Phil Keoghan was “pleased” with conflict from gay brothers, Globetrotters, who were “cool”

Watching this outtake from last night’s The Amazing Race 15 episode, I was kind of disturbed. While the episode ended with Sam and Dan, and Flight Time and Big Easy, fighting and arguing, in reality, they all resolved their nearly non-existent conflict–despite Phil Keoghan’s attempt to goad them.

First, while the episode shows Big Easy essentially making a mild threat–“I’m 6’10, 260, so we going to do what we got to do”–in response to the brothers’ whining, the editors excluded everything that suggested he wasn’t upset. Consider what the episode’s end would have been like if we’d heard him say what he actually did say: “It’s all good, we all friends, everything’s cool. We’re in a race, it’s all good. We’re still going to run a fair race, it’s just going to be a little bit more physical, that’s all.”

Same idea, but slightly different tone and demeanor. Likewise, Flight Time (I think; he’s off-camera) says, “We would have did the same thing if we were in their position,” and later Dan apologizes. It’s one big love fest. I’m exaggerating, but so did the episode’s editing. (Watch the outtake below.)

Most significantly, Big Easy actually tells Phil, “I’m not mad at all. I promise you I’m not mad. Phil senses Flight Time is mad, and Sam tries to get into it, but Dan stops him and says, “Shut up, dude. It’s okay.” But Phil pushes both of them: “Let your brother speak, he’s talking here.”

I understand that it’s Phil’s job to get the teams to talk it up on the mat, but this isn’t Survivor. The best race conflict comes from within a team, not between teams.

Phil also gave a little speech in which he first tells them to get physical with each other, than backs off. “I gotta say, I’m pleased to see a little competive edge going on, cause I think if you’re not kind of jostling a little bit, and you’re not pushing and just fighting for the space–not pushing, I’m not saying pushing–but I feel like if you guys are not wanting to fight for this race, and I think a little competitive spirit is a good thing,” he said.

I’m not sure I agree.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.