Once and for all, which Race Across The World series is the best? Vote here

Series one just hits different

The best thing about Race Across The World is the people. Unlike other reality shows they feel, well, real, they all genuinely seem like lovely people (the past winners have given almost all of their winnings to charity, unlike Love Islanders who invariably go on to pursue brand deals with fast fashion companies) and through the series you learn so much about the cast as you watch them reconnect and strengthen their relationships with friends or family members.

But a very close second to the people are the places you see the Race Across The World cast travel through. It’s enough to make anyone want to sack it all in and go on a gap yahhh – whether it’s journeying through Europe and south-east Asia, down Central and South America, or across Canada, the series shows the most incredible landscapes, places you never even knew existed, and the contestants always meet the most generous people from all over the world. We all know Race Across The World is the best reality TV show of all time – but once and for all, which series is the best?

Race Across The World series one

Series one of Race Across The World had arguably the most varied trip – they went through so many countries from London to Singapore, going via Greece, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, China and Cambodia. Who could forget when they all got stuck on that awful ferry in the middle of the sea after leaving their Azerbaijan checkpoint? Going through so many countries added a level of drama and made it harder for the contestants, who had constant language barriers and issues with changing their money’s currency.

Josh and Felix were like every evil uni boy who studies business rolled into one, and Sue and Clare were pretty useless, but the rest of the contestants were iconic. Natalie and Shameema were jokes and their friendship was so nice to watch, Darron and Alex were pure chaos but so wholesome and it was so nice to see their relationship grow, and Tony and Elaine were the worthy winners we all tell ourselves we would be if we went on the show (as we watch the cast take endless night buses with zero food, from the comfort of our nice sofas, surrounded by snacks).

The only thing that lets down series one of Race Across The World is the fact it only gave us six episodes, compared to later seasons where we have eight of the actual race plus a bonus reunion episode – I want to see more!

Series two

Series two saw its Race Across The World cast travel down Central and South America, going from Mexico to Argentina, via Honduras, Panama, Colombia, Peru, Brazil and Argentina. There was definitely more drama than in series one.

Two pairs of contestants had to drop out – Shuntelle and Michael lost over £1,000, and Jo and Sam ended up spending too much money to be able to carry on until the end – and the show’s no-fly rule had to be scrapped due to civil unrest meaning they couldn’t travel through Ecuador. And the final checkpoint was literally at the top of a mountain – who could ever forget Jen chucking her entire bag and yellow coat down it whilst screaming at Rob? The winning team was also way more of a close call than in season one, with Emon and Jamiul only beating Jen and Rob by 20 seconds – it was so tense.

Series two had some of the best Race Across The World cast, Shuntelle and Michael were probably the most chaotic in the show’s history, siblings Dom and Lizzie were loads of fun, and Jen’s alter ego Checkpoint Jen was a force to be reckoned with, whilst Rob basically just followed along wherever she went. Emon and Jamul lied to a taxi driver and “paid” him with their iPods which they said were worth loads of money, but then redeemed themselves when they gave their entire winnings to charity. And Jo and Sam were the wholesome Race Across The World pair every series needs – Sam spending all their money on spag bol was iconic, and we defo all wished Jo was our mum whilst watching.

Series three

Respectfully, I’m bored of Canada now. I didn’t sign up to watch people just waste hundreds of pounds on endless taxis (I’m looking at you, Kevin). Someone said it should be renamed Rent Cars Across The World and I agree – it’s just getting boring now. Where are the day-long trains?? Where are the ferries having to stop in the middle of the sea because of storms??? Give us some variety that’s not just hitch-hiking, I beg. Canada is a beautiful country and some of the places the series three cast have been to look amazing, but they’re not having to navigate public transport, different languages and different currencies, and it’s definitely leaving something missing from Race Across The World series three.

Series three also gave us the most variation in cast in Race Across The World’s history – some of the very best but also some of the worst. When Claudia and Kevin laughed and waved as the bus drove off leaving Cathie and Tricia stranded, they cemented themselves as probably the most evil duo on the show of all time. And Marc and Michael were somehow even more useless than Clare and Sue from season one. But the good series three cast have been well and truly great. Ladi and Monique are so wholesome it makes me want to cry, I would die for Tricia and Cathie, and Mobeen and Zainib keep us all entertained with their constant bickering, although you can tell they really care about each other.

So vote now: Which series of Race Across The World is the best?


All episodes of Race Across The World are currently available on iPlayer. For all the latest reality TV and entertainment news and gossip, like Pop Culture Shrine on Facebook

All images including featured image via BBC

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