11 Things Contestants on The Amazing Race Should Remember
The Amazing Race on CBS has been a staple of reality television since 2001. It's an entertaining show that highlights pairs of contestants racing around the world to win $1,000,000. They perform various tasks, and each week one team wins and the last team to check in usually gets eliminated.
It's roaring fun and one of the best shows on television.
Watching the race in our house is a family affair, and we haven't missed an episode in years. We usually tape it and watch it together, commenting on things that annoy us, or dreaming of visiting the beautiful locations.
One thing that we notice every season is how many teams make the same mistakes over and over again. Of course, everything we see is highly edited, but there are some things that have become blatantly obvious over the years.
So, for all of you wannabe contestants, play the game the way you want to play it, but here are 11 things you might want to keep in mind.
Watch "The Amazing Race" from the beginning
1. Read and Reread Your Clues Carefully
How many times have contestants taken a taxi when they shouldn't have, or forgotten to take something with them, only to be penalized?
I can only imagine how crazy it gets behind the scenes, but take the time to read and reread your clues.
2. Learn How to Drive a Stick Shift (Manual) Car
They don't sell as many stick shift cars anymore, but if you plan on being a contestant on The Amazing Race, it's worth it to borrow a friend's car and learn the basics.
A lot of time has been wasted grinding gears and panicking because of a stick shift car.
Have you ever seen The Amazing Race?
3. Learn How to Swim
Inevitably there will be a challenge that requires swimming, so it's best to master that skill.
I don't know how much time the contestants have between the time that they are chosen and the time that the race starts, but a couple of swim classes are a good investment for non-swimmers.
4. Don't Make Alliances With Other Teams
It drives me crazy to see teams pair up with other teams and make promises that they probably won't keep.
Do you honestly think that another team is going to give up their place just to help you out? It has happened, but it usually ends up hurting teams in the long run.
5. Don't Have Your Taxi Follow Another Team's Taxi
There have been a number of times when a taxi driver doesn't know where he is going, and if your team has decided to follow one of those lost drivers, then you are in trouble.
Figure out where you need to go yourself. It's better in the long run.
Can't be a contestant? Try playing the game at home!
6. Be Aware of Various Cultures
I am always amazed at how many contestants hug or kiss the people they get the clues from. Contestants even hug and kiss people on the street that help them out.
I'm also surprised at the outfits that some of the contestants wear. While the ladies look good in their short shorts and skin-tight spaghetti strap tank tops, they look completely out of place and inappropriate in some of the countries they are in.
I am guessing that the producers brief contestants on the cultural mores of the various countries they visit, but I don't know. Just try to use a little common sense.
7. Remember That You Are Being Filmed
As I've said before, I can only imagine how chaotic it must be on this show. Contestants are traveling from country to country, going through different time zones, and all under an incredible amount of stress.
Even knowing this, some of the things that teammates have said and done to each other are horrible, and they are immortalized forever on camera.
Contestants have also said some tactless things about the countries they are visiting.
Even though I can't imagine forgetting that the camera is around, keep it in mind when you are lambasting your teammate or criticizing an entire population.
8. Make Sure You Are in Good Shape
You don't have to be an Olympic superstar, but you definitely need some stamina and good physical strength. There are many tough physical challenges and if you aren't in shape, you probably won't last long in the race.
Did you know...
The series began in 2001 and is currently airing Season 24
The show has 12 international versions
Phil Keoghan is the host
The series is aired on CBS
One season is filmed over approximately 25 days
9. Try to Leave Your Fears at Home
This is a really tough one, I know.
Practice going up on high buildings or eating gross foods.
It might be worthwhile to find a place to bungee jump or go visit a really tall building and get used to it.
Try eating foods you really can't stand. It can't hurt to practice before you go.
10. Stop Speaking With a Fake Accent
OK—this is just a pet peeve of mine, but every season there are contestants who speak to the locals with some weird accent that just magically appears. I guess they are trying to sound like the locals, but it comes across as silly and insulting.
It also doesn't help to yell at people in English. If they don't speak English, then yelling at them in English isn't going to make much of a difference.
11. Take Notes if You Are Allowed to
While I understand there is no way to know what the final challenge will be, have a little notebook and jot down facts about the places you travel to.
I can't imagine a much worse outcome than losing the game in the last round because you can't remember where you've been.
Now Go Out and Win That Million Dollars!
It's really easy for me to give advice sitting in front of a computer screen, and while I don't know what happens behind the scenes, as a devout fan of the show it's clear to me that some teams need to remember some of the tips listed here.
So try to keep them in mind, follow the rules, run the race you want to, and good luck if you are on the next season of The Amazing Race!
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© 2014 Claudia Mitchell