What is it about a Final Four that gets everyone -- sports fans and reality-show fans -- more worked up? Interest heightens when contestants are whittled from a faceless bunch to four.
In March, when the office starts obsessing and filling out their March Madness brackets, productivity in the workplace comes to a screeching halt -- and everyone's talking Final Four. The new college football playoff system is built on a Final Four format. Same goes with reality television, like The Amazing Race or Survivor.
Episode 10 of The Amazing Race created a Final Four from the field of #TeamAlabama, #TheGreenTeam, #TheReporters, #ThePaparazzi and #TheCheerleaders. (One of these teams was eliminated, and we'll get to that in the spoilers below.)
The good guys, #TeamTexas, are out. Josh Anhern and Tanner Kloven were polite young men who represented Dallas-Fort Worth very well. In exit interviews, they talked positively of their experiences, but they were also bitter at how it all ended for them.
So, if viewers are looking for good guys, the closest thing might be good girls, #TheCheerleaders, also known as Tiffany Chantell and Krista Deboto. In the beginning, you probably thought they'd be typecast as frail, vain contestants. But they've been anything but; they've met some demanding challenges and come out perky and positive. They support each other, break out in the cultural dances in any country they're in and shed tears when someone faces elimination on the finish mat.
TheGreenTeam is the good team you love to despise because they win so much. Justin Scheman is a student of the game. But his brashness, mixed with a Brooklyn accent and his ability to start crying at inexplicable moments, rub some the wrong way.
And what would reality TV be without conflict? #ThePaparazzi and #TeamAlabama show the tension in their relationships. #ThePaparazzi's Logan Fazio and Chris Gordon are at each other's throats constantly. Very constantly. #TeamAlabama's Denise Williams and James Earl Corley are a conservative mom/gay son duo who have worked out their issues of tolerance in front of the cameras.
The closest thing to bad guys, especially for #TeamTexas fans, might be #TheReporters, Joey Buttitta and Kelsey Gerckens, who work in the broadcast industry biz. In their single-focused chase to catch #TheGreenTeam, they doled out the U-Turn pass that eliminated the good guys.
So, who's your fave? Be sure to vote in the Twitter poll below.
The start: New Delhi, India.
The finish: Agra, India.
Episode 10 name: Bring the Fun, Baby!
Starting teams (5): #TeamAlabama (Denise Williams and James Earl Corley), #TheGreenTeam (Justin Scheman and Diana Bishop), #TheReporters (Kelsey Gerckens and Joey Buttitta), #ThePaparazzi (Logan Fazio and Chris Gordon), #TheCheerleaders (Tiffany Chantell and Krista Debono).
Road Block: Full of Hot Air: In this task, one member of each team must inflate enough balloons to fill a flimsy net connected to a stick that attaches to the back of a bicycle. Then, if that's not enough, the contestants must ride this bike through the congested street-like trails through Agra and to a delivery point. Teams must inflate the balloons while crowds of locals, including monkeys watching from rooftops, gather. Everyone has their own trouble with the netting. Justin figures it out and stretches #TheGreenTeam's lead. On the bike ride over a bridge, #TheCheerleaders' Tiffany is stressed enough, Then some punk passes her and breaks the netting, releasing the balloons. It makes for a good commercial break. When the show returns, #TheCheerleaders are not penalized. #TeamAlabama lost pace when James Earl had trouble netting the balloons. Meanwhile, #TheGreenTeam resists the urge to U-Turn #TheReporters, who are right behind them. Instead, #TheGreenTeam used the U-Turn on #ThePaparazzi.
Detour: Bring the Groom vs. Bring the Fun: In Bring the Groom, teams must take part in a traditional wedding. Sounds easy enough, but the challenge is that one team member has to crank-start and push a generator that provides light to a big light fixture that the other team member must carry. It's a tough task for Krista and Logan. In Bring The Fun, the teams must push a portable carnival ride through the street-like trails to the wedding and then get eight kids to ride it once it's in place. Thanks to the U-Turn, #ThePaparazzi do both challenges. You have to hand it to the #ThePaparazzi's Chris, who performed while being sick.
WWTTD (What Would #TeamTexas Do?): #TeamTexas said in its exit interview that it had grown close to #TheCheerleaders. If Josh and Tanner were competing, you'd have to believe that whoever gave Krista trouble on the bridge would have had to answer to #TeamTexas. They were that chivalrous. In a tweet, Krista agreed.
Who finished first: #TheGreenTeam wins for the fifth consecutive time and earns $5,000 apiece. They're going to have quite the tax bill in 2016.
Who's out: #TeamAlabama. The Hot Air challenge cost Denise and James Earl, but they shared to host Phil Keoghan and viewers that they learned a lot from each other.
Next week: Hong Kong. Judging by the preview, or the editing of the preview, it should be a doozy.