At last Sunday’s Emmy Award ceremony, Survivor host (and two-time Emmy winner! ) Jeff Probst told reporters that The Amazing Race should pull itself out of the kudos competition so other reality shows like, well, Survivor, could win for a change. Later, Probst told EW that he was joking (“Everybody always asks me what I think about how Amazing Race dominates. I have no answer. They do dominate.”) But he makes an interesting point: After seven consecutive wins, has Race won too darn much? Few would argue it’s the gold standard of reality TV; the show pulls off an amazing feat each season with its picture-perfect coverage of a heart-stopping, round-the-world race. Further evidence of the show’s greatness? It’s about to start its 15th season – 15th! – this Sunday on CBS.
Asking Race to withdraw from the Emmy competition wouldn’t be entirely unprecedented: Candice Bergen did it after winning a boatload of times for Murphy Brown, as did Oprah Winfrey for her daytime chatfest. And it would even spare Race executive producer Bertram Van Munster from having to think up something clever to say when he accepts his award! Last Sunday, Van Munster used his time at the mic to actually utter how “speechless” he was (though to his defense, he really was. Van Munster told EW afterwards that he thought Dancing with the Stars would prevail. Go figure).
For his part, Van Munster has no intention of pulling a Winfrey in the future and dropping out of the Emmy competition. “It’s not likely,” he told EW. “I’m a hardworking producer. As long as I have an opportunity to work and have my team happy, we should go for it. We set a very high standard, and I’ve spent my entire life working really hard on the genre. If I was as rich as Oprah, then maybe then I would do it.”
What do you think? Do you think Race deserves to win year after year? Is it time to give Project Runway a shot at the gold?
More Amazing Race and reality-TV from EW: