Wednesday, December 09, 2009

#779 - The Amazing Race 15

note : this entry will only be written in English :-)

Last week, the fifteenth season of The Amazing Race was concluded. In the end, after twelve legs, Meghan & Cheyne won the race. Well, this is not really surprising because they had been domination this season with four streak victories in the last four legs along with two other victories.

Apparently, some guesses I made this time were correct. I was correct in predicting Meghan & Cheyne to be the strongest team this season. I was also correct predicting Mika & Canaan would last long till the end. Well, they survived pretty long tho. Plus, three of the teams I liked at that time made it to the top three!! Wow!! That one factor makes this season to be one of the best :-)

::: Meghan & Cheyne

Overall, I think season 15 was one of the strongest seasons of all. The competition was pretty furious and the castings were really strong. The diversity of the contestants was really interesting. However, it doesn't mean this season is perfect. In fact, I feel there were several downsides made by the producer.

The first downside was the two new twists. I don't think both twists were interesting to watch nor effective. "Early Elimination" was a "stupid" twist in my opinion. It only brought early tension in the first 15 minutes but after that there was barely any effect left. It would not bring any spice further on the rest of the race. By doing that, in fact, they just rose their production cost by having to pay for all the accommodations (and cost) for that one "extra" team, while they only filmed exactly the same amount of episodes (and legs) as other previous seasons. The extra cost is okay if it brings more "profit" to the show itself, but I don't think there is any good side of it aside from the tense 15 first minutes of the race. After that, people would not even care about this early elimination or the eliminated team. The twist was also "bad" for the eliminated team, in this case Eric & Lisa. They finally beat all other thousands applicants to be on TAR, one of the greatest TV shows ever, but they didn't even leave the US and only survived the first 15 minutes of the leg. How suck is that? The second twist was the "Switchback". It was actually ONLY a roadblock but it had been done before in one previous season (season 6). Hello?? Okay, it was a tough roadblock, but so what??

The second downside, which makes the first one look even worse, is the elimination of YIELD/U-TURN. I personally think Yield and U-Turn are the best twists in TAR(A). It is so interesting to see how team decides to or not to yield/u-turn other team and how the yielded/u-turned team copes with that. It reflects their strategy and personality. This twist also stimulates (or triggers) further conflict(s) between teams, and conflict is money for a show, right? It makes the show much more interesting to watch. This mistake even makes the first one worse because it seems that the producer traded yield/u-turned for early elimination/switchback, which IMO are not great twists.

The third downside was the lame final task. The season finale was so cool and great up to the poker chips task. However, after that they had to meet Mr. Vegas, and after that, finish line. Well, for me, one great task TAR had on their several previous final legs was the "review" task, where team had to complete task which involved all the journey they had travelled. Eliminating this task, for me, was a bad decision :-(

The other downside, not a major one and it was out of the producer's hand to control, was the domination of Meghan & Cheyne. Well, don't get me wrong, they are my most favorite team this season, I like this team so much. However, watching a team dominates a season so much is kinda boring :-) This is like what happened at TARA 2 and TAR 13 where Mark & Rovilson and Nick & Starr dominated the seasons, respectively.

::: Meghan & Cheyne won season 15 of TAR.

Anyway, aside from those weaknesses I thinkl, I think season 15 had been a great season. This season was helped by the great castings of teams, that's really important to make people enjoy the show no matter what weaknesses appear. I personally still think this season was one of the best season ever even though had those weaknesses not appeared, it would have been even more perfect :-)

::: A great casting of season 15 which helped this season to overcome the weaknesses.

Finally, kudos to the producer!! Hopefully they will make an even better season 16 (I heard they have started filming season 16)!! Long live TAR!! :-) And yeah, congratulations to Meghan & Cheyne, the most competitive team this season and my most fave team!! Note : I also love the other two teams in the top three :-)

ps : all photos taken from the official website, link above

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