On last night's premiere of The Amazing Race, 11 teams sprinted from the starting line in Gloucester, Massachusetts, to begin the longest road trips of their lives.
This season brings some real competitors: a beauty queen and her dad, a tattoo-clad couple, two dudes with a passion for show tunes, and a father-son duo with an online following in the millions.
Because Sunday was also filled with Fantasy Football wagering, I'm in a gambling sort of mood. Knowing little more about these teams than who can drive stick and who's handy with a watermelon slingshot, I'm going to take a stab at predicting the season 17 winners.
I think it was Brook of team 'Brook and Claire' (the home shopping TV hosts) who said something about girl power. I'm feeling it, sister. Two women have never won The Amazing Race, but I think that's all about to change.
In fact, Brook and Claire have a pretty good shot. I've never seen someone recover so quickly from being bashed in the face with a watermelon. True, I've never seen someone bashed with a watermelon, period, but I imagine it hurts. A lot.
I'm also pulling for these ladies because I'm worried their home shopping careers are in danger. After bragging that they can manipulate people to buy any old crap, they might not do as well pushing salad choppers when they return to their day jobs.
If Brook and Claire don't win the race, my second choice is team Nat and Kat. They're two doctors who have worked together for years. If they can perform at 3 a.m. in an emergency room with a human life at stake, I imagine they'll do just fine under the pressure of reading a map.
I've got a few underdog favorites as well. I don't think any of these teams will win, but I'd be happy if they prove me wrong:
Andie and Jenna: Reconnecting with your birth mom has got to be awkward even if you're doing it privately over onion rings at the local Applebee's. But doing it on national TV while racing around the world? That takes guts.
Connor and Jonathan: They've been called "Team Glee," "Harry Potter," and "the nerds!" They missed their graduation to take part in the race, and you know they're the kind of students who think that's a REALLY big deal.
Michael and Kevin: This entire episode was worth it just to see Michael (the dad) do the robot in one of their YouTube videos.
Did you watch The Amazing Race? Who are you rooting for?
Image via CBS.com