Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Things I learned from watching The Amazing Race

The Amazing Race turned out to be the perfect show to watch clips of over the holidays. I also put it on quite a bit while I was grading homework. Here's what I've learned from consuming parts of seasons 14, 15, 17, and 19 over the last few weeks.

1. There is, sadly, no shortage of jerky guys out there who treat their petite, blonde girlfriends like crap.

2. What are they carrying in those backpacks?? I realize the contestants are probably under contractual obligation to look hot at all times, and thus must haul around all the accoutrements that make that possible, but dear goodness their backpacks look heavy.

3. So, what is so hard about reading the words on the clue? I cannot believe how often people fail to pay close attention to directions that are trying to teach them how to win a million dollars.

4. Perhaps this is putting too fine a point on gender roles, but hear me out: I think it's just easier for a team that includes at least one male to win the whole race. A lot of the challenges involve sheer physical strength, and I think it's a fact that men are generally stronger than women. I saw one episode where a team of two women that was adequately qualified in all other respects had to quit (not get legitimately eliminated) because there was one tiny part of a task they could not complete due to not having enough physical strength. Which, fine. If the show wants it that way, they don't have to make an exception. BUT. Then there was another episode where a challenge involved putting on traditional Chinese opera makeup. Just as we can generally state that men are stronger than women, I think we could generally state that women are better at applying makeup than men. Sure enough, one of the men on a team did a horrendous job of applying the makeup. It was awful in comparison to the work the girls on the show were doing. But they let him pass the challenge! If they're not going to make exceptions for brute strength, maybe they should hold a higher makeup-application standard, as well. I'm just saying.

5. Another thing I've learned is that people should be nicer to taxi drivers. You probably won't get to where you need to go any faster by being mean.

6. I have to admit that I was super gratified to see that a team was eliminated from the race in Oman due to the poor signage and maps and roads that exist in that country. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who made one wrong turn in Oman and wasted the next five hours driving on a two-lane country road. Also, in Dubai another team got horribly lost on the confusing highways here and was eliminated. So it's not just me.

I would LOVE to stumble upon The Amazing Race filming somewhere around here. I also think it would be fun to be on the show with Jeremy. Too bad you have to be a resident of the United States. Hmph.


Jessie said...

I'm not above admitting that my marriage would not survive that show. Stressful traveling situations turn me into a total wreck.

Jen said...

I've always been bothered about the whole 'not reading the clue' thing. It's as if these people have never seen the show before. See also: losing the clue, losing your boarding pass, and losing your passport. If you're going to go on The Amazing Race, FOR GOODNESS' SAKE: BE A STUDENT OF THE SHOW. Take a sharpie and write "DID I READ THE ENTIRE CLUE?" on the back of your hand. (And have your partner write "DO I KNOW WHERE MY CLUE IS?" on HIS hand.)


I'm an Amazing Race addict, though, truth be told.

Liz Johnson said...

Not kidding, one of my New Year's Resolutions is to apply to be on that show. And in my backpack, there would be three things - one complete change of clothes, a brush, and a toothbrush. That's IT. And I would smell for most of the race, and I would be totally fine with that.

And your #1 point is incredibly accurate - seriously, what the heck. Don't jerks realize that their jerkiness will be shown to ALL OF AMERICA when they apply to be on the show? Or is not caring about that part of being a jerk? I don't know.

Katie said...

Scott and I talked seriously about signing up for the race before we had kids, but alas...we knew ourselves too well and we didn't want our arguments while driving to be broadcast to a national audience. Let's face it, women are typically better at directions, but men THINK they are! :) And that's where the battles would begin...

Julee said...

Hopefully, we will see my brothers on next season. Cross your fingers:)

Bridget said...

Julee, are you serious?!?! That would be awesome.

When I had only seen a couple of episodes of the show, I thought it was so full of arguing married/dating couples. Now I think I've seen more examples that it can be done without tearing each other apart on screen. The people who just have fun with it (and then still win, ha ha) are the best to watch. Easy to say when it's not me in the car with Jeremy trying to read a map in some random foreign country, I guess.


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