Sizing Up The Amazing Race's 11 New Teams

The 17th edition of The Amazing Race is nearly upon us, and since the show finally lost the Reality Competition Series Emmy to Top Chef, I can feel good about liking it again. Let's break down the 11 competing teams, assign them unfair titles, and pick a possible winner.


Brook Roberts and Claire Champlin

Ages: 27, 30

Hometowns: San Diego; Reno, Nev.

Occupations: Home shopping hosts

Relationship: Home shopping hosts

Award: Most Inoffensive

Analysis: On-air personalities have a tendency to increase their diplomacy under duress, so this team could be benign. Someone call their toll free number and voice my disappointment.


Nick DeCarlo and Vicki Casciola

Ages: both 26

Hometown: Henderson, Nev.

Occupations: Bartender, hairstylist

Relationship: Dating

Award: Most Hotheaded

Analysis: "Nick and Vicki"! Can't you hear the dastardly tone in Phil Keoghan's finish line greeting as he greets the Italian duo? On the CBS website, Nick lists "buying my own Harley" as his favorite personal achievement. The matchup of bartender and hairstylist says "vitriol" to me.


Ron Kellum and Tony Stovall

Ages: 45, 42

Hometowns: Los Angeles; Tucson, Ariz.

Occupations: Director/choreographer, doctoral student

Relationship: Best friends

Award: Funniest Team

Analysis: I'm assuming you're a hilarious person if you write a book called The Gypsy's Survival Guide to Show-Business. Don't let me down, Ron.


Michael Wu and Kevin Wu

Ages: 58, 20

Hometown: Sugar Land, Texas

Occupations: Software engineer/content creator, Internet entertainer

Relationship: Father and son

Award: Most Confused by One Another

Analysis: Though Kevin includes his dad in his viral videos (which have over a million subscribers), he also "has trouble comprehending" him. Generation gaps! The Amazing Race touchstone.


Chad Waltrip and Stephanie Smith

Ages: 26, 23

Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Occupations: Operations manager, hairstylist

Relationship: Newly dating

Award: Most Likely to Win

Analysis: Chad is a self-starting and impassioned competitor. His girlfriend is a former swimmer who trained the Colorado Olympic Training Center. Together, they have the kind of focus to win reminiscent of season five's Colin and Christie -- even if Colin and Christie actually ended up getting second.


Nat Strand and Kat Chang

Ages: 31, 35

Hometowns: Scottsdale, Ariz.; Santa Monica, Calif.

Occupations: both doctors

Relationship: Friends

Award: Most Likable

Analysis: Not only are they both doctors (historically a likable occupation on The Amazing Race), but Nat says in her bio she'd trade places with either "the Dalai Lama or Heidi Klum." If you say things like that, you qualify to be liked. By me.

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  • OldTowneTavern says:

    Parent child teams rarely go far (unless the child is deaf and dangerously infantilized). I'm surprised they picked so many.
    I see they didn't want any alpha male teams this season, but that's no excuse for the lack of male pulchritude. Until they get a team to rival Chip & Reichen or The Twins (but smart enough to avoid Flo), no more Emmys for them!