Ramblings about entertainment, lifestyle and travel
I don’t normally care much for games or reality shows, with programmes like Big Brother or the X Factor more likely to make me turn off the TV altogether than sit through an episode. A show that has been on my favourites list for close to a decade is The Amazing Race. Hosted by kiwi Phil Keoghan, the show usually consists of 11 teams, made up of two people that can have pretty much any connection, from mother/daughter teams, best friends, married couples through to siblings and business partners, young or old, gay or straight, who compete against each other to win the whole race and $1 million.
The show sees the teams race around the world, with various challenges meeting them along the way. In each country, they are greeted with approximately two challenges, one of which is often a “road block”, a task they have to complete in order to receive the next clue and a “detour”, which gives teams a choice between two challenges and also allows them to switch between the two if one proves to be too difficult. These challenges span across all kinds of tasks, from physical challenges that could see them trying to tackle a local tradition, such as dancing, transporting cheese or kayaking down a river through to mental challenges from remembering songs in different languages to remember something from each leg if the race. They also have to follow their clues exactly as stated and if it says ‘take a taxi’ and they happen to walk then they occur penalties that could mean them lose the race. If this wasn’t enough, they’re also subject to regular flight delays, bad traffic and not knowing the local language.
Currently in its 24th season, the show features 11 of the most popular teams from previous seasons, certainly with some of the most irritating teams ever to feature on the show as well as some of the most likeable characters, including former Big Brother contestants, the Globetrotters and a couple of YouTube sensations Joey and Meghan. You can’t help but have your favourites, but as regularly proven the team the leads one leg could be losing the next. And although some of the legs are non-elimination legs, you never quite know which one might be one of them, with the majority of races seeing one team get eliminated at the “pit stop” – the final destination for each leg.
The show has received a number of Emmy Awards, which is hardly surprising considering its high entertainment value and exotic travel locations. It’s definitely a show that will remain on my favourites list and who knows, maybe one day I’ll be lucky enough to even race it myself.