The Gaymazing Race is a limited podcast series on The Amazing Race from an LGBTQ point-of-view, hosted by authors, profs & professional queers Nicole J. Georges & Karen Tongson.

Season 35

    Episode 35: Gorgeous Caves and Sacks of Shellfish

    Release Date: 11/30/2023

    After a long prelude in which Nicole and Karen discuss the new Todd Haynes film, May December, with some notes on which Amazing Race contestants they would cast in the lead roles, they get into how painfully straight the show has become. Slovenia feels very “Covid lockdown” season to our team, despite all the hype. Karen talks a little too much about caves, and Nicole thinks the greeters at the end of this leg are lesbian nuns. We are of course devastated that our brash fanfiction team is KNOCKED OUT (farewell Robbin and Chelsea), and we wonder if there’s any gaymazing hope left as we near the finish line.

    Episode 34: Fisting Hay and Pansexual Beekepers

    Release Date: 11/17/2023

    The Amazing Race visits Llubjana, Slovenia for the first time ever in its history, and Karen tells us about how Llubjana became a gaycation destination in the late aughts and early-2010s. Nicole softens to Steve, the daddy of team Daddy/Daughter dance, especially after Anna Leigh makes him run up a long ski lift for an express pass that was already claimed.

    Despite the gayness of Llubjana, we were hard-pressed to find gaymazing content beyond the detour where the judges of both sides offered the slightest glimmer of queer potential. Morgan and Lena join us in the elimination station after a photo finish at the Dragon Bridge pit stop, and we get into the sad, contested history of cast members who were also gay, but had some other aspect of their “difference” determine their storyline.

    Episode 33: “Yes! I wanted sausage so bad!” in Köln

    Release Date: 11/10/2023

    The Amazing Racers take a 15 hour flight from Jaipur to Frankfurt where the season’s first self-driving leg awaits them. As they make their way along the Rhine, we find out who can’t find the right ferry. Are all the teams secretly laughing at the German word “Fährt”?

    Karen declares she would “slay in Köln,” one of her favorite cities in the world, and a place she knows well. Nicole feels like the wayward teams have captured her true TAR spirit. Plus, experience the Kölner carnival challenge that makes EVERYONE a little bit gay.

    Episode 32: A U-Turn in India

    Release Date: 11/06/2023

    Episdoe 31: “We’ve got the man done.”

    Release Date: 10/27/2023

    Episode 30: Guyliner, Tears and Octopusses with Kat Spada

    Release Date: 10/20/2023

    Kat Spada of Feminist Frequency Radio guest-hosts as Nicole takes the week off for a silent meditation retreat (gaymazing!). Kat comes in hot with new team nicknames like “ZZ and/or Top” (referring of course to team Beardback Mountain), as we give a thorough account of the mega part of the teams’ second leg through Vietnam.

    The matching challenge at the Hung King Temple broke our hearts, especially because it meant Jocelyn and Victor were waiting for us in the elimination station. Plus, some chatter up top about what it means to watch The Amazing Race with a “queer gaze.”

    Episode 29: Side-eye Pups, Smokin’ Hot Vinyl and the Queens of Rice

    Release Date: 10/13/2023

    Nicole and Karen ‘s powers of projection are more powerful than ever as they comb through the details of TAR’s leg 3 in Vietnam for the subtlest of queer content. How are our fanfic Gaymazing teams (the tatted-up GenX moms, and “Beardback Mountain”) faring against the ACTUAL gays competing this season, Joe and Ian? How hot does it get in the vinyl challenge? And who can roll the rice right to slide into the pit-stop first? This, and disturbing new sound effects on this week’s TGR!

    Episode 27 + 28: Welcome to A Gaymazing Mega-Leg

    Release Date: 10/09/2023

    Nicole and Karen are back to give you all their spicy, gaymazing commentary on not one, but the first TWO episodes of season 35 of The Amazing Race. What teams have each of them cathected onto for their gay fan-fiction? Who are their favorites otherwise? Is this season’s gay team evil enough? Plus interviews with the eliminated contestants.

    Season 34

      Episode 26

      Release Date: 12/12/2022

      It’s the Amazing Race Season 34 finale, and Nicole and Karen not only interview the top 3 teams, but they also bring back Aastha and Nina, the lesbian team woefully eliminated at the very start of the race, for a S34 post-mortem.

      Will Derek and Claire have it out with our hosts for not only erasing Claire’s bisexuality, but also rooting against them most of the time? What will Emily and Molly reveal about the extent of Emily’s injuries? And what makes Michelle, of Luis and Michelle, so fearless about heights? All this and so much more on our grand finale.

      Episode 25

      Release Date: 12/05/2022

      There’s a schism in this week’s gay scores doled out by Karen and Nicole, as Karen thinks “all of Iceland is lesbionic,” while Nicole is a little more skeptical as we confront three out of four “straight-facing couples” in the final four. David with the Good Hair touches us with his bravery as he confronts his difficulties swimming this week. We digress into educational riffs about spectrums of racialized masculinity, plus there are several important reveals in our Elimination Station with David and Aubrey, our favorite straight-couple team on The Amazing Race!

      Episode 24

      Release Date: 11/30/2022

      Despite the prevailing heterosexuality (and one lone bisexual) amongst our remaining contestants, episode 10 of The Amazing Race offers the most gaymazing detours yet, from dressing a flamenco dancer, to a challenge dubbed “Bend Over Backwards,” testing how much a brick arch can, in Phil’s words, “take a load.” Marcus of Michael and Marcus joins us in our elimination station to break down exactly how far behind they were from other teams. Plus, digressions on vegan gravy, the queerness of aesthetics, and other gaymazing topics.

      Episode 23

      Release Date: 11/21/2022

      The Amazing Race serves up another Mega Leg, so we have no elimination station this week: just teams racing around Malaga, Spain recreating art, riding bicycles, and pumping up paddleboards.

      We get into some of the racers’ squeamishness while undertaking a sardine-grilling challenge, and Nicole makes her case for why our hypothetical team might want to choose the other side of the detour. Karen sees Derek’s homage to Salt Bae and is not amused.

      Episode 22

      Release Date: 11/14/2022

      The Amazing Race teams head due south from Domme to Toulouse, and Karen and Nicole are tantalized by the Road Block which involves running drills with an entire French women’s rugby team. BUT FIRST, our hosts atone for their bisexual erasure of one of the remaining contestants.

      Even amidst this gay plentitude, deprivation looms on the horizon as our last officially GAYmazing team, the co-ed cheerleaders Quinton and Mattie, find themselves in our Elimination Station.

      PLUS: why French horns evoke homo-panic memories, and the poetic local who looks like Karen’s grad school ex.

      Episode 21

      Release Date: 11/07/2022

      The Amazing Race’s return to Europe and the Dordogne region in the South of France. Is the lady-Knight at the genealogy challenge actually Nicole’s “lesbian” doctor in L.A.? Are the short-haired women who used their tractor to rescue the team who drove into the ditch family? Plus, we welcome Glenda and Lumumba into our Elimination Station with a most heavy heart.

      Episode 20

      Release Date: 10/31/2022

      The Amazing Race manages another first during its visit to the Kingdom of Jordan: the first team ever to be eliminated for testing positive for Covid is cut from the race within this episode’s opening minutes. Is it just us, or are we starting to see Quentin and Mattie (our official Gaymazing team) beginning to make strides in the competition, including limber stretches to grab tinfulls of nails? We also speculate on whether or not we’d run into gender trouble if a same-sex team elected to do the “flirt dance” during the detour. Plus, we pump Will and Abby for all the info on TAR’s Covid policies and protocols.

      Episode 19

      Release Date: 10/24/2022

      The Amazing Race makes its first visit ever to the Kingdom of Jordan, and Karen and Nicole are excited to welcome camel caravans and cute puppies into the show’s environments.. Despite some Gaymazing references to Lawrence of Arabia and the like, this episode scores low on our Gaymazing-meter until we have a chance to meet with Linton & Sharik in our Elimination Station, and hear about Sharik’s queer-of-color storyline that didn’t make its way into the main edit. Listen in for a truly moving visit with the father-daughter team, and our fan-fiction explorations of gay storylines we’d like to see in this season’s TAR.

      Episode 18

      Release Date: 10/17/2022

      The first MEGA-LEG reaches its conclusion this week in Florence, Italy, or as Quinton reminds us, “Firenze in Italian.” Nicole beams in from NYC where she just accepted an Edward R. Murrow award for her other pod series Relative Fiction–HOORAY!–and Karen does her best to up episode 4’s Gaymazing score with a couple of gay flourishes, and a mini-rant about exposing kids to straightness. Plus, we “ask for a friend” if teams would be penalized for eating a pinch of mortadella from the charcuterie boards they have to collect from Florence’s bubonic plague windows, and we welcome motivational speakers Rich and Dom to our Elimination Station, after their third anniversary together ends with an L on TAR.

      Episode 17

      Release Date: 10/10/2022

      Leg 3 kicks off the first MEGA LEG of Season 34 – but almost certainly won’t be the last. This to-be-continued episode has everything from lectures, wheels of cheese, socket wrenches, and of course, driving (or failing to drive) stick shift. Since there was no elimination station, Karen and Nicole are joined by a Gaymazing-Amazing-Race Superfan, Katy Davidson!

      Season 33

        Episode 14

        Release Date: 03/14/2022

        To wrap up the season, we’re bringing you post-finale interviews with Raquel and Cayla, Dusty, and Arun and Natalia.

        Episode 13

        Release Date: 03/08/2022

        In this supersized episode of TGR, Nicole and Karen recap the final two legs of the race in Lisboa and Los Angeles. Cayla and Raquel continue to inflame all the fanfic we’ve been weaving about them by calling each other “babe” all over Portugal and Los Angeles. Dusty talks-up Ryan’s upper-body strength in a rowing challenge. Arun and Natalia demonstrate what can be accomplished without ever working out, and Kim and Penn dork out doing foley sound effects after enacting serious piñata carnage in El Pueblo de Los Angeles. Plus: WE INTERVIEW THE WINNERS OF S33, which Nicole predicted midseason after a careful reading of the edit, and video BoCo.

        Episode 12

        Release Date: 02/28/2022

        Could leg 9 of season 33 be the gayest episode of The Amazing Race yet? Nicole and Karen have such rich Hellenistic content to explore, from all the Thespians featured throughout this leg in Thessalonaki to the Oracle of Delphi giving us endurance-oriented experimental theater vibes. Through it all, Cayla offers Raquel a back massage, Ryan won’t do the same for Dusty, and at least 3 cats show up, along with a dog who races to the pit stop with a trailing team.

        Episode 11

        Release Date: 02/21/2022

        In this food-centric leg 8 of The Amazing Race, we witness more kitchen hubris from the guys, ladies climbing ladderless, some dumpster diving, and add to our TGR Dogs & Cats tally. Plus, Lulu and Lala join us for an elmination station interview to talk about their touching goodbyes to Phil and give the inside scoop on some…digestive realities of the race.

        Episode 10

        Release Date: 02/15/2022

        Today Nicole is joined by noted Amazing Race superfan Poulomi Saha to discuss Amazing Race 33 Episode 7 (Gently Down the Stream) , while our faithful host and executive producer Karen Tongson recuperates from Covid.

        We watch the teams try Casu Marzu in Corsica, count metal fish together under the water, fake-almost-drown thanks to editing, and MORE. Tune in!

        Poulomi Saha (@poulomiqsaha) is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley, where she teaches courses in postcolonial studies, gender and sexuality theory, and ethnic American literature. She is also the author of the award-winning book, An Empire of Touch: Women’s Political Labor & The Fabrication of East Bengal.

        Episode 9

        Release Date: 02/07/2022

        Leg 6 of The Amazing Race is not for the lactose intolerant, as our contestants take cheesin’ to a whole other level. We get a clear picture of which teams know how to manipulate strips of leather and metal loops round an ass to properly strap on giant metal milk containers. Is sisterhood powerful? Or is it all lip service between the all girl teams whose actions don’t always match their feminist rhetoric? Plus, Akbar and Sheri join us in our very own elimination station to process how they went from masterful fromage making, to spelunking into last place.

        Episode 8

        Release Date: 01/31/2022

        Nicole and Karen experience actual physical distress when they see this week’s Amazing Race Road Block: the second highest bungee jump in the world. Would our resident vegan Nicole be able to stomach the sausage-making challenge that Karen thought was a “no-brainer” choice at the Detour? And which of the teams visits our elimination station?!? Plus, find out more about the three teams who couldn’t return to the race when it resumed in September 2021.

        Episode 7

        Release Date: 01/24/2022

        Nicole and Karen rejoin the race as it resumes in St. Gallen Switzerland after a 19 month suspension. The contestants confront dizzying Alpine heights, some fast-moving clouds that Sils Maria would be proud of, and a leather challenge that our hosts feel confident they could master. PLUS: Starting this week, Nicole and Karen will be welcoming TAR 33’s eliminated teams for a special exit segment! Tune in as we chat w/ Michael and Moe about karaoke, the race’s Covid protocols, and their experiences at “elimination station.”

        Episode 6

        Release Date: 01/18/2022

        Nicole & Karen recap S33 EP3 in Glasgow, Scotland: what they’re calling the last “pre-pan” or “pre-lapserian” episode of The Amazing Race before production was halted on 2/28/2020. How do our hosts feel about the “if it ain’t Scottish, it’s crrrrraaap” aspects of this leg, which features contestants donning kilts, fondling bagpipes and risking tetanus to refurbish whiskey barrels? The hosts also apply their gaymazing lens to some of the robust masculinity on display throughout the episode, while giving an honest assessment of gaymazing team Isaiah and Taylor’s Scottish folk singing. Plus a close read of the Ep. 4 trailer, and behind the scenes scoop on TAR’s Covid “plan B,” with a rundown of all the legs of the race once production resumed.

        Episode 5

        Release Date: 01/13/2022

        Nicole and Karen reunite to recap the long-awaited 33rd season of The Amazing Race, which began filming in early 2020 before…(well, you know), and didn’t resume until 18 months later. We’ll introduce you to all 11 teams and who we’re currently vibing with. What changes in the first two episodes of S33 (filmed in London), already seemed Covid-aware? Or were they merely refreshing the format? Plus, some info on the modifications made once TAR resumed production in fall 2021.

        Episode 4

        Release Date: 02/26/2021

        On the heels of our last episode which touched upon the lack of lesbian representation on The Amazing Race, Nicole and Karen take matters into their own hands to form a lesbian TAR fantasy league. We invite authors, scholars, and queer BFFs Poulomi Saha & Greta LaFleur to talk about what would make them a great Amazing Race team. We hear about how Poulomi groomed an unwitting Greta to be a TAR teammate by posing challenges in their everyday lives. Which one of the two actually submitted a TAR audition tape in the early 2000s? And whose student competed in S32? Collectively we think out loud about why only lesbian couples and no lesbian buddy teams have ever been tapped to run the race.

        Episode 3

        Release Date: 02/12/2021

        Karen and Nicole spend some quality time with the first ever lesbian couple and team to compete on The Amazing Race, the “married ministers,” Kate and Pat. Though their run on the race lasted only a couple of legs, they also had some spirited drama on the web series Elimination Station. Which of the two earned a lifetime supply of Hooters?! You’ll also find out which of them was fired from their job after appearing as an out lesbian on TV for “peddling the gay agenda,” and learn about their spiritual and activist journeys both before and after the race. Together, we reflect on the lesbian story arcs available on reality TV, and in reality/lesbian culture itself. Plus, we get into the pitfalls of some THOUGHTS on the Poker Players from season 15 and much much more.

        Episode 2

        Release Date: 02/05/2021

        One of the most lovable and legendary LGBTQ competitors ever to have graced the Amazing Race mat, Oswald Mendez of “Team Cha Cha Cha” (Oswald & Danny, S2/S11) join Karen and Nicole for a scintillating chat about all things gaymazing. Find out about how watching Pedro Zamora influenced Oswald’s sense of self before his own entry into reality TV as a gay Cuban. On which leg did Oswald & Danny take a break from the race for some drinks and dancing w/ the local gays? What TAR rules had to be written or modified because of Oswald and Danny’s innovations to the game? Plus, this week’s road block segment revisits Team T&T’s slippery situation in Malta in S25, while Nicole and Karen detour into a post-mortem of the “Mine 5” alliance on S32.

        Episode 1

        Release Date: 01/29/2021

        Nicole and Karen welcome Bill Bartek and Joe Baldassare, aka “Team Guido,” the very first gay team to compete on Season 1 of The Amazing Race, and the first gay couple to appear as series regulars on network reality TV. In a revealing and candid interview, Bill and Joe help Karen and Nicole break down the recurring trope of “the gay villain”–a reality competition stereotype they were shoehorned into after their first appearance on TAR–by going behind the scenes of not only the show, but also their relationship. Plus, our “Road Block” revisits Mika vs. the Leap of Faith waterslide in Dubai, and we detour into the infamous Kafka challenge in Prague.


        Release Date: 01/14/2021

        Authors, professors, and professional queers, Nicole J. Georges and Karen Tongson introduce you to their new limited podcast series on The Amazing Race from an LGBTQ point-of-view. What makes the race so “gaymazing” beyond some of the storied LGBTQ teams who have competed, and in some instances even won, the race? How does TAR touch upon a queer aptitude for travel, adventure, cracking codes, and reading signs? How has the show grappled with the thorny issue of “diversity” in TV representation?  Our hosts introduce you to some of the themes and recurring segments you’ll be hearing all series long while introducing newbies to The Amazing Race fundamentals. Plus, Nicole and Karen do a deep dive into some of their problematic TAR favorites, including Mirna and Charla.

        Gender & Sexuality Studies
        University of Southern California
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        Los Angeles, California 90089-4352

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        The Consortium for Gender, Sexuality, Race and Public Culture is generously funded by USC Dornsife and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.