I’ve just finished watching reruns of the first two episodes of the first installment of the Amazing Race and have been struck at how raw the series looked in its first installment. I started watching the race in its third installment and kinks from the first season had been worked out by that time.

The first two episodes were filled with a lot of emotion. There were no less than four different team breakdowns. Tears were flowing everywhere with teams succumbing to the pressures of the race. These were the first victims after all–they didn’t know what to expect. They didn’t have the advantage of having seen the show before submitting their applications.

There were a lot of things that were different in the first season. The route markers were yellow and white, not the familiar yellow and red that they were later changed to. There was a Fast Forward on every leg, this was later changed to only three per race. Another funny difference was that the Pit Stop mats were made of plastic, this made them really slippery in the rain and one of the teams fell hard in Paris. It was comedy.

The biggest departure of all from the first season was that Phil Keoghan, the host of the show, did not greet all the teams as they came onto the Pit Stop mat, only the last place teams. It’s much more dramatic now, with Phil standing next to the mat with a blank expression before telling the team their standing.

It’s great to be able to see the first two seasons that I missed before becoming a fan of the show. I can’t wait to see the rest of the shows.

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