The Amazing Race 4 Ė The Previewby Phil Kural -- 05/23/2003
Well, it has finally arrived! The fourth edition of The Amazing Race is set to premiere on May 29th and I couldnít be more excited. This time around, I will be at the helm of the recapping and bringing you all the insight that I possibly can. On top of that, I will of course have my little opinion to drop in every now and then just to make it a little bit more interesting. I have to say that the teams this season are pretty eclectic. We go from a married gay couple all the way to a couple that has been dating for 12 years and are still virgins; teams spanning from NFL wives to a father and son that seem to be polar opposites. It will be interesting to see how the teams interact with one another and to see if any team will actually explode this time around. Letís take a look at each team individually and see what they have to offer during the race. First impressions are an important thing but sometimes itís a little hard to just go from what we read. However, Iím going to give it a shot.
Amanda & Chris (Dating Couple) Ė Amanda is 25 and Chris is 28. They hail from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She is a medical technician and he is a freelance graphic designer. Basically, ďfreelanceĒ is a good way to spice up the fact that he is out of work. From the looks of things, Amanda is going to play the role of the sweet one while Chris worries about how he can stab people in the back and scheme his way to the finish line. Hmm, reminds me a bit of Tara and Wil. They really havenít done a whole lot of traveling alone or together so it will be interesting to see how they adapt to being with one another for an extended period of time. Trips like this can make or break a relationship, as we saw with Lenny and Karen from the first series. Their motivation to do the show is much different as well. Amanda is there to prove that she is a strong person physically and mentally while Chris is all about the money and kicking ass. I actually think this will work in their favor. Chrisí competitive nature will demand the most from Amanda. I donít think that they will win, but they will go pretty far.
David & Jeff (Best Friends) Ė David is 32 and is an executive and owner of his own marketing agency. Jeff is 37 and is a commercial and residential broker. The way that it looks right now, David is trying to come across as a ďguyís guyĒ and Jeff is more the caring, romantic type. Jeff is just giving off this vibe that Iím not buying at this point. They both have done some traveling in the past, especially in Europe. That may help them when it comes to finding destinations, but they have never traveled together and it may be some trouble for them to work together since they seem to be such opposites. They also seem to be doing the race for different reasons as well. While Jeff is all about the experience, David just wants to have a good time, get drunk, and laugh at himself. Geeze, thatís just a normal day for me. But I digress. This team will be fun to watch because I think Jeff is going to get sick of David sooner rather than later. I donít think David is going to take the race too seriously and will approach everything with the wrong attitude. Being relaxed is one thing but I donít think David has the right stuff for this competition, which will drag down Jeff. They will be eliminated somewhere in the middle of the race.
Debra & Steve (Married Parents) Ė Well, right off the bat, I want this team to do well, just for the fact that they have a funny story. Debra is 49 and is the director of an artistís colony(?). Your guess is as good as mine. Steve is a radio news director and is 40. They met while both playing on a coed softball team. Apparently, Debra was there to hook up with a single guy and found Steve. They have been married for eight years and Debra has two children from a previous marriage. They both have done some traveling and their profile says that they have taken several trips together. That is one good thing they have going for them because previous travel experience together makes it easier for the couple to get along and stay positive. Debra has an extreme fear of heights and my guess is that Steve will be doing a bulk of the roadblocks for their team. For some reason Debra just doesnít seem like the physical type but I would love for her to prove me wrong. I have a feeling they are going to do better than many are giving them credit for. Not a final three team but I think they will be around for a few weeks.
Jon & Al (Best Friends/Clowns) Ė Where do I even begin? Jon, who is the ďHuman Cannonball for the Circus,Ē is 40, and Al is a 34-year-old substitute teacher and cruise ship entertainer who also used to work for the circus. Their traveling experience is extensive but limited mainly to the United States. They have traveled together but mostly with a larger group and not just with each other. However, I think they will work well with together. They are both there to have fun and enjoy themselves all while pushing themselves to their limits. I like this team. Their most important item they brought along is their alarm clock and that is pretty smart. We have seen in the past how teams are prone to oversleep at the check point. It is nice to see that they are both prepared the most to travel the U.S., but fellas, I donít think there will be much of that during the race. Despite that, I think this team will do rather well. Actually, they are my first pick to make the final three. They have it all together, are not taking the race lightly, but not too seriously either. They are there to have a good time but to be competitive as well. I think they will work together and make it to the end.
Russell & Cindy (Friends/Dating) Ė Russell is a 32-year-old model/actor/entrepreneur and Cindy is an inventor who believes she was once a supermodel. I can already tell these people are going to get on my nerves. Speaking of which, havenít we already had a Russell and Cindy already, only spelled differently? You remember them, Team Rev? Oh well, hopefully they will be as nice as Team Rev was. By the looks of things, they have some extensive traveling experience and that will help them when it comes to getting around and booking flights because Iím sure they have experience in the airport, especially from seeing all the places that Cindy has been. They are both there for the adventure of doing all the traveling but they have never traveled together so this should be fun. I like the fact that they really canít think of weaknesses for one another and that shows they are looking on the positive. Wow, and I thought they were going to get on my nerves. Change of opinion, I like them. Letís see how well they can work together though. They are confident and seem to have faith in one another as a team. I think they will get pretty far.
Steve & Josh (Father & Son) Ė Steve is 47 and a supervisor at a juvenile detention center. Josh is 21, attends a junior college and is a computer technician. Now, I promised myself I wouldnít make any ďjunior college jokesĒ so let me just hold back. Anyway, Steve is a huge Amazing Race fan and basically stalked his son to go on the show with him. Nice to see that they are bonding. While Steve is more of a conservative, Josh is a huge liberal. Kind of reminds me of my father and me. I got my ear pierced in high school and he was ready to send me to military school. This team doesnít have all that much traveling experience and virtually none traveling together unless it was a family trip. I think this will play against them, especially considering that they are so different. They are doing the race for the same reason Ė the cash and the bonding, but I really donít see this team doing all that well. Call it a hunch, but I think they are one of the first three teams gone this time around.
Tian & Jaree (Friends/Models) Ė Apparently, Tian is a 30-year-old model/actress/singer (See: Unemployed) who thrives on attention. Jaree is also a model/actress who attended a junior college (oh dear) and she is 33. They have done traveling in the past and some of it has been together. They say they had a good time so that may play in their favor. I think this is going to be one of those teams that really doesnít fight. They seem to be really good friends and since they have traveled with one another before, I donít think stress between themselves will be an issue for them. Their reason of adventure and fun is the same for doing the race, but I donít really buy it. I think itís for attention, although we already know we have to pay all of our attention to Tian or she will have a fit. According to their profiles, Tian speaks blonde and Jaree speaks redneck. For some reason, Iím not surprised. Why are they rubbing me the wrong way? Iíll give them the fact that they are pretty women, but I think they are going to be a little suck up, especially Tian. She seems to be a little too obnoxious for her own good. My guess is that they last midway. Iím not seeing them as much of a threat in this go around and think they may stick around if they link up with a better racing team and ride their coattails for as long as they possibly can.
Steve & Dave (Air Traffic Controllers) Ė Steve and Dave are both air traffic controllers from Chicago, Illinois. Steve is 46 and Dave is 43. Since they work at an airport, you would imagine that they have done some extensive traveling, although Dave has described his traveling experience as ďlimited at best.Ē Um, DaveÖ you work with planes, take a trip! They seem to have pretty good personalities and I think they will be one of the more fun teams. Steve treasures his Advil in his backpack because apparently he has popping knees. Iím not even going to touch that one. I respect Steveís reason for wanting to be in the race so that he doesnít have to shovel snow. That may be the best reason anyone has ever said. Itís so true! That stuff is hard on the back! They have never traveled together before but I donít think that will really have an effect on this team. They seem to be pretty positive and there for a good time. I think the fact that they are not taking this seriously though may bring some consequences. They admit they canít speak any other languages and pretty much arenít prepared for any country outside of North America. They are basically doing this on a whim. I donít think they are going to last long. Another pick to be one of the first three teams eliminated, unless they can nab the Fast Forward and hold onto an early lead.
Kelly & Jon (Engaged) Ė Kelly is a model and Jon is a real estate agent who was a model and bartender in a past life. She is 30 and he is 28. Now this team has a good profile. They have done some pretty extensive traveling in Europe and Asia, some together. They have done some backpacking together as well. I think they will do well, although Iím a little concerned that they are not going to always get along. They are doing the race for the adventure and to spend more time together so I guess they know how to work together as a team. They are in great shape and by the looks of things, they know their way around. I like the fact that they know they argue about stupid things but still can recognize that they are a good team all while figuring out each otherís strengths and weaknesses. My prediction is that they will make the final three. Actually, I think they will win the race. Let it be known, this is my pick to win it all. I hope they donít let me down.
Monica & Sheree (NFL Wives) Ė I have to admit that Iím a little biased when it comes to Monica and Sheree. Monica is 29 and Sheree is 31. Both hold BAís in journalism. Being a journalism major, Iím rooting for these two women. There doesnít seem to be an occupation for them listed in their profiles, so Iím assuming they are stay-at-home moms. Both of these women have done some traveling and usually it is with each other. Chances are, they will work together well as a team and stress shouldnít be an issue. They are doing the race for different reasons though. Monica wants to be in the spotlight because it is usually her husband who gets all the attention so this time itís all about her. Sheree wants to show that two black women can achieve anything. I think their competitive drive will be a good thing for their team because they both have that yearning to win. Sheree states that she knows Ebonics, which gave me a good laugh. Iím sure that will come in handy somewhere along the way. I was originally going to say they would not make it that far, but I think they will make it midway. Iím not so sure they are final three material, but I would love for them to prove me wrong. I think they may be my sentimental favorites this time around. Can they measure up to my two all-time favorite teams: Nancy & Emily, or John Vito & Jill? I guess we will have to wait and see.
Millie & Chuck (Dating 12 Years/Virgins) Ė Millie is 29 and is an Environmental Teacher at the Tennessee Aquarium. Chuck is 28 and basically canít hold a job. Iím not kidding Ė his bio says he has recently worked as a valet, hauler, construction worker, and personal trainer. If he has worked at all those jobs ďrecentlyĒ he apparently canít hold a job. They have both done a little bit of traveling and have done a few road trips together but nothing this extensive. They are there to make their relationship grow all while not compromising themselves or their morals. Oh dear God. Millie seems to have a command of several languages while Chuck knows how to point. I think this team is going to give me headaches. Okay, let me start by saying these two are some pretty strange characters. If you have been together for 12 years it is time to take your relationship to the next level. Iím all about staying true to the faith, but if you are together for 12 years, shouldnít marriage be an option by now if you are all about doing what is right? I donít know, it makes no sense to me. If anything, I think if they are together for that long they would desire to take it to the next step. Apparently, something is missing and I think it is their minds. Iím expecting some weird things out of these two. They are my final pick for one of the first three teams gone. Sorry, they are just too odd to stick around.
Reichen & Chip (Married Couple) Ė Reichen is 28 and is a pilot and manager at a flight school. Chip is 36 and is the president of a media company. They are a married gay couple who are doing the race to shatter the stereotypes of gay males. Thatís all well and good, but Oswald and Danny already did that. They were too funny, I miss them Ė bring them back, CBS!! Anyway, by the looks of things, they have both done some pretty extensive traveling and much of it has been together. Iím betting this is one of the better teams when it comes to getting along not only with each other, but with the other teams. They seem friendly enough, and are doing the race for pretty good reasons. Together, they speak a variety of languages and know how to counteract one anotherís strengths and weaknesses. I think they are a force to be reckoned with. They are one of my picks to make the final three. My guess is that they will probably come in second place but I may be wrong. I can tell this is going to be a strong team though. They are in good shape, know their way around the world, and know how to work together as a team Ė which is one of the most important things in the race. Donít expect them to go early.
So there you have it Ė my first impressions of the 12 teams that will be racing around the world for a million dollars. This season of The Amazing Race will be exciting, to say the least. Iím thinking there will be some drama with some of the couples, and Iím sure that Millie and Chuck will do some odd things as well. Steve & Josh, Millie & Chuck, and Steve & Dave are my three picks to be gone first. I picked Jon & Al, Kelly & Jon, and Reichen & Chip to make it to the end. Will I be right? Will I be wrong? Will Tian get to be the center of attention? Can Jeff survive with Dave as his annoying partner? So many questions, but they will all be answered starting May 29th. I look forward to watching and recapping it.
Phil Kural is a senior at Temple University, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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