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. Donkey Kong appears in two The Simpsons episodes:. The Amazing Race is broadcast on various international television networks. A CG animated cartoon "Donkey Kong (DONKEY KONG)" of the U.S.-made work to which the character that appeared in the Donkey Kong Country series performed was broadcast in TV Tokyo in 1999. Main problems include:. A computer generated animated television series that lasted 40 episodes was produced in 1996 by a French animation studio, released in North America as simply Donkey Kong Country. Despite The Amazing Race's recent surge of popularity, the show is not without its share of criticism and controversy. There, he was shown to be the size of a large building.

The popularity of the series has also spawned local races [3] [4], some which have been mistaken for actual filming of the television program. The original version of Donkey Kong had appeared on Captain N: The Game Master (and its spin-off comic book). TARCon gives fans an opportunity to meet past and present racers and host Phil Keoghan. The show aired from 1983 into 1984 on CBS. The event is held in New York City and is organized by Television Without Pity, a popular television website. Segments of "Saturday Supercade" featured Donkey Kong, along with Mario and Pauline (here billed as Mario's niece). TARCon is a convention and viewing party held after the evening of the season finale. While its style was that of the original games, the Rare design for Donkey Kong carried over.

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. Donkey Kong, a return to the earlier arcade-style games. Reportedly, it was saved by calls to CBS President Les Moonves from celebrity fans including Sarah Jessica Parker. Nintendo's first title after Rare left was Mario vs. Even with extensive critical praise the show faced low Nielsen Ratings for the first several seasons, facing cancelation a number of times. He was also featured on the Game & Watch Gallery handheld series. The Amazing Race is notable in that it is one of the few reality shows to grow substantially more popular in subsequent seasons. He made his last playable apperance in Mario Party 4 before being regulated to an incidental character on the game board.

It only contains countries that fielded actual route markers, challenges or finish mats.. Melee, and the slew of sports titles. Note: The table does not include airport stopovers, such as Japan. Donkey Kong also starred in the respective sequels to the N64 games, such as Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Super Smash Bros. ° Vatican City fielded a Fast Forward in Season 1; however, it was neither used nor shown.. A standard GameCube controller could be used instead of the konga drums. 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:. Clapping or blowing in to the microphone caused an explosion, shown by a ripple in the screen, attracting assorted jewels or clearing obstacles to progress.

Failure to do so can result in time penalties, which can negatively affect finishing position in that leg of the race. This platform game used the aforementioned DK Bongos as a controller — tapping one drum repeatedly made Donkey Kong run, tapping the other made him jump. All teams must abide by the rules set at the beginning of the race. Donkey Kong fights Dread Kong, Ninja Kong, Karate Kong, and Sumo Kong. 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). Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat was released in Japan in December 2004 and elsewhere in 2005. 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. Its sequel, Donkey Konga 2, was released in 2005, while Japan got Donkey Konga 3.

Ideally, all three remaining teams arrive at the Finish Line within a reasonable amount of time. The tunes included pop songs and themes from some previous Nintendo games. All other teams win lesser amounts of money on a sliding scale based on their finishing order, as follows:. Created by Namco, this musical rhythm action game relied upon use of the DK Bongos accessory (purchasable separately or included, depending on the package) to hit a beat in time with the tune. The first team to reach the Finish Line wins the race and $1 million. Donkey Konga was released for the GameCube in 2004. At the Finish Line, host Phil Keoghan and all the eliminated teams wait for the remaining teams to arrive. Likewise, Banjo Pilot was originally titled Diddy Kong Pilot, but altered following the Microsoft acquisition.

Remaining teams must complete one or more tasks before receiving the clue directing them to the Finish Line. Pants after the Microsoft purchase. city. Donkey Kong: Coconut Crackers was originally developed by Rare for the Game Boy Advance, but was eventually released as It's Mr. The second part of the leg has teams traveling to a final destination, usually located in a major U.S. Rare's ownership change led to numerous changes. 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). No further information about Donkey Kong Racing has since been released, leading the game to be classified as cancelled.

Three teams compete in the last leg of the race. This decision is due to the fact that Microsoft does not have its own portable console in direct competition. 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. Following the sale of Rare to Microsoft in 2002, Rare announced that they were concentrating their efforts on Xbox games, although they have continued to support Nintendo's portable consoles, the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS. 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. that had been introduced in previous Donkey Kong games by Rare. Starting in Season 7, the penalty for arriving last during a non-elimination leg became more severe. The game was called Donkey Kong Racing and showed various characters, including Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, and Taj the Genie racing on Ellie, Expresso, Rambi, Enguard, and Zinger, and presumably, Necky, Army, and Chomps Jr.

Teams generally beg from locals or even the other teams during the Pit Stop to rebuild their cash reserves. A demo for a Donkey Kong game on the GameCube, Nintendo's sixth generation console, was shown at SpaceWorld 2001. 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. While Diddy Kong Racing was these characters' first appearance in a game, they were already famous for being in development with the first installments of their own highly anticipated franchises (the instruction manual even describes them as taking a break from their own games in order to assist Diddy on his quest), and therefore cannot be said to be part of the Mario/Donkey Kong universe. These teams are required to turn over all the money they accumulated throughout the race. Diddy Kong Racing, released in 1997, guest-starred Banjo of the Banjo-Kazooie games and Conker the Squirrel of Conker's Bad Fur Day and Conker's Pocket Tales. Season 5 introduced a penalty to the team arriving last at a Pit Stop in a non-elimination leg. While still under Rare's influence, numerous spin-offs of Donkey Kong were created.

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. In nearly all of these games, Donkey Kong is usually presented as a powerful and heavy character, but slow and cumbersome. 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. He was also a selectable character in Super Smash Bros.. 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 the Mario Party series, he was a playable character in all three titles released for the N64. Racers are not told in advance which legs are non-elimination legs. Since then, he has appeared in every outing featuring Mario's all-star cast.

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. Mario Kart 64 reintroduced DK to Mario's world. 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. In Donkey Kong 64 DK once again had the starring role as he joined forces with Diddy Kong, Tiny Kong, Lanky Kong, and Chunky Kong to save Donkey Kong Island from destruction at the hand of the Kremlings. 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. A successful Nintendo 64 sequel was also developed. The second half of the leg featured a second Detour and second Roadblock. The Donkey Kong Land series for the Game Boy were smaller and slightly modified versions of the "Country" games.

The televised episode ended without a Pit Stop with a 'To Be Continued' message. In Donkey Kong Country 3 (in Japan, Super Donkey Kong 3) he and Diddy both got kidnapped, and Dixie and her cousin Kiddy Kong had to save them in the final game of the series for the SNES. Season 6 introduced the first double-length leg shown over two episodes. Rool) and getting rescued by Diddy Kong and his girlfriend Dixie Kong, in a less cheery and a more darkly-themed game. (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. Rool (now Kaptain K. 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. The official sequel, Donkey Kong Country 2 (Super Donkey Kong 2) involves Donkey being kidnapped by King K.

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). As is the case with the multiple Links and Zeldas in the Legend of Zelda series, the player really has no choice but to ignore all given stories and form their own personal conclusions as to which character is who. 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). games contradict this, calling DK the one true original. Teams normally complete all tasks and check in at the Pit Stop before they are eliminated. However, DK's biographies in the Super Smash Bros. 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). In Issue No.8 of the Nintendo Online Magazine in Nintendo's Japanese website ([1]), it is stated that the current Donkey Kong is Cranky's grandson (who is confirmed to be the original Donkey Kong in the same issue) and list Junior as a separate character.

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. Rareware released an official statement some time ago, stating that Cranky is indeed the DK of the arcades and that the current Donkey Kong is DK Jr. In Season 6, prizes were given to the winners of every leg. Arguments pointing out that Cranky and Donkey seem to be of the same size in Donkey Kong Country have been risen. 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. However, in both Super Smash Brothers titles, Kong and Mario are nearly the same height, leading to speculation that Cranky may indeed be larger than Mario, but Donkey was simply a small grandson. 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). As well, in the original arcade series, Donkey Kong is clearly far larger than Mario.

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). This is also contradicted by the in-game dialogue from Donkey Kong 64, as Cranky specifically calls DK his son. Teams depart for the next leg of the race at the time they arrived plus twelve hours. Other sources, including the manual of Donkey Kong Country1 and in-game dialogue from other games in the series, suggest that the Donkey Kong in Donkey Kong Country is Cranky's grandson and the son of Donkey Kong Junior. During the Pit Stop, teams are also interviewed to provide commentary and voice-overs for the completed leg. Some sources, such as Nintendo Power, suggest that the Donkey Kong in the Country series was the son of Cranky Kong, the original Donkey Kong from the arcade game, which would equate him with Donkey Kong Junior. 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). The game was an action sidescrolling title similar to the Mario games and was enormously popular for its graphics, music and gameplay.

Each Pit Stop is a mandatory rest period which allows teams to eat, sleep, and mingle with each other. Rool and his Kremling Krew. Pit Stops are the final destination in each leg of the race. In Donkey Kong Country, DK was the hero and he and his sidekick Diddy Kong had to save his hoard of bananas from the thieving King K.
. Severing DK's ties to the Mario world (until Mario Kart 64), Donkey Kong Country established a whole new world for DK, and became a showcase title to show off then-revolutionary 3D CGI graphics. 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. Donkey Kong Country was an entirely new DK franchise established by the British company Rareware which took the Donkey Kong premise in an entirely new direction.

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. Shortly after that, he appeared in Donkey Kong Country (in Japan, Super Donkey Kong). Also starting in Season 6, teams are warned about an upcoming Yield in the clue immediately preceding it. Donkey Kong's and Pauline's respective character designs were updated for this game (DK now wore a tie and Pauline was made into a brunette to distinguish her from Peach). Starting in Season 6, the number of Yields was reduced from one on every leg to only three in the entire race. In 1994, Nintendo produced a remake of the original game for the Game Boy (known under the informal title of "Donkey Kong '94" to disambiguate it from the original) which contained 97 new stages (most of which were puzzle-oriented) in addition to the original four from the Arcade game. However, each team may be Yielded by other teams an unlimited amount of times. Throughout the 1980s, eight Donkey Kong games were released for the Game & Watch platform.

Like the Fast Forward, each team may use only one Yield during the game, and only one team may use each Yield. In Donkey Kong 3 DK broke into a greenhouse and got chased out by Stanley the Bugman, who carried a spray can to protect his greenhouse from Donkey Kong's insects. 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. to rescue him. 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). In Donkey Kong Junior Donkey Kong was kidnapped by Mario and players had to control his son Donkey Kong Jr. 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. Donkey Kong spawned two sequels, neither of which were as popular as the original arcade hit.

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).
. The game was quite revolutionary for its time, featuring multiple, distinct levels, large colorful graphics, and a unique form of play control. Dennis and Andrew during Season 3 were eliminated. The game was also sold as a Game & Watch unit in 1982. Joe and Bill during Season 1 arrived last but were not eliminated due to a penalty to Nancy and Emily. This game was first released in the arcades, but was ported to home video game consoles and home computers. In the history of the show, two teams who earned a Fast Forward still arrived last at the Pit Stop. As the player advances through each level, the degree of difficulty increases proportionately.

A Fast Forward usually results in the team arriving at the Pit Stop first, but does not guarantee it. Each screen is a game stage, with stages grouping to form levels. Since each team may use only one Fast Forward during the whole race, they must decide when it is most advantageous to use it. In the original Donkey Kong game, the player's character, Mario (originally called Jumpman in Japan), must jump over barrels thrown by Donkey Kong while climbing ladders up a crooked construction site to reach the top of the screen to rescue his girlfriend Pauline (who was originally called Lady in Japan). 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. Snopes debunked these myths in "Donkey Wrong.". Only one team may use each Fast Forward. According to Snopes, Donkey was chosen because Miyamoto intended it "to convey a sense of stubbornness." Various urban legends have circulated, saying that the actual name was to be "Monkey Kong" but was changed by accident for the American release.

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. The name was chosen by game designer Shigeru Miyamoto as a combination of the word "Kong", since the movie King Kong had caused it 'to colloquially mean monkey' in Japan. 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. Due to the huge success of Donkey Kong, Nintendo of America was able to grow and release many more games in succeeding years, and had the resources necessary to release the Nintendo Entertainment System in the United States. In Season 1, even the first leg had a Roadblock, but it was not originally aired; it was included in the DVD release.
. This incident was selected as #20 "Universal Goes Ape" in GameSpy's The 25 Dumbest Moments in Gaming. A Roadblock is featured (although, in some episodes, not aired) in every leg except the first one. Ironically, it was MCA Universal that previously won a lawsuit declaring King Kong was in the public domain.

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. Nintendo's lawyer, Howard Lincoln, who would go on to become a Senior Vice President of the company, discovered that Universal didn't own the copyright to King Kong either, and was able to not only win the lawsuit, but got Universal to pay the legal costs. In contrast, Season 5 featured three teams that split the Roadblocks 11-1 or 10-1. If victorious, this lawsuit would have crushed Nintendo of America, and the history of videogames would have been drastically altered. 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). However, MCA Universal sued Nintendo over copyright violations, claiming that Donkey Kong was a copy of King Kong. Beginning in Season 6, each team member may only complete a maximum of six Roadblocks throughout the entire race. The gameplay itself was a large improvement over other games of its time, and with the growing base of arcades to sell to, it was able to gain huge distribution.

Once a choice has been made, the teammates cannot switch roles. It was likely the first game with a "hero", a "villain", and a "damsel in distress." Sales of the machine were brisk, with the game becoming one of the best-selling arcade machines of the early 1980s. They then must decide which team member would be best suited to complete it. The result was a major breakthrough for Nintendo and for the videogame industry. 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. Donkey Kong was created when Shigeru Miyamoto was assigned by Nintendo to convert Radar Scope, a poor selling arcade game in the U.S., into a game that would appeal more to Americans. 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 Roadblock is a task which only one team member may perform. Like many Nintendo franchises, Donkey Kong was created by Shigeru Miyamoto. Should a team choose to switch Detour tasks part-way through, there is no penalty, other than naturally lost time.
. Donkey Kong (Japanese: ドンキーコング) is a gorilla character from Nintendo that appeared in many video games since 1981. 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. Eddie the Mean Old Yeti. In later seasons, the trend has been towards Detours which offer less clear-cut choices. Inka Dinka Doo.

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. Bluster Kong. Teams must successfully complete one of the tasks described on the clue in order to receive their next clue. Wrinkly Kong. A Detour is a choice between two tasks, each with its own pros and cons. Donkey Kong Jr. 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. Mario Mario.

In addition, teams may be required to take public transportation, drive a marked car, or walk, according to the clue's instructions. Rool. For example, the very first clue of the race specifies which flights teams may take. King K. However, the clue may make specifications about how the teams have to travel. Swanky Kong. 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. Cranky Kong.

Route Info clues instruct the teams where to go next. Funky Kong.
. Kiddy Kong. Route Markers are always colored yellow and red, with the following exceptions:. Chunky Kong. 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. Tiny Kong.

Route Markers are the flags that mark the places where teams must go. Lanky Kong. One rule that was clarified in Season 7 is that teams may not beg for money at US airports. Candy Kong. This includes borrowing money from other teams, begging from locals, or selling their possessions. Dixie Kong. 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. Diddy Kong.

For more on this penalty, see Non-elimination Legs. In "Marge Be Not Proud", he tries to convince Bart to steal a video game. 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. (reference to the arcade). Starting in Season 5, there was a penalty for teams coming in last on a non-elimination leg. "Hey! He's still got it!" observes the man. Any money left over after a leg of the race can be used on subsequent legs. A man walks by, saying he's "just not a draw anymore." Kong replies by throwing him a barrel.

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. In "The Springfield Files", he appears in a local arcade. (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. Dollars regardless of the current location of the race.

This money is usually given in U.S. At the beginning of each leg of the race, each team receives an allowance of cash with their first clue. The various relationship dynamics between the team members under the stress of competition is one focus of the show. Both teammates must also arrive at each Pit Stop together in order to clock in.

If one teammate becomes injured and is unable to finish the race, the team must forfeit (for example, Marshall and Lance during Season 5). Teammates must race the entire race together; they cannot split up or continue on without each other. (Nicole actually beat Christie for the title of Miss Texas USA in 2003.[1]). Several contestants from Season 5 had previously competed against one another in the beauty pageant circuit.

For example, Kris and Jon from Season 6 were long-distance daters for only a year. However, producers have shown more leniency and changed these rules in recent installments of the race. In addition, racers from different teams could not have previous acquaintances with one another. Originally, the race required team members to have a pre-existing relationship and to have known one another for at least three years.

All contestants are at least 21 years of age, except for Season 8, which featured some children and teenagers. 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. The teams represent a wide demographic of different ages, races, sexual orientations, and personal relationships. Season 8 of the race featured teams of four, but Season 9 will return to the two-person team format.

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

For three consecutive years, (2003 to 2005), The Amazing Race was awarded the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality/Competition Program. 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. The race starts in a US city. The race resembles a treasure hunt in amateur rally racing.

The race utilizes progressive elimination similar to Survivor; the last team to arrive at a designated checkpoint leaves the game. It was created by Bertram van Munster. 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. The CBS program has been on-air since 2001 and is currently in between seasons.

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. 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. 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. Season 7 featured a gnome-hunting challenge, with the gnome featured being a Travelocity Roaming Gnome.

Excessive product placement, particularly in recent seasons. 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!". Seeing parents yell at their children in exotic New Jersey? Not so fun." [6]. 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.

The expanded cast also made it more difficult to develop individual story lines. The main issues were the lack of international travel and watered down challenges tailored to families. Fans, critics, and racers were lukewarm over the format changes implemented in the family edition. 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.

Recent betting scandals. 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. The second is that it is embarrassing to see Americans beg from people of Third World countries. One, is that the penalty is not sufficiently harsh enough.

The implementation of the non-elimination penalty is generally criticized by fans basically into two camps. The one other reality series that possesses this trait is The Mole. 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. 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.

Repetition of tasks in different seasons. Recent seasons have emphasized gross-out extreme eating contests reminiscent of Fear Factor, rather than focusing on the cultural aspect of the challenge. Design of challenges, especially food competitions. What had been clues are now more like simple directions in many cases; they remain more challenging in the final legs.

In recent seasons, there have been few actual clues for teams to decipher. For example, in Season 1 the majority of Route Markers contained clues about the next location, not specifically stating the location itself. The watering down of the clues in subsequent seasons. For example, Dennis and Erika (Season 5) had known previous racers John Vito and Jill (Season 3) for many years.[5].

In fact, many teams had connections to the producers or past contestants, trivializing the standard application process. 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). The stunt casting of teams where producers have tended to cast models, actors, and more recently past reality show stars. The confrontational, and sometimes abusive behaviour presented by certain players, most notably Jonathan (Season 6) and Colin (Season 5).

Nevertheless, bunching teams also adds to the unending suspense that many feel some of the earlier seasons lacked. 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. 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. (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.

In season 8 the mats were yellow with a black and white border. Beginning in Season 4, they would feature an ornately decorated world map. In Season 2 and Season 3, they were black with a yellow border. In Season 1, check-in mats for pit stops were representative of local cultures.

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. 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. In doing so, the final destinations still remain a secret. 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.

Teams need to receive travel visas ahead of time for the countries that they will be visiting. The opening credits feature scenes and locations from past and current seasons of the race. Even after the race has aired, however, the amount is still required to remain confidential. Teams receive monetary compensation for the time away from their jobs back home.

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. Host Phil Keoghan is known to take the same flight as the teams on various legs of the race. The camera and sound crews rotate teams after each leg. [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.

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. On the program, teams are only shown requesting two tickets, so that they don't break the fourth wall. When purchasing tickets, teams must also buy them for their camera crew. Each team is accompanied by a cameraman and soundperson throughout the race.

The exact conditions that determine whether or not a time credit is awarded are unknown. However, in Season 8, two teams were stopped because of drained batteries and did not receive time credits. In early seasons, several teams were awarded time credits because of such difficulties. Sometimes, teams are delayed by production difficulties.

(See The Amazing Race 2 Trivia). However, no time credit is given for their wait in this unlucky situation. If a team's vehicle breaks down through no fault of their own, they may request a replacement vehicle without receiving a time penalty. Through lucky guessing and help from other teams, they were able to reach the Pit Stop, but were assessed a 1-hour penalty.

One exception to this was during Season 1, when Dave & Margaretta missed the cluebox at the base of the Eiffel Tower. 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. As no other team has quit a Detour since then, it is unknown whether that larger penalty still exists. In Season 1, Nancy and Emily voluntarily quit a Detour and received an even larger penalty: 24 hours.

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 6, Hayden and Aaron quit a Roadblock and received a 4-hour penalty. There is a larger penalty for quitting a task voluntarily. If a clue specifies a maximum speed, a team that exceeds that speed receives a penalty (Gary and Dave, Chris and Alex, Season 2).

Speeding. Driving away in another team's car (Don and Mary Jean, Season 6). Taking more than one clue from the clue box (Freddy and Kendra, Season 6). Taking a shortcut when the clue specifies that a marked course must be followed (Andre & Damon, Season 3).

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). Using a prohibited form of transportation. This penalty is known to apply in the following cases:

    . The standard penalty for minor rule infractions is 30 minutes plus the time advantage gained (if any) by disobeying the rule.

    Teams may be forced to submit their backpacks and possessions to searches by production staff at any time. For filming purposes, team members are generally required to stay within 20 feet of each other, unless one person is performing a Roadblock. This results in the sometimes cantankerous attitude of some contestants, such as Ian (Season 3) who quit smoking just prior to the race. Racers are prohibited from smoking during the race.

    (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. When stated, teams may not help other teams in challenges. Teams could talk on the phone as long as they wanted, but had to end the call before getting in their cars."). 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 were offered a cellular phone after completing a detour. (One exception to this rule occurred in Season 3. However, teams are allowed to stay in contact with and receive help from people they meet during the race, such as travel agents. Teams are not allowed contact with known friends, family, and personal acquaintances during the race.

    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 must purchase economy class tickets for airfare. Season 8's Route Markers were colored yellow, white, and black. 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).

    The current colors were adopted in subsequent seasons so that the teams would have an easier time spotting them. The original Route Markers used in Season 1 were colored yellow and white.

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