One Small Step for Drinking Games...
Honestly, you can't get better drinking game fodder than reality television. The same things happen in each episode. The pacing is off-the-charts fast, the characters border on cartoonish levels of excitement, and generally the shows get insanely complicated and filled with rules. The Amazing Race is no exception, but even someone with THE lowest opinion of reality TV can appreciate the show for its adventurous bent and exotic locales. It brings out the wayward traveller in all of us.
The show's been running for over ten years, so you've got a lot of catching up to do. Drink hearty, friends, we're going overseas.
"The Amazing Drinks": The Rules
If you have money to burn, maybe stock a bunch of exotic liquor and pick something depending on what part of the world the episode centers around...like sake for Japan, vodka for Russia...
Yeah...that'd be the dream, wouldn't it?
1. Drink for Title Drops. That's every time someone says "The Amazing Race"
2. Drink for Daddy Issues. Sometimes father-son or father-daughter teams will enter the race. That shit gets FUN.
3. Drink when they drink.
4. Drink when you see a team change modes of transportation. That's from walking to driving to walking again, to bus, to cab, to walking...
5. Drink when someone flies into a fit of rage.
All of the above rules apply. Also...
1. Drink the first time a team reaches a detour.
2. Drink the first time a team reaches a roadblock.
3. Drink when the race contains a yield. Drink again if the yield is used.
4. Title Drops: Drink every time someone says the word "Race"
5. Drink twice if a team is not eliminated from the race at the end of the leg.
All of the above rules apply. Also...
1. Drink when the episode contains a fast-forward. Drink again for every team that decides to go after the fast-forward. Drink twice if someone finds and uses the fast-forward.
2. Drink whenever someone faces a fear.
3. Drink every time a team gets lost.
Levi and Champjagne Austgin: Totally entering the race next season (Medium and Hard Mode).
It's a race around the world, with a busted liver as the prize. Who will win?
Like most reality television shows, the Race puts a lot of emphasis on story and "character development" when it comes to choosing its contestants. They like to have clear good guys and clear villains in every season. Never mind the fact that in later seasons teams rarely meet up, because unlike most reality TV it's not about creating a bubbling melting pot. It's about corralling two dozen horses of all different colors.
Teams often look the same year to year. There'll be Team Pretty...
Oh My God, Bopper and Mark
Two best friends from Manchester, Kentucky, they began their leg of the race in Season 20 episode 5 in last place. We quickly saw that they were far from daunted by their position. In fact, they just seemed jazzed that they were going to Austria.
Later, when all of the teams hit their detour of the leg (drink!), Bopper and Mark chose to build a gingerbread house in the snow, which took the form of a somewhat complicated puzzle. While other bitches moaned and plodded through the task, Bopper and Mark had a blast decorating and pretending to be witches like the one overseeing their efforts.
"They must have the best Halloween," said Daku.
What's great about teams like Bopper and Mark is that they make the show fun for everybody. There's a certain pleasure gained from making fun of a terrifically bad pair of people, or judging the bad decisions made by less skilled players, but there's something even better about watching two genuinely good guys inch closer to a cash prize simply by enjoying the ride.
Sadly, Bopper and Mark did not win the million dollar prize. But now they've been to Austria, among other countries, and man, that's more than I've done. They made the race seem fun. Which, trust me, is a feat and a half.
Let's Talk Strategy
There's all sorts of ways this can happen. You can get stuck on a challenge for so long that the host has to come find you. You can misunderstand a key piece of information and end up backtracking. Your car can break down, as was the case for one unfortunate team in Season 3. But honestly, the easiest way to fall behind in the race is by getting lost.
Before you enroll for The Amazing Race, make sure at least one of your team members can read a map or speak at least three languages, because you aren't allowed GPS or a phone. You are at the mercy of road signs and locals of whatever country you're visiting, and they aren't always too willing to help you. Especially if you ask them directions in Spanish when their native language is clearly French.
Andre and Damon wandered around trying to find a ride back, but nobody would talk to them. Eventually, they got picked up by the police, arrested and forceably detained at the nearest embassy because they could not provide an adequate reason for being there. Sorting out the whole thing took hours, and the camera crew was forced to stop filming.
Because the team behind them was so far away that the extra few hours didn't help any.
Don't. Fall. Behind.
"Oh My God, They're the Gayest."
Levi was the main perpetrator of this game, but I joined in on the fun. Maybe it's just the booze talking, but some of these teams labeled "best friends" looked a little closer than that. Maybe the ladies were a LITTLE too athletic, or the guys were a LITTLE too friendly. We even weaved a tale for Bopper and Mark involving them hiding their interracial, gay love from their small-minded Kentuckian town, fleeing into the European countryside to be together.
All that being said, it's easy to see why we'd start to suspect that the show was hiding stuff about the contestents from us.
"As a gay man whose father is also gay..." Mike began.
We didn't hear the rest. Levi's jaw dropped. It was as if he'd walked in on his own surprise party.
So now we know. The Amazing Race is not actively hiding the sexualities of their cast members. Although, the jury's still out on those bros from season 20.
"Don't Let a Cheese Get Me"
Everything about this challenge is priceless. The cheese carriers keep breaking, the cheese bounces and rolls down the hill, the contestants race after the cheese or scoot on their butts down the hill with the cheese in their laps. And all the while, the Swedish locals are watching them and laughing their asses off at their misfortune.
And watching it while four drinks into this game? Forget about it. We were in stitches.
Drink every time someone says something legitimately stupid.
There are "dumb" teams on the race every year, and I'm pretty sure the producers tell them to play up the stupid for ratings. Or maybe I just want to hope so because I don't want to believe that anyone real could say some things we heard playing this game.
Drink whenever something gets bleeped out.
It's rough out there on the racetrack, and sometimes the contestants just can't keep it together. This is more versatile than the "flying into a rage" rule because they don't necessarily have to be angry to get censored.
And for you extra bold players...
Drink every time a team leaves or arrives at a pit stop.
Depending on where in the season you are, this will hike up your drink total PLENTY. And you can celebrate whenever a team you like finishes the leg!
And so, with the Amazing Race, we have reached the conclusion of our Summer Road Trip series! Next week we'll be leaving reality to head to a land of pure imagination.
For Your Inebriation is written by Krissy Pappau (Hollis Beck). Video footage is taken by Pooh Daddy (Vincent Graham) and edited by Seb (Amy Yourd). All "Amazing Race" images are owned by CBS.