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James Hong

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Disappointing.. The Amazing Race makes stuff up

One of my favorite television shows is The Amazing Race, where teams race around the world, stopping in various cities and completing tasks to move forward. In the early seasons, it was an actual race where by the end, the leading team could be days ahead of previous teams. So to up the drama on the show and make the race closer, the producers started creating bunching points at which all teams would end up together again. An example of this is when the teams all have to take a flight that is 16 hours later, giving the lagging teams time to catch up.

This has always bothered me a little, but I understand why the producers do this. But what I learned on my recent trip to Tallinn Estonia bothers me a lot more because it makes any content on the show suspect, at least as far as being a travel show.

One of the tasks teams had to perform was to, "figure out how to open this door to Mustpeade, the secret layer of the Brotherhood of Blackheads". As you can see in the video, around 10:33, there is a secret keyhole that opens the door to this "Secret Layer". Here's a screenshot from the video where a team finds the keyhole:

When we visited the building, we could find no mention of the brotherhood ever actually being a Secret. The producers made that part up to make the task seem more exciting! Furthermore, there was no hidden keyhole that opened the door, that was also made up. If you look at the picture above closely, you'll notice that the wall around the keyhole is a lot cleaner than the column to its left. So the keyhole was just created to go along with this "Secret Brotherhood" theme.

Here is a picture we took of what the place really looks like: Notice that the column around where the keyhole should be has ridges, giving ample space to put in a fake keyhole and plaster over the ridges to make the column look smooth, as it does above.

I'll keep watching the Amazing Race because it is a fun show, and in the last few years we've visited many locations we might not have otherwise (like Tallin and Dubrovnik).. But it is a bit disappointing that Hollywood has to make up history just to make the show more exciting. Then again, they made up virtually the entire Facebook movie, so I guess it's standard practice.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe they do that! I'm only watching this season for team Jumba though. I understand your disappointment :(

3:52 PM  

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