The Amazing Race 28: Cast Assessment and Predictions
GENERAL OBSERVATIONS ABOUT THE CAST:
a) White. Like, ridiculously white. Borderline Oscars nominees, and “about halfway to Lori Teehan” White.
b) Are they going to be so concerned about how they come across on TV that they will refuse to use the U-Turn or use any form of deception? Or will they desire extended screentime that they will use any means necessary to stay alive?
c) Will they be able to have fun with the experience or will they take it too seriously and tie it to their career? Could this prove to be a difficult psychological experience as the racers turn to viewers for the next three months?
d) According to their bios, very few of these teams have legit life experience and/or a travel background. Add in the fact these are all recruits, will we see an unprecedented number of blunders take place?
e) Everyone cast appears to not have a dark sense of humour or an exceptional amount of wit. Is this a move to pander more to family-friendly entertainment? TAR is starting to acknowledge its present-day audience all too well.
f) Everyone wants to try new food or go to Bora Bora. Did they all watch a copy of TAR 22 before going on the race?
These are my predictions heading into the first leg.
11th: Marty Cobb & Hagan Parkman #SkyGoddessAndSkyVomit
I am simply playing percentages–mother-daughter teams do not find much success on The Amazing Race.
Hagan says she is secretly terrified of flying, and that could be a huge adrenalin zapper for her at the start of each round. Those who love flying tend to be exhausted after a day of air travel. Therefore, I can’t imagine what kind of shape Hagan will be in if she spends several hours on an airplane experiencing peak stress levels.
Furthermore, Hagan has never been outside of Texas. I rarely left my home province when I was younger, and I know how much different even jumping provincial lines can be.
Like many of these teams, Hagan will need to adjust quickly. For those of you who want “mom and pop teams who never leave their hometown”, Hagan is clearly the racer for you.
As for Marty? She is a flight attendant as part of the #SmileHighClub, and counters Hagan’s inexperience. However, all answers in her bio indicate she does not have a competitive bone in her body.
Thankfully, I do expect lots of amusing moments from Marty.
I just pray those amusing moments will extend beyond the first episode.
10th: Erin Robinson & Joslyn Davis #DuhDroolers
Have you EVER spoke to SOMEONE online who capitalizes RANDOM words for no APPARENT reason?
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Exhibit A in the form of Erin Robinson.
Surprisingly, she is thirty-ONE years OLD. How do I know that?
Because I read her bio. Duh.
The Mary Kate Olson poses aside, Erin Robinson is the first Lumbee First Nations member on TAR. (NOTE: No, she is not 1/16th like I joked about in the podcast–she is 1/2. In all seriousness, I am glad Canadian and American competitive reality shows are actually casting Aboriginal contestants nowadays.)
Lumbee First Nations are not to be confused with Lumidee First Nations, by the way. Last time I checked, Erin has not dated any cast members from The Wire.
Unfortunately she let it slip that Joslyn can occasionally drool, and, well, we know what we’ll be looking for in the season premiere.
From the limited footage we have seen thus far, they appear to be a high strung team. They’re up, they’re left, they’re down, they’re right, and back to being up again in the next minute.
Judging from a brief interview Phil did with their Clevver Media co-workers, Phil said “I hope Erin & Joslyn had fun. . .in fact, I know they had fun.”
I take that as a plea from Phil that he hopes Erin & Joslyn will be pleased with the viewing experience–this strongly hints they will go early.
I am predicting they finish in 10th place.
9th: Sheri LaBrant & Cole LaBrant #SixSecondRacers
A mother-son duo from Alabama? Those are high expectations for these two as Denise & James Earl not only made it far in TAR 27, but were the most entertaining mother-son team the US franchise has ever seen.
I don’t know if these two will do much damage in the season. Yes, they will only last six seconds in Mexico before they quit because they are Viners har har har, but put that aside and something leaps off the page–Cole does not have much on his resume.
He currently has straight As and not letting his mother swear as his two greatest achievements.
It’s not really his fault, though. I think back to when I was nineteen and all I could point to you was that I made it to my second year of university. Not everyone is going to be a Michelle & Claire or a Hamilton & Michaelia.
Hopefully Cole can step away from his Neopets account and his Lego Batman kit to put effort into the race.
As for Sheri? She is a stay-at-home mom. Stay-at-home moms do not have a history of doing well on TAR, and very few have ever been cast.
Culture shock is going to be sky high for both of them, and I think this will prevent from doing any damage on the race.
8th: Jessica Versteeg & Brittany Oldehoff #129K
I know. When the cast was announced for TAR 28, which for some reason was before TAR 27 even ended, this was the team everyone was making jokes about.
“Social media stars?! Instagram models that have only 129, 000 combined followers? I have friends who have more followers than Brittany!”
Everyone missed the fact that Jessica, much like Leonardo Dicaprio, is an Oskaloosa.
I do not anticipate them going far. Jessica had an extremely short bio, and they admitted to being terrible at directions.
As Michael pointed out, Brittany’s love of laser tag would come in handy in Dutch Mole, it may not come in so handy here. And she does get a couple of points for a Liam Neeson reference.
But seriously. I get the impression their world is very small, and TAR is going to shatter that for them.
I know editors are going to take lots of jabs at Jessica & Brittany’s expense. The first episode hasn’t aired yet, and I can already throw in a few assumptions as to how their edit is going to go. Brittany & Jessica, if you are reading this, you are going to have to strike the balance between responding to the folks who are going to call you “bimbos” but also be able to be good sports about the edit.
Yeah. It’s fun to be a young all-female team on TAR, isn’t it?
P.S. Brittany loves karaoke too. Feel free to join me when I do my rendition of “Zombie” by The Cranberries or Carl Douglas’ “Kung Fu Fighting”.
7th: Cam Benson & Darius Benson #UnicyclingProdigies
This team has the youngest combined age overall (Cam is 19 and Darius is 22).
These young bucks will have agility on their side, and like most strong young teams will probably win a couple of legs at the start, but then hit some obstacles once the initial rush goes away.
Cam can ride a unicycle which I hope is relevant during the course of this season.
Screw you Steve Jobs for taking away one of my favourite video game franchises from me.
Sure, the shoutout to a random Canuck named Mac DeMarco was unexpected, but hey, at least they are aware of what goes on in other countries.
Darius describes himself as an intellectual. You know I am going to hold you to it, right Darius?
Both reference how successful they feel at such an early point in their lives. Is this confidence or cockiness?
Darius’ biggest concern is that Cam will not be diplomatic.
Ladies and gentlemen, the 19 year old African-American social media unicyclist could be the star of our season. That’s when you know competitive reality TV has been around for sixteen years.
6th: Scott Fowler & Blair Fowler #TheErvinClones
Blair received a big reaction from the TAR community when she posted a video discussing what she was putting in her backpack. Everyone’s thoughts? She is packing way too much non-essential beauty crap.
Frankly, I agree, but it isn’t the first time somebody has been able to handle the race with a heavy backpack. Simi from TAR Canada 3 recorded the heaviest bag at the starting line, and she survived all the way to fourth.
Blair has a lot of personal achievements. Written books, spoke at Harvard, campaigns against loud chewers, and is up there with Burnie and Oakley in terms of success.
Scott is much like Gary Ervin where he comes off as an intelligent and strong guy. Sure, he kept a secret from his daughter in terms of his love for Ethiopia (a country which KKKendra Bentley referred to as “refreshing because the people there choose to be poor”).
A healthcare provider who can hold his own? I think this team will do well.
However, if they are true Ervin clones, they shall finish this race in 6th place.
5th: Burnie Burns & Ashley Jenkins #FeelTheBurn
Most of the channels I follow on YouTube are related to video games.
Then how the hell have I never heard of these guys?
Burnie was the wittiest of all in his opening bio. The guy wants nothing more than his DVD of The Last Holiday to work while flying around the world.
They appear to have the most success besides Tyler Oakley, and given their competitive profession, I expect them to have a reasonable performance in the race.
The biggest question mark with them is that Ashley is used to being in Burnie’s shadow. One of her statements is that she said Burnie is better than her at everything. That lack of self-confidence could really destroy her in a Roadblock task which initially frazzles her.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Ashley’s story is to experience a personal triumph or two during her journey on the race.
This team greatly resembles Dave & Lori, but luckily I think they will do slightly better than Dave & Lori did.
If I know anything about video gamers, they have a tendency to overthink things and will not have a tutorial stage to learn any of the tasks before the clock is ticking. I think this could be their downfall and see them go home in fifth place.
By the way, Burnie & Ashley will become my least favourites if they make a series of PC gaming references. However, if they make Nintendo references, they will shoot to the top.
P.S. James Rolfe & Kyle Justin would have been the ideal video gaming duo for this season. Do they have too much of a potty mouth for you, CBS? And Kyle Justin is extraordinarily witty. Or what about that ninja sex party? I am glad you excluded Egoraptor, though. All that guy does is rap about genitalia all of the time.
4th: Dana Boriello & Matt Steffania #CrossCountryDancing
They teach dance. They travel. They teach dance some more. They travel.
Matt pulled off the impressive feat of buying a house when he is 21 lol.
Matt appears to have a lot of hobbies which will help with TAR, and Dana has a demanding job when it comes to travel. She flies back and forth between New York and LA -weekly-.
International travel is subtly hinted at as Dana claimed she got sick in China once. Deep Fried Prawns just aren’t the same when you purchase it from the homeland.
I really hope there is some sort of drinking task because Matt gulps loudly. That’ll be fun for the editors to amplify in the final edit.
Besides Matt’s White Suburban hip hop clothes, there is not much else to comment on.
They might be the most physically fit team in this year’s crew (along with being the most familiar with being independent), and it will be a question of how they handle the mental puzzles of the race.
Oh, and I think they are going to bicker lots. That could blow up their face early and make them a surprising exit.
3rd: Kurt Gibson & Brodie Smith #UltimateUltimateFrisbeeTeammates
A young all-male devout Christian team? Congratulations casual fans, you have your favourites! Even if the guy on the right was in Road Trip.
In all seriousness, please do not be douchey Christians like Andy & Tommy and Jet & Cord or douchey religious people like Dave O’ Leary.
Instead, be a nice Christian team like, well, Gary & Mallory.
Oh, and don’t forget to remove your hat in a Church. Casual fans will blast you for that.
This team could prove to be comedic. They are professionals in the Vancouver past time known as Ultimate Frisbee (NOTE: My town hosts a frisbee tournament every September which my siblings have competed in the past), and love salsa dancing.
Their egos may be two sizes too big as they anticipate being targeted by the other teams. On the other hand, they could just be realists, and are certainly going to stand out.
Production wants them to go far. Casual fans want them to go far. Yeah, they’re probably going far.
2nd: Tyler Oakley & Korey Kuhl #Toakles
Apparently I am supposed to know who Tyler Oakley is, but I don’t. Everything I have heard about him from those in the TAR community that are familiar with him are currently pegging him as TAR’s equivalent to Frankie Grande.
Dear God I hope that is not true.
With other controversy surrounding Tyler, he will likely have the spotlight on him with his five million followers. Think of it this way: The official TAR account on Twitter has only 346, 000 followers and 1.6 million likes on Facebook.
Producers would be stupid to set aside at least a bit of airtime each week for the first person ever to be cast who is bigger than the show itself.
And your five million followers makes you larger than the franchise chise!
Their success tells me they are going to be focused and very driven. Besides, nobody named Tyler has ever lost The Amazing Race.
Sure, Tyler is called a terrible driver by Korey, but in an era where self-drive legs are pretty much gone, this may not be a big concern.
Expect a deep run from Toakles. They are in their mid-20s, physically fit, and determined little buggers who producers are begging will last until the finale.
I don’t think they will win, though.
1st: Zach King & Rachel King #KingsOfThisRanking
A level-headed married couple? Yeah, it’s tough not to put them in this spot.
Rachel is well-organized and detail-oriented.
Zach is a clever illusionist, filmmaker, flies planes, and tells short stories.
Neither of them take any big jabs at each other in their bios which strongly hints this is a cohesive relationship.
Factor in their age and physical condition, and you have a team that will most likely be our new winners.
Oh, and if they don’t win? They are guaranteed to be the most invisible team of this season. There is no way editors will be interested in constructing a narrative for them.
Sorry, I meant to add more in but I have to run to work. You’ll hear my thoughts on the premiere sooner rather than later!