The Amazing Race 4 Scouting Report, Part II
As promised, this is Part II of our TAR4 Pre-Show Scouting Report. If you missed part I, you can read it here.
Monica and Sheree: NFL Wives/ Mothers
cali says: I really wanted to like this pair. I was not thrilled with their interview answers, and between the two of them their fears include: “snakes, bugs, rats dangerous animals, reptiles and weird-looking men”. I am not sure what constitutes “weird” looking, but to me the response smacks as shallow. If they are too concerned with their looks (lip gloss was their most important backpack item), they could fall hard and fast.
lurkinggirl says: I’ve really wanted an all-female team to root for ever since Emily and Mom (Nancy) had such a strong showing in the first series, but so many of the pairing are just so, um, not really likeable (read, Heather and Eve, yikes). I’m still holding out my hopes for these two, as they’re educated, they’re moms, and they seem willing to go for it. I just hope that they haven’t gotten too accustomed to the “good life” while married to NFL players.
caligirl says: Two "black mothers and wives" is how they describe themselves. Monica is afraid of "snakes, bugs and rats...and anything gross." Good thing she's on this show and not Fear Factor. Monica has traveled in the Caribbean while Sheree has been to Europe so they should be ready for anything and probably happy to get away from the kids for a while.
Bill says: Sheree has short term will power, whatever that means. If short term is less than a day or so, these two are in trouble. As cali says, if lip gloss is their most important backpack items, then they could be battling Debra and Steve for the first ticket out of the race.
paulie says: The two NFL wives will try to intimidate everyone by wearing shoulder pads and dark stripes under their eyes. This strategy will backfire, of course, as most everyone will decide to just laugh and point instead. At the first Roadblock, the two will argue so furiously about who gets to perform the task that the other teams will effortlessly pass them by. After settling their differences and completing the Roadblock, they'll see nothing but the remains of eleven sealed envelopes strewn all over the ground. Too far behind to mount a 4th quarter comeback, the NFL wives will throw in the towel and cruise to the initial Pit Stop in last place.
john says: If ever there was a strong female team capable of winning the race, this is it. I'm not exactly thrilled with them, but I hope they do the "2 female team" more justice than previous seasons.
Reichen and Chip: Married Couple
cali says: I hope these guys are here to run the race and not make any type of political statement. I also hope viewers steer clear of that. They look to be in good physical shape. I don’t know how long they have been married (or together before that), but if they know and understand each others strengths they could be a team to watch. Although I am pretty sure Danny and Oswald weren’t a couple, Reichen and Chip have big shoes to fill if they want me to like them as much as I did Team Cha Cha Cha.
lurkinggirl says: These guys seems smart, athletic, and not too likely to implode under pressure, so I think they’ll go far. They’re well traveled and speak foreign languages, always a plus. If they have a little dog named Guido, however . . .
caligirl says: These guys are married to each other and look like a great team. Reichen is a former US Air Force Officer and pilot and teaches flight school. Heights should be no problem for him. Chip is an entrepreneur and raises financing for multi-media projects. It sounds impressive since he went to BOTH Yale and Harvard. They are both well traveled and look funny and smart. I sure hope that they don't disappoint me in this. Are you listening, guys?
Bill says: Chip has a high brow education, combine that with the name Chip, and he probably has a few stereotypes to overcome. Reichen has a name that I am sure Phil had to practice saying in the mirror. These two have traveled; both speak French, and are in great shape. If they focus on trying to win, and not on making a statement about lifestyle, they could win it all.
paulie says: Reichen and Chip will attempt to exploit Reichen's piloting ability by secretly stashing several planes at airports all around the world in the weeks before the Race begins. The idea is that by flying themselves to all these places, they will gain the upper hand on the rest of the field, who will be constrained by the various flight schedules of the commercial airlines. By good fortune, the very first clue will send them to an airport where one of their hidden airplanes is already waiting. The pair will gain an enormous head start on the other teams and will arrive at the first Pit Stop some eight hours ahead of the remaining teams, only to be sternly informed by Phil that their brilliant strategy is cheating and subject to a 24-hour penalty. Buh-bye.
john says: I like these guys, and I think they have potential. Top 5, for sure. They're both in extremely good shape, have foreign culture experience, and seem to mesh well. Plus, their names make me think of cookies, which makes me hungry, which will help CBS sell ad space. Win win, if you ask me.
Russell and Cindy: Friends/Dating
Cali says: Another pair of models. Cindy claims to be a past super model. I find it strange that I’ve never heard of her. Of course, it’s not like I spend time keeping up with the Super models of the world, but still. Then we have Russell who claims people tell him he looks like Mel Gibson. Not from the promo shot honey. They may have what it takes to get past the first few legs without Philimination, but it will surprise me if they win.
lurkinggirl says: Hopefully they will fare better than the last team named Cindi and Russell, a married couple who couldn’t quite communicate with the locals well enough to stick with the pack. These two look like they will enjoy themselves during the race.
caligirl says: Another couple of models. Well, she claims to have been a former supermodel but is an inventor now. That makes her a tad more interesting. This Race is just full of beautiful people. Cindy blows off steam by "telling people off right to their face." This might not be a plus in TAR. Russell likens himself to MacGuyver because he gets things done. These two are in a relationship but don't know each other too well. This is guaranteed to change on their adventure here.
Bill says: Russell thinks he is McGyver. That could come in handy at some of the roadblocks, if it is true. Cindy, if you are getting your picture taken, and someone says “super”, it doesn’t make you a supermodel. Russell has traveled a lot, and seems to have a good attitude about the race. If Cindy contributes more than camera shots, these two could make the final four.
paulie says: The female James Bond and her man McGyver will be undone by their boundless energy and enthusiasm. Sometimes, it's appropriate to just sit there and not do anything if the situation warrants it. But Russell will find sitting quietly to be a complete impossibility. Unfortunately for their team, this plays dangerously into Cindy's spontaneous adventurousness. At several points during the first leg, Russell will propose impromptu challenges while en route to clue locations, and Cindy will be unable to resist. Just before the Pit Stop, an impatient cab driver will drive off during a handstand endurance challenge in a busy intersection. Russell and Cindy will sprint the rest of the way, only to finish dead last.
john says: Here we have people self-describing themselves as "hilarous" and "supermodel" - two things that one should never call oneself, but should be evident through actions to everyone else. Cindy's habit of telling people off to their face could be very annoying, as well. Who knows, they may surprise me, though. It's happened before.
Steve and Dave: Air Traffic Controllers
cali says: Steve and Dave strike me as happy guys. I can see them having fun and not letting the thought of winning or losing get in their way. They are in their forties which has it’s advantages and disadvantages. Hopefully they are old enough to know how things work in the world and won’t let the disadvantage of possibly being less fit than some other teams get them down. If they catch a few breaks they could make it far into the competition
lurkinggirl: This duo is my favorite team on paper, not that I think they’ll win, but they look very interesting to watch. Team Pushing Tin don’t look like high stress air traffic controller types, and instead look like your average Chicago Bears fan. They like reality TV, so they are my kind of people. Good luck, guys!
caligirl says: These guys are both in their 40's and air traffic controllers. Since this is one of the most stressful jobs in the world, they undoubtedly look upon TAR as a restful vacation. They had to be decertified after once letting two planes get too close to each other. Although they think they will do well, they are overweight and this could hamper their mobility. I don't give this team too much time.
Bill says: As air traffic controllers in real life, I would be surprised if Steve or Dave get stressed out during the race. Their maturity and good natured approach could carry them far if some of the younger “model” teams fall apart. I don’t see them having the skills to win though.
paulie says: The jolly air traffic controllers are doomed to fail because they both described themselves as "funny." It's a proven fact that no two people who both think they're hilarious can succeed as a team. The competition for jokes always gets in the way. The pair will engage in an escalating battle of punchlines during the first leg of the race. Upon arriving at the first Pit Stop in a comfortable middle-of-the-pack position, Steve and Dave will refuse to step on the mat until they've settled on a suitable gag to herald their arrival. Unfortunately for them, each man will be steadfast in his desire to execute the final zinger. Like the North-going Zax and his South-going adversary, these two won't budge an inch during this debate, and all of the remaining teams will sidestep around them while they bicker. In the end, they'll settle on a lukewarm dud of a joke and slink off into the night as losers.
john says: They're air traffic controllers, Steve likes Andy Griffith marathons, and Dave's been married 4 times. So you KNOW they have a high tolerance for insanity. They look old, but that's just the stress of their jobs, and I think they'll do well. They may even have a sense of humor!
Steve and Josh: Father and Son
cali says: Having one older team member and one younger one should be an advantage here. It hasn’t always worked that way in the past, but if they can overcome the generation gap and focus on what each does best they should go far. They both seem to be in decent shape.
lurkinggirl says: I’m happy to see another parent-child pairing and hope that these two can benefits from the time together as well as compete in the race. The bio makes it sound like Steve has been trying to get into shape prior to the race, so it looks like he’s serious about competing and not just “being” in the race, or else he doesn’t want to disappoint Josh by slowing him down.
caligirl: Here is one of my favorite combos: The father/son team. I'm certain they will form a very strong bond after their efforts on TAR. This always happens. Josh is a 21 year old computer geek and skateboarder (always a handy thing) and Steve works at a juvenile detention home in Santa Barbara. Mom actually goaded her husband to try out for TAR. Maybe she got tired of him getting crumbs on the sofa while watching re-runs of "Mayberry R.F.D" and wanted to make sure her son Josh was not sleeping in the streets of Hollywood while trying to score tickets for the latest Star Wars prequel.
Bill says: Does there have to be a father and son team? I would prefer a mother and daughter team of supermodels… oh sorry, getting caught up in the abundance of models and actress wannabes in this season’s show. I have no idea how these two will do, but if Josh steps out of line, I suppose Dad will throw him in juvenile hall.
paulie says: The father-son odd couple act will work quite well until Josh unveils his mischievous side. In an effort to "stir things up," Josh will tamper with an airplane lavatory smoke detector in First Class while the plane is descending into the airport. As all air travellers know, this is an absolute no-no. Josh's brilliant and devious master plan, however, is to allow his father to talk them out of trouble so they can dart out the front of the plane, ditching the remaining contestants behind them. Unfortunately for Josh, an undercover air marshal will pin him to the deck and grill him for several hours about his terrorist connections. The delay will allow all the other teams to cruise to the Pit Stop well before Steve and Josh.
john says: Okay, let's start with their bios. You know this team is boring as heck, if the bio-writer has to include "This father/son team should be very interesting to watch make their way around the world!" They didn't do that for anyone else. I think CBS is building them up like Dennis & Andrew from last season, who imploded right away, and weren't nearly as exciting to watch as someone eating a whole bowl of butter.
Tian and Jaree: Friends/Models
cali says: I’m sick of the model/actress types on reality TV shows. I don’t know if they are seriously trying to break some stereotypes, or if they are looking for their fifteen minutes. I’d bet on the latter. Jaree spent EIGHT years traveling Europe yet speaks no foreign languages. I feel as though she must not have cared enough. I see these two getting 5.5 minutes of fame in episode one. Then I see them squeezing out a couple more minutes on the early show, but fading right back to obscurity shortly thereafter. I also have a feeling I will be glad about that.
lurkinggirl says: Friends who play for “different teams” and don’t approve of each others’ choices in companions. Um, ok, but I'm not sure how if any that will impact them in the race. My guess, they’ll end up someplace unsavory and won’t be able to rely on their looks to help them out, and then we will all really get to see what they’re made of and I hope they surprise me with some real depth.
caligirl says: What have we here? Another pair of models? I don't believe it! I wonder if Jerry Bruckheimer was using a casting couch? These two definitely have an advantage in that they have traveled extensively together. But what's this? Tian has "fear of heights." Was this a prerequisite for TAR? Being models/acresses certainly raises the bar for all the other teams.
Bill says: Of all the pretty people teams, I suspect this one could work... or it will be a spectacular flameout. I would guess that flameout is far more likely. Both Tian and Jaree have traveled extensively, but Jaree is a controlling personality while Tian is a “free-spirit”. I see many arguments in the car between these two just prior to their early exit.
paulie says: Tian and Jaree will be very disappointed to discover that they have been cast in The Amazing Race and not Big Brother. Their favorite activity of "running [their] mouths, laying by the pool, and checking out hot guys" is going to take a major hit during the early stages of the Race. They will, however, spot an exotic European swimming pool right after the completion of the Roadblock. Seizing the opportunity, the two models - in a state of serious withdrawal - will strip down to their bikinis and spend some time poolside, giving their mouths and eyes a good workout. This seemingly minor delay will be critical, however, when the last team they're watching for at the Roadblock takes the Fast Forward instead. The bikini babes will bound to the Pit Stop in slow motion right at dusk, only to discover they've both been eliminated from the Race.
john says: Sadly, I think this team will go far. They'll be dull as dishwater, but they'll go far. They'll be mugging for the camera, though, to try to parlay their appearance into something bigger, like a KFC commercial with Jason Alexander. It worked for Trista and Evan.
This article is a group effort - I'd like to thank everyone who added their thoughts, and wish all the readers a great TAR adventure!