The Amazing Race: Power Rankings

By Daron Aldridge

November 11, 2012

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Farewell to monster truckers Rob & Kelley, we will miss you and your rolling backpacks that I am sure didn’t impede your speed on the Race at all. Well, maybe I won’t miss you that much. So, beyond the truckers racing long past what their abilities allowed, last week I was disappointed in one team’s complicity in stealing another team’s money, further justified in my disdain for the team who initiated the thievery and ultimately saddened that the producers and Phil didn’t call out this underhanded and shady act.

All these factors impact my rankings and I am not ashamed to admit it.

Here we go:

  1. Abbie & Ryan (dating divorcees): After a brief lapse with second place in my rankings last week, I have returned this powerhouse team to their rightful place as the leaders. I will be shocked if the previews of them missing a flight results in elimination this week (mainly because I think this will be another nonelimination leg). Last week, like most of the teams, they wisely chose the Scrub It Detour that required them to simply endure the scrubbing but Ryan used a brilliant strategy in getting a local man to help on the Roadblock for a percentage of the money earned. Aside from Headbanger’s Ball, this is the only team to repeat in first place and when not in first, they are second. Based upon that and their overall resourcefulness on tasks, I give them the pole position.

  2. James & Abba (friends): Speaking of resourceful, I was impressed with not only our heavy metal duo’s ability to recoup $100 in a poverty-stricken country, but they maintained their positive outlook when faced with that obstacle. James in particular has been a cheerleader for this team, despite the fact that a leg earlier he got dire news of his father’s cancer diagnosis. They haven’t let Abba’s bad knees and stolen (unbeknownst to them) money hinder them doing well on the Race. Plus, as long as they are still on the Race, I will always place them ahead of…

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  4. Natalie & Nadiaya (twin sisters): Up to this point, I hadn’t dubbed this team with a nickname. Well, that has changed. I would love to slap a much harsher, profane name on them but since I am sitting next to my daughter who is learning to read, I will label them Team Despicable. Last week’s money swiping, feigned attempts at trying to return the money and guiltless giggling and celebrating this deceitful act should have been grounds for a penalty or elimination. I would put them lower in the rankings on sheer principle but the sisters haven’t done horribly on any legs and still have an Express Pass in their pockets (right next to James & Abba’s money, I assume). When they use that Pass, though, I will happily bump them down.

  5. Trey & Lexi (dating): Who says crime doesn’t pay? Because Trey & Lexi were apparently rewarded with a first place finish for their silence about Team Despicable’s theft and then taking half the stolen money. Team Longhorns fell farther in my eyes than the twins because I actually liked this dating couple. This is the first leg that truly showed the potential I thought was there in the beginning. But this victory lap was probably a fluke and they will return to their rightful place at the back of the pack with…

  6. Jaymes & James (best friends/Chippendales dancers): If the Race was solely a physical contest, then these likeable lugs would excel. But when you throw in a wrinkle, like reading a clue or counting bamboo, then they falter. I wish they were better at the Race because they are entertaining but that entertainment value is probably a result of their screw-ups. If they make it to the finals, then it will be sheer dumb luck. And I mean dumb in the nicest possible way, while still meaning dumb.

  7. Josh & Brent (life partners): In case you haven’t been listening, these guys don’t quit. They didn’t quit when they lost their jobs and almost their farms…and so forth and so on goes their mantra. The last leg showed that Team Beekman was able to avoid elimination even when facing a Speed Bump. Granted the Speed Bump was literally "eat this ice cream." Not "eat this cricket-coated ice cream" or "eat this ice cream while walking across hot coals and being chased by rabid badgers hungry for ice cream." But merely "eat an ice cream cone"…and they managed to flub that task. Their saving grace was that the monster truckers were still on the Race. With all the other low-hanging fruit has been plucked, their time has come.

Thank you to David and Kim for handling the recapping duties the next two weeks. May their words be as contemptuous for the twins as mine would be and may they have the privilege to have one of these weeks be a non-elimination (because I know how much they love those legs). Happy racing.



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