While working on the racing report for leg 6 of China rush I came up with what I see as clear cut evidence that production is messing with the departure times between teams. I have suspected this for a while but in this leg it became quite obvious.
The last task of leg 5 was the detour in the stadium. Rick and Josh flew through that and according to editing left before the next team even arrived. The next team was Lisa & Karen, and in interviews they said they spent 2.5 hours looking for the medal. Actually all teams who went for the gold seemed to be there for quite a while.
But the departure times for leg 6 look like this:
1. Rick & Josh - 09:16
2. Sean & Amy - 09:24 (+0:08, +8)
3. Sarah & Molly - 09:28 (+0:12, +4)
4. Charlie & Rachel - 09:33 (+0:17, +5)
5. Lisa & Karen - 09:38 (+0:22, +5)
6. Deepak & Naresh - 09:43 (+0:27, +5)
There is only 22 minutes separating Rick & Josh and Lisa & Karen. The intervals between the teams are also suspiciously uniform. It looks like teams were released once every 5 minutes except that the first team got a slightly bigger lead. So my guess is that the actual arrival times of the teams were thrown out the window and teams were just spaced evenly for the departure.
In theory this could have been caused by traffic, but I consider that highly unlikely. If nothing else that the editors would have tried to build suspense in leg 5 if the last teams were catching up.
Now I do not consider this cheating by the production. It may very well be written into the rules that they will condense teams between legs. As long as they not rearrange teams without reason I have no major problem with it. But it is disingenuous to the viewers
Also the fact that China Rush does this does not mean that any other races are doing this.