LAST EDITED ON 11-21-09 AT 00:12 AM (EST)
Let's see. That would currently give us a potential field of:
Frank & Margarita (Probably not available as a team: each divorced and remarried.)
Tara & Wil (Wonder if he still has the hat?)
Teri & Ian (Undoubtedly available, as are the paper undies.)
Kelly & Jon (& the PedEgg they'll carry wherever they go.)
Colin & Christie (Missed TAR-Stars due to Christie's pregnancy.)
Kris & Jon (Will not be arriving by train.)
Rob & Amber (Flashback medication available at the front desk.)
Two Bransens Of Your Choice (Elizabeth & Lindsay?)
Eric & Jeremy (The horndogs ride again.)
Rob & Kimberly (Still trying to remember one interesting thing about them.)
Dustin & Kandice (Oh, good: we needed a double-female team to lose again.)
Ronald & Christina (With their third partner, Ronald's Tortured Sentences.)
Ken & Tina (Has the hair coloring worn off yet?)
Jaime & Cara (Because Cara needs more practice apologizing for her partner.)
Huh. Not as strong a group as I thought it would be. There's a few powerhouse teams here, but only a few: a good part of the field is also-rans with a couple of How Did They Get Here?'s thrown in.
The Race composed of third runners-up (aka 'fourth place'), however...
Kevin & Drew (May not be physically up to it.)
Oswald & Danny (Would do it just for the shopping. Came in fourth in both their seasons.)
Derek & Drew (Just for the exposure. BTW, Drew has a steady relationship with Flo.)
Jon & Al (Now it's getting interesting...)
Linda & Karen (With new blouses!)
Hayden & Aaron (Also available at the front desk: earplugs.)
Meredith & Gretchen (I can hear IceCat screaming from here.)
Any Two Godlewskis (Let's say Sharon & Michelle just to keep the screaming from getting any louder.)
Joseph & Monica (Shoulder joints still not available.)
Dustin & Kandice (Again.)
Nathan & Jennifer (Cue yawning fit.)
Toni & Dallas (Possibly the most deserving of a second chance here. Dallas may still be dating Starr, though, which could remix the team.)
Kisha & Jen (No water tasks, please.)
It's not necessarily a stronger group, but there are ways in which it's a more interesting one. Under the old Tears Of A Clown theory ((c) TeamJoisey), the most popular team typically goes out in fourth or fifth: we're seeing touches of that here. We have some fan favorites, we have a few who were less than liked, and a couple of solid 'Did everyone else die before that leg?' entries -- but this is a field that could definitely hold viewer interest for as much as fourteen minutes.
And as long as I'm looking at the lists, here's the last-place group.
Matt & Ana
Deidre & Hillary
Gina & Sylvia
Debra & Steve
Dennis & Erika
Avi & Joe
Ryan & Chuck
Your Choice From Four Blacks And You Knew It Was The Last Name When You Got Here
John & Scott
Bilal & Sa'eed
John Vito & Jill & Jill's Dead Brother
Ari & Staella
Anita & Arthur
Preston & Jennifer
Eric & Lisa
Okay... There's a couple of teams here who arguably deserve second chances. Bilal & Sa'eed are currently tied with Eric & Lisa for Most Screwed-Over Team: getting them back on the course (and Eric & Lisa on the course at all) would be an act of mercy. Ari never gave us a chance to hate him properly. Ryan & Chuck had potential which was never realized, while Avi & Joe had a debatable chance to be the signature Racers of their season. Debra & Steve may have been David & Mary before the later drove half the board insane... and then you get a lot of people you're lucky to remember at all. Not the worst possible field, but we can't say it's a strong gathering because we have no idea how pretty much all of these teams would do over the long haul.
Now if we did it as fifth place, we get Lori & Bolo, Kynt & Vyxsin, Gary & Matt...
...better stop there: that Race is looking a little too good.