Countdown to the Race
Well, there is only a week left between now and February 17th when Phil Keoghan’s “Go!” will send 11 lucky teams on The Amazing Race around the world.
I know they all hope to win. The fans and viewers have their hopes, too. I can not speak for every fan, but I am sure my hopes would echo at least some of them.
I hope – above all – to be e-n-t-e-r-t-a-i-n-e-d. The nature of the show is such that even when the cast is boring – the exotic locations, clever challenges and fast pace of the Race make up for it, at least to some extent. But it’s a million times more exciting and fun to watch when the cast is entertaining. I so hope they will be. Remember, guys, you are given this opportunity not because you are so special, but because we, the viewers, exist.
I also hope to see more challenges that involve “mental strength”, not just physical. Memory challenges, knowledge-based challenges, things like this.
A simple 4th grade math problem caused a lot of frustration (and got one team eliminated) for the contestants on TAR 20 (2nd leg, where they had to calculate the average weight of cows in Argentina). But for some kid dreaming to run The Amazing Race one day, seeing such a challenge might be an inspiration to do his math homework diligently.
Or remember those Ivy League a cappella singers Connor and Jonathan (TAR 17) who couldn’t find the country they were racing in on the map? That embarrassment might not necessarily result in all Ivy League colleges making geography a compulsory class for the undergraduates, but maybe it can prompt at least some of us to learn more about the world. Geography is a good start.
And I hope the knowledge-based challenges are always present during the final leg of the Race – they let the most deserving ones surge forward. Some can be lucky and avoid U-Turns or delayed flights. Some can be super athletic and beat others to the pit stop. But everything that is important in life and success as well as in travelling – ultimately depends on your mental strength and your mental depth. Let it be encouraged on The Amazing Race.
I shall return with my recaps once the Race begins.