I have wanted to do this series for a while, but every once in a while something pops up about The Amazing Race or one of the international versions.
Whether it be Vulture’s Top 25 Teams of All Time with Lisa & Joni and Jet & Cord, CBS’ “Fan Favourite” Teams, BuddyTV writing about how Justin & Diana are ruining the franchise, a Toronto tabloid asking Jon Montgomery how there needs to be a celebrity or all-star edition of TAR Canada, and eventually something tips it over the edge.
Congatulations TVTropes, you’re first up on my list.
Ah, TVTropes. As my friend Spencer puts it, “a community where everyone can supposedly contribute, but mainly gets edited and overriden by one person.”
That’s apparently the trend across TVTropes. Well, for the most part. As the TARstorian, I feel I need to correct TVTropes on its biggest errors with writing:
TAR 14 is. . .divisive and considered an all-time great?
Um. Um. Were you guys around in 2009 when the season aired?
a) Just because five teams were brought back for Unfinished Business doesn’t make them charismatic or good characters. Look at Survivor when they do returnee seasons. I think it is very very very well established that getting onto a returnee season is 70% based on who you know in casting/CBS and 20% who is available to compete.
Steve & Linda were ALTERNATES. Are you fucking telling me that Steve & Linda were more charismatic than every team who wasn’t picked between TAR 12-17?
Amanda & Kris made it onto TAR 18 and I -guarantee you- nobody remembers them. My sister-in-law, my sister, and my mom didn’t even remember them when the TAR 18 cast was announced, and they’ve seen every single season.
I remember four weeks into TAR 18 they were trying to remember who had been eliminated so far. Only three teams had been eliminated at that point. . .and the team they forgot just two weeks earlier? Amanda & Kris!
b) Phil/CBS ranks it in their top 5 favourite seasons.
I hate to break it to you, but anything CBS/a member of production puts out when it comes to ranking things/people cannot be trusted while the series is still ongoing. There is still an overall agenda they need to push and need to brainwash the audience into thinking a certain way because of future plans they might have.
c) Didn’t Luke post online they didn’t start being sequestered until TAR 15? 🙂
d) Oh, remember how I said 70% of how you get cast for returnee seasons depends on who you know?
Yeah. Although Jodi has never been directly involved with casting TAR 18 or TAR 24, her presence alone at CBS and being on their roster as a CAST MEMBER OF SEASON 14 may or may not influence CBS’ decision. Jodi is probably not gonna be badmouthing her fellow TAR 14 cast members and chances are the only time she talks about TAR at CBS is about her own goddamn season.
Readers: Please feel free to edit this article properly. Thanks.
e) TAR. 14. WAS. NOT. WELL. RECEIVED.
Repeat after me: TAR. 14. WAS. NOT. WELL. RECEIVED.
Did you visit various websites? Forums? Blogs? Phil Keoghan’s EW blog?
It’s not divisive. It’s not polarizing. That’s a false narrative and a complete lie. Like, maybe 15-20 percent of the people like TAR 14, maybe even less. It just. . .isn’t what happened.
Steve & Linda’s family, Mike White’s friends in Hollywood, and a few random sprinkles of people online liked TAR 14. That was it.
Tammy & Victor were probably the most hated winners I had ever seen.
Most people thought Jaime & Cara were genuinely awful.
No one liked Kisha & Jen and Margie & Luke after their big fight. They all lost.
Airport scenes were removed.
“Previously. . .previously. . .coming up. . .coming up. . .more flashbacks! More flashbacks!” There’s a reason the constant recapping ended as of TAR 14.
There’s a slightly higher percentage of people who like TAR 14 now but that’s because a huge chunk of the fanbase pulled out after TAR 14, and newer seasons have a bit more in common with TAR 14, but I can assure you most people still absolutely hate this season or strongly dislike it or are indifferent to it.
But an all-time great? L. O. L.
a) Throwback feel? TAR 26 is a Throwback? And they cite that there was a return of “eat, sleep, and mingle” segments? There really wasn’t one.
Date Nights had only one team eating, sleeping, and mingling.
And if you’re Jeff & Jackie, there ain’t a whole lot of sleeping going on, hey-oooooh!
Actually, the only real eating, sleeping, and mingling scene that we were told about was when Michael and I interviewed Mike & Rochelle and they said that for Thanksgiving they were allowed to all be together at the Namibia pit stop. This was further confirmed when we interviewed Hayley two months ago.
Maybe Mike & Rochelle should edit the TAR 26 TVTropes page.
Well, no teams had attraction towards each other. . .are they seriously suggesting one of the blind date teams did? Oh good Lord.
Jeff & Jackie had a romantic spark?! And developed a romantic relationship?
Alright. I am in my late 20s now. Jeff & Jackie are in their late 20s and early 30s by now. If you are single in that age group, you probably know why this bio is completely wrong.
Just because two people made out and/or have sex with each other does not mean they have a romantic spark. I can tell you from personal experience. Yes, you might like the other person and think they are fun to be around, but hey, sometimes people just want to have some fun.
And on The Amazing Race where you are beyond stressed and can’t really interact with anybody else, and you can’t do other fun things like play Monopoly or video games with each other, and chances are Doing the Dirtaaay seems like one of the best stress-free alternatives you have available to you.
And the only thing about TAR 26 that makes it a “throwback” is Jackie throwing out her back while flopping on top of Jeff!
If anyone out there would like to make the appropriate corrections for TAR 26, please feel free to do so.
Moving onto TAR 29:
a) Whoever wrote this HATES TAR 29. Perhaps the same person who wrote that TAR 14 is “an all-time great” also wrote that TAR 29 “is meh, above average” and “last few episodes began faltering.”
b) “The first 2 legs were rather unnerving. . .2 well-liked teams being eliminated.”
Kevin may have the same hair length as me, but that alone isn’t enough to make him and Jenn a well-liked team. Jenn was HATED pre-season and definitely wasn’t well-liked during the first episode. I have no clue where TVTropes got the idea they were a well-liked team.
If anybody wants to show me proof of a random place on the Internet where Jenn wasn’t being shit on repeatedly prior to the start of the season, feel free to do so.
c) A bland Final 3? A bland Final 3?!
OK, -one- of the Final 3 was bland for 90% of the season. I’ll give you that.
But you’re telling me one of the BIGGEST characters in TAR history and one of the most iconic winners to ever win in RTV history in the past decade and had an ENTIRE SEASON BASED AROUND THEIR PRESENCE is bland?! Bland?! TVTropes needs to look up the word ‘bland’ in the dictionary.
A poorly received finale? You’re drunk.
One of the most unpopular winners? Wow. Nope. You can get away with polarizing thanks to some of the middle-aged women on the official TAR Facebook page who post on the Internet, but nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. We just had a Rankdown where Brooke & Scott were one of the show’s best/biggest characters TAR has ever had in 70+ seasons worldwide.
There are winners I like who were way more unpopular than Brooke & Scott.
Remember the reaction people had to Ernie & Cindy winning? Holy hell did everyone on the Internet have outrage over Cindy winning. There was even a hashtag going into the finale called #AnyoneButCindy on Twitter prior to the finale!
You’re telling me that Brooke & Scott are as unpopular as KKKendra?! The same level? Ya kiddin’ me?
Oh yes, and a Boston cop whose 90% of his vocabulary consists of cuss words, faints at pit stops, and has his partner who happens to be in the army feud with another team WHILE he is fainting is bland and/or unpopular.
Anyone is free to make those corrections.
Jon & Al lost because of a flight delayed by fog? Oh boy. Ummmmm. . .yeah. About that. . .
Actually, if you go on Reddit, RFF, Facebook, and other TAR groups, most people still have TAR Canada 3 ranked at the very bottom, and holy moly, you want to assign a label to a team that are “unpopular winners” then look no further than the VoldeMussolinis.
Let’s quickly check in with TAR 30:
. . .Lucas & Brittany aren’t likable? Seriously? I don’t even want to read what tropes they ascribed to Lucas & Brittany, do I?
Did they really just refer to Brittany as “huffy” and “an alpha bitch?”
Brittany spoke Spanish in Morocco because at least 20% of the population of the whole freakin’ country speaks it, and probably more so because Tangier is like a Triple Jump away from landing in Malaga.
And people didn’t like Lucas & Brittany just “for the romantic angle.” We liked Lucas & Brittany because they were genuinely good people and adorable. Melodramatic reactions may or may not have been occurring at times because Jessica went after her for no apparent reason and tried to troll her when completely unnecessary.
Alright, I am going to end it here. As I said before, too many sources are trying to override the history of The Amazing Race to fit their own personal taste without allowing room for general opinions or checking multiple forums and talking with casuals to get a good grasp of how people react or feel about certain things on TAR. I mean, we all do it to a certain extent, but I think we all just got to take a step back every once in a while.
And hey, I had a fun time spending an hour writing a brief article. It was something different. At the end of the day, it’s just a silly little TV show about groups of people who get to travel around the world and be stressed out in a pressure-cooker for our amusement.
People also don’t do enough research into events that actually happened or understand how casting for returnee seasons work at CBS and other networks. This just doesn’t apply to TVTropes, but I think a lot of people around the Internet still don’t get how it works.
It’s why you have somebody like Andrea Boehlke on Survivor three times. If you get into acting, make friends with the right people, and suddenly you get to be on Survivor thrice with a label of people thinking you are one of the greatest players of all time despite never finishing better than sixth (yeah, we don’t count her coming back from RI and leaping up to fifth). It’s just the nature of the business, folks.
I feel much better after writing this, and hopefully do this as a continuing series (remember when I said I would break down Vulture’s list, CBS’ own list, and Canadian tabloids talking about TARC? I feel this may be the perfect time for it as the international hiatus continues.)
Anyways, I am back to blogging about TAR 20 on this lovely Saturday. And probably go for a run or something before studying more foreign languages. Then work. Why do I work over 55 hours per week between two jobs? Why did I agree to do that? Why, I say?