Many of my friends have the same philosophy when it comes to appearing on a reality-TV show: they won’t do it. (Granted, one person I know did whore himself out to the reality TV gods, and everything seemed to work out okay for him, so maybe my survey sample needs to be increased a little bit.)
Still, if you are interested in experiencing The Amazing Race as a vacation instead of as a game show, you will want to check out COMPETITOURS: THE AMAZING RACE FOR REGULAR PEOPLE.
Competitours is a travel company run by Cleveland’s Steve Belkin that has taken the Amazing Race concept and applied it as a different way to travel through Europe. Each team that participates has no idea where their next destination will take them, or what they will have to do when they get there. But for each task that is completed, it brings the competitors one step closer to the Grand Prize, which consists of various combinations of hotel nights, airfare, and spending money to be used on a future vacation (actual awards are based on the number of days your Competitour trip takes).
Pricing ranges from $2000-$3000 per person, and includes most travel and hotel charges. Spending money to travel around from task to task locally, or admission to specific locations, is not included. But Competitours has designed their Race so you only have to do the tasks that you feel like doing out of a selection of available options.
You won’t find yourself plowing a field with an ox cart, but you may find yourself doing one of the following:
- Go to the world’s only French Fries Museum. After the tour, film a 30-45 second description without using the word ‘potato’ or any other potato-related word.
- Go to the top of the Eiffel Tower and recruit and videotape 15 other tourists to do a rousing rendition of the French national dance, the can-can.
- Visit an African immigrant market while in Brussels and ask the locals to help you find a gazellle meat lunch, and Caakiri or Ngalakh as Congolese dessert
As you can see, you will be required to film your Detour, Road Block, or Speed Bump as you complete each task. Each night, the videos will be uploaded to the judges for processing. Teams are awarded points from their task videos, which are awarded based on creativity and success – not on how many tasks are completed, or the number of overall tasks that are submitted each day. Some tasks may be as simple as “15 points for winning a go-cart race against other participants; losing teams get just 5 points”, or “10 points for taking a walking tour”.
The inaugural trip has already been completed. You can READ THE ENTIRE TRIP REPORT OF COMPETITOUR’S TEAM GADLING to see what they had to go through. One helpful piece of info they shared is that on the first day, they were provided a list of 14 potential challenges to choose from, for a grand total of 175 points just for the first day.
Some of the actual tasks that Team Gadling did were
- Sing beer songs in the world’s longest bar
- Go to the Japanese district to find three odd, unrelated items
- Find a specific building and video your commentary on the architecture
These all seem like reasonably easy and entertaining tasks. Nothing strenuous or difficult (like finding a route envelope in one of 100 bales of hay in a field). Plus, you really get to see parts of the destination cities that you might not normally see if you were travelling as a typical tourist.
Here’s a video from one of the other Competitours teams:
So if The Amazing Race sounds like a fun vacation for you to try, you may want to check out Competitours for what appears to be an entertaining alternative to the typical European vacation.