Sunday, September 29, 2013

Amazing Race Returns for Season 23

The longest running and most successful of reality TV shows, The Amazing Race on CBS, returned tonight with contestants setting off from an old western movie set in LA for a "race around the world." Host Phil Keoghan introduced the contestants and sent them off to Chile for the first round.

In terms of contestants, I am impressed with the married ER doctors to begin. And they should have been the big winners this week, had they not broken the cardinal rule of The Amazing Race - always read the clues. Thus, they incurred a 30-minute penalty, which cost them first place and two express passes. It was a pretty big mistake. And I was a little disappointed in "the exes" coming in first. As a viewer I am never a fan of the couples that bitch and nitpick each other week after week.  The NFL players seem to be pretty strong contestants, no pun intended, and the "Afghan-imals" will be amusing, though their schtick may get as annoying as the Sri Lankan twins last season. Not surprised to see the father-daughter team go out early. Those age-difference teams rarely have the stamina to go all the way, though there have been some great families and endearing attempts over the years. The theater actors surprised me with a strong finish, though the physical fitness of one of them leaves me in doubt of their ability to stick around. And the oil rig boys from Nebraska are just not worldly enough to navigate the challenges of foreign travel I fear.  Overall, it looks like a pretty interesting crew, and I'm excited again for a new season and the race to the finish line and "one million dollars."

In a side note, I was a little disappointed to see the Race taking off from Los Angeles again.  Certainly, it's mostly a challenge to predict destination city. However, I would be as interested in the Race choosing a different starting point. The time they left from that beautiful estate on the East Coast was truly memorable, and the producers should consider mixing it up.

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