Which Amazing Race Teams Really Have Unfinished Business?
First of all, let us be clear, The Amazing Race 18 is NOT an All-Star season. Despite the rumors, TAR18 is not a 2nd All-Star season, but rather as was officially confirmed and introduced last Sunday, subtitled “Unfinished Business.”
Now, CBS has not officially released the cast list for next season, but the full list of teams is already out there. In fact, the Race just finished a few days ago and many teams are already back home.
The question is, however, what in the world were the criteria for Bert and Co. when actually choosing the participating teams for TAR18:UB? Because looking at the list, especially for any longtime TAR fan, it seems
hard incredibly difficult puzzling paradoxical… there isn’t a word to describe it.
While I won’t spoil the teams here, I will give you a fair warning… don’t get your hopes up.
The phrase “Unfinished Business” brings up a lot of things, but basically in our TAR context, it would/should mean teams that didn’t win but have something to prove. Teams that were eliminated before their time. Teams that were screwed over, whether by other teams, by TAR production itself (though TAR would never admit it), or by extraordinary circumstances. Teams that seemed like they were deservedly on track for the million but got stopped short.
Now remember, this criteria is completely different from the criteria that would be used for an All-Star season. An All-Star season would consist of teams that either dominated the Race or were big, memorable personalities, teams that were fan favorites or the villains that fans loved to hate.
By tagging TAR18 with the subtitle of “Unfinished Business,” it leaves them free to pick teams who fit none of that All-Star criteria.
So, which teams from ALL 17 seasons of The Amazing Race can legitimately say they have Unfinished Business on the Race? Here are my picks in order of season.
And again for full disclosure, I’ve come up with the following list of Unfinished Business-worthy teams with full knowledge of which teams actually will be taking part next season. Though there’s still that tiny glimmer of hope that we’ve been fooled and the real cast of TAR18 is amazing. (Yeah right.)
Nancy & Emily – “Momily” (TAR1)
The first season of The Amazing Race was definitely a learning experience for Bert & Co. Which explains why the penalty for quitting Detours and Road Blocks these days are six and four hours respectively allowing teams to maybe be able to stay in the Race. But back in season 1, if you quit a Detour, you’d be dead on the spot. That’s what happened to Nancy & Emily when they were assessed a 24 hour penalty for not completing the Detour. If they had completed (found) the Detour or even if they had been assessed the now-standard 6 hour penalty, they would more than likely have made it through to the final four over Team Guido’s Joe & Bill. They have become one of the most beloved teams just for this alone, but they were a solid team that had ups and downs, but had been pushing themselves enough to almost make it to the end.
Unfinished Business: A crazy and in hindsight, unfair 24-hour penalty in the early days of the Race cost them a possible slot in the final three. And the opportunity for the first parent-child and the first all-female team to win the Race. It took 17 seasons for the latter, and we’re still waiting for the former.
Tara & Wil (TAR2)
Tara & Wil pretty much set the standard for all Mr. and Mrs. Bickerson that ever came after them. But they made it to the final three and were just a couple of yards away from a million bucks… until Chris & Alex made the pass and in a few seconds, it was all gone.
Unfinished Business: Losing in the closest finale ever (still), being so close to the million… can they repeat their TAR2 run? But what is their relationship now?
Ken & Gerard (TAR3)
TAR3 had a pretty solid final 3. Three teams (well, two and a half) that all worked their butts off to get to the final leg. Ken & Gerard had the skills, the ability, and the personality that made them a well loved team. They had the drive to win, and even thought they did or at least place 2nd, but they ended up 3rd.
Unfinished Business: Teri & Ian got their 2nd chance (and got screwed over), can Kenny & G prove they really were a contender in TAR3?
Millie & Chuck (TAR4)
They were an interesting team and did well until an incredibly unfortunate leg. A rundown taxi cost them the Race.
Unfinished Business: A rundown taxi cost them the Race.
Linda & Karen (TAR5)
The Bowling Moms were awesome. They defied expectations and proved to be a solid team that only got better week after week. They made the final four and were all set to go to the final three until an incredibly physical Road Block allowed Colin to pass them.
Unfinished Business: They beat the odds and made it as far as they did. The final leg was not as hard as that ascender and it all came down to taxis anyway. Could they have won?
Colin & Christie (TAR5)
They had the strength, the drive, the determination, the passion, the intensity… they had what it took to win the million and they almost did. Even though Christie wanted to run over poor Filipino children or Colin wanted to get into fights with Tanzanian police and taxi drivers, oxen, the Bowling Moms, Charla & Mirna and everyone else he encountered… you couldn’t help but respect their excellent Race skills.
Unfinished Business: For a team like Colin & Christie, anything but a win is unacceptable. That, and they couldn’t be on TARAS because Christie was pregnant.
Lena & Kristy (TAR6)
Lena & Kristy were eliminated because of a Road Block so difficult and cruel, TAR had to do it again by way of the Switchback. The beginning of the sour taste of needle in a haystack… or clue in a haystack tasks that have continued season after season. Could they have been the first female team to win TAR? We will never know.
Unfinished Business: To prove that they have what it takes to make it to the end as long as they don’t get screwed over.
Hayden & Aaron (TAR6)
Here’s another teams screwed over by a Road Block. But not only was the Road Block one of those needle/haystack-type of deals, they couldn’t finish the Road Block because the location HAD TO CLOSE. It was the first time Hours of Operation
Unfinished Business: Maybe this time, TAR will set-up Road Blocks and Detours that can actually be completed.
Kris & Jon (TAR6)
Arguably one of the best teams to ever run The Amazing Race. Dominant and competitive, but drama-free and sweet. And they were good looking to boot. A rare TAR couple that didn’t bicker, that fully appreciated the Race and didn’t make it their mission to be the villains of the season.
Unfinished Business: An American Airlines ticket agent and a train came in the way of what would’ve been a guaranteed million for them. Can they repeat their near-flawless TAR6 run, or was it all just a fluke?
Bill & Tammy (TAR8)
You may have many gripes about the Family Edition, but you can’t fault TAR for their casting. TAR8 probably had one of the best group of teams ever. If it wasn’t for the non-international route, TAR8 could’ve become one of the favorite seasons. And one couple in particular could’ve benefited from the normal Race. Little Billy and Carissa Gaghan may have been the main attractions in this team, but the strength and determination of their parents Bill & Tammy did not go unnoticed.
Unfinished Business: A damn red bean was their downfall, but otherwise Bill & Tammy showed they just might have what it takes to do well in a regular TAR.
Dustin & Kandice (TAR10/TARAS)
They could have been the first all-female team to win The Amazing Race. And that was 3 years ago. The Beauty Queens proved they were more than just that and Raced in back to back seasons, doing well in both and almost winning the All-Stars season.
Unfinished Business: They had two chances and both times they lost not because of their own doing. Now that we have an all-female TAR winner, will the third time be the charm for the BQs in proving they are just as deserving of the title?
Ronald & Christina (TAR12)
They were hilarious, they were sweet, they were strong… they had it all. They were minutes away from a million dollars… a well deserved million dollars and what probably would have been the best TAR win ever. But the worst possible outcome to what was easily one of the best TAR seasons ever was realized. One of the most undeserving, most invisible, most unlikeable, and most unentertaining teams prevailed over Ron & Chris and also deserving 3rd placers Don & Nick.
Unfinished Business: Beaten by a team that shouldn’t have even been in the Final 3 if it wasn’t for a non-elimination, Ronald & Christina Raced like no other team in TAR history. An iffy, drama-filled start with a tenuous father-daughter relationship to a loving, more caring and supportive relationship and physically and mentally strong Race… it was theirs to lose and they lost, no thanks to TAR.
Toni & Dallas (TAR13)
Seventeen seasons and still no parent-child team has won TAR. That should be the next item on the TAR agenda. Toni & Dallas had continually stepped up their game as the Race went on and had been consistently in the top half… until that one fateful leg when a crazy string of events left them without their passports.
Unfinished Business: If they hadn’t been passport-less, they might have stopped Dandrew from falling forward one last time and made it to the final leg. Can they do it again?
Amanda & Kris (TAR14)
They were pegged as the next Kris & Jon. A good looking, athletic, and non-abrasive couple that started the Race off very well and were poised for a great run. But a stack of logs and the pesky Yield stopped them in their tracks and they were eliminated long before their time.
Unfinished Business: If they hadn’t been U-Turned, who knows if they could’ve gone all the way. It certainly looked that way, which is probably why they were U-Turned in the first place.
Jamie & Cara (TAR14)
Love them or hate them, they had a good Race that took them to brink of becoming the first all-female team to win TAR. A good determined and competitive spirit was unfortunately hindered by an unnecessary alliance that held them back more than it helped them.
Unfinished Business: They made up huge time in the final leg, and if they had remembered Jesus, they might have edged out Tammy & Victor for the win. (And if they didn’t care about Luke getting the boards right too.)
Zev & Justin (TAR15)
Two chill, positive guys that had the makings of a good team that could go far. But as always, it’s the little things that count and not being aware of your passports at all times will certainly bite you in the ass.
Unfinished Business: It may have been of their own doing, but how far could they have gone had it not been for that one major major mistake?
Mika & Canaan (TAR15)
Though they may not exactly have been the strongest team while they were on the Race, lesser teams have made it farther. If it wasn’t for that darned water slide!
Unfinished Business: They’re still happily together, but does she still fear water slides?
Tiffany & Maria (TAR15)
What’s the big deal about all-female teams anyway? Really, one of the few good things about the post-All-Star seasons is that TAR has actively casted all-female teams that had what it took to win. But for one reason or another they eventually come up short. The poker gals Tiffany & Maria had the makings of a strong team until an incredibly harsh strength Detour drained them of every single ounce of their energy.
Unfinished Business: Phil had to come out onto the Racecourse to eliminate them, never a great way to go. What can they do for an encore to avoid the same fate twice?
Brian & Ericka (TAR15)
Really, the stars of TAR15. Both feisty, but both fun and enjoyable. They ran a great Race until…
Unfinished Business: A “production error” essentially cost them the million dollars. It would only be fair for TAR to give them a second chance when it was their fault they lost right?
Joe & Heidi (TAR16)
They were U-Turned in probably the worst Detour to ever be U-Turned at. An almost impossible Morse code Detour ensured elimination for anyone attempting it, and it did.
Unfinished Business: Like Maria & Tiffany, getting eliminated by Phil on the Racecourse is almost like not finishing the Race at all, not even reaching the Mat to be eliminated.
Michael & Kevin – Team Jumba (TAR17)
They entered TAR with a pre-existing fanbase, mostly of people who had probably never even heard of The Amazing Race before. And like the YouTube videos they are famous for, Papa Jumba, Michael came out the star of their team.
Unfinished Business: Their problem was Kevin’s incredibly unwavering doubt in his father that ultimately cost them the Race and several close calls in previous legs. If Kevin had only believed in his father more, they could have done very well. Could he learn his lesson for a 2nd chance?
Gary & Mallory (TAR17)
One wrong turn and you’re done. For Gary & Mallory, it dashed the opportunity for a parent-child team to win the Race. Their incredibly positive attitude (especially Mallory’s) and their strong Race before that fated Oman leg were great indicators that pointed to a strong run to the final three.
Unfinished Business: A better map and better directions and they could have gone all the way.
Brook & Claire (TAR17)
If it wasn’t going to be Nat & Kat, Brook & Claire would’ve been equally perfect ladies to hold the previously elusive distinction. One of the strongest teams, period, to ever Race and it was bittersweet seeing Nat & Kat win if only because you were also rooting for Brook & Claire. Happy, positive attitudes that would give way to tension and frustration, only for them to get revitalized and determined was just great to watch.
Unfinished Business: They may not be the first all-female to win, but they are certainly one of the strongest runners-up and most deserving runners-up for a shot at the million.
Charla & Mirna (TAR5/TARAS)
And finally… Charla & Mirna. What is there to say? They are in their own category when it comes to All-Stars talk. But they are also in a category of their own when it comes to Unfinished Business.
Unfinished Business: Until they win The Amazing Race, they will always have Unfinished Business. They were stars after TAR5, but TARAS proved they were also strong Racers. The “all-female” title would’ve easily been theirs had it not been for that sketchy final Road Block. Until Charla & Mirna take home the million dollars, TAR has a duty to bring them back, unless they want to risk incurring wrath of all the little Charla and Mirnas of the world.