Amazing Race withdrawl: A way to while away some time while you cope

As a friend of mine and I were making plans for next Sunday night, she said, “And, you’ll get home in time for Amazing Race.”

“Oh, no. That’s over. The laid back team won. I wrote the last recap,” I said. This conversation reminded me a bit of the end of the movie The Truman Show when Truman (Jim Carey) decided he didn’t want to remain on TV nationwide and flew the coop. The channel went to fuzz and once the TV land audience got over cheering him out of their TV screen, they changed the channel. Next Sunday night a friend of mine is giving a poetry reading and I’m glad I’m not wrestling with a conflict. (Yes, yes, I know there’s such a thing as TiVo, but basic, basic cable has already created havoc and mayhem in my family’s life. We are TiVoing NOTHING)

Still, when people are in our living rooms for weeks on end, it’s odd to not have them there anymore. Here’s a way to bring them back just a little. Besides, if you felt that the teams whizzed through certain parts of the countries they visited and you wanted more–particularly a landmark they visited, it’s attainable. I discovered the Amazing Race 12 videos on the Amazing Race Web site the night Survivor China took its place and found myself clicking on one after another. Maybe I needed to clean house or something and this was a dodge, but they are informative and entertaining.

One thing I found out is that when the teams are eliminated they don’t go home to pine away. In this season, those who pooped out early spent two weeks or so in Portugal at a villa having a fine time bonding with each other and taking in the scenery. There’s one video, “Racers Going Out on the Town” where everyone took in a winery and a bicycle ride. For losers, that sure isn’t shabby. Kynt and Vyxsin didn’t get eliminated quickly enough to make it to Portugal. Either did Nate and Jennifer. So, if you’re going to get eliminated early in this game, don’t despair. You may spend some time in paradise.

Also, there are videos that show some down time when the team members still in the race could enjoy the country they were in, such as the dip in the Adriatic Sea in Croatia before the leg to Italy. Those videos are under Web Clips. Each episode has several videos. These are the behind the scenes stories–the stuff that was edited out.

The videos from Phil’s Diary give more insight into each country’s culture and particular sites, such as the pit stops. Phil’s an engaging guy so it’s clear why he has a traveler’s dream job of a lifetime. Also, these are great for anyone interested in how shows are put together. So if you’re feeling as if you need a bit more of Amazing Race 12, turn up your speaker volume and enjoy. None of the videos aren’t long, all around five minutes.

If you wondered if Nate and Jen just couldn’t stand each other, think again. In the Elimination Station video, “The Great White North” she’s sitting on his lap. For a look at what happened at the finish from the other racers perspective, check out Reunited. You’ll see Don cry, hear about Ron crying and then feel like smacking a couple of the racers upside the head. If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “I could have been a contender!” you’ll know what I mean.

From my perspective, these guys all made it onto a reality television show, they are celebrities in their town, they were lifted out of the day to day lives that most of us lead figuring out how to find a travel bargain so we may get a neat vacation once in awhile, and they had the chance to bond with people they would have never met otherwise. Big deal that they didn’t win a million dollars. It’s poor form to whine. But, then again, it’s probably natural to do the shoulda, coulda, woulda kvetching for a little while, particularly when someone has a camera in your face and prompting, I can imagine, “So, how do you feel that you didn’t win a million dollars?”