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.