The Amazing Race: Power Rankings
Season 21, Episode 4
By Daron Aldridge
October 21, 2012
All it took was successive bad Indonesian drivers for blondes Caitlin & Brittany to fall from grace into Ugly Americanism in record time. At least their snarky comments about non-English speaking Indonesians seemed to be spurred on by driver incompetence, unlike eventual winner Cindy from a couple seasons ago, who, without provocation, criticized the way that a certain African tribe lived. (Reminder: Ernie & Cindy remain my least favorite winners EVER.)
Back to this week’s rankings. Since the girls failed to live up to the potential that apparently only I saw in them, my rankings heading into episode four are a bit in disarray with not much confidence in the majority of the teams.
- Abbie & Ryan (Dating divorcees): Three legs into the Race and Abbie & Ryan have make it clear that they are the team to beat. They have two first place finishes so far, one of which put the extra million dollars in play for them, and there are no real threats to Amazing Race domination for Meghan & Cheyne 2: Electric Boogaloo (you know…because Abbie is a dance instructor and…oh never mind). Ryan disproved my earlier assumption about his hotheadedness by being quite supportive of Abbie during the Lion’s head Detour. If they maintain this level of communication and support, then they are unstoppable (and this week, they rock…Bangladesh).
- Trey & Lexi (Dating): Here’s the only team that I predict can threaten the divorcees’ stroll up to the mat - especially given Lexi’s stated desire to U-Turn them if they get the chance. At least these two are actually thinking about the Amazing Race as a game. The Longhorn couple has checked in with Phil in second place on back-to-back legs and consistency is king on the Race, or at least with regard to my rankings for both of these dating couples. The biggest strike against Trey & Lexi is their newfound a partnership with my least favorite team this season, Natalie & Nadiaya.
- James & Abba (Friends): Headbangers Ball has continued to make autonomous moves and have positioned themselves higher in the rankings because they are consciously going at it alone. These heavy metal friends seem to have pulled themselves from the brink of disaster following the first leg’s abacus lady debacle. While most of the teams do better in a group setting and fitting in, this team is the loner that smokes behind the gym and generally doesn’t care what the others think. This strategy distinguishes them from others and why I place them in third.
Jaymes & James (Best friends/Chippendales dancers): Team Beefcake has danced their way to another third place finish and seems hell bent on proving me wrong about the numerous himbo comments. Well, this week, they get more respect from me in the rankings because like Abbie & Ryan and Team Longhorns, Jaymes & James are showing consistency. The repeat last week could have been a direct result of their cushy grouping several areas ahead of the others, or maybe they have duped us all and they are Amazing Race masterminds. It’s probably the former but I still concede they are doing better than I expected. This vote of confidence (or rather just lacking mocking condemnation) means they will implode this week.
Josh & Brent (Life partners for 15 years): Last week Team Beekman declared the Race is divided into alpha, super competitor go-getter teams and the rest. They were happy to place themselves in the “rest” category. This rather milquetoast assessment of their own abilities and the lack of compelling footage of them racing convinces me that they don’t deserve more than a middle of the pack ranking. Josh & Brent haven’t stood out in any regard this season so far, which is weird given their previous experience on a reality show. So until they give me something to talk about, they aren’t going anywhere rank-wise.
Natalie & Nadiya (twin sisters): Luckily, I have been blessed with all five of my senses and prior to this season, if I had to give up one sense, it would have been smell. Now, I reconsider that decision. Thanks to these twins’ grating voices, overall demeanor, unfounded sense of arrogance and inability to not yell at the other during a Roadblock, I think I would surrender the power to hear. The girls thankfully got knocked down a few pegs last week but I’m sure they both feel like that was a fluke. I don’t think so. Instead, I think their sixth place finish is more indicative of their Race abilities than their first place finish two weeks ago. In that last sentence, you should probably just replace “think” with “hope” because that is my wish.
Gary & Will (Best Friends/Substitute Teachers): I know what you’re thinking. “How can these two knuckleheads NOT be ranked last?” Here’s my reasoning: I admit that two legs ago they botched the Roadblock in a major way, thus securing them a last place spot. But I feel that such a horrible showing carried over into last week, thus preventing them from anything better than last, thanks to them being the easy target for a U-Turn. Are they a good team? Not at all, but in my opinion, they are better than...
Rob & Kelley (married monster truckers): The monster truckers don’t receive a last place ranking reprieve this week, despite consistently subpar performances of from our substitutes. Similar to the notion that Team Beefcake is only a mental error away from a major setback, Rob & Kelley hold a similar disposition for error. Unlike Jaymes & James, the married couple doesn’t have much of a cushion to allow them to slide down places and not be eliminated. If they mess up as I suspect they will (sooner or later), they will be knocked out of the race. And this is the week, it may just happen.
Let’s see what our merry master of ceremonies Phil has in store for teams this week in Bangladesh and how accurate my ranking proved (spoiler alert…probably not very).