‘Amazing Race’ Season 30 Confirmed: How Can Producers Inject New Life Into A Stale Franchise? [Opinion]

The Amazing Race Season 30 has been officially confirmed, although as of this writing, whether or not the show will incorporate a new twist, such as this season’s conceit of pairing up total strangers rather than teams with established relationships, remains to be seen.

As the Christian Post reports, CBS officially confirmed the return of the popular reality-competition series, much to the relief of fans who were concerned that the current season, Season 29, would be the show’s last. Early in the season, it looked like this season’s twist would doom the show’s ratings — and it did, for a while anyway. While some fans saw the pairing up of total strangers as a fresh take on the competition, other fans were downright put off by the new gimmick, and Season 29 floundered in the ratings in its first few weeks. Now, however, as the season enters its final few weeks, its ratings have bounced back and then some, according to Carter Matt, putting aside talk of cancellation — for now.

So what is in store for Season 30? Will The Amazing Race return to its stride and, in the process, return to Emmy contention (the show has won 13 Primetime Emmy Awards, including every award in the Reality-Competition category between 2003 and 2009.

So far, CBS is mum on what Season 30 of The Amazing Race will be about. They could return to the tried-and-true method of having teams with existing relationships compete, and the teams may be all new. Or, they may host an All-Star season, bringing back popular contestants from previous seasons (as they did in Seasons 11 and 24). Or, they may try a completely new concept that, as of yet, viewers haven’t experienced.

So how can the producers of The Amazing Race inject some life into the venerable reality series? Here are a few ideas.

More Diversity In The Cast

Every season’s list of contestants seems to be dominated by young (or middle-aged), attractive, fit individuals who look like they just stepped out of an L.A. gym. Every season will have its token minorities and token gays, plus a few people over 50, and that’s fine, too. But the competitors who truly resonate with fans are the people with disabilities, such as Season 5 little person Charla Baklayan Faddoul, who was brought back as an All-Star, and Luke Adams, who is deaf and gay, who competed in Seasons 14, 18, and 24.

There also needs to be more diversity in the relationships between cast members. Husbands and wives; siblings; parents and children; and dating couples have all been done to death. How about a boss and employee? How about a clergyperson and a member of his/her flock?

Bring Back The Family Season, And Do It Right This Time!

Another option is having families, with parents and children (actual children, not adult children) competing. That was actually attempted in Season 8, and it was a boring, dismal failure. Rather than a race around the world, it was more of a race around the U.S., with a handful of stops in Central America. The concept has promise, and if they do it right, it could be a ratings hit.

More Behind-The-Scenes Footage

While the heart and soul of The Amazing Race is the competition — racing through foreign locales, trying to solve puzzles and complete challenges — some fans enjoy seeing the down moments such as the hotels (or wherever else) they stay in, their meals together, what they do while they’re waiting for other competitors to come to the next Pit Stop, and so on.

What do you think can be done to make The Amazing Race Season 30 a memorable one?

[Featured Image by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images]