CBS debuted the new season of “The Amazing Race” on Friday night, and with this new timeslot came some new challenges for the show. Namely, they have to find a way to ensure that the race stays amazing.
The biggest problem we had with the premiere episode is that while they were in the Virgin Islands and that was fun in its own way, there was not a whole lot of scale to the leg or way things could go wrong. Basically, the entire course was traveling, getting a seaplane, climbing some rocks, and then doing a Roadblock. From there, you had to mainly just get to the easy-to-find Pit Stop.
Given that the Roadblock required you to know how to use a liquid compass, almost nothing else the entire leg really mattered. It was all about whether or not you could use this to find some buried treasure on the beach fast enough. Since dentist Jim of team Misti & Jim was super-fast with it, they won the leg and the coveted Save. This is basically the show’s version of the immunity idol, since it will bail them out and turn a leg into a non-elimination leg if they use it. With that being said, we doubt they will need it anyway. They want to be the most dominant team ever, and they have the makings of one right now. They will probably be around for a while.
In terms of entertainment, food scientists Amy & Maya seem to be a whole lot of fun, and while we want to like Brooke & Robbie, it also feels like they are trying a little too hard. Keith & Whitney are the pair we knew previously thanks to “Survivor,” but they were pretty terrible in this leg. Coupled with firefighters Michael & Scott and realtors Lisa & Michelle, these three were all so terrible that they decided to take a four-hour penalty … which is awful.
Think about this for a second. Let’s say you are a team struggling with the Roadblock. Take half an hour to get some water, relax, and think about what you are doing wrong. Then, take the next hour to maybe correct your mistake. Keith, for example, was only half a foot away. You’re going to finish it so much earlier than you did with a penalty. We almost wish the race these days really penalized teams who fall behind so much, rather than giving them equalizers a little bit later.
Now, let’s talk that controversial ending, where Michael & Scott used their physicality to force Lisa & Michelle from getting into a taxi. We see all sides here. Lisa & Michelle were aggressive earlier in the race, and basically snatched a seaplane time out of their hands. They cannot play underhanded, and then get upset when someone does the same thing to them. With that being said, Michael & Scott were much more physical with what they did. In the end, though, it is a race, and obviously they didn’t break any rules since they did not get a penalty at the mat.
Lisa & Michelle may have made decent villains, but they certainly were not a team that would have been easy to root for. We’re not too bummed to see them gone. Grade: B-.
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