The Amazing Race: Power Rankings
By Daron Aldridge
October 28, 2012


Two weeks ago, the ineptitude of blondes Caitlin & Brittany made our own David Mumpower declare “never has a team deserved elimination more.” Well, substitutes/Race superfans Gary & Will seemed dead set on proving that THEY are the team most deserving of elimination. Exhibits A-D:

A.) Will can’t blow up balloon animals and peddle a stationary bike;
B.) They foolishly U-Turn a team ahead of them;
C.) Gary is easily the worst on the bus repair Roadblock; and
D.) They, too, messed up the ferry transportation instructions.

That’s just four examples…we all know there are more and they only lasted this long because inability and bad luck for other teams trumped the substitutes’ attempts to prove “those who can do; those who can’t are reality show superfans, who think the competition is easier than it is.” I may be paraphrasing that idiom but I’ve heard it both ways.

All right, those not-so-distant bad memories of contestants have taken up too much space here (much like on the Race itself). Here’s a look at how I see the teams from best to worst:

Abbie & Ryan (Dating divorcees): While they didn’t get first (and it really was their own fault for not even attempting to do the Fast Forward), our divorcees are still sitting pretty in second place. In addition, they have found a way to make an alliance on the Amazing Race yield some benefit. Resourcefully, Ryan traded a look at Team Beefcake’s clue in exchange for guidance on how to complete the Roadblock, plus their cohesiveness shined again last week with Ryan deferring to Abbie’s sewing experience. While they had to settle for second place finish last week, they should’ve had first place if they had actually claimed the Fast Forward instead of…

James & Abba (Friends): Our '80s metal team took a chance on pursuing the Fast Forward despite being the fifth team to see the option. I dare say that this move shows that these guys are really playing the game. After knocking it out of the park last week, this week’s previews paint a not so pleasant scenario for them. But to paraphrase Curt David’s BOP column “This Weekend, Watch This,” “Some people listen to [previews] (previews can be [misleading].)” Despite being strong these last couple of weeks, the commercials hint at a family emergency forcing our rock-and-roll lifestyle team to pull themselves from the race. I don’t think that will happen because the producers aren't dumb and if a team really did drop out, they would not show who the team is, allowing them to milk the situation for all it's worth. So, for these rankings with the next episode sight unseen, Headbangers Ball here deserve this ranking.

Josh & Brent (Life partners for 15 years): By default from my disgust of other teams and general dunderheadedness of even more teams, Team Beekman is ranked in third. The big divulging of Josh’s past as a drag queen gave the couple a reason to be on camera finally. Josh persevered on the bus repair Roadblock and didn’t let his redo keep them down. They appear to have more aptitude for Race tasks that the first few legs showed. It’s because of this that I happily place this ahead of…

Natalie & Nadiya (twin sisters): This week, I am thinking with my head and not my heart but not completely. The twins are far and away my least favorite team this season BUT I have to overlook my disdain for them and desires for their elimination. The twins have performed strongly the last two legs and because of that, I can’t in good conscience rank them too low. Here’s an instance where I would LOVE to be wrong, so I wouldn’t be obligated to discuss them anymore. They are the sole all-female team, which has to mean something or maybe they have just sidestepped their own Caitlin & Brittany epic collapse. Until that glorious time, I will give them as much credit as I can justify.

(tie) Jaymes & James (Best friends/Chippendales dancers) AND Trey & Lexi (Dating): One paper, both of these teams are physical threats and have the strength to muscle their way through tasks. That is, of course, as long as critical thinking or adapting to a task as they go isn’t required. Unfortunately for both sets of teams, that type of thinking is a hallmark of the Amazing Race. These teams are the examples of the aforementioned dunderheadedness. They may be only one boneheaded mistake away from elimination, yet I predict that both Team Beefcake and Team Longhorns will outlast…

Rob & Kelley (married monster truckers): Last week’s wrong boat and bad cabbies just may be the universe’s way of telling the married couple that luck is not on your side on the Amazing Race. Well, luck, as influenced by ability, that is. Because I suspect that any miscommunication that occurred last week originated from Rob. The lowest hanging fruit has been picked from the tree and Rob & Kelley are now the lowest hanging fruit. What could save them from elimination?...

That would be the fact that we are four legs/four eliminations into the season and a non-elimination leg has to be right around the corner. The expected two or three non-elimination legs have to be coming up soon well before the field is dwindled down even more. That is just not how they plan things out for us.

So, get ready to settle in for the next leg of the Amazing Race.