The Amazing Race 23 Wrap-Up

The 23rd Race around the world is done. This was an interesting season, yet oddly bland at the same time.

Even though this season was filmed back in July, it premiered on television right after the series’ only 2nd Emmy loss. So expectations were still a little high that this season needed to wow or at least prove that TAR still deserved to be nominated in the category it has dominated since its creation, let alone actually win it.

Unfortunately, the first half or even 2/3 of the season pretty much justified the loss. The teams were forgettable, the tasks were uninspired and the locations were uninteresting. TAR23 started off pretty much encapsulating all the criticisms fans have had about the show these last few years.

You couple the “Meh” feeling of TAR23 with the news that TAR24 was some kind of returning Racers season, it just made everything even less exciting.

It wasn’t until the last couple of Legs that TAR23 finally perked up. Competition was heated, the tasks and locations were excellent and the teams managed to finally show some personality instead of being either absolutely lifeless or being too big of a camwhore. Plus, the spoiled teams of TAR24 forced me back into rooting hard for TAR23 to deliver the goods because TAR24 certainly isn’t appearing to do that.

Anyway, the first few Legs, as I said were completely uninspired and relied too much on typical TAR tasks and horribly linear Leg design. Not even camels could elevate “meh” Legs. But as soon as TAR23 got to Indonesia, things started looking up.

Leg 9 had to be one of the best Legs on TARUS in the last few seasons. It had some amazing tasks, amazing drama and really showed off the location. Leg 10 and Leg 11 ramped up the drama and real competition and coupled that with great tasks.

The final Leg was alright. Alaska is a beautiful place, but I really wished they had not wasted a great final memory task by not using it for drama and instead spending half the last hour playing in the ice.

Overall, TAR23 is a pretty middling season. I didn’t write a season wrap-up for TAR22 since I had to watch the final episode more than a month after it aired. But these last few seasons have started to make me see my previous least favorite season (TAR7) in a much better light. Eeek. Whatever the outcome of TAR24, I’m already looking to TAR25 and hope that that milestone season will be the one that gets TAR back on track and into a new golden era.

Final Team Rankings
in subjective order

Such an odd cast, honestly.
I guess the elimination of Hoskote & Naina in the first Leg was a sign of the blah season that was to come. I really was hoping they would be Ron & Christina 2.0. And it appeared that they had the makings of it too. In one Leg, Hoskote had already delivered plenty of his own Real Truth FlavorĀ® and it would’ve only gotten more hilarious from there. It sucked how horrible they were in the Leg though.

Tim & Marie, I really disliked in the first half of the Race. Their bickering exes act was really grating and felt so forced and fake. You just know they were playing up to the cameras most of the time. And that forced aspect of their characters really overshadowed that they were very competent Racers. They definitely stepped it up as the Race went on and when they toned down their bickering, it seemed more natural and they became more likeable. Even more when other teams did complete 180s, character-wise, they surprisingly became a team to root for by the end.

Rowan & Shane as my #3 team from this season. Wow. That says a lot. They may have been total fodder, but I would’ve actually wanted to see them longer in the Race if only to see them be somewhat amusing. Or at least until that wedding bride Detour in Leg 10. Tim & Danny deserve much kudos for really playing the game and being smart about keeping the other teams at bay. That they wouldn’t let themselves be played or used was great. But their defeatist attitude at times really dragged them down.

If only we saw the Ally & Ashley in their Final Leg for the entire Race, they could’ve been two of the fiercest all-female teams ever. But instead, they hitched their wagon to the Afghanimal Train and it was bad. They relied too much on them and when they didn’t, they would lag behind. And not to mention the whole showmance business has no place on TAR. Meanwhile, Chester & Ephraim were just one bad plane move away from actually making a big impact on the Race.

Jason & Amy were a generic hot dating couple until their fight with Tim & Marie. That’s when we finally saw some personality out of them. It wasn’t a necessarily good personality (condescending Jason), but it was finally them showing some interesting bits and pieces. That then descended into their strange alliance with Nicole & Travis which climaxed with the laughable Road Block in Japan. Them calling themselves one of the best teams to ever Race also rubs the wrong way. No, you two are not one of the best teams to ever run the Race.

Nicky & Kim fell forward every Leg of the Race. Just when you thought they had stepped up their game, they would fall right back into falling forward. They weren’t afraid to ruffle feathers, but they never had the Race skills to back it up. And they were saved twice by non-elimination Legs, one of them without even a Speed Bump.

Brandon & Adam were alright, but pretty forgettable despite their bigger personalities. But we just had James & Abba who were much more interesting.

Nicole & Travis… Wow. The biggest collapse in the history of The Amazing Race. After recovering from their first Leg blunder, they ran a consistent and strong Race. They seemed liked the team to beat. Then everything just imploded. Nicole had meltdown after meltdown at Road Blocks while Travis started giving vaguely divorce-type confessionals about being disappointed that his wife sucks at challenges on The Amazing Race. Their edit on the show was the oddest thing I’ve ever seen on the Race too. From strong competitors to hypocritical and sanctimonious fakes who didn’t practice what they suddenly preached. So odd.

And then there’s Leo & Jamal. Ultimate camera whores who played to the cameras and mugged them every chance they got… except for when they actually had to Race from behind. That’s when they became tolerable. But then the hooting and hollering would return, the cockiness appear and the wifey talk flood out of their mouths. I definitely hope we won’t have to see them on a future TAR ever. Ever.


1. TAR3
2. TAR5
3. TAR8
4. TAR1
5. TAR11:AS
6. TAR12
7. TAR2
7. TAR6
7. TAR4
10. TAR10
11. TAR9
12. TAR19
13. TAR17
14. TAR7
15. TAR21
16. TAR20
17. TAR22
18. TAR18: UB
19. TAR23
20. TAR16
20. TAR14
20. TAR15
20. TAR13
(regardless of winner)
1. TAR3
2. TAR12
3. TAR21
4. TAR8
5. TAR5
6. TAR2
7. TAR1
8. TAR20
9. TAR16
10. TAR15
11. TAR14
12. TAR6
13. TAR19
14. TAR17
15. TAR22
16. TAR23
17. TAR11: AS
18. TAR4
19. TAR18
20. TAR9
21. TAR13
22. TAR10
23. TAR7
1. TAR3
2. TAR8
3. TAR5
4. TAR1
5. TAR11: AS
6. TAR2
6. TAR12
8. TAR6
8. TAR4
10. TAR10
10. TAR9
12. TAR20
12. TAR19
12. TAR17
14. TAR21
15. TAR18
16. TAR22
17. TAR23
18. TAR16
18. TAR15
18. TAR14
18. TAR13
23. TAR7
1. Ronald & Christina (TAR12/18)
1. Teri & Ian (TAR3/AS)
1. Charla & Mirna (TAR5/AS)
4. Kris & Jon (TAR6)
5. Linda & Karen (TAR5)
6. Brendon & Rachel (TAR20)
7. John Vito & Jill (TAR3/AS)
8. David & Margaretta (TAR1)
9. Meredith & Gretchen (TAR7)
10. Brian & Ericka (TAR15)
11. The Linz Family (TAR8)
12. Max & Katie (TAR22)
13. Ernie & Cindy (TAR19)
14. Nat & Kat (TAR17)
15. Brook & Claire (TAR17)
16. Erwin & Godwin (TAR10)
17. Natalie & Nadiya (TAR21)
18. Trey & Lexi (TAR21)
19. Pam & Winnie (TAR22)

1. Ron & Christina (TAR18)
2. Teri & Ian (TARAS)
3. John Vito & Jill (TAR3)
4. The Gaghan Family (TAR8)
5. Linda & Karen (TAR5)
6. Bopper & Mark (TAR20)
7. Meredith & Gretchen (TAR7)
8. Charla & Mirna (TAR5)
9. Natalie & Nadiya (TAR21)
10. The Paolo Family (TAR8)
11. Pam & Winnie (TAR22)
12. Gary & Mallory (TAR17)
13. Joseph & Monica (TAR9)
14. Bill & Cathi (TAR19)
15. Jim & Marsha (TAR5)
16. Steve & Allie (TAR16)
17. Hoskote & Naina (TAR23)

1. Brook & Claire (TAR17)
1. Kris & Jon (TAR6)
1. Teri & Ian (TAR3)
1. Charla & Mirna (TARAS)
1. Ronald & Christina (TAR12)
6. Ken & Gerard (TAR3)
7. Kelly & Jon (TAR4)
7. Gary & Mallory (TAR18)
9. Dustin & Kandice (TARAS)
10. Max & Katie (TAR22)
11. Jaymes & James (TAR21)
12. Brian & Ericka (TAR15)
13. Eric & Jeremy (TAR9)
14. Brendon & Rachel (TAR20)
15. Nicolas & Donald (TAR12)
16. Frank & Margarita (TAR1)
17. Trey & Lexi (TAR21)
18. Ken & Tina (TAR13)
19. Tim & Marie (TAR23)

WINNERS (subjective, as a team)

1. Ernie & Cindy (TAR19)
2. Nat & Kat (TAR17)
3. Dan & Jordan (TAR16)
4. The Linz Family (TAR8)
5. Flo & Zach (TAR3)
6. Rob & Brennan (TAR1)
7. Uchenna & Joyce (TAR7)
8. Chris & Alex (TAR2)
8. Chip & Kim (TAR5)
8. Tammy & Victor (TAR14)
11. Kisha & Jen (TAR18)
11. Meghan & Cheyne (TAR15)
11. Tyler & James (TAR10)
11. Freddy & Kendra (TAR6)
15. Bates & Anthony (TAR22)
16. Nick & Starr (TAR13)
17. Rachel & Dave (TAR20)
17. Jason & Amy (TAR23)
19. Reichen & Chip (TAR4)
20. BJ & Tyler (TAR9)
21. TK & Rachel (TAR12)
22. Eric & Danielle (TAR11:AS)
23. Josh & Brent (TAR21)
WINNERS (with respect to final 3)
Winning Team
> > Who I Wanted to Win

1. Ernie & Cindy
> > Ernie & Cindy (TAR19)
2. Dan & Jordan
> > Dan & Jordan (TAR16)
3. Uchenna & Joyce
> > Uchenna & Joyce (TAR7)
4. The Linz Family
> > The Linz Family (TAR8)
5. Tammy & Victor
> > Tammy & Victor (TAR14)
6. Nat & Kat
> > Nat & Kat or Brook & Claire (TAR1)
7. Rob & Brennan
> > Rob & Brennan or Frank & Margarita (TAR1)
8. Chris & Alex
> > Blake & Paige or Chris & Alex (TAR2)
9. Chip & Kim
> > Chip & Kim or Brandon & Nicole (TAR5)
10. Tyler & James
> > Tyler & James or Lyn & Karlyn (TAR10)
11. Jason & Amy
> > None (TAR23)
12. Flo & Zach
> > Teri & Ian or Ken & Gerard (TAR3)
13. Kisha & Jen
> > Gary & Mallory (TAR18)
14. Meghan & Cheyne
> > Brian & Ericka (TAR15)
15. Nick & Starr
> > Nick & Starr or Ken & Tina (TAR13)
16. Reichen & Chip
> > Kelly & Jon (TAR4)
17. Freddy & Kendra
> > Kris & Jon (TAR6)
18. Rachel & Dave
> > Brendon & Rachel (TAR20)
19. Bates & Anthony
> > Max & Katie (TAR22)
20. BJ & Tyler
> > Eric & Jeremy or Ray & Yolanda (TAR9)
21. Eric & Danielle
> > Charla & Mirna or Dustin &Kandice (TAR11:AS)
22. TK & Rachel
> > Ronald & Christina or Don & Nicolas (TAR12)
23. Josh & Brent
> > Trey & Lexi or Jaymes & James (TAR12)
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4 thoughts on “The Amazing Race 23 Wrap-Up

    • Well, it used to be my least favorite season. But like I said up above, I’ve started to see it in a much better light after the last couple of seasons. It’s not my least favorite anymore, but I still don’t necessarily like it very much. It has one of the worst, most unlikeable casts ever. Meredith & Gretchen aren’t enough to carry a cast of just unlikeable people. And Rob & Amber are just horrible. They really drag the season down.

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