The Amazing Race 9 Predictions

Tuesday night, eleven teams embark on another race around the world. It’s time for the premiere of The Amazing Race 9, and, after the lackluster Family Edition, it’s not a day too soon. Which teams will soar to the finish, and which teams won’t even be cleared for takeoff?

In likely order of elimination, here are our predictions…

David and Lori
These two compose the self-proclaimed nerd team. However, at the official TAR website, they don’t mention any typical nerd interests (e.g., Dungeons & Dragons, Anime, involuntary abstinence, etc.). David plays in a band, and Lori manages a Pizza Hut. I’m a nerd, one of the latest in a long line of nerds, and I want to like this team. But CBS hasn’t offered much information on them. So, they’re either the season’s surprise team — and CBS is holding out on the good footage — or they’ll likely be the first couple eliminated.

Ray and Yolanda
These Florida transplants to Chicago haven’t done much traveling, and they aren’t strong in any foreign languages (Ray does claim to read minds, but can he read foreign minds?). On top of that, they’ve dated for five years, but haven’t yet decided if they’ll get married. An unsettled relationship has doomed many a team on TAR, and Ray and Yolanda may be the next victims.

Lake and Michelle
This team is the control group in the race. Lake and Michelle seem like a nice, average American couple — married for 13 years with three kids — and they probably won’t ruffle any feathers. But, because of their lack of international travel experience and only a minimal knowledge of Spanish between them, they may be overwhelmed early.

Danielle and Dani
It’s always hard to predict how the hot chick team will do. In Season 6, Lena and Kristy went out well before their time, while Season 5’s Kami and Karli inexplicably survived to the final five. Danielle and Dani just graduated from college, and a youthful lack of patience may work against them. These best friends from Staten Island never fight. So, no matter how long they last, at least they’ll enjoy themselves before they get eliminated.

Lisa and Joni
These Southern sisters are using the race as a chance to get to know each other again. After last season’s bickering Godlewski sisters, this may not be such a good idea. If they win, they plan on spending the money on plastic surgery, which is so honestly shallow, it’s endearing.

John and Scott
John is an early sentimental favorite. He’s tired of being afraid of things (he hasn’t flown in eight years), and he wants to become more of a risk taker. He and his buddy, Scott, may get what they need from the race early, and not have the perseverance to see it through to the end.

Joseph and Monica
This young, attractive couple loves participating in adventurous outdoor activities. Joseph is a devoted hunter, and his accuracy could be a big asset in challenges. The two say they know not to take any disagreements personally on the race, an attitude that’s probably an even bigger asset. Their lack of travel experience may be the only thing that keeps them from the front of the pack.

Wanda and Desiree
Wanda used to be a flight attendant, so she and her daughter, Desiree, have traveled together extensively. Because they’ll always be family, they don’t have the same concerns about the future that the romantically involved couples do. They may be very likable, which is why they’ll follow the show’s tendency for a well-liked team to finish in fourth place.

Eric and Jeremy
Teams of young, buff guys always seem to do well. Jeremy has the advantage of having lived in Kenya for two years, and he speaks Swahili. But Eric’s admitted lack of ambition could keep them from finishing at the top.

Fran and Barry
These Colorado retirees are not the typical “old couple” team. They’ve traveled to 45 countries, and they never make hotel reservations in advance. It takes a lot of guts to show up in China with no place to sleep and without speaking the language. After forty years of marriage, Fran and Barry have learned to take things in stride. TAR could be a walk in the park for them.

BJ and Tyler
The bearded guys from the season’s promos, BJ and Tyler are best friends who combined their class clown powers to become, in their own words, a comedic “Voltron.” They have lots of international travel experience, having met while attending Semester-at-Sea, a school taught on a ship that circumnavigates the globe. They know more languages than any other team; Tyler speaks Spanish and Japanese, and BJ speaks Spanish, German, and Russian.

According to the duo, their only weaknesses are Tyler’s tendency for homesickness and BJ’s penchant for napping. Barring any huge mistakes or streaks of bad luck, there’s no reason that these goofy guys can’t run away with the whole thing.