Characters: The Amazing Race 22
The initial twist for the 22nd Season of the Race season was the introduction of the double Express Passes, one for the teams to keep, and one to give to another team. However, said twist was overshadowed by the complete insanity that occurred during the first eight legs of the season. Among other things, three teams willingly quit a Roadblock to force a canoe race to the Pit Stop, three teams suffered Shocking Eliminations
after losing huge leads (all of them over an hour) at the Detour, two teams got speeding tickets in the same citynote
, a contestant tore his Achilles tendon, only to win the next two legs before dropping out of the Race, a team got eliminated while still holding their Express Pass, and a team walked all the way to the Pit Stop when everyone else took cabs, only to be saved from elimination by another team's penalty. While the last four legs were notably less exciting, not to mention less competitive and somewhat predictable, that itself was counterbalanced by nearly every single team left in the race being likeable in some way. The combination of the insanity of the first eight episodes and the likeability of the latter four created a season that, although not as memorable as its predecessor
, stands as an overall good season.
Jonathan "Bates" Battaglia & Anthony Battaglia (The Hockey Brothers)
Brothers and hockey players, Bates played for the Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, Washington Capitals, and Toronto Maple Leafs. The token Alpha Male team of the season, they, like Jaymes & James
before them, overcame the stigma of being a Stunt Casting
team to become likeable in their own right, mostly thanks to their snark
and their self-deprecating humor
. Race-wise, they were predictably feared right off the bat by many of the other teams, and an alliance was formed to get them eliminated. Though they generally struggled with navigation and mental tasks, the scarcity of tricky mental tasks during the season, combined with their toughest competition going out early, allowed them to cruise into the Final 3, where they easily won, grabbing a lead during the luck-based Spy Switchback which they never gave up, and they did not see another team until they hit the Finish Line.
- Deadpan Snarker: One half of their humour. The other half being Self-Deprecation.
- Dumb Muscle: Joked about as part of their Self-Deprecation:
Bates: Even with our brains, two are better than one.
- Expy: They are basically Jaymes as a pair of straight hockey players, personality wise.
- Failed a Spot Check:
- Though nearly everyone had issues finding either the surfboards or the Pit Stop during the surfboard Roadblock in Bali, Bates took the cake by several times passing right by a Race sign pointing him in the right direction, one time even passing right by Chuck and Mona right before they took the correct path.
- They also had trouble completing the Tray It Detour, as Anthony failed to see the menu by all of the plates of food.
- Finishing Each Other's Sentences: Played with in the first leg:
Bates: A lot of time people say we finish each other's—
- Follow That Car:
- Anthony admitted that this was their strategy when it came to navigating when they were in Botswana, and had to navigate for themselves for the first time.
- They tailed Mona & Beth to the 9th Pit Stop in Germany, knowing that they could just run past them and hit the mat first.
- The Good Guys Always Win: By beating out Big Bad Wannabes Max & Katie to win.
- Lovable Jock
- Man in a Kilt: Bates, during the bagpipes Roadblock.
- Muscles Are Meaningful: They were targeted by the other teams due to their physical abilities, despite them only really excelling at the tasks involving athleticism or strength.
- No Sense of Direction: They admit this in Botswana. In their post-race interviews, they claimed Caroline & Jennifer helped them more in the alliance than vice versa because of this, something the latter team also supported.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Bates.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Most of their confessionals were them making quips about themselves or the other teams. Though they were a threat from the beginning of the season, they were mostly never presented in a serious manner, save for during the finale.
- Running Gag: Their tendency to relate everything to their crushes on Caroline & Jennifer.
- Second Place Is for Losers: Stated during the finale.
- Self-Deprecation: One half of their humor. The other half being a good dose of snark.
Bates: Have you guys ever had a boyfriend that wore a fanny pack?
Anthony: Or have no teeth?
- Shirtless Scene: Invoked multiple times by Bates during the water-skiing Fast Forward.
- Sibling Team
- This Is Gonna Suck: Their reaction upon seeing the Globe Challenge in the Finale.
- Token Romance: With Caroline & Jen, causing them to become a fountain of innuendos whenever they were near the girls.
- Unskilled, but Strong: They were horrible at navigation and so-so at mental tasks, but excelled at physical tasks.
Max Bichler & Katherine "Katie" Kaczor-Bichler (The Newlyweds)
Newlyweds who got married three weeks before going on the Race. They established themselves as the villains in the first episode, a position which they apparently relished. Though Max's ego and Katie's Alpha Bitch
tendencies were very clear to the audience, they managed to mostly hide them from the other teams, becoming much more popular with the cast than they were with the audience. After bumbling through the first two-thirds of the season, they caught fire, winning three straight legs heading into the finale, where Max ultimately stumbled on the luck-based Spy Switchback, taking forever to find his briefcase and allowing Bates to pass him up. They never had a chance after that, and they finished 2nd.
- Alpha Bitch: Katie, even to her own husband, who she constantly berated for his mistakes, while insisting that she was always right. She admitted in a Deleted Scene that, though she thought she could have done better with the stilts Roadblock in Bora Bora, she forced Max to do it so he would suffer after she had to suffer through the sandcastles in the last leg. Max can also be a male variant of this.
- Big Bad Wannabe: It was implied in the show (but made explicit in interviews and DeletedScenes) that they came into the season expecting to be this huge dominating force that all the other teams would fear and hate. While this was played straight during the first half of the season, with their initially poor performance leading to the other teams not fearing or hating them, this started to become a subversion in Leg 9.
- Blonde Republican Sex Kitten: Katie is the grown-up Alpha Bitch type.
- Call Back: Katie recognized the Cheese Hill Switchback, and was not happy as she remembered how hard it was.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: After spending eight legs being portrayed as a pair of bickering, bumbling villain wannabes, suddenly in leg 9 they were a hugely dangerous team who was a serious threat to win.
- The Cynic: Max. In the second leg, when they found out they were staying in Bora Bora and their penalty from the last leg would not be negated by an equalizer, Katie suggested they work together through the Detour with fellow trailing team Caroline & Jennifer. Max immediately gave a diatribe on how the girls aren't looking to work with them, and are looking for an opportunity to throw them under the bus. (Cut to the girls, saying it would be a good idea to work with Max & Katie for now.)
- Directionless Driver/Backseat Driver: While looking for Mount Hutt Station in New Zealand, Katie spotted a sign for Mount Hutt Station Road. She berated Max into turning around, and after he saw the sign for himself, insisted that it was not what they were looking for, and continued driving in the wrong direction for half an hour. When they discovered it was, in fact, the right way, Katie naturally would not let him hear the end of it.
- Double Standard: Katie had a view of gender roles that was almost as warped as Jen Parker's, with her blaming all of their mistakes on Max not being enough of a man.
- Driving Stick: Katie learned to drive stick right before the race. However, it was not her, but Max, who had issues with the driving course Detour, which she repeatedly pointed out to him.
- Dumb Blonde: Discussed. They were just fine letting the other teams think Katie was this, and keeping her doctorate a secret.
- Establishing Character Moment: Their scene at LAX, where they talked about not having many friends, and about how Katie wasn't likable to strangers, establishing them (especially Katie) as the villains of the season.
- Failed a Spot Check:
- After paying their speeding ticket in Botswana, Max immediately backed their car into a pole.
- Zigzagged during the Tray It Detour. They, like Mona & Beth and Bates & Anthony, failed to spot the menu by the dishes. However, they were the first ones to fix their mistake (and as a result, netted a first-place finish).
- Fairytale Wedding Dress: Their intro and their part of the credits had Katie in her wedding dress.
- Friendless Background: They both readily admitted that neither of them had many friends in their real life, and the only reason they were being friendly with the other teams is because they saw the social game as necessary to win the Race. In the end, they did make friends with the other Final 4 teams as stated in post-race interviews.
- Genre Savvy:
- When Katie continued to struggle with the sandcastle Roadblock, she came up with the plan to convince the other two teams into taking the four-hour penalty, taking their fate out of the hands of luck (as Katie was afraid the other teams would randomly stumble upon a clue before she did), and forcing a showdown with the canoes.
- During the scorpion Roadblock in Botswana, Max wore a glove, stating that he brought gloves into the race because he knew that eventually he would have to touch something gross.
- Katie correctly predicted that the prize for winning leg 9 would be a pair of Ford Fusions when one was used as part of a task during the leg.
- At the beginning of leg 10, they went to a business center to book tickets to Scotland in the middle of the night, while all the other teams rushed to the airport to wait in closed lines, and got tickets on the best flight for their efforts.
- Grammar Nazi: In Botswana, Katie corrected Max's usage of, "doing good," to, "doing well."
- Henpecked Husband: Max was very quickly becoming this after only being married for several weeks.
- I Was Beaten By A Girl: Katie said it was embarrassing for Max to get beaten by Caroline at the stilts Roadblock.
- Ice Queen: Katie was disgusted with herself when she put on a fake girly voice to endear herself to the other teams.
- Jaw Drop: Max, during the scorpion Roadblock, when the bushman put the scorpion into his mouth. He would do this again during the base jumping task in Berlin.
- Jerkass: Both of them, though they pretty much told us as much in the premiere.
- Man in a Kilt: Max, during the bagpipes Roadblock.
- No Social Skills: Zig-zagged. They did claim to have almost no friends, but they could easily be sociable if the situation called for it, and then made fun of themselves for doing it.
- No Sense of Direction: They had issues just making their way out of the safari camp at the beginning of leg 7, as they took forever to find their way back to their car.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: Starting in leg 9, they went from a mostly harmless Big Bad Wannabe, to rattling off three straight leg wins and looking like a true threat to win.
- Never My Fault: Katie blamed all of their problems and mistakes on Max, as he's the man.
- Pixellation: Max got double blurs when he flicked off Meghan & Joey and Mona & Beth with both hands when they were the only two teams to miss a train in Switzerland.
- The Resenter: They were not happy to see the alliance between John & Jessica, Mona & Beth, and Joey & Meghan in leg 3, and formed a counter-alliance with the sole purpose of taking out those three teams.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Despite their constant mistakes and their frequent finishes at the back of the pack, they continued to insist that they were one of the strongest teams, and disparage the other teams' skills.
- Smug Snake
- We're Not Here To Make Friends: Invoked in the second leg, when they thought they were in a race for last with Caroline & Jen, and were plotting ways to beat them.
Mona Egender & Elizabeth "Beth" Bandimere (Roller Derby Moms)
Roller Derby Moms, they came on the Race to set a good example for their kids and win the money for their families. Though they managed a few 2nd place finishes, they spent most of the season playing catchup for all the stupid mental mistakes they made. Though they were able to escape the target on their backs put there by being in an alliance with John & Jessica and Joey & Meghan and make the Final 3, their mental mistakes would trip them up once again. When told to go to 1100 Pennsylvania Ave., they asked their cab driver to take them to The White House
instead, and the time it took them to fix their mistake dropped them to 3rd, where they would ultimately finish.
- Action Mom: They do compete in roller derby after all. In New Zealand, they were the only team to beat the 83 second mark on the driving course Detour on their first try, and in Bali, they were the only team aside from Bates & Anthony to initially choose the sand carrying side of the Detour (and almost made up the hour and a half deficit behind the 2nd flight because of it). In Scotland, they survived a battle to avoid last by destroying Meghan & Joey on both sides of the Detour when they were both U-Turned.
- Down to the Last Play: After leading Bates & Anthony to the Pit Stop in Berlin, they were passed up in a sprint to the mat. Subverted when it turned out it was a non-elimination leg.
- Failed a Spot Check:
- Mona beat Max to the sign up sheet for skydiving in Bora Bora, but mistakenly signed herself up for the sixth helicopter instead of the fifth, allowing Max to slip in front of her.
- They took forever to complete the Tray It Detour in Ireland, as Mona repeatedly failed to read the sign telling them what food to serve during each course.
- Follow That Car: In Ireland, they saw Max & Katie getting directions to the Beacon of Hope from a local, so they just decided to tail them to the next clue.
- Haggis Is Horrible: Though four teams did the haggis Detour, they were the only ones to invoke this.
- Jaw Drop: When they read the clue telling them to go get their picture taken with the President (it was just a Photoshopped picture).
- The Lad-ette: They had somewhat nice and friendly exteriors, but partook in the rigorous and physical sport of Roller Derby, which is only a step below Ice Hockey on a physical standpoint as far as altercations with competitors goes.
- Last of His Kind: They were the only team out of their alliance with Jessica & John and Joey & Meghan to make the Final 3.
- Mythology Gag: They are the second team to have a "Sport Moms" relationship given to them by the show, the first being the "Bowling Moms". For their Speed Bump in leg 10, the Roller Derby Moms had to complete a bowling challenge. This was entirely coincidental, considering it was a Speed Bump late in the season, but it was still notable to watch them struggle with a task that would had been much easier for the team that inspired their nickname.
- No Sense of Direction: Their issues finding Salon zur wilden Renate in Berlin allowed Bates & Anthony to catch up to and ultimately pass them, putting them in last and earning them the Speed Bump.
- Oh Crap: Upon reaching Scotland and discovering they were not 3 hours ahead, but 2.5 behind.
- Out of Focus: Until leg 9; they had received the least amount of airtime of the teams left at that point (not to mention most of the teams that had been eliminated as well) and their backgrounds (other than Roller Derby) have rarely been touched upon.
- Read the Freaking Clue:
- At the Chinese Chess Detour in Vietnam, they could not figure out how they were supposed to place their pieces for the longest time.
- They nearly put themselves in last in leg 6 when Beth led them back to the cars, even though the clue said to walk to the Pit Stop. They corrected themselves when they saw all the cars were still there, and managed to salvage a 6th place finish.
- Tempting Fate: In leg 10, they and Meghan & Joey booked the last tickets on the 1:00 flight to Scotland, with the next flight on that carrier not getting in until 4:00. While they were celebrating their three hour lead, the other teams found a 10:40 flight, and they continued to celebrate while falling way behind and being forced into a race to avoid last.
- Unskilled, but Strong: They had no problem plowing through physical tasks, but suffered at mental tasks, often needing to get help from other teams.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Mona suffered a fairly mild case of panic when she had to face open water in Bora Bora, but quickly got used to the underwater environment. She then got completely freaked out in the muddy water in Ireland.
Caroline Cutbirth & Jennifer "Jen" Kuhle
Members of the band Stealing Angels, Jennifer is the granddaughter of John Wayne
, while Caroline is a direct descendant of Daniel Boone. After barely escaping elimination during the canoe race in the first leg, they proved to be surprisingly resilient. However, resiliency did not translate to them being strong racers, as they spent a lot of time in the middle of the pack, never really in danger of elimination, but never close to the top of the pack either. In Ireland, Jen ended up struggling mightily with the bog snorkeling Roadblock, dropping them way behind and causing them to finish 4th. To the surprise of many, they were invited back for All-Stars.
- Action Girl: Caroline was surprisingly adept at physical challenges. In both of the first two legs, other teams (in other words, male racers) thought to force showdowns with them, figuring they would be easy to beat, but they breezed through both the canoe race and the stilts Roadblock, easily surviving both showdowns. Later on, Caroline easily handled her mokoro during the Roadblock in Botswana, while most of the other teams had issues navigating through the current.
- Call Back: Caroline immediately recognized the Cheese Hill as a Switchback.
- Death Glare: Caroline, after the surfboards Roadblock in Bali. After grabbing the wrong surfboards on her first two guesses, she started crying (as they had been going for four straight days at that point). She randomly guessed the right surfboard on her third try, and when she was informed by Phil that it was the Polynesian priest from leg 2, she gave him one of these.
- Driving Stick: They both learned how to drive stick for the race. On the driving course Detour, instead of trying to shift gears, they just kept the car in one gear for the whole challenge. In Scotland, Caroline started driving with her parking brake still on.
- The Dulcinea Effect: They aimed to take advantage of Bates & Anthony's crushes on them to get the brothers to help them on tasks they might struggle with.
- Elimination Montage
- Failed a Spot Check: At the "operating hours" equalizer in New Zealand, the other teams were yelling at them to pull the number "7" off the board, yet they could not find it, despite the fact that they were circling around the sign where the numbers were posted. They spotted it just in time to keep Bates from snatching the number first.
- Famous Ancestor: Both of them, Jennifer is the granddaughter of John Wayne, and Caroline is a direct descendant of Daniel Boone.
- May-December Romance: Joked about with the Robert Burns impersonator in Scotland, where they told him they liked older men, to which he replied he was over 250 years old.
- Ms. Fanservice: Though they were fully dressed during the Bora Bora leg even while underwater.
- Nice Hat: Their knit caps.
- Flower in Her Hair: Jen.
- Nutty Squirrel: During the monkey task in Bali, Caroline started listing off all the pets she'd had, including a flying squirrel, which, according to Jennifer, died of loneliness because she kept it in her bra.
- Read the Freaking Clue: At the Chinese Chess Detour in Vietnam, they could not figure out how to place their pieces for the longest time, at one point placing them on the idea that they had to win the game.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful!: Averted when Caroline tried to talk their way out of the speeding ticket in Botswana, but failed miserably.
- Stubborn Mule: In Switzerland, their Saint Bernard, Cara, refused to get on the train until Anthony helped them pick her up and put her on the train, and later would not walk with them.
- Token Romance: With Bates & Anthony, though Deleted Scenes show that they did not have as much interest towards the hockey brothers as the brothers did them.
- Tomboy: Caroline mentioned having been a tomboy growing up, which is why she so easily handled all the physical tasks on the Race.
- What an Idiot: Mona & Beth accused them of this regarding their alliance with Alpha Males Bates & Anthony.
Friends and YouTube
hosts, they brought their upbeat attitudes and manic energy with them onto the Race. Early on, they formed an alliance with John & Jessica and Mona & Beth that caused the other teams to resent them, and put a huge target on their backs, especially after John & Jessica had been eliminated. This resulted in them keeping close to only Mona & Beth, which made it all that much harder for them when they found themselves racing to avoid last in Scotland against their only remaining friends in the game. With both teams having been U-Turned, they got destroyed on both sides of the Detour by Mona & Beth (despite the latter having to do a Speed Bump), and found themselves out in 5th. Their antics got them invited back for All-Stars.
Charles "Chuck" McCall & Wynona McCall (Alabama)
Married couple from Alabama. They struggled from the very beginning, with Wynona's whining and poor task performance dragging them down despite Chuck's overall strong racing abilities. Though they seemed to pull it together during leg 6 in Botswana, Wynona would struggle with the first-come, first-served Roadblock in Switzerland, putting them and Joey & Meghan, who got stuck behind her, half an hour behind the lead pack. Though they would miraculously beat Joey & Meghan to the Pit Stop, after Team YouTube
got bad directions that resulted in them walking
to the Pit Stop, Chuck & Wynona would receive a 30-minute penalty for breaking the rules at the Cheese Hill Switchback, putting them out in 6th.
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign: In Vietnam, Chuck thanked the task judge at the Pho Detour with, "Mucho gracias".
- Born Lucky: In three straight legs they were saved by a non-elimination leg, John & Jessica deciding not to use their Express Pass, and Dave's injury forcing him to quit the Race, which saved them despite finishing almost three hours behind the other teams.
- The Drag-Along: They gave the impression that Wynona really didn't want to go on the race; she was just there because Chuck wanted to.
- '80s Hair: Chuck has a mullet, his "Samson Hair," and Phil could not help but bring it up at the first Pit Stop.
- Failed a Spot Check:
- It took them a while to find the second Roadblock clue in the first leg, as they searched through a nearby structure within sight off all the teams digging on the beach. The cameras kept cutting to John and Winnie laughing at their bumbling.
- In the fifth leg in Vietnam, they had to do the bamboo dance several times because they kept missing that they had to hold hands while doing it.
- Good Ol' Boy
- Leitmotif: They got a country banjo tune.
- The Load: In Vietnam, Wynona called herself the weakest partner in the Race. She was probably right, as at that point she had yet to do a single Roadblock that she hadn't been forced to do.
- The Masochism Tango: Chuck constantly let Wynona know how disappointed he was in her due to her physical shortcomings, particularly in their final leg (and especially after the Eiger Roadblock). His excuse was that he was trying to encourage her to work harder, but she did make it quite clear that it wasn't helping her at all. Not that she helped matters with all her whining and complaining.
- No Sense of Direction: During the Pho Detour, they got lost looking for the market, and wandered around Hanoi long enough that Joey & Meghan, in the process of doing the second side of the U-Turn, were able to catch up to and ultmately pass them, getting back to the U-Turn marker before Chuck & Wynona had even seen that they were also U-Turned.
- Nutty Squirrel: Subverted in their intro. When talking about Chuck's taxidermy hobby, the camera cuts to a stuffed squirrel, complete with Red Eyes, Take Warning.
- Read the Freaking Clue: What got them eliminated. Wynona decided it would be easier to roll their cheese down the hill instead of using the sleds, and they wound up with a 30-minute penalty due to not using the proper equipment to carry their cheese down the hill.
- Earlier, during the Pho Detour, Chuck left their chickens at the Detour starting point, even though Wynona told him they needed the chickens, forcing them to go back and get them later.
- Reality Show Genre Blindness:
- Wynona didn't volunteer to do a Roadblock until leg six, even the ones that were not physical. She seemingly did not understand the concept that Roadblocks are more forgiving early on, when there are more teams, and that Chuck might be out of them later in the race when they really need him to do one.
- They nearly fumbled away the race at the Auckland airport, as it took them forever to buy tickets to Christchurch, being the only team who did not know how to bypass all the lines at the ticketing counters. If not for the "operating hours" equalizer in Christchurch, they would have been an hour and a half behind the other teams.
- Taxidermy Is Creepy: See Nutty Squirrel.
Pamela "Pam" Chien & Winnie Sung
Snarky friends who, despite their obvious racing skills, had a tendency to panic and make hasty decisions when they felt they were in danger. After spending the first half of the season cruising along near the top of the pack, they would fall apart in Botswana. Despite being in a solid 2nd for most of the seventh leg, including having two teams have to stop to pay speeding tickets, they imploded on the Detour, switching from the Brawn side of the Detour to the Brains and back, their second-guessing and inability to spot one of the animal cutouts putting them out in 7th. They were one of ten teams listed in the initial cast leak for All-Stars,
but did not make the final cut.
- Accidental Truth: They made one of their typical snarky jokes at the snare setting Detour, in reference to seeing Good Ol' Boy and amateur taxidermist Chuck show up.
Winnie: We were nervous to see Chuck & Wynona there, because we were like, "Chuck probably makes these in his spare time, like brushes his teeth, makes a snare, and then rinses and checks his... whatever he catches."
Chuck: In high school I didn't really have a job. I got up every morning, set traps, caught the animals, cashed 'em in at the fur exchange. It's just kinda the way I grew up.
Wynona: I didn't know that about him.
- Chekhov's Hobby: They won the fifth leg by almost an hour due to Pam's job as an art director helping her pick out the right poster on the Roadblock and finish ahead of all the other teams, and their knowing how to play Chinese Chess helping them finish the Detour by the time the other teams were just arriving.
- Crazy-Prepared: They divulged to Phil in a leg 5 Deleted Scene that they do a massive amount of research on what airlines fly most frequently out of each city, and fully explore their options beyond just going to a travel agency.
- Deadpan Snarker: Both of them.
- Death In The Limelight: Subverted. Their elimination episode looked like one, but not for them. The entire episode looked like it was being set up for either Max & Katie or Meghan & Joey to be eliminated until the last few minutes.
- Driving Stick: Pam stalled out their car on the first try during the driving course Roadblock.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Their U-turning of Joey & Meghan was basically this, as they were aware that Dave & Connor were withdrawing themselves from the race, meaning that Joey & Meghan would likely be safe and they (along with co-conspirators Max & Katie) were wasting their U-Turn to punish Joey & Meghan for being part of the alliance with Jessica & John.
- Education Mama: They mentioned they both grew up in this kind of household.
- Elimination Montage: Mixed in with a bit of The World Is Just Awesome.
- Failed a Spot Check: They missed the ostrich cutout on both of their attempts at the "Brains" Detour in their final leg, which essentially caused their elimination.
- Genre Savvy: They quickly decided to set a snare trap over building a fire in the leg 6 Detour, a decision which jumped them from fighting to avoid last up to 2nd place:
Winnie: We knew that building a fire from scratch is really hard, that's because we watch a lot of TV. We're very well prepared.
- Graceful Loser: Despite their cutthroat attitudes, and the nature of their collapse, they had one of the most surprisingly upbeat Elimination Statements in show history. They were happy to have gotten to experience what they did, and did not try to dissect where they had gone wrong. Apparently, they truly did believe everything that they'd been saying about the Race being just a game.
- Jaw Drop: Winnie, when she heard about Jessica & John getting eliminated without using their Express Pass.
- Living Lie Detector: Within seconds of being told by Idries & Jamil that they were "delivery men," Winnie immediately called them out on their lie.
- No Sense of Direction: They had issues following their map on the jet ski in the second leg, to the point where they squandered the lead they had on the teams who had taken the penalties in the previous leg. If not for Idries & Jamil's issues with the Detour, they would have been eliminated. In the following leg, they managed to get a flight that got them into New Zealand a half hour before any other teams, but on the drive to the first marker, they got so lost that other teams caught up and they dropped from first to fifth.
- Shocking Elimination: Not only had they spent the previous three legs in the top two, but they were in a comfortable 2nd place for most of the leg until they collapsed at the Detour. Even more shocking, three other teams ran into either a speeding ticket or navigational issues or both, and most of the episode seemed set up for either Joey & Meghan or Max & Katie to be eliminated until the last few minutes.
- Stubborn Mule: Their donkeys' refusal to move is what caused them to panic and switch Detours for the first time in their final leg.
- Surprise Difficulty: In their final leg, they talked about how, no matter how much you prepare, you can never predict the level of anxiety and the amount of pressure that comes with actually running the race.
- Take That: Winnie had a rather fitting one towards John after they won the leg following Jessica & John's elimination:
Winnie: You never want to feel super confident, because that's when you let your guard down. You can ask John.
- Tempting Fate: At the beginning of their last leg, they said that they race better when they're on their own, and that if they kept making smart choices, they'd stay in the game.
- This Is A Race: When talking about their U-Turning Joey & Meghan:
Pam: It's a race, you know, and if they take it personally...
Winnie: Then they're stupid.
- Urine Trouble: During the goat delivering Roadblock in Botswana, the goats peed on Pam as she held them in the boat.
- Weak, but Skilled: Their Education Mama background seemed to pay off, as they cruised through tasks that relied more on intelligence, memory, and attention to detail, and no so much on physical strength, luck tasks, or the ability to spot things.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Both of them had issues with the ocean in leg 2.
- The World Is Just Awesome: In their Elimination Statement. Also in Vietnam:
Winnie: The best things about being on this race is to experience all the new cultural things that every country welcomes us to be a part of.
Pam: It kind of feels like the country gives us a little hug.
David "Dave" O'Leary & Connor O’Leary
Father and son cancer survivors. After starting off strong, Dave tore his Achilles tendon while racing to the Pit Stop in the second leg, all but ending their race when it had barely just begun. They were not removed from the game, so Dave ran the next two legs while wearing a boot and walking on crutches, winning both of them due to a combination of the Express Pass and Connor going all out on the remaining tasks. However, Dave needed to have surgery within a week in order to not put his ability to walk at risk, so they withdrew from the race in 8th place. They would get a second chance to show what they could do on All-Stars.
- Badass Grandpa: As revealed on All-Stars, Dave is the grandfather of seven grandchildren. Now imagine him hobbling through crutches and winning two legs.
- Consolation Prize: Realizing that his injury made it almost impossible to win the race, Dave became determined to win leg 3 so they could at least win one leg (and the corresponding prize) before getting eliminated. For good measure, they won leg 4 as well.
- Determinator: Sure, they both qualified in real life after beating cancer, but to have Dave run two entire legs (without a Pit Stop in between) on crutches, with a torn Achilles tendon (while winning both legs to boot), took it to a whole new level. Eventually they had to quit so that Dave would not risk never being able to walk again (but did it in a leg where they would have been eliminated anyway, due to Dave not being able to do the mandatory Bamboo Dance task between the Roadblock and Detour).
- Driving Stick: Dave, not because he did not know how to drive stick, but because his injury prevented him from doing the driving course Detour in New Zealand, as he could not work the clutch with his injury.
- Everybody Knew Already: They wanted to keep it a secret that Jessica & John had handed over the second Express Pass, but Bates & Anthony had seen the hand off.
- Foregone Conclusion: Their last leg was this, as they announced they were quitting within minutes of the leg starting, making the other seven teams automatically safe.
- Game-Breaking Injury: Dave ruptured his Achilles tendon racing to the Pit Stop in the second leg, effectively ending their race.
- I Can Still Fight: Dave insisted on continuing the Race despite the fact that he desperately needed surgery and could not walk under his own power.
- I Coulda Been a Contender: Probably the most merit based insistence of this in the series, as they never finished below third before having to quit, including winning two legs after Dave had injured himself. They proved this by winning All-Stars.
- Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Dave survived prostate cancer, and Connor testicular cancer.
- Leeroy Jenkins: All long term strategy went out the window as soon as Dave injured himself, being replaced by a desire to win as many legs as possible before being eliminated, causing them to go all out without thought of what would benefit them most beyond the immediate present.
- The Load: Dave, due to his injury, made it impossible for them to do certain challenges, and eventually forced them to quit.
- Loophole Abuse: During the surfboards Roadblock, Winnie refused to show Connor which board she had picked out, but she's technically not showing him if he manages to sneak a peak by following her around and checking it out behind her back.
- Manly Tears: Connor. While Dave couldn't go five minutes without breaking into tears after his injury, Connor did not crack until their elimination, after which he lost it while talking about his dad.
- Non-Gameplay Elimination: They quit the race in Hanoi, in order to allow Dave to have surgery on his torn tendon in a timely manner, as recommended by an orthopedist. This made them the first team to quit the race when they were not already in last and assured of elimination anyway.
- Read the Freaking Clue: In the second leg, they jumped in their water taxi to go to the Detour, so excited about being in first that they failed to pick up their diving equipment, and had to go all the way back to retrieve it.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: With their Inspirationally Disadvantaged hook and Dave's Game-Breaking Injury, they received a large portion of the airtime during the first few legs.
- Your Days Are Numbered: After Dave's injury, they kept racing, but realized that their days on the race were numbered with him unable to walk without crutches.
Jessica Hoel & John Erck
Dating Couple, they cruised through the first three legs, finishing all of them in the top 3, including winning the first leg and the double Express Passes. John talked a big strategic game, and had plans to use their Express Passes and alliances to get them far into the season. However, upon hitting Bali, they would execute one of the most embarrassing series of moves in Race history. Despite being on the second flight, an hour and a half ahead of the trailing teams, they struggled with both the Detour and the Roadblock, and were eliminated in 9th place with their Express Pass still in hand. As the victims of the most embarrassing elimination in the show's history, they would get a shot at redemption on All-Stars.
Idries Abdur-Rahman & Jamil Abdur-Rahman
Twin brothers and OB/GYNs. Despite starting the second leg with a huge lead over the teams who had taken penalties in the previous leg, Jamil's fear of water cost them to waste over two hours on the pearl diving Detour, ultimately causing them to be eliminated in 10th place.
- Black and Nerdy: One of the reasons Winnie didn't buy the "delivery men" lie.
- Call Back: When Winnie saw through their badly delivered "delivery men" lie, their response was that they were kindergarten teachers, which was federal agents Nary & Jamie's cover identity on Season 20.
- Metaphorically True: Their lie that they were "delivery men" (they deliver babies), unfortunately it only lasted about two seconds before Winnie blew the lie wide open.
- Reality Show Genre Blindness: They spent hours struggling with the Pearl side of the Detour, yet did not consider checking out the Trunk side (which was much easier for people with a fear of water, as it included diving helmets), and Jamil's fear caused him to first suggest skipping the task altogether, despite knowing that they would incur a six-hour penalty. By the time they actually thought of switching Detours, they had already sealed their fate in last place.
- Shocking Elimination: Not because they were any good, but because they squandered such a huge lead. Even after the "hours of operation" equalizer at the beginning of leg two, they were still an hour and forty-five minutes ahead of Max & Katie and Caroline & Jennifer. To be fair, Pam & Winnie squandered the same lead.
- Sibling Team
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: They both had hydrophobia issues, but Jamil's was much worse, with his initial response upon seeing the diving Detour being to take the six hour penalty and move on. When he did eventually get in, they were both pretty much useless at the task.
Matthew "Matt" Davis & Daniel Moss
Firefighters from South Carolina. They were one of the three teams who got caught up on the sandcastle Roadblock in the first leg, and readily agreed to the plan to quit the Roadblock and take the four hour penalty, confident that they would be able to easily beat the other teams in the canoe race to the Pit Stop. However, they capsized twice (and a third time off screen), dropping them to last and eliminating them in 11th.
- Down to the Last Play: Courtesy of a three-way canoe race.
- Fatal Family Photo: While Daniel was struggling with the sandcastles, Matt (in a voice over) started talking about the families they left behind, and how they needed to win the race for them.
- I Was Beaten By A Girl: They were not happy that Caroline & Jennifer beat them in the canoe race to the Pit Stop.
- Informed Ability: Their canoeing ability.
- Muscles Are Meaningful: Subverted. While they thought their muscles would give them an advantage with the rowing, their extra mass made it harder for them to balance their canoe, leading to their capsizing.
- Never Live It Down: After their elimination, they mentioned that they would never hear the end of it after losing a canoe race to a couple of blonde girls.
- Tempting Fate: They were excited to hear Max & Katie and Caroline & Jennifer talk about taking the penalty, as they were confident they could out-row the other teams, as they went canoeing all the time. They even said the other teams were making a mistake doing this.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Notice how most of the above pertains to them losing at canoeing? That and the Fatal Family Photo were essentially the only scenes they got.