I am a reality show junkie. I love them all--well, not all of them. The Fear Factor, for example, is not my cup of tea. But when I discovered The Amazing Race, I hit the jackpot. If you've never seen it, plan on doing so next season. Eleven couples (any configuration--two friends, two relatives, husband/wife, etc.) take off on a race around the world with tasks to perform at each stop along the way. The last couple to reach a "pit stop" at the end of each leg of the race is eliminated; unless as happens occasionally, they are allowed to stay in but with nothing but their passports and the clothes they are wearing--no money. In the end, three couples are left racing to arrive first at the final pit stop...to be the winners.
The globe-hopping on this program blows me away. I can't imagine traveling at breakneck speed, crossing continents, stepping in and out of diverse cultures and mingling with the locals as tasks are undertaken. Frequently, the tasks are to partake of local culture, such as herding goats, planting seeds, or even scaling mountains. This is a race requiring both moxie and physical endurance.
Couples are melded or broken on these treks. Last year, Alison and Donny, transplants from the Big Brother show, appeared to have been forever damaged. They didn't treat each other well under the stress. Others, like Uchenna and Joyce, the winners of the latest program, grew closer and found the show cemented their relationship, a beautiful process to watch.
I was rooting for Amber and (Boston) Rob on this latest race. I love those kids! They fell for each other when they did Survivor together, and were fabulous in The Amazing Race. But they came in second. When I saw Uchenna and Joyce running first to the final pit stop, I was happy anyway. Because Uchenna and Joyce played the game with lots of heart. The trip was much more enjoyable watching Uchenna, in particular, marvel over the cultures, the scenery, the people. He was so darned appreciative, you had to love him for it. Uchenna and Joyce's refreshing attitude put them in my mind a cut above the rest. Great show, Uchenna and Joyce--The Amazing Race.