Saturday, September 29, 2012

Introduction to Amazing Race 21 recaps

Tomorrow night the 21st season of the Amazing Race will begin; seeing as my Amazing Race recaps continue to be the most popular posts on this blog, I'll be resuming my routine of recapping each episode on Monday, starting September 30th. To save some space discussing this season's teams, I'm going through the 11 teams right now... bearing in mind that what the teams reveal about themselves in the pre-Race interviews isn't always borne out in the actual broadcasts.

Apparently if your name is James or Rob, you have a pretty good chance of being cast on the Amazing Race...

Abbie & Ryan: dating

These two have each been divorced (much like last season's Vanessa & Ralph). Ryan talks about doing "anything within the confines of the Race" to win and they don't want to make friends. Ryan wants them to be "the greatest team that's ever raced this race," which is aiming pretty high. In fact, Ryan wants to set a record on the Race, which will be difficult since last season's winners already set a new record for wins.

Amy & Daniel: dating

Amy is an amputee with no legs below her knees; they're both snowboarders and Daniel didn't realize Amy had prosthetics when they first met. Daniel finds Amy very inspiring to him and really wants to help her succeed; they seem like a very warm couple but I suppose we'll have to see how they pan in when the stress kicks in.

Caitlin & Brittany: friends

These two are university friends, with Caitlin currently dating Brittany's brother. They feel their strength is how they don't hold grudges. Brittany is the one who really wants to be on the Race, with Caitlin supporting her with her dream.

Gary & Will: friends, teachers

These two are substitute teachers and big fans of the TV show. Will is a short person, creating a Mutt 'n Jeff visual when he stands next to Gary. As substitute teachers, they think their strength is adapting to unfamiliar situations on a regular basis. They hope to deceive other teams by acting friendly without forming alliances. Surprisingly, these two are the oldest team on the Race; it's a very young bunch this season.

James & Abba: friends, rock 'n rollers

James is a long-time rock 'n roll guitarist who's played with just about every major act over the last few decades; Abba also works in the recording industry as a lawyer. They have a lot of experience from touring the world with rock acts, making them very comfortable with the travel aspect of the Race. For rock n' rollers, they seem very down-to-Earth and genuine.

Jaymes & James: friends, dancers

These two both perform with Chippendale's, Jaymes a singer, James a guitarist (two Jameses who play guitar?). They describe themselves as one-time nerds who enjoy having become models; they hope their Chippendale's reputation will cause their competition to underestimate them. They look like they could be a funny team.

Josh & Brent: life partners

These two are goat farmers who used to have their own television show on Discovery Channel. They're from New York, but gradually learned to adapt to farm life (which I suppose was the premise of their show). They hope to win the Race and invest the money into the village where they farm.

Nadiya & Natalie: twin sisters

These sisters are from Sri Lanka and hope having a language their competition doesn't speak (Sinhalese) will help them to strategize in the open without being eavesdropped on. Like most Amazing Race twins, they think twins speak their own language and have natural advantages; probably their best advantage is having grown up overseas during a period of civil war.

Rob & Kelley: married monster truck drivers

Kelley lost her first husband, then fell in love with Rob after he helped comfort her. They note at their monster truck shows they have to prepare in advance to deal with problems because their shows have to go on, regardless of what happens. Of course, there's only so much you can prepare for in advance on the Amazing Race.

Rob & Sheila: engaged lumberjacks

Performing in lumberjack competitions, these two have a lot of stamina (and we just saw lumberjack contests on this summer's Australia series). They hope to be the oldest couple to win the Race. Rob notes more people stand atop Mount Everest each year than participate in the Amazing Race, which is a great way of thinking about it.

Trey & Lexi: dating

They're an early 20s couple; Trey played college football, making him a good fit for the physical demands of the Race. Lexi was a cheerleader, one of the most popular Racer occupations. It's hard to tell whether these two will work well together or explode; young couples are usually very dramatic.

This season promises if the winner of the 1st leg goes on to win the final leg, they'll receive $2 million instead of $1. It's certainly possible to pull off (last season's winners did), but it should be interesting to see if the promise of double the prize money causes teams to be even more intense on the first leg than usual. Also, whoever comes in first on the first leg is bound to have a target on their back, which might lead to interesting drama. I wonder if any team has ever suggested an alliance in exchange for sharing prize money if they win? 'Cause partnering with the team who took first on the first leg and vowing to do anything to ensure they win the $2 million in exchange for half the money? That might work.

Another special introductory post will run tomorrow!

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