Finally, the Race has returned to its formal glory with eleven teams of two and this time, it’s a great line-up. Since the first show is really about getting to know the contestants, what better way than the handy chart below. Clip and save!
|Names/Who They Are
(Scale of 1-10)
|Lake & Michelle. Southern, married. He’s a dentist & she’s his assistant. In the intro, she kept looking at him adoringly. I nearly vomited.
||Another team called him Scott Peterson. Rude but disturbingly accurate.
||He calls himself over-confident. I would use a different word. She says she’s supportive. I again, would use a different, shorter word.
|| 8 and that’s within first ten minutes. For anyone who’s watched Season 7, they’re Jonathan & Victoria reincarnated.
|Danielle & Dani. Best friends, party girls from NY.
||The “Pinks” because they’re girly girls who like boys and the color pink. Seriously.
||Tank tops are featured prominently in their wardrobe so I would sum up their strategy simply as “breasts.”
||5. I don’t like seeing the myth of airhead girls perpetuated. Of course, they’re not as stupid as they seem.
|BJ & Tyler. Artsy, hippie best friends, from Ivy League colleges.
||The “Hippies,” naturally. Shaggy & Scooby would work too.
||Hyper, odd choices in clothes but very fun and in the moment.
||4 but I reserve the right to raise it when they get too over the top.
|Ray & Yolanda. Professionals, long distance daters.
||None yet as they seem very normal.
||Impressive teamwork, good under pressure.
||None. They didn’t annoy me at all; no small achievement.
|John & Scott. Childhood friends.
||None but the “Whiners” is appropriate.
||Whining, complaining, taunting and moaning. That was only the first hour.
||8. If this is friendship…
|David & Lori. Dating three years.
||The “Geeks” or “Nerds” and proud of it.
||Joyful delight and appreciation during every moment.
||3 just because the lovefest was a little much.
|Eric & Jeremy. Party guys from FL.
||“Frat guys” but I prefer “Dudes” or “Wayne & Garth.”
||Super friendly, love chicks, partying and not working.
||2. One point for nipple rings (ick) and one for “friendliness” that was a little much.
|Fran & Barry. Married 40 years.
||They’re a little geeky but endearing.
||5. They seem to consistently make the wrong decisions.
|Lisa & Joni. Sisters.
||“Frosties” because of their hair. They prefer “Glamazons.”
||This is more of a stroll than a race for them but they’re fun-loving.
||7. They nearly busted my eardrums with their constant screeching.
|Joseph & Monica. Dating.
||“Mo Jo” – their names, their choice. They already have T-shirts printed up.
||He’s high strung, she’s high strung but they’re both pretty to look at.
||5. They got stressed out at every point of every task.
|Wanda & Desiree. Mother and daughter.
||“Boricuas” – they’re Puerto Ricans.
||Mom is very type A and the daughter spends 1/2 the time calming her down.
||4. They had good teamwork despite Mom’s stressing.
The teams flew to Sao Paolo, Brazil from Denver and then had to race around. One detour involved a helicopter and everyone who did it was thrilled but most of the show involved racing around in cabs. I think I heard thirty cab drivers say “si.” I know the show is warming up to better tasks because next week showed some rock climbing – always great for making people cry.
The older couples are always at a disadvantage physically (when compared to buff Eric & Jeremy or Ray & Yolanda). So Barry & Fran boasted that their advantage would be mental. Meanwhile they missed a marker that was right in front of them four times and chose to put together a motorbike instead of doing the easier helicopter option. Not the most auspicious start.
Lake & Michelle promised to help Barry & Fran with their motorbike once they finished theirs but didn’t. Lake would be perfect for Survivor but rarely is the Amazing Race won by someone who screws over other teams. Too often down the road, you’re going to need another team’s help and they’ll pay you back double if you screwed them earlier in the game.
The pit stop this time was simple. The Dudes landed in first place (literally, fell on the mat) and I loved it when they said “What’d we win, Phil?” I wasn’t sorry to see John & Scott eliminated because it takes positive energy and teamwork to keep racing. They barely made it through the first task, mostly because they couldn’t agree on anything.
Now a moment about Phil. It’s always funny to see his face when he sees the contestants at the pit stop and this time was no exception. He was freaked out by the screeching Frosties, amused by the Dudes and disturbed by Lake. He’s also switched to shirts that don’t emphasize his man-boobs as much and for this, I am grateful.
So we’ve got slightly trampy girls, slightly trampy boys, sweet couples, sour couples, screeching sisters and hyper hippies. It’s shaping up to be a great race.
Mali Perl works in finance but her heart belongs to entertainment. She can be reached at email@example.com. The annoyance rating used it the above chart was derived from the following scientific formula: The amount of time the team was on screen + how much fighting they did + the number of times they looked like they were going to cry – the number of times they did something stupid or funny = whether I wanted to throw my remote at them.