Even if shows like Survivor Game Changers and Big Brother 19 did not live up to expectations, each reality show of 2017 had a few standout episodes worth noting. World of Dance had too many to count, MasterChef accumulated more good episodes in the first day than in the entirety of last year and The Amazing Race had its best year in a long time. Sadly, not every great episode of every show can feature on this list. These are the three best episodes of 2017, the nominees for Best Reality TV Episode as part of the 2017 Mastermind Awards.
Back to Back Vietnam Legs
(Amazing Race 29)
Practically every episode of The Amazing Race 29 was amazing to watch, but the final few legs of the race were absolutely spectacular. In the ninth and tenth episodes of the race, CBS packed in a two-hour spectacle all to do with the wonderful and beautiful country of Vietnam. The first of these legs, I Thought We Were Playing It Nice, included a daring bungee jump task, a much more challenging task than probably anticipated of carrying bamboo into a narrow building and a mannequin challenge in which Brooke completely lost her mind simply carrying the mannequins. It was the mom and dad team of Tara and Joey that came in last place after their struggles with those same mannequins, but they were saved by it being a non-elimination leg, setting up the next leg, also in Vietnam.
In the second hour, Riding a Bike Is Like Riding A Bike, the challenges were equally impressive and one, a switchback from season three in which Flo absolutely lost her mind, stole the show. In this challenge, contestants had to load up a bicycle with fish traps and then transport them to a local fisherman and after Floyd had a tumultuous time completely the task, the challenge only enhanced its reputation in Amazing Race folklore as one of the most memorable ever. The challenge tired Floyd out so much that he passed out due to dehydration and couldn’t even complete the leg, thus eliminating the popular Team Fun. Beyond the fun challenges, this episode had it all from drama, amazing shots of nature, Vietnam on full display and contestants clashing at every opportunity. Out of all the standout Amazing Race legs this year, this one was the best.
Reinventing How This Game Is Played
(Survivor Game Changers)
It’s no secret that Survivor Game Changers was not the best season of Survivor, but Reinventing How This Game Is Played was one of the best episodes of Reality TV this year and said goodbye to one of the stars of the season, Zeke Smith. Just when Brad Culpepper was looking like he was going to gain control of the game, Sarah Lacina emerged even further as a power player and kept Sierra around in place of the former Millennials vs. Gen X player. This was incredibly surprising given their close relationship in the game and Sarah herself in the episode even claiming she wanted to work with Zeke for a few more votes. Zeke meanwhile was running around trying to secure himself the numbers and ended up winning over Brad and Troyzan so much that they, and Sierra, ended up voting for Tai! The debate about who to send home between Zeke and Sierra and everyone scrambling for the numbers was the most intriguing thing about the episode and it was a crucial vote in helping Sarah Lacina win the game.
♥ Triple Eviction (Big Brother Canada 5)
Not just the best episode of Big Brother Canada this year, but also one of the best the show has ever witnessed. Any multi-eviction night in Big Brother is always going to be entertaining but this one was just on another level and had drama in every form that it comes. Going into the triple eviction, practically every fan of the show across North America was worried about the three power players in the house: Ika, Demetres and Kevin all going out during the episode. But shockingly, all three stayed, creating much drama and excitement that nobody saw coming.
The first shocker of the episode was when Jackie was sent out the door in place of Ika. On paper, this was a simple decision. Between the queen of the game and one of the show’s most inept players in history, who do you keep? One of the show’s most inept players in history. But the contestants had other ideas; Kevin smartly aligning with his biggest competitors Ika and Demetres and Karen swaying Dillon in that direction as well because well, the only person that Karen disliked more than Kevin and Ika in BBCAN5 was Jackie. But after that, the episode only got better. Demetres was given a chance to speak to a jury member of his choice and he chose Sindy. Not only was this a hilarious and entertaining exchange, it was also a really neat “twist”/invention and did not negatively effect the game. Following that it was The Greek who gained power for the sixth time in five weeks and he of course decided to nominate Dre, Kevin and William for eviction. Realizing, that they were never going to go through with their final three deal, Kevin sought out revenge against Ika and Demetres and did so by winning the POV, fixing the horror in his mind when he went out in the triple back in BBCAN3, and vowing to go after them when final five hit. In the final shocker of the evening, all three houseguests voted to save Dillon, even Ika in what was the longest time ever spent in the diary room thinking about a vote. Ultimately Dre and William were eliminated from the game and in their own eviction episode, with so much going on, were practically the most irrelevant characters on the show. You just could not have scripted this episode any better. BBCAN5’s Triple Eviction will go down in the history books as one of the best Big Brother episodes of all time.
So there it is! The nominees for Best Reality TV Episode as part of the 2017 Mastermind Awards. Like what you read? Subscribe for more and make sure to be back here on December 5th to begin voting for all the awards! See you soon!
♥ = The Mastermind‘s choice for each award category.