The 21st season of the Amazing Race will premiere on Sunday, September 30 at 8pm ET. Teams were announced a few weeks ago (see this thread for initial discussion).
Now that we’re close to the beginning of the season, though, let’s do another another preseason
Stuck in the Desert and Officially Detained - or, Philiminated with extreme prejudice.
No one yet, but Phil hungers! He hungers!
Flat Tire - or, not likely to get anywhere soon.
Stopping for Gas - or, not broken-down, exactly, but not a good sign.
Caitlin & Brittany (Blonde friends) - All-female teams aren’t the most successful on the Amazing Race. They’re probably in pretty good shape, and probably not incredibly dim, but a) I could be wrong, and b) you can say that about all the teams on the Race this season. I don’t see what this team brings to the Race that no one else does.
Abbie & Ryan (Dating divorcee couple) - Communications problems? Check. Working on their relationship? Check. Implusive, type-A personalities? Check. This team will last for a little while, but will eventually crash and burn.
Rob & Sheila (Alaskan lumberjack and fiance) - Yet again, they describe themselves as, “Sheila is stubborn and she will have to learn to listen” and “[Rob] lacks tact and can be very insensitive.” And the Amazing Race is a “life changing experience which will redefine us as a couple.” So the typically cast engaged couple, only 45-50 instead of 25-30. On the plus side, some good life experience to draw on, on the minus side, bad knees and pot bellies. I’m thinking the minuses outweigh the plusses, but I admit I could be badly wrong.
"Rapido! Por Favor?" - or, making meaningless ineffectual comments from the back seat, but in no immediate danger.
Natalie & Nadiya (Sri Lankan sisters) - At least I think they’re Sri Lankan, given that Nadiya co-ordinates fundraising events in Sri Lanka. If they weren’t actually twin sisters, I’d wonder about their ability to work together, given that Natalie says Nadiya, “never listens to me, even when she knows I’m right,” and Nadiya says Natalie, “is too pushy and always thinks she is right.” But they are sisters, womb-sharing even, and I assume their international connection gives them a little more experience in travel than most of the other teams. Still, all-women teams aren’t historically high-performers on the Race.
Gary & Will (Balding and short) - Gary & Will actually live realtively near where I do. I don’t know them, but I’ll have to pull for the home team here. Still, among the older teams, they seem least likely to have something to bring to the Race. I’m ranking them higher than Rob & Sheila only because Gary & Will don’t seem to be using the Race to redefine their relationship.
Amy & Daniel (Amputee and boyfriend) - A stunt-cast team who stand to benefit more from publicity than actually racing. I expect them to last for some time, then bow out with the requisite declaration that a sixth-place finish on the Amazing Race proves that amputees are just as worthy as everyone else.
Trey & Lexi (Dating students couple) - Trey’s biggest accomplishment is graduating from the University of Texas, and Lexi’s biggest accomplishment is attending the University of Texas. Maybe it’s just me, but doing something half the population does seems a little low on the accomplishment scale. Maybe that’s unfair: attending college takes time and effort, so it is indeed an accomplishment, but it does underscore this team’s inexperience (which to his credit Trey acknowleges). They also cite “communication” as a challenge, so there’s that. However, they seem excited to “experience different cultures” and take a “journey with my best friend,” so I’m hoping Trey & Lexi turn out to be a very sweet couple and cruise through some patches that frustrate other teams.
In the Passing Lane - or, ahead of the pack, but not quite comfortably.
James & Mark (Long-haired rockers) - Rock and roll! James played bass in Megadeath and White Lion, among others, so you just know he’s going to rock the “perform a musical solo” Roadblocks. If there are any. James & Mark look like they’ll work well as a team, and they have a lot of experience traveling, so they do have some advantages, if they can keep up with the rest of the teams.
Jaymes & James (Chippendale guys) - If stereotypes are to be believed, these guys are dumber than a box of rocks. Maybe that’s not true, but I don’t see anything in their bio that would lead me to believe otherwise. Still, the physically fit, late-20s male team is pretty much what the Race is geared toward, so they do start with a clear advantage. If they bring anything else to the table other than buff bods, I’ll re-rnak them accordingly.
Josh & Brent (Gay farmers) - I can’t really decide about these two. On the one hand, it seems like they have a good mix of life experiences, including animal farming (and animals crop up quite frequently on the Race) and big-city living. On the other hand, they’ve also had their own reality show, which suggests they’re on the Race more for self-promotion than to win. On the third hand, gay farmers is such a cool but under-recognized demographic that I can’t help but pull for these guys.
Rob & Kelley (Bearded monster trucker and cowgirl) - So Rob is actually a world champion Monster Trucker, and Kelley is actually a world champion rodeo star. And that’s… actually useful experience. Driving vehicles, handling horses, traveling all over: not bad. Still, this couple brings the requisite “the Race will teach us how to communicate better,” which, if true, is clearly dumb. However, everyone knows by now that the producers are looking for problem communicators, because they make for so much better television (right?), so I’ll hazard a guess that their communications problems are mostly overblown.
Cruisin’ with Earl - or, drivin’ on the shoulder, takin’ shortcuts, and generally kickin’ butt.
No one yet.
So of the eleven teams, only four feature people in their 20s, while another four have folks in the 44-53 range, with the rest in-between. And the greatest spread between team members is eight years, so no cross-generational teams at all. And fully five teams who do things you could call entertainment, plus two more who do motivational speaking/fundraising - that’s a suspiciously high number of people who have a publicity incentive to go on the Race.