The Amazing Race Review: Kindness of... Who?

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The 19th season of The Amazing Race started with a huge surprise. Was it the inclusion of former Survivor winners and dating couple Ethan and Jenna? Nope. Former Indianapolis Colts tight end Marcus Pollard? Nope.

The Racers Start

While the casting of some pseudo-celebrities was fun to see, it pales in comparison to the miracle that was Kaylani and Lisa recovering Lisa’s passport. Kaylani’s passport somehow fell out of their car when the duo stopped for directions at a gas station. A pair of unidentified men saw the pair being taped for The Amazing Race and saw her drop her passport and had the wherewithal to bring it to the airport.

Fishy? I thought so at first as well. However, I give the producers credit for pseudo-proving that the scene was not staged at all. The pair agreed to be interviewed to tell how they knew what was going on and even had Tweets to prove that it actually happened. Ok, so it was a bit hard to follow how theTtweets played in to anything, but I’ll buy it. Being cynical isn’t fun.

The random kindness from strangers was interesting and made for awesome television. I, however, was disappointed that Kaylani and Lisa got a second chance at the race. The way the pair bickered at the airport was brutal to watch and I was ready for them to go home immediately. To their credit, they rallied the rest of the episode and were not nearly as difficult to stand.

With the biggest story of the premiere out of the way, let’s return to the inclusion of Ethan, Jenna and Marcus Pollard in the 19th season of this great show. 

Once again trying to avoid being cynical, I hope assume Pollard wasn’t approached to be on the show, but actually applied. Assuming that’s true, I find his inclusion awesome. Sure, his celebrity probably got him in, but if he applied like everyone else, so be it.

Amani and Marcus Smile

Is it any different from Kaylani or Sandy being cast? What, you don’t think the size of each of their chest had anything to do with them being cast? Right.

As for Ethan and Jenna, it’s harder to say whether they were approached to be on the show or wanted to do it. Either way, you know they didn’t have to apply. Jenna’s been working for CBS forever. If they wanted to be on the show, I’m sure all she had to do was ask a CBS executive.

Adding "celebrities" like this season’s trio has definitely become a trend in reality television. Or at least with the other show I watch, Survivor.  Personally, I don’t mind it too much, as long as it is not abused. Something like pure Celebrity Survivor or The Amazing Race? That would be different.

The leg itself was very challenging to begin with, but slowed as it went on. Readers of these reviews will know that I like dynamic legs and challenges. The initial "hidden" clue and the Roadblock provided opportunities for anyone, regardless of what place they got to the challenge in, to get ahead. After the Roadblock, however, the Dragon Boat challenge afforded no opportunity for change. 

All in all another promising start to The Amazing Race. Next week’s double elimination should be interesting. A few more points before next week:

  • Why include the Hazard in a non-elimination leg? Seemed like a waste.
  • What was with Cathi’s walk while her and Bill spent four hours walking around Taipei?  She looked like she was trying to power walk for some reason.
  • Kaylani has amazing nerve to get mad at Lisa for not communicating in the airport after she lost her passport. I don’t know how Lisa didn’t lose her mind there.
  • If Marcus reveals his last name, will people know who he is? I say yes. I would have.
  • I couldn’t believe how few people recognized Ethan and Jenna. Don’t most people who watch The Amazing Race watch Survivor?

Kindness of Strangers Review

Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (10 Votes)
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The Amazing Race Season 19 Episode 1 Quotes

Everyone here has race colors on. It's practically the national colors here.


I'm seriously going to vomit all over the place.