Clarkson, Hammond and May have successfully made the jump from the BBC to Amazon with their new show The Grand Tour. It quickly became one of Amazon’s most viewed shows and wowed fans all over the world.

But amidst all of its success and glory, there have been a few sections of the show that came across some negativity. In this article, we’re going to discuss them.

Celebrity Brain Crash

Since moving to The Grand Tour, the boys and production company have had to be very careful to make sure the new format isn’t copying Top Gear’s old format in any way. It even went as far as their legal team worrying if James could or couldn’t say ‘c**k’. So to make sure they weren’t putting themselves in a bad situation and following the legal conditions set by the BBC, Celebrity Brain Crash was devised.

This skit involved a celebrity being killed off in some manner before making it to the tent, resulting in James May asking, “does that mean he’s not coming on then?”

A lot of viewers, although finding it funny the first time, seemed to get tired of it after it had been repeated a few times.

The American

Carrying on with the legal conditions set by the BBC, they of course couldn’t involve the Stig. They instead used ‘The American’ to set the lap times for each car to be put on the lap time board. Mike Skinner, a NASCAR driver from the states, has been appointed to sit under the helmet, but every time he’s on-screen, seems to complain about the cars not being good enough or not being like an old american muscle car, and after hearing a communist joke from Jeremy too many times, viewers got annoyed.

Scripted

Did The Grand Tour feel very scripted to you? It’s no secret that Top Gear used to be scripted too, but The Grand Tour seemed to go a little over the top – at some points feeling slightly like a comedy routine that had been practiced over and over again to a mirror. Especially ‘Conversation Street’, which felt a little forced and a bit like the joke book had been opened a few too many times. It’s not just me that thought this either. I’d much rather watch the natural bickering the trio produces than them read jokes off a script.

Please don’t misunderstand this article – I loved The Grand Tour. It’s great to see Clarkson, Hammond and May back on their feet with the support of a major company, but with every new venture there are creases that need to be ironed out. Don’t get me wrong, I’m being extremely pernickety, but I and a lot of other viewers have noticed there are things that could definitely be improved.

Let me know if you disagree, or if there are any other changes you’d like to be made in the comments below!

69 Responses

  1. Mark Jones

    The time spent out in cars doing crazy stuff is fine, most of the “studio” stuff needs a total revamp. I always skip the Celebrity Brain Crash & the awful American (what a poor ambassador for the USA!) but just about suffer conversation st.

  2. Brandon

    I quite enjoyed the Grand Tour Much more, for me it seems the new TG presenters try way to hard, Chris Evans was trying to be Clarkson, thank goodness he is gone, only thing I can knock on TGT is the celebrity brain crash, but then again I hate TG when they drag celebrity around the track, thats really irritating and boring always fast forward that shit 😂

  3. Shady Massalha

    I dont believe that TGT was not good.
    To me, Put these 3 guys in a screen just doing nothing.. and i will enjoy.
    Because i simple like them.

  4. Richard Pockett

    Blend celebrity brain crash with the american and kill the american every episode.

    Or…

    Have two drivers and get the american drive a muscle car against Ben(every one wants Collins) in a modern super car.

    And….

    Make a smaller version of the lotus track and race celeb’s on go-karts. Jezza can call the race and use anti names for the corners….”…absolutely not hammerhead…” and “….definitely not Gambon…..”

    All so…

    Have an engineering challenge between hosts each week. Make something stupid and pit them against each other.

    And more cheap car challanges …. xD

  5. Julian Dukart

    I hope that they will make more challenges like buy a SUV for some cash and go to Africa. But I believe that was too close to Top Gear :/

  6. Trozz

    The part I liked least about Top Gear was the celebrities so I thought Celebrity Brain Crash was great.

  7. Liquidmaster

    i couldn’t agree more, brilliant article and i hope this article goes to the triple to modify or enhance it next season

  8. Mark Painter

    Spot on – in order of annoyance, Celebrity brain crash, the American and conversation street.
    Stick to the sweeping vistas, superb filmography and stuff the scripted crap

  9. Shane Drew

    Totally agree. I used the Celebrity Crash segment and the Conversation segment to either go to the loo or make a coffee. I didn’t mind the American but thought it would be a good opportunity to have a female driver for a change, given they have a huge female following and there are some great female race drivers out there.

  10. Rich

    They should keep the American but put tape over his mouth. It’s like having the Stig and settling the worst part of the show at once.

  11. Steve

    Absolutely agree also. I really hope the next season will be more natural wich was the essence of the show.

    I really enjoyed the last Season of TG also so now we have 2 great car show wich is good news 🙂

  12. Alan

    … repetition was series one’s downfall, the american’s attitude, brain crash, and conversation street. Pushing the joke line for more than one show and not putting the effort in to create new ones became a cringe factor. It would be nice to see the program evolving into a show that others envied for its changing format

  13. Steve

    I’d like to see “The American” on the next season. In my opinion he’s funny 🙂

  14. Darren barrow

    I agree celebrity brain crash conversation street and the American just don’t work I hope they drop them from the new series I enjoyed seeing them all back together but if the new season doesn’t change I don’t think I’ll be watching

  15. Tomas fry

    Perfectly put and that’s it would be back to its best although would like to see a few cheap at challenges

  16. Ties Roodhardt

    Spot on, I totally agree. Great show imho. Lets put The American on Celebrity Braincrash. Problem solved. 😊

  17. Martin Jennings

    I thought that The Grand Tour was funny and inventive. It left me guessing how the celebrity would pretend to die coming on and it was good that the show was humourous and featured different locations including Whitby Bay twice. The cars were what made the show and the fun trips I look forward to the next season. I am also glad to now use Amazon Prime Video that has some great stuff on it!

  18. Chris Bell

    Yes – loose the Colonial and Brain Crash – the Desert episode was excellent – more of you three tossing around in cars please

  19. Wojtek Hahnel

    I must absolutely agree, especially with the scripted part. It was just way over the top, for example the stupid part with the “eco cars” (meat). But I am still full of hope that it will get better with each season.

  20. Paul Armstrong

    I would genuinely like to see guests on the show – not killed. Clarkson conducts good interviews and i would like to see that happen. Conversation street has some good “news” and motoring commentary. I am NOT a fan of the American. I think they can do better.

  21. David

    TG aren’t using him so please spring the Stig. Save a fortune by holding an episode somewhere cheap – like Gravesend – and use the money you’ve saved to buy Stigy off the BBC.

  22. The Biker

    Celebrity Brain Crash is pointless, a waste of viewing time & boring. regarding the ‘American’ he just doesn’t fit in. Otherwise the show is totally entertaining & well worth watching. There will always be comparisons, but G.T. is as it should be.

  23. Jayanand

    absolutely agree with everything written. I know half of the things were doing on purpose so at avoid it being sued by BBC. That was, one of the major concern of Jeremy, he said in one of the interview. Thats why i wasnt too critical about the series. There were many rough edges that needed to be polished. The above points, i hope they get ironed out.

  24. unleadedonly

    Pretty much agree, Brain Crash and the American got really unfunny really quickly, though I get that they were probably aimed more for the audience that attended the live recording as it was likely the first time they’d seen the segment. The scripted scenes were 50/50, the Maserati adventure was good, the Call of Duty thing…I still don’t even. The bits I really loved was when they focused on the cars, doing car tests and the like, plus the South African ‘spinning’ thing with James May. Perhaps they could explore what the local car scene is like in each given location? Scandinavian Folk Racing, banger racing in Bolton, American demo derbies etc. Plus more documentary style things, I thoroughly enjoyed James’ GT40 piece, would love more like it! Gotta say I quite liked Conversation Street, especially the intros, though it seems I’m in the minority haha.

  25. Dzadzar

    Stop Celebrity Brain Crash, kick the American and be more like you used to be. That, my friends is how TGT should be and that’s how we want it.

  26. JSG

    My thoughts exactly! Celebrity brain crash got boring after a while, we all knew what was coming. The American HAS to go! He ruins the show! And the interaction between the trio feels forced sometimes, a good gauge of funny is when you see Jeremy laughing in the scenes, that’s how you know its a good joke. You hardly ever see that now. I’m sure Amazon can be more linient w/ the jokes, It’s a paid service not public television now.

    • Alex Harrington

      We like to see him laughing! You know it’s good when he’s laughing!

  27. miguelash

    I agree with you. I might tolerate Conversation Street if they leave it as it is, though. Or they could improve it. But if they get rid of it, I wouldn’t miss it. But they should definitely get rid of Celebrity Brain Crash and The American.

  28. Joe Wolton

    All of the comments you’ve made are spot on. Not a massive deal breaker, and certainly isn’t as jerky as Harris on Top gear (new) season 1, but it doesn’t flow as well as the old Top Gear used to.

  29. Frederic Nielsen

    I completely agree on the american. Extremely annoying, and drags the show down by miles for me atleast…

  30. James Mullins

    I absolutely agree on all three points. Get rid of The American”, Celebrity Brain Crash is so stupid it’s awkward, and conversation street is a complete waste of time.

  31. Jozef Milan

    Everything what you listed here was on my list “don’t want to see anymore”. So if new GT will be without these, it can be very well perfect.

    Probably only thing not on the list is the fact that I had a feeling that sometimes there wasn’t enough cars. One major movie and a lots of studio. I would appreciate if there would be more car testing, just on track, tell us about the cars 🙂

  32. Jason Lee

    Pretty spot on. They need to get back to that natural banter we loved when they were on Top Gear. The American definitely needs to go as well as Celebrity Brain Crash. Conversation Street just needs a bit tweaking but other than, great show.

  33. godonkeys7

    I would be fine with the 3 segments you mentioned being removed, though replacing Skinner with someone else or not let him talk would be good as well

  34. Fred Jones

    Banter now is too crude. Now my kids can’t be allowed to watch TGT. They loved Top Gear!

    • Alex Harrington

      Being child friendly is a massive aspect we hadn’t thought about. Good comment!

  35. Joan

    Completely got all the annoying things down correctly. I agree with it all. But now will the trio listen to critiques and be brave enough to change a bit? I sure hope so, I want 2 great seasons left to remember – TGT get on with it! (I still dreadfully miss original Top Gear).

  36. thatjoegreen

    I don’t know why everyone hates the American, that guy is hilarious.

  37. Prem

    I like the “brain crash” If ideas are good its funny. That should stay! I would like to see a little bit more passion…yes, more passion and excitment about reviewing the cars. They should be playing the first role not second 🙂 The thing I dont really like is the test track. It does not feel Special 🙁 American can stay as long he will be still saying something stupid and funny 🙂 – like about the Tall one 🙂 when something happen to him when he was a child 🙂

  38. Vytas

    Replace American with someone else or make him wear a closed face helmet so you can’t hear him.

  39. Timothy Nick Knight

    I would like to see more about current cars in the market. Not the crazy expensive ones, but ones people actually drive, and auto news.

  40. Newyearsteve

    I agree on all three points, though I’m ok with the Conversation Street most of the time. It’s still miles (pun intended) better the the new Top Gear. That team really don’t work that well together, and Matt’s so obviously reading his lines!

  41. Robert A

    Enough with the rubber penis. It’s gotten old, not to mention that I can’t recommend it to families, which for the most part, I could either top gear.

  42. Shawna Bollig

    I feel that i have seen every top gear from season 1 up.
    Clarkson may and hammond made the show. Noone else can do a car show like they do.

    Grand tour is awesome. Im not in favor of “the american” because the stig was so awesome.
    I think that top gear wasnt a spectacular show from the beginning, but by season 10 it was finally getting its groove.

    Grand tour isnt going to be perfect because of all the red tape, but because it has the three crazed men together, i will continue to support them. Itll take time to find the groove again, which shouldn’t take long since they still work together.

    I love Grand Tour.

  43. Matsha

    Maybe they can get Dale Jr. to set the lap times, now that he’s retiring. 😀

  44. Lonnie Fluty

    Ditch everything you listed here and have them focus on what they excel at. The specials like in Africa, Bolivia, Botswana, Vietnam and with the dune buggies. I would like to see a selection of cars like the Kia K900 vs the 300 and infiniti Q60 or something. We dont need golfs, bmw and mercs all the time.

  45. Ron Kelly

    They have enough innate chemistry to ad-lib their way through a segment with just the barest of direction, let em at it!

  46. wint

    I hated the American segment. I heard Amazon forced him into the show hoping it would increase US viewership, but it’s terrible. I hope they cut him and never look back. Easily the worst part of their first season

  47. Rick Gerke

    I have to admit I didn’t like Celebrity brain crash either. Funny one time got old fast though. I actually liked Conversation street. I would only ask that the American just drive and be himself and not criticize the cars. It’s what I liked about the stig. Otherwise, I liked the show. This years Top Gear was better than last year, but it’s noting like the Clarkson, Hammond Captain Slow team.

  48. Eddie Drake

    There’s always room for improvement but “The American” was GREAT. I hope he stays exactly the same, except faster!

  49. Munvt

    do us all a favor, and go back and watch the first few seasons of TopGear UK, it was god awful until at least season 3-4 until they got into the groove of things. Just need to give it some time is all.

  50. Vitto

    Of all the things that need to go, “The American” tops the list, its a useless bad taste gag, just get Ben Collins back, call him “The Ben Collins” like they did in their summer show after TG went south, they can keep him in a stock pen next to the Eboladrome and feed him crisps when he’s not needed to drive.

  51. PeteH

    I want to see more jokes aimed at foreigners and homosexuals.

    • aaaaaaaaaaaa

      100% agree with you. That’s something I lived about Top Gear. Politically incorrect jokes are funny as hell

    • Prem

      That would be funny! But I dont want to see anything related to psychos and junkies jokes!

    • miguelash

      I agree with you. I might tolerate Conversation Street if they leave it as it is, though. Or they could improve it. But if they get rid of it, I wouldn’t miss it. But they should definitely get rid of Celebrity Brain Crash and The American.

    • Rob

      I’d like to see a proper track. The track they use at the moment it terrible.

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