You don't have to be brainy to win on "The Amazing Race." In fact, if you look back over the show's 15 winners, only a few of those champions could be categorized as "smart." The best you can say about most of the winners, really, is that they were able to minimize intellectual blunders along the way. And sometimes you can't even say that.
Over the years, misread clues, misapplied maps, in-challenge counting blunders, word-puzzle cluelessness and other mental gaffes have done in far more teams than physical inadequacies or crippling phobias.
It's actually a key part of the show's dramatic tension for viewers. Most of us, sitting at home, have no clue how we'd perform if asked to eat 15 pounds of whale blubber or if we were forced to do a free-fall off of the pointy top of the CN Tower, but we can all feel confident that even with reduced sleep, a questionable diet and at the end of a 15-day adrenaline rush, we'd still be literate, we'd still be able to add digits, we'd still eventually be able to unscramble the most foreign of five-letter words in a few hours. We can feel equal or superior on that front, smacking our palms against our foreheads in frustration and glee.
Get ready for a lot of that in this current 16th season of "The Amazing Race," which seems to have ample potential to be the dumbest season of The Race ever, "The Amazing Race: All-Stupids" if you will. I'm guessing this crop of contestants will lead to a split in the viewership, because as tremendously fun as Sunday's (Feb. 14) premiere was, I can easily imagine this level of dunderheadedness getting exhausting in a hurry.
[More on the "Amazing Race" premiere after the break...]