The Amazing Race: Power Rankings

By Daron Aldridge

November 4, 2012

Hey! We should be number one!

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Thankfully we got the first of the BOP-reviled non-elimination legs out of the way and we can get back to whittling these teams down to a winner of a million dollars (or TWO million, if Abbie & Ryan can pull out a victory). But for the first time in a few weeks, the dating divorcees just barely miss the top of my ranking thanks to my convoluted, subjective and unproven ranking formula.
Here’s how the remaining teams stand to me:

  1. James & Abba (Friends): I am giving the likable metal heads the pole position this week for a few reasons – some based upon their own merit and another because of how another team did last week. First, James here showed considerable focus and dedication to the Race after receiving a troubling cancer diagnosis about this father. While this may seem inconsequential to the Race, I suspect that he will do everything in his power to win because he made the decision to stay on the Race. Next, the guys held onto their Fast Forward-resulting lead from the previous leg to capture first again and according to the edited, aired show, they didn’t even encounter any of the other teams. Granted, all it takes is a flight to level the playing field, but they are playing smart and hard enough to capitalize any time advantage. Because of these things and another’s lack of focus, I put them just a slight notch ahead of other frontrunners…

  2. Abbie & Ryan (Dating divorcees): Two weeks ago, they foolishly ignored an opportunity for a Fast Forward without any explanation (maybe they wanted to save it for later since teams can only claim one on the Race) and then last week, Abbie uncharacteristically struggled quite a bit with the scale Roadblock. That is to be expected every now and then but the biggest issue from my vantage point is that Ryan admittedly was too focused on beating the first place leg finishes of last season’s Rachel & Captain Dave. Thus, he put unnecessary pressure on Abbie, which likely resulted in her Roadblock flub. This isn’t an unrecoverable error but if he slips back into that mentality, it could be the open door that the others need to pass them. Either way, the two teams to beat, in my mind, are the divorcees and Headbangers’ Ball (and yes, the fact that I like both teams more than others is a factor).

  3. Natalie & Nadiya (twin sisters): While I let likability factor in on the previous two rankings, at least, I am not letting "unlikability" affect how high I place the twins. Two third place finishes and the Express Pass that is probably burning a hole in their pocket are aspects that I can’t overlook. The smart use of the Express Pass could be their ticket to first place again but even if that happens, on the subsequent leg they could and probably would fall back into familiar third place territory. That said, I will applaud them on doing a good job on the Roadblock and the Bamboo Detour last week. They aren’t the most physically strong team but the sisters did well with hauling the Bamboo. Enough praise…they are still my least favorite team and the reason why I love my remote’s mute button and TV’s closed captioning.

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  5. Trey & Lexi (Dating): From last to leave the mat to fifth is the primary justification that I have to rank them fourth. The dating University of Texas alums have failed to live up to my expectations on race aptitude but despite several mediocre legs, their outlook and support of one another has been commendable. They don’t lash out at each other and seem to complement the other team member when it comes to tasks. See my first sentence as proof. They were well in last place and the combination of them running a pretty flawless leg and Team Beekman’s meltdown and Team Beefcake’s Detour flub let them gain two spots. Basically, they are a team that seems to gain the most when others mess up - which is why I am placing them ahead of the remaining three error-prone teams.

  6. Jaymes & James (Best friends/Chippendales dancers): Oh Team Beefcake…you lovable dolts. As good-natured, well-intentioned and likable as these guys are, they are just as average to subpar at this race. Any given leg contains at least one error it seems and they have taken up permanent residence in the back of the pack. Last week’s bamboo screw up wasn’t an isolated incident but despite all that, I think they have more going for them than…

  7. Rob & Kelley (married monster truckers): Yeah, I know they finished fourth last week. And yeah, I know that Rob’s brute strength on the Detour and Kelley’s attention to detail on the Roadblock helped them tremendously. But lingering in the back of my mind is their multiple errors in reading clues and instructions. From early on in the Race, they established this behavior and haven’t done much to prove it was a fluke. Like any number of teams from any season, they are only one rushed, wrong decision away from elimination. But not before…

  8. Josh & Brent (Life partners for 15 years): Way to not live up to my expectations, fellas. I pegged these guys before the season began to go to the end. Sadly, they seem to be both mentally and physically exhausted on the Race. Brent’s epic struggle with the Roadblock last week just drove home that point. And despite putting on a brave face and insisting upon “we will finish…we won’t quit,” they both seemed disappointed that they were NOT eliminated. The sheer notion of continuing on the Race for a million dollars after such horrible leg was not enough to muster a smile from them. It takes a strong-willed, driven team (i.e. Cowboys Jet & Cord) to excel in the face of a Speed Bump and Team Beekman is not that team. That’s why it doesn’t seem likely they will escape elimination again.

A hop, skip, and jump over to Turkey is in store for teams this week, where the last team to check in MAY be eliminated (Who am I kidding…they are totally going to be eliminated because they wouldn’t pull unprecedented back-to-back nonelimination legs.)



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