After the success of Season 12
, The Race earned itself permanent spot in CBS's Sunday night lineup. The bad news was the Race had to compete for ratings on one of television's toughest nights, and in the fall was constantly delayed by football games overrunning. The good news was the football lead in actually helped ratings, and the Race thrived, even against Sunday Night Football, becoming one of the night's top rated shows.
For its first season in its new permanent spot, the Race submitted an underwhelming effort, with a cast that was not as charismatic as hoped, and a predictable, boring end result. Nick & Starr dominated most of the season, and, for the first time in the show's history, said dominant team won with little-to-no threat posed by the other teams. Though an overall weak season (being the only one of Seasons 12-17 to not have a representative for Unfinished Business
), and having the disadvantage of being sandwiched between two much more popular seasons, it does have some positives, such as the high amounts of comedy that came from watching Dan & Andrew shock everyone by bumbling their way into the Final 3, and episode 9, the leg where Dan tried his hand at marching, is one of the best individual episodes in the series.
Nicholas "Nick" Spangler & Emily "Starr" Spangler
A Dallas Cowboy cheerleader and her actor brother, they were the first dominant team to win the Race. They broke the record for leg wins in a single season (set by Colin & Christie
and unofficially tied by Eric & Jeremy
), were the first team to win four straight legs (albeit by using a Fast Forward for one of the leg wins), and were the first family team to win the Race, as well as the youngest (not counting the Family Edition
, which most people don't). While they were not more physical than their competition, nor more intelligent, they made up for it by being extremely efficient in everything they did. They were always the first out of the airport, and got through everything as quickly as possible without stopping to talk things out or argue. That efficiency would help them in the finale, as while Tina spent more of her attention on nagging Ken than running the Race, allowed Nick & Starr to eke out the victory. While not the most likable team (the only thing that probably kept them from getting the standard villain cut was that they won), they easily earned the win, and were the first in a line of dominant teams who would win the Race.
- Attack Backfire: In New Zealand, Nick told Kelly & Christy where the kiwi stomping Detour was as they were leaving to switch Detours. When Starr asked why he would help their Sitcom Arch Nemeses, he said so that they could jump in and get cut up on the sharp rocks on the bottom of the tubs like they had. Instead Kelly & Christy found the experience pleasant, and said the rocks felt like "tension relieving balls," and passed three teams for a 3rd place finish.
- Born Lucky: Ken called them this in the finale when they got in the first cab.
- Brother-Sister Team: The first ones to win the race. note
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Nick admitted that he would use any other team to his benefit with no intention of ever helping them back. In the second leg Roadblock, he asked to work with both Sarah and Andrew, only to almost immediately betray both of them.
- Clothing Switch: For the leg 9 Detour, they put on each other's specified military outfits (probably by accident).
- Comically Lopsided Rivalry: With Kelly & Christy, only losing to the divorcees once.
- Consummate Liar: There have not been many contestants who lied as frequently or openly as Nick did, yet he never got called on it, and managed to ride those lies to seven leg wins and the million.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: They were the first team to win more than half of the legs in their season. As individual legs went, they usually won by slim margins, save for the penultimate leg, in which they crushed the other teams by three and a half hours due to being the only team who didn't severely screw up.
- Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: Already leading the pack leaving the gasoline task in Cambodia, Nick said he wanted to stop and pull some trees down on the road to delay the other teams.
- Failing a Taxi: They let their cab go prior to the Roadblock in leg 9 due to him getting them lost twice. After they completed the task, it took them forever to find a new cab, leaving the door open for Dandrew to pass them and put them in last.
- Genre Savvy: They brought gloves with them, which gave them a huge advantage during the ironing Detour in India, as the other teams struggled to hold their scalding hot irons.
- Global Ignorance: Starr mixed up the Italian and Russian flags in the finale.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Ken & Tina.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: They had very little travel experience, so they deliberately played up their youth and inexperience to get middle-aged couple Ken & Tina to see them as sort of surrogate children and help them out at the airports.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Starr.
- Punny Name: She goes by Starr Spangler. Which, besides the obvious, she's also a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader (their logo is a star), and she flirted with a guy named Dallas throughout the Race, so together they'd be Dallas and Star. Dallas Stars is the name of an NHL team.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: With Kelly & Christy. Though Starr said she kept trying to make amends, she also kept doing things to egg them on.
- Strategy Versus Tactics: They both tended to think very much about their present situation more so than any future planning, such as Nick's Chronic Backstabbing Disorder, or when Starr's poorly thought out plan to ask Aja & Ty to U-turn Kelly & Christy despite both teams having their U-Turn power, and hitting the U-Turn mat right in front of themnote . Not that this hurt them very much, as they were generally ahead of the other teams, so their lack of strategy didn't hurt them. However, when they weren't in 1st, they generally finished nowhere close to the top teams.
- This Is A Race: Frequently, to justify all their "little white lies."
- Token Romance: Starr with Dallas.
Kenneth "Ken" Greene & Christina "Tina" Greene
Former NFL safety and his wife who were separated, Ken played for the St. Louis Cardinalsnote
and the San Diego Chargers. Ken had cheated on Tina, and they were trying to reconcile their relationship while running the Race. They started off strong, winning the 2nd through 4th legs, and appeared to be getting along great. However, both their racing skills and their relationship deteriorated from that point out, and they were never quite able to keep up with Nick & Starr after that. They would make it to the Final 3, where they would trade the lead with Nick & Starr for most of the leg, until they fell behind for good while looking for the green dinosaur in Portland, Oregon, and finished 2nd.
- Bittersweet Ending: They lost, but they decided to get back together.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory: In New Zealand, Ken started getting into the left side front seat, until Tina reminded him the steering wheel was on the other side.
- Divorce Is Temporary: They put their wedding rings back on at the Finish Line.
- Don't Look Down: Ken, to Tina, during the tree climbing Detour in the finale.
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Averted. Ken may have cheated on her, giving her the right not to trust him again right away, but watching the way she treated him, and watching him take it all with a smile, most fans came down on his side.
- Dramatically Missing the Point: Tina repeatedly yelled at Ken for trying to get her to move faster, such as when she was getting ready to do the statue Roadblock in Moscow, and she wasted several minutes searching through her bag for the exact jacket with hood that she wanted to wear so that she didn't "catch pneumonia." And her constantly messing with her helmet during the Detour in the finale dropped them behind Nick & Starr.
- Entitled Bastard: At the beginning of the second leg, after getting the airline to switch an early flight to a bigger plane so they could get on it, Tina went around telling all the other teams that she had gotten the plane switched so everyone would get on the same flight, and seemed surprised that all the other teams didn't bend over backwards to thank her.
- Failed a Spot Check:
- It took them over an hour to find the final clue at the metro station in the penultimate leg. At one point they even followed Andrew & Dan to the Pit Stop. They survived solely due to Toni & Dallas losing their fanny pack.
- What most likely lost them the finale was that it took them a while to find the Standard Building and the green dinosaur, whereas Nick & Starr spotted it right away.
- Forgiven, but Not Forgotten: Tina said this word for word about Ken's cheating.
- Genre Savvy: They and Mark & Bill managed to get the first tickets on the first flight in the first leg when they broke away from the teams all bunching around the wrong ticket counter, and sought out the race flags that are always used to mark the designated counter in the first leg.
- Global Ignorance: Tina admonished Ken for forgetting to learn Spanish phrases while they were in a cab in Brazil.
- Henpecked Husband: They fell into this kind of relationship when they stopped winning, which was one of the big reasons they never managed to recapture the magic of the first four legs later on. Tina spent more energy nagging Ken in the finale than she did actually running the leg.
- Honor Before Reason: Ken was not happy when he heard that Tina helped Dallas complete the Stalin/Lenin statue Roadblock, as he would never repay the "favor" he now "owed" Tina, since it was the penultimate leg. With as much as they struggled to find their final clue later, it was probably a good thing Dallas lost his fanny pack.
- Hypocrite: After they had fallen behind Nick & Starr at the tree climbing Detour in the finale, mostly because Tina took forever to complete her half of the task, she told Ken that he "couldn't be yelling at her all the time."
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Nick & Starr.
- Jerkass: Tina.
- Kick the Dog: What little sympathy Tina had disappeared in India, during the festival of Colours Roadblock. Although Ken was doing the Roadblock, the locals still went after her with their paint, leading to her yelling at them to stop, calling them "stupid asses" and "morons," and even shoving one of them.
- Manly Tears: After they were non-eliminated in India, and Ken started talking about saving their relationship. He did it again when they put their wedding rings back on in the finale.
- The Masochism Tango: They had another one of those strange relationships where they fought the entire season, yet broke down at the Finish Line about how much they loved each other.
- No Sense of Direction: Tina got lost several times looking for the echo chamber during the Angkor Wat Roadblock, at one point even walking through the chamber and back, dropping them from 2nd to 5th while she wandered around lost.
- No Sense of Personal Space: The task judge at the Bleary Eyed Detour pushed Tina away when she was crowding him too much.
- One Head Taller
- Read The Freaking Clue: Tina, during the cow costume Detour, drank her milk, but did not read the part about how doing so would "reveal their next clue." So, when the guy at the stand did not immediately hand over the next clue, she put the glass down, which had their next destination written on the bottom, and walked off to look for another stand. They then caused themselves further problems when they went to change out of their cow costume after drinking the milk, when they were supposed to keep wearing it.
- Reality Show Genre Blindness:
- Leaving the Pit Start 1st in episode 4, they started out the leg with Tina complaining about other teams just copying off their flight arrangements, and Ken talking about how their half hour lead had just disappeared at the airport, both things which should not come as a surprise to anyone who's seen more than a handful of episodes.
- When leaving the airport during leg 6, they got a horrible cab driver who got lost and put them in last. Despite being in Delhi, where cabs and auto rickshaws are easily found, they kept their cab driver when none of the other teams did, and even though Ken was able to make up time on the Roadblock, the cab driver got lost again and put them back in last, leading to their non-elimination.
- Redemption Quest: Ken cheated on Tina prior to the season, and was on a Redemption Quest to make it up to her... only over the course of the season Tina came off as a shrew who mistreated Ken, causing the fanbase to sympathize with him instead of her.
- Sequence Breaking: During the penultimate leg, they missed the final clue and followed Dan & Andrew to the Pit Stop. After being turned back, it would take them an hour to find the missing clue. Luckily for them Toni & Dallas had lost their fanny pack, and they had all the time in the world to find it.
- Team Parents: To Nick & Starr.
- Tempting Fate: After four legs, including three legs wins and almost zero struggling, they talked about how their relationship had turned a corner and was getting better. That would change quickly.
- Who Are You Calling Old: Tina, when Ken called them the old couple to start episode five.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Heights for Tina, and she wasted precious seconds repeatedly hesitating during the two heights challenges in the finale, especially during the Detour, when she kept pausing while climbing her tree to fix her helmet.
- Working with the Ex
- You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Ken, when he realized the Bolivian wrestling task involved him facing off against a woman.
Andrew Lappitt & Daniel "Dan" Honig (Dandrew)
Andrew: A compilation video needs to be made of all our mistakes throughout the Race. It'd be the best thing ever.
Frat boys, and the
most unexpected team to ever make the Final 3. There have been bad teams before, and there have been bad teams since, but Dan & Andrew had legendary badness. They were so bad that the other teams dismissed them as a complete non-factor, and Phil told them he thought they would be the next team eliminated. They were so bad, they were easily the most entertaining part of an otherwise dull season. They were bad at the mental game, they were bad at the physical game, they were so bad they screwed up walking
, yet somehow made it all the way to the Final 3. They were a complete non-factor in the finale, as their cab driver immediately got lost, and, as they had not thought to research directions before getting on the plane like Nick & Starr, they quietly disappeared from the episode and finished a distant 3rd place, yet got the loudest cheers from the other teams as they cruised into the Finish Line.
- Accidental Truth: After barely missing the first flight out of LAX to begin the game, Dan said it was okay, because you never knew what would happen, and the first flight might get delayed. The first flight was in fact delayed by an hour and a half, but still got in before the second flight.
- Adorkable: Andrew, which is why when posed the question by Christy, Kelly said she would rather make out with him over Dan, as he was different.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: One of Andrew's complaints about Dan was that he got excited too easily and lost concentration on what he was doing.
- Bittersweet Ending: Yeah they lost, but they were happy just to cross the Finish Line without getting eliminated.
- Born Lucky: It's unbelievable how often they survived because someone screwed up worse than they did. They got lucky with Aja & Ty missing the equalizing flight in leg 5, Ken & Tina helping them beat Kelly & Christy at the Bleary Eyed Detour, and Terence & Sarah going after the Fast Forward and losing it to Nick & Starr.
- Cannon Fodder: Dan started off the final leg by saying that they weren't there to be "chicken feed" for Ken & Tina and Nick & Starr. They then were then a complete non-factor during the leg.
- Cassandra Truth: Andrew kept wanting to grab their shoes during the the cow costume Detour in Kazakhstan, but Dan kept telling him they would come back for them later. They never saw those shoes again.
- Chewing the Scenery: Generally on the mat, when they would celebrate excessively after miraculously surviving another leg.
- Control Freak: Dan, much to Andrew's constant annoyance, as he felt like Dan did not see him as an equal teammate.
- Crowd Chant: The other teams chanted "Dandrew" as they ran into the Finish Line.
- The Ditz: Dan more so than Andrew, though neither was exactly brilliant.
- Elimination Houdini: They are the only team that Phil has ever outright told to their faces that he thought they would be the next team eliminated. Though they were well aware of this, as at one point, they said they made a dozen Bone-headed moves and that there needed to be a YouTube compilation of all their mistakes.
Dan: We keep finishing second-to-lat, third-to-last. We'll eventually be last if we keep doin' what we're doin'.
- Epic Fail: Everything Dan did during the marching task. All he had to do was walk in rhythm, and he could not even do that.
- Face Palm: Dan, all the time.
- Failed a Spot Check:
- They missed the first clue in the second leg, and started searching by the dune buggies until Marisa & Brooke told them where to look.
- They missed the correct tags during the Bleary Eyed Detour in India, and just started writing down random numbers they saw. Luckily for them, Kelly & Christy also struggled with the task, and Ken & Tina helped them pass the Divorcees to survive.
- Failure Montage: The show created one of these containing all their mistakes over the course of the season in order to promote the finale.
- Follow That Car: Their first major mistake of the Race was deciding to just follow Nick & Starr the wrong direction while looking for the designated parking lot at LAX.
- The Glomp: Dan to Phil's dad, when they survived the New Zealand leg.
Dan: Thank you, Phil's dad, you're my dad too.
- Global Ignorance: Andrew asked Dan where Cambodia was, which Dan thought was ridiculous that he didn't know.
- In-Series Nickname: Though their initial choice was "Team Superbad", Kelly & Christy coined them "Dandrew" in episode 4, and started using it regularly by the next leg. It was picked up by the other teams and became popular with fans, and "Team Superbad" was forgotten.
- Invincible Incompetent: They were played as this beginning with the fifth leg. The other teams openly mocked them, the editors portrayed them as fools, Phil told them that he thought they should be the next team eliminated, something he's never done to any other team, and they even Lampshaded it too, as they admitted they were probably the worst team in the race. Their long list of things they struggled with included working a hand-crank fuel pump, ironing clothes, identifying tags hanging from power lines as opposed to ones that weren't hanging from power lines, keeping track of their shoes, getting dressed, walking, and dancing.
- Jerkass: The way Dan treated Andrew throughout the Race makes you wonder why they were ever friends in the first place.
- Lampshade Hanging: When their cab driver got them lost in the finale, they couldn't help but point out how, once again, they had fallen way behind.
Dan: It's appropriate that we ended the race how we started, with an incredible amount of mistakes.
- Lesser of Two Evils: According to Dan, ironing clothes was a lesser evil than putting flowers on a necklace, which is why they chose the ironing Detour in India. Also Read The Freaking Clue, as it was putting money on a necklace, not flowers.
- The Load: Surprisingly, Dan dragged down Andrew a lot with his Small Name, Big Ego tendencies. When they did well, it was because Andrew carried them through a task, like with building their Blokarts in New Zealand, or being the first to paint his auto rickshaw in India. Whereas Dan tended to blow up and do things like not be able to walk in rhythm.
- I Meant to Do That: Joked about by Dan in Moscow, as he said all their bumbling had been plotted out so they could have the greatest comeback ever.
- No Sense of Direction: They had a horrible time trying to navigate in Kazakhstan, causing Dan to finally blow up when he couldn't work through the Language Barrier to get directions.
- Rage Quit: Dan frequently when he came across something he couldn't do. See Small Name, Big Ego for two examples.
- Read The Freaking Clue:
- Dan obviously didn't read the clue for the Sail It Detour, because he immediately jumped on the boat they were supposed to be pushing and asked what they were supposed to be doing.
- They took a cab to the Pit Stop in Kazakhstan when they were supposed to walk, and Phil forced them to turn around and come from the end of the Detour on foot.
- When Andrew struggled to wrap his feet in preparation for the marching Detour, they decided to switch Detours to serving borscht. They went and changed back into their regular clothes, only to discover once they hit the other task that they had to be wearing their uniforms for both tasks, not just the marching.
- Reality Show Genre Blindness: Dan thought it was a good idea to leave their shoes behind at a Detour starting point, and that, after traveling all over Almaty, Kazakhstan, they'd just go back and get them later... They never saw those shoes again, and wasted all their money buying new shoes in the next leg, which made it impossible for them to pay their cab in Moscow.
- Roadside Wave: They got splashed by a dump truck while trying to catch a cab in Moscow.
- Rule of Pool: They were at a pool during their pre-recorded intro shots, so naturally Andrew ended up pushing Dan into it.
- Running Gag: All their mistakes were frequently pointed out.
- Self-Deprecation: Their "Braveheart" quote.
- Silly Walk: Dan, unintentionally, during the marching Detour, where he started jerking his arms around, and walking stiff-legged, much to the hilarity of everyone present.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Dan liked to insist that he and Andrew were actually a competent team, even as they made boneheaded mistakes in almost every single leg and survived only because of non-elimination or other teams' mistakes. Only at the Finish Line did he admit that they pretty much sucked.
- He insisted he was mechanically inclined, but just stood around complaining at the Blokart Detour in New Zealand while Andrew did all the work.
Dan: Give me sports trivia, and I'll beat everybody.
- At the marching Detour:
Dan: I compared the marching to performing arts, like maybe a ballet. It was very musically and art based, and I am not musically and art based. I'm sports and TV based.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: From the very beginning the editing focused heavily on them, though it enraged the fans at first that such a horrible team was getting such a large portion of the airtime, eventually they realized that Dan & Andrew were the most entertaining part of an otherwise mediocre season.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer: When they were having issues with their gas pump, and they were unable to figure out what they were doing wrong, Dan's solution was to, "do it like a madman," and crank the pump harder until it worked.
Anttoni "Toni" Imbimbo & Dallas Imbimbo
Mother and son, they were the season's fan favorites by default, due to the other teams in the top 6 being less than likable, and their polite, if not boring, demeanor made them the obvious choice to root for. Dallas spent much of the season flirting with Starr, a relationship that was complicated by him and his mother being Nick & Starr's biggest threat near the end of the season. However, in the process of completing the Stalin/Lenin statue counting Roadblock in Moscow, Dallas left their fanny pack, containing all their money and passports, on the floor of his cab, and with no money they were not able to make it to the Pit Stop to complete the leg, as Phil came out onto the course to eliminate them in 4th place.
Terence Gerchberg & Sarah Leshner
Dating, Sarah worked on Wall Street, while Terence was a running coach. They constantly raced near the top of the pack despite Terence's constant need for attention, and Sarah taking the smallest hings personally. However, in leg 8 they decided to race Nick & Starr for the Fast Forward. Vegetarian Terence quickly realized he was in over his head when he saw the Fast Forward involved eating meat, but by the time they gave up and returned to the Roadblock it was too late, they were too far behind to catch Andrew & Dan, even with the boys' navigation problems and being forced to go back and run the route to the Pit Stop after taking an illegal cab, and they were eliminated in 5th.
- Always Second Best: They constantly finished either 2nd or 3rd, including a leg where they finished an easy 2nd place, far ahead of the other teams, but behind Ken & Tina's Fast Forward.
- Expy: Terence was one of Adam, both being men who spent most of the race whining and being a burden to their girlfriends.
- Failed a Spot Check: They finished the Detour in leg 2 first, but missed the Race arrows pointing them to the nearby cabs. They fell to 9th while backtracking.
- Felony Misdemeanor: In both of the first two legs, Sarah got upset at first Nick & Starr, then Ken & Tina, for simply not saying "hi" to her.
- I'm Not Here to Make Friends: Invoked by Terence in the first leg after Nick & Starr snubbed Sarah.
- In Touch with His Feminine Side: Sarah made numerous comments about Terence being "sensitive."
- Like an Old Married Couple: They were not too bad early on, but by mid-season they had fallen into constant bickering, and the passive-aggressive usage of the word, "babe." Terence was especially bad, as he would nitpick at Sarah constantly while she was doing Roadblocks, and would whine and complain when she didn't do things the way he wanted, yet they always seemed to fall back into being lovey dovey right after.
- Loophole Abuse: They were one of the last teams to get away with taking advantage of the "local guide" loophole before it was completely closed, though she only got them to the Detour location and did not help with any tasks.
- Love Hungry: Terence would constantly need Sarah to make physical contact with him, and would get upset when she would interact with other teams because it meant she was not paying attention to him 100% of the time.
- Man Child: Terence constantly whined for attention, and was constantly on the verge of losing it when things didn't go exactly the way he wanted.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Terence was infamous for his less than masculine behavior, while Sarah frequently acted like the man in their relationship.
Terence: Who's my girl?
Sarah: You are. *kisses him* No, I am.
- Meganekko: Sarah.
- Minor Injury Overreaction:
- At the beginning of the second leg, their cab driver accidentally hit Terence in the head when closing the trunk. Terence insisted he was bleeding though Sarah did not see it.
- After the Festival of Colours Roadblock, he whined about getting paint up his nose.
- Oh, Crap: Terence, when he sat down at the Fast Forward and had a plate of meat put in front of him.
- Opposites Attract: Terence was a free spirit who was a running coach. Sarah was a business woman.
- Parenting the Husband: With Terence constantly acting like a Man Child, Sarah had to constantly coddle and coral his emotions.
- Read the Freaking Clue:
- They did not go through the marked entrance for the cargo net Detour in the first leg, dropping them out of 1st place.
- They actually jumped in a cab to take them to the Detour in the third leg, but while Mark & Bill did not notice this mistake, they did, and went back to the hat shop to walk the entire way. This is why they survived the leg, while Mark & Bill did not.
- Strategy Versus Tactics: They were an object lesson in why going for Fast Forwards is so dangerous. They risked their entire race on the possibility of winning that one leg, and lost.
- This Is A Race: Starting off the third leg, combined with a bit of Reality Show Genre Blindness:
Sarah: Over the last two legs I'm realizing that everybody else is out for themselves. So, this is not a popularity competition, it's actually us against the other teams.
Kelly Crabb & Christy Cook
Friends and Divorcees, though they actually had somewhat strong racing abilities, this was negated by their frequent failure to notice the most obvious things. In fact, their inability to Read The Freaking Clue
was only slightly more infamous than their sour attitudesnote
, which caused them to get on the nerves of the other teams. Ultimately, their inability to notice the details cost them, as they struggled to complete the Bleary Eyed Detour in India, writing down random numbers instead of the ones on tags hanging from the power lines. Though they managed to rectify this mistake before Dandrew, Ken & Tina helped Dan & Andrew finish the Detour before them, knocking them out in 6th.
Aja Benton & Tyrone "Ty" White
Long distance dating couple, the Race was the first time they had spent more than a few days together. Poor navigation caused them to fall behind in New Zealand, and though they were saved from elimination that leg by Marisa & Brooke's even worse navigation, it left them far enough behind starting the next leg that they missed the equalizing flight into Cambodia They never saw another team again, and were out of the race in 7th place.
- Competition Freak: Aja claims that Ty was one.
- Failed a Spot Check: They ran right by the first clue in leg 2, and started searching near the dune buggies.
- Foregone Conclusion: Their race was done as soon as Dan & Andrew squeezed onto the second flight to Cambodia, as they got into the country long after the other teams.
- Long Distance Relationship
- No Sense of Direction: Though they survived the leg, their navigation issues in New Zealand ended up costing them the game.
- One Head Taller
- Precision F-Strike: Aja when having difficulty biking in the third leg.
Aja: This is Bull____ man!
- Reality Show Genre Blindness: Despite being the first team to reach LAX in the first leg, they went to the wrong American Airlines counter, and got in a regular line instead of the traditional marked ticket counter that always shows up in the first leg. Most of the other teams just got behind them in the wrong line, but four other teams passed them by the time they corrected their mistake.
Marisa Axelrod & Brooke Jackson
Friends and "Southern Belles
," they were notable for being friends with Jamie Dugan from Survivor: China
. They had navigation issues in New Zealand, where they fell behind early and never saw another team after leaving the airport. They were subsequently eliminated in 8th.
- Dumb Blonde: During the Elimination Station, they had issues making toast.
- Failed a Spot Check: They walked right past the Gordian Knot they had to untie in New Zealand.
- Follow That Car: In the second leg they decided to do the Docket Detour, but either didn't see or decided to ignore the signs set up on the beach, and directed their dune buggy driver to follow Nick & Starr, who were heading to the Sail It Detour.
- Global Ignorance: While doing the second Roadblock in Brazil, Marisa said that she didn't read Spanish.
- No Sense of Direction: Asked to navigate through New Zealand, they got lost and eliminated.
- Pink Means Feminine: They were always seen to be wearing shocking pink clothing and bandannas.
- Pixellation: When they got mooned by a local on the beach in Brazil.
- Southern Belle: Called such by Phil. They were a more modern take on the trope.
- Surprise Difficulty: Invoked at the beginning of the second leg.
- What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: After getting directions to Gulf Harbor from a local, he told them that they "couldn't get lost." Though they didn't invoke it themselves, their navigation issues still put them out of the game that leg.
Mark Yturralde & William "Bill" Kahler
Best friends and geeks, Mark was the treasurer for Comic-Con. They showed a positive attitude and a good sense of humor, along with a strong racing ability. However, in the third leg they broke the first rule of The Amazing Race
, as they jumped in a cab to take them to the Detour when they were supposed to walk. They were far enough ahead that they might have survived this, except that Mark struggled with the wrestling Roadblock, finding it hard to breathe in the high altitude, dropping them to 8th place. Their ensuing penalty allowed Kelly & Christy to check in before them, knocking them out in 9th.
- Cannot Tell a Lie: Bill called himself a reflexively honest guy.
- Genre Savvy: They and Ken & Tina managed to get the first tickets on the first flight in the first leg when they broke away from the teams all bunching around the wrong ticket counter, and sought out the race flags that are always used to mark the designated counter in the first leg.
- Nice Hat: Their safari hats.
- Proud to Be a Geek: Mark wore a knit hat with "Geek" printed on it in their final leg.
- Read The Freaking Clue: They took a cab when they were supposed to walk, and the resulting penalty knocked them out of the race.
- Tempting Fate: Discussed in their final leg with Mark saying they didn't want to curse themselves by saying they were in first, but they were doing pretty well. Mark said this while in the cab, unaware they supposed to be walking to the Detour.
Anthony Marotta & Stephanie Kacandes
Dating couple looking to win the money so they could start their lives together. Anthony's decision to try to push start their stalling cab put them in last leaving the airport to begin the second leg, and Anthony's subsequent lackadaisical effort at the Roadblock cemented their elimination in 10th.
- Jerkass: Anthony did not have many nice things to say about Brazil, and complained about how worn down everything was.
- Reality Show Genre Blindness: When you jump in a cab at the airport that's having issues even starting, it's generally not a good idea to get out and help push start the cab instead of just switching cabs, especially when you're falling behind other teams as a result.
Anita Jones & Arthur Jones
Married beekeepers, and the show's first team of actual hippies
after having pairs of modern day "hippies"
win two of the previous four seasons
. They did not fair too well, as they fell behind early in the first leg, and their lack of speed kept them from catching up on either of the physically based Detour choices, as they were eliminated first.