The Amazing Race: All-Stars
has ended, and it's time to look back on a season that wasn't all that well-received by either critics or fans. I enjoyed the season, but I enjoy every season, so that doesn't mean much. I can understand where the criticism comes from, but I think it's mostly a inevitable product of any All-Star season. The freshness is gone, and we get a little tired of seeing teams we already know doing things they've already done.
There weren't any particularly seminal moments on this season, nothing too controversial. It was a typical season, with some cool destinations (Patagonia was my favorite). Let's take a team-by-team (in order of elimination) look at The Amazing Race: All-Stars
Jon Vito and Jill:
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I didn't see their initial season (or just don't remember them) so I don't really have much to say about their exit. They were nice people to interview, and didn't make any horribly glaring mistakes that led to their departure. It must be awful leaving the game first, however. It's a dubious distinction, and not something you want to be known for.
Kevin and Drew
: Drew collapsed on a dimly lit street, much to my embarrassed glee. From the beginning, it was quite clear that the two cue balls didn't have it in them, and were merely going through the notions. Drew wasn't in the physical condition to compete on the race, and I'm just glad they got ousted before he had to go through a physically demanding task. That would have been painful to watch.
David and Mary
: Team Kentucky aren't “all-stars”, per se. They were very well-liked on season ten, but were never any good at the game. Frankly, they got lucky to advance as far as they did on All-Stars. Mary's bickering at David was always entertaining, and their drawls were endearing. The best part, to me, was that this whole experience really made a profound change on who they are as people. Oh, and I think Oprah built them a house or something.
Rob and Amber
: I still believe that they were the best team, and that they were bounced from the competition via bad luck (or terrible letter finding abilities, if you believe that to be a legitimate skill). I've always grappled internally with the “How much luck is involved on The Amazing Race,” question, and I still don't have a good answer. My best guess: there's a lot of luck involved, but less than some teams would lead you to believe.
Teri and Ian
: Perhaps the most badass older couple we've ever seen on The Amazing Race. They were very good racers and deserved a spot on the show, if only to fill the token “older couple” niche.
Joe and Bill
: Oh, Team Guido. They have been portrayed as evil by various teams and media outlets, but I've never seen it. Sure, maybe they're a little smarmy, but I admired their confidence. They were a self-assured team, unfazed by anyone else's opinions of them. I suppose they could be a little grating on the other teams, but you knew what you were getting from the Guidos at the outset. They were never malicious, and you could never accuse them of not having a good time on the race.
Uchenna and Joyce
: The former winners are probably the most well-liked among their peers, and rightfully so. They are kind and decent people, and I'm glad they won their season. However, I felt that they lacked a killer instinct on this season and that may have cost them. Or they got unlucky. Take your pick
Oswald and Danny
: A couple of smart, happy dudes. They dealt with all conflict in a reasonable manner, kept their dignity, and made it to the final four. Nothing more to say. They did take some shots at Eric during our interview, but it seemed to be all in good fun.
Charla and Mirna
: The funniest moment of the season belongs to Charla, when she was wearing a full suit of armor and fell on her face. Charla and Mirna love being loud and boisterous; they make for good television. Throughout the season, the cousins had no issue with begging airline employees for sold-out tickets or talking the ear off a cab driver who can't understand a word they're saying. I, personally, find the two annoying, but they're solid human beings.
Dustin and Kandice
: There are a lot of you out there who have an irrational hatred of the blondes, and I don't get it. They were always tough competitors and would not hesitate to use the yield, but they were never cruel while doing so. I think they've incurred bitterness from viewers who are jealous of how their looks have helped them get ahead in the race. You can't blame them for that, though.
Eric and Danielle
: To their credit, they got far more likable as the season went along. Eric pushed Danielle to the point of tears a couple times, but she battled through and ended up being one of the better female racers I can remember. I'm glad they won the million.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Photo courtesy of CBS)