Amazing Race: Asia

Is anybody watching this? I started watching part of the first episode, but it just seemed like a budget version of the American show. The new host is no Phil.

I will watch it if you tell me the contestants are all members of the band Asia and their families. Otherwise, you’re out of luck. Don’t lie, either.

Got to admit…Phil is probably one of the best reality TV hosts out there.

As an Amazing Racist, I’ve been watching this since Episode 1. It’s better than I thought it would be, but the last few episodes have been marred by some very poorly designed routes challenges. Having the racers dig up an Indonesian beach for 4-6 hours to find a tiny souvenir was bad. Vaguely wording a clue so that half the teams ended up combing an entire island in New Zealand was ridiculous.

And Allan Wu is a robot with less personality than one of Phil’s eyebrows. “You are… Team number… … … … ONE!”

Hopefully, All-Stars will make up for the disappointment that was AR10.

There probably won’t be many people that agree with me, but my favorite reality TV show host of all time was Anderson Cooper on the Mole. He had a lot of fun just goofing off with the contestants. I can remember one time where one of the contestants took a case full of money but had to leave the show. Everyone was thinking that there wouldn’t be anyone voted off that week, but Anderson said serious as ever, “Okay, now we’ll take the test to determine who is kicked off.” The players were all scared, but then Anderson broke into a silly dance and said “just kidding.”

I do love to hate the way Jeff Probst injects himself into Survivor. It works really well in tribal council, because it forces people to fess up, but I’m not a big fan during challenges. “Adam is doing it wrong!” “Looks like Yul has figured it out.” And all kinds of other hints for the other contestants to pick up on.

As for Phil, I really like him because you don’t really notice he’s there 95% of the time. The other 5% you really pay attention to him, because he’s usually so reserved. Like when he scolded Jonathan for beating on Victoria, or cracks a big smile for the dopey team that no one believes in finishing in first or not getting eliminated.

And then there’s Julie Chen, who is unintentionally funny. She definetly deserves the nickname “Chen-bot.” I’m not completely sure why anyone who wants to be a serious newscaster would still be doing a reality TV show 7 years later. Especially one who seems so emotionless about it. Does anyone else wonder what the deal is with her hair? It’s like 5x the size of her head.

I was also a huge fan of The Mole and Anderson Cooper was definitely great as a host.

My son and I were late converts to the Amazing Race and Phil’s subtlety would crack us up when we first started watching. The first season we watched some team got very exuberant and hugged Phil who responded with a cocked eyebrow.

What’s all this about Amazing Racing in Asia? Is this on another channel or CBS? Should I be concerned that they didn’t show highlights from the next season of the Amazing Race? I thought the latest season was good but then, Dustin reminded me of an ex-girlfriend so I had a soft-spot for the beauty queens.

Amazing Race Asia was created by AXN, a channel owned by Sony Pictures, with the blessings of CBS, Bertram van Munster, and ‘The Bruck’ himself. I think they’re starting to franchise the series to other regions.

Format is identical to the real Race, except all the contestants are from Asia or Australia, and all the destinations are limited to the same (so far). The big prize is reduced to USD100,000.

The real Amazing Race continues with an All-Star season next year, featuring the beloved Rob and Amber, amongst other luminaries. Dustin and Kandace also return, so that should take care of your soft spot, Rightbug.