The Amazing Race: All-Stars - Did it work?
CBS loves their All-Star shows.  Mark Burnett gave us the first ever All-Star reality show with Survivor: All-Stars a few years back.  It was a success on a number of levels, but, perhaps most importantly, it created the most unstoppable reality show power couple of all time – Rob and Amber.  Since that show worked so well, CBS next gave us Big Brother: All-Stars, which was less of a hit, both creatively and in the ratings, but it was good enough for CBS to then produce The Amazing Race: All-Stars.  I'd say the Amazing Race incarnation has been a relative success.  It certainly wasn't a disaster.

I believe there's a certain lack of freshness inherent on an All-Star season.  This may seem obvious, but I would've thought that bringing in a group of people who have already competed in the event would create a higher, more complex level of play.  While this might be the case, it hasn't translated into a more exciting hour of TV.

There are various possible reasons for this, but I think the most significant thing that makes All-Star shows less interesting is that the novelty has worn off for the contestants.  They've learned their lessons the first time around, so they play smart and under control the second time out.  This is good strategy, but isn't too fun for the audience.  I'm sure every one of the remaining teams on The Amazing Race: All-Stars, except for maybe Charla and Mirna, watched their seasons, learned what to do and what not to do in terms of both how they act/interact and how they play the game, then adjusted their game plan and behavior for All-Stars accordingly.

There has been conflict on Amazing Race: All-Stars, but not as much as a typical season.  Teams knew that Rob and Amber were ruthless, so they weren't surprised or offended by their actions.  Same with the Beauty Queens.  At least Charla and Mirna have mixed things up a bit. 

Still, I enjoyed the season.  Maybe not as much as previous ones, but it was nice to see some of the old teams racing again.  One thing's for sure: I'll be back in the Fall, eagerly anticipating a new batch of teams to root for/against.

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer

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