Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Amazing Race 15: Season Premiere

The Amazing Race 15 premiered tonight. And to be honest, I'd rather call it the Eh-mazing Race. Why? Well, it was 'eh.' Not great, not awful, not terribly memorable. Just kind of 'eh.'

Episode one of The Amazing Race 15 began like any other reality show. How is that, you may ask? Well, it started with some dramatic music. After that, there was a man with a deep voice saying very dramatic things that aren't really dramatic. In this case, it was an announcement about being near the Los Angeles river, and all of the drama that would follow. You know the stuff - we start with twelve teams, and not all of them will make it through today. It sounds so final, but in reality, the eliminated contestants get to go home, or even better, to an offsite hotel so they can't spoil the plot by walking around in society. Reality TV life is good.

Anyway, the show began by introducing the teams. A notable team was Ericka Dunlap and her husband. Who's Ericka Dunlap? You probably don't know, right? She's a former Miss America winner. She probably saw this as a great opportunity to jump back into the media. After all, pageant contestants get more press for falling on their butts (like the Miss USA whose name I forgot) or making drama like Carrie Prejean, who had a sex tape with Eric Dane and Rebecca Gayheart. Anyway, America loves pageant queens, apparently, so this was a great opportunity for Ericka.

You've also got the other stereotypes: the muscle team, the strategic team, the we-want-to-be-famous team (singers, this time), the somewhat famous team (basketball players) and the underdogs: Zev and Justin. You know what, though? I like Zev and Justin. It takes guts to get out there and talk about having Aspergers. If Zev moved ahead and overcame the difficulties caused by his disability to win The Amazing Race, it would be excellent motivation for the thousands of kids out there with Aspergers Syndrome. Somehow, this seems less exploitative than it did when America's Next Top Model showed the contestants talking about how weird Heather was due to her Aspergers.

As the race began, the host told the contestants that they would encounter "every possible obstacle." Really? Every possible obstacle? Does that include my mother in law? Because that's quite a challenge for me! Seriously, I'm all for seeing these teams overcome obstacles, but seriously? Every possible obstacle?

He then noted that the contestants could win one million dollars in a way that half reminded me of Dr. Evil, and half reminded me of a person who wished he was making that kind of money himself.

As it turns out, Eric and Lisa were the first to go. They actually had a positive attitude, stating "We took the beating for everybody. We set them free." Now, that's great and all, but really, well, they didn't. They came in last place. However, I've got to give them credit. They could have gotten angry, but they handled the loss very well. Props to Eric and Lisa for being great game players. I hope you get a chance at another competition.

Maria and Tiffany, the professional poker players, showed their strategic sides right away. They stated that they didn't want anyone to know that they make money because people wouldn't want to help them. Well played!

My overall review of this show - I could do without it. It's okay, but I don't think I could really follow this whole season. None of the contestants really stood out in a good way - or a bad way. No one was amazing, and no one was pure evil. Maybe the players' true colors will emerge as the show goes on, though. We will see! What we really need is a Speidi (like on the Hills) or something like that.

If you're looking for more info about the show, and who was victorious in episode one of The Amazing Race 15, read this article. It's great and very informative. Plus, the writer is awesome.

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