by Andrew Osborne
The Amazing Race 21 kicked off this past weekend with 11 teams in the hunt for a million dollars (including monster truckers, maddeningly shrill Sri Lankan twins, a couple of Chippendales and a pair of goat farming life partners). It looks to be a good season, but it also got me thinking about the endless match-up possibilities if Bertram van Munster and company ever decide to go with a Wacky Races-style all-fiction edition…
Odds of winning: 5-1
Brother Tyrion’s brains should be enough to balance out his tendency to “come up short” in physical challenges, but his constant bickering with sister Cersei may diminish their overall effectiveness as a team.
Odds of winning: 2-1
This strictly platonic couple swears they’re “just friends” — but given the dynamic duo’s obvious chemistry, expect sparks to fly. When they put their heads together, they can be formidable competitors (though Don’s frequent lack of focus and Peggy’s inability to shrug off slights may lead to some tense moments on the course).
Jimmy/Richard (Army Buddies)
Odds of winning: 10-1
These two Army veterans have already traveled the world, and Richard easily has the most heartbreaking and inspiring back story of the season’s contestants: severely wounded in combat, he wants to prove to his fellow competitors (and himself) that he’s not defined by his injuries (or soul-crushing PTSD). Unfortunately, his partner’s temper, lack of people skills and poor strategic decisions may doom the team to a surprisingly early exit.
Walter/Walt, Jr. (Father/Son)
Odds of winning: 3-1
At first glance, these Albuquerque natives may not seem like threats to finish in the money. The father, a former chemistry teacher, is a short-tempered, egomaniacal control freak and the son suffers from cerebral palsy. But Junior barely seems hampered by his condition, Senior is surprisingly adept at challenges and both teammates seem passionate about fast cars and the importance of starting each leg with a good, hearty breakfast.
Larry/Jeff (Best Friends)
Odds of winning: 100-1
There’s a pretty, pretty strong chance this team will be Phil-iminated early on, given their haplessness at physical challenges and their complete inability to navigate even minor obstacles without exploding into foul-mouthed tirades. Yet despite an astonishing knack for alienating and offending everyone they encounter, stubborn tenacity may keep these two coming back for more just when you think you’ve seen the last of them.