Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Amazing Race 7 Teams

Posted by Hello

I'm a "Big Fan" of The Amazing Race, which is generally regarded as the best of the reality shows. In fact I'm such a big fan that when the show is on I post an episode recap on the Amazing Race newsgroup. These posts are big - usually around 20 KB and I don't plan on posting them here. A summary maybe but not the whole thing. Before the season starts, I also post an evaluation of the teams and this is a somewhat edited version of what I posted last night. For details on the teams, check out The Amazing Race website which has biographies of all 11 teams and video clip interviews. As The Race goes on they'll also have episode recaps and video clips not seen on the show.
  1. Meredith & Gretchen: Tricky this. Over 50s tend not to do at all well inThe Amazing Race. The best finish by any Over 50 was Ian in TAR3, but he was just 50. Couples who are both Over 50 don't win, and most tend not to make it beyond the first half of the race. I think Meredith is capable of going as far as Don & Mary-Jean did in TAR6 (8thplace) but Gretchen seems a bit too naïve to succeed. Probably one of the first teams out.

  2. Megan & Heidi: I wouldn't be surprised if they're the first team out. Based on their interview they just don't seem prepared for what they'll encounter. Being an all-woman team is a handicap; no all-woman team has been in the final hour of the show except as part of the cheering section at the finish line. Limited travel experience and Megan's fear of flying are definite negatives. Their personalities mesh but their self-perceived strengths and weaknesses are very much the same and don't strengthen them. If they make it to the fourth episode I'll be (pleasantly) surprised.

  3. Susan & Patrick: I really don't like Patrick. He moved to my wrong side when he started talking about forming alliances and stabbing people in the back. He's on the wrong show if that's his strategy. If all he brings to the table is the sort of insight that has the other teams ganging up on Rob & Amber because they've won a million bucks then I don't think they're going to last on The Race. As well as the Over 50 factor, the parent-child dynamic comes into play - the best finish by a parent & child was Nancy & Emily in TAR1. They have learned the first law of The Race; never be apart from at least one other team. How much time will they have to put it into practice?

  4. Uchenna & Joyce: I'm inclined to think that they are going to have a problem. They're worried about food and lack of sleep, two things that are almost a given on The Amazing Race. They have the physical part of it down, but most of the top 8 teams do. What I don't like is that there is some tension in their relationship. The Race is not exactly known for easing stress within relationships. They could do well but really I don't see them going much higher than maybe fifth or sixth.

  5. Lynn & Alex: What is it about this season's trio of gay guys that irritates me so much? I know what it is about these two - they're hyper-judgemental. The love the old couple but think they'll be gone fast. They hate the Hillbillies (Ryan & Chuck) and think they're stupid. They think the Republicans (who? Ron & Kelly perhaps) won't do well in other countries where people don't like Bush. These guys haven't travelled much as a couple although they claim to have travelled extensively as individuals. They think that its an advantage that they're together 24/7. Lynn expects to argue about money and doesnt like the idea of sleeping outdoors - he wants hotels. If they last they could be this years villains.

  6. Ray & Deana: I'd like to see this team go far simply because of their physical preparation- they've worked out a lot for this race. The problem is that they're another team with a relationship that can be described as rocky and he tends to be a bit controlling. They do understand that The Race isn't about alliances and that the team that they have to be most concerned about is themselves. For this and their physicality I like them better than Lynn & Alex and in the right circumstances they could make final four.

  7. Brian & Greg: The Alpha-Male team makes a comeback. I like them but their lack of travel experience and foreign languages is - in theory at least - a weak point. They could go all the way of course, but there's something about them that doesn't sit quite well with me. This is one of those teams where I'll know better when I see them in action.

  8. Ryan & Chuck: I love these guys. They're not afraid of hard work or hard conditions. I think teams are going to underestimate them, particularly Chuck, who speaks Portuguese fluently and has travelled in South America including their first destination, Peru. I'm also betting that their hard work muscles will surprise some of those with "Hollywood muscles". Their finish is a real wild-card, but I don't expect them to finish first or last. This year's answer to the Frat Boys and The Clowns.

  9. Ron & Kelly: This might shock a lot of people but I don't necessarily see them as final three material. The weakness is her; I don't know if shes "a when the going gets tough the tough get going" type which Ron, the former POW in Iraq, clearly is. Another big weakness is that they havent been together as a couple for very long and they've been long distance dating since they did get together. They don't know the other person's foibles as well as couples that have been together for a while, or teams that are friends rather than romantically involved. The biggest thing in their favour is Ron's military experience. The stress won't be a big deal for him.

  10. Rob & Amber: The hated Romber. I think they could be a major force in this. Unlike Donny & Allyson in TAR5 they've been through stress together. If 39 days on the Pearl Islands brought them together I can't see The Amazing Race pulling them apart. Language is a weak spot, but they seem to be approaching The Race more with a spirit of enjoying the adventure than the lure of the money. They're looking forward to challenges where they're confronted with things they don't know they can do. They seem to have a healthy attitude about the race, and Rob recognises that this isn't Survivor: here the only way you can win is by relying on yourselfs not by backstabbing or forming alliances.

  11. Debbie & Bianca: These women impress me. Between the two of them theyve been to 34 different countries. Educationally they are very impressive. Debbie graduated summa cum laude from William and Mary, and Bianca has a BA in International Affairs and is working on her Masters in Education with a specialty in multi-cultural studies. Add in that Bianca spent time living on $5 a day in Thailand - which means living really rough - and it is entirely possible that we could see a female team in the final three for the first time. I don't think they'll win, but they'll be in the fight.

No comments: