TAR 12: A Primer
For those who don't know, I have seen every single season (or race) of The Amazing Race. The next race will be going on the air next Sunday, November 4th, and the only reservation I have is that, because it's being used as a mid-season replacement (who really expected Viva Laughlin to last all that long? Is coke back in vogue at CBS Headquarters?), we will likely not have another season this year. Thanks executive weasels!
By this point, I think I can at least read how some things are going to go, based on the casting. Below are my impressions; the link on the team name leads to CBS's bio of that team.
Before I get to the teams, though, a brief note on the rule changes they've implemented: So long, non-elimination! I don't mind at all, as it raises the stakes on the race. Now, if only they would get rid of the Yield, and re-implement a Fast Forward every leg, or come up with something equally challenging, I'd be a very happy lad.
Okay, here goes:
Kynt/Vyxsin - This team has the potential to go anywhere, like losing early on, or secret underdogs. The crack on CBS's bio about the biggest challenge for them is being able to keep the make up on came off as patronizing, but thinking of teams in the past, I wouldn't be too surprised if they cast these two knowing they would be so presumptuous. I hope not. I got nothing against goths, but goths so into the scene (and their names seem to suggest such might be the case) that they get stuck in the "we hate the norms" mentality...I really hope this won't be the case here. I find goths more attractive when they're not always looking like a Siouxsie video (making those times when they do even more titillating).
Seriously, how about those names? Oh, and since when do goths wear the Nike swoosh? So, now they're either cool goths, hardcore goths, or hardcore goth poseurs? Not liking those odds.
Jen/Nathan - These guys feel like a superficial attempt to repeat the success they had with Kris/Jon, except they've got some major red flags going against them: Have broken up repeatedly in the last two years; soulmate/drive-me-crazy dichotomy; organized/not; "dominant personalities"; "put their relationship to the test" (hasn't anyone noticed that this is really not the best of ideas for this show?)...They could dodge all the traps in their way and be kickass; or they could really get on my nerves.
Ronald/Christina - Oh damn it, they're so cute! He's so old! She's so young! They're so gone!
Shana/Jennifer - I got no read on these guys. I'll wait until next week to start making assumptions. They could be like the Pinks, they could be like the Beauty Queens. I'm hoping for BQ, but fearing the Pinks.
Azaria/Hendekea - How about those names? (I'm an equal opportunity name judger.) Okay, here's my thing. They've had black teams win before, the rest of the black teams could be lumped into TAR's Black Family (literally...Thanks Family Edition for that hilarious/horrible inclusion). Just once I'd like to see one of the younger set of ethnic minorities go pretty far, play smart (unlike Erwin and Derwin), and maybe win this thing. These guys look the part, but could they follow through? I wonder which of their parents is currently a Huff fan.
Lorena/Jason - Ugh. "figure out if their relationshipblahblahblah" "volatileblahblahblah" "jealousblahblahblah" "plays/travels/exercises/fights together." Jesus...it'd help if these guys were funny, though that's never something shared in the bio, so...see Jen/Nathan. Not sure what to make of the hat and squint.
Nicolas/Donald - aka "Grandfather/Grandson" aka "Sunrise/Sunset". Check out the brains on Nicolas! Age dichotomy doesn't increase their odds, so my cold call on them is to be out earlier than Ronald/Christina...I don't know. Could be cute and endearing, but that's depending on Donald's grump factor.
Ari/Staella - "I love that instead of saying that Ari is gay, the website describes him as 'catty.' Subtle." --G, at the TAR-focused online community I subscribe to.
These two look fun, and some good details on how they are now. I'm hoping her family volunteered to adopt him, which would be extremely cool. And then I read: "possibly ruffle some feathers." Is that really necessary? If so, it better be for good reason, and not just for the sake of feather rustling.
Marianna/Julia - They name-check the hippies! Let's hope they're more sincere! (Don't get me started on the hippies, who were just fine as racers, but...moving on:) I really like this team on paper. One of the sisters looks like a mini-Tia Carrere, which could be distracting for some (ahem). I don't have any real reservations about them, except for the Team Hippie worship and the whole "flirting their way to get ahead." They could be the real BQ-substitutes of this race...
Rachel/TK - ...while these guys could be the real Kris/Jon subs. Great vibe I'm getting from the pic/bio combo, which would make them the third team I am prematurely rooting for. Though, looking at TK, you start hoping that when they go through the Far Eastern portion of the race, that there will be a head-shaving Fast Forward again.
Kate/Pat - Married Lesbian Episcopal Ministers. They could've been Bowling Moms II, but instead they are Married Lesbian Episcopal Ministers. I'd be truly surprised if they made it beyond the point the Bowling Moms did though.
My three going into the race: Azaria/Hendekea, Marianna/Julia, Rachel/TK.
Now to wait a week. If I may, I would recommend The Race. It's a mini-TAR, created by a bunch of students at Ithaca College, and follows six teams of two as they race across the state of New York. It's uncanny just how well it echoes the TAR experience, with its own devilish versions of typical TAR challenges. Not a bad fix...