The Amazing Race
is, at its core, a show about relationships. Just like CBS's other reality giant Survivor
, the series remains interesting after so many seasons while adhering to the same format because human drama never gets old. The possibility of growth, evolution of already established relationships is one of the more intriguing aspects of The Amazing Race
. Realistically, us viewers can never really know what to make of seemingly changed relationship dynamics within teams, but sometimes we have to just go along with the ride and trust the editors at CBS. This season, it can be argued that the most changed team over the course of the Race was Ronald and Christina
. Ronald is Christina's father and, as she was growing up, Ronald was away on business a lot, and didn't get to spend as much time as he would've liked with his daughter. As a result, Ronald spent most of the early season episodes speaking to Christina as if she were a rival businessman at the negotiating table. He would badger her and tell her what she had done wrong and how, even if his claims were dubious. It made for some uncomfortable television.
At about the mid-season mark, though, Ronald began to change. To be fair, throughout the season, he often rightly acknowledged his poor treatment of his daughter, saying it was something he needed to change. And he has. But, as it is in real life, the changes were subtle and incremental. It's not like the movies, where some epiphanic moment comes along and instantly changes a person's demeanor for good. Ronald still has his lapses, but he's quick to apologize and he's even been adding some positive feedback into his parental repertoire. Now, I don't want to make the case that Ronald is totally redeemable. His berating of his daughter early in the season cemented Ronald as a highly flawed parent, not to mention individual. But, he's getting better – what else can you ask for at this point?
How They Got Here:
Despite Ronald's age and the rocky start to the race, Ron and Chris have been surprisingly consistent. After finishing in second to last place on the second leg, the duo hasn't been close to elimination. Most recently, they've been the far and away best team on the Race, straight up winning three of the last five legs. Christina is a smart and able girl and Ronald, despite a hernia, hasn't been dead weight.
I'm not going to pinpoint one, but early in the season the way Ronald talked to his daughter was downright disgusting at times. Christina even broke down in tears once. He's gotten better, but I'd be ashamed if I were Ronald and those moments were forever recorded in the annals of network television.
Chances of Winning:
I think it's going to come down to Ronald and Christina versus TK and Rachel
. They're the two most able teams and, really, it should be a toss-up. Being younger, TK and Rachel will have the physical advantage, though I think Ron and Chris have the mental edge.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of CBS)