Longtime reader of the thread, first time poster. michel you do a great job with this and the Survivor editing thread, I thought I'd pitch in this time since there hasn't been much turnout this season yet.
Like everyone who has posted so far, I was struggling to find that common thread for this season and I think with the editing thus far and considering the last 2 boots, I believe I've discovered the main theme for TAR12: Self-Destruction!
I was pretty shocked by the Jason & Lorena and Shana & Jennifer eliminations the last two episodes considering their high visibility early on. But their defeats were clearly explained to viewers. They were their own worst enemies.
So getting to the current rankings:
6. Nate & Jen: Just about every viewer is ready for this team to go home. I don't think they are a Final 3 villains team, all their conflict is with themselves and not any other team. Thus no long term story going on. They were featured in next week's promo as being in trouble and normally this bodes well for teams as a form of misdirection, but Shana & Jennifer got similar treatment last week and look what happened.
5. Ron & Christina: I really want to believe that this team has a story arc building to a Final 3 appearance but Ron simply hasn't changed enough for the audience to forgive him for that awful 2nd episode. Normally high visibility early on is a good thing for long term teams but as stated above it doesn't seem like such an advantage this time around.
4. Nicholas & Don: This team is quickly becoming that classic Final 4 underdog comic team that will just miss the last cut. We already know they don't have the best racing skills but viewers are going to start cheering them on more because they are a unique team and they want to see Don reach that Internet Buffet!
3. TK & Rachel: Going back to my theme, this group is getting along and I can't recall them having any big arguments or conflict yet. They seem to be calm, focused racers. Unfortunately I don't remember much of their background and their story doesn't have a lot of substance yet to get fans going either way, possibly so people aren't that disappointed when they lose. Another Ray and Yolanda?
2. Azaria & Hendekea: For a team doing so well, they really aren't getting any extra positive reinforcements from editing. The most notable story is this undercurrent of conflict between brother and sister which all feels a little manufactured and not in a good way. At some point, maybe towards the finish line, viewers are getting set-up for Azaria to eat humble pie as he makes a crucial mistake and not his sister. Their edit reminds me a lot of Frank and Margarita from Season 1.
and so the Winners are...
1. Kynt & Vyxsin: For awhile I had these two slotted in at that Funny4 position but as others have pointed out they are getting more attention beyond simply their odd physical appearances. They've been given too many sidebar confessionals, that we don't really need to see, for us to believe they won't make it to the end. Out of all the teams, they seem to have the best chemistry and most visibility and that's why I think they will come out on top... at least that's my opinion now, things can always change!