Characters: The Amazing Race 3
The Race entered its third season with a more Genre Savvy
cast, where nearly every action taken by the teams was a direct response to something that had happened in the first two seasons. The sole alpha-male team was ostracized and feared right off the bat, an alliance forming around making sure they didn't win, while many of the so-called "weaker" teams were overlooked, with the two oldest teams surprising everyone by winning three legs apiece and making their way into the finale. The season got off to a somewhat weak beginning and ended with one of the most hated winners in the series, yet it also has some of the strongest characters and best storylines in the series. Even though it is now considered one of the series' top entries, the ratings for the season slipped from where they had been in Season 2 (which were not all too high to begin with), causing the following season to get booted from Wednesday night and into a dreaded summer slot.
Florinka "Flo" Pesenti & Zach Behr
Zach: Flo and Drew sat next to each other the whole plane ride from Paris to Kuala Lumpur. So it was the two of them, and then one seat, and then me. It felt a little bit strange because there was some kind of symbolic distance between me and my partner, and another man moving in.
Best friends, using the experience of the Race to see if there was anything more between them. Flo became notorious for her constant complaining and screaming at her seemingly unflappable partner while he (almost literally) carried her through the Race to become the first co-ed team to win. Flo repaid his awesomeness by ignoring him and flirting with Drew for the second half of the season, then dating him afterwards. In the final leg, they would be the last team to reach the International Fountain in Seattle, yet were the first to find a cab, winning them the race. While Flo was asked back for All-Stars with Drew, Zach was not (possibly due to his career as a camera operator and later TV producer post-race), and as such she did not return.
- Butt Monkey: Subverted. Zach seems to be this for most of the second half of the season, taking all of Flo's flak while she deserted him to flirt with Drew, but then he pulled off the victory.
- Chewing the Scenery: Flo, who became the standard for hysterical Killer Fatigue induced breakdowns.
- Deadpan Snarker: During the penultimate leg in Vietnam (well into Flo's "hysterical breakdown every other minute" phase), all three teams were in a train station, waiting to go to Hui. Gerard walked up to an irritated Zach and asked if Flo was all right.
Zach: Define "all right".
- Determinator: Zach, in winning the Race while having to deal with Flo's constant breakdowns.
- Did Not Get the Girl: Poor Zach, he didn't get the girl, but at least he still managed to win the Race.
- The Drag-Along: Flo did not start out as this, but by the end Zack had to do everything short of picking her up and carrying her to keep her going.
- Enemy Mine: Against Derek & Drew early on, then Flo started flirting with Drew.
- The Everyman: Zach. Who hasn't had a girl or guy they loved/liked/lusted after swiped out from under their noses?
- Failed a Spot Check: They were one of the four teams to put unleaded fuel in their diesel tank while driving from Portugal to Spain, but Zach got it taken care of fast enough that they didn't fall behind too far.
- The Glomp: Flo, to Zach, after he got their car fixed during the diesel incident, then again when they were non-eliminated.
- The Good Guys Always Win: Subverted. You can't get any more "good" than Zach, but for him to win, Flo had to as well.
- Just Friends: Though still good ones, as Flo did not want to run All-Stars without Zach.
- The Load: Flo. She might not be the worst partner in Race history, but there's not much competition. Not only did Zach do every single physical and mental Roadblock, he did nearly all of the navigating, all of the driving, carried Flo's bag, and even did some of the tasks by himself, all the while tying for the season's best finishing average. Flo meanwhile, in the one Roadblock she actually did, selling snails in Marrakesh, managed to finish last out of all the grouped together teams, despite female racers usually having a big advantage in selling tasks. She became a common nickname for Race loads thereafter, with Chris calling his partner Amanda "Flo" when she started lagging up a snowy slope.
Ken (to Flo): Right now Zach's back hurts because he's carrying you all the way.
- And the biggest irony of all, Flo became the 1st female to win the Amazing Race.
- Love Triangle: Flo flirting with Drew, which just caused Zach to redouble his focus on the race.
- Meaningful Name: One of the more cruel fan jokes about Flo was her being aptly named, because it was always her time of the month.
- Mood Dissonance:
- In the first leg Detour, Jon Vito & Jill, Aaron & Arianne, and Zach are all shown to be excited about their upcoming skydive. Then cut to Flo looking like she's about to cry.
- On the final elimination leg, Derek & Drew missed the clue box, and, in their confusion, ended up making their way to the Pit Stop. The final scene had sad music playing, Derek & Drew being confused and distraught at their imminent elimination, Flo upset because she caused the elimination of her future boyfriend by telling Ken & Gerard where the clue was, and Ken & Gerard grim but resolute in their decision to ditch the twins in order to save themselves, and, in contrast to all that, Zach laughing away at the twins' mistake, happy to finally be rid of Drew.
- Nice Guy: Zach.
- Nice Guys Finish Last: Averted with Zach. Though he seemed like the perfect example, instead of fretting over Flo's flirting, he won the Race.
- Rage Quit: Flo repeatedly tried to do this in the second-to last leg, when they'd already made the Final 3. Zach had to gently coerce her through the leg so that he could still have a shot at winning.
- Reality Show Genre Blindness: Flo was dreadfully unprepared for what the show would expect from her. She even tried to quit the Race in the Final 3, when there were no longer any threat of elimination.
- Relationship Upgrade: Subverted. This was the reason they came on the race. However, it never materialized because of Drew.
- Rock-Paper-Scissors: Played against John Vito & Jill in Marrakesh to decide who got to go for the Fast Forward.
- Sanity Slippage: Sometimes one had to wonder if Flo was slipping. On one occasion, she says that "This Diet Coke is the only thing keeping me sane".
- Self-Deprecation: Flo's humility about her performance in the years since the race, including showing up at finale parties wearing a "Shut up, Flo" shirt, has helped her reputation.
- Underdogs Never Lose: Even though they actually tied for the season's best finishing average, no one expected them to beat Ken & Gerard or the suddenly dangerous Teri & Ian in the finale.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: In a Confession Cam during the second leg, Aaron & Arianne discussed they "Why haven't they just done it?" nature of Zach & Flo's relationship.
- What Does He See in Her?: It's not such a bad thing they didn't end up together after seeing the way Flo treated Zach throughout the Race.
Zach: Sometimes Flo screams at people, yells at people. I'm looking forward to never having Flo yell at me again. 'Cause I hate the way it feels.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: For Flo it was heights, and she managed to force Zach to avoid them, imcluding forcing him to do the slower side of the rappelling Detour in leg 5.
Teri Pollack & Ian Pollack
Married parents, Ian carried a domineering attitude and was grumpy with his wife for almost the entire season, much of that due to him going through withdrawal from cigarettes. The two of them were severely underestimated after escaping elimination through a few lucky breaks at the beginning of the season, but hit their stride after winning the Fast Forward in Marrakesh. They won the two legs leading up the the finale, but fell to 2nd in the final leg when they had trouble finding a cab at the International Fountain. Their tenacity and huge personalities got them invited back for All-Stars
- Badass Grandparents: A borderline example, as they were 49 and 50 (respectively) during the season, but despite fighting or yelling most of every leg, they managed to use their racing skills to get all the way to the Final 3.
- Brains and Brawn: Self described, Teri the brain, Ian the brawn.
- Catch Phrase: Ian would yell, "We're comin', Phil," on approach to each Pit Stopnote . He also had, "Hoorah!"
- Control Freak: Ian had to always be in control of everything they did.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: They were a complete mess early on, barely surviving due to luck several times, but after the field was pared down to four, they turned into complete badasses, winning the two legs leading up to the final leg.
- Determinator: Ian was never discouraged, even when they were finishing at the bottom of the pack.
- Failed a Spot Check: One of the four teams to put unleaded fuel in their diesel tank, even after Teri asked if their car ran on diesel (Ian said "no"). Unlike the other three teams, however, they managed to take the initiative to actually drain the gas out of the car all by themselves and continue on racing. All the other teams had to have the tank drained for them.
- Fan Disservice: Their infamous paper underwear.
- It Is Pronounced Tro-PAY: Teri insisted on pronouncing Ian's name "Eye-an", despite everyone else (including him) pronouncing it "Ee-an". This is because that's how his mother intended for his name to be pronounced, and how he was introduced to Teri.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ian spent most of the race aggressively bickering with his wife and being grumpy, but when he read the clue telling them to fly to Vietnam, he was hesitant to go back since he was a Vietnam War veteran. The leg showed him happily interacting with the locals, relieved that the people he might have wronged were welcoming him with open arms.
- Large Ham: Ian, oh so much.
- Let's Get Dangerous: After 2 seasons of disappointing results from older racers, nobody was expecting much from Teri & Ian, and for the earlier legs, they lived down to those expectations, always finishing at or near the bottom of each leg. It was in the 5th and 6th legs, coincidentally both involving them with 3 other pairs of racers, that would hint at the formidable racers they became.
- Lingerie Scene: Their disposable underwear.
- Loners Are Freaks: They were very noticeably separate from the alliances forming around them, neither with the "Twin Hunt" or the Brothers Alliance, nor were they wanted by either alliance. In fact, they were mostly disliked by the other teams, nor were they very popular with the fans, but it didn't stop them from making All-Stars.
- Mr. Fixit: Ian, who wasted no time in draining the unleaded fuel from their diesel car, much to the amazement of Teri.
Teri: This is so cool.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: By the end of the season, Zach & Flo had become fairly certain that this was part of Ian's strategy.
- Shipper on Deck: During the train ride in leg 8, Ian at least tried to steer Flo towards Zach, though Ken & Gerard thought it more fun to play Devil's Advocate.
- Weak, but Skilled: They weren't in exceptionally good shape and were 50 years old, but they used their life experience to become huge threats.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Heights for Ian.
Ken Duphiney & Gerard Duphiney (Oh Brother)
Brothers who, despite their age, were formidable racers, using every advantage given to them to make it to the end. They were one of the snarkiest teams in the series, cracking jokes at nearly everyone else's expense, yet in such a good natured way that the other teams liked them anyway. When they saw the teams lining up against Derek & Drew in the "Twin Hunt" alliance, they took the opportunity to form a Brothers Alliance with them, an alliance they would eventually break in order to make it to the Final 3. Despite having a lead in the final leg, they faltered when they were unable to catch a taxi leaving the International Fountain, which ultimately put them in 3rd place. As one of the most popular teams from the first ten seasons, with both the fans and even Phil himself, they were one of the more surprising snubs form All-Stars, despite the host's best efforts to get them on.
Derek Riker & Drew Riker (Wonder Twins)
Twins and models, and the most feared team at the start of the season due to being young, athletic, and male (a direct response to Rob & Brennan
and Chris & Alex's
wins in the first two seasons). Despite having nearly everyone out to get them, they managed to win four legs and work their way far into the Race, where they ended up missing a clue in Vietnam and being eliminated in 4th place. Drew got invited back to All-Stars with Flo, but since she did not want to run the race again, he did not return.
- Always Someone Better: Drew played this to Zach, by stealing away his girl. Though the love triangle didn't play out until the second half of the season, it was set up early, with the other teams being obsessed with them from the very beginning due to their physical statures.
- Bad Liar: Self described. Their inability to steal Ken & Gerard's cab in their final leg proves this.
- Color-Coded Characters: They would most often wear matching outfits that differed by color: Derek in red, Drew in blue (see the picture to the right).
- Failed a Spot Check: Their inability to find the cyclo Roadblock clue in Vietnam cost them the Race.
- Muscles Are Meaningful: They served as an excellent deconstruction of this concept on the show. Many of the teams became immediately obsessed with beating the "Wonder Twins", despite them viewing themselves as barely hanging on for the first few legs. Their reliance on their physical abilities even got them in trouble early on, such as in the first leg, when they tried running to the Fast Forward location (Ken & Gerard beat them there easily in a cab). At the same time, Ken & Gerard talked about how no one was giving them any thought because of their pudgier physiques, and Teri & Ian were outright disregarded as fodder. While Derek & Drew did end up being formidable opponents, so did Ken & Gerard and Teri & Ian, who both beat out Derek & Drew to make it to the Final 3. The twins lost not because they got beat in some head-to-head competition, but simply because they couldn't find a clue.
- Identical Twin ID Tag: See Color-Coded Characters.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Ken & Gerard.
- Love Triangle: Drew with Zach & Flo.
- Mr. Fanservice: Both models.
- No Sense of Direction: Drew was not good at reading a map, and it caused an argument between the two of them at one point.
- Oh, Crap: When they showed up at the Pit Stop in their final leg, only to be turned back by Phil, and realized they were dead men walking at that point.
- Out of Focus: Derek got pushed into the background in the later episodes in favor of the Drew/Flo/Zach Love Triangle.
- Reality Show Genre Blindness: They scoffed at Ian in the second leg when he implied the Fast Forward would get them in the "top five," then stating the assumption that the Fast Forwards should get them an automatic 1st place, even though their bus was three and a half hours behind the first bus. This same complacent attitude is what cost Joe & Bill the first season, and in the very next leg Dennis & Andrew were eliminated despite winning the Fast Forward.
- Sequence Breaking: They got on the ferry to the 11th Pit Stop without finding the Roadblock clue first. Getting sent back for the clue resulted in their elimination.
- Shirtless Scene: Several.
- Sibling Team
- Tall Poppy Syndrome: The reason they were targeted by the other teams from the very beginning, as the first two seasons had been won by similar "alpha male" teams, and both finales had featured long runs leading up to the Finish Line, something they had a distinct advantage with.
- Theme Twin Naming
- Ungrateful Bastard: At the gondola station, Derek lost his clue and Teri helpfully pointed out where it was. Later in the gondola, Teri asked Derek for directions to Fussen, Germany since he had a guidebook and Derek refused, later rhetorically asking, "I'm supposed to be indebted to her for the rest of race?", when it was more like, she did one nice thing for him so he could've done one nice thing for her and be even.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Heights for Drew.
John Vito Pietanza & Jill Aquilino
Dating couple from New York, Jill initially applied for the first Amazing Race
with her brother, but after he passed away on 9/11, she she started dating his friend John Vito, and they applied again in his memory. Despite being somewhat overshadowed by the bigger characters and storylines going on around them, they became favorites in their own right, finishing in 5th place after getting lost in Singapore. Being underdog favorites, they found their way into All-Stars
- Action Girl: Jill's physical prowess was lauded by both John Vito and the other racers.
- Blessed Are the Cheesemakers: Averted; after having to eat almost half a wheel of cheese for the Fast Forward, they both mentioned never wanting to eat cheese again.
- Driving Stick: Jill had more than a little trouble shifting gears in the first leg, and it dropped them from 2nd to 5th.
- Happily Ever After: Subverted. Their Elimination Statement has them talking about their future, getting married and having kids, which comes more than a little bittersweet come All-Stars when they're nothing more than Amicable Exes.
- No Sense of Direction
- One Head Taller
- Rock-Paper-Scissors: Played against Zach & Flo in Marrakesh to decide who got to go for the Fast Forward. Though they won, the fact that they waited until they were already off the train to decide this (instead of during the long train ride in which they rode together for several hours) meant that Teri & Ian got a jump on them and were able to win the Fast Forward.
Andre Plummer & Damon Wafer
Best friends, a firefighter and a cop respectively. The other teams disliked having them around due to their parasitic racing tactics, which involved leeching information off of the other teams and ditching them when they could go the rest of the way on their own. Despite picking up speed as they entered Morocco (due to buying their way into the Brothers Alliance), getting out of the country proved to be their undoing. A last minute flight out of Casablanca with no pre-planned connecting flight left them stranded overnight in Paris, putting them out of the race in 6th.
- Bribing Your Way to Victory: Finding themselves outside of an alliance and too lazy to figure out where the western most part of continental Europe was, they instead followed Ken & Gerard and Derek & Drew, then gave the Brothers Alliance thirty euros to tell them the destination, making them the only team to buy an answer to a clue.
- Drives Like Crazy: The first shot we get of them after the opening dash is them running a red light. Later, in Portugal:
- Follow That Car: Instead of working out the clues themselves, they would often just follow other teams. Their strategy was to just stay with the pack, because if you left the pack and made a mistake, you were out.
- Heavy Sleeper:
- One of four teams in the series to miss their leg start time due to sleeping in (along with Peggy & Claire Chad & Stephanie, and Leo & Jamal). This was on top of also having a 78-minute penalty for not completing the Detour correctly in the previous leg.
- Even worse, in their last leg they fell asleep on the train from Munich to Innsbruk, missing their stop (only the fact that they were pretty much already eliminated saves this from being one of the dumbest moves in Race history).
- The Load: The other teams hated having them around, as they would leach any information they could get and have nothing to give in return. Their status as this was especially jarring considering their careers.
- Non-Gameplay Elimination: Of the Mercy Kill variety. They were the only team not able to find a timely flight into Germany, all the other teams checking in before they finished the travel portion of the leg.
- Out of Focus: Andre barely said a word the entire race, until they started arguing in their final leg.
- Read The Freaking Clue:
- They got a penalty in the first leg for taking the wrong route during the donkey cart Detour.
- In the fourth leg Detour, they delivered their crates of wine out of order, forcing them to make two trips to the Majestic Cafe to receive their clue.
Aaron Goldschmidt & Arianne Udell
Best friends and the leaders of the "Twin Hunt", making an alliance set on putting Derek & Drew out of the Race. They got the lion's share of the screen time for the first half of the season, due to their alliance and their Deadpan Snarker
tendencies, and looked to be a sure bet to make it late into the season. Unfortunately, they were among the half of the cast to put unleaded gasoline in their car instead of diesel, and they would never recover from that mistake, finishing in 7th place.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Decoy Protagonist: As the leaders of the "Twin Hunt" alliance they got a lot of screen time in the first few legs. This changed when their alliance started dropping off and their attitudes started going sour.
- Disqualification-Induced Victory: They were saved form elimination in leg 4 due to Heather & Eve taking a cab to the Pit Stop.
- Enemy Mine: Against Derek & Drew.
- Failed a Spot Check: One of the teams to put unleaded fuel in their diesel tank, and though they survived the leg, it put them far enough behind that the next leg was a Foregone Conclusion.
- Foregone Conclusion: They were so far behind after the diesel incident it was impossible to catch up without the Fast Forward (which had already been taken by Teri & Ian that leg), even with Andre & Damon getting detained by the police.
- Hide Your Gays: Aaron.
- Jerkass: Both of them, occasionally. Aaron ranted about Ian being an "Ugly American" behind his back, and the Twin Hunt seemed oddly personal to them.
- Pixellation: Arianne deliberately flashed the camera while changing into her swimming suit.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: They recognized that the winners of the previous seasons were young, strong male teams, but became so solely focused on Derek & Drew that they ignored that both of those teams pulled upsets to win, and seemingly forgot that in Season 1 teams were more afraid of the older Joe & Bill than they were Rob & Brennan.
Michael Ilacqua & Kathy Perez
A long-distance dating couple, and part of the "Twin Hunt" alliance. They were unfortunately taken out after they put unleaded gasoline in their diesel car on their way to a ferry in Spain. However, while the other teams got their cars fixed that night, they stayed overnight in a hotel, deciding to get it fixed in the morning, and subsequently finished out at 8th place.
- Deadpan Snarker: Michael.
- Enemy Mine: Against Derek & Drew.
- Failed a Spot Check: One of the teams to put unleaded fuel in their diesel tank, and since they took longer than anyone else to get it fixed, it got them eliminated.
- Global Ignorance: When looking for the western most part of continental Europe, Michael asked if it was in England.
- Idiot Ball: Michael volunteering to do the swimming Roadblock in the second leg when he can't swim.
- Long Distance Relationship: They had never spent longer than five days together before the race.
- Non-Gameplay Elimination: Of the Mercy Kill variety.
- One Head Taller
- Opposites Attract: Michael is laid back, while Kathy is more tightly wound and aggressive.
- Tempting Fate: On the task before the diesel incident, Michael mentions that, "I've seen worse days on the race".
- Token Minority: Kathy was the only Asian-American contestant until Season 10, at which point Asians started appearing more regularly.
Heather Mahar & Eve Madison
Roommates from Harvard Law, and part of the "Twin Hunt" alliance. Despite a strong placing in the first few episodes, they became the first team to be eliminated due to failure to Read the Freaking Clue
, taking a taxi to the Pit Stop instead of going by foot, the ensuing penalty taking them out in 9th place.
- Crocodile Tears: Eve started crying in the second leg to ensure they got on the first bus to Cancun, leaving Andre & Damon, who were right behind them, stuck on the second bus.
- Driving Stick
- Enemy Mine: Against Derek & Drew.
- Epic Fail: "I think it just means you have to walk into the Pit Stop."
- Informed Ability: Despite claiming they were both very intelligent, they were one of the first teams to not even know how to drive a stick shift, and the only team that interpreted "walk to the Pit Stop" as "take a cab to the Pit Stop and walk in".
- The Load: Eve. Discussed by Heather in their final leg how while the race has ignited her competitive fire while it has done the opposite effect on Eve. Evidenced that she hadn't done a single Roadblock.
- Oh, Crap: They actually did realize their screwup during the taxi ride, but ultimately decided it only meant they had to walk into the building.
- Read The Freaking Clue: "Walk to the Pit Stop" means go by foot to the Pit Stop.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful!: In their intro, they discussed how they weren't shy about using their looks to get ahead, and in fact they were the first female team to target males for begging purposes.
- There Is Only One Bed: One of the only times the two are shown actually sharing the bed... with another bed also in the shot.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Sky diving for Eve.
Dennis Hyde & Andrew Hyde
A father and his gay son. They had trouble finding a flight into England, which put them a day behind the other teams, and they lost despite taking the Fast Forward, finishing in 10th place.
- Camp Gay: Andrew.
- Good Parent: Dennis. He's a Baptist minister from the South who seems to love his son and not only tolerates Andrew being gay, but actually enjoys spending time with him.
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: Andrew, while riding in the limo to their elimination, came up with this cheer:
Dennis and Andrew are really fast.
We drove that tank across a lot of grass.
We're so fast we're gonna kick your... beep.
- Tank Goodness: Dennis drove a tank to win the Fast Forward.
Tramel Raggs & Talicia Raggs (Team T'n'T) Over-the-top
African-American siblings who ended up being eliminated after Talicia struggled with their wave rider in the second leg Detour, putting them alone on the last ferry to Cozumel, coming in at 11th place.
Gina Diggins & Sylvia Pitts
Soccer moms who were edged out by Derek & Drew on the first leg, finishing in 12th place.