It doesn’t happen as commonly as some fans might think but The Amazing Race has been host to a few teams from other CBS reality shows. The most frequent cross-pollination has been with Big Brother. A couple relationships born on Big Brother have carried over to the famous race around the world.
Big Brother 19′s Jessica Graf and Cody Nicholson are simply the most recent crossovers competing in The Amazing Race season 30. While the big anniversary of The Amazing Race has just started, Jessica and Cody have already proven they could become the best Amazing Race team to come from Big Brother.
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A lot of showmances (and friendships) that started on Big Brother have talked about making their way to The Amazing Race. Few have committed. Before Jessica and Cody, the two big Big Brother teams were BB12 and BB13 players Brendon and Rachel and BB11 and BB13 players Jeff and Jordan. Big Brother 4‘s runner-up Allison Irwin competed with her boyfriend at time the time, Donny. However, the two were a unmitigated disaster, being eliminated after two episodes and breaking up almost immediately after the season ended.
Jessica and Cody’s only competition for the best Big Brother team are those previous two showmances. It’s an apt comparison to make because Jessica and Cody to seem to combine the best qualities of Jeff and Jordan and Brendon and Rachel into one package. At the same time, Jessica and Cody avoid their predecessors’ weaknesses. Although both showmances were successful enough that they’re now married with children, neither did too spectacularly on The Amazing Race.
Vs. Jeff and Jordan
Jeff and Jordan did manage to win the first leg in their one and only season of The Amazing Race. After that point though, the two crumbled. They managed to make it to seventh place which isn’t terrible but it’s hardly remarkable.
The placement isn’t surprising though because Jeff and Jordan approached The Amazing Race with a rather causal attitude. They wanted to compete, but they weren’t really concerned with winning. The couple were just along for the ride. This made them pretty enjoyable to watch and ensured that they worked well together because they never had a serious fight. They just never seemed like frontrunners.
Jessica and Cody manage to capture Jeff and Jordan’s sense of fun. While she tends to rib him, the two support each other quite a lot. Cody, who’s far from eloquent, is never at loss for words to praise Jessica. They’re always cheering for the other. It’s typical for The Amazing Race to be full of teams who seemingly can’t stand each other and are constantly on the verge of a meltdown. This doesn’t seem to be the case on Amazing Race 30 as everyone is getting along but even among that harmonious atmosphere, Jessica and Cody stick out.
The same supportive dynamic cannot be said of Brendon and Rachel on The Amazing Race. Although Brendon and Rachel competed twice on The Amazing Race and made it to the finale both times, they were a hot mess of emotions. Brendon and Rachel, as they showed on Big Brother, are extremely competitive. It’s an energy they brought to The Amazing Race. Unfortunately, they also brought some other baggage from the Big Brother house, which was constant bickering and whining.
Brendon and Rachel were a terror to each other and their fellow racers. The cast dreaded being around them nearly as much as the audience hated watching them. The two let their competitiveness get the better of them and it’s probably why they won just three legs in the 24 they competed in and came up short of winning it all, twice.
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Jessica and Cody, meanwhile, have struck a balance. They’re determined and competitive, but they still manage to get along with the other teams and each other. This companionship with the other teams might change as Jessica refused to help Brittany, when the latter forgot her gnome in the third leg. Still, Jessica did show remorse for not helping and admitted she was fighting to make up time. Ultimately, Jessica and Cody are proof that it’s possible to be competitive on The Amazing Race and not be human nightmares. It’s something that Brendon and Rachel either couldn’t or wouldn’t understand. Even when Jessica and Cody find themselves at the bottom of the pack, they keep their heads and charge on through, which is vital in The Amazing Race.
Brendon and Rachel do have some impressive stats to their name(s). Making it to the finale not just once, but twice, is commendable. There is a reason that they made one of The Amazing Race All-Star seasons and not just because they were memorable (or more accurately, infamous.)
However, even this early in the season, Jessica and Cody are on pace to pass, or at the very least match, Brendon and Rachel. They have the kindess of Jeff and Jordan but still have that “never say die” edge like Brendon and Rachel. If Jessica and Cody don’t make it to the season 30 finale, it’ll be nothing short of shocking.
But what do you think? How do Jessica and Cody compare to the previous Big Brother teams? Do you think they could win season 30 of The Amazing Race? Do you want to see them win?
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(Image courtesy of CBS)