Sunday, February 18, 2007

Amazing Race All-Stars Predictions

We're only a few hours from the debut tonight, and my wife keeps asking me for my predictions (although she didn't make predictions herself, but just listed teams she likes). I will now give a quick synopsis of each team. Unlike most seasons, where I have to go solely on a brief video, here, I've seen everyone.

Kevin and Drew: Really cool, funny guys who hooked me way back in Season 1. I remember one shouting at the other: "Row, you fat bastard!" or some such. They're really great guys who did well in Season 1, but they're overmatched here.

Oswald and Danny: Underrated as competitors, they stuck it out nicely in their season, and might have been the team to have the most fun in all ten seasons. I think they'll stick around for a while, and I'm glad about that.

John Vito and Jill: Not sure why they were chosen here. They were dating then, brought together in part by the death of her brother/his best friend on 9/11. Now they're not dating anymore. I remember being annoyed by them at first, but growing to be OK with them. I can see them sticking around.

Uchenna and Joyce: The only defending champions on the show. Good people, but I predict this will play out like Survivor All-Stars: nobody will want to help the team that's already won a million. They'll hang in there, but with a target on their back, I don't see them winning it all.

David and Mary: I'd argue they grew more than any team in 10 years. It was awesome to see Mary so gleefully racing outside her comfort zone. But they are the least talented team of the bunch. As my wife points out, they only lasted as long as they did because the Cho brothers kept them around. They might be my favorite team, and they might be the first to go home.

Charla and Mirna: Unless these are. I liked Charla, the dwarf, a lot, but Mirna drove me absolutely crazy back in Season 5. I remember her bitching and moaning about physical challenges that Charla just up and did. Maybe Mirna saw herself on TV and decided to whine less. Even so, and as impressed as I was with Charla in the first go-round, they simply don't have the ability to keep up with their strong competition.

Rob and Amber: Speaking of Survivor: All Stars, here are the champions (yeah, I know that only Amber was champion, but still.) I disliked them in Season 7, but they were damn good. They were actually recognized in South Africa from Survivor, and got some help this way. They will neither seek nor make friendships. They'll stick around, but like Uchenna and Joyce, they've got a target on their backs. (And what's up with listing "TV Personality" as their occupation?)

Teri and Ian: A strong team from Season 3 who I do not want to underestimate. I didn't care for Ian's dictatorial bent, but I admired his skills. They'll be around.

Eric and Danielle: Danielle was on Season 9 for about an hour (we called her team "Team Implants"), but it was long enough for horndog Eric to, um, notice her. Now they're dating. Indeed, they're the only currently-dating couple on the race (I don't include the gay couples, who are so committed as to be de facto married). So they're dating, which I view as a strike against them, and they haven't run the race as a team before, which I view as even more of a strike against them. They're doomed.

Joe and Bill: Team Guido. They were ruthless in Season 1. I bet they learned from their couple of major mistakes, though. I never disliked them as much as others (such as my wife) did. Age might work against them in this mostly-young race, but they will last.

Dustin and Kandice: Ran a very strong race. Although I disliked them for their frequent cattiness, they made very few mistakes and were physically able. They also understand that being gorgeous pageant-blondes is an advantage that they can use all around the world. I see them in it to the very end this time.

With that established, I shall make two lists. One is of the teams in the order I like them, from last to first. The other is my predicted order of finish.

LIKEABILITY:

11. Rob and Amber
10. Teri and Ian
9. Eric and Danielle
8. Dustin and Kandice
7. Charla and Mirna
6. Bill and Joe
5. John Vito and Jill
4. Uchenna and Joyce
3. Kevin and Drew
2. Oswald and Danny
1. David and Mary

More teams I dislike than that I like. (John Vito and Jill are sort of no-impression to me, so that leaves 6 I dislike and 4 I like. Oh well.)

Now, predicted order of finish. As always, I will do this in levels: I'm predicting less an exact order than I am who will go in which third of the race.

11. David and Mary
10. Charla and Mirna
9. Eric and Danielle

8. Teri and Ian
7. Oswald and Danny
6. Kevin and Drew
5. John Vito and Jill

4. Joe and Bill
3. Uchenna and Joyce
2. Rob and Amber
1. Dustin and Kandice

So, there it is...the girl-team takes it all for the first time. My wife disagrees; she says "they've proven what they have to prove." I disagree. I think they've got the combination of ability and hunger. They'll take it all.

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