"The Amazing Race" has a new twist. In addition to U-turns, Road Blocks, Speed Bumps, Non-Elimination Legs and Express Passes, Season 19 has added the Hazard. The team that finished last in the first task of Episode 1 received a Hazard, which was an additional task they had to complete during that leg of the race. But with so many twists and turns and ins and outs, some might say "The Amazing Race" has now become more dependent on luck than skill or strategy. If the scale does tip in the direction of luck, how will that affect the popularity of the game?
Recently winning its eighth Emmy for best competition reality show, there can be no question of "The Amazing Race's" popularity. It is also no surprise that they continue to change things up from season to season to keep the competition interesting and their viewers engaged. But if the race's outcome becomes more heavily dependent on luck, the show may run the risk of losing viewership. And that's no small risk for such a successful, award-winning show. You have to wonder then, how will they make it all work?
Just like in seasons past, Season 19 has an impressive mix of teams that showcases a representative cross-section of contemporary America. From grandparents to Olympic athletes to identical twins, the teams are as diverse as they are interesting. Episode 1 took the competitors to Taipei, Taiwan, where the newly debuted Hazard was bestowed upon a team of former Vegas show girls. They persevered, however, finishing ninth in the first leg of the season, and perhaps indicating that luck isn't so important after all.In addition to the Hazard, "The Amazing Race" host, New Zealand-born Phil Keoghan, announced at the end of Season 19, Episode 1, that for the first time ever, the second leg of Season 19 would include a double elimination, where the final two teams to complete that leg would be eliminated from the race. Two big game changers in the first episode of this new season certainly have viewers wondering what might be next. But in a game where it's possible for complete strangers to find a racer's lost passport, Tweet to locate its owner, and then successfully return it on a wing and a prayer resulting in no significant disadvantage to the team that lost it, anything is possible.
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