Thoughts on the TAR: All-Stars Cast

CBS announced the cast of The Amazing Race: All-Stars, and even with ten seasons of candidates to choose from, they still only got half of the teams right.

Of
the ten seasons, not all will be represented. No teams from Seasons 4,
6, or 8 made the cut. Here’s the list of teams that did:

Joe & Bill (Season 1): Team Guido set the standard for villainy on TAR.
Since their season aired, they’ve remained highly involved in the
series, through their participation in message boards and by blogging
at CBS’s website. Let’s see if the goodwill they’ve built up with the
show’s hardcore fans carries over into goodwill from their competitors.

Kevin & Drew
(Season 1): These buddies from New York also set a standard — for likable, funny-guy
teams. Their bio says they don’t see each other as often as they used
to. Can they recreate the same chemistry they had when they first ran
the race?

Oswald & Danny
(Season 2): The Cha Cha Chas had a casual attitude that carried them
far in Season 2. Here’s hoping their easy, fun style does the same this
time around.

John (Vito) & Jill
(Season 3): When they first ran the race, these nice, if bland, New
Yorkers were dating. Now that they’ve broken up — and John’s
apparently dropped the Vito from his name — let’s hope for more sparks
than they generated as lovers.

Teri & Ian (Season 3): Ugh. I hated them the first time around, and I can only hope that Ian’s changed his boorish, chauvinistic ways.

Charla & Mirna (Season 5): Without these insane cousins, All-Stars might not even be worth watching. It’s unfortunate that they’re the only representatives from a season full of worthy teams. Here are some of C&M’s greatest hits:

Uchenna & Joyce
(Season 7): The only team of previous winners, Uchenna & Joyce
garnered sympathy when they announced their plan to use their winnings
for in vitro fertilization treatments. Apparently that didn’t work,
because, according to them, their relationship is still strained by
their inability to have children. I’m not sure that this second round
of racing is going to help.

Rob & Amber
(Season 7): These reality show whores just won’t go away. In their
defense, they are two of the most skilled Racers ever, and I’m actually
looking forward to watching them compete again.

Eric & Danielle
(Season 9): This duo started dating after their season ended, ditching
their former partners, Jeremy and Dani, to create the only “new” team
on the race. They should be a competent pair, but they’ll be missing
Jeremy’s quirky sense of humor and Dani’s… whatever she has.

David & Mary
(Season 10): I’m guessing that the coal miner and his wife were brought
in only after another slow, overachieving couple — Chicololo Gretchen
& Meredith — were unable to participate. If David & Mary last more than two episodes, I’ll be stunned.

Dustin & Kandice
(Season 10): The Beauty Queens have a bad reputation (not that kind of
bad reputation), but they’re certainly strong competitors. Teams that
discount the Queens as a potential threat may be in for a big surprise.

While
I’m happy with many of the teams in the cast, I could do without John
& Jill, Teri & Ian, Uchenna & Joyce, Eric & Danielle,
and David & Mary. Of those five, only Teri & Ian left a lasting
impression the first time I saw them. Here are my suggestions for their
ideal replacements:

Colin & Christie (Season 5): Their absence from All-Stars
is unfathomable. Not only are they two of the best competitors from any
season, their ox-induced meltdown is the most memorable event in TAR history.

Kelly & Jon
(Season 4): Their season wasn’t one of the best, so it’s easy to forget
how devilishly funny they were (unless you hated them and thought they
were just devils). Kelly & Jon were the team that got me hooked on
the race, and it would’ve been great to see them again.

Ken & Gerard
(Season 3): While Kevin & Drew may be the original goofy guy team,
brothers Ken & Gerard perfected the form. The scene of them
repeatedly falling into the water while punting on the River Cam was a
highlight of Season 3.

Brian & Greg
(Season 7): What can I say, I’ve got a thing for the teams of brothers.
Brian & Greg didn’t make it anywhere near the end of Season 7, but
their exit — clad only in sunglasses, winter hats, and swim trunks —
was classic.

Kami & Karli
(Season 5): Another sibling team, these identical twins bore an uncanny
facial resemblance to John Lithgow. In nearly every episode, they
garnered one of those gong sound effects reserved for particularly
stupid moments — like when they stripped to their underwear and swam
through two feet of water to a Pit Stop, while all of the other teams
simply walked.

Honorable mention goes to Chip & Kim and
BJ & Tyler. They’re two of my favorite teams, but they’ve already
won, so I had to give other teams priority.

The Amazing Race: All-Stars begins Sunday, February 18, at 8 p.m. EST.

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