Amazing Race 21: A Good First Leg

Last night was the first episode of the 21st Season of The Amazing Race and after one episode, I’m excited for this season. Generally, this premiere episode is pretty good at letting you know how the season will go. Regular viewers may remember that last year’s cast was one of the most annoying group of people ever assembled, so going into this year I was eagerly anticipating meeting this group of contestants.

I’m just happy I’ll never have to see Rachel again.

I’m happy to report that there are no Jersey Shore Wannabes, no clowns, no “reality stars” and in general, these teams seem decently likable (at least compared to last season). Let’s run down the cast.

Abbie & Ryan: Dating Divorcees

The early favorites, Ryan admits that “physically speaking, I think we’re both very strong.” In the first episode they proved themselves to not only have the physical ability to win, but the metal capacity. What I mean by this of course is that they’re willing to screw over a racer with two prosthetic legs to come in first. The show created this incentive by saying that if one team wins the first leg and the last leg they could win $2,000,000. I certainly won’t be rooting for them but I’ll be shocked if they don’t make it to the final episode.

Trey & Alexis: Dating

Trey & Alexis are our good looking couple. Trey played football at Texas and Alexis was a cheerleader. While we watch them walk amongst cattle and fire crossbows, Alexis lets us know that she’s hoping to win the race so she can “finally get a ring on her finger.” They were totally forgettable during the episode, however, as a young athletic couple they have to be near the top of the favorite list.

Rob & Kelly: Monster Truck Drivers

Rob says that people are going to think he’s “arrogent, (an) ass, or they’re going to love (him).” Rob also guarantees that they’re going to win the race. I hate to bet against them, but I would be shocked if they won a leg let alone the entire race. During the episode he had to eat two orders of hasma (frog fallopian tubes), which was pretty disgusting.

Gary & Will: Best Friends/Substitute Teachers

Basically these are two goofy substitute teachers who claim that they are “secure in their friendship.” Of note is that these super fans have tried out to be on the show seven times. Will has a pretty over the top energy and personality which might turn grating but at least so far has been nice to see, although I could do without the constant fist pumping. They don’t seem athletic enough to be a serious contender.

I’ve got to be honest, I don’t think there’s any chance these guys win the race.

Amy & Daniel: Dating on & Off

Generally I see “dating on and off” and completely roll my eyes. Generally, this means that the couple will be busy fighting the entire race and will generally be insufferable. This team’s story seems much less about their rocky relationship and much more about Amy’s disability. When she was younger she contracted bacterial meningitis which caused her to lose both her legs. Seeing them compete and almost come in first place this episode was pretty impressive. Amy’s the top ranked female adaptive snowboarder in the world, so despite her disability this could be a team to be reckoned with this season.

Jaymes & James: Chippendales Dancers

This team represents the good looking guy quotient of the show.  As two in shape guys they’re immediately among the favorites, although I’m not really looking forward to watching them break out the Chippendale’s outfit in future episodes. Hopefully their less than stellar mental game will eventually be their undoing as it almost was in the first episode as they had to out footrace Rob and Sheila to stay in the race.

Natalie & Nadiya: Twin Sisters

Filing the “diversity” role on this season, these twin sisters were born in New York but were raised in Sri Lanka. During their intro they seem to like each other as they tell stereotypical twins stories about taking each others tests and breaking up with each others’ boyfriends. The love didn’t last too long as they were the group that was yelling at each other the most during the episode. Hopefully their whining lets up or I’ll be rooting for them to be eliminated early.

Josh & Brent: Goat Farmers/Life Partners

Our gay couple on this race seem like perfectly pleasant people. Their life story is quite interesting as after they both lost their jobs in the city, they decided to move out to the country and start a goat farm. They tell us that “they made farming fabulous and now they’re going to make racing fabulous.”

James & Abba: Friends

These Jeffrey Lebowski look alikes live the 80’s hair metal lifestyle. Abba played with a relative unknown band called White Lion before moving over to play with Megadeth. They say they’re “comfortable being uncomfortable” and that they’re going to “rock the race.” Generally two old dudes don’t stand much a chance on this show so I wouldn’t be surprised if they get eliminated early.

Two burned-out rockers, in the parlance of their times.

Rob & Sheila: Engaged

Rob started his “lumberjack sports career” when he was 6. Sheila lets us know that she moved out to the country when she married Rob. As she says, Rob is the “boss of the relationship, in fact he’s taken over the planning of their wedding.” She hopes “he picks her out a cute dress.” This was probably the strangest comment of the opening, however, despite this they were one of the more forgettable teams. I wasn’t too shocked to see them eliminated first and I’m pretty sure I won’t miss them.

Caitlin & Brittany: Best Friends

These girls fit our hot girl demographic and are blonde friends from the Midwest. Besides looking good they didn’t do a lot to stand out in the first episode, other than botch the pronunciation of the word abacus, a word a bunch of the teams seemed to struggle with.

Abacus is a tough word… for Amazing Race contestants.

Did you watch the first episode? What did you think? Who’s the favorite? Let me know in the comments!

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