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This season, we’ve had a crew trying to predict the outcomes of each Amazing Race episode.  A predictor gets 2 points for correctly picking the first and last place finishing team, as well as a point for each correct placement of the team that episode.  Also, teams can get “I came close” points by earning a quarter-point for getting the team in the top, middle or bottom tier of the finish order.

Think it’s easy?   It’s not.  That’s why we put a random number generator into the mix.  It may seem obvious which teams are better than others, or which teams ought to be “Philiminated”, but there are enough surprises to make predicting the outcome of a given race really, really hard.  For example, Kisha and Jen didn’t finish first all season, but when it came to the final mat, with Phil’s arched eyebrow arched higher than ever, they were the ones in first.

So let’s see how our crew did for the finals!

The crew had to submit their finish order prior to the two-part finale episode.  I scored it such that their picks would count twice – once for the semi-finals and once for the finals.  It would have been nice to get new picks after seeing the results of the semis, but that wasn’t an option, sadly.  Whatever happened to the final leg being an epic, two-hour finale? 

So here are the final two episode scores:

 

You can see that “The Intense One” had a banner score for the semis – the second season in a row where TIO had a perfect score in one of the episodes.  Wow!  Time to do your pushups!  He predicted Gary and Mallory first, Kisha and Jen second, Flight Time and Big Easy 3rd and Zev and Justin 4th.  Perfect!  (And gutsy call on putting Zev and Justin fourth, Intense One!)

But, this same prediction did him no good for the finale, as The Intense One had Gary and Mallory picked to win it all.  If they only had a better cab driver!

For the finals, The Casual One and The Pro successfully foresaw how Kisha and Jen would overcome the first place barrier and take it all.  Clearly they saw this team as the one with the best chances, even thought the stats didn’t necessarily bear it out.  But their high level of consistency and abject lack of mistakes is what made this pick the correct one. 

Season Final Scores – The Casual One takes the victory!

So let’s take a look at the final season scores:

 

The winner, by a landslide, was The Casual One!  Way to go, TCO!  This is was a dominant victory, and as you can see, it was almost and end-to-end victory, powered by some amazing picks in the China and Austria legs.  The Casual One’s strategy?  Put as many points on the board early – this is the strategy that all players should have!

Second place is a three-way tie between Chet, The Pro, and The Intense One.  The outcomes would vary slightly were I to not score the semi-final, so we’ll have to call this a tie.  Most importantly, this group beat random pretty badly.

Has a System and I, The Analyzer, barely beat random.  I guess that all of my analysis didn’t help my score that much, especially toward the end of the season.  I kept trying to find the time when Zev and Justin would drop down, and the one time I didn’t, I paid the price!

Here’s the “Horserace” view: (click for a larger image)

 

 The Casual One was the clear dominant force, and, more impressively, effectively doubled Random’s score.  I guess that it’s best to be a bit casual when trying to predict the results.

The Thoughtful One struggled all season, but you can see a late-season surge got her closer to the rest of the pack.  You’ll get ‘em next season, TTO!

Interestingly, our collective intelligence made a late season surge, even though most of us didn’t.  Individually we did OK, but collectively, we did great.  (I think we have to thank The Casual One for this, too.)

Piecing together The Casual One’s victory

Here’s where The Casual One got her points over the course of the season: (click for a larger image)

  

This grid shows the correct predictions by The Casual One.  Red boxes are correctly predicted last-place finishes, and green boxes are correctly predicted first place finishes.  The Casual One seemed to have a knack in the middle of the season for knowing which team would finish last.  Also, her “points on the board early” strategy really paid off with her ability to predict Jaime and Cara’s low finishes.  The Casual One spotted their results in every leg they were in.  That’s impressive!  The other team that The Casual One seemed to have pegged was Gary and Mallory, especially during the second half of the season.

Also impressive is the consistency.  Only in 2 legs did The Casual One miss out on big points.

All in all, great job in getting over 30 points, Casual One! 

Great season to all the predictors, as we showed that we could beat random!

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