Kurt Verlin

Why is ‘The Grand Tour’ Killing Off Celebrities?

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Jeremy Renner jumping out of a plane

Jeremy Renner jumps out of a plane, eventually falling to his death

The Grand Tour on Amazon featuring Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May has mostly everything you would have found on BBC’s Top Gear back when the same trio was hosting it.

TGT has its own track, its own mainstay driver, and a segment where they talk about the latest car news. But what’s notably missing compared to Top Gear is the celebrity interview, which has been replaced in TGT by “Celebrity Brain Crash,” a short bit during which Clarkson and co. act as though they expect a guest to arrive on the show, only to witness them dying in some ridiculous way. James May then says “Does that mean s/he’s not coming on, then?” and everyone lets out a forced chuckle before the show goes on.

It’s utterly predictable and stopped being funny after the first episode, though I’d even argue it wasn’t funny then either. But why are they doing it? Why is The Grand Tour pretending to kill off celebrities week after week?

According to The Sun, we have the BBC to thank for that. Apparently the strict legal conditions following Clarkson, Hammond, and May’s departure from the BBC show have forced Amazon and TGT not to have a celebrity interview segment.

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Armie Hammer "dies" on TGT

Clarkson, Hammond, and May watch as Armie Hammer dies following a rattlesnake attack

Additionally, Clarkson has said in interviews that the threat of BBC legal action prevents them from having celebrities drive on a race track, having a leaderboard, and other segments.

If that’s the case, TGT’s decision to “kill off” celebrities may then be its way of getting back at the BBC. The BBC probably worked hard to get big names like Tom Cruise and Will Smith to appear on the new Top Gear in an effort to dampen its predictable unpopularity (and failing miserably), so killing off A-listers like Jeremy Renner and Charlize Theron could just be TGT’s way of rubbing it in their faces.

Either way, I’d be happy to see the segment go. If they truly can’t bring on celebrities to interview, they’d be better off focusing on something else instead of going through the same transparent charade every week.

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Source: The Sun

Kurt Verlin was born in France and lives in the United States. Throughout his life he was always told French was the language of romance, but it was English he fell in love with. He likes cats, music, cars, 30 Rock, Formula 1, and pretending to be a race car driver in simulators; but most of all, he just likes to write about it all. See more articles by Kurt.