You wonder if there’s a completely different side of this team that we never got to see, and since post-race interviews have already confirmed that the Globetrotters didn’t hold a grudge at all I’d wager this team was not what we would consider villains at all.
They struggled in this leg with their ability to work together, but that was never their strong suit and I thought they performed admirably and in a way that I hope will keep people from cheering their loss in any capacity.
And for at least some viewers, each of these teams would represent a “deserving” victory of The Amazing Race’s 15th journey around the globe – for me, I’d say that any one of them would have deserved it, but I think it’s tough to argue that the “right” team didn’t win. won the Amazing Race by counting poker chips, a task which seems awfully trivial until you realize that the team has always been less personable than others primarily based on their ability to avoid the usual hangups associated with the madness of the race.
They seemed unflappable, in a way that made them feel almost robotic (especially compared to previous dominant forces like Nick and Starr, who had a bit more of an identity in terms of “playing the game” of the race).
Outside of their own bickering and a couple of moments of questionable behaviour, by all accounts the team ran a decent race and didn’t fight as much as some previous winners have.
There’s no question that the producers probably would have preferred a Brian and Ericka victory, if only because their story is so much more effective.
Meghan and Cheyne were a dating couple with no discernible drama, who weren’t even at a crossroads in terms of considering marriage (I believe they called it an inevitably in an early interview) or anything of the sort.
And yet here, we got to see them come from behind twice, and stay focused during the one task that felt like it could tear teams apart.
Yes, Cheyne got through the roadblock by closing his eyes and they fumbled with the trip from the Mirage to the Monte Carlo, but I think that almost made their win far easier to root for: for once, the team looked to legitimately be in trouble, and they went from the vanilla frontrunners to a come-from-behind story that felt “right” in a way that you sort of want at the end of the race.
This isn’t to suggest that I don’t have teams I like more than others, but ever since I started writing television criticism I like to keep my distance to manage disappointment (like last year’s early exit from Mike and Mel and this year’s tragic end for Justin and Zev) and be able to avoid sounding too bitter if something goes wrong.