Expedition Impossible: All’s well that ends well?

I’ve been watching and sporadically blogging about Expedition Impossible this summer, and the fact that I couldn’t manage to write about it every week probably says more about what I thought about the show than anything else. It was an OK summer series, but let’s be honest – it was pretty dull.

I think the biggest problem was that teams seemed to be completing the same tasks every week. Hike, boat, hike, paddle, hike, hike, boat. Throw in a little horseback riding and rappelling and that’s the show in a nutshell. At first, I was intrigued. The challenges were certainly physically strenuous and it was interesting to see which teams could or couldn’t keep up. But then I got bored.

Last night’s final leg (or whatever they called each installment on this show) shook thing up a little by sending the teams to Marrakesh. Seeing the teams try to navigate hectic marketplaces infused a bit more of that The Amazing Race chaotic flavor. Unfortunately, the excitement was too little too late.

Going into the finale, the four teams remaining were the four strongest teams all along – The Gypsies, The Football Players, Fab 3 and No Limits. And the chips fell exactly as they should have. The Football Players were eliminated midway through the episode, being narrowly beat out by the incredible dudes from No Limits. It went down exactly as it should have, but also in an incredibly predictable way.

After it was all said and done, The Gypsies won Expedition Impossible with No Limits coming in second and Fab 3 placing third. And anything else would have been unfair – The Gypsies won all but one leg (and that was only because they got lost, not because the first place finishers, Fab 3, actually out-performed them) and had they not won the entire expedition it would have been highway robbery. No Limits placed pretty consistently in second place and deserves major credit for overcoming seemingly impossible challenges. And Fab 3 was kind of annoying.

The problem with reality competition shows like this is that when there is a clear winner all along, the end result is either a major yawn or a major disappointment. Would you have been satisfied if anyone other than The Gypsies had won? Sure, I would have been happy for No Limits, but I still didn’t really think they deserved to win. But a Gypsies win seemed inevitable, and that made the show quite the snooze. If Expedition Impossible airs again next summer I might watch, but I hope they find a way to spice it up a little.



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