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However, it’s more that I have no real preference: I like both Brook and Claire (who grew on me as the season went on) and Nat and Kat (who don’t need the money but have proved fierce competitors) enough that I’d like to see them break the streak, but Jill and Thomas rode that fine line between intensity and enjoying themselves which makes them a perfectly acceptable winning team along the lines of Meghan and Cheyne as opposed to a dissatisfying winning team like Freddy and Kendra.
But after the jump, I do want to look at this “all-female team” narrative, specifically the ways in which that narrative could overwhelm all other narratives as they race towards the finish line.
And while I think the race is going to highlight those stories when they break down the three teams’ journeys to this point, I just don’t want all of that to be forgotten if one of them reaches the mat first and becomes part of history’s journey as opposed to their own.
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The athleticism gap between Brook and Claire could have been a considerable detriment to the team, but they have worked through some occasional tension (and a watermelon to the face) in order to bounce back.
Similarly, Nat and Kat have both faced substantial challenges (like eating meat despite being a vegetarian, or facing a fear of heights) which have absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they are an all-female team.
The Amazing Race is all about archetypes: every team is given a broad distinction, some more broad than others, and then that becomes their story.
Nat and Kat started out as two friends who were as close as sisters who wanted to experience the world together; Brook and Claire started out as two home shopping hosts who wanted to prove that they were more than just pretty faces (and who wanted to kiss as many random men as possible); Jill and Thomas started out as…a dating couple.
As it turns out, there was never any doubt: with Jill and Thomas unable to find the final task thanks to a taxi driver who was unable to understand what a computer or the internet was, it became a race through L. I was pleased with the way the narrative played out: while they opened with the “first all-female team” note, they were able to shift pretty comfortably into Nat’s struggle with diabetes and eventually their camaraderie as friends became their narrative.
With Brook and Claire, they got to discuss what it means to be a strong woman, and the “Brook and Claire flair” ended up being their narrative.
It may seem silly to be concerned about reality television contestants having their identity reduced for the sake of fitting into an historical narrative, considering that editing already reduces them to begin with, but the reason I would ultimately prefer one of these two female teams to win the race tonight is because no other all-female team should have to switch narratives almost exclusively to “I want to be the first” as they conclude the race.
All-female teams should be allowed to race on their own terms until the very end, and while I don’t think that “making history” would be something either team would reject I do think it’s something that would forever define them as “that team” without much memory of what otherwise made them distinct.
The first season of The Amazing Race was won by what we refer to as an “alpha male” team. The third season introduced the “recently dating/dating/engaged male/female” team trope.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating