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"The Amazing Race 3" Review

By Shawn McKenzie 10/29/2002

When the first “Amazing Race” premiered in September of 2001 on CBS, I didn’t check it out because I honestly thought NBC’s “Lost” was going to be the bigger hit.  Boy was I wrong.  I kept hearing about the Guido Brothers and how they were making the series so fun to watch.  I decided to check out the second season, and I was hooked.  The show was fast-paced and exciting.  I think that fast pace contributed to the increased pressure on the teams, resulting in many heated and highly entertaining confrontations.


Now CBS has brought the show back for a third race.  Phil Keoghan is back as the host.  So far, the teams that have been eliminated are: Gina and Sylvia (the Soccer Mom Team), a couple of stay-at-home moms who wanted to make a good name for all women who choose to stay home with their kids; Tramel and Talicia, a brother and sister team from Gary, Indiana; Dennis and Andrew, a conservative Southern Baptist and his liberal, openly gay, college cheerleader son; and Heather and Eve, best friends who met on their first day of Harvard Law School.  The rest of the teams are, of course, racing to get to a specific place in the world in order to win $1 million.


In case you have never seen any episodes of the first three seasons of “The Amazing Race,” here is a rundown of how it works.  The race consists of twelve two-person Teams who all have a personal connection with other (siblings, friends, spouses, dating each other, etc.)  This is actually up one Team from the first two seasons that both had eleven Teams.  They have several destinations they have to reach on each leg of the race.  At each destination, they find a Route Marker, which is a yellow and red flag that marks the locations of further instructions.  A Detour is a choice between two different ways to accomplish a goal or reach a destination.  On the surface, one may seem easy but involves some sort of twist and the other may seem difficult, but in the end may be the quicker or less expensive choice.  A Roadblock is a task in which only one member of the two-person Team may participate.  In most cases, the other member must wait for the partner to accomplish the goal.  A Fast Forward allows the Team who wins it to proceed directly to the next Pit Stop without having to do any further tasks, including Detours or Roadblocks, on the way.  There is one Fast Forward per leg.  The trick is that only the first Team to find the Fast Forward on the leg may use it.  Any Team who finds it later will have wasted their time and must go back and complete all tasks.  In addition, a Team may obtain only one Fast Forward during the entire race.  A Pit Stop is the end destination for each leg of a race, at which point a Team must "clock in."  The last Team to arrive at most Pit Stops is eliminated from the race.  A Team will leave the Pit Stop at the same time they clock in, only at the opposite time of day.  For example, a Team that clocks in at 7:35 pm will leave at 7:35 am.  The last Team not eliminated wins the race and the $1 million.


I really enjoyed the drama and tension of the last season, but this season doesn’t seem quite as good.  The biggest conflict that has developed so far is all the remaining Teams’ hatred and jealousy of twin supermodel brothers Derek and Drew.  They seem to be doing the best in the race, and of course the other Teams think they are getting by on their looks.  Their looks may come into play occasionally, but I think Derek and Drew are just good racers.  They strategize the best, and they aren’t distracted by their hatred of a supermodel duo like the other Teams.  I hope they win the game, if for no other reason than to severely tick off the other Teams and maybe make them realize how silly they are being.


I will definitely follow “The Amazing Race 3” until the end, but it isn’t quite as exciting as the last season.  I don’t know if it is just been-there-done-that syndrome or not, but if there is a fourth season, I hope there will be more than one interesting Team.


Ratings System:


Try to catch this show every week...

If a better show is on, tape this one...

If nothing else is on, maybe this will be good...

If this show is on, change the channel immediately!


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