‘The Amazing Race 26’ premiere review: The wrong stuff

Amazing Race -We’re a couple of days late in posting our review of “The Amazing Race 26” premiere, mostly because the billion or so things that were on TV this week really messed us up and got us a little bit behind. With that being said, we’re excited to get back on track a little bit!

We wish we could say the same thing about “The Amazing Race” itself after one episode, because this is a hot mess, and not all of the best variety. Some of the elements of a great show are still there, from the fun locations to the challenges to the mere premise of it all. Those are compounded by what are a number of brand-new problems, and let’s start with the biggest offender of all: Selfies. They are awful. The entire idea of people stopping during a race to take a selfie is completely ridiculous. For one, other than taking a photo, you’re not allowed to really use the phone! You are meant to be cut off from the world. We also hate that someone apparently thought adding this would make the show suddenly “cool.”

Also, we turn to the premise itself. Admittedly, we did not hate all of the blind dates as much as we would. Some of them we are even rooting for to a certain extent (Kurt & Bergen, through one episode, are kind of adorable). Some of the dating couples are bland, even if we do like “Truck Stop Couple” Mike & Rochelle, who has possibly the cheesiest and most anti-romantic nickname ever.

In Tokyo, the real winners were actually the blind daters, as the top three were all new couples! Jenny & Jelani took home #1, and we actually like the two of them a lot. Maybe there’s not a ton of romantic chemistry yet, but at least they get along. We sense that Blair & Hayley, meanwhile, will go nuclear by the end of the season.

Mike & Rochelle ended up using the U-Turn on the oldest couple in the competition Jeff & Lyda, mostly because they were worried about them being one of the only teams that was still out there. We don’t entirely blame them for doing this, since they want to stick around, but this was the only real competitive moment of the night. Most of these teams are too busy feeling each other out that they’re not worried about anything else.

The interesting thing is that this U-Turn probably spared CJ & Libbie, who are somehow still around despite an absolutely horrible leg where they got lost at almost every turn, and weren’t exactly good in the Detour either.

We love “The Amazing Race,” and this is worth another episode or two. But between all of the selfies and the relationship talk toning down the actual competition, this is not entirely the show we remember. Grade: C+.

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