The Amazing Race
has been spending a lot of time at the airport this season. I still love the show and think it's the best reality program on TV, but lately the teams seem to be spending an inordinate amount of time catching, booking, missing, and chasing flights. Being efficient and clever at the airport has always been a key part of The Amazing Race
, but I can't remember any previous season where flight booking has played such an important part.
The last two teams to be eliminated (Team Guido
, Uchenna and Joyce
) were direct victims of the unpredictable nature of airlines. Team Guido, especially, ended up a whole day behind most other teams simply because two African airlines failed to communicate with each other about flight connections. Uchenna and Joyce missed a connection by minutes, mostly due to a broken ticketing machine. It cost them ten hours and they were eliminated.
I'll occasionally watch The Amazing Race
with my younger brother, and his most constant and nagging complaint is that the most important part of the race is getting the right flights. And, since getting the right flights can be a crapshoot, the race turns into a game of luck.
I'll agree to an extent. I don't think you can win The Amazing Race
solely on good luck, but you can certainly be eliminated due to bad luck; just look at Rob and Amber
this season. The Amazing Race
is ultimately about avoiding fatal errors, more so than it is about making big moves. This is the problem teams run into at the airport. Often, they're willing to risk a missed flight connection for the possibility of an extra hour or two lead.
So, sure, maybe they do spend a lot of time at the airport and have been doing so even more on this season. Sometimes, that can be where the most exciting and interesting stuff happens. Teams lie, try to cheat, and do anything they can to get on the flight they want. The airport is already a stressful enough place without cameras following you and a million dollars hanging in the balance. But, if it creates good TV (which I think it does) than they can spend as much time in the airport as they want.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer