It's no secret that one of my favorite shows on television is "The Amazing Race". From production values, to the challenges that it sets up for the contestants, to the often stunning images of countries around the word, producers seem to want to truly entertain and not just to titillate. Sure, contestants are pushed into stressful situations and drama often arises from inter-personal relations, but that is not the one and only focus of the show. It was no big surprise that the show won it's 6th Emmy in a row last night for "Outstanding Reality-Competition Program".
The brand new US season begins a week from now on Sunday the 27th on CBS. And, as in past years, there will be a couple of gay contestants which happen to also be brothers: Meet Sam and Dan.
That's not a big surprise anymore. Nowadays every reality show seems to have a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender contestant. MTV's pioneering "The Real World", for example, often uses a contestant's queer sexual identity to create maximum drama. Sometimes it's all good in that it promotes visibility but, most times, in shows like "Tila Tequila", it just becomes exploitation.
Not surprisingly other countries have copied the rule-book almost page by page. I can't begin to count the dozens, maybe hundreds. of gays that have gone through some season of "Big Brother - Mexico" or "Big Brother - Spain" (although I must say that it's interesting that in the current Spanish season, one of the contestants is a female to male transgender woman).
Which brings me to the first ever season of "The Amazing Race - Latin America". I was soooo looking forward to watch it. It would have been double the fun on Sunday nights: First, the US version followed by the Latin American version. I was so disappointed when I tuned in to Discovery in Spanish to find out that the show apparently will not be broadcast in the US. Boo! It would have been great to see contestants travel all over Central and Latin America as they completed each leg of the race.
And yes, having a gay contestant doesn't make or break a show, but what intrigued me the most was that one of the teams in the Latin American version is a gay couple from Bogotá, Colombia (Diego and Miguel Angel, pictured above).
AG Magazine, from Argentina, profiles them here, and discovered a promo for the show on YouTube. I hope the episodes run on Discovery in Spanish eventually.
UPDATE: Discovery Español is apparently streaming each week's show online at this link.
UPDATE 2: Seems that that's no longer the case. If you click on the link, a message appears saying that access to the video is not available for this region.
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