As we watched the season finale of “The Amazing Race” last night, Martha and I were sad to think that — after 32 seasons and 373 episodes since its debut in 2001 — it’s unlikely we’ll ever see the show again.
After all, the season that just ended was shot in 2018 and held by CBS for two years, with no announcement of renewal or a schedule for shooting another one. Moreover, host Phil Keoghan has moved on to another reality show he’s hosting and producing, “Tough As Nails,” which did well enough in its first run earlier this year to be picked up for another season, which debuts in February.
It’s too bad, because we loved almost everything about “The Amazing Race” (except the editing that had the contestants recapping the basics of each task multiple times on camera). Other than that, we played along as if we were experiencing the game firsthand, which made it even more bittersweet to watch this final edition while being unable to travel anywhere ourselves due to the coronavirus.
From the beginning, the key to the show was not the race-around-the-world, but the relationships between team members. In the vast majority of instances, the partners who knew each other best and thus communicated well came out ahead, while those that argued and blamed each other — or didn’t read the entire clue for a challenge — usually fell behind and ended up on the sidelines as the winners crossed the finish line.
Regular readers of this site know that Keoghan was one of the most frequent guests on my old radio shows. He got a kick out of my enthusiasm for “The Amazing Race,” and I appreciated his generosity and openness in discussing the process behind the scenes, as well as some of his other projects. I still have many of my conversations with him in these archives for you to listen to.
On last night’s finale, Keoghan marked a milestone for “The Amazing Race,” announcing it had passed a million miles of travel over the years. That is something creators Elise Doganieri and Bertram van Munster should be proud of, along with a slew of Emmy Awards and lots of entertainment for us and many other fans.