Note: The Amazing Race Analysis blog is a spoiler-free zone. The Analysis below is based on statistics of the team’s age, gender and relationship profile. Read on for some serious handicapping of The Amazing Race 25 teams
The Amazing Race 25 – 25 Seasons! — is starting up on September 26 in on a new night – Friday – Boo! Let’s hope it brings in the ratings on a tough night!
This season features the youngest cast by a wide margin. The average age is 30 and the oldest racer is only 42 years old. Add up all of the ages of the racers, and it equals 649. The next youngest race was season 17, won by doctors Nat and Kat, at a total age of 679. The “oldest” season was season 14, won by sibling lawyers Tammy and Victor, with an average age of 37. That’s a cumulative age of 818.
Using the basic demographic information available and the 23 prior seasons of 2-person team racing, let’s see what the stats say.
I examined the TAR 25 teams based on their age, relationship, and gender, and analyzed two things to come up with pre-season rankings: I ranked them by how frequently a team of their composition made it to the eleventh leg of the race, typically the final four. Making it to leg 11 indicates a deep run into the race and is a good indicator of success. Second, if there is a tie in the average percentage to leg 11, I look at the average finish of that demographic.
With full understanding that results will be different from the prediction, here is my stats-based view on how the teams will fare.
11. Tim and Te Jay – Dating Males (Average Finish: 6.5, 0% to leg 11)
Last season, Dave and Connor had the 11th place slot on my list, and went on to win it all, breaking the barrier for intergenerational teams. Dave and Connor did it in style, as they had four first place finishes to round out the race against experienced competition. I write this to show that even predictably low finishers can break through. Dave and Connor were super-functional and popular with the other teams. And they never got in trouble to risk a low finish.
In Tim and Te Jay’s case, there have been only two male dating couples who have competed, and they finished in 8th and 5th. Not great, but not bad, but the other demographics, with larger sample sizes, still have done better by actually getting to leg 11.
10. Lisa and Michelle – Sisters (Average Finish: 7.1, 18% to leg 11)
Lisa and Michelle, the Miami Realtors, have worked together professionally, so they are drawing upon recent experience in addition to being sisters. Kisha and Jen, who won in Season 17, are the exemplars of this group. Unfortunately for TAR-racing sisters, the next best finish is 5th place (Kami and Karli, back in Season 5).
9. Shelley and Nici – Mother/Daughter (Average Finish: 9, 25% to leg 11)
There have been four Mother/Daughter teams, and three of them have not done well. But way back in Season 1, Nancy and Emily, when Nancy was 46 years old, they made it to leg 11, finishing 5th. As mentioned above, intergenerational teams had a breakthrough with Dave and Connor. So time for the women to break through!
8. Adam and Bethany – Married Under 30 (Average Finish: 8.3, 33% to Leg 11)
Only three married teams under the age of 30 have competed on TAR. Two of them finished in 11th. Ouch! But back in Season 15, Brian and Ericka finished 3rd. So there’s hope for Adam and Bethany. Widening the demographic, younger married couples haven’t distinguished themselves as great racers: Nine married couples between 30 and 40 have competed with one winner, and 33% to leg 11. That’s just below the average (Misti and Jim, below, are in this group).
7. Michael and Scott – Male Friends 35-45 (Average Finish 7.2, 33% to Leg 11)
The firefighters have promise, but their predecessors haven’t set up a good track record. Six male-friend teams between 35-45 have competed, with the best result being Art and JJ finishing 2nd. On the other end, Bilal and Sa’eed finished 12th, and Rona and Tony finished 11th. The wide variance makes this team somewhat of a wild card. If they win it all, it would be a first.
6. Misti and Jim – Married between 30 and 40 (Average Finish: 6.0, 33% to Leg 11)
The Dentists are ready to race! Are they ready to distinguish themselves? The stats say, “No.” But maybe their winning smiles will set them apart.
4. (Tied) Kym and Alli and Maya and Amy – Female Friends 25-35 (Average Finish 6.2, 36% to Leg 11)
The cyclists and the “sweet scientists” have pretty much the same demographics, and the 25-35 female friends group has become somewhat of a force as of late. Caroline and Jen, who finished second last season, are in this demographic. Nat and Kat won it all, and they defeated a young overall cast. Brook and Claire came in third that season as well. This season, the conditions are similar for these two teams.
2. (Tied) Brooke and Robbie and Dennis and Isabelle — Mixed-Gender Dating 25-35 (Average Finish 5.8, 38% to Leg 11)
Overall, dating couples between 25 and 35 have fared pretty well, but they have lacked the killer instinct to win it all. 26 teams in this demographic have competed, but only one has won it all. That was Jason and Amy in Season 23. With two teams in this demo, we can expect to see at least one of them in the final three.
1. Keith and Whitney – Engaged (Average Finish 5.1, 56% to leg 11)
Mixed-gender engaged couples have a strong track record on TAR. Two of the nine teams in this group have finished in last, but another two have won it all. Three teams have finished second or third. So if Keith and Whitney can get past the first leg, the prior performance of this group portends a deep run.
As stated above, these predictions are sure not to come true. In fact, the TAR Producers have set this up to be an evenly matched group. Will this make Phil arch his eyebrow even higher?