Culture, Justice, Mishegas

Back to life? Back to "reality!"

The Amazing Race premieres on CBS tonight. This season there appear to be no Jewish contestants, unlike last year’s Andrew & Dan (who wore their curly hair, stars of David, Jewish fraternity, and lack of rhythm with pride), or the much preferred subtle Jewiness of “New Yorkers” Terence and Sarah and surprise-to-me Jew, Marisa of the “Southern Belle” team.
SO, those looking for Jews in awesome Emmy-award winning reality competitions (I know I can’t be the only one!) or simply wanting to see Jews racing around the world… fear not! Israel’s Reshet (Channel 2) TV Network is working on their own version of The Race, called “HaMerotz LaMillion.”  This version is on a slightly smaller scale with only 10 teams (rather than 12) and 1 million shekels (rather than dollars) at stake.
According to Haaretz: “Ten couples will compete, including two elderly kibbutznik women, a couple that is due to be married, two childhood friends, two night club owners from Tel Aviv, and two beauty queens.” My favorite team is the sassy Israeli bartender and her American doctor ex-boyfriend whom the site touts as “every Jewish mother’s ultimate dream” (I will pause for you to barf).

HaMerotz LaMillion

This US reality show copycat joins the Israeli versions of The Biggest Loser (Laredet BeGadol), Wife Swap (Ima Mahlifa), Survivor (Hisardut), Beauty and the Geek (HaYafah veHaHnun), Big Brother (HaAkh HaGadol), and American Idol (Kokhav Nolad).
And some originals: HaOlim is a competition of new immigrants in which viewers vote for who is the “ultimate oleh.” The Ambassador (HaShagrir) is an Apprentice-style show, where contestants must work their propaganda muscles to sell Israel around the world.
The one I hope we can get on this side of the pond is Darush: Manhig in which

Twelve experienced social activists compete for a prize of five million shekels (about $1.25 million). The cash prize, however, will not go towards lining anyone’s pockets, but rather towards supporting the social change project of the winning individual; in other words, the show’s reward is the chance for the winner to realize his or her vision for social change.

Hey, if you can’t race around the world, might as well fix it.

3 thoughts on “Back to life? Back to "reality!"

  1. THANK YOU!
    I didn’t know AR was on again tonight and now I won’t miss it. Seriously, this is the only reality show I watch. I like to sort of live vicariously through their travels.
    As far as the two Jews last season. They were totally good guys! Even if the gold star of David was a bit Beastie Boyish 🙂

  2. Hi Jewschool –
    This is Sarah of Team ´´Terence & Sarah´´. Someone sent me your writeup and I´ve been cracking up at the description of my ´subtle Jewiness´… between my hair and glasses I never thought of myself as particularly subtle 🙂
    I also got a kick out of Team DAndrew´s flaunting of Jewish stars and AEPi paraphernalia… especially during the last few days before we started on the race when we were kept together but not allowed to talk to each other and everyone just spent the time sizing up the competition… Terence & I joked that Dandrew´s Magen Davids hung so low they dipped in the bacon on their plates! Lol 🙂
    Thanks for remembering/ missing us this season. I too am disappointed at the lack of tribe members in the new cast… (we actually had 5 last season – Marisa of Brooke & Marisa is Jewish as well)
    XO
    Sarah

  3. Sarah, you just totally made my day!!
    Though your Jewiness was indeed obvious to us insiders, (and we all know “New Yorker” is code for Jewish) I felt like you played it cool and represented our people well – smarts, humor, love, and great curls! I was rooting for you guys from the first episode, and was genuinely sad when you got eliminated. I was amazed that Terence even attempted to eat his way through that bowl of meat.
    This season I’m rooting for Mel & Mike. Do you have any insider scoop or predictions?
    Also, I will update the post to include Marisa. Who knew!? I let her blond southern belle-ness throw me off! Now that is another post in an of itself…
    Thanks for visiting us at jewschool!!

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