Johnstone joins Amazing Race in bagpipes challenge
The Johnstone Pipe Band organization were featured in season 33, episode 2 of The Amazing Race, the multi-Emmy Award-winning reality TV show, helping to put our favourite instrument in a favourable light before millions of viewers worldwide.
The “roadblock challenge” to start the episode’s stop in Glasgow had teams first having to locate the Òran Mór venue hall, and then having to assemble a set of pipes so that they could be a part of Johnstone by sustaining a sustained drone sound, with Keith Bowes Sr. judging.
The American show on CBS saw most of the teams befuddled by the experience, struggling to follow a chart on putting together drones, chanter, blowpipe and reeds. Members of Johnstone went from station to station assessing each team’s work.
The episode was the last one filmed before the show went on a two-year hiatus due to the COVID pandemic.
The spotlight on the pipes was a change from the usual belittling of the pipes, contestants respectfully referring to the “musical instrument” and “always wanting to play the bagpipes.”
Throughout the hour-long show, Glasgow was showcased positively, with whisky barrel-making and a judged stage-rendition of “Donald Where’s Yer Troosers?” while the teams galivanted through the rainy city before heading to Switzerland.
The show can be seen online, depending where you live: in the United States, Canada, but other countries could be blocked due to licensing. The debut episode of the current season had an audience of 4.2-million in the US.