The Amazing Race 23: Episode 8 Power Rankings
By David Mumpower
November 17, 2013
With Daron Aldridge and his family currently visiting the Happiest Place on Earth, I am pinch-hitting on the power rankings for the next couple of weeks. So there may be a bit more fluctuation than normal since a different person is performing the evaluations. Or maybe I line up completely with Daron on the subject. Let’s find out.
1) Nicole & Travis
Team Polymath has proven itself as more than “only” experts in Gray’s Anatomy. The attractive couple experienced a speed bump (figuratively, not literally) last week, and that prevented them from repeating in first place for the leg. My philosophy regarding The Amazing Race is that as the number of teams dwindles, the cream rises to the top. That philosophy exemplifies why the Georgians should head the power rankings this week. They have never finished lower than third over the past five legs. Including all seven competitions, fourth place is their worst finish thus far. Consistency is indicative of excellence on The Amazing Race. Nicole & Travis are the clear favorites to win this season.
2) Jason & Amy
I love this team because of Jason’s job. He is a real life Mr. Plow; ergo, I get an earworm the first time I see him every week. That name again is Mr. Plow. Relative to the other competitors this season, Jason & Amy have maintained a low profile. During a season comprised of gorgeous female teams, overly exuberant cousins and battlin’ exes, camera time has been at a premium. Jason & Amy are a strong team with exceptional chemistry, the foundation of any great relationship. The problem for the show’s producers is that happy couples rarely create great television. The main source of conflict with this team has been external, as they have battled a couple of other teams. The good news is that they are not letting the interpersonal conflicts with others distract them. The Massachusetts residents have finished as silver medalists in four out of the last five heats. Unfortunately, second place is not the position of choice on The Amazing Race.
3) Ally & Ashley
Based on performance thus far, this team should be in last place. I am slotting them higher simply because I believe that the two teams that have outperformed them thus far are too combustible to trust. The hockey cheerleaders also have an advantage in that they have the fourth place team wrapped around their fingers. They can keep using that as long as the entranced team survives. Realistically, I believe that the other female team remaining is better; however, that duo will be lucky to survive the next episode.
4) Leo & Jamal
I refuse to call them by their self-serving nickname. These two are annoying to the point that the obvious “Wild and Crazy Guys” reference regarding them feels too kind. I actively dislike both of them, as they are not only equally selfish but also nefarious. The other teams took longer than I had expected to notice their weaselly behavior, but everyone seems to have the right read on them now. Leo & Jamal will start tonight’s leg in first place. I am still dubious about their chances, though. They are only two episodes removed from a sixth place finish…*with* assistance. This is not a very strong team. Still, they have already accomplished what they wanted on The Amazing Race. They got to be on television. They will use this faux celebrity to hit on women for years to come. I foresee a lot of face slaps in their future…and presumably their past.
5) Tim & Marie
Screw these guys. And I only say “screw” rather than a four letter word to maintain some semblance of politeness. Arguably the most toxic team in the history of The Amazing Race, Tim & Marie must share some grudge fucks for the ages. Whoops, I said that anyway. Their smoldering disrespect for one another demonstrates no underlying emotion. The only reason question about their relationship is how they ever got together in the first place. The answer is simple: alcohol. Anyone reading this who knows they have drinking problem should find truth in this cautionary tale. If you drink too much, you may wake up one morning next to a woman who looks like Marie. That is fantastic. The bad news is that she may act like Marie. Nobody wants that…not even Marie. I keep seeing a lot of comments about how Tim isn’t a bad guy, and I even have those thoughts myself from time to time. The problem is that he enables her psychosis. As such, he cannot be absolved of blame in her awfulness. I do love Marie’s hair, though.
6) Nicky & Kim
Since former Atlanta Falcon Ephraim Salaam was eliminated in one of the most aggravating situations in the history of the show, Nicky & Kim have become my favorite team. No, they are not fantastic competitors. What they are is nice people who are taking the time to stop and smell the roses along the way. Both women are married to men who are famous enough to take the spotlight away from them. Nicky & Kim are relishing this opportunity to experience their own adventures, which is exactly the core premise of The Amazing Race. People forget that because they get dollar signs in their eyes. Both of their husbands have earned millions of dollars already playing baseball, which negates that incentive at least somewhat. They are much more focused on having fun together. How refreshing. Of course, this notion reminds me that Ephraim Salaam and Chester Pitts were behaving the same way, but they caught a series of terrible breaks involving air travel. Their absence is the difference between an ordinary season of The Amazing Race as opposed to a phenomenal one.