The Things We Do for Love (and Money)

 In Entertainment, Television

If you’ve ever traveled internationally with your spouse, then you know that the Beatles got it wrong when they sang “all you need is love.” Love is nice, but a translator is better. International travel is stressful. Navigating new metro systems and adapting to foreign customs can be a lot to deal with for any couple, which is why I’ve always thought it was a mistake for couples to compete together on The Amazing Race. It’s hard enough deciding who gets to control the remote, or whose family to visit during the holidays. I can’t even imagine arguing over who has to search for clues in a temple famous for its rats, or deciding who has to drink a goblet full of pig’s blood. (Note to my husband: not it!)

Now in its 26th season, The Amazing Race has decided to up the ante, and it’s going to be bonkers. For the first time, the show’s producers “will be matching up ten singles on the most extreme blind dates ever.” Skateboarding, cliff jumping, skydiving—these are activities that should be extreme (a first date on the other hand, not so much). Blind dates are dubious enough; now these poor people will be trapped with their blind dates for up to 25 days as they travel around the world looking for clues and ingesting items suitable for a Fear Factor challenge. (Is getting a boyfriend really worth all that?) If established couples struggle to keep their relationships in tact while vying for the prize, I can only imagine that the newly formed couples will look less like successful matches on Love Connection and more like that couple from The War of the Roses.

In the season trailer, a cheerful blonde proclaims, “I could win a million dollars and also find the man of my dreams.” I doubt it, on both accounts, but I admire her optimism. Maybe I’m wrong—in fact, I hope I am. I love a love story, and meeting on The Amazing Race as part of some crazy dating experiment would make an awesome start to a love story. It also wouldn’t be the first time people found love on reality TV. After all, according to Wikipedia, Pam and Judd from The Real World: San Francisco are still going strong. If this season of The Amazing Race has piqued your interest, as it has mine, tune in to the season premiere tonight at 9:30 ET/8:30 CT on CBS.

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