UPDATED: The Amazing Race Australia Bending the Truth… CONFIRMED!

UPDATE: CONFIRMED:

Check out Sam and Renae’s Facebook page to see them admit that the sisters didn’t “complete the task” on Monday June 20’s episode of The Amazing Race Australia in which it was made out as if Alana landed an arrow and completed the roadblock task.

It turns out she didn’t, hence they didn’t actually complete the task.

Does this constitute The Amazing Race Australia deceiving viewers? Read on for more discussion or leave a comment below.

(Thanks to commenter MolnarErik for the Facebook tip-off).

It would be naive to think that every reality show is presenting us with an accurate depiction of proceedings, especially when their key aim is to entertain, rather than to be honest, but Monday night’s Amazing Race Australia on Channel Seven was simply a bridge too far.

Take a look at Team Alana and Mel (or “the sisters” if you prefer) having a go at a Roadblock challenge in which they had to land 2 arrows on a target with 40 arrows to use.

And to put it in context, “the models” Sam and Renae were on their tail, having caught up to them despite arriving later.

They are also the last two teams in the race, meaning the last team to arrive out of the two of them will be eliminated (possibly).

So, first Renae (shooting for the models) scores their two arrows.

Then, as they are reading their next clue, Alana is down to only one arrow, with only one hit on the board. If she misses the next one, she will incur a four hour time penalty, meaning the models can streak ahead and pass through to the next round easily.

So, what are the odds, do you think, that Alana- who, out of 39 previous shots has only hit the target once (a 3% strike-rate for those playing at home), while suddenly land one on the very last shot (presumably purely out of sheer will and determination)?

Well, apparently very easily.

But take a closer look.

Here she is loading up (or whatever the technical term is):

After she lets go and the arrow flies through the air, it is clear that it is barrelling downwards, and you can see at this point when it crosses the flag the angle it is pointing.

However, before we see it hit the target from this angle, the vision cuts to another shot of the arrow flying up and then down, perfectly into the board.

And the angle at which it lands in the target is that of one angling downward (indicating a more parabolic trajectory).

If that isn’t conclusive enough, have a look at which post she is shooting from (number 5)…

And which it lands on (number 1)…

… And even the small fact that number 1 is located next to a tree, rather than the flag (seen on the left hand side).

So even if my detailed analysis of the trajectory of the arrow is incorrect, why have they cut to another piece of footage?

But you be the judge; see the vision at the Amazing Race website here and jump to 44:28.

So as a result of her apparently hitting the target, they were able to get the clue soon after the models- and even However, even though we saw vision of both of them in taxis, there was no “overtake them!” screaming, leading me to believe that the models were much further ahead. Similarly, for two teams that were supposedly neck-and-neck, there was no footage of them at the end when the models approached the checkpoint mat.

My guess is, is that Alana did not land the last arrow, and were asked if they wanted to wait four hours and then proceed or concede defeat and wait until the models had registered their place before approaching the mat.

But even if I have made a mistake, it still raises the interesting question, does the amount of licence the director takes make it any less of an exciting race? Just because what you see on screen is not always entirely accurate, does it diminish the show’s credibility as a reality show?

Surely others have noticed examples of when teams seem to be down and out but suddenly find themselves back in the race? Or even when teams are trailing others by a long way, but suddenly find themselves neck-and-neck with them at the end (For example, the episode where Mos and Mo were eliminated)?

Even the editing is sometimes somewhat nauseating, for example when teams are waiting to be given a clue, or an envelope, and the vision cuts to a carefully placed hand drawing out an envelope, making it glaringly obvious not everything is filmed then and there.

For mine, it doesn’t make it any less entertaining, however, too much of it and more and more people will become aware of it, and for a show in its first season (in Australia), it can’t seem as if it is cheating viewers (remember the mild furore that emerged when it was revealed Masterchef contestants have their food re-plated?

And for the sake of a couple minutes more of perceived drama, is it all worth it?

What do you think? Am I right or just a conspiracy theorist? And have you noticed other possible reality warps?

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Posted on June 23, 2011, in Australian TV Shows, Channel Seven, Reality, TV and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. 44:20-21
    The two teams run together after the roadblock.

    • Yes they sure do, and would seem as if that is where my allegation falls down. However, if the director is not above showing you different shots of arrows hitting a board, do you think they’d be above telling contestants to run together for a bit so that they at least have that footage in the can? Did you notice how, in a supposed sudden death race, it wasn’t overly drawn out? We see them grab their clues, then both teams are in their taxis, then we see the models walking up to the mat to claim sixth place.
      All I’m saying is that in previous rounds, the race between the last two teams was played up a lot more than it was this round. If you put it down to the time constraints of the episode, why wouldn’t they include this supposed desperate race to the finish line?
      Again, what I suggest happened is that Alana’s last arrow missed, and so were given a choice by producers; wait four hours here, and then claim last place, OR concede defeat to the models, and let both teams jump in taxis to the finish line – but before that just have a bit of a jog away from the roadblock challenge so that it can be played up later on…

  2. The answer already doesn’t exist on the Facebook.

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