This season of The Amazing Race is slated to be unlike any before, as a new twist has been added! Not only did this season begin with the first public start in Times Square, but according to CBS, the team that wins the first leg of the race will receive “The Save.” “The Save” can be used to rescue a team if they come in last and face elimination. This season, teams will travel through 8 countries and 20 cities, a total distance of more than 26,000 miles. CBS has definitely brought their casting game for the shows’s 25th anniversary, so I’ll get right into introducing the 11 teams now.
Up first are Adam Dirks and Bethany Hamilton, married surfers from Hawaii. You’ve probably heard of Bethany, who was attacked by a shark when she was 13 years old and lost her left arm. The movie Soul Surfer is based on her ordeal and her perseverance to keep surfing after the attack. Before their marriage, Adam was a youth minister and substitute teacher. He now classifies himself as a professional husband, because he travels with Bethany, since she is a professional surfer and motivational speaker. They hope to improve their teamwork and communication throughout the race, as well as have an awesome adventure. I’m really looking forward to seeing how Bethany handles the challenges of the race, since she has been such an inspiration to so many people.
Next, we have dating couple Brooke Adams and Robbie E. Strauss. They are both professional wrestlers, and have traveled all around the world for their jobs. It seems like they might have some friction on the race, because both Brooke and Robbie say that she needs to work on talking things out instead of blowing up immediately. Since this is a concern of theirs before the stress of the race has impacted their relationship, I’m anticipating a lot of dramatics, at least from Brooke. Also, they both say that Robbie needs to gain Brooke’s trust back, so I’m sure the redemption aspect will play into their dynamic as well.
Dennis Hour and Isabelle Du are also dating, although they seem much less physical than the wrestlers. Dennis is a financial accountant for an e-commerce technology company, and Isabelle is a model. Since Isabelle’s modeling career caused her to work and live abroad in Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore , Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam, I think she will have a leg up on the other contestants. Isabelle wants to live abroad again, and she hopes that TAR will loosen Dennis up and help him have a more “carpe diem” perspective. Since Dennis’s biggest fear about traveling is being robbed and stranded, it’ll be interesting to see if his perspective will change during the course of the race.
Meet engaged couple Keith Tollefson and Whitney Duncan, aka Team Nashville (also, they were on Survivor: South Pacific). Whitney is a singer songwriter, and Keith is an energy advisor. Both Whitney and Keith say their biggest accomplishment is finding their soulmate. However, Whitney says that they can both be very stubborn, and Keith thinks that he needs to learn to be a more compassionate listener. This couple seems nice, but nothing from their interview really made them stand out to me.
Kym Perfetto and Alli Forsythe are best friends from New York City whose jobs have certainly helped them prepare for the race. Kym is a cycling instructor, and Alli is a personal trainer. They’re planning to move to LA together after the race, and hope that friction from Kym’s backseat driving and bossiness don’t put a strain on their friendship. I hope this all female team is a strong as they seem, and that they give the other teams a run for their money!
Lisa Thompson and Michelle Thompson work together as real estate agents in Miami, Florida. They are the number 1 selling team in South Florida for units sold. Since they work together 24/7, Lisa and Michelle could have an advantage over other teams who aren’t used to working so closely as a unit. Although they have a bond, I don’t really think Lisa and Michelle will have what it takes to win The Amazing Race.
Maya Warren and Amy DeJong are Ph.D students and lab mates at The University of Wisconsin, Madison. Amy’s biggest pet peeve about Maya is that she is super picky, whereas Maya dislikes that Amy talks a lot, especially during tasks where they need to focus. These sound like qualities that could hurt their progress on the race, but their cast photo makes me think their personalities will be entertaining to watch.
Michael Ward and Scott Strazzullo are both firefighters in Boston, Massachusetts. Michael and Scott are one of the few teams whose playful, likable personalities translate into the interview. First, Michael said his biggest pet peeve about Scott is that Scott has never met a mirror he didn’t love. Also, the fact that Scott said the celebrity he is most like is the roman general Scipio Africanus, when most people said more well-known celebrities like Matthew McConaughey. Obviously these men are physical powerhouses, and with Scott’s admirable goal of running the race to meet and befriend people of different cultures and traditions, I just might be on Team Firefighter.
Misti Raman and Jim Raman are a married couple with one strong similar interest- dentistry. Misti is a cosmetic dentist, and Jim is an orthodontist. They seem to have the potential for a lot of drama, seeing as Misti thinks Jim has no filter between his brain and mouth, and Jim says that they need to learn to not bicker over insignificant things like they do at home. I’m guessing that the tension of the race could create some explosions between these two.
Shelley Porter and Nici Porter are mother and daughter, and are also both flight attendants. Shelley has probably the weirdest pet peeve of her daughter ever- Nici takes pictures of her poop and texts them to her family. Nici thinks that her mom’s celebrity doppleganger is Cruella de Vil, and that her mom thinks she is always right. I’m thinking this team will either be out first, or will fight a lot as the race continues.
Tim Tsao and Te Jay McGrath are college sweethearts from South Pasadena and Pasadena California. Tim is a flight attendant who gets annoyed with his partner’s “blonde moments.” Te Jay is both a server at an upscale Japanese restaurant and a female impersonator known as Tia Wanna. While Te Jay says that he dislikes how Tim starts arguments in public, I love the confidence he shows when he said that the race could only better their relationship, nothing bad could come from it. I think Tim and Te Jay will definitely make the race more enjoyable to watch, and I hope they make it far!
So far, there aren’t really any teams that I immediately disliked, although I’m sure that will change once I get a real taste of their personalities in the first episode. What do you think of this cast? Who do you want to win, and who do you think will be eliminated first? Right now, I’m rooting for Adam and Bethany (Team Soul Surfers), Michael and Scott (Team Firefighters), and Tim and Te Jay (Team College Sweethearts). Let me know your thoughts on season 25 of The Amazing Race in the comments below!