Tuesday, 31 May 2011
The Amazing Race Australia
The Amazing Race reality-TV show has been broadcast worldwide, but the cast has always been limited to US citizens. I don't make the rules, but I presume that this was done both because the producers think that US viewers would prefer to watch fellow Americans, and to minimize the complications of having some cast members (based on their citizenship) need visas for certain countries, while others don't.
Reaction to this "no foreigners need apply" policy in other countries has been mixed. In Canada, "The Amazing Race" has gotten a larger share of total television viewership in its time slot than in the USA. Canadians are willing to watch US travelers, but think they could do better: Read the comments in my article on How to apply for The Amazing Race for a taste of the widespread frustration by Canadian would-be racers at their exclusion from the race. In Australia, on the other hand, the show has done poorly on TV: Australians just are sufficiently confident of the superiority of their travel skills not to be interested in watching inept, inexperienced, US travellers.
Now the Aussies are finally getting their own chance, with the launch of the first season of The Amazing Race Australia on the Seven Network.
The concept of "The Amazing Race" has been licensed to local producers in other parts of the world for The Amazing Race Asia (AXN), The Amazing Race Latinoamerica (Discovery Channel Latinoamerica), and "The Amazing Race: A Corrida Milionaria" (RedeTV! Brazil). However, these have been limited not only to citizens or residents of these countries or regions, but to travel within their own countries or regions.
Only HaMerotz LaMillion (Reshet Israel) has actually travelled around the world. But it's only broadcast in Hebrew, and I haven't seen it. (If anyone knows where to find all or part of "HaMerotz LaMillion" dubbed or subtitled in English or French, please let me know. Given the prominence of Israelis as a subculture of international backpackers, I'm very curious.)
The Amazing Race Australia is thus the first chance for English speakers to see a full-on around-the-world reality-TV race by other than U.S. citizens, and to get an extra fix of "The Amazing Race" between seasons of the U.S. version.
The official Seven Network site won't stream ""The Amazing Race Australia" if it thinks your IP address is in the USA, so I won't be writing regular columns about it. But I've been able to see the first few episodes, and I highly recommend it to Amazing Race fans and world travellers. It's worth the extra effort and potentially lo-fi video to find a way to watch it.Link | Posted by Edward on Tuesday, 31 May 2011, 19:12 ( 7:12 PM)