Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Amazing Race - Unfinished Business!

It's the (second) chance of a lifetime for these eleven teams!

The Amazing Race is back and this time it's an All-Star Edition. Last time they did this, I wound up not liking that season very much at all. I don't even remember who won, but honestly I rarely remember who wins on this show. It's all about the journey not the destination. (I checked online and it was Eric and Danielle, who were not even a real team from their initial season... that finale was horrible.)

But this time might be different. There are no former winners in the mix. It's all teams with "unfinished business." That means most of them were doing well until something like a confused cabbie, a misplaced passport, trouble on the final roadblock or an inability to spell the word "FRANZ" did them in. So now they are back for a second chance to put right what once went wrong. I actually think it's a pretty likable group they've assembled and they all seem pretty evenly matched so it's all about who makes the fewest mistakes and maintains the best focus. Here's who we got back this time:

From Season 12:
Ronald & Christina, father & daughter, finished 2nd place
Kent & Vyxsin, dating goths, finished 5th place
From Season 14:
Margie & Luke Adams, hearing mother & deaf son, finished 3rd place
Amanda & Kris, previously dating - now engaged, finished 8th place
Jaime & Cara, former cheerleaders, finished 2nd place
Kisha & Jen, sisters, finished 4th place
Mel & Mike, father & son, finished 6th place
From Season 15:
Zev & Justin, best friends, finished 9th place
Flight Time & Big Easy, Harlem Globetrotters, finished 4th place
From Season 16:
Jet & Cord, brothers & cowboys, finished 2nd place
From Season 17:
Gary & Mallory, father & daughter, finished 6th place

Judging from last night's episode, it looks like the producers have succeeded in making this season's race more challenging than some of the recent entries. We've already seen a needle in a hay stack task mixed in with a brain teaser, an amazingly beautiful first country stop in Australia (which looks even more beautiful now that the show is shot in HD), a physical/fear task that involved swimming with sharks, a pretty intense flag decoder task, followed by teams sailing a 16-foot skiff into Manly Bay. Yes, everything in the task was amusingly related to Manly. Manly train. Manly ferry. Manly bay. It was cute, er, manly!

Producers also seem to be throwing some curveballs into the order of things so racers don't feel to comfortable in knowing what's coming next. We haven't seen our first Detour yet, and instead of a pit stop at the end of the first leg, Phil told them where they were in the order, gave them their next clue and told them to keep racing. I loved it. Keep these guys on their toes! Even though we don't know who is eliminated first, here are three teams I think will go far and hopefully make it to the end.

Jaime and Cara - they can be bitches to the locals, but they're strong and smart and work great as a team. Plus I have a fondness for redheads.
Gary and Mallory - very strong, great relationship, very positive outlook on racing.
Amanda and Kris - I think they're a lot stronger than their previous finish indicates.

Here's hoping the rest of the season is as Amazing as the first episode. The world is waiting!

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