These are the most terrifying moments in ‘The Amazing Race’
The Amazing Race premiered in September 2001 and has had its fair share of shocking moments in the years since. Let’s take a look back at some of the scandals the show and its contestants have been involved in ahead of Season 34’s release in late September.
The CBS game show follows teams of two as they race around the world performing various activities and mental tests to win a million dollars. The reality show, hosted by Phil Keoghan, has won 13 Primetime Emmy Awards. Due to the series’ long run, there have been several disputes on the show over the years. From near-death situations to the inclusion of patently abusive contestants, there were several occasions throughout the series that shocked viewers to the core.
James and Will’s alliance
Will and James entered the race as superfans and essentially rigged the system by forming the “Mine Five Alliance”. With their dubious response tactics, Allianz dominated the race, eliminating their rivals one by one to reach the last five. Despite their own driving difficulties and a rivalry with Leo and Alana, Will and James made it into the last three thanks to their superfan know-how and controversial but successful methods. They took the lead early in the final stage and never looked back, winning the race. Will proposed to James at the finish line and he accepted.
The Season 32 winners, on the other hand, have sparked debate among fans about whether alliances are beneficial to the game. Throughout the season, the “Backpack Boyfriends” worked closely with a few other teams, even exchanging notes and openly providing answers to some of the mysteries of the race.
The brothers raced with Dan to help Jordan and fulfill his ambition of competing in The Amazing Race. However, they quickly resolved their issues by riding shifters and fighting with each other. The brothers decided to keep a low profile in a season filled with inter-team rivalry to avoid being singled out and progressing to the last four. Then, in the last two legs, they showed their tactical prowess by initially sticking with Louie and Michael when the other team received a speed bump, thus eliminating the detectives. While their competitors slept on the last leg of the journey to San Francisco, the brothers were able to upgrade to first class. This gave them the opportunity to get on the plane first and build up a lead they never lost, giving them the win.
Prior to their huge success, the siblings, who ultimately won season 16, were criticized for traveling first grade and appearing to use a cheat sheet on a memory test. The racers can use notes that they have prepared in advance for some tests and they can upgrade their flight tickets after the initial purchase of economy seats according to the regulations of the program.
The two often argued and chastised each other during the race, and Jonathan notoriously shoved Victoria in Germany after they lost a race for first place on stage five at the pit stop. Despite this, the two consistently placed at the front for long stretches of the race. However, their strained relationship eventually brought them down when their arguments misread a cue in Ethiopia, falling behind the other teams and busting out in sixth place.
Jonathan pushes Victoria
They were the first “fighting couple” team, and audience attention was drawn to their dissolving relationship. Despite Wil’s concerns that they should compete for themselves, Tara continued to flirt with Alex. The conclusion served as a warning to all future teams to be careful when forging partnerships as Tara couldn’t keep up in the long run all the way to the finish line, allowing Chris and Alex to pass her and leave her in second place. The couple split after finishing the season in second place.
The producers and CBS of “The Amazing Race” were forced to apologize for a Season 22 episode that was criticized for using a B-52 memorial in Hanoi, Vietnam as an integral part of the leg. Participants then visited the memorial to look for their next clue, which was a model of the wreckage of an American bomber jet that crashed during the Vietnam War. Foreign war veterans, a number of Fox News anchors and viewers opposed the use of the memorial.
John Hamilton, the national commander of VFW, wrote a nearly 500-word letter to Leslie Moonves, chief executive of CBS Corp, saying, “The B-52 scene, as well as the young people singing a propaganda song, was complete unnecessary to the plot of the show, which speaks volumes about naïve producers who think they are in charge when they are not.” The apology was read by Keoghan at the beginning of the following episode.
Season 34 of The Amazing Race airs Wednesday, September 21 at 9:00 p.m. ET. It will open with an hour-long episode, followed by a 90-minute episode the following week on September 28th.