Amazing Race, season 29

(Twenty-nine seasons, really?? I know they were doubling up series in the same year for a while there, but it still seems like a LOT.)

Anyway: the new season started last night (March 30), with - to me - no fanfare at all; I have the TV on a fair amount of the time, channel-surf and web-surf often, but don't recall seeing anything about the new season until I was scrolling through the listings on cable.  I was glad to see it, but was miffed at how close I came to missing it...

The premise this time: the teams are made up of complete strangers, who pair up in the first episode. Some of the combos look pretty solid (though the race can wear on anyone); others were clearly not going to work so well. I'm not sure if I'd prefer that to the teams of spouses/close friends/family members; you'd know the people better, which could be an advantage, but with strangers there wouldn't be as much pressure to avoid arguments, as you'd have no lifelong relationship to destroy.

Anybody else watching?  I'd hate to think the show's time has come, but it must be difficult to keep coming up with new tasks and challenges...
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Comments

  • I love this show and I never heard anything about it being back on if that tells you anything.

    I do wonder if the cons of producing the show, (the cost, the travel headaches, recent terror attacks) are outweighing the pros. I think it still gets decent ratings right? It's certainly won CBS a lot of Emmys.
  • LOVE this show!!! I guess Friday nights was a huge dud (but so very very glad they moved it off of Sunday nights, where it would get preempted/pushed back by various sports...ugh).

    OURS got pushed back by the HUGE bridge collapse in Atlanta (see other post) but thankfully/amazingly the DVR picked it up somehow..

    I liked this twist.... (the 'social media' season was so very very bad...).

    The super nerd and the bimbo, either leaving soon or the winner?

    I really liked the nail biting ending/ editing... (you can guess WHO I was rooting for). Always nice to see a few gay characters (and fire fighters?? wow!).

    Too soon to pick out top three (or better, the villain!!)
  • I knew it was due back soon but I thought it was going to be mid April! I hope my DVR got it last night since I'm visiting my fam.

    Unlike the "YouTube stars" and "couples vs people set up together" gimmicks I think this one actually has potential to produce some really interesting dynamics between the partners. When it was "couples vs setup" the producers made way too much out of "sooooo, are you finding love on this race?" But I think it really could be quite interesting to focus on people having to learn how to work together without an emphasis on forming a romantic connection.

  • The super nerd and the bimbo, either leaving soon or the winner?
    I don't think they're long for this world. He does not seem bright in the way that gets you far in TAR.

  • The super nerd and the bimbo, either leaving soon or the winner?
    I don't think they're long for this world. He does not seem bright in the way that gets you far in TAR.
    ....and they came in FIRST...wow....who would have thought...

  • The super nerd and the bimbo, either leaving soon or the winner?
    I don't think they're long for this world. He does not seem bright in the way that gets you far in TAR.
    ....and they came in FIRST...wow....who would have thought...
    I think they were second, and the bearded guy and his partner were first?

    Not impressed by the temper tantrum the guy threw on the mat after breaking the window in the challenge.  There may have been a legitimate reason for it (though I'm with his partner and thought he was milking it way more than needed), but dude, you still destroyed private property.
  • What about the guy with the um...'mashed privates' what was all the anger about? will *that* team survive? I hear a clock ticking on it...
  • I would like to exile "fun meter" off to an island with "cucu" from Drag Race.

    Also, please tell me that when the winning team gets a trip for two, it's a trip for two for each of them. Or do they have to take the trip together after the race when they weren't friends before the show? :P
  • I would like to exile "fun meter" off to an island with "cucu" from Drag Race. Also, please tell me that when the winning team gets a trip for two, it's a trip for two for each of them. Or do they have to take the trip together after the race when they weren't friends before the show? :P
    Wow, I wondered the exact same thing....
  • What about the guy with the um...'mashed privates' what was all the anger about? will *that* team survive? I hear a clock ticking on it...
    I get the feeling he's got some rage issues that he slipped past the psych screening.
  • GODDAMNIT.

    I really hate when a quietly competent team gets the chop.
  • ditto.... but loving team #1!!!!!!

    and wow, they really milked the missing passport..wow (and never send a blond female in...those vendors could smell 'rip off' (sigh)...I just love!! how they send folks into every day situations you would never ever seen in a 3 star hotel experience...you really get the feel of the locals... just amazing- even after all these seasons.
  • She paid $10 for 30 bananas?! That's like NYC pricing!
  • Loved the Freddy Mercury reference! :)
  • Ooh, what Freddie Mercury reference? I must have missed that!

    Still cursing a little bit that this wasn't a non-elimination leg. Isn't it common, when there is a U-Turn of some kind, that they make it a non-elim so that the U-Turn ends up just putting a team lower in the pecking order and/or having to deal with a Speed Bump next leg, rather than knocking them out entirely?
  • The first (of 2 eps). The house they were looking for was the birthplace of Freddy (but they used his REAL name..) and said 'another one bites the dust'....
  • I loved the Norway scenery - so beautiful!  I could do without the entire U-turn concept; didn't like it when they first brought it in, and still don't like it.  As for this season's match-up concept - it's... interesting, if not always pleasant!  While I was musing about the meltdown team I remembered many instances in past seasons of similar meltdowns between teams that started out with a solid relationship, so apparently the stress of the race can affect anybody...
  • Finally watched the 2nd half (where I live there were 2 shows back-to-back (??) just watched the 2nd one...

    Wow, that pallet challenge thing was....freagin awesome!!

    Sigh...'the stinky bear',,,sigh. I know the 'one legged gentleman' is STRAIGHT (right?) but...can I propose NOW? please? wooof!

    Question- how does Phil fly? Do they have a chartered flight for him and the whole crew to bounce around from place to place, following?

    Gad, the logistics alone earn them (all those) emmys! (I never noticed the 'pre-taped' ness of his 'new country intros' (and so rare to see a camera person in the screen, great editing.

    The 'lure' challenge was a little whimsical..(did only 2 or 3 pairs do it?). The fairie make-up was a hoot tho.

    Oh, on the last challenge, I thought one or two teams drove to the top? was that not allowed or something?
  • Ohhhh I thought we were still talking about the prior episode. Got it!

    How about Shamir and Sara sitting like three seats away from each other on the boat? Awkward!
  • @largishbearishAtlish I think driving was allowed, but it looks like one can't actually get all the way to the top by car, and that walking may have been faster, since the Fast Forward team actually arrived after TWO teams who walked.

    That being said, the Fast Forward was interesting this time. Usually the issue is that a couple of teams want to try for it and aren't sure who's going to win, so are you going to go for it and risk having to do the leg anyway having wasted the time you spent going after the FF and not getting it? This time it was very obvious that a team had claimed it, since there was only one helicopter -- but it was not at all obvious to the teams that the FF task itself would take as long or longer than doing the regular tasks in the leg! I feel like that's happened once or twice before -- that a FF took a really long time -- but I can't remember when.

    I'm als seriously bummed that Liz and Stinky Bear are fighting now.
  • oh I agree- stinky bear (sigh) and Liz fighting- such a charming oddlball pair! love em!!!

    but you could tell he had just hit his utter limit (those stairs would have had me at hte same place)....

    yeah, this was a different FF (nice for a change up) and then the look of utter joy!!! when it was a skydive (from a helicopter no less!) what I so utterly love about this show is how it takes you places you would never ever in a hundred lifetimes go or see (and I really like the 'this is how this part of the world lives' the challenges are- no sugar coating (well we can't smell some of those places (whew) or  the flies/bugs (they must get coated in sunscreen/bug spray?) I imagine the base camps are well stocked with first aid stuff...)

    I STILL want a blooper reel!!! (after eating ____ who had the worst gas? or the 'bleeping'?  and Phil the stone face cracking up :)
  • Ooh, what Freddie Mercury reference? I must have missed that!

    The first stop, when they had to look for the house of Farrokh Bulsara.  His family was from Zanzibar, they fled during the Revolution in 1964.
  • @CourtneyA yup, I asked the question before I had seen the most recent pair of episodes, and thought Bearish was talking about the previous episode. Now I'm caught up!

    I need to back up and complain about Seth and Olive's elimination again. I just realized that a large part of why that happened is that the Double U-Turn was placed BEFORE the Detour. Isn't it usually placed immediately AFTER the Detour but before the next task, so that a team has to finish their half of the Detour before they can U-Turn (or find out they have to turn around and go back to the Detour to do the other half)?

    Putting it AFTER the Detour means that the teams that finish the Detour quickly are not going to be U-Turned; putting it before, meant that everybody was racing to the Double U-Turn in a pack, and basically if your taxi is a hair slower than the others, you're screwed. I realize that surprises and twists often make good television, but I find it seriously unsatisfying when the twist is that a pack of weak teams successfully takes out a strong team that works well together, like Seth and Olive. (Although who knows whether they would have continued to get along if they were still racing -- see above re: Liz and Stinky Bear.)

    Anyway, I wish it had been Detour first, and then Double U-Turn.
  • It never sits well with me when a bunch of teams gang up on one other team, although I'm not the biggest fan of the team that fell victim to it this time. Then again...it's a game, so I have to respect strategy.

    Brooke annoys me. She just collapses whenever something is difficult rather than trying to figure out a way around her weaknesses.
  • I wondered why all ganged up on that one team? The whole oddball dynamic of them was rather intriguing..  and Wow, TAR never fails on the scenery! What a breath taking, not a place I would think to visit city!!!

    Love the 'ferari of the sea' speed boats!  The 'tricky to find' detour was kind of 'fun'... The 'wrapped in paper mache' thing was rather cool/different (and as always I like the oddball tidbits about the area type challenges..).

    All in all another good/interesting episode (except for the whole ganging up on thing)
  • Atlish, I know Matt and your boy Redmond didn't like them because they were on the receiving end of the first U-Turn -- but if they managed to turn all of the OTHER teams against them too, that's a pretty neat trick, because the whole reason Vanck and Ashton U-Turned them in the first place was because M&R didn't honor their (admittedly stupid) verbal agreement to wait for each other at the first sign-up sheet.

    I found Vanck a bit grating. I guess the other teams did too? But strategically, I think the teams should have used the double U to take out Matt and Redmond instead. They're shaping up to be pretty freakin' strong.
  • I personally would not have targeted them, as there are other, much stronger teams who would have made more strategic sense to use the U-turn on. 

    I am, however, glad that we will not have to hear any more about how DIFFERENT Vanck and Ashton are.  Because they were DIFFERENT.  VERY DIFFERENT from one another.  SO DIFFERENT.  It's amazing that they both spoke English to one another because DIFFERENT.  *Insert eye-rolling emoji here*
  • I have to agree, there are much much stronger teams to take out before I would have turned on the Most.Different.Opposite.Team.Ever.In.The.History.Of.The.Show..:)

  • edited May 6
    So @largishbearishAtlish, when the first place team got to the mat, were you, like, "NOW MAKE OUT"? :D

    Brooke is annoying the shit out of me.

    Also, another freakin' U-Turn next week? That seems like a lot. I wonder whether the teams will get strategic enough to take out the boys (if given the opportunity to do so, anyway).
  • I guess when you know you won't have the benefit of long-simmering problems erupting, because all your racers are strangers to each other, you have to ensure that you create stress in other ways?
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