Handicapping TAR 13
Oh yeah, bring it on! CBS’ The Amazing Race, Season 13 is upon us!
Hmm. Yeah, surprisingly I’m not as excited about this particular season. After doing a 90-120 second assessment of each team, and can’t help but feel, well, meh.
However, I’ll do my part in trying to hype this show – this multiple-Emmy award winning show – and visit the CBS page for TAR 13 and make predictions based on nothing but conjecture, cattiness and cunning animal instinct. I find it also helps me to learn a bit about the participants early, in order to keep them straight. It’s unbelievably hard to stay on top of 22 people racing for bucks without already passed supreme judgment upon them.
Play along, won’t you? Links below lead to pre-game interviews on the CBS site. They’re currently combined with 15 to 30 second ads too, so be warned.
Marisa & Brooke – More ladies in pink. Uh-oh. And they’re southern and blonde. Oh no. Here we go again. But at least in this interview they do come off as genuinely friendly and nice, and not at all like the blonde, pink bimbos who have preceded them on previous seasons. However, you have to be concerned when one of their talents is described thusly: “Brooke is a graphic designer, so she’ll be really good at reading the clues.” Hmm. Please, girls, don’t perpetuate the stereotype.
Kelly & Christy – They’re roomies and co-workers and love to travel and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Jesus Christ, stop boring me. These people deserve to be on television? Why, indeed? They definitely seem to be more stable friends than Marisa & Brooke, but there’s nothing interesting about them. Let’s hope one of them falls off a camel or something in the first episode, just so they could talk about something.
Ty & Aja – Long distance dating couple. Like most dating couples on TAR, they’re trying to find out if they work as a couple, and get a free vacation around the world in the process, with the possibility of winning $1M. At least at the outset, Aja appears to be the more forceful of the pair, or at least the most comfortable with speaking to some interviewer in front of a camera. They might bicker, they say, but they’ll get over it. That’s what they all say, trust me.
Terrence & Sarah – Okay, I’ve now gone thru 4 of these “get to know the racer” segments and I’m ready to murder the person that added the shitty training video soundtracks. As if the answers weren’t vanilla enough, let’s add some oozing synth over a tinkling piano, and a solidly un-rocking beat.
Beyond that, there are some weird things in the Terrence & Sarah vid. First, he’s got a bit of rooster hair going on, which is slightly alarming. Then she makes some comment about how he’s obviously the member of their team who’ll be tackling the physical challenges. Which would be great if he didn’t have chicken wings for arms. He’s a marathoner and will be able to run better than others, but he won’t be carrying grand pianos through the streets of Luxembourg. (Not a spoiler, just some typical random TAR challenge.) Lastly, they do this creepy as hell fist-bump-with-a-prolonged-knuckle-rubbing that seems calculated and fake. This might be the born-again Christian pairing that always seems to rear its ugly head partway thru a race. They’ll suddenly start asking God for strength repeatedly, usually while weeping openly, and then all their creepy behavior starts to make sense. Or perhaps they’ve just got a bad case of marathoners’ high.
Star & Nick – Full disclosure, I believe Star is the most attractive female on this race. and SHE KNOWS IT. However, I think she and her brother are going to be completely bowled over by the race itself. Need proof? “We were just on the subway just the other day, and we were able to make good relations quite quickly.” Establishing good relations with New Yorkers may be difficult but it’s not like you’re speaking in a different language, unless you’re talking to the guy receiving brainwaves from Venus. This couple will be the ones crippled by the sight of abject poverty, or get overly angry with a foreign cabbie, because they will be completely culture-shocked.
Ken & Tina – Okay, now we start moving the more mature racers, with certainly more established relationships. These two seem pleasant and self-aware enough, but they strike me as hopefuls rather than true competitors. No basis for this of course, but thinking they could be a surprise early exiter.
Dallas & Toni – Or, “Mom, you’re embarrassing me!” Ought to be entertaining to watch, if not completely infuriating. He seems like a dunderhead, and she seems like someone who will nitpick, um, just like a mother. They actually seem to complement each other well though, if they can get past the tired routine of sitcom family matters. A dark horse to go deep.
Anthony & Stephanie – They both think that since they’re physically fit and bicker occasionally, they’re ready to roll. (Personally, I think Anthony got up about 10 minutes before taping.) So, the show is kinda like running, lifting weights and arguing, right? We can do that. Oh yeah, and directions, we need to know those too. Do you mind if I just curl up on the couch for 40 more winks? I think I actually like this team, because they’re so casual. They kind of remind me of the way I approach stress; I know I have to appear calm, and borderline drowsy. If I could claim I suffered from jetlag every day of my life, I’d be the most successful person in the world.
Anita & Arthur – And now we enter the stunt casting zone with these Grateful Near-Dead. These two people seem like lovely people, who are hopelessly dressed in tie-dye, but will never be a threat to challenge for the race. Empowerment is fine, but I really don’t like the way the race just slots in teams like the nice elderly couple, or the African-American team. I’m not sure if there is a homosexual racer, but I’m sure that if there was, there’d be ONLY ONE, or if two, they’d be relegated to one team. This is the first choice by CBS of elderly hippie BEEKEEPERS however, so maybe they’re getting better.
Andrew & Dan – Young Geeks. For this team, this race all boils down to getting pretty girls, or rejecting pretty girls as they’ve been rejected. This is what Arizona State University dorks think of the world: one more pretty girl that I’ll never have, so I might as well shit all over it. Good luck with all that. Seriously, I heard the term “Team Superbad” in a commercial, and while it may be appropriate, I have no desire to conjure up an image of McLovin bungee-jumping, thank you very much.
Mark & Bill – Old Geeks. Open and honest about their nerdiness and obsession with this not only being an adventure, but also being a game. Right out of the gate, I kinda like them, but I’m very concerned about the physical side of their efforts. However, they might overcome it with their ability to attack their strategic prowess. Again, they still might have to encounter an actual attractive woman, and subsequently be paralyzed by fear for days.
Predicted order of elimination:
1. Anita & Arthur
2. Star & Nick
3. Andrew & Dan
4. Ken & Tina
5. Marisa & Brooke
6. Mark & Bill
7. Dallas & Toni
8. Kelly & Christy
9. Anthony & Stephanie
10. Ty & Aja
11. Terrence & Sarah
And now, Phil, take it away.