Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Amazing Race's Amazing Moment

This past Sunday, December 9th, the conclusion of the twenty-first season of the CBS television show 'The Amazing Race' was broadcast.

For those of you who do not know, 'The Amazing Race' is a multiple Emmy Award winning competitive reality show that takes eleven or twelve teams of two contestants each to various locations around the world. (One season the teams consisted of family units of four contestants each.) The prize for the winner of the finale is one million dollars in cash, and there are prizes for winning each particular leg along the way.  For example, second place finishers Jaymes and James each won a new Ford Escape for winning the next to last leg of the race.  The show's exotic locales are often visually stunning as well as eye opening to both the contestants and the show's fans. 

Another good thing about the show is that, unlike some shows like 'Survivor', it is not necessary to be devious or to trick other contestants to win. It does happen once in a while on 'The Amazing Race' (There was an incident on this season of the show involving contestants James and Abba's money that upset some fans.); however, sneakiness is not generally a part of this show.  

At each location the teams must perform some task that is usually related to the local culture. There is often a choice of two tasks, and if the tasks can not be completed there is a four hour penalty. Most weeks one team is eliminated, but some weeks it is a non elimination, and the team that finishes last that particular week has to perform an extra task to stay in the race. The final task of the race is always something related to the places the teams have traveled to during the race, and this season was no different. In the shadow of the United Nations building in New York City, the final three teams had to match the words for 'hello' and 'goodbye' with the flags from various countries the teams had been to during the course of the race.

So, what was the amazing moment for 'The Amazing Race' this season? It was the winning team of Josh and Brent. Josh and Brent are a gay couple with a fifteen year relationship.  For the past three years Josh has been living in the city during the week to work while Brent remained on their farm.  They wanted to win the money so they could pay off their bills and live in the same place together again. (Other contestants have interesting stories as well; for example, James wanted to win to help out his father who is battling cancer.) 

The fact Josh and Brent are a gay couple is not what is amazing; there have been gay contestants on the show before, and there are certain to be more on the show in the future.  Underdogs and discounted nearly the entire race, Josh and Brent slipped under the radar and won the race.  Even as the final three teams raced, third place finisher Lexi Beerman was still discounting them as competition.  Moments after host Phil Keoghan pronounced them the official winners of the race, Josh kissed Brent. 

What is so amazing about that kiss?  The fact that a loving couple of so many years was able to show that love on a highly rated television show like 'The Amazing Race' is amazing.  It shows that we have actually made some progress in the United States in recognizing LGBT couples as equals.  I am virtually certain that there are those out there who do not see things the way I do, and didn't like Josh and Brent kissing each other on the show.  These are probably the same people who are against the gay marriage initiatives in various parts of the United States.  I, however, thought it was wonderful.  I give Josh and Brent kudos for persevering, having a loving relationship, and for not being afraid to show it.  I also compliment Phil and the other contestants for being happy for them.   

Cast member Rob French, a monster truck driver who practically defines the term redneck, stated at the end of the show Josh and Brent had really opened his eyes and that it was not for him to judge other people's lifestyle.  There's that word 'lifestyle' again, as if it were a choice, but at least Rob is making progress.  If even one person can learn something from people like Josh and Brent, then we are indeed making some progress! 

Click here to watch the full broadcast of the final episode of 'The Amazing Race'.

Click here to watch full episodes of each week of 'The Amazing Race'.

Click here to watch a video clip of the winning moment.

Click on this link to meet the teams from this season of 'The Amazing Race'.

Click here to meet the show's adventurous host Phil Keoghan.

Watch this exclusive secret scene-Josh and Brent 'Underdogs On Top'.

Click here to view photos from this season of 'The Amazing Race'.

Visit the Human Rights Campaign website for more information on how you can help support the campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equal Rights.

Click here for more information on the state of marriage equality in the United States.

The Amazing Race's amazing moment captured.

One CBS official photo of Josh and Brent.

Join Josh and Brent on Facebook, and subscribe to their newsletter.  Also, click here to follow them on Twitter, and here to visit their official website!  Josh and Brent also have a show on The Cooking Channel known as The Fabulous Beekman Boys that chronicles their life on Beekman Farm in upstate New York.

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