Hayden and Aaron
AGES Both 25
HOMETOWN Los Angeles
RELATIONSHIP Dating actors
LOWDOWN Since another team apparently had dibs on ”dating models,” Hayden Kristianson (no lie, that’s her real name) and Aaron Crumbaugh (ouch — that’s his real name too) got stuck with ”dating actors.” We know why they’re racing: for Hollywood stardom! Who knows, or cares for that matter, if they’ll get far? They make good eye candy.
STRENGTHS Their good looks and athleticism
WEAKNESS Letting their desire for fame distract them from the race
Avi and Joe
AGES Avi Schneier (left), 32; Joe Rashbaum, 32
HOMETOWNS Brooklyn, N.Y. (Avi), and Ventura, Calif. (Joe)
RELATIONSHIP High school buddies
LOWDOWN One of the few teams not cast for their photogenic looks, these buddies (ahem, nerds) could take the whole thing. Avi, a high school science teacher, provides the analytical brain, while Joe, an ad-agency owner, gives the team the creative edge. Their bland, friendly banter, however, shows no signs of getting vicious, indicating they may lack the requisite killer instinct.
STRENGTH Brains over brawn
WEAKNESS Insistence on keeping kosher
Adam and Rebecca
AGES Adam Malis, 27; Rebecca Cardon, 29
HOMETOWN Los Angeles
RELATIONSHIP Formerly dating
LOWDOWN These two personal trainers have little chance of winning, let alone rekindling their once vibrant romance. With Adam hating everything but himself, and Rebecca fearful of Adam’s verbal abusiveness toward her, it’s a disaster in the making. Adam’s go-it-alone stance can only cause things to go downhill.
STRENGTH Their buns of steel — they’re both spinning teachers
WEAKNESS Not listening to each other
Lori and Bolo
AGES Lori Chestnut Harvey, 33; Bolo Dar’tainian, 38
HOMETOWN Molino, Fla.
RELATIONSHIP Married pro wrestlers
LOWDOWN One day the producers of The Amazing Race will come up with better ways to describe their teams. Lori doesn’t wrestle anymore, and Bolo (formerly BAD of the National Wrestling Alliance-Wildside) wants to become an actor. In the first episode, Lori (a.k.a. Silicone Sally) mentions it’s so cold in Iceland that her implants are freezing. Her ball and chain mainly just whines.
STRENGTH Muscles, muscles, and more muscles
WEAKNESS Possible silicone leakage
Lena and Kristy
AGES Lena Jensen, 23 (left); Kristy Jensen, 26
HOMETOWN Pleasant Grove, Utah
LOWDOWN Kristy is a ”devout Mormon mother-model-student” (and she’s single, too, guys!); Lena is a carefree former striptease aerobics instructor, now a student. The two may turn out to be more aggressive than they at first appear: A few years ago, they got into a fistfight.
STRENGTH Their good looks could get them far…
WEAKNESS …but cute doesn’t always equal smart.
Don and Mary Jean
AGES Don St. Claire, 69; Mary Jean St. Claire, 66
HOMETOWN Portola Valley, Calif.
LOWDOWN This season’s token older couple will definitely melt your heart. Don, a physician, and Mary Jean, an interior designer, have 6 children and 16 grandchildren (all from previous marriages). They attribute their renewed zest for life to surviving a nearly fatal boat accident in the South Pacific.
STRENGTHS Life experience
WEAKNESSES Old age usually means tired muscles…
Freddy and Kendra
AGES Freddy Holliday, 34; Kendra Bentley, 25
RELATIONSHIP Engaged models
LOWDOWN One of the four teams this season that include models, this pair could actually provide some entertainment. Why? Freddy wants to settle down and have kids, but Kendra isn’t quite ready for that. Breakup! If they falter early, Freddy can fly them back home, since he’s also a pilot.
STRENGTH They’re already world travelers from modeling gigs.
WEAKNESSES Freddy can’t sleep on planes; Kendra needs nine hours a night.
Gus and Hera
AGES Gus McLeod, 50; Hera McLeod, 24
HOMETOWNS Gaithersburg, Md. (Gus), and Los Angeles (Hera)
LOWDOWN Gus used to be in the CIA, but now he’s an ”adventure pilot,” whatever that means. From the looks of the season premiere, he’s quite a handful, which explains why Hera, a special-ed teacher, has had her problems with him (maybe dating back to when he named her Hera). Let the crying commence… now!
STRENGTH CIA connections never hurt anyone.
WEAKNESS Gus thinking he’s always right
Kris and Jon
AGES Kris Perkins, 30; Jon Buehler, 29
HOMETOWNS Long Beach, Calif. (Kris), and Scottsdale, Ariz. (Jon)
RELATIONSHIP Dating long distance
LOWDOWN Yet another couple that is using the platform of The Amazing Race to see if their relationship will work. A former go-go dancer, Kris is currently a student and waitress, while Jon owns a bar. (Where are the people with jobs like lawyer and doctor?)
STRENGTH They could strip for money.
WEAKNESS Their only languages are English and Spanglish.
Jonathan and Victoria
AGES Jonathan Baker, 42; Victoria Fuller, 32
HOMETOWN Los Angeles
RELATIONSHIP Married entrepreneurs
LOWDOWN Simply being married isn’t enough, and Victoria’s status as an ex-Playmate wasn’t enough. The producers had to pad their résumé by calling them entrepreneurs, even though that only applies to Jonathan. In all honesty, they should have called them the ”Bickering Couple From Hell,” given their talent for screaming at one another. Self-destruction begins in five.
STRENGTH Intense focus
WEAKNESS Their constant yelling
Meredith and Maria
AGES Meredith Tufaro, 26 (left); Maria Sampogna, 26
HOMETOWN Queens, N.Y.
RELATIONSHIP Best friends
LOWDOWN They perhaps first bonded over their mysterious job titles: Meredith is a ”licensing manager,” and Maria is a ”registered sales assistant.” Judging by the first episode, they’re followers, not leaders.
STRENGTH Big poofy hair
WEAKNESS Even though they’re from New York City, they lack street smarts.