'The Amazing Race 14' Aftergasm: The Origins of 'Amazing Race' Fatigue
The Amazing Race has felt anti-climactic for much of the season.  Could it be series fatigue?  It has been fourteen seasons, and not much has changed.  As opposed to Survivor, where the new contestants are what makes the show tick, The Amazing Race is more reliant on the actual race.  It's more prone to run its course than its CBS brother-in-reality-arms.  Just a few years ago, I would confidently declare The Amazing Race my favorite reality show on TV.  Not only my favorite, actually, but The Best.  These feelings are totally gone.  There is still an affection for The Amazing Race, but its nowhere near as rabid as it used to be.  I suspect this was inevitable.  Fourteen seasons is an impressive run for a show whose basic premise has remained the same.  I want to know: Does anyone else feel the same way, or am I on an island?  Or, perhaps, is the current season merely sub-par? 

It's a different feeling you get while covering a show, working on it, as opposed to sitting and watching it for pure fun.  The Amazing Race (as opposed to some of the other shows I've covered) was one that I watched religiously prior to being employed by BuddyTV.  Getting paid to watch and write about The Amazing Race was a dream, which makes my current feelings towards the show so depressing.  You hear about long-time sportswriters who end up hating the sports they used to love or the teachers who eventually despise all children, and you don't want something like that to happen to you.  And yet, there I am, sitting in front of the screen, actively not enjoying The Amazing Race, a show I used to look forward to with bated breath every week. 

It was an epiphany I came to last night after the show.  We often trick ourselves into thinking we like or love objects or people or pieces of entertainment when, really, we don't enjoy them at all.  Just because we used to love something (or someone), it doesn't mean we will continue to.  Chances are we won't.  People change, and so do the things we enjoy. 

And yet, The Amazing Race is such a trifle in the grand scheme of things that, probably, it should be immune to what I discussed in the above paragraph.  As a sports fan, I know I'm not going to get tired of college basketball.  Not ever.  Why should The Amazing Race, with its barely twenty-plus hours of content per year, ever get tired and boring?  Logically, that's not enough time to get old. 

So, why the feelings of apathy?  Couple of possibilities: 1) The Amazing Race is running out of new/interesting places to go and, as a result, are traveling to repeat destinations (India) or destinations that no one would ever want to travel to (Siberia).  2) Working on The Amazing Race, writing all about it, interviewing the contestants, etc., is an enjoyment spoiler.  Once something is associated with work, maybe the innocent enjoyment is wrung out of it eventually.  Or maybe that's just a cop out.  Or maybe fourteen seasons is a long time.  Or maybe this season has been a dud.  I'd like to hear all of your thoughts.


Down to five teams, but I can't pick out any clear favorites.  As much as I hate to admit it, Tammy and Victor might have the best chance at winning the million dollars.  I've decided that Victor is my arch-enemy.  He's the worst type of reality villain.  He's not so over-the-top that you could imagine that it's all an act for the cameras.  He's subtle enough where you can tell his jackassery is the real deal.  I feel bad for Tammy, but not bad enough that I'm rooting for her. 

Who, then, am I rooting for?  Mark and Michael.  I love those two little guys.  Like Jaime and Cara said last night, they really are like two cartoon characters.  Physically, they are in better shape than the rest of the teams, especially at this juncture.  They will never run out of energy, and if they manage to not make any bonehead moves (like last night) they have a very good chance to win it all.  Who are you rooting for?

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of CBS)