While I feel a little guilty admitting this the weekend of the WGA strike, I have a soft spot for reality shows where the contestants actually have to use talent, skill, brains, or gumption to produce something (Project Runway is a good example). I have an especially soft spot for The Amazing Race, because while talent, skill, brains, and gumption still matter, contestants don’t necessarily need specialized skills to succeed. In other words, the people on TAR could be you–you and whatever friend/family member/potential love interest/fellow aspiring actor currently working as waitstaff you’d want to drag around the world with you. TAR is an hour of arguing with your significant racing-other about who would have to eat the fish eyeballs or scale the Great Wall if you were on the show.
With Viva Laughlin‘s tremendous crash, CBS has pushed the start date for the 12th season of TAR up to Sunday, November 4, so it’s time for my I Am Almost Always Wrong About This Amazing Racers Preconceived Notions Hate/Love-A-Thon. The teams:
Dating Goths—Reasons to hate: Your names are Kynt and Vyxsin? And you’re dating Goths…professionally? Reasons to love: They go to Dragon-Con! Preconceived notion: If the Goth thing is for their own enjoyment and not to get you to gasp at them, they might be fun. At least we won’t have trouble finding them in a crowd.
Dating Teams Using the Race to Test Their Relationships: Reasons to hate: They’re using the race the test their relationships. We’re paying for their therapy with our Doritos. Some describe themselves as “thrilling” and “cool.” We’ll be the judge of that, thanks. One danced for the LA Clippers (I’m surprised she didn’t rip up a knee–perhaps she wasn’t drafted high enough). Reasons to love: pass. Preconceived notion: Dead to me.
Father/Daughter: Reasons to hate: A “who’s your daddy” t-shirt is never okay. Reasons to love: Evidence that TAR‘s recent discovery that Asians could play the game hasn’t dissolved; previous smart father/daughter teams have been adorable. Preconceived notion: A personal pre-season favorite.
Brother/Sister: Reasons to hate: don’t call your sister “dainty,” dude–she may have to haul your butt up a mountain. Reasons to love: sibling engineers! Pretty people who aren’t auditioning for the show while waiting for their acting “careers” to take off! Preconceived notions: Previous smart brother/sister teams have been engaging (I’m not counting Blake and Paige as “smart”) but early exiters.
CW Rejects Who Aren’t Above Flirting to Get Ahead: Reasons to hate: They are CW rejects who aren’t above flirting if they think it will get them ahead, which is painful to watch because it almost never works on this show and makes my feminism hurt. Reasons to love: endless potential for jokes about how poorly Jenny McCarthy and Alyssa Milano are running the race. Preconceived notion: Is “extinct” worse than “dead to me”?
Grandson/Grandfather: Reasons to hate: The grandson is less than complimentary about the grandfather. Show some respect, sonny! Reasons to love: It’s somebody’s grandpa on The Amazing Race! Preconceived notion: Grandson is going to make me crazy whining at Grandpa to speed up (I hope I’m wrong).
“Feisty” Best Friends: Reasons to hate: Hey, she wants to flirt her way to the top, too! Have you met the CW rejects? He describes himself as “catty,” “mean,” “rude,” and “hilarious.” I believe the first three. Reasons to love: They’re…not a dating couple looking to test their relationship? Preconceived notion: Would make a good human sacrifice.
Lesbian Ministers: Reasons to hate: Running a ministry to the disabled. Ooh–maybe that doesn’t belong in this section. Reasons to love: TAR has not been shy about casting gay men–sometimes couples that play pretty neatly into stereotypes–but married lesbians? That’s new. Preconceived notions: Pairs of older women have not always fared well (break the trend, Lesbian Ministers!).