‘The Amazing Race’ 29: 2017 Season’s Twist Is Proving To Be A Great Idea [Opinion]

The Amazing Race 29, the hit reality TV show’s 2017 installment, has debuted to much acclaim from the long-running show’s loyal fanbase. The hit reality TV series’s latest season has landed on its feet, and it has so far continued to give viewers some much-needed good, wholesome television. Considering the reception of fans from the first two episodes of Season 29 so far, it appears that TAR has effectively managed to overcome what could have been this season’s biggest flaw.

Recent seasons of The Amazing Race have been released with particular twists and themes. There was the blind date season, a season with old contestants, and there was Season 28’s much-panned social media-themed season. For TAR 29, the competition’s unique twist was that the racers are all strangers, only forming their teams after a pre-race event. Initially, the Season 29 twist was taken by avid fans of the award-winning reality TV series with much skepticism. After all, a lot of the less-than-stellar seasons of The Amazing Race involved specific themes and seemingly forced twists.

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Once the first episode of TAR 29 aired, however, avid fans of the show were quick to notice that the season’s unique twist was giving the race a compelling new angle. The Amazing Race has usually involved racers who have a pre-existing relationship, which enables the competitors to utilize their unique dynamic as a means to get ahead of the competition. With The Amazing Race 29, however, that factor was completely removed, as none of the racers knew each other before the race officially started.

As the teams formed after the pre-race event, many viewers were pleasantly surprised at the angle that the season’s unique twist has given to the competition. There was Ashton and Vanck, two competitors who are just so different, it was a mystery to many why the pair ended up as a team. There was also the extremely likable pair of Becca and Floyd, whose antics and overwhelming optimism has managed to immediately charm longtime fans of the show. Such dynamics could simply not be possible had the racers knew each other beforehand.

By the time TAR 29 Episode 2 aired, it was evident that the effect of the season’s unique twist was slowly coming into full effect. During a high-rise challenge in Sao Paolo, Brazil, Shamir, one of this season’s more physically dominating contestants, showed some attitude that reduced his teammate, Sara, to tears. Even the dynamic of Jessie and Francesca, who were eliminated from the leg, was notable, as the two instantly became best friends during the race.

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Another team that has managed to provide some compelling television this past week was Ashton and Vanck, arguably the race’s most awkward pair. During the previous week, the two simply did not get along, and viewers noted that Ashton looked downright miserable having the bespectacled Vanck as her teammate. This week, however, the two surprised everyone by functioning as a cohesive unit and finishing in second place.

Mike and Liz, who performed extremely poorly during the first leg of the race, also appeared to find their groove on the competition’s second leg. The pair finished first, beating out more physically domineering teams such as Redmond and Matt. Overall, this season of The Amazing Race is shaping up to be one of the most exciting runs of the hit reality TV show in years, and it has its unique twist to thank for that.

It remains to be seen if The Amazing Race 29 would go down in the show’s history as one of its strongest or weakest seasons. At this point, however, it definitely appears that TAR 29’s unique twist is working to the hit reality TV show’s advantage.

[Featured Image by CBS]