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Amazing Race season 30

This just started tonight, and took me by surprise - I hadn't seen any previews, just happened to notice it while browsing the channel listings. Looks like an interesting collection of teams, all "competitive" in different ways: sports, music, competitive eating... (The show used to have "eat a whole bunch of weird stuff" events, but stopped doing that - to my relief, and probably that of the contestants. I wonder if they'll bring it back now that there's a pro team?)

The first leg was from Manhattan to Iceland, so I'm enjoying the scenery. Too early to have any favorite or most-hated teams yet...

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This just started tonight, and took me by surprise - I hadn't seen any previews, just happened to notice it while browsing the channel listings. Looks like an interesting collection of teams, all "competitive" in different ways: sports, music, competitive eating... (The show used to have "eat a whole bunch of weird stuff" events, but stopped doing that - to my relief, and probably that of the contestants. I wonder if they'll bring it back now that there's a pro team?)

The first leg was from Manhattan to Iceland, so I'm enjoying the scenery. Too early to have any favorite or most-hated teams yet...
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I knew it was coming on, and I'm such a big fan of TAR. So far, I liked it. Iceland was beautiful.
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Thirty??? They've done thirty of these things???
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Thirty??? They've done thirty of these things???


I know, right? I'd lost count, myself, but apparently it's true. I do know that since the series began they've sometimes done two or even three series in a single year, so it does add up.

I really liked the Iceland episode, for the scenery and for the strength-test segment (people hauling cars, tossing rocks, etc. - I watch the World's Strongest Man competition yearly just for this kind of thing) and for the lovely chorus. (Not so keen on the two favorite drinks, one of which was - really? - cod liver oil; drinking a shot-glass full could have really uncomfortable aftereffects!)

I wondered how I'd have done on the find-the-letters challenge. Would I have noticed the what-order-the-letters-go-in clues? Would I have noticed the difference between the o-with-an-accent and the o-without? I *think* so, but I imagine it's a lot different when you're on the spot than when watching from the comfort of home.

The final race-to-the-mat, complete with waiting out the penalty, was nicely suspenseful, though I'm always sad to see one poor team go home on the very first leg.

Tentative favorite team so far: Trevor and Chris, two of four guys in a classical/pop string quartet called "Well Strung" {snerk}. Tentative least-favorite - whichever pair it was that started squabbling before they'd even hit the first challenge. I know they probably cast some annoying teams on purpose, to add interest/conflict/click-bait, but it still bugs me.
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Another episode airing now - in Belgium, with some lovely scenes and interesting challenges. (The printing-press one was my favorite; they had to set type to match a pattern, which was tough for the folks who can't read things upside down and backwards {wry grin}.)

And there's one new challenge, that I... don't like very much: it's an elimination race, where the losing team has to race the next comer and so forth, and the last team to lose gets eliminated. It's a moderately taxing race physically, so the short-and-slight team that got there first has been losing each race and getting more exhausted with each try, making for a rather brutal scene. (The fact that they're racing in bag-of-French-fries costumes makes it both cheesier and more unpleasant. I don't know if they thought it'd be quirky and funny when they set it up, but it's not all that much fun to watch.)
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(The printing-press one was my favorite; they had to set type to match a pattern, which was tough for the folks who can't read things upside down and backwards {wry grin}.)


I'll have to see if I can find a clip of that! We own five antique printing presses!

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A double episode tonight, in France - lots of fun with medieval weaponry and misread clues, but they had another of those head-to-head contests which make the arrival order meaningless. I am *not* a fan. I didn't care for the U-turn concept when it came in, and I still don't love it - the challenges are tough enough without pitting the contestants against each other that way, but this head-to-head thing is just irksome.

But, as usual, the show makes me want to travel, so there's that! Though I'd prefer to travel at my own pace, without having to run madly up and down narrow staircases, or get horribly lost without having the option to just relax and enjoy a nice meal at the nearest cafe {wry grin}.
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They're in Prague in this leg, a beautiful city - and there are beer-halls! Yay! But among the challenges is a Kafka-esque one involving a huge room full of ringing telephones, which they have to answer and listen for clue-words. The cacophony of the Room of Rings was bad enough, but I really, really hate telephones at the best of times and having to try and hear the eight clue-words, remember them, and assemble them into the final clue would strike me as pretty much impossible. (I could probably cope with the noise better in my youth, but I never did like phones!)

One of the other challenges was probably a nightmare for lots of people - having to listen to an astronomical lecture, no note-taking allowed, and then having to take an oral exam. That one I probably could have done well on, though it's still not as amusing-sounding as the haul-beer-kegs-to-a-spa one, but what can you do?
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So far I like it. The ringing phones would drive me crazy, but it was fun to watch.

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