Sure, there should have been more diversity on the show - not only is there no First Nation person but no team from Canada's Maritime provinces - but I'm still very excited to see how the show progresses. I'm really hoping that the producers will make up their lack of diverse teams by showing the diverse landscape and cultures of Canada. We live in an amazing country, us Canadians, but I know there were some who were annoyed that Amazing Race Canada was going to stay within the boundaries of our home and native land.
First, let's look at the logistics of that. Compared to scripted shows, reality shows are much cheaper to produce. But The Amazing Race format is known to be one of the most expensive reality shows to produce, especially the US one. I've read that every season of TAR needs to hire over 2,000 production workers, most of them from various countries they visit. And don't forget all those flight costs to fly everyone, not just the teams, but Phil and the production team, around the world. But the US version averages around 10-11 million viewers in key demographics that advertisers like. And they are able to sell their versions of the show to Amazing Race-mad countries like Canada, Australia and the UK (which is one reason I suggested an Amazing Race Commonwealth). So they have the possibility of making back some of that production money.
The Amazing Race Canada doesn't have that luxury. Sure, it will be have huge Canadian ratings and they've already booked in some great sponsors. But they probably won't sell this version to another country. Also, look at the Amazing Race Australia. That show was quite popular in Australia and like the US version, travelled to other spots in the world, even to Canada in Season 2. But there is great doubt that there will be a Season 3 of Amazing Race Australia. Mostly because of the costs of production. So if we want to see more seasons of ARC, they need to keep the costs down. Which is one reason why it's only going to be run in Canada.
But Canada is the second largest country in the world. I've travelled a lot through Canada as a writer and a musician, and for personal reasons. But there is so much of the country that I haven't seen. I've never been to the Maritimes (shocking, I know but I plan to make up for that next summer with a family trip) and the farthest north I've been is Yellowknife. So there are so many great spots in this country, many of them undiscovered, that the producers should have no problem keeping things interesting for many seasons of the ARC. And unlike the terrible US Family Version (officially Season 8), you probably won't see a lot of driving in campers. We don't have the highway system that the US has, and to get to many places, you have to fly, either via airlines or charter flights.
And besides, the Amazing Race is a great reality show format not just because of the places it visits. On the Amazing Race, you aren't voted off by other competitors or a group of judges. How a team fares on the race pretty much has to do with how they function and react to the race itself. A huge part of the success of the Amazing Race has to do with the teams. While I've been a bit hard on the team selection, mostly on the diversity part, I'll admit that I've superficially judged the teams. And superficially, they are a bunch of good looking folks. But when July 15th comes along, I'll be one of the couple million of Canadians watching the show. I'll have my favourites and I'll think that I could have done better, just like the way I do with all the other Amazing Race format's I've seen. The difference is that it's in Canada and all the teams are Canadians. Pretty cool, if you ask me.
And I'll write all about that. So I'll see you all at the starting line on July 15th.