Question: I've been a fan of The Amazing Race from the beginning and have watched through its hits and misfires. I wonder, though, if the producers have thought of shaking up the series by having the same number of contestants but randomly (or purposefully) assigning the people into teams, either before the series debut or in the very first episode. Do you think having strangers forced to deal with such uncertainty would work, or would this extra layer of tension simply be too confusing?
Answer: I don't know if they've ever considered this, but I'll tell you why I hope it never happens. First, why tinker with something that isn't broken? Every time The Amazing Race tries to "improve" the show (family edition, all-star version), it only makes it worse. Second, part of the allure of the show is watching teams with preexisting relationships either grow or self-destruct under the pressure of the race. Forcing complete strangers upon each other might add a new layer of tension, but it would probably make it a lot more difficult for the viewer to connect to the individuals and to the teams, and it would probably interfere with the enjoyment of the actual race.