3 Reasons I Can’t Even With The Amazing Race This Season

The Amazing Race (Photo: Monty Brinton / CBS)
The Amazing Race (Photo: Monty Brinton / CBS)

The Amazing Race has gone dating-crazy, but we’re breaking up with it.  Here’s 3 reasons why.

Of what I’d consider the original reality shows that emerged about 15 years ago that are still around today1, I’d say that The Amazing Race has always been my favorite2.  It combines the same standard competitive reality tropes, but also brings in an element of puzzle-solving, navigation, and exploring new places, all things I love.  And yet, for the first season in a while, I have absolutely no desire to watch it.  I blame that entirely on this season’s gimmick: all dating couples!  Here’s 3 reasons why I just can’t even3 with the show this year:

1. Dating Couple Teams Are The Worst

I’ve never understood the desire for a couple that’s just started a relationship to go on this show.  Traveling under pressure is one of the most stressful things you can do as a couple, and every season of TAR is full of couples just screaming bloody murder at one another because they haven’t slept and need to get to the correct airport gate before 7 other pairs of people get there too.  Relationship drama isn’t why I watch the race, so a season full of nothing but that just turns me off completely.

2. Blind Dates?  Really?

The whole point of the contestant teams on TAR is that there’s an existing relationship.  It’s one of the reasons that, although I’ve wanted to apply, I haven’t – I don’t have someone locally I’d want to pair up with and run around the globe with.  Adding an element of “blind date” to this mocks the whole idea that these teams have reason to stick together, and is just trying to add a dating show/relationship drama angle to the show that it doesn’t need.

3. Even More Egregious Product Placement Than Usual

Selfie cam?  Really?  Even as someone who actually has a Windows Phone4, I’m really sick of the constant pushing they get in tv shows like Bones and TAR.  It feels desperate and this year’s heavy featuring of the teams doing “selfie cam” manages to combine two of my least favorite things: product placement and constant selfies everywhere5.  The only way I’m going to be okay with this new feature is if this leads to a memory challenge involving the selfies later in the episode.

This is the first season in years that I’ll likely be skipping – it’s fantastic that the show’s made it to a 26th season, but it shouldn’t go changing just to try and please a new audience.  Some of us core fans liked it just the way it was.

  1. so: Survivor, Big Brother, American Idol, etc.  
  2. okay, that’s a lie, The Mole is my favorite, but I currently have to watch subtitled Dutch episodes to get my fix.  The Amazing Race is my favorite American O.G. Reality Show.  
  3. which, appropriately enough, this is an even-numbered season  
  4. yes! we exist!  
  5. kindly remove yourself from my yard while you’re at it, whippersnappers.  You and your noisy jazz records!  

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About Ben Smith 252 Articles
Ben has been writing about TV, music, and pop culture in some form or another since 2009, including stints at Mental Floss and Temporary Obsession. When not solving puzzles of some sort or consuming pop culture at a frightening pace, he can be found collecting shiny pieces of the internet at GoodAtInter.net. E-mail: ben@whatelseison.tv