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The Amazing Race

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The Amazing Race has started its third run on CBS, Wednesdays at 9PM Eastern, 8PM Central. My trouble is that I don’t enjoy the shows I’m supposed to, like ER, Law and Order, or CSI (if only because I never tune into them). Instead, I like shows like Survivor, or Trading Spaces, or King of Queens (I admit I have a soft spot in my heart for any show that has a man of heft married to a babe), or, stop me before I hurt myself, The Amazing Race.

The premise of the show is simple – 12 teams of two race around the world – I mean that literally, they circumnavigate the globe for the race – and are eliminated one by one until only three remain for the final two hour show down – in a sweeps month, of course. They always start in some spot in the US (year 1 was Central Park, year 2 was Death Valley, and this year it was the Everglades). Each team gets the same instructions and has to follow the same course. In this race, there are thirteen legs, with thirteen pit stops (12 hours of rest.) They are given limited spending money (although some teams have been known to panhandle to raise more); airfare is handled separately (I assume through a special credit card). Not only do they race around the world, they have to do stuff in exotic locations. Sometimes you get a choice of who has to do it, and sometimes you get a choice of which thing — typically a choice between something scary and fast or something easy and slow. I could never be on the show because once a race you have to do something that someone with a fear of heights can’t do. This year they got it over (well, maybe not, there could be more fear inducing stunts) by having the teams choose between riding a long way in a donkey cart, or skydiving right to a waiting car.

It must be hell to be on the show, what with the constant stress — you’re in a race, you’re changing time zones like J-LO changes husbands, you’re eating food from all over the world, and a cameraman is recording your every meltdown. But it’s great fun to watch – you can tape it and watch it whenever you want in the comfort of your own living room, you’re getting to see fun activities and exotic locations, and you get to see every meltdown of the crazy people on the show. What could be better?

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  • Denise Paige

    Where is Susan Schecter’s take on episode 3 of the Amazing Race?

    It’s been 2 days already. She writes the most informative of the columns I’ve seen so far.


  • JG

    I can’t believe I forgot to set my VCR to tape the Amazing Race. Does anyone have the Aug 7th 2003 episode? I’ll reimburse, pay for shipping, etc.

  • Amy

    Does anyone have a taped version of an Amazing Race Episode or two? I would like a copy and will pay for shipping, etc..