In all honesty, I wasn't looking forward to this week's episode of The Amazing Race. The show was coming off a premiere that embraced a lot of what has made the last few seasons less enjoyable and if things hadn't improved in the 19th season premiere, this season was already shot, right?
"The Sprint of Our Life" was a noticeable rebound over "Kindness of Strangers" in pretty much every way. It may not have been a truly perfect episode of The Amazing Race, but there was enough of a balance between the dizzying twists, intriguing team dynamics, and good ol' fashioned competition that made it a highly entertaining watch, at least for me.
The main thing I was excited to see was that the challenges had improved. The spelunking could have been better had the teams been forced to actively search for the mask/dagger instead of having 11 sets in a row, but the genuinely awesome visuals and the gigantic bamboo ladder were enough to keep me satisfied. It felt like something worthy of The Amazing Race; it could have been more strenuous, but it's early and if the show uses stuff like this to build to bigger and better events, I'm more than happy to have it. The detours both required a certain amount of strategy (which cars to ask for money, where to position yourself to get motorbikes) and a certain amount of luck (different sized donations per car, flow of traffic) and each took a pretty decent amount of time to complete. The challenges on the race that I prefer are involved enough to where no team can just charge right through it and still allow separation based on good/bad performances, and considering the amount of movement we saw tonight, they were all effective. Read More...