Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Amazing Race 14 Predictions

It's TONIGHT, bay-bee! The debut of my favorite show. While I have only sporadically made predictions, I find myself with a little time to kill while waiting for my wife to go into labor. Thus and therefore, I present to you my predictions for this, the 14th season of TAR.

I will first offer first impressions of the teams in alphabetical order, then try to sort out who has what it takes to make the final mat, who will fall short, and who doesn't have a prayer.

Let us begin:

AMANDA AND KRIS.

Hot young Southern California couple. Appear athletic. No major red flags. A couple like this usually makes it far.

BRAD AND VICTORIA.

Married for nine years. Late 40s and early 50s. Appear in good shape, but she's coming off major foot surgery. She's out to prove the doctors wrong who said she'd never run again. While she'll prove them wrong by running, I'm not sure it'll be fast enough.

CARA AND JAIME.

Former NFL Cheerleaders for the Dolphins. No dummies, these...one's starting law school and the other is a former cop. Stage presence matters in these things. I can see them doing well, actually.

CHRISTIE AND JODI
.

Flight attendants, 37 and 40. I'm not sure how the one on the left will be able to get those implants to the finish line. They'll have spunk, but being flight attendants and having a knowledge of the "ins-and-outs of the travel industry" won't nearly be enough.

JENNIFER AND PRESTON.

I've noticed South Carolina is overrepresented among Amazing Race contestants lately. But this couple, while good-looking and in good shape, has some red flags. They've broken up and made up several times, seem to approach conflict differently, and are doing the old let's-test-our-relationship-by-doing-the-Race thing. They won't go early, but I can't see them winning it all.

LaKISHA AND JENNIFER.

Sisters who might be the most athletic team out of the bunch...one played college volleyball, the other college basketball, both at Louisville...so they'll be in the thick of things. But when the profile says you argue...well, that's a red flag. So is the lack of travel experience.

LINDA AND STEVE.

Married couple. He's 43, she's 52. Travel experience will keep them around. Age will prevent them from winning it all. (Unless I'm mistaken, nobody over 40 has ever stepped on the map first. Or was what's-his-name...the guy who looked like George Foreman and his wife...that old? Crap, time to hit Wikipedia...OK. Chip and Kim were in their 40s, as were Uchenna and Joyce when they won it all. But nobody over 45 has ever finished first. Maybe these guys change it? Hard to say. Not much to go on here.

MARGIE AND LUKE.

Mother/son team. Luke is 22 years old, deaf, and proud of the fact that he doesn't read lips. They communicate via signs. I don't think this will be any kind of impact on the race, since communication will be a problem for everyone anyway in foreign countries. In fact, it might be to Luke's advantage, since he's accustomed to living in a world where it's hard to communicate with most people. They're a bit of a dark horse.

MARK AND MICHAEL
.

Interesting! A pair of stuntman brothers. They're unquestionably athletes...but they're little guys, at 4'9". One is a sometime jockey, the other a stuntman actor. They're a little older, straddling either side of 50 years old. Hunh. I see them hanging around a while. They've got most of what it'll take, I think.

MEL AND MIKE.

Nice guys: gay-rights advocate dad, screenwriter son, 68 and 38. Probably the team I'd most like to get to know, but they won't be able to keep up, so I won't likely get the chance.

TAMMY AND VICTOR.

Debaters! As I was doing a little research the other day, I saw that Victor is in charge of a big debate website. The two of them are both attorneys; he's 35, she's 26. The red flag is that they seem to be carrying above-average duffels of sibling baggage on board; he's a control freak, and she wants her big brother to know that she's not a little kid anymore. That's potentially toxic. Harvard Law siblings? Who could possibly win when they disagree?

ANALYSIS: I honestly think CBS really wants an all-female team to (finally!) win. They've put in several tough woman/woman teams this year, more so than usual.

All right. I will now divide these into groups of no-chance, middle-of-pack, and in the running, and in the process make my pick for who wins it all. Note that the actual order is sort of whimsical...the real prediction is which third they'll be dismissed in rather than exact order.

WON'T SEE MUCH OF THEM:

11. Mel and Mike
10. Brad and Victoria
9. Christie and Jodi

MIDDLE-OF-PACK:

8. Linda and Steve
7. LaKisha and Jennifer
6. Jennifer and Preston
5. Luke and Margie

REAL CONTENDERS:

4. Tammy and Victor
3. Mark and Michael
2. Amanda and Kris
1. Cara and Jaime

That's right...for no discernible reason, I'm going with the cheerleaders!

Gotta go prep for the premiere...

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