The Amazing Race Recap
By Daron Aldridge
October 8, 2012
Well, the 21st season is now under way and it was more of a couple of unexciting challenges (i.e. the eating Roadblock that didn’t really affect the order of the teams and the wandering around looking for an abacus lady that affected the order in boring fashion). The first episode moved along at a decent pace and thankfully, the public shaming…er…I mean…ping pong Roadblock where our teams were humbled by a ten-year-old was entertaining.
With one leg behind us, here’s my take on how these teams rank.
- Amy & Daniel (Dating): The on-and-off couple took second place on the first leg but was first among the teams in likability for me. Yes, they shouldn’t have shared the location of the clue to divorcees Abbie & Ryan but hopefully they have it out of their system and can use other approaches to play as nice people but not as doormats. Admittedly, this ranking is driven by the fact that I am rooting for them most at this point.
- Abbie & Ryan (Dating divorcees): First place on the first leg means they are the only ones playing for the double grand prize of $2 million. I incorrectly suspected they would bicker their way into an earlier elimination. Ryan also proved to be less of a jackass than I believed him to be. They could go far but I’d wager that the other teams will view the extra cash incentive enough to target them as often as possible.
- James & Abba (Friends): Headbangers Ball got a sixth place finish on the first leg. Again, the likability of the team is influencing the ranking. As is the case with every episode of every season of the Race, an equalizer at the start of the leg eliminates the lead of the front of the pack and serves as redemption for the back half. I think that James & Abba will benefit the most from this inevitability because they were frontrunners all the way until the last task, the aforementioned “looking for an old lady” task. They should be able to rebound and stay in the top.
- Caitlin & Brittany (Friends): Defying the stereotype, the blondes grabbed the third place spot on the first leg. Despite an inexplicable inability to read the word “abacus”, Caitlin & Brittany performed quite well and quite well as a team. Their years of competitive sports may deserve credit but the blondes should be able to keep their momentum going.
- (tie) Trey & Lexi (Dating): Team Longhorn ended the first leg in ninth place. AND Gary & Will (Best Friends/Substitute Teachers): Our replacement educators ended the first leg in eighth place. These two teams didn’t stumble much on the first leg and if not for the misfortune of being on the second flight to arrive in Shanghai, they might have met with Phil earlier. Both teams appear to have a strong understanding of one another and work well together.
Josh & Brent (Life partners for 15 years): Team Beekman ended the first leg with a seventh place finish. These guys have the potential for an explosive relationship more so than any other team, excluding the twins, but I will get to them in a minute. They seem to be outside of their comfort zone; even just small amounts of effort seem to bring more stress to an already stressful situation. We will see if I am wrong but until that time, I can’t see placing them much higher than this.
Jaymes & James (Best friends/Chippendales dancers): Team Beefcake ended the first leg with a 10th place finish. While the blondes defied stereotypes, Double Ja(y)mes here fueled them. Yes, they were strong but they offered little on the intellectual side, even with as simple of a task as looking for a person. While living up to our himbo expectations, they also narrowly escaped elimination by about 15 seconds. Yup, that was seconds. I would peg them as this season’s Team Jersey Shore but those meatheads had a decent, middle leg finish. Team Beefcake is not destined for even that amount of “above average”.
Natalie & Nadiya (twin sisters): Fourth place was what these twins secured on the first leg and it wasn’t good enough for them. I know, I know. Why are they so lowly ranked? Short answer: They are obnoxious. Long answer: They are the most obnoxious team this season and wish they weren’t on my TV anymore. So, I am ranking them here in hopes that I can will this Race fate into existence. Too bad, I believe the next team eliminated will be…