1. Thank you X 100. Thank you to everyone for your kind words about my summaries, and all of the things said about the show. You all justified the moderators' decision to open up a forum for us. And though I didn't comment a lot as the season went along, I read most of it, and found it all full of insight. Thanks again.
2. They had contestants we don't usually see on this type of reality show. TH had plenty of young & pretty teams (Young Pros, Miss USA, Grad Students), bland but efficient teams (ex-CIA, Air Force), hypocritical Bible thumping teams (Fogals) and argumentative family teams (Southies). But that show on CBS hasn't - and probably never will - have teams quite like the Browns, the Hanlons, or the Geniuses.
3. Corporate sponsorship taken to the next level. TAR has had sponsorship before, and there's been more and more of it as the years have passed. But they were never as brazen about it as TH was. Remember these gems?
"Guys, we've got a Motorola message!"
"Let's look that up on ask.com!"
"Let's use this special VISA card to buy our tickets!"
Of course you do. But the mack daddy of sponsors had to be Genworth Financial, who sponsored all those extra clues for the audience, in addition to the weekly Genworth challenges, the finale's mini-race, and the prize pool for the winners.
Speaking of the prize pool...
4. Biggest reality prize pool ever!* The Geniuses are due to get $3 million from Genworth - $1 million for each. I'm sure they don't care too much that on other reality shows (as far as I know), the prize is handed out right away in one big check, and theirs won't be.
5. Most of the clues were really clues, and not instructions. Most of the clues in TAR ceased to be anything but instructions a long time ago. But in TH the teams could actually misinterpret the clues or get stuck for hours & hours plugging away.
6. A unique way of giving away cash. Instead of giving away prizes to the winners of each leg (though TAR did give away $20k once), TH gave away prizes of $30,000 and $50,000 within the leg to the team that got to a certain checkpoint first (not at the end).
7. Everyone's equal every leg. TH started everyone out at the same time at the start of each "leg". I'm not sure I agree with it, but it's a more natural bunching method than that used by TAR.
8. NBC stuck with it until the bitter end. It wasn't a ratings blockbuster and it was in danger of being replaced by some random rerun of a Bravo/USA show at any time, but they didn't do it. Thank you, NBC.
9. The theme's the thing. Each show and the season itself seemed to have a theme to it, and that helped with my enjoyment of things.
10. No cutthroats allowed. The competition was mostly friendly, with smack talk and sabotage being kept to a minimum.
* See my recap for explanation of the asterisk
I'm realitybites and I approved this post.