Should 'The Amazing Race' Get Rid of Non-Elimination Legs?
Should 'The Amazing Race' Get Rid of Non-Elimination Legs?
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Once again, last night's episode of The Amazing Race ended with the disappointing non-elimination of the last place team. As a long-time TAR Fan, I'm getting sick and tired of these endings. Every time the last place team doesn't get eliminated, I feel like I've wasted an hour of my life.
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Maybe the problem is the timing. The past six episodes have only featured three teams going home as every other leg has been a non-elimination one. Throw in one week where the show was preempted and you have almost two entire months with just three eliminations.

It's hard for me to get excited about a show where so many episodes don't matter. The Amazing Race has just two episodes left this season, but because of all the non-eliminations, it feels like the season is only halfway through.

As far as I'm concerned, it's time for The Amazing Race to retire the non-elimination leg. Sure, it helps elongate the season and allows the producers to have fewer teams with the same number of episodes, but it detracts from the fun of watching. One-fourth of all legs end without an elimination, which is far too many. Imagine if, once every four episodes, no one was eliminated on American Idol or Survivor. You can't, because most reality shows would've have 25 percent of their episodes serve no purpose.

I can live with a lot of the annoying quirks and twists The Amazing Race has. All too often the teams get bunched together because of flight times or tasks that require team to wait until a specific building opens at 10am. And the Fast Forwards seem downright silly and too easy these days, especially compared to season 7 when Uchenna and Joyce shaved their heads.

But too many non-elimination legs make me frustrated, especially when the show piles them all up in the middle of the season. I'd much rather have the show start with 13-15 teams and have eliminations every leg than feel like every other week is a pointless exercise. Barring that, the least the show can do is spread them out so non-elimination legs come at the beginning, end and one in the middle.

A non-elimination leg should be special. It should be like a surprise reprieve for one lucky team. Instead, especially since Mark and Bopper have benefited twice, it feels like every leg is a non-elimination leg.


(Image courtesy of CBS)