Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Amazing Race 18: Unfinished Business

A new season of the award winning Amazing Race begins tonight on CBS and CTV with 11 former teams returning to compete in another race around the world. They are all back for adventure and redemption! They want that million dollar prize!

Who’s back? Here is a brief bio on each team:

Amanda (25) and Kris (27) are an engaged couple currently living in Pismo Beach, California.
Previous Season/Result: Season 14/8th place.
Though they are both involved in communication in their careers, this seemed to be their biggest obstacle in their first race. They are hoping that they’ve worked through those issues now and will run a better race this time around.

Gary (51) and Mallory (25) are a father/daughter combo from Kentucky.
Previous Season/Result: Season 17/6th Place.
This team is doing back to back races so that could be a bit rough. But, from reading their info, it seems they have learned from their past mistakes, the biggest of which was not turning around sooner in Oman. They are determined to work together and also take time to enjoy the moments!

Flight Time (34) and Big Easy (29) are friends and were former teammates on the Harlem Globetrotters.
Previous Season/Result: Season 15/4th place.
These guys worked well together and aren’t planning to switch up their game plan much this time around. They want to run a good race and show that athletes can be good role models.

Jaime (32) and Cara (28) are Former NFL cheerleaders.
Previous Season/Result: Season 14/2nd place.
They ran a solid race last time but had horrible luck with their taxis which may have contributed to their second place finish. The two also claim they over packed on the last trip so will be traveling lighter this time around!

Jet (31) and Cord (30) are brothers and cowboys from Oklahoma.
Previous Season/Result: Season 16/2nd place.
The cowboys ran a great race the first time and worked very well together. They came within minutes of winning the first time around and are looking forward to running the Amazing Race again – and winning!

Kent (35) and Vyxsin (32) are a glam rock couple who are perusing modeling careers in California.
Previous Season/Result: Season 12/5th place.
Their somewhat unconventional appearances may have led this team to be underestimated the first time around but the pair are back to win it all!

LaKisha (30) and Jennifer (26) are sisters originally from Chicago, Illinois.
Previous Season/Result: Season 14/4th place.
They overcame a lot during the first race – including leaving their back packs on the dock and Jennifer’s fear of water during a swimming challenge. They say they have learned to communicate better not only with other but also with other people.

Margie (53) and Luke (25) from Colorado Springs, Colorado are a mother/son combo.
Previous Season/Result: Season 14/3rd place.
Luke is the first deaf person to run the race and many doubted whether he’d get past the first few legs. This team worked so well together and surprised a lot of people! The first time around, they were in first place for most of the last leg until Luke had some bad luck trying to finish the last challenge. It cost them the race, but they won the hearts and respect of other teams and the fans for their determination and ability to overcome any obstacles.

Mel (70) and Mike (40) are father and son.
Previous Season/Result: Season 14/6th place.
They claim their biggest mistakes from the first race was not taking the fast forward in the leg they ended up being eliminated. Mel is the oldest racer this season and is hoping that won’t keep them from getting at least as far as they did last time!

Ron (61) and Christina (29) are a father/daughter pair.
Previous Season/Result: Season 12/2nd place.
These two had a bit of an issue with communication last time. Ron wasn’t always ready to listen to or follow Christina’s opinions. They argued a fair bit and he was a bit domineering at times. Despite their differences, they made it to the finals and are hoping to do well this time around.

Zev (28) and Justin (31) are best friends from California.
Previous Season/Result: Season 15/9th place.
Zev has Asperger's Syndrome (part of the Autism spectrum) but it certainly didn’t stop him and Justin from running the race! What stopped them was losing Zev’s passport in Asia! They went from last in the previous leg to first then realized they’d lost the all important passport. They weren’t able to recover it before being eliminated.

So, now that I’ve refreshed your memory with the 11 teams, how do I feel about them?

Well, to be perfectly honest, I don’t remember a lot about Amanda and Kris or Jaime and Cara. Maybe once I see them in action, I will remember more. I recall Kent and Vyxsin mostly for their attire and makeup but also know they were a competitive team.

Flight Time and Big Easy were a fun team to watch. They worked well together and with a bit of luck they could go far this time around.

LaKisha and Jennifer stand out for a couple of reasons. Jennifer’s fear of water was so strong and LaKisha, though frustrated, also understood her sister’s fear and helped get her through the challenge. Then there was Jennifer’s desperate need of a bathroom break on the way to the pit stop! (How many of us women can’t relate to that need!?!) Unfortunately, stopping to answer “the call” cost them and they were eliminated.

Parent and child pairs have had varying degrees of success over the years and this race has four such teams. Gary and Mallory could do quite well if they can get their navigation skills in order. Gary has run several marathons and other athletic events in recent years so is in great shape. Mallory’s friendly, bubbly personality and aggressive driving skills should work well for them.

Mel and Mike were an interesting pair to watch but time is of the essence in The Amazing Race and I fear Mel’s age will be an issue as they race to the mat in each leg. Ron and Christina need to learn to listen and respect each other’s opinions. Even so, I think that Ron’s health (he had back surgery about a year ago and can’t run as fast.) will be an issue for this team as well.

Luke and Margie were one of my favourite past teams so would love to see them do well again. It was inspiring to see a person with a disability overcome whatever the challenge was and strive to do his best no matter what! I felt so bad for Luke when he couldn’t get the last part of the challenge in the final leg. He felt so bad that he had lost the race for himself and his mom, but he had actually shown us all that perseverance will win out and that no matter what the disability there is always a way to work things through!

Zev and Justin were so much fun to watch and in my opinion deserved another chance. Losing a passport could happen to anyone. Zev never let Asperger's Syndrome get in the way of his race. With a bit of luck and hard work, this team could go far!

“Oh my gravy!” the cowboys are back! These two brothers played so well together. Jet and Cord rarely argued and faced whatever challenges were thrown their way with spirit and determination. How they managed to keep their cowboy hats on in almost every situation is beyond me, but I’m looking forward to watching them again!

Good luck to all the teams!


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