The Amazing Race

The Amazing Race is a reality game show normally broadcast in one-hour episodes in which teams of two or four race around the world in competition with other teams. The CBS program has been on-air since 2001 and is currently in between seasons. It is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer for CBS and Touchstone Television (technically making it partially a Disney show) and hosted by New Zealander Phil Keoghan. It was created by Bertram van Munster.

The race utilizes progressive elimination similar to Survivor; the last team to arrive at a designated checkpoint leaves the game. The race resembles a treasure hunt in amateur rally racing. The race starts in a US city. Teams must then follow clues and instructions and make their way to checkpoints in places around the world, eventually racing back to the finish line in the US.

For three consecutive years, (2003 to 2005), The Amazing Race was awarded the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality/Competition Program. It has defeated competitors including CBS' Survivor (which was the first reality show to win an Emmy), Fox's American Idol, and NBC's The Apprentice.

The ninth season will begin airing on February 28, 2006.

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Teams

Kris and Jon (Season 6) in Sri Lanka

Each of the eleven teams (twelve in Seasons 3 and 4, ten in Season 8) on The Amazing Race is composed of two individuals who have some type of relationship to each other. Season 8 of the race featured teams of four, but Season 9 will return to the two-person team format. The teams represent a wide demographic of different ages, races, sexual orientations, and personal relationships. Past team relationships include: long-time married couples, siblings (including twins), parent/child, friends (roommates, fraternity brothers, platonic friends, high school friends, lifelong friends etc), romantic partners (both heterosexual and homosexual), and couples who are separated or formerly dating. All contestants are at least 21 years of age, except for Season 8, which featured some children and teenagers.

Originally, the race required team members to have a pre-existing relationship and to have known one another for at least three years. In addition, racers from different teams could not have previous acquaintances with one another. However, producers have shown more leniency and changed these rules in recent installments of the race. For example, Kris and Jon from Season 6 were long-distance daters for only a year. Several contestants from Season 5 had previously competed against one another in the beauty pageant circuit. (Nicole actually beat Christie for the title of Miss Texas USA in 2003.[1])

Teammates must race the entire race together; they cannot split up or continue on without each other. If one teammate becomes injured and is unable to finish the race, the team must forfeit (for example, Marshall and Lance during Season 5). Both teammates must also arrive at each Pit Stop together in order to clock in. The various relationship dynamics between the team members under the stress of competition is one focus of the show.

The Race

Money

Colin and Christie (Season 5) receive money for a leg in Kenya and Tanzania

At the beginning of each leg of the race, each team receives an allowance of cash with their first clue. This money is usually given in U.S. Dollars regardless of the current location of the race. The amount varies from leg to leg, ranging from one dollar to hundreds of dollars. (In Season 1 teams were allocated nothing during one of the legs, and in Season 4, teams were given only one dollar for each of the final two legs.) During the race, all expenses (food, transportation, lodging, attraction admission, supplies) must be purchased from this allowance. The exception to this is the purchase of airline tickets (and, in Season 8, gasoline), which the teams pay for using a credit card supplied to them by the show. Any money left over after a leg of the race can be used on subsequent legs.

Starting in Season 5, there was a penalty for teams coming in last on a non-elimination leg. Teams were forced to surrender all collected money, would not be given any on the subsequent leg, and needed to start the next leg with zero dollars to their name. For more on this penalty, see Non-elimination Legs.

If a team spends all of their money or has it taken away in a non-elimination round, they may try to get more money in any way that doesn't violate the local laws. This includes borrowing money from other teams, begging from locals, or selling their possessions. One rule that was clarified in Season 7 is that teams may not beg for money at US airports.

Route Markers

Route Markers are the flags that mark the places where teams must go. Most Route Markers are attached to the boxes that contain clue envelopes, but some may mark the place where the teams must go in order to complete tasks.

Route Markers are always colored yellow and red, with the following exceptions:


  • The original Route Markers used in Season 1 were colored yellow and white. The current colors were adopted in subsequent seasons so that the teams would have an easier time spotting them.
  • During Season 3, the production visited Vietnam; while there, the flags used were a solid yellow, to avoid confusion with the flag of Vietnam (this change was not seen when production visited China in Season 6, though, where the national colors are similar).
  • Season 8's Route Markers were colored yellow, white, and black.

Clues

Route Information

Route Info clues instruct the teams where to go next. The clue usually only provides the name of the team's next destination; it is up to the teams to figure out how to get there. However, the clue may make specifications about how the teams have to travel. For example, the very first clue of the race specifies which flights teams may take. In addition, teams may be required to take public transportation, drive a marked car, or walk, according to the clue's instructions.

The Route Info clues can instruct teams to go to several types of locations, including a specific location in another city or country, another location within the team's present city, the Pit Stop of the leg, and the finish line of the race.

Detour

A Detour is a choice between two tasks, each with its own pros and cons. Teams must successfully complete one of the tasks described on the clue in order to receive their next clue. One task is typically an easier option that takes more time to complete, while the other is usually a difficult or frightening option that can be finished quickly. In later seasons, the trend has been towards Detours which offer less clear-cut choices. Often, there may be some degree of luck involved with the "easier" option, such that a team may accomplish the task faster than if they had taken the quicker, harder, riskier option. Should a team choose to switch Detour tasks part-way through, there is no penalty, other than naturally lost time.

Roadblock

A Roadblock is a task which only one team member may perform. Before heading into a Roadblock, teams read a vague clue about the task to come, i.e., "Who's really hungry?" (for an ostrich-egg eating challenge), or "Who wants to get down and dirty?" (for a task involving making mud bricks). Often, a team may figure out the specific task by observing their surroundings, using common sense, or even seeing other teams already performing the Roadblock task. They then must decide which team member would be best suited to complete it. Once a choice has been made, the teammates cannot switch roles.

Beginning in Season 6, each team member may only complete a maximum of six Roadblocks throughout the entire race. Since there normally are twelve Roadblocks in the Race, this rule forces each team to split the Roadblocks equally between the two members (unless a team uses a Fast Forward to skip one Roadblock, in which case the split can be 6-5). In contrast, Season 5 featured three teams that split the Roadblocks 11-1 or 10-1. The six-Roadblock limit was dropped for Season 8; additionally, that season's four-member-team format required some Roadblocks to be completed by two people. A Roadblock is featured (although, in some episodes, not aired) in every leg except the first one. In Season 1, even the first leg had a Roadblock, but it was not originally aired; it was included in the DVD release.

Fast Forward

Gary and Dave (Season 2) win the Fast Forward at Wong Tai Sin Temple, Hong Kong

The Fast Forward allows the first team that finds it to skip all remaining tasks on that leg of the race and proceed directly to the Pit Stop. To find the Fast Forward, the team must perform the task described on the Fast Forward clue, which is found along with a regular clue at one of the Route Markers.

Only one team may use each Fast Forward. Any team that is beaten to the Fast Forward will have wasted their time and must go back and pick up where they left off. Since each team may use only one Fast Forward during the whole race, they must decide when it is most advantageous to use it. A Fast Forward usually results in the team arriving at the Pit Stop first, but does not guarantee it. In the history of the show, two teams who earned a Fast Forward still arrived last at the Pit Stop. Joe and Bill during Season 1 arrived last but were not eliminated due to a penalty to Nancy and Emily. Dennis and Andrew during Season 3 were eliminated. Similarly, NFL wives Monica and Sheree of Season 4 earned the Fast Forward but only placed 4th in the first leg (behind a three-way tie for first, the only time this has ever happened on the race).

Yield

The Yield, which was introduced in Season 5, allows any one team to force another team to stop racing for a predetermined amount of time. To do this, a team places the picture of the team they wish to yield onto the Yield sign (found near one of the Route Markers). When the yielded team arrives at the Yield, they must turn over an hourglass found on the Yield sign and wait for all the sand to drain before continuing.

Like the Fast Forward, each team may use only one Yield during the game, and only one team may use each Yield. However, each team may be Yielded by other teams an unlimited amount of times. Starting in Season 6, the number of Yields was reduced from one on every leg to only three in the entire race. Also starting in Season 6, teams are warned about an upcoming Yield in the clue immediately preceding it. In the family edition, the show said there were only two Yields, but there was another Yield on Leg 1 that didn't make it to air.

The Weaver family in Season 8 was the first team in the history of the Amazing Race to be yielded twice, once by the Paolo Family, and another time by the Linz Family.


Pit Stops

Pit Stops are the final destination in each leg of the race. Each Pit Stop is a mandatory rest period which allows teams to eat, sleep, and mingle with each other. The production staff provides food free-of-charge to the teams at the Pit Stops (food during the legs must be purchased with the money the teams receive). During the Pit Stop, teams are also interviewed to provide commentary and voice-overs for the completed leg.

Phil Keoghan greets teams at the Pit Stop on The Amazing Race 5

Teams depart for the next leg of the race at the time they arrived plus twelve hours. While a team arriving at 12:00 PM will depart at 12:00 AM, the total amount of rest time may be more than twelve hours, in which case the pit stop will be extended by 24 hour increments--such as one day and twelve hours (36 hours).

The last team to arrive at the Pit Stop is eliminated, unless that leg of the race is one of the predetermined non-elimination legs (see below). In some legs, the first team to arrive wins a prize such as a vacation or camera, which they receive at the end of the race. In Season 6, prizes were given to the winners of every leg. In Season 7, cash and automobile prizes were awarded for the first time on some legs; unlike season 6, however, at least two legs did not have a prize awarded. The winners of the third leg in Season 8 won free gasoline for life, from BP and ARCO (specifically, $1200 of gasoline a year for 50 years, which is $60,000 per winner).

Teams normally complete all tasks and check in at the Pit Stop before they are eliminated. Occasionally, on an elimination leg, if all other teams have checked in and the last team is very far behind, Route Markers may instruct them to go directly to the Pit Stop without completing the rest of the leg (Peggy and Claire, Shola and Doyin, Mary and Peach, all from Season 2, Michael and Kathy and Andre and Damon in Season 3). Alternately, host Phil Keoghan may go out to the team's location to eliminate them if they can't/won't finish a task (Marshall and Lance, Season 5, Lena and Kristy, Season 6). The record for the shortest amount of time that Phil waited for the last team to arrive was around 10 minutes on the 11th leg of the 7th season. (Despite a flat tire, Uchenna and Joyce only finished 10 minutes behind the #1 team Ron and Kelly.) The longest amount of time Phil waited at a pit stop for the last team to arrive was more than 24 hours, due to the last team having flight problems and missing their departure time at the previous pit stop - see Season 2.

Season 6 introduced the first double-length leg shown over two episodes. The televised episode ended without a Pit Stop with a 'To Be Continued' message. The second half of the leg featured a second Detour and second Roadblock. Season 7 had another, this time with teams meeting host Phil Keoghan on the usual Pit Stop mat at the halfway point, only to have him hand them the next clue instead of checking them in. Season 8 also had a double-length leg, which worked the same as Season 7's; in addition, the 2-hour finale took place over a double-length leg.

Non-elimination Legs

Each race has a number of predetermined non-elimination legs, in which the last team to arrive at the Pit Stop is not eliminated and is allowed to continue on the race. Racers are not told in advance which legs are non-elimination legs. In Seasons 1-2, the clue preceding the Pit Stop ended with the statement, "The last team to arrive will be eliminated," except in non-elimination legs. In Seasons 3-4, the clue preceding the Pit Stop ended with the statement "The last team to arrive will be eliminated" in the first few legs, and "The last team to arrive may be eliminated" after a certain point. Beginning in Season 5, the statement "The last team to arrive may be eliminated" has been used on every leg with the exception of the first.

Season 5 introduced a penalty to the team arriving last at a Pit Stop in a non-elimination leg. These teams are required to turn over all the money they accumulated throughout the race. Additionally, the last team to arrive begins the next leg with zero dollars to their name, meaning they do not receive the money given to the other teams at the start of the leg and may not collect money during the Pit Stop. Teams generally beg from locals or even the other teams during the Pit Stop to rebuild their cash reserves.

Starting in Season 7, the penalty for arriving last during a non-elimination leg became more severe. In addition to being stripped of all their money and starting the next leg without an allowance, teams were forced to surrender all their possessions, except for their passports and the clothes they were wearing, for the remainder of the Race. This usually results in teams who believe they are coming in last checking in at the pit stop wearing every single article of clothing they have just in case it's a non-elimination leg, making for a rather comical sight in some cases.

Final Leg

Three teams compete in the last leg of the race. This first part of the leg includes intermediate destination(s) where the teams must travel to complete a series of tasks (Alaska, United States Seasons 1 and 2; Hawaii, United States, Seasons 3, 4, and 6; Calgary, Canada, Season 5; Puerto Rico, United States, Season 7; Montreal and Toronto, Canada, Season 8). The second part of the leg has teams traveling to a final destination, usually located in a major U.S. city. Remaining teams must complete one or more tasks before receiving the clue directing them to the Finish Line. At the Finish Line, host Phil Keoghan and all the eliminated teams wait for the remaining teams to arrive.

The first team to reach the Finish Line wins the race and $1 million. All other teams win lesser amounts of money on a sliding scale based on their finishing order, as follows:

Ideally, all three remaining teams arrive at the Finish Line within a reasonable amount of time. On occasion, the third place team has fallen so far behind the other two teams that they cannot finish the race in a timely manner. In this case, after the other two teams finish, they are informed that the race is over at their next Route Marker (Joe and Bill, Season 1; David and Jeff, Season 4).

Rules and Penalties

All teams must abide by the rules set at the beginning of the race. Failure to do so can result in time penalties, which can negatively affect finishing position in that leg of the race. While the complete set of official rules has not been released to the public, certain rules have been revealed during the various editions of the race:

Rules

  • Teams must purchase economy class tickets for airfare. Teams are allowed to be upgraded to first or business class by the airline, as long as they only paid an economy fare (Frank and Margarita, Season 1; Reichen and Chip, Season 4; Ray and Deana, Season 7).
  • Teams are not allowed contact with known friends, family, and personal acquaintances during the race. However, teams are allowed to stay in contact with and receive help from people they meet during the race, such as travel agents. (One exception to this rule occurred in Season 3. Teams were offered a cellular phone after completing a detour. As CBS's website explains, "They had the option of making one phone call to their loved ones back home before driving to the chateau. Teams could talk on the phone as long as they wanted, but had to end the call before getting in their cars.")
  • When stated, teams may not help other teams in challenges. (Uchenna said this when he wanted to help Meredith with the boat in Season 7.) Otherwise, teams may assist one another in completing tasks, as seen in Season 8, where many teams had help setting up their tents, and the Linz and Godlewski teams cooperated to complete a Detour.
  • Racers are prohibited from smoking during the race. This results in the sometimes cantankerous attitude of some contestants, such as Ian (Season 3) who quit smoking just prior to the race.
  • For filming purposes, team members are generally required to stay within 20 feet of each other, unless one person is performing a Roadblock.
  • Teams may be forced to submit their backpacks and possessions to searches by production staff at any time.

Penalties (and Time Credits)

  • The standard penalty for minor rule infractions is 30 minutes plus the time advantage gained (if any) by disobeying the rule. This penalty is known to apply in the following cases:
    • Using a prohibited form of transportation. For example, a team that takes a taxi when the clue specifies that they must walk would receive a penalty (Frank & Margarita and Joe & Bill, Season 1; Heather & Eve, Season 3; Reichen & Chip, Season 4).
    • Taking a shortcut when the clue specifies that a marked course must be followed (Andre & Damon, Season 3).
    • Taking more than one clue from the clue box (Freddy and Kendra, Season 6).
    • Driving away in another team's car (Don and Mary Jean, Season 6).
    • Speeding. If a clue specifies a maximum speed, a team that exceeds that speed receives a penalty (Gary and Dave, Chris and Alex, Season 2).
  • There is a larger penalty for quitting a task voluntarily. In Season 6, Hayden and Aaron quit a Roadblock and received a 4-hour penalty. In Season 7, Rob and Amber, Ray and Deana and Meredith and Gretchen also quit a Roadblock and received a 4-hour penalty that did not start until the next team arrived at the task.
  • In Season 1, Nancy and Emily voluntarily quit a Detour and received an even larger penalty: 24 hours. As no other team has quit a Detour since then, it is unknown whether that larger penalty still exists.
  • A team that skips a Route Marker or performs a task incorrectly usually does not receive a penalty; rather, the racers will not be able to check in at the Pit Stop and will be told by host Phil Keoghan to complete the missed tasks. One exception to this was during Season 1, when Dave & Margaretta missed the cluebox at the base of the Eiffel Tower. Through lucky guessing and help from other teams, they were able to reach the Pit Stop, but were assessed a 1-hour penalty.
  • If a team's vehicle breaks down through no fault of their own, they may request a replacement vehicle without receiving a time penalty. However, no time credit is given for their wait in this unlucky situation. (See The Amazing Race 2 Trivia).
  • Sometimes, teams are delayed by production difficulties. In early seasons, several teams were awarded time credits because of such difficulties. However, in Season 8, two teams were stopped because of drained batteries and did not receive time credits. The exact conditions that determine whether or not a time credit is awarded are unknown.

Countries and locales visited

Countries that The Amazing Race has visited are shown in green.

° Vatican City fielded a Fast Forward in Season 1; however, it was neither used nor shown.

Note: The table does not include airport stopovers, such as Japan. It only contains countries that fielded actual route markers, challenges or finish mats.

Trivia

  • Each team is accompanied by a cameraman and soundperson throughout the race. When purchasing tickets, teams must also buy them for their camera crew. On the program, teams are only shown requesting two tickets, so that they don't break the fourth wall.
  • Also, for similar reasons, the show makes the point of not actually showing the crews to the point where crewmen have occasionally been digitally removed from the picture in post-production. [2] Occasionally, race personnel are shown to viewers, most notably during Season 7 where Brian and Greg's cameraman was shown lying on the ground after suffering minor injuries in an auto accident.
  • The camera and sound crews rotate teams after each leg.
  • Host Phil Keoghan is known to take the same flight as the teams on various legs of the race.
  • Eliminated teams are often sent to "sequesterville", a foreign location on the race where they get to relax and do some sightseeing until the race is over.
  • Teams receive monetary compensation for the time away from their jobs back home. Even after the race has aired, however, the amount is still required to remain confidential.
  • The opening credits feature scenes and locations from past and current seasons of the race.
  • Teams need to receive travel visas ahead of time for the countries that they will be visiting. However, to keep things as much of a surprise for the teams as possible, production will obtain visas from more countries than are actually on the race itinerary. In doing so, the final destinations still remain a secret.
  • Before the race actually begins, the teams are filmed running from the starting line several times, in order to get different close-ups and angles of all the teams.
  • Due to the rather obvious nature of the crossing of the finish line, in later seasons several "decoy runs" have been done where teams from the final four are filmed crossing individual finish lines, to deter people from learning the identity of the winning team.
  • In Season 1, check-in mats for pit stops were representative of local cultures. In Season 2 and Season 3, they were black with a yellow border. Beginning in Season 4, they would feature an ornately decorated world map. In season 8 the mats were yellow with a black and white border. (For an exception, see The Amazing Race 6 In-Race Trivia.)The finish line mats are an elevated red carpet with The Amazing Race logo enlarged on it.

Public Reception

The Amazing Race is notable in that it is one of the few reality shows to grow substantially more popular in subsequent seasons. Even with extensive critical praise the show faced low Nielsen Ratings for the first several seasons, facing cancelation a number of times. Reportedly, it was saved by calls to CBS President Les Moonves from celebrity fans including Sarah Jessica Parker. Thanks to word-of-mouth and the Emmy wins, popularity of The Amazing Race has recently surged, and is now one of the most-watched reality shows on the air.

TARCon is a convention and viewing party held after the evening of the season finale. The event is held in New York City and is organized by Television Without Pity, a popular television website. TARCon gives fans an opportunity to meet past and present racers and host Phil Keoghan.

The popularity of the series has also spawned local races [3] [4], some which have been mistaken for actual filming of the television program.

Criticisms

Despite The Amazing Race's recent surge of popularity, the show is not without its share of criticism and controversy. Main problems include:

Jonathan's behavior shocked fellow racers and viewers
  • Bunching, where teams are constantly grouped together due to bottlenecks such as chartered flights and pre-planned hours of operation of businesses that the teams must use to complete tasks. While all versions of the Race have suffered such problems, many fans feel that recent seasons (and Season 6 particularly) had more than usual or, perhaps, necessary. Nevertheless, bunching teams also adds to the unending suspense that many feel some of the earlier seasons lacked.
  • The confrontational, and sometimes abusive behaviour presented by certain players, most notably Jonathan (Season 6) and Colin (Season 5).
  • The stunt casting of teams where producers have tended to cast models, actors, and more recently past reality show stars. For example, Season 5 featured only one past reality show contestant (Alison was on Big Brother) and Season 7 featured three past reality show contestants (Brian was on Fear Factor; Rob and Amber had been on multiple editions of Survivor). In fact, many teams had connections to the producers or past contestants, trivializing the standard application process. For example, Dennis and Erika (Season 5) had known previous racers John Vito and Jill (Season 3) for many years.[5]
  • The watering down of the clues in subsequent seasons. For example, in Season 1 the majority of Route Markers contained clues about the next location, not specifically stating the location itself. In recent seasons, there have been few actual clues for teams to decipher. What had been clues are now more like simple directions in many cases; they remain more challenging in the final legs.
  • Design of challenges, especially food competitions. Recent seasons have emphasized gross-out extreme eating contests reminiscent of Fear Factor, rather than focusing on the cultural aspect of the challenge.
  • Repetition of tasks in different seasons. Season 7's Fast Forward task in Leg 8 featured the same hair-shaving task as Season 5, although Season 5's was not taken.
  • The implementation of the Yield has been criticized as taking away from the virtually unique ability of teams to control their own destiny in a reality series rather than being at the mercy of opponents as shows such as Survivor. The one other reality series that possesses this trait is The Mole.
  • The implementation of the non-elimination penalty is generally criticized by fans basically into two camps. One, is that the penalty is not sufficiently harsh enough. The second is that it is embarrassing to see Americans beg from people of Third World countries. In the latter reason however, in the case of a leg being in a poor country, penalized teams usually beg from tourists or from other teams.
  • Recent betting scandals. In the two most recent seasons, Season 7 and Season 8, the winners were revealed in online betting scandals well before the airing of the final episode.
  • Fans, critics, and racers were lukewarm over the format changes implemented in the family edition. The main issues were the lack of international travel and watered down challenges tailored to families. The expanded cast also made it more difficult to develop individual story lines. Entertainment Weekly commented that "Half the fun of The Amazing Race has always been watching the inter and intra-couple bickering that goes with being chronologically late and lost in a foreign land. Seeing parents yell at their children in exotic New Jersey? Not so fun." [6]. USA Today shared similar opinions, adding that "the idea of being trapped in the back seat for a forced cross-country family drive comes closer to a nightmare relived than a dream come true." [7] Racers were also disappointed that they did not have a chance to travel to more exotic locations; in one episode Marion Paolo commented "Why are we going to Phoenix, Arizona for? I want to go to New Zealand!"
  • Excessive product placement, particularly in recent seasons. Season 7 featured a gnome-hunting challenge, with the gnome featured being a Travelocity Roaming Gnome. Season 8 had teams driving around in GMC Yukons, visiting a BP gas station that fielded no challenge in particular, receiving clues from AOL inboxes (done in Season 6 also), and completing a challenge with Buick luxury golf carts. In an article according to Backstage.com, both "The Amazing Race" and "The Amazing Race: Family Edition", separately, were among the top 10 television shows with the most product placement in 2005.

Broadcasters

The Amazing Race is broadcast on various international television networks. Its is also shown in syndication within the United States.

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Its is also shown in syndication within the United States. There is a Mario Smash Football bundle for Europe and Super Mario Strikers bundle for Canada. The Amazing Race is broadcast on various international television networks. Melee for America. Main problems include:. Several bundles are out which include games such as Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness, Mario Party 7 and Super Smash Bros. Despite The Amazing Race's recent surge of popularity, the show is not without its share of criticism and controversy. The GameCube currently sells at USD $99.

The popularity of the series has also spawned local races [3] [4], some which have been mistaken for actual filming of the television program. Nintendo reported that as of January 2006 they have sold a total of 20.61 million Nintendo Gamecube units worldwide. TARCon gives fans an opportunity to meet past and present racers and host Phil Keoghan. One example is the advertisement campaign for Square Enix's GameCube-exclusive Final Fantasy game, Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles. The event is held in New York City and is organized by Television Without Pity, a popular television website. Most of the "Who Are You?" commercials advertised games developed or published by Nintendo, but some developers pay Nintendo to promote their games, using Nintendo's marketing and advertising resources. TARCon is a convention and viewing party held after the evening of the season finale. The "Who Are You" logo is similar to graffiti lettering.

Thanks to word-of-mouth and the Emmy wins, popularity of The Amazing Race has recently surged, and is now one of the most-watched reality shows on the air. The idea behind the "Who Are You?" campaign is that "you are what you play"; the kind of game a gamer enjoys playing suggests a dominant trait in that gamer's personality. Reportedly, it was saved by calls to CBS President Les Moonves from celebrity fans including Sarah Jessica Parker. Subsequent ad campaigns had Nintendo advertising with a "Who Are You" tangent, essentially marketing the wide range of games Nintendo offers. Even with extensive critical praise the show faced low Nielsen Ratings for the first several seasons, facing cancelation a number of times. The lettering would begin as a wave, only to settle on the top of the pictured console. The Amazing Race is notable in that it is one of the few reality shows to grow substantially more popular in subsequent seasons. It basically rotated around what appeared to be the top of a GameCube console, with the lettering being slightly 3D.

It only contains countries that fielded actual route markers, challenges or finish mats.. Later on, Nintendo incorporated a video clip before the normal clip for the GameCube game would begin, similar to the brief PlayStation 2 logo before a commercial featuring the game. Note: The table does not include airport stopovers, such as Japan. This was usually after the normal commercial for a GameCube game. ° Vatican City fielded a Fast Forward in Season 1; however, it was neither used nor shown.. A voice whispered "GameCube". While the complete set of official rules has not been released to the public, certain rules have been revealed during the various editions of the race:. The earliest commercials displayed a rotating cube video, which would quickly morph into the GameCube logo.

Failure to do so can result in time penalties, which can negatively affect finishing position in that leg of the race. Nintendo has used several advertising strategies and techniques for the GameCube. All teams must abide by the rules set at the beginning of the race.
. In this case, after the other two teams finish, they are informed that the race is over at their next Route Marker (Joe and Bill, Season 1; David and Jeff, Season 4). Unplugging and reconnecting the controller, and in the case of the wireless Wavebird controller, turning the controller off and back on, will also force a recalibration. On occasion, the third place team has fallen so far behind the other two teams that they cannot finish the race in a timely manner. Holding down X, Y and start/pause for three seconds will recalibrate the controller at any time.

Ideally, all three remaining teams arrive at the Finish Line within a reasonable amount of time. Like most analogue controllers, the GameCube pad self-calibrates when the console is switched on, setting the current analog stick and L and R buttons' positions as "neutral", which may cause problems if these controls are not actually in their neutral position at the time of calibration. All other teams win lesser amounts of money on a sliding scale based on their finishing order, as follows:. Various games use this structure to varying levels of success. The first team to reach the Finish Line wins the race and $1 million. This serves as two additional buttons on the controller without the need to actually add physical buttons. At the Finish Line, host Phil Keoghan and all the eliminated teams wait for the remaining teams to arrive. The L and R analog shoulder buttons, the main innovation, have when fully depressed an additional 'click' if the buttons are depressed further.

Remaining teams must complete one or more tasks before receiving the clue directing them to the Finish Line. The controller is a standard wing grip design, and was designed to fit well in human hands. city. Some unofficial controllers also have "turbo" or "macro" buttons, but these only modify the actions performed by other buttons. The second part of the leg has teams traveling to a final destination, usually located in a major U.S. Originally, Nintendo was not going to include it, but game developers asked for it to be put in. This first part of the leg includes intermediate destination(s) where the teams must travel to complete a series of tasks (Alaska, United States Seasons 1 and 2; Hawaii, United States, Seasons 3, 4, and 6; Calgary, Canada, Season 5; Puerto Rico, United States, Season 7; Montreal and Toronto, Canada, Season 8). In a late design change, the "Z" button was oddly positioned above the "R" trigger.

Three teams compete in the last leg of the race. Slightly above the "R" button is the "Z" button. This usually results in teams who believe they are coming in last checking in at the pit stop wearing every single article of clothing they have just in case it's a non-elimination leg, making for a rather comical sight in some cases. On the top of the controller there are two analog shoulder buttons marked "L" and "R" which are moulded to fit index fingers. In addition to being stripped of all their money and starting the next leg without an allowance, teams were forced to surrender all their possessions, except for their passports and the clothes they were wearing, for the remainder of the Race. The start/pause button is in the middle of the controller. Starting in Season 7, the penalty for arriving last during a non-elimination leg became more severe. Below those, there is a yellow "C" stick, which has a similar function to the right stick on a PlayStation.

Teams generally beg from locals or even the other teams during the Pit Stop to rebuild their cash reserves. On the right are four buttons; a large green "A" button in the centre, a smaller red "B" button to the left, an "X" button to the right and a "Y" button to the top. Additionally, the last team to arrive begins the next leg with zero dollars to their name, meaning they do not receive the money given to the other teams at the start of the leg and may not collect money during the Pit Stop. The primary analog stick is on the left, with the D-pad below it. These teams are required to turn over all the money they accumulated throughout the race. The standard GameCube Controller totals eight buttons, two analog sticks and a D-pad. Season 5 introduced a penalty to the team arriving last at a Pit Stop in a non-elimination leg. Games with large amounts of voice acting or pre-rendered video often need to be put on two discs.

Beginning in Season 5, the statement "The last team to arrive may be eliminated" has been used on every leg with the exception of the first. The capacity of the disc is 1.5 GB. In Seasons 3-4, the clue preceding the Pit Stop ended with the statement "The last team to arrive will be eliminated" in the first few legs, and "The last team to arrive may be eliminated" after a certain point. The disc is a proprietary version of the eight cm DVD (MiniDVD) format. In Seasons 1-2, the clue preceding the Pit Stop ended with the statement, "The last team to arrive will be eliminated," except in non-elimination legs. The GameCube Optical Disc is the media format used by the Nintendo GameCube. Racers are not told in advance which legs are non-elimination legs. (Even though DDR-SDRAM is significantly faster, since the PowerPC 750CXe can not address DDR-SDRAM, it is not used.).

Each race has a number of predetermined non-elimination legs, in which the last team to arrive at the Pit Stop is not eliminated and is allowed to continue on the race. Some benchmarks provided by third-party testing facilities do indicate, however, that some of these specifications, especially those relating to performance, may be conservative. Season 8 also had a double-length leg, which worked the same as Season 7's; in addition, the 2-hour finale took place over a double-length leg. The following are hardware specifications provided by Nintendo of America. Season 7 had another, this time with teams meeting host Phil Keoghan on the usual Pit Stop mat at the halfway point, only to have him hand them the next clue instead of checking them in.
. The second half of the leg featured a second Detour and second Roadblock. Also before the price wars, it was estimated that Nintendo lost the least amount of money or even made a small profit on each sale of a GameCube, compared to its rivals who sold their consoles at a loss[8].

The televised episode ended without a Pit Stop with a 'To Be Continued' message. Unlike Sega, Nintendo has strong cash reserves so it could afford to match price wars whenever Sony or Microsoft lowered the price of their console. Season 6 introduced the first double-length leg shown over two episodes. Nintendo also reassured nervous investors by stating that they would "only exit the software business at the same time they would exit the hardware business"; in other words, that they would not discontinue their console business to focus on developing games like Sega had done after the failure of the Dreamcast. (Despite a flat tire, Uchenna and Joyce only finished 10 minutes behind the #1 team Ron and Kelly.) The longest amount of time Phil waited at a pit stop for the last team to arrive was more than 24 hours, due to the last team having flight problems and missing their departure time at the previous pit stop - see Season 2. The GameCube had a strong hold on the children's market and its low price compared to the PS2 and Xbox kept it competitive. The record for the shortest amount of time that Phil waited for the last team to arrive was around 10 minutes on the 11th leg of the 7th season. However, this has been offset by the growing size of the video game console market which has allowed Nintendo to carve out a loyal following even though its market share decreased.

Alternately, host Phil Keoghan may go out to the team's location to eliminate them if they can't/won't finish a task (Marshall and Lance, Season 5, Lena and Kristy, Season 6). The GameCube has not performed to expectations due to being unable to match the sales and market share of its Nintendo 64 predecessor. Occasionally, on an elimination leg, if all other teams have checked in and the last team is very far behind, Route Markers may instruct them to go directly to the Pit Stop without completing the rest of the leg (Peggy and Claire, Shola and Doyin, Mary and Peach, all from Season 2, Michael and Kathy and Andre and Damon in Season 3). GameCube sales have continued to be steady, particularly in Japan, but the Gamecube is still in third place in worldwide sales [7]. Teams normally complete all tasks and check in at the Pit Stop before they are eliminated. Since then, sales have rebounded due to a price drop to $99 USD and the release of the The Legend of Zelda: Collector's Edition bundle, which spurred sales. The winners of the third leg in Season 8 won free gasoline for life, from BP and ARCO (specifically, $1200 of gasoline a year for 50 years, which is $60,000 per winner). During the second half of 2003, due to sagging sales, Nintendo had to cut GameCube production in order to sell off surpluses and issue a profit warning [6].

In Season 7, cash and automobile prizes were awarded for the first time on some legs; unlike season 6, however, at least two legs did not have a prize awarded. Also 2K Sports, who have not supported the Gamecube, will release Major League Baseball 2K6 in spring 2006 [5]. In Season 6, prizes were given to the winners of every leg. Since then, however, Eidos has resumed development [4] of GameCube titles. In some legs, the first team to arrive wins a prize such as a vacation or camera, which they receive at the end of the race. After several years of losing money from developing for Nintendo's system, Eidos Interactive announced that it would end support for the GameCube, cancelling several titles that had been in development including Hitman 2 [3]. The last team to arrive at the Pit Stop is eliminated, unless that leg of the race is one of the predetermined non-elimination legs (see below). Cross-platform games—such as sports franchises released by Electronic Arts—sold far below their PlayStation 2 and Xbox counterparts, prompting developers to scale back or completely cease support for the GameCube.

While a team arriving at 12:00 PM will depart at 12:00 AM, the total amount of rest time may be more than twelve hours, in which case the pit stop will be extended by 24 hour increments--such as one day and twelve hours (36 hours). The strong preference of GameCube owners for first-party titles has also put the system at odds with major third party developers. Teams depart for the next leg of the race at the time they arrived plus twelve hours. However, the Nintendo disc still had sufficient room for most games, although it had less extras than other versions (for example, the Spider-Man Xbox release featured extra levels not in the Gamecube port). During the Pit Stop, teams are also interviewed to provide commentary and voice-overs for the completed leg. The 1.5 gigabyte proprietary disc format may have also been a limiting factor since Nintendo's rivals used the 4.7 gigabyte DVD. The production staff provides food free-of-charge to the teams at the Pit Stops (food during the legs must be purchased with the money the teams receive). Although online support was added in late 2002 and both Sony and Nintendo followed a similar decentralized online model (in contrast to the centralized Xbox Live), lower sales of the GameCube versions of games during its launch year precluded developers from including online support.

Each Pit Stop is a mandatory rest period which allows teams to eat, sleep, and mingle with each other. Also, due to Nintendo's lack of support for the online capabilities of the GameCube, as opposed to Microsoft and later Sony who actively promoted online gaming by releasing first-party online titles and soliciting developers, many multiplatform games with online functionality were released offline-only on the GameCube. Pit Stops are the final destination in each leg of the race. Many third-party games popular with teenagers or adults such as first-person shooters and the controversial Grand Theft Auto series skipped a GameCube port in favour of the PlayStation 2 and Xbox.
. Nintendo's family-friendly franchises such as Pokémon gave the GameCube the reputation of being a "kiddie" console that failed to appeal to the teenage and adult market[2]. The Weaver family in Season 8 was the first team in the history of the Amazing Race to be yielded twice, once by the Paolo Family, and another time by the Linz Family. Despite Nintendo's efforts, the GameCube was unsuccessful in recapturing the preceding Nintendo 64's market share, and the sixth generation was taken over by the PlayStation 2.

In the family edition, the show said there were only two Yields, but there was another Yield on Leg 1 that didn't make it to air. Because of these efforts, GameCube owners tend to support first-party games more heavily than third party games, whereas the reverse is true for PlayStation 2 and Xbox owners. Also starting in Season 6, teams are warned about an upcoming Yield in the clue immediately preceding it. This policy from Nintendo resulted in many exclusive third-party games for the Nintendo GameCube, and the arrival of multiformat titles on the platform. Starting in Season 6, the number of Yields was reduced from one on every leg to only three in the entire race. Nintendo often took an active role in cooperating with a developer. However, each team may be Yielded by other teams an unlimited amount of times. Sometimes, Nintendo would merely request that a third-party developer produce a game based on the third-party's own game franchises; other times, Nintendo would request that the third-party developer produce a game based on Nintendo's own game franchises.

Like the Fast Forward, each team may use only one Yield during the game, and only one team may use each Yield. Unlike previous generations in which Nintendo was seen by some as bullying its third-party game developers, Nintendo openly sought game-development aid on the Nintendo GameCube. When the yielded team arrives at the Yield, they must turn over an hourglass found on the Yield sign and wait for all the sand to drain before continuing. One of the defining aspects of the Nintendo GameCube is the rejuvenated relationship between Nintendo and its licensees. To do this, a team places the picture of the team they wish to yield onto the Yield sign (found near one of the Route Markers). Some of the more popular first-party titles include:. The Yield, which was introduced in Season 5, allows any one team to force another team to stop racing for a predetermined amount of time. The Nintendo GameCube software library contains such traditional Nintendo series as Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Metroid.

Similarly, NFL wives Monica and Sheree of Season 4 earned the Fast Forward but only placed 4th in the first leg (behind a three-way tie for first, the only time this has ever happened on the race).
. Source: ESRB. Dennis and Andrew during Season 3 were eliminated. The GameCube features games with the following ratings:. Joe and Bill during Season 1 arrived last but were not eliminated due to a penalty to Nancy and Emily. In addition, over 25 titles are currently in development. In the history of the show, two teams who earned a Fast Forward still arrived last at the Pit Stop. The GameCube currently has over 550 games available in its library.

A Fast Forward usually results in the team arriving at the Pit Stop first, but does not guarantee it. Also, holding the "Z" Button while the system boots will replace the normal xylophone musical sequence with squeaks, followed at the end by a child laughing. Since each team may use only one Fast Forward during the whole race, they must decide when it is most advantageous to use it. Tap the "A" Button repeatedly to spin the Gamecube logo. Any team that is beaten to the Fast Forward will have wasted their time and must go back and pick up where they left off. A unique feature of the Gamecube are a few Easter Eggs included in its startup sequence. Only one team may use each Fast Forward. Two separate adaptors were made, one for dial-up phone lines and one for broadband connections.

To find the Fast Forward, the team must perform the task described on the Fast Forward clue, which is found along with a regular clue at one of the Route Markers. Instead, Nintendo focused more on Game Boy connectivity. The Fast Forward allows the first team that finds it to skip all remaining tasks on that leg of the race and proceed directly to the Pit Stop. The only high profile title that required the adapter was Sega's Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II. In Season 1, even the first leg had a Roadblock, but it was not originally aired; it was included in the DVD release.
. The GameCube also had a network adapter released during the holiday season of 2002, but Nintendo did not promote or support online gaming anywhere as heavily as Sony or Microsoft. A Roadblock is featured (although, in some episodes, not aired) in every leg except the first one. The thumbsticks do not have added "clickable" button functionality—unlike other such consoles of the era—but both L and R shoulder buttons are analog, being able to detect pressure applied to them before "clicking," essentially doubling their functionality.

The six-Roadblock limit was dropped for Season 8; additionally, that season's four-member-team format required some Roadblocks to be completed by two people. Keeping up with the Nintendo 64, it features no select button, but the C buttons have been replaced by an analog C stick, instead. In contrast, Season 5 featured three teams that split the Roadblocks 11-1 or 10-1. The controller has the traditional directional pad, two thumbsticks, and eight buttons: A, B, X, Y, Z, L, R, and start/pause. Since there normally are twelve Roadblocks in the Race, this rule forces each team to split the Roadblocks equally between the two members (unless a team uses a Fast Forward to skip one Roadblock, in which case the split can be 6-5). Despite being more compact than the PlayStation 2 (being that it was released over a year after and kept the power supply separate from the console), the GameCube has superior graphics processing power and better ProLogic sound, but no optical output. Beginning in Season 6, each team member may only complete a maximum of six Roadblocks throughout the entire race. Interestingly, with the addition of the Game Boy Player accessory, the GameCube becomes a nearly perfect geometric cube.

Once a choice has been made, the teammates cannot switch roles. However, this feature over other consoles was minimal since its inexpensive production and selling price were its main advantages. They then must decide which team member would be best suited to complete it. The GameCube was designed for ease of portability, with its small size complemented by a carrying handle. Often, a team may figure out the specific task by observing their surroundings, using common sense, or even seeing other teams already performing the Roadblock task. A fair variety of GameCube games implement this innovative functionality, while Nintendo encourages its continued use. Before heading into a Roadblock, teams read a vague clue about the task to come, i.e., "Who's really hungry?" (for an ostrich-egg eating challenge), or "Who wants to get down and dirty?" (for a task involving making mud bricks). A special Nintendo GameCube to Game Boy Advance connection cable is required for each Game Boy Advance system that is to be connected to the GameCube.

A Roadblock is a task which only one team member may perform. Up to four Game Boy Advance systems can be connected to the GameCube through the GameCube's four controller ports for multiplayer play. Should a team choose to switch Detour tasks part-way through, there is no penalty, other than naturally lost time.
. This functionality has also been used to unlock "secrets" such as new levels or characters when two games, a Game Boy Advance game and its GameCube equivalent, are connected together. Often, there may be some degree of luck involved with the "easier" option, such that a team may accomplish the task faster than if they had taken the quicker, harder, riskier option. Subsequent information related to game play may be displayed on the Game Boy Advance's color screen for added convenience or to avoid the cluttering of the display on the television screen. In later seasons, the trend has been towards Detours which offer less clear-cut choices. Examples of this functionality include the use of the Game Boy Advance as a controller for the game played.

One task is typically an easier option that takes more time to complete, while the other is usually a difficult or frightening option that can be finished quickly. Such a connection between the two systems allows the transfer of game data. Teams must successfully complete one of the tasks described on the clue in order to receive their next clue. The system does not link to the Micro due to the fact that its slot is too small. A Detour is a choice between two tasks, each with its own pros and cons. The GameCube system also has the unique capability to connect to Nintendo's portable system Game Boy Advance and SP. The Route Info clues can instruct teams to go to several types of locations, including a specific location in another city or country, another location within the team's present city, the Pit Stop of the leg, and the finish line of the race. The Q's different footprint also left it incompatible with the Game Boy Player.

In addition, teams may be required to take public transportation, drive a marked car, or walk, according to the clue's instructions. However, it was never released outside Japan and production ceased in December 2003. For example, the very first clue of the race specifies which flights teams may take. Called the Q, it was a modified GameCube that could also hold standard-sized DVD discs and play back both formats. However, the clue may make specifications about how the teams have to travel. There was also a DVD-capable variant released by Panasonic in Japan, under license from Nintendo. The clue usually only provides the name of the team's next destination; it is up to the teams to figure out how to get there. Despite the protection of a non-standard disc format (essentially a miniature DVD-ROM with non-standard sectors and filesystem formatting), a number of modchips such as the Qoob and ViperGC have been released that, when used in conjunction with a modified bios, allow the use of a standard or 8 cm DVD-ROM to load backed-up, homebrew, boot-leg or pirate software.

Route Info clues instruct the teams where to go next. The lack of DVD movie support was also a double-edged sword; it did not appeal to the mass audience that turned to the PlayStation 2 and Xbox due to their built-in DVD support.
. Common reasons cited by Nintendo for using this format are to lower piracy, provide faster loading times, and to make the system cheaper (to avoid DVD-licensing fees) and more compact. Route Markers are always colored yellow and red, with the following exceptions:. The Nintendo GameCube does not have any DVD-movie support. Most Route Markers are attached to the boxes that contain clue envelopes, but some may mark the place where the teams must go in order to complete tasks. Later, a special debug mode in the GameCube drive was discovered which allowed the console to read and play from standard mini dvdrs.

Route Markers are the flags that mark the places where teams must go. [1]. One rule that was clarified in Season 7 is that teams may not beg for money at US airports. By exploiting a flaw in Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II, users were able to connect their GameCubes to their PC's and run homebrew programming on the console. This includes borrowing money from other teams, begging from locals, or selling their possessions. This move was mainly intended to prevent piracy of GCN titles, but like most anti-piracy technology, it was eventually cracked. If a team spends all of their money or has it taken away in a non-elimination round, they may try to get more money in any way that doesn't violate the local laws. Contrary to popular belief, GameCube discs are not physically read any differently from a standard DVD disc, but are encrypted and contain a 'barcode' unreadable by most DVD-ROM drives.

For more on this penalty, see Non-elimination Legs. The Nintendo GameCube uses a unique storage medium, the GameCube Optical Disc, a proprietary format based on Matsushita's optical-disc technology; the discs are approximately 8 centimeters (3 1/8 inches) in diameter (considerably smaller than the 12cm CDs or DVDs used in competitors' consoles), and the discs have a capacity of approximately 1.5 gigabytes. Teams were forced to surrender all collected money, would not be given any on the subsequent leg, and needed to start the next leg with zero dollars to their name. In Japan, the system is also available in orange, or in limited edition colors like Crystal White, Mint Green, Copper, and White with black pinstripes. Starting in Season 5, there was a penalty for teams coming in last on a non-elimination leg. Physically shaped similar to a geometric cube, the outside casing of the Nintendo GameCube comes in a variety of colors, such as indigo, platinum, and black (also a limited edition Resident Evil 4 platinum and black game console). Any money left over after a leg of the race can be used on subsequent legs. Unveiled during Spaceworld 2000, the Nintendo GameCube was widely anticipated by many who were shocked by Nintendo's decision to design the Nintendo 64 as a cartridge-based system.

The exception to this is the purchase of airline tickets (and, in Season 8, gasoline), which the teams pay for using a credit card supplied to them by the show. The GameCube launched in North America with the following twelve games:. (In Season 1 teams were allocated nothing during one of the legs, and in Season 4, teams were given only one dollar for each of the final two legs.) During the race, all expenses (food, transportation, lodging, attraction admission, supplies) must be purchased from this allowance. . The amount varies from leg to leg, ranging from one dollar to hundreds of dollars. Luigi's Mansion was the first cover game (volume #150). Dollars regardless of the current location of the race. The GameCube was first introduced in volume #145 of Nintendo Power magazine.

This money is usually given in U.S. The GameCube was released on:. At the beginning of each leg of the race, each team receives an allowance of cash with their first clue. The GameCube itself is the most compact and inexpensive of the sixth generation era consoles. The various relationship dynamics between the team members under the stress of competition is one focus of the show. The Nintendo GameCube (Japanese: ゲームキューブ; originally code-named "Dolphin" during development; abbreviated as GCN) is Nintendo's fourth home video game console, belonging to the Sixth generation era; the same generation as Sega's Dreamcast, Sony's PlayStation 2, and Microsoft's Xbox. Both teammates must also arrive at each Pit Stop together in order to clock in. It is considered particularly useful for Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II and is difficult, though not impossible, to acquire outside of Japan.

If one teammate becomes injured and is unable to finish the race, the team must forfeit (for example, Marshall and Lance during Season 5). The keyboard requires the use of two controller ports, and contains both Roman and Japanese hiragana characters. Teammates must race the entire race together; they cannot split up or continue on without each other. An ASCII keyboard controller, resembling a standard GameCube controller pad stretched to accommodate an alphanumeric keyboard in the center. (Nicole actually beat Christie for the title of Miss Texas USA in 2003.[1]). A dance pad, included with Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix. Several contestants from Season 5 had previously competed against one another in the beauty pageant circuit. This official Nintendo accessory is currently sold in Japan only.

For example, Kris and Jon from Season 6 were long-distance daters for only a year. SD Card Adapter, for games exhibiting the SD Card logo like Animal Forest e+. However, producers have shown more leniency and changed these rules in recent installments of the race. Commands are issued when you hold the X button on the controller. In addition, racers from different teams could not have previous acquaintances with one another. Odama also includes a microphone clip to clip on to the controller. Originally, the race required team members to have a pre-existing relationship and to have known one another for at least three years. Microphone, which plugs into memory card slot, for use with Mario Party 6, Mario Party 7, and Karaoke Revolution Party.

All contestants are at least 21 years of age, except for Season 8, which featured some children and teenagers. DK Bongos for use with the music games Donkey Konga, Donkey Konga 2 and Donkey Konga 3, and the Donkey Kong platform title Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. Past team relationships include: long-time married couples, siblings (including twins), parent/child, friends (roommates, fraternity brothers, platonic friends, high school friends, lifelong friends etc), romantic partners (both heterosexual and homosexual), and couples who are separated or formerly dating. In PAL regions, an RF cable for connection to older televisions, and an RGB SCART cable for high-quality connections. The teams represent a wide demographic of different ages, races, sexual orientations, and personal relationships. Several are available from Lik-Sang, however, a game supporting 480p combined with the Component Video cable above, and the VD-Z3 (which has a monitor pass-through) or this can give Progressive Scan display quality on a computer monitor. Season 8 of the race featured teams of four, but Season 9 will return to the two-person team format. Allows GameCube play on a standard computer monitor.

Each of the eleven teams (twelve in Seasons 3 and 4, ten in Season 8) on The Amazing Race is composed of two individuals who have some type of relationship to each other. VGA Adapter. . See System Specifications above and Official Information.). The ninth season will begin airing on February 28, 2006. Less than one percent of GameCube owners used 480p, therefore the digital output was eventually removed from the design to reduce the system's manufacturing costs. It has defeated competitors including CBS' Survivor (which was the first reality show to win an Emmy), Fox's American Idol, and NBC's The Apprentice. Component video cable (for progressive scan (480p) support) which requires a GameCube with Digital Video Output.

For three consecutive years, (2003 to 2005), The Amazing Race was awarded the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality/Competition Program. Game Boy Player (to play Game Boy games on the television, using either a GameCube controller or a connected Game Boy Advance). Teams must then follow clues and instructions and make their way to checkpoints in places around the world, eventually racing back to the finish line in the US. Modem or Broadband adapter (for internet or LAN play). The race starts in a US city. Nintendo GameCube Game Boy Advance cable (for games that support connectivity between the GameCube and the Game Boy Advance). The race resembles a treasure hunt in amateur rally racing. A maximum of 127 files can be stored on a memory card).

The race utilizes progressive elimination similar to Survivor; the last team to arrive at a designated checkpoint leaves the game. Memory Card (59, 251 or 1019 blocks. It was created by Bertram van Munster. Wavebird (RF wireless controller). It is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer for CBS and Touchstone Television (technically making it partially a Disney show) and hosted by New Zealander Phil Keoghan. There are also specially shaped controllers, such as a blood-spattered chainsaw released to coincide with Resident Evil 4.). The CBS program has been on-air since 2001 and is currently in between seasons. There are also many limited edition controllers available such as a split Platinum and Red, with the Mario "M" logo replacing the regular GameCube logo seen on standard controllers.

The Amazing Race is a reality game show normally broadcast in one-hour episodes in which teams of two or four race around the world in competition with other teams. Controller (Standard colours include Indigo, Black, Spice (Orange), Platinum and Indigo-clear. In an article according to Backstage.com, both "The Amazing Race" and "The Amazing Race: Family Edition", separately, were among the top 10 television shows with the most product placement in 2005. [4.3"(H) x 5.9"(W) x 6.3"(D)]. Season 8 had teams driving around in GMC Yukons, visiting a BP gas station that fielded no challenge in particular, receiving clues from AOL inboxes (done in Season 6 also), and completing a challenge with Buick luxury golf carts. Physical Measurements of Entire System: 110 mm (H) x 150 mm (W) x 161 mm (D). Season 7 featured a gnome-hunting challenge, with the gnome featured being a Travelocity Roaming Gnome. Power Supply: AC Adapter DC12 volts x 3.25 amperes.

Excessive product placement, particularly in recent seasons. High-speed Parallel Ports: 1. USA Today shared similar opinions, adding that "the idea of being trapped in the back seat for a forced cross-country family drive comes closer to a nightmare relived than a dream come true." [7] Racers were also disappointed that they did not have a chance to travel to more exotic locations; in one episode Marion Paolo commented "Why are we going to Phoenix, Arizona for? I want to go to New Zealand!". High-speed Serial Ports: 2. Seeing parents yell at their children in exotic New Jersey? Not so fun." [6]. Digital Video Outputs: 1 *. Entertainment Weekly commented that "Half the fun of The Amazing Race has always been watching the inter and intra-couple bickering that goes with being chronologically late and lost in a foreign land. Analog Audio/Video Outputs: 1.

The expanded cast also made it more difficult to develop individual story lines. Memory Card Slots: 2. The main issues were the lack of international travel and watered down challenges tailored to families. Controller Ports: 4. Fans, critics, and racers were lukewarm over the format changes implemented in the family edition. Approximately 1.5 gigabytes in capacity. In the two most recent seasons, Season 7 and Season 8, the winners were revealed in online betting scandals well before the airing of the final episode. Producer is Matsushita (Also known as Panasonic).

Recent betting scandals. Diameter is 3 inches in length. In the latter reason however, in the case of a leg being in a poor country, penalized teams usually beg from tourists or from other teams. Based on DVD technology. The second is that it is embarrassing to see Americans beg from people of Third World countries. Disc Media:

    . One, is that the penalty is not sufficiently harsh enough. Data transfer speed is between 2 megabytes per second and 3.125 megabytes per second.

    The implementation of the non-elimination penalty is generally criticized by fans basically into two camps. Average access time is 128 milliseconds. The one other reality series that possesses this trait is The Mole. Drive type is Constant Angular Velocity (CAV). The implementation of the Yield has been criticized as taking away from the virtually unique ability of teams to control their own destiny in a reality series rather than being at the mercy of opponents as shows such as Survivor. Disc Drive:

      . Season 7's Fast Forward task in Leg 8 featured the same hair-shaving task as Season 5, although Season 5's was not taken. RAM type is DRAM.

      Repetition of tasks in different seasons. 81 MHz in speed. Recent seasons have emphasized gross-out extreme eating contests reminiscent of Fear Factor, rather than focusing on the cultural aspect of the challenge. Approximately 16 megabytes in capacity. Design of challenges, especially food competitions. Auxiliary RAM:

        . What had been clues are now more like simple directions in many cases; they remain more challenging in the final legs. RAM type is 1T-SRAM.

        In recent seasons, there have been few actual clues for teams to decipher. Sustainable latency of 10 nanoseconds. For example, in Season 1 the majority of Route Markers contained clues about the next location, not specifically stating the location itself. Approximately 24 megabytes in capacity. The watering down of the clues in subsequent seasons. Main RAM:

          . For example, Dennis and Erika (Season 5) had known previous racers John Vito and Jill (Season 3) for many years.[5]. Real-world Polygon Performance: 6 million to 12 million polygons/second (at peak) (assuming actual game conditions with complex models, fully textured, fully lit, etc.)* Although it is known that some games have gone well beyond 12 million polygons such as Rogue Squadron II and Resident Evil 4.

          In fact, many teams had connections to the producers or past contestants, trivializing the standard application process. System Floating-point Arithmetic Capability: 10.5 GFLOPS (at peak) (MPU, Geometry Engine, HW Lighting Total). For example, Season 5 featured only one past reality show contestant (Alison was on Big Brother) and Season 7 featured three past reality show contestants (Brian was on Fear Factor; Rob and Amber had been on multiple editions of Survivor). AC3 signal through "digital out" with D-Terminal cable. The stunt casting of teams where producers have tended to cast models, actors, and more recently past reality show stars. "Dolby Pro Logic II" in analog audio out. The confrontational, and sometimes abusive behaviour presented by certain players, most notably Jonathan (Season 6) and Colin (Season 5). Sampling Frequency: 48 kHz.

          Nevertheless, bunching teams also adds to the unending suspense that many feel some of the earlier seasons lacked. Digital Signal : 16 Bit. While all versions of the Race have suffered such problems, many fans feel that recent seasons (and Season 6 particularly) had more than usual or, perhaps, necessary. Encoding: ADPCM. Bunching, where teams are constantly grouped together due to bottlenecks such as chartered flights and pre-planned hours of operation of businesses that the teams must use to complete tasks. Simultaneous Channels: 64 channels. (For an exception, see The Amazing Race 6 In-Race Trivia.)The finish line mats are an elevated red carpet with The Amazing Race logo enlarged on it. 4 kilobytes of ROM.

          In season 8 the mats were yellow with a black and white border. 8 kilobytes of RAM. Beginning in Season 4, they would feature an ornately decorated world map. Data Memory:

            . In Season 2 and Season 3, they were black with a yellow border. 8 kilobytes of ROM. In Season 1, check-in mats for pit stops were representative of local cultures. 8 kilobytes of RAM.

            Due to the rather obvious nature of the crossing of the finish line, in later seasons several "decoy runs" have been done where teams from the final four are filmed crossing individual finish lines, to deter people from learning the identity of the winning team. Instruction Memory:

              . Before the race actually begins, the teams are filmed running from the starting line several times, in order to get different close-ups and angles of all the teams. DSP Clock Frequency: 81 MHz. In doing so, the final destinations still remain a secret. Processor: Custom Macronix DSP. However, to keep things as much of a surprise for the teams as possible, production will obtain visas from more countries than are actually on the race itinerary. Hardware 3-line flicker filter.

              Teams need to receive travel visas ahead of time for the countries that they will be visiting. Real-time decompression of display list. The opening credits feature scenes and locations from past and current seasons of the race. Real-time hardware texture decompression (S3TC). Even after the race has aired, however, the amount is still required to remain confidential. Anisotropic filtering. Teams receive monetary compensation for the time away from their jobs back home. Trilinear filtering.

              Eliminated teams are often sent to "sequesterville", a foreign location on the race where they get to relax and do some sightseeing until the race is over. Bilinear filtering. Host Phil Keoghan is known to take the same flight as the teams on various legs of the race. MIP mapping. The camera and sound crews rotate teams after each leg. Environment mapping. [2] Occasionally, race personnel are shown to viewers, most notably during Season 7 where Brian and Greg's cameraman was shown lying on the ground after suffering minor injuries in an auto accident. Multi-texturing, bump mapping.

              Also, for similar reasons, the show makes the point of not actually showing the crews to the point where crewmen have occasionally been digitally removed from the picture in post-production. Virtual texture design. On the program, teams are only shown requesting two tickets, so that they don't break the fourth wall. Alpha blending. When purchasing tickets, teams must also buy them for their camera crew. hardware nurbs. Each team is accompanied by a cameraman and soundperson throughout the race. 4 pixel pipelines (4 x 162 MHz = 648 MPixels).

              The exact conditions that determine whether or not a time credit is awarded are unknown. 8 hardware lights. However, in Season 8, two teams were stopped because of drained batteries and did not receive time credits. Subpixel anti-aliasing. In early seasons, several teams were awarded time credits because of such difficulties. Fog. Sometimes, teams are delayed by production difficulties. Image Processing Functions:

                .

                (See The Amazing Race 2 Trivia). 24-bit Z-buffer. However, no time credit is given for their wait in this unlucky situation. 24-bit RGB / RGBA. If a team's vehicle breaks down through no fault of their own, they may request a replacement vehicle without receiving a time penalty. Pixel Depth:

                  . Through lucky guessing and help from other teams, they were able to reach the Pit Stop, but were assessed a 1-hour penalty. Fill Rate: 648 megapixels/second.

                  One exception to this was during Season 1, when Dave & Margaretta missed the cluebox at the base of the Eiffel Tower. Main Memory Bandwidth: 2.6 gigabytes/second (at peak). A team that skips a Route Marker or performs a task incorrectly usually does not receive a penalty; rather, the racers will not be able to check in at the Pit Stop and will be told by host Phil Keoghan to complete the missed tasks. Texture Read Bandwidth: 10.4 gigabytes/second (at peak). As no other team has quit a Detour since then, it is unknown whether that larger penalty still exists. RAM type is 1T-SRAM. In Season 1, Nancy and Emily voluntarily quit a Detour and received an even larger penalty: 24 hours. Sustainable latency of 6.2 nanoseconds.

                  In Season 7, Rob and Amber, Ray and Deana and Meredith and Gretchen also quit a Roadblock and received a 4-hour penalty that did not start until the next team arrived at the task. Approximately 1 megabyte in capacity. In Season 6, Hayden and Aaron quit a Roadblock and received a 4-hour penalty. Embedded Texture Cache:

                    . There is a larger penalty for quitting a task voluntarily. RAM type is 1T-SRAM. If a clue specifies a maximum speed, a team that exceeds that speed receives a penalty (Gary and Dave, Chris and Alex, Season 2). Sustainable latency of 6.2 nanoseconds.

                    Speeding. Approximately 2 megabytes in capacity. Driving away in another team's car (Don and Mary Jean, Season 6). Embedded Frame Buffer:

                      . Taking more than one clue from the clue box (Freddy and Kendra, Season 6). Clock Frequency: 162 MHz. Taking a shortcut when the clue specifies that a marked course must be followed (Andre & Damon, Season 3). Manufacturing Process: 0.18 micrometre NEC embedded DRAM process.

                      For example, a team that takes a taxi when the clue specifies that they must walk would receive a penalty (Frank & Margarita and Joe & Bill, Season 1; Heather & Eve, Season 3; Reichen & Chip, Season 4). Producer: ArtX/Nintendo (ArtX was acquired by ATi Technologies in 2000 and is now a part of ATi). Using a prohibited form of transportation. Name: "Flipper". This penalty is known to apply in the following cases:

                        . L2: 256KB (2 way). The standard penalty for minor rule infractions is 30 minutes plus the time advantage gained (if any) by disobeying the rule. L1: instruction 32KB, data 32KB (8 way).

                        Teams may be forced to submit their backpacks and possessions to searches by production staff at any time. Internal Cache:

                          . For filming purposes, team members are generally required to stay within 20 feet of each other, unless one person is performing a Roadblock. 64-bit data bus; 162 MHz clock. This results in the sometimes cantankerous attitude of some contestants, such as Ian (Season 3) who quit smoking just prior to the race. 32-bit address space. Racers are prohibited from smoking during the race. 1.3 gigabyte/second peak bandwidth.

                          (Uchenna said this when he wanted to help Meredith with the boat in Season 7.) Otherwise, teams may assist one another in completing tasks, as seen in Season 8, where many teams had help setting up their tents, and the Linz and Godlewski teams cooperated to complete a Detour. External Bus:

                            . When stated, teams may not help other teams in challenges. 64-bit Floating-point, usable as 2x32-bit SIMD. Teams could talk on the phone as long as they wanted, but had to end the call before getting in their cars."). 32-bit Integer. As CBS's website explains, "They had the option of making one phone call to their loved ones back home before driving to the chateau. Internal Data Precision:
                              .

                              Teams were offered a cellular phone after completing a detour. CPU Capacity: 1125 Dmips (Dhrystone 2.1). (One exception to this rule occurred in Season 3. Clock Frequency: 485 MHz. However, teams are allowed to stay in contact with and receive help from people they meet during the race, such as travel agents. Manufacturing Process: 0.18 micrometre IBM copper-wire technology. Teams are not allowed contact with known friends, family, and personal acquaintances during the race. Core Base: PowerPC 750CXe, 43-mm² die (modified PowerPC 750 RISC with 50 new instructions).

                              Teams are allowed to be upgraded to first or business class by the airline, as long as they only paid an economy fare (Frank and Margarita, Season 1; Reichen and Chip, Season 4; Ray and Deana, Season 7). Producer: IBM. Teams must purchase economy class tickets for airfare. Name: "Gekko". Season 8's Route Markers were colored yellow, white, and black. Hold the Z buttons on four controllers (one in each port) for another set of sounds. During Season 3, the production visited Vietnam; while there, the flags used were a solid yellow, to avoid confusion with the flag of Vietnam (this change was not seen when production visited China in Season 6, though, where the national colors are similar). Hold the Z button before and while the logo starts to hear squeaking and children laughing.

                              The current colors were adopted in subsequent seasons so that the teams would have an easier time spotting them. Holding the A button will spin the logo completely, and enter the console main menu regardless of whether there is a disk inserted. The original Route Markers used in Season 1 were colored yellow and white. Tap the A button repeatedly to make the logo spin. Ltd, based on Nintendo's own game properties). Wario World (from Treasure Co.

                              Viewtiful Joe series (Capcom). Tales of Symphonia (Namco). Super Monkey Ball series (Sega). Star Fox series (from Namco, based on Nintendo's own game properties).

                              Star Wars: Rogue Squadron series (Factor 5). Sonic Mega Collection (Sega) and (Sonic Team). Sonic Adventure 2 Battle (Sega and Sonic Team). Sonic the Hedgehog series (Sega and Sonic Team)

                                .

                                Soul Calibur 2 (Namco). Resident Evil 4. Resident Evil (enhanced remake). Resident Evil Zero.

                                Resident Evil series (Capcom)

                                  . Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, a collaborative enhanced remake between Konami and then-second-party to Nintendo, Silicon Knights. Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles (Square Enix). F-Zero GX (from Sega, based on Nintendo's own game properties).

                                  Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem (Silicon Knights). EA Sports games (Electronic Arts). Adults Only: 0. Mature: 45.

                                  Teen: 204. Everyone (E10+): 18. Everyone: 287. Early Childhood: 1.

                                  May 17, 2002 (Australia). May 3, 2002 (Europe). November 18, 2001 (North America). September 14, 2001 (Japan).

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