Amazing Race
25 Days, 50 Cities, And More Than 600 Consecutive Hours As A Family…

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Previously: A little show that could taught viewers that watching teams of two people race around the world could be intelligently thrilling as the teams dealt with cultural differences, language barriers, confusing but well-intentioned locals, and unexpected setbacks. The occasional piece of stunt casting goosed the ratings until the formerly indifferent viewing public was made into believers, and the former Little Show That Could became a hit and cruised into its eighth season in a situation where a second season had once been anything but a certainty and a fifth season had once seemed downright unlikely. To celebrate its rise and the success it had found by focusing on the intensity of one-on-one relationships, a manageable number of participants, well-planned mental and physical tasks, a breathtaking variety of international and unfamiliar destinations, and parts of the world many in the audience would never see otherwise, the former Little Show That Could decided to cram a baffling sea of 40 people into GMC Yukons and have them drive around to visit places like a BP station, a big office chair, a mobile-home showroom, and a whole series of places featuring cows, cows, cows as far as the eye could see. What would once have been footage of one-on-one conversations became footage of four people talking at once, often crammed into a back seat and seen in grainy footage from stationary, low-fi cameras. "Tasks" included pedaling something called a "party bike," being hurled around in what amounted to a glorified amusement-park ride, having your picture taken at a cheeseball tourist attraction, and riding around in a tricked-out, product-placed golf cart looking for balls on the ground. The results were as one would expect.

Credits. If I had known at the beginning which of these teams would get to the end of all this, I don't know if I could have made it. [BOMP.]

Commercials. So let me get this straight. Last week's Amazing Achievement was the GabbleGabbleGabbleskis work on the tepee? I think it's a sign that your show is falling short of its appropriate Amazingness Quotient when your Amazing Achievement can actually be the very thing that got you eliminated. "Remember how they almost completed that task well enough not to lose to everyone else? That was amaaaazing."

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Amazing Race

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