There was a lot of hype leading up to the finale of The Amazing Race 17 last night, most of it was whether or not an all-female team would finally win.    I know 16 seasons is a lot when you consider there are only three different team types that can race, but The Amazing Race hasn’t exactly been super female-friendly over the years.   Looking back at some recent seasons:

Season 16 – Three female teams out of eleven (27%), and one was super weak, so it’s more like 18%
Season 15 – One female team out of twelve (8%), and they were beat by a physical detour on both sides
Season 14 – Three female teams out of eleven (27%)
Season 13 – Two female teams out of eleven (18%)
Season 12 – Three female teams out of eleven (27%); not counting Kynt and Vyxsin.  Probably shouldn’t count the 50+ year old couple either, so more like 18%

So in five seasons prior to the current season, at best 27% of the teams were all-female, and in two of those seasons, there was at least one super weak team. It’s not like the show was doing all they can to help an all-female team win, until this season.  Right off the bat, you had four female teams (36%), and even when you eliminated the token super weak team, that was still three really strong female teams left in the race.  Then when you factor in Jonathan and Connor, and Michael and Kevin as pretty weak (yet smart) all-male teams combined with generally easy challenges, this season was screaming for a female team to win.

Don’t get me wrong, by no means did the show just hand the crown to one of the remaining female teams.  Nat and Kat, and Brook and Claire still busted their ass to get where they were including one of them surviving being U-Turned, and all teams dealing with three non-elimination legs including one that really shouldn’t have happened late in the season.   It’s also to note, none of the female teams took advantage of the non-elimination legs, both female finalist teams earned their spot, and they had to finish against arguably the strongest overall team in the race, Jill and Thomas.

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The Amazing Race Power Rankings

Here are the rankings for The Amazing Race 17

Despite finishing first the week before, Chad and Stephanie fell to the bottom of the pack and were sent packing. This wasn’t exactly a shock as they relied heavily on luck to even stay in the race, and it was only a matter of time until they were sent packing. Sure, they got U-Turned, but so did another team and still had a chance to stay in the race.

No other changes in the rankings as I’m pretty comfortable with the standings right now.

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Working with nuts and bullets

The Amazing Race 17 is down to the final 5 already!  Where did the season go?  It seemed like just yesterday that Ron and Tony were getting lost in the UK, Connor and Jonathan were making us uncomfortable with their random singing to cab drivers, and Claire was getting slammed in the face by a watermelon.   We had the very uneventful “game-changing” addition of the express pass that many didn’t even notice enter the game and fewer saw it leave.   And finally the pairing of a mother and a daughter who just met for the first time and had less chemistry than Bristol Palin and The Situation.

Now we’re left with 4 teams after last night’s episode, which means before I know it the season will be over and my Sunday nights will consist of me staring at the clock waiting for The Amazing Race 18!  Ok, I’m not really that boring, but close.   This is my first season blogging the show and it’s been very interesting and quite a learning experience.  It’s a lot harder than it looks to summarize a show that bounces around between up to 11 teams within seconds of each other, and I give credit to sites like Reality Blurred who can sum up an episode brilliantly in less than the 20 paragraphs it takes me.

Ok enough boring shit, it’s time for the episode which was a pretty good one this week, despite the U-Turn which I’m not really a fan of.  Not only was it the U-Turn week, but was the double U-Turn which I’m even more torn on.  The double U-Turn likely means it’s the only one this season, which is kind of lame.  I liked how in prior seasons that teams would debate on using the first one for fear of putting a target on their back later in the season, but that was wiped out putting them on the same leg.  However, I also didn’t like how a team can dominate the season, have a nice lead then get held up at the airport, get unlucky with a lousy cab driver and suddenly face a U-Turn which almost always eliminates them.   If a team dominates challenges and deserves to win, they should at least get a 2nd chance to prove themselves which is what the double U-Turn does.

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