I said I was going to do it as a joke on how esoteric and niche-interest Amazing Race rankings posts are on a British reality tv oriented blog. Then someone said they’d read it, and I’m easily led so…
So if you don’t know what The Amazing Race Australia is, it’s the Australian spin-off of the Amazing Race, in which The Amazing Race is run by a bunch of Australians. This means they get to go to countries like Israel and Cuba, that the US version of the race wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot barge-pole. The first series was pretty great, featuring such stars as psychotic personal trainers Joey & Richard, the siblings of Rebel Wilson, married bikers and actual bridge-trolls Kelly & Dave, and also that lady DJ who drove that nurse to suicide with her prank calls about Kate Middleton. Pre-scandal obviously. But it’s with the second series that the spin-off really caught fire, resulting in a legitimate Top 5 series for the franchise.
So here are the contestants. Pretty much everyone from 6th place upwards are legitimate Amazing Race legends.
11. Kym & Donna (Engaged) – 9th place : A bad Kelly & Dave knock-off right down to getting eliminated whilst sleeping in their car. YOU AINT NEVER GOING TO BE KELLY & DAVE KYM & DONNA, SO DON’T EVEN TRY!
10. Joseph & Grace (Brother & Sister) – 4th place : This ranking isn’t meant to reflect poorly on Joseph, who was kind of hot in an “uptight and nerdy accountant” sort of way, but Grace’s desperate need to be Australia’s sweetheart was funny for about 5 seconds (the 5 seconds she spent rolling round on the floor screaming “RAPE!” or whatever after the villain team jostled her a bit) and then just became annoying. You don’t need to come up with a camera-fresh line for every passing local Grace. There are a lot of people in these countries, and only so much camera-time you can grub.
9. Adam & Dane (Cousins) – 11th place : I liked the way Dane whipped his hair back and forth, and that’s about it.
8. Sticky & Sam (Flatmates) – 7th place: I liked them at first, because they were sweet, but they seemed to get bored halfway through the race, and I can’t honestly endorse getting bored during this banner-issue series of The Amazing Race. I mean, can you imagine? Racing with icons with Lumillia and The Cougar and deciding somewhere around Paris that really you’d rather knock it off and go home? I cannot endorse this. Despite all this, I will give them credit for being pretty much the only team to have their disability pretty seemlessly woven into their edit, with it being important but not overbearing. And given that the team included a guy who called himself “Sticky” because his arm was a stump, that’s pretty impressive.
7. Ross & Taryn (Father & Daughter) – 8th place : I didn’t like them at first, because they were kind of boring but Taryn seemed to get really HYPER and ANGRY when they started screwing up, and turned out to be kind of an hilarious Daddy’s Girl who wasn’t used to not getting what she wanted all the damned time. Screaming and whining “DADDDY!” in a high-pitched voice will always be funny in ways that screaming and whining “DAD!” in a high-pitched wail never could be. Also, they saved Lucy & Emilia from leg 1 elimination solely out of the goodness of their hearts, in a vaguely patronising way, then got beaten by them. That was fun.
6. Sue & Teresa (Hairdressers) : In their three legs, Sue & Teresa truly defied description. Hippie dippie middle-aged hairdressers who sprayed magical healing aura-mist everywhere, but who also turned out to be really randomly skilled at grunt-manual labour and milking goats and eating balut and white-water rafting. For a team of their casting niche to finish in the top 4 twice in the first two legs was pretty extraordinary, and they were well on their way to glory and then…a mental task and Sue melted down and the end. Still, they stand proud as the only decent hippie team in the history of the entire race.
5. Michelle & Jo (Cheerleader Twins) : 3rd place : I think the assumption of the viewing audience throughout most of the series was that Michelle & Jo were the most likely winners, because they were the only really consistently competent team in the race, and got the sort of blandly nice and perky edits that female winners tend to get. Then over the course of the last few legs they turned into deranged bitches with a burning hatred for Paul & Steve that was all out of proportion, and it was never not funny. Their feud just *makes* the finale as a capper to an amazing series. Having spent the entire series as the protagonists to the boys’ antagonists, the cheerleaders completely flipped things up just by not letting it go that their mutually assured destruction had let the cops win, long after Paul & Steve had good-naturedly accepted their fate. The thought of whichever twin it was languishing in their jail-cell screaming and cussing Paul out as he sat there, even more baffled by the world’s hatred of him than usual, never fails to make me laugh. Also the memory of Michelle greeting the sight of her beloved sister’s sea sickness by yelling “VOMIT OVER THE SIDE, DICKHEAD!”
4. Shane & Andrew (Cops) : Winners Having complained about how Josh & Brent didn’t fully embody the concept of “screw-up winners”, I have to give credit to Shane & Andrew for coming much much closer. Unfortunately they ended up having a Teri & Ian-esque late game Renaissance, so I can’t quite give it to them either. But they were adorable screw-ups for most of the race, and that’s what counts.
3. Paul & Steve (Workmates) – 2nd place : “It’s time for Evil Paul, which is the same as Normal Paul, which is the same as Sexy Paul”. Never has one quote so embodied a reality tv villain. Preening, over-sexed, over-confident, self-mythologising, former fattie Paul. Such a star.
2. Lucy & Emilia (Sisters) – 5th place : What was your favourite Lucy & Emilia moment? I think really you have to narrow it to down to EITHER accidentally ram-raiding the palace in Dubai and getting thrown in jail OR stalling their car on traintracks as the lights of an oncoming train flared, in easily the greatest “To Be Continued” ending in TAR history. Don’t get me wrong, they had other amazing moments as well (the Bollywood task, screaming Bryan Adams stood on the top of a cable-car in Canada, inspirationally overcoming a log-rolling debacle, Lucy spending about half an hour just…flopping around in a wave pool, them both marching along cheerily as tiny little Indian children smashed the shit out of their potter cart, almost dying whilst interpreting the role of “Whirling Dervish”). Lucy & Emilia defined “derping round the world”, finishing either last or next to last in 6 of their 10 legs, and 3rd from last in 3 of the other. And 4th from last in the fourth. The saddest thing about the series random and pointless THREE WEEK HIATUS for the Olympics was knowing that on the other side Lucy & Emilia’s run of dumb luck would surely run out. And end it did. Oh well.
1. James & Sarah (Dating) – 6th place : What I love about Sarah is that, for all her pneumatic boobs, pneumatic lips, pneumatic hair, drawn-on eyebrows, penchant for trying to run The Amazing Race in high heels and a bikini, she had absolutely no real physical vanity whatsoever. She was quite happy to just hurl herself joyously into everything required of her, whether it be wrestling pigs in mud or participating in a highly erotic Turkish massage. Never has someone who seemed on the surface so WAGy and high-maintenance turned out to be such a laugh. Just everything about Sarah made for great television, and James was the perfect straight man. I’m not sure any of us quite understand why he was dating her, but God bless him for enabling her appearance on reality television, and allowing me to appreciate her clown-face glamming its way around the world. She was also the only person to recognise the true seething evil of Grace, and her impersonation of her phoney-baloney “apology” for stealing Sarah’s bags was my favourite moment of the series, hands-down.