Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Amazing Race All-Stars Preview!

Ten Seasons Ago on The Amazing Race:
A little reality show was born at the beginning of a new era of television. Its concept was simple: Send teams on a world-wide treasure hunt. Have them complete tasks and race to each pitstop mat. Along the way, all but three teams would be eliminated and only one team would earn the right to cross the finish line in first place. The prize was huge. A million dollars and a priceless trip around the world.

For the past six years, 112 teams have raced around the world. All but ten of them have come up short, many of them in more ways than one. Families have raced together. Couples have raced together. Best friends have raced together. Now, ten teams and one fake team have returned. They have come back, some after ten seasons, to a completely different race. They all have only one goal in mind.. don't get stuck carrying around a slab of meat, two backpacks, and your whiny teammate. Or at least that will be Charla's goal.

In the first season, it was Rob and Brennan. In the second season, it was Chris and Alex. In the third season, it was Zach and a dead weight. In the fourth season, it was Lance Bass' broke down lover and Chip. In the fifth season, it was Chip and Kim. In season six, it was unfortunately Freddy and Princess Kendra. In season seven, it was Uchenna and Joyce. In the season they all refuse to talk about, it was Nick, Alex, Megan, and Tommy Linz. In the ninth season, it was BJ and Tyler. In the most recent season, the tenth season, it was Tyler and James. Who will it be this season?

This season on The Amazing Race 11 All-Stars:
We have eleven returning teams. I have been waiting for this for a long time. So we will go through each team carefully and decide how well each will do in this go around. I will score each team based on (1) Past Performance, (2) Athletic Ability, (3) Mental Ability, (4) Driving/Directions, (5) Aggressiveness, and (6) Roadblock Rule--the ability to cope with the roadblock rule that was put into place after the Bowling Moms were royally screwed. By the way, lack of Bowling Moms really upsets me. But we'll get to that later. My last section will be dedicated to who deserves to be in this All-Stars edition.

For each category, there is a max of three points and a minimum of negative three points.

Kevin and Drew:
Fraternity Brothers/BFF
Finished 4th in Season 1.
40 and 41 years old.

They competed so long ago, I barely remember their racing style. Of course, I have seen the first season since then, but it's still hard to predict how they will do in a race so different from its original form. They really built a bond with Nancy and Emily and were crushed when the Guidos squeaked by.

(1) Past Performance: 4th place (-1 point)
(2) Athletic Ability: Not bad, but they've gotten six years older. (1 point)
(3) Mental Ability: Not the brightest bulbs in the shack, but as far as the race goes, they're no Heather and Eve. (1 point)
(4) Driving/Directions: If I remember correctly, they weren't perfect navigators by any means. (0 points)
(5) Aggressiveness: They weren't cutthroat but they weren't Michael and Kathy. (1 point)
(6) Roadblock Rule: They will deal fine. No problem. (3 points)
Total: 5 points

Oswald and Danny:
Finished 4th in Season 2.
36 and 41 years old.

Everybody was really into Team ChaChaCha or whatever they called themselves. I recall them being entertaining and being the first team to find a local guide to take them to their destinations. I don't really remember them being the greatest at navigating.

(1) Past Performance: 4th place (-1 point)
(2) Athletic Ability: I think they're decent (1 point)
(3) Mental Ability: Finding a local guide was a smart thing. I think they'll probably be good at using resources (2 points)
(4) Driving/Directions: I remembered them not being so good. (-1 point)
(5) Aggressiveness: Not overly so, but I don't think they'd get stepped on. (1 point)
(6) Roadblock Rule: They'll be fine. (3 points)
Total: 5 points

John Vito and Jill:
Formerly Dating :(
Finished 5th in Season 3.
32 and 29 years old.

Anybody that knows me race-wise knows that I love John Vito and Jill and back when their season was on, saw them as the most awesome couple ever and wanted them to get married. Now that I know they're separated, I think it's great that they're doing the race together again and hopefully they'll get along. I wonder if we'll find out in the first five minutes who was the one to call it quits.

(1) Past Performance: 5th place (-2 points)
(2) Athletic Ability: Jill was the first real female powerhouse. Still looks good. And John Vito is built. (3 points)
(3) Mental Ability: I would say they need to learn to ask for help more quickly. They did do very well for themselves, though. (1 point)
(4) Driving/Directions: Unfortunately, I have to deduct on this. They had a lot of bad luck with directions. (-2 points)
(5) Aggressiveness: When it comes to the physical tasks, they're really aggressive. When it comes to interactions with other teams, they try to stay out of the drama. (3 points)
(6) Roadblock Rule: They're going to be fine. Mixed gender groups should get extra points. But that's not really fair. Not that this system I have going means anything. (3 points)
Total: 6 points

Uchenna and Joyce:
Finished 1st in Season 7.
42 and 46 years old.

Loved them on the show. I did agree that their win was probably one of the more suspicious ones. That plane that came back? Tricky, CBS.

(1) Past Performance: 1st place (3 points)
(2) Athletic Ability: I'd say they're not how they were twenty years ago, probably, but they've certainly maintained themselves. (1 point)
(3) Mental Ability: Well, they did win the show. I can't say they're as strategic as Colin or Boston Rob were. (2 points)
(4) Driving/Directions: I think they had a couple glitches, but all in all they were okay. There was that taxi debacle at the finish line that was hilarious, though. (1 point)
(5) Aggressiveness: They were pretty aggressive in taking on the race. (2 points)
(6) Roadblock Rule: It was already around when they competed. (3 points)
Total: 12 points

David and Mary:
Married- Coalminer and Wife
Finished 6th in Season 10.
33 and 32 years old.

They're back because they were funny and charming and America loved them. While I do think they're great characters, this is All-Stars. No Kris and Jon, no Colin and Christie.. for this? I don't think so.

(1) Past Performance: 6th place (-3 points)
(2) Athletic Ability: No. (-3 points)
(3) Mental Ability: They were smart to make an alliance, so I won't take off the full points (-1 point)
(4) Driving/Directions: It's kind of hard to gauge because they were always following somebody. They would all get lost often, though. (-2 points)
(5) Aggressiveness: Willing to give the race up to their friends. Not so aggressive (-3 points)
(6) Roadblock Rule: They did it before, but they didn't get to the end where it gets tighter. (0 points)
Total: -12 points

Charla and Mirna:
Finished 6th in Season 5.
30 and 30 years old.

For a team that finished in the same place as David and Mary, I sure do remember them as a much stronger team. They're kind of my favorite team to watch because Charla is always out there carrying a slab of beef, two backpacks, and Mirna on her shoulders. I do not like playing the disability card, though. I didn't like it when Sarah did it last season. I don't like it when people play the old card, either. I don't like cards.

(1) Past Performance: 6th place (-3 points)
(2) Athletic Ability: Neither is out of shape, but neither is very fast. (-2 points)
(3) Mental Ability: They're actually both pretty sharp. I say actually because Mirna uttered some ridiculous things in their season, but they were very strategic players. (3 points)
(4) Driving/Directions: I think they were decent. (1 point)
(5) Aggressiveness: Not physically aggressive necessarily, but they were fierce when it came to playing the game (2 points)
(6) Roadblock Rule: I think they were in the first season to feature this, right? I only would worry that the producers decide it would be funny to make Charla do things that are very physically difficult for her. Remember Sarah from last season? I guess that was primarily Peter's fault. (1 point)
Total: 2 points

Rob and Ambuh:
Married Famewhores
Finished 2nd in Season 7.
30 and 28 years old.

They're famewhores. They know it. We all know it. They were great players, though. I think they've earned the right as the best reality duo out there. Being successful in two shows and getting their wedding paid by CBS qualifies they as the best famewhores out there. Although Omarosa sadly is tough competition. She does manage to get her scary face on television when she wants to.

(1) Past Performance: 2nd place (2 points)
(2) Athletic Ability: They're in great shape, but I wouldn't say Ambuh is in the same league as Jill at all. (2 points)
(3) Mental Ability: Rob does the thinking for them and he's one of the greatest reality strategists. (3 points)
(4) Driving/Directions: They excelled at getting help with directions. (3 points)
(5) Aggressiveness: It's Boston Rob. He's pretty aggressive. And since his mentality runs the race for the two of them, although Ambuh is not aggressive at all, when she's with Rob, their team is considered pretty aggressive. (3 points)
(6) Roadblock Rule: I believe they were a part of this rule. I still think Ambuh slowed them down a little, though. (2 points)
Total: 15 points

Teri and Ian:
Married Parents
Finished 2nd in Season 3.
53 and 54 years old.

Teri has a new face. Or at least new eyes. These two were fun to hate for the most part of the race, but then ended up being a good story to root for in the finale. Their season was awhile back. I'm interested to see how they hold up this time around.

(1) Past Performance: 2nd place (2 points)
(2) Athletic Ability: No, but they try. (-1 point)
(3) Mental Ability: They took risks. They made calculated decisions. (2 points)
(4) Driving/Directions: I think they were pretty good. (2 points)
(5) Aggressiveness: They were aggressive, but I don't know how much translated into the actual game (1 point)
(6) Roadblock Rule: This is interesting. I'll say Teri has a hard time with some of the more physical tasks. (-2 points)
Total: 4 points

Eric and Danielle:
Fake Team- Dating
Finished 2nd and 7th in Season 9.
28 and 23 years old.

I don't really want to talk about this. This upsets me and makes me rather angry to think that it's possible that Kris and Jon were turned down for this. Of course, it's possible that Kris and Jon were the ones who turned down CBS.

(1) Past Performance: 2nd and 7th place (-5 points just because they make me angry)
(2) Athletic Ability: Danielle will hold them back (-1 point)
(3) Mental Ability: Nope. She's a definite no and he's a no because he's with her. (-3 points)
(4) Driving/Directions: Who cares (-3 points)
(5) Aggressiveness: How do you judge a team that's never worked together? (-3 points)
(6) Roadblock Rule: Honestly, didn't Danielle suck on her season? (-3 points)
Total: -18 points

Life Partners
Finished 3rd in Season 1.
56 and 53 years old.

Guidos were the ones everybody loved to hate. They were the fly that you keep trying to kill but keep missing and it just comes back and buzzes around your head all the time.

(1) Past Performance: 3rd place (0 points- it was not a deserved 3rd. They didn't finish.)
(2) Athletic Ability: They've gotten older (-1 point)
(3) Mental Ability: I have to admit they were pretty strong. (2 points)
(4) Driving/Directions: They were pretty good here too. (2 points)
(5) Aggressiveness: If you look up the word, there's probably a picture of them. They were even overly aggressive. Since that was annoying, it drops them down a point. (2 points)
(6) Roadblock Rule: I'll say they're okay but they're old. (2 points)
Total: 7 points

Dustin and Kandice:
Beauty Queens
Finished 4th in Season 10.
25 and 25 years old.

Anybody that knew me in November, or whenever it was that people were being obnoxious about this team, knows that I loved Dustin and Kandice. I'm glad they get a second chance to prove themselves. These girls are great for this game. Actually, the episode where they got eliminated is the only episode of the race that I haven't seen. I'm not quite sure when I'll get around to seeing it. I kind of don't want to.

(1) Past Performance: 4th place (-1 point)
(2) Athletic Ability: I'm really biased, but there's no denying this team is in great shape. (3 points)
(3) Mental Ability: I thought they were great. Not exactly Rob Mariano.. (2 points)
(4) Driving/Directions: They were good until they got lost in that horrible episode that I did watch before they got eliminated. (2 points)
(5) Aggressiveness: They weren't annoying about it. They were confident, knew they could win, but didn't push it in people's faces. (3 points)
(6) Roadblock Rule: They were fine. (3 points)
Total: 12 points

That gives us Rob and Ambuh with the highest total and Dustin and Kandice and Uchenna and Joyce right up there. I'm disappointed that they didn't go all out and pick the best strategic and physical teams and just make this a race about actually racing other teams.



At 12:52 PM, June 13, 2008, Blogger scott said...

I just read this post and I find it very ironic that the team with the lowest points in your opinion ended up WINNING. And I loved danielle. Although I do think that Charla in a suit of armor made the show.


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