The Amazing Race, for almost the entirety of its twelve season run, has been the critical darling of the reality TV world. Being a fan of the series, this has always made me happy, though I found the heaps of praise and awards to be a bit peculiar. The show has won the Emmy a number of years in a row for Best Reality-Competition Series and, just last week, Amazing Race creator took home the Directors Guild of America award for best directed reality show. It seems that the award giving community just decided some years back that The Amazing Race was the cream of the reality crop and that this designation would never, ever be questioned. It’s kind of like when sportswriters vote on Gold Gloves for baseball. People like Rafael Palmeiro and Omar Vizquel were basically handed Gold Gloves at their positions every year, no matter what. While perhaps deserved, you’d think that the competition wouldn’t remain static year-to-year.
Although I am a massive Amazing Race fan, I’ve always thought that Survivor was a better-produced series. I know that Survivor can’t compete with The Amazing Race’s level of difficulty. To produce a world-wide race, to film various teams twenty four hours a day for one month straight as they travel from country to country, continent to continent is something to be praised. And I think this is likely the major reason for the constant stream of awards that Amazing Race has accumulated: given the degree of difficulty, the fact that CBS routinely produces entertaining seasons of Race is enough for the accolades
But, again, Survivor should deserve some sort of recognition at some point, right? Survivor has evolved over the years, while keeping its core intact, produced consistently higher ratings than the The Amazing Race and has cemented itself as THE reality competition show. It’s the one that started it all. Without the success of Survivor, who knows what the landscape of network television would look like.
The fact that Amazing Race has received so many accolades may be one of the biggest reasons the series is still on the air. As cutthroat a business as television is, networks do like to keep their critical darlings alive and well. Hopefully, this latest DGA award will help keep The Amazing Race on the air for at least a few more seasons.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of CBS)