The Amazing Race 12 Episode 1
Donkeys Have Souls, Too
By Reagen Sulewski
November 7, 2007
Thanks to the ineptitude of Hugh Jackman and his foray into network TV, Viva Laughlin, we're treated to our favorite globetrotting reality show a couple of months early. Yes, it's the return of The Amazing Race for its 12th(!) edition, and they've really upped the ante for freak show contestants this time around.
Our ever-present host and task master Phil Keoghan greets us from the top of a skyscraper in Los Angeles to introduce our eleven teams for this season, who are:
Marianna and Julia, sisters from Miami. They win the Kellen Winslow Jr. Award by comparing themselves to soldiers, while the video cuts to them in bikinis on a speedboat. Julia says they'll triumph because they have the beauty of women and the strength of men. Just like Secret deodorant.
Ronald and Christina, a father and daughter team from Tacoma. This is our annual team with parental issues, as Christina says she doesn't really know her dad all that well because of her father's travels for work. Good luck with working out those issues on the road. Also, Ronald is wearing an über-disturbing "Who's Your Daddy?" shirt, which he plainly doesn't understand.
Kynt and Vyxsen, "dating Goths" from Louisville. Oh, where to begin with these two. The pretentious names? Kynt's obvious desire to be Marilyn Manson? The pink, oh God, the pink? These two are a comedy vein that will certainly keep on giving as long as they're in the race. It's like Cryptie the forklift driver got a TV show (Google this, trust me).
Nicolas and Donald, a grandson/grandfather team from the Chicago area. Nic is 23 (but looks like he should be in the cast of Friday Night Lights) and flies planes, while grandpa is a dirty old man, apparently.
Nathan and Jennifer, a dating couple from the LA region. When Jennifer mentions the "trust issues" in their relationship, I excepted them to dance around the euphemism, but no, she comes right out and mentions that he cheated on her, which at least makes them the most honestly dysfunctional team in the history of the race. But hey, team chemistry isn't an issue in TAR, is it?
Azaria and Hendekea, a brother and sister from New Orleans who seem just a leeetle to close for comfort if you know what I'm saying and I think that you do. Their plan for the race apparently involves mixing glowing chemicals in beakers and kicking soccer balls. So that's what happened to Carlton Banks.
Lorena and Jason, a couple from Los Angeles. Lorena is trying to get Jason, a Mark Wahlberg-lookalike, to take it to the next level, and thought that mentioning this on national TV would be the best way to do this. Jason says he already has a foot out the door, which strikes me as a relationship-ender, but apparently you can continue on after that.
Kate and Pat, a lesbian couple from California, and unfortunately not the fun kind, as they're also ordained ministers. "We're not wimps for Jesus," says Pat (whose name could not fit more perfectly – Julia Sweeney gon' sue somebody), but my fear is that these two become this season's God Squad, who mention Jesus at every turn. We shall see.