To us, there is little question that “The Amazing Race: Australia vs. New Zealand” was a very good season, and probably is still far and away better than the American version that originally started it all.
With that being said, we are still firmly of the belief that this was the weakest season of the Seven Network series, and not because of its winners. Daniel & Ryan were great, likable people who actually seemed to enjoy the race. We don’t know how you could be upset with them getting the win unless you actually know any other team personally.
We also don’t really blame the editing too much. Was it obvious for many weeks that they were the winners? Sure, but if this was the attitude and the personality these two brought to the table, you cannot really edit them to be anything other than likable winners.
The biggest flaws with this season overall were structural, including numerous incidents of challenges that did not matter. Take this week’s finale, where teams spent a good 20 minutes or so in Hollywood visiting places that we’ve been to many times in the past. If they were all getting on the same flight, what was the point? If you study the way the race works, you could just chill out, walk through the challenges here, and take in the sights before catching your flight. It really wouldn’t make a difference in the end. There were times when the challenges all season were somewhat lacking the excitement we wanted (see: Dubrovnik), and the Hollywood tasks were both menial and also unnecessary.
With all this being said, the closing task in Melbourne was pretty great. While it did favor physical teams slightly, there was strategy at multiple points that played a part, including rooting through sandcastles in order to find clues and also remembering past details. Through all of this, Ashleigh & Jarrod proved yet again to be not ready for primetime, and Jarrod may be one of the worst racers to ever make it to the final three. The guy couldn’t even eat a hot dog, and spent most of the finale throwing a tantrum. It’s interesting that you would think the bodybuilder in Tyson would be the one that would only have physical capabilities, and his only weakness was bladder control.
So while the final leg was imperfect, we’re at least very happy for the winner. We’re not sure if Australia will ever have another version of the show (ratings aren’t that great Down Under), we’re grateful about the past three seasons. Grade: B-.
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Photo: Seven Network