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At the Amazing Race Analysis blog, we have a crew of TAR viewers make an effort to predict the outcome of each leg. It’s not easy, and the bar for success is to beat a random number generator. One point is awarded for a correctly placed team, with a bonus point for getting the first and last place finishers correctly identified. We also include a “close counts” scoring element, where a quarter point is included for getting a team in the top, middle, or bottom tier of the finish order. Of course, toward the end of the race, when there are only three teams remaining, you have to get it exactly right to get the quarter point as well.

Let’s see how our crew did in the two-part finale:

Finale Scores

In the Northern Ireland leg, The Casual One was the only one who had it figured out. She got Caroline and Jen’s 4th place finish, as well as Mona and Beth’s third place finish. Chet was the only one to get Anthony and Bates’ second place finish. Chet also predicted an ultimate victory by Caroline and Jen, but once they were eliminated, Anthony and Bates moved into his top spot.

Since it was a two-part episode, these predictions carried over into the finale, where they paid off. Everyone in the crew predicted a finish of Bates and Anthony first, Katie and Max second, and Mona and Beth third. I, The Analyzer, was the exception to this, anticipating a flame out by Katie and Max, but instead it was Mona and Beth who had trouble with directions that set them back. What an amazing performance by the crew to really nail the predictions in the finale! Big points all around!

So that leads us to the season winner: The Thoughtful One! Congratulations on another win! Here’s how the scoreboard looked through the season:

Finale Running Total

You can see with all of those green arrows, the Thoughtful One led wire to wire. Impressive! I, The Analyzer, made a run later in the season, but couldn’t keep up with The Thoughtful One’s consistency.

Here’s how the above table looks in graph form:

Finale Running Total Graph

You can see that Random made a surge, somewhat randomly, in the middle-late part of the season, but then leveled out again at the end of the season. Due to the strength of the team performance in the finale, we all beat random for the season. Way to go, crew!

In trying to predict the outcome of the Amazing Race through the season, we can see which teams were more predictable than others. When we look at where we scored points, you can see what teams were easy to peg, and which ones were high variance and muddied our predictions. In the following charts, we look at where the “full points” were earned (click for a larger image):

Where the points are all

40 of our 136 points came straight from Anthony and Bates. They clearly were the strongest team, having won an early leg, and then they went on a run later in the season and win it all. In contrast, Katie and Max, a team that did win on occasion, was more baffling. Even though they made it all 12 legs, we only netted one point per episode from them. Compare them to Caroline and Jen, who never came in first or last, but were consistently in the middle somewhere – they netted us some decent points throughout the season. Mona and Beth were just as baffling, until the finale, where they finally got us all some points.

In this view, you can also see the episodes that were most predictable. The Switzerland leg, with Chuck and Wynona coming in last and Bates and Anthony coming in first, was highly predictable, as well as the finale. The most unpredictable was the Northern Ireland leg.

Let’s see how the Thoughtful One pieced together her victory:

Where the points are Thoughtful

Most of her points came from Bates and Anthony and their first place victories. But you can also see that The Thoughtful One changed it up a few times, and actually spotted Bates and Anthony in non-first place episodes as well. Impressive! She was also able to get John and Jessica’s first place finish in at the beginning of the race – no easy feat, as well as Pam and Winnie’s first place finish in Vietnam. Impressively, the Thoughtful One was able to get the first place finisher seven out of 12 legs.

Interestingly, we are getting better as a group at predicting the outcome of The Amazing Race:

Scores over time

The Thoughtful One has the two best scores of all time, with this latest one being the second best score ever. Since we started doing the predictions with season 17, the human predictors have been improving. The last three seasons have beat the best score of the first three seasons. There’s a lot more green on the right side of the chart!

Thanks for reading The Amazing Race analysis blog this season. We’re looking forward to the next edition of The Amazing Race!

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