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Sunday October 28, 2007 3:18 pm

Prejudging the Newest Amazing Racers

The Amazing Race

Sorry, Viva Laughlin, but I couldn’t be more excited that is back.  It is my favorite reality show and (full disclosure) the only one for which I’ve ever made an audition tape.  Remember me from that one season?  No, you don’t, because I was never chosen.  But, even though I was snubbed by the show, I still love it, and as the premiere draws near, I thought I’d take a moment to judge several books by their covers and give you my initial thoughts on the newest crop of racers and how much I want them to win.

KYNT & VYXSIN - DATING GOTHS:
I immediately can’t stand this team.  According to the website (where I’m getting all my information), Kynt & Vyxsin “pride themselves on keeping Louisville ‘weird.’”  She (‘she’ being Vyxsin) describes herself as theatrical and he describes himself as abstract, atypical, and avant-garde.  Ugh.  The bile is already rising about this team.  Now, don’t think it’s because I like everybody to be the same and hate any breach from conformity.  I’ve been involved in theatre in New York for nearly ten years, so I like deviation from the norm.

But here’s the thing: there seems to be so much posturing in this kind of “different-ness.”  If you’re quirky and different from everybody around you and you’re cool with that, fantastic.  If you’re making a concerted effort to be different than everybody around you and you define yourself by how different you are, well, to me you’re just a boring as people who strive to be the same as everybody else.  In fact, you might be a little worse because you’re not really telling me who you are, you’re just telling me you’re not some other person.  Also, people I’ve met who really are quirky and interesting tend to NEVER TALK ABOUT HOW DIFFERENT THEY ARE.  Why?  Because that’s incredibly dull.  Yawn, dating goths.  Yawn.

Now, if you would have been dating Visigoths that would have been interesting.  And I’m not going to even say anything about your names.  Too easy.

How much I want them to win: Not at all.  I feel like they’ll be a team who’ll explain how much other teams will underestimate them and that’s so lame.  Guess what, folks: it’s a race!  It doesn’t matter who underestimates you or overestimates you; it matters who gets to Phil first.

JENNIFER & NATHAN - DATING: 
He’s a volleyball coach, she’s a student and gymnastics coach.  According to CBS, “both have dominant personalities and tend to be very stubborn.”  They’re athletic, blandly good-looking people and I don’t really care about them one way or the other.  Honestly, their website bio looks like it could have been cut and paste from several other “we’re dating and we fight because we’re strong-willed but we still love each other” teams past.

How much I want them to win: I’d be kind of eh about them winning.  They seem like they’re physically suited for the endurance parts of the race, but they seem like they’ll just bicker and make-up and that gets old.

RONALD & CHRISTINA - FATHER/DAUGHTER:
He’s a first-generation immigrant who works as VP of Sales for a paper-packaging company and she’s a policy analyst.  There’s a lot to like about this team.  For the most part, I always dig the parent child/teams (with the exception of the mother and son who hated Rob and Amber with religious fervor) and I especially like the father/daughter teams.  The daughters are always tough women who pleasantly surprise their fathers and how can you not like that?  Also, Ronald (who I’d like to believe works for Dunder Mifflin’s Tacoma branch) lists his proudest achievements as his marriage and “raising two independent daughters.”  A little corny, but still awesome.

The only drawback?  In Ronald’s picture he appears to be wearing a jacket that says “Who’s Your Daddy” on it.  That’s just ... no.  No.

How much I want them to win: Lots and lots.  These are snap judgments, of course, (plus this is only the third team I’ve seen) but I like this team a lot.

SHANA & JENNIFER - FRIENDS: 
First line of the CBS.com description: “Don’t let their good looks fool you.”  Okay, I won’t.  I’m finished with them.  Goodbye, Shana & Jennifer.

How much I want them to win: There appears to be another all female team on the race, so I’ll root for them instead.  No thanks, Shana & Jennifer.

AZARIA & HENDEKEA - BROTHER/SISTER:
They’re both engineers (he’s facilities and she’s aerospace), and he’s the older one.  I’m not sure about this team.  The description on CBS is kind of standard “they fight because they’re siblings but they’re in it to win it” type stuff, but on the positive side they seem athletic without being gym rats.  Plus he lives in New Orleans, and I just got back from that city and loved it there, so I’ll cautiously root for them.  Hey, if I’m going to make snap judgments they might as well be as irrational as possible.

How much I want them to win: Somewhat.  Time will tell.

LORENA & JASON - DATING:
Here’s the warning sign: “they’re hoping the Race might help them figure out whether or not their relationship has what it takes to last.”  Why do people continue to go on reality shows to figure out how their relationships are going?  Here’s a tip: go see a counselor.  Don’t want to spend any money at all?  Okay, talk to your friends.  Sit them down and say, “I won’t hold anything you say right now against you in the future, but tell me: should X and I be together forever?”  Your friends know, trust me.

So, anyway, I don’t care for these “let’s figure out where we stand by going on a reality show” teams.  Always annoying.  Oh, and Jason describes himself as volatile and Lorena admits she’s a very jealous person.  That’s always great for a relationship.

How much I want them to win: I don’t.  Because if they fight and are horrible for each other and win a million dollars, they’ll think of that as divine vindication.  I don’t care for that.

NICOLAS & DONALD - GRANDSON/GRANDFATHER:
Grandson and grandfather team?  And they’re both pilots?  Love it.  I’m on board.  My only issue at the moment is that Donald is, evidently, not too accepting (and that’s “accepting,” people who write for the CBS website, not “excepting”) of people who go against his advice.  If you get mad when people don’t take your advice, it’s no longer advice, it’s orders.  But that usually is worse for contestants than Amazing Racers.

How much I want them to win: Lots and lots.  I’d love a battle of the old guys in the final leg.  Donald vs. Ronald!

ARI & STAELLA - BEST FRIENDS:
Sometimes the website makes it easy for me to not like a team.  And I quote: “Ari is catty and not afraid to speak his mind, while Staella won’t hesitate to flirt her way to the front of the pack. Ari describes himself as mean, rude and hilarious, and enjoys dancing and talking trash to people.”  Isn’t it enchanting when people find their own bad behavior so delightful?  Oh, it’s not?  It’s utterly horrible?  Right, my bad.

How much I want them to win: A win by them would only be preferable to a Kynt & Vyxsin win, and not by much. 

MARIANNA & JULIA - SISTERS:
I’ve already chosen them over the other all female team, so I guess I have to root for them kinda.  But, ooh, I just read that they would model themselves after past winners BJ and Tyler.  The hippies?  Really?  They were so self-righteous and insufferable after a while.  I do like family teams, though.  You’re on the bubble, Marianna & Julia, but at least you didn’t tell me to not let your good looks fool me.

How much I want them to win: I wouldn’t hate it, but I’m not sold yet.

RACHEL & TK - DATING FOR ALMOST ONE YEAR:
Another couple that’s using the Race to see if their relationship can survive?  Come on, casting people.  Pass.  Also, TK oddly looks like if played biker role in Erin Brockovich.

How much I want them to win: Indifferent.  They claim they laugh a lot so that might win me over, but I’m skeptical.

KATE & PAT - MARRIED MINISTERS:
Wait, there’s another all female team?  Don’t write and criticize me; my browser window wasn’t maximized so I missed the final team picture.  I just read the bio and I like them.  A lot.  Kate’s an Episcopal priest with a son and Pat’s an Episcopal deacon who ministers to people with disabilities and she has two sons and three grandchildren.  Is it wrong that I want this team to win just as vindication for all the times anyone invokes God as having something to do with the outcome of reality shows?  I think not.

Plus, Kate is “passionate and sarcastic” and Pat is “persistent and dependable.”  Works for me.

How much I want them to win: I want them to win.  The fewer actor/model/gym rats that win the Race, the better.

All right, that’s enough prejudging.  Soon will come the most exciting part: the actual judging!  See you soon, Phil!!

(The Amazing Race returns Sunday, November 4th @ 8pm.)

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