Thursday, February 28, 2013

TV on DVD Review: The Amazing Race - Season 7

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Heart stopping moments on a world tour
Cons: My favorite team didn't win
The Bottom Line:
Race around the world
With Survivors and others
Who will win this time?

Will Rob and Amber Survive the Amazing Race?

By the seventh season, The Amazing Race is becoming familiar. Eleven teams of two with some kind of relationship follow clues in a race around the world. Along the way, there are also tasks they must perform to get their next clue. These tasks provide looks at the culture of the area they are visiting. Those of us watching at home get a nice geography and culture lesson without ever leaving out living room. As each leg of the race ends, the last team is usually eliminated, narrowing the field each weak until the final three teams race for the finish.

The teams this season fall into the normal parameters. There's a gay couple, several couples who are dating or married, a pair of brothers, an older couple, and a mother/son team. Frankly, it feels a bit like they have a template these days and are looking to fill certain pre set rolls. Still, this season had the standouts. Brothers Brian and Greg were nice guys everyone was rooting for. Ray and Deena were this season's fight from day one couple. Meredith and Gretchen, despite their age, proved to be tough competitors. While they often irritated me, I couldn't help but root for them. Kelly and Ron were the all American beauty queen/Iraq war vet couple. I started out liking them, but by the end they made me cringe. Uchenna and Joyce where such a nice couple, you couldn't help but root for them. And then there was Rob and Amber.

Whether it was supposed to be or not, this season of The Amazing Race became all about Rob and Amber, still riding high off Amber's win in Survivor All-Star. Unlike the last time TAR tried a reality show crossover, Rob and Amber proved to have real staying power, using their fame to find help along the way. And, of course, Rob was able to use his power of persuasion to get several teams to support his plan when it came to skipping the nasty food challenge. I hated Rob in both seasons of Survivor he was on, but I will admit I found myself rooting for them this go around. I think I found Rob's antics to be a breath of fresh air on the show.

Of course, the locations where excellent as well. The fact that they haven't repeated anything yet amazes me. Personally, I loved their trip through Botswana since my parents have been there twice. It gave me a chance to see the country in something other then still shots. Other highlights included Peru, Argentina, Istanbul, and London.

This season also featured some amazingly close finishes. Several times the team eliminated was only eliminated by a few minutes. The ending was a real nail bitter as well. Of course, this is partially editing, but even without that, we seemed to have lots of close calls this season.

The Amazing Race is not as fresh as it used to be, with the casting falling into predictable patterns. But the show is still entertaining and slightly educational. This is the best reality program out there.

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