Handicapping TAR 12
I know it’s all trendy to say that you don’t watch much TV, but I truly don’t watch much regular TV, except for movies and sports. A lot of it is pretty silly and predictable, and blahblahblah-aren’t-I-cool.
The disclaimer above is so that I now look like a complete ass when I express my passion for The Amazing Race, whose 12th season begins Sunday, Nov. 4th on CBS. I’ve watched nearly every episode; like most devotees to the show, I lost interest during Season 10, the notorious Family Edition, which was poorly conceived and executed. I also didn’t care for Season 11, the so-called All-Stars Edition, featuring retreads and never-wases from past seasons. So, I’m truly excited — I know, I’m a complete fanboy, TV-geek ass — to see that TAR has gone back to its roots for its latest rendition.
Much of the lunatic fanaticism was inspired by the Amazing Race community at Television Without Pity, and their recapper Miss Alli, whose inspired and involved diatribes about the show bring adoration to a whole new level. She’s funny and smart and I have a teensy crush on her through her writing. I’m truly thrilled by and jealous of her talent.
Oh yeah, and the show’s pretty good too, regardless of how CBS has attempted to kill it. It’s the closest thing to a worldwide scavenger hunt, tons of travel mixed in with relationship drama that occurs during a trip. Plus it involves seeing fascinating far-flung places that actually exist. Most viewers will never actually see these places in person, because none of us actually has the time, money and/or desire to do it ourselves, but it’s nice to see them all the same. TAR falls just shy of the ultimate travel fantasy – and that’s only because the contestants never spend enough time in any one place to really take everything in.
Still, you’ve got competition and backbiting among fathers, daughters, grandfathers, grandsons, sisters, brothers, lesbian ministers, jocks, skanks, and goths set against an international panorama. How can it be boring?
In anticipation of Amazing Race 12, I’ve taken it upon myself to do the only thing one can when the show doesn’t start for another week or so. I’ve gone directly to the CBS web page for TAR 12, and started cruelly judging these characters simply on looks and pre-packaged bios alone. I do this not only to prepare myself for the season, but also in order to try to pick this season’s winners.
In our house, picking the first team to be eliminated and the final three teams promotes you to lofty heights, including lordship over the remote control.
I invite you, dear reader, to take that journey with me. Links below lead to the CBS page of the team I’m assessing like a vicious teen.
Kynt & Vyxsin – Nice spelling. Pure Addams Family. Louisville is hipper than I thought – but can you be hip working at Texas Roadhouse? “The most difficult part of the Race will undoubtedly be keeping up their daily “make up” routine. Between the two of them, Kynt and Vyxsin have collectively had their hair dyed 18 different colors.” Hmm, you think “How many colors has your hair been” is a question on the application? I like their casting, though, as if CBS was saying “We’re no longer your father’s network!” Except when the inevitable gay and gothbashing begins. They should be an absolute disaster as racers, which CBS is also counting on. On second thought, screw CBS.
Jennifer & Nathan – I will hate this team. Jock and former cheerleader? I hated them in high school, why should that change now? That said, they will probably go far because their athleticism will carry them further than their brains. Again, CBS is counting on it. Teams like this seem to thrive on TAR, even though I feel we’ll be the worser for it. I anticipate lots of yelling and sniping mixed with forced teamwork and uncomfortable embraces.
Ronald & Christina – Nice shirt. (Personal aside: When I start wearing shirts that have a homemade “WHO’S YOUR DADDY” on them, kill me. Ironic or not, and in Ronald’s case, I’m going with “not”, it’s terribly, terribly sad.) I think I’ll like this team – don’t all father-daughter teams make you smile? Might surprise, but likely doomed for an early departure.
Shana & Jennifer – This year’s interchangeable blonde bimbos. CBS sucks, because they keep hashing out teams like this. Except this one is in their 30s, which potentially makes them even bitchier and um, bimboier? “She has toured with Luis Miguel as a back-up dancer/singer…” Am I supposed to know who that is? You know dancers are the worst divas in all of the entertainment industry, right? By their pose, I’m guessing they’re cast as villians. Which is why we’ll cheer when an early Fear Factor eating challenge takes them out. However, I’m positive they’re strong vomiters. And I’ll never be able to tell them apart.
Azaria & Hendekea – Why does the word “bland” come to mind? I’m sure they’re perfectly wonderful, but they just strike me as boring. “This brother-sister Team has all the intelligence, wits and skills to win the Race…” Wow, intelligence, wits AND skills. Sounds like when sportscasters go out of their way to say a black athlete is “personable” and/or “smart”, as if we’ve been conditioned to think just the opposite. I hate CBS. Targeted for middle round elimination.
Lorena & Jason – Nice hat. God, he just seems like an asshole, doesn’t he? “He describes himself as courageous and volatile.” Fuuuuuuuuck, that’s not good. “Lorena is ready to get married…” Steeeerike TWO! “This couple plays together, travels together, exercises together and fights together.” FIGHTS together? Sorry, these are the true villians, and a lock for the finals. They seem perfectly insufferable, this year’s couple to yell “SHUT UP” at.
Nicolas & Donald – What is it with the T-shirts? Sadly, this is our Midwestern team – Illinois & Wisconsin represent! I say sadly, because you’re looking at the first team to be eliminated from the race. Not trying to be ageist here, but they look like they have nothing in common, and communication between them should be a farce. I also think a guy with a 23 year old grandson no longer qualifies for cute in a “Grandpa” shirt, especially one looking as gruff as Donald.
Ari & Staella – This year’s annoying team. They have that “We’re snarky and proud of it” look about them, which should be beyond irritating. He’s a punk, and she thinks she’s cuter than she is. I do like the powder blue and black ensemble, however, and might give them a pass into the middle to late rounds.
Marianna & Julia – This year’s underdogs. Wow, they’re stunningly beautiful and might be well-grounded. Note that they’re also younger than the blonde bitchy team. Oooh, that CBS casting… The only real problem is see is located in this statement: “When asked which Teams they would model their game play after – they both choose past winners BJ and Tyler for their positive energy approach towards the game.” They emulate the most annoying TAR team ever cast, and didn’t see through their hippie hijinks and faux positivity. Uh-oh. Just miss the finals in fourth place, and my lesbian-sister fantasy will be completely ruined.
Rachel & TK – America’s sweethearts. Read their description carefully. You’d have to be a moron to not realize they’ve been cast to be adored. He’s got a little Brad Pitt in him, which brings the ladies, but I must say, the headband worries me. They’ll cruise to the finals, supporting each other the whole way with lots of “babes” between them. And they’ll be happy to snag third, and they’ll say something inspirational about the race make them richer in love than in the wallet, which is just GREAT TV.
Kate & Pat – Well, CBS shoehorned grannies, homosexuals and God-fearers into one couple, which saved room for all the other stereotypes. “Pat’s biggest pet peeve about Kate is that she constantly misjudges her time, an issue that could surely cause problems on the Race.” SNORE. That said, This team will get by a few rounds, by the skin of their teeth, and everyone will love their dragging keisters for it. When they’re eliminated, everyone left on the Race will clap and cry and hug each other, and the music, she will be swirling.
Predicted order of elimination:
1. Nicolas & Donald
2. Kynt & Vyxsin
3. Ronald & Christina
4. Shana & Jennifer
5. Kate & Pat
6. Azaria & Hendekea
7. Ari & Staella
8. Marianna & Julia
9. Rachel & TK
10. Lorena & Jason
11. Jennifer & Nathan
Seriously, should I seek help?