The milestone 15th season of The Amazing Race has come and gone. I believe it was the fastest Race ever run, which I can believe since it did feel like it went by very fast.
But it was a good season overall. It probably won’t be one of my favorites, but it was a lot more enjoyable than a few other seasons. Of course my opinion of Amazing Race seasons change as times goes by. Sometimes, I’ll enjoy a season a lot more later on than I did when it first aired. Other times, I might get bored by a season I had previously loved. Same for teams. I could absolutely hate a team while watching the show as it first airs, but later on I might grow to appreciate their contribution to entertainment on the Race.
TAR15 presented some interesting things though. First to the new Race introduction, the Switchback. It was fun reminiscing about past seasons and always great when the show calls back to its history. While this season’s Switchback did provide the hilarious meltdown of Sam & Dan and the only moment of tension between Meghan & Cheyne, it didn’t match the emotion of the first time in TAR6. Which I think will probably never happen for any Switchback, but we can hope for new classic moments that can be considered for Switchbacks in the future right?
The Amazing Race 15 almost started looking like The Amazing Race Asia with all the penalties being handed out this season! Including the no travel documents penalty for Zev & Justin, the first 4-hour Road Block penalty since the infamous TAR7 quitting debacle (thanks Romber, ugh), an unseen 24-hour penalty for Maria & Tiffany for not completing the Detour, and their penalty after the first leg when they lost their Japanese tourists. They remind everyone that this is a game, it is a competition with rules in addition to being a beautiful travelogue.
The Race Course this season seemed to be lacking just a little bit. Great and beautiful destinations, but I guess I’d love to see some unexpected locations as well as a Race Course not limited to two continents.
The Speed Bumps are getting increasingly pointless. Sit in a sauna, deliver pho, take a shot. They can’t be too hard of course, but I do hope they get a little more creative next season.
The Detours and Road Blocks were hit and miss. The best, most memorable ones (including random tasks) from this season have to be:
-The Wasabi Road Block, Leg 1 in Japan. What made this Road Block was the atmosphere and the Japanese game show gimmick. It was crazy fun and it seems like everyone involved enjoyed it (including those of us at home!)
-Guiding Japanese Tourists. Tasks that have teams directly interacting with the locals is always a win. And this one was no different. Being in charge of a huge group of people who may or may not speak English, what could be more fun than that?! And the cuts of the Japanese lady being so grateful for the Globetrotters, Canaan carrying the lady who couldn’t walk anymore, Meghan & Cheyne’s bathroom break… it was gold.
-The Duck Road Block in Vietnam. Bertram van Munster attempted this task once before in the first Philippine leg of TAR5. But it was a Detour then and no one even wanted to attempt it, now he forces the teams to do it and it was hilarious and fun.
-Child’s Play Detour in Vietnam. Anytime random kids are involved in any way on the show, it’s a good thing. Seeing the kids in the playground waiting for the huge animals to arrive along with several grown-up holding up balloons randomly in the park… awesomeness.
-The Monkey Road Block in Cambodia. Interesting and fun.
-The Desert Water Road Block in Dubai. It would’ve been lots more fun if the teams wandered around even longer and the camels had more screen time.
-The Swiss Switchback Road Block. Provided lots of funny drama, but still paled in comparison to TAR6’s epicness.
-Kafka Road Block. This was a great task to have at night. I wish there were more legs where the teams wander around town in the middle of the night. But this task specifically was great, though more awesome if they had played up the Kafka-isms. I feel like the glossed over whom Kafka was and what his writings were, which would’ve added a lot to make for a more ominous task.
And so, the 16th season is currently in production. If you’re spoiler free, well let me say you’re lucky because unlike me, you won’t be cursing at whoever casted this season until March. Not looking forward to not one but two casting gimmicks TAR has resorted to for TAR16. Thanks CBS. Boo.
My expectations are going to be very low for this season because we’ve seen how horrible stunt casting has been for TAR before. But since this is The Amazing Race, it can never be that bad. 😉
ALL-TIME RANKINGS OVERALL SEASONS
(regardless of winner)
10. TAR11: AS
— GROUP of TEAMS
5. TAR11: AS
— MY ALL-TIME TEAMS
1. Kris & Jon (TAR6)
2. Teri & Ian (TAR3/AS)
3. Ronald & Christina (TAR12)
4. Charla & Mirna (TAR5/AS)
5. The Linz Family (TAR8)
6. John Vito & Jill (TAR3/AS)
7. David & Margaretta (TAR1)
8. Don & Mary Jean (TAR6)
9. Linda & Karen (TAR5)
10. Meredith & Gretchen (TAR7)
11. Erwin & Godwin (TAR10)
12. Brian & Ericka (TAR15)
— NON TOP 3 TEAMS THAT SHOULD HAVE GONE FURTHER
1. Teri & Ian (TARAS)
2. John Vito & Jill (TAR3)
3. The Gaghan Family (TAR8)
4. Toni & Dallas (TAR13)
5. Linda & Karen (TAR5)
6. Meredith & Gretchen (TAR7)
7. Charla & Mirna (TAR5)
8. Zev & Justin (TAR15)
9. Joseph & Monica (TAR9)
10. Jim & Marsha (TAR5)
11. Mel & Mike (TAR14)
12. Gary & Matt (TAR15)
13. Garrett & Jessica (TAR15)
14. The Paolo Family (TAR8)
15. The Rogers Family (TAR8)
— MOST DESERVING FINAL 3 TEAM (NON-WINNERS)
1. Kris & Jon (TAR6)
2. Teri & Ian (TAR3)
2. Charla & Mirna (TARAS)
2. Ronald & Christina (TAR12)
5. Ken & Gerard (TAR3)
6. Kelly & Jon (TAR4)
7. Dustin & Kandice (TARAS)
8. Eric & Jeremy (TAR9)
9. Nicolas & Donald (TAR12)
10. Frank & Margarita (TAR1)
11. Ken & Tina (TAR13)
12. Brian & Ericka (TAR15)
13. Sam & Dan (TAR15)
— WINNERS (as a team)
1. The Linz Family (TAR8)
2. Flo & Zach (TAR3)
3. Rob & Brennan (TAR1)
4. Uchenna & Joyce (TAR7)
5. Tammy & Victor (TAR14)
6. Chris & Alex (TAR2)
6. Chip & Kim (TAR5)
8. Meghan & Cheyne (TAR15)
8. Nick & Starr (TAR13)
8. Tyler & James (TAR10)
11. Reichen & Chip (TAR4)
12. Freddy & Kendra (TAR6)
13. BJ & Tyler (TAR9)
14. TK & Rachel (TAR12)
15. Eric & Danielle (TAR11:AS)
— WINNERS (with respect to final 3)
Who I wanted to win
1. Uchenna & Joyce
Uchenna & Joyce (TAR7)
2. The Linz Family
The Linz Family (TAR8)
3. Tammy & Victor
Tammy & Victor (TAR14)
4. Rob & Brennan
Rob & Brennan or Frank & Margarita (TAR1)
5. Chris & Alex
Blake & Paige or Chris & Alex (TAR2)
6. Chip & Kim
Chip & Kim or Brandon & Nicole (TAR5)
7. Tyler & James
Tyler & James or Lyn & Karlyn (TAR10)
8. Flo & Zach
Teri & Ian or Ken & Gerard (TAR3)
9. Meghan & Cheyne
Brian & Ericka (TAR15)
9. Nick & Starr
Nick & Starr or Ken & Tina (TAR13)
10. Reichen & Chip
Kelly & Jon (TAR4)
11. Freddy & Kendra
Kris & Jon (TAR6)
12. BJ & Tyler
Eric & Jeremy or Ray & Yolanda (TAR9)
13. Eric & Danielle
Charla & Mirna or Dustin &Kandice (TAR11:AS)
14. TK & Rachel
Ronald & Christina or Don & Nicolas (TAR12)
My Final Team Rankings
Brian & Ericka – They were a great team to watch. Entertaining, sometimes drama-filled and a great couple. Ericka’s frustration and short temper, while it didn’t come out often during the Race, was big when it did. A cooler head might have helped them A LOT during the final leg and in a couple of situations during the Race as well, but she was not short of determination and will to finish the Race. She easily did some things, including conquering some fears, that other teams would probably not even attempt. And Brian, Mr. Nice Guy, they accumulated lots of great karma during the Race but it seems karma took a day off when they needed it most. Still, they seem like a great couple and they love each other very much which is definitely more important.
Gary & Matt – Always great to have parent/child teams on the Race and these two definitely did not disappoint in representing the other great parent/child teams of the past. They could’ve gone further and made a run for the million, but as always one simple mistake could cost you the Race. They had great fun on the Race which is definitely a must for any Racer and they had great teamwork.
Zev & Justin – Two fun guys, having fun racing around the world. If you’re going to have all-male teams, have them like Zev & Justin; interesting and funny. But it was unfortunate for them that they were done in by a lost passport. If they had had kept better track of their belongings they could have definitely gone a lot further in the Race. But I hope we do get more teams like them in the future.
Garrett & Jessica – I definitely wish we got to see more of them on the Race. Great to have the Bay Area represented on the Race as always. But they could’ve been an interesting team to watch. Best of luck to them after getting engaged at Elimination Station, but seeing their relationship on the Race, which could’ve been filled with a little bit of drama if their elimination was any indication, and then ending with a Hayden & Aaron (TAR6) type of elimination proposal would’ve been fun to see.
Marcy & Ronald – We always get the “older team” that seems like they are the ones that can run with the young ones. But not since TAR3’s Teri & Ian have we really gotten on who could contend. There was just no hurry-up or sense of urgency when Marcy & Ron raced, especially in their last leg, which was a shame because they did seem very capable to keeping up if they actually tried.
Herbert & Nathaniel – A horrible way for them to go out after running a good Race with great teamwork and having fun. Though not a perfect Race anyway with some close calls, they had fun and enjoyed every minute of it. They had excellent teamwork which definitely went a long way, but their quitting the Road Block was just a sad, horrible end to what could have been a great Race for them.
Mika & Canaan – They had probably one of the most dramatic eliminations ever. I still can’t even imagine being so deathly afraid of something that I wouldn’t even attempt to conquer it for a shot at a million dollars. Mika just giving up was a really crazy move that I probably would never understand unless I was in her position. It cost them the Race and it seemed their relationship, but at last check they are back together and happy.
Maria & Tiffany – It was an up and down Race for the them defined by very close calls, determination, their lame lie at the start of the Race and lots of luck that ran out for them on their final leg. They were saved so many times and seemed like a perpetual 2nd to last team. They showed signs of stepping up their Race and they did in one leg, but it didn’t last. All the way until their miserable elimination after not being able to complete either Detour. The hunt for the first all-female American Amazing Race winner continues.
Sam & Dan – Their short tempers and bickering and spazzing was a problem for them all through the Race and it probably cost them the million in the final leg as well. It was something they vowed to work on, but never did. Rarely was the bickering funny if just annoying because they would be an otherwise very strong team. Despite that, they still did well enough to get them 2nd place overall which is an accomplishment.
Meghan & Cheyne – They dominated the entire Race and their win is well deserved, if not predictable, based on their Race performance. Personality-wise, they weren’t the most interesting teams on the Race, but for them, it’s the million that counts and they got it. It was their Race to lose and in the end their cool heads (which hasn’t been so cool all the time) helped them cross the Finish Line first.
Lance & Keri – Lance came off as a loud, annoying douche, but by their last leg he was actually a funny, but very passionate and determined competitor, which would’ve been better to see than his douchy first few legs. He provided the laughs and the competitive sprit in their last leg, but mistakes kill you and it did them in.
Eric & Lisa – Like I said at the start of the season, I wasn’t upset they got eliminated at the Starting Line since I wasn’t really keen on seeing another hippie-ish team on the Race. (*shudder* at TAR12’s horrible ending) But I appreciate even less the fact that they quit after they were eliminated, not reaching Elimination Station and therefore not allowed at the Finish Line. They skipped the Elimination Station and free vacation and went back to their normal lives. I guess they won’t be bonding with the rest of the TAR15 family any time soon.
Relive The Amazing Race 15!
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