old September 30th, 2013, 04:24 AM #17
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^ Well that took a turn for the naughty really quickly. You surprise me, Primo, I always saw you as rather asexual until quite recently.

(although TAR has been casting ridiculously attractive people for years now. Not that I'm complaining... he says, watching a rerun of the season with the two male strippers)

I did like the start in the Wild West township. I know they're still in California, but it's nice to mix it up a little bit.

The teams seem well-rounded. Nobody really jumps out at me. The Afghanimals look like a fun, slapstick kind of a team. As do the actors (they're not even really drag queens, though, just actors in drag. Unless there's backstory there that they haven't told us). The Violent Exes will be trouble in the long-run, you can just see it. I like the two guys from Oklahoma. The married ER doctors are my early pick for the team who goes the distance. The hairy guys are going to be ... interesting. Everyone else was fun and pretty.

Wow, the violent exes couldn't even make it to the airport without one of those, "I hate you/I hate you more" moments. It's gonna be a long season.

(and then later, one of the Afghanimals says, "I don't want Marie to get my cab. She's really annoying." Heh)

I loved the bait-and-switch with the paraglider task, where the non-participating Racer was the one doing the scary part. They can be mean sometimes. The footballers looked most annoyed, because the follower wanted to be doing the paragliding.

"I'm comfortable with my width." Yeah, I like the NFL players too.

The rowboat roadblock is going to end badly. I can sense it. It's amazing how often challenges involving rowboats end in screams and panic attacks.

Dang it, Nicole and Travis lost the express pass by not reading their darn clue. Well, at least, it's a lesson they'll learn early enough so that it won't be a fatal mistake. Meanwhile, how gorgeous was that beautiful old building in the town square?

Damn it, the exes got the express passes. That wasn't supposed to happen.

Right, so, everyone seems pretty likeable. There's no teams that actively rubbed me the wrong way (although I suspect the exes might make proceedings... difficult, but they've got the express passes, so we're gonna have to get used to them). I think early favourites are Travis/Nicole, and Jason/Amy (who, despite a rough start, seem pretty strong). I'll throw in the NFL players, too, because they seem like great guys. Tim and Danny seem very sweet, and I hope they stick around. The Afghanimals look fun in a bumbling, "I can't believe they haven't been eliminated yet" kind of way.

But no, I liked it.

(and a swimsuit episode so soon? Eh, fair enough)
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Old September 30th, 2013, 12:43 PM #18
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Peter wrote: View Post

Wow, the violent exes couldn't even make it to the airport without one of those, "I hate you/I hate you more" moments. It's gonna be a long season.
Yeah, I hate it when you can clearly tell that people were told to act a certain way. During a task, frustration feels genuine, and you can actually understand how two people might break down and snap at each other. But driving to the first task ever? It hit you over the head with "Do the thing that'll make people remember which team you are".

You surprise me, Primo, I always saw you as rather asexual until quite recently.
With me being equal parts respectful and honest, I doubt you're the only one with that viewpoint.
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Old September 30th, 2013, 06:19 PM #19
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"the redheaded middle stepchild reality competition show"?
or do you mean, "The Gold Standard"

Hehe. Anyway, yay for a TAR thread on RB!

As for TAR23's premiere, it was okay. A little underwhelming actually, but still fun. About the fresh graphics, new opening and theme 3.0... FINALLY!

But I'm actually more anxious about TAR24. I am anxious to see what the show does to step up its game after losing its 2nd Emmy.
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Old September 30th, 2013, 10:22 PM #20
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The "Afganimals" are the most obnoxious team I have seen in years. I really hope they go home soon. Besides that, I'm not all that interested in any of the teams, though I'm currently rooting for the "Queens" because of the "My name isn't Rowan for nothing" comment.
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