The return of “The Grand Tour” almost is here, and there apparently will be many changes made to the show.
The Amazon series tweeted another teaser video for Season 2 — which launches Dec. 8 — on Thursday, revealing that the “Celebrity Brain Crash” segment has been axed from the show. Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May still intend to have famous guests stop by their studio, but unlike in Season 1, the vistors won’t leave the tent in caskets.
“Celebrity Brain Crash” was introduced in the first episode as a trivia game, but it actually was a reoccurring bit, in which celebrities — from actors such as Jeremy Renner, to Formula One drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen — “died” after the hosts introduced them. After seeing the segment once, however, the surprise factor wore off, and quickly became old hat.
In addition to “Celebrity Brain Crash,” former NASCAR driver Mike Skinner, aka The American, has been cut from the show. Skinner tweeted Nov. 7 that he was told his character was being dropped because it “wasn’t developed.”
Given that comparing the lap times of different performance cars is a major component of the program, many are wondering who will replace Skinner. One twitter user said that Jenson Button, David Coulthard or Ben Collins, formerly the Stig on “Top Gear,” should fill the void — and the latter’s response suggests he just might.
Although Collins had a falling out with Clarkson, Hammond and May during their “Top Gear” days, when he left the show after he revealed that he was the faceless racer in his autobiography, the trio have since buried the hatchet.
Collins appeared on an episode of “Top Gear” as himself in Season 17 to mentor a group of wounded veterans who were attempting to qualify for the Dakar Rally. What’s more, he filmed a video with the trio for their “Clarkson, Hammond and May Live” show in 2016, playing their new tamed racing driver, “The Ben Collins.”