The Amazing Race 17: Introductions

By Daron Aldridge

September 21, 2010

We can't wait to talk crap about these people.

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We are only a week away from the next season of Emmy-winning (although not this year) The Amazing Race and my third season of recaps. With the season premiere clocking in at 90 minutes and in the interest of not taking up spacing in the episode recap to cover who’s who, here is my official and gut-reaction opinions of the 11 racing teams based solely upon their CBS-approved and published bios and intros. Sadly, there are no Globetrotters or cowboys this time around but we do have two beauty pageant veterans (surprisingly not on the same team) and a slew of dating teams with high fireworks prospects, as well as three parent/child teams.

I reserve the right to change my team assessment upon actually seeing them in action on the race, as well as adjusting my team nicknames for them based upon how they turn out. Enjoy these purely unscientific predictions. Amazing Race viewers ready…GO!!

Names: Andie and Jenna
My Nickname: Perfect Strangers

Biological mom Andie gave up daughter Jenna for adoption in her early 20s but now has a family with ten kids, ranging from 18 months to 18 years. After doing the math (oldest child at home is only three years younger than Jenna), it seems strange that reading that Andie’s assertion for deciding to proceed with adoption because she was “choosing life when faced with an unplanned pregnancy.” Even if daredevil Jenna didn’t speak so highly and lovingly of her adoptive parents, then there might have been tension as soon as she did the math also. As racers, they may appear to have a lack of fear when it comes to frightening tasks (especially thrill-seeking enthusiast Jenna), but my gut says they will be a nonfactor and be out at ninth place.


Names: Brook and Claire
My Nickname: Team HSN

Well-traveled home shopping TV hosts and best friends Brook and Claire are next. Despite being besties and former co-workers, this team will likely butt heads…a lot. Consider that Brook describes Claire as “really bossy and gets easily offended when I don’t listen to her advice.” Sounds like drama just waiting to happen. More than likely you have seen the wincingly wonderful preview for this season with a contestant taking a watermelon to the face during a Roadblock. Well, this is that team and Brook supportively tells melon-assault victim/teammate Claire, “You have to finish.” Probably not the best timing to avoid a fight but entertaining for me, the viewer. I kinda hope they stick around but I give them nothing higher than a middle of the pack or sixth place finish.

Names: Chad and Stephanie
My Nickname: Beauty & the Beast

The Amazing Race producers need to cast a wider net since here is the first of the aforementioned beauty pageant contestants with Stephanie having competed in Miss USA 2008. I am pegging this dating couple from Florida as the most potentially explosive, a la the verbally abusive Jonathon of Jonathon and Victoria or nearly arrested in an African country Collin of Collin and Christy. When both teammates state the biggest challenge will be communication and Stephanie adds Chad’s temper and brashness, the producers are angling for Emmy-bait drama. While they undoubtedly love discovering teams that bicker, it never settles with me when it is a dating/married couple and the male is so aggressive. It just has uneasiness to it. This may not be the case with Chad (and I hope I’m wrong), but historically, I will not like this team, so I am predicting/wishing for an 11th place finish.

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