In full disclosure, this is the first time since the original All Stars (the first season I watched) that I spoiled myself on who one by checking Wikipedia. Yes I check this Forum for spoilers during filming, but I always avoid Wikipedia and RFF before I watch the episode. But this finale doesn’t deserve that kind of treatment.
This isn’t the first time the winning team is a team I didn’t root for. Let’s see (reaction as I remember them from watching the finales the first time):
S11: Eric & Danielle – Neutral to Ugh
. I was rooting for Charla & Mirna and was against Dustin & Kandice (I have since loved the Beauty Queens). Eric & Danielle seemed like a non-factor to me (was just there) through the season.
S12: TK & Rachel – Okay to Happy
. I don’t remember much from the first time I watched this season. I knew I rooted for Shana & Jennifer and Kynt & Vyxsin, and TK & Rachel were the next team I liked (even more so since the Japan leg). Ron & Christina kind of oscillated for me while I never liked Nicolas & Don.
S13: Nick & Starr – Didn’t like them
. I was kind of rooting for Dan & Andrew but it was a foregone conclusion. This Final Three kind of wonked for me, and a reason why I didn’t really liked this season.
S14: Tammy & Victor – Quite happy
. It was a beautiful finale. It was the one time that they didn’t try to fool us with that “oh my god who is going to win blah blah” stuff when it was just so obvious. I liked all three of the teams and there wasn’t a clear frontrunner in my taste.
S15: Meghan & Cheyne – Neutral
. I was rooting for Sam & Dan and Brian & Ericka. But Meghan & Cheyne were a good team and I didn’t mind them winning. I very much liked this finale because of all the placement changes, the panic and drama.
S16: Dan & Jordan – Very happy
. After Carol & Brandy were eliminated, I was just hoping to god that Louie & Michael and Brent & Caite are next in line. Jet & Cord, I was neutral to them until the finale when they started that whole ‘holier than thou’ route, and I hated them since. Dan & Jordan was a great team and they just skyrocketed to the top of my list after Carol & Brandy was gone.
S17: Nat & Kat – Happy
. I preferred Brooke & Claire winning, but as long as it wasn’t Jill & Thomas. Also: an all-female team won! Finally! I even preferred Chad & Stephanie and Nick & Vicky to Jill & Thomas.
S18: Jen & Kisha – Very happy
. I was rooting for Gary & Mallory, but when they slipped into third place during the finale, I was just so happy that Jen & Kisha took the lead from Flight Time & Big Easy. The Globetrotters are just annoying and bullied Kent & Vyxsin to elimination (and made them look bad when the nasty Globetrotters were at fault).
S19: Ernie & Cindy – Very happy
. Bill & Cathi were my favorite team from this season, but Ernie & Cindy is a close second.
S20: Rachel & Dave – Neutral to Okay
. I was just so happy that Art & JJ didn’t win. Brendon & Rachel were kind of on the fence for me in this season (the whining annoyed me, but I was on their side on the Brendon & Rachel VS Art & JJ fighting).
S21: Josh & Brent – Very, Very Happy
. I would have been happy with any of the Final Three winning, but their extreme jumpstart starting Leg 10 after all that Born Lucky/Born Unlucky journey they went through pushed them into my favorites for that season along with Natalie & Nadiya.
S22: Bates & Anthony – Didn’t like them
. After Pam & Winnie and Joey & Meghan got eliminated, I kind of just watched the rest of the season. But I agree Max & Katie just got kind of robbed (though I hated them during the season).
S23: Jason & Amy – Neutral to Ugh
. I was rooting for Tim & Marie after Leo & Jamal and Nicky & Kim got eliminated. It was a linear leg and they were pretty much locked in first place after that flour drop RB so the drama was just not there and the finale fell flat.
And for this season…
S24: Dave & Connor – True Hate
. I was rooting for Caroline & Jennifer and Leo & Jamal since that U-Turn debacle. I know it was a strategically-poor decision on Brendon & Rachel, but Dave & Connor just took U-Turn drama to a whole new circle of hell. I even started to like Jet & Cord since the Switzerland leg because of the new hate sink a.k.a. Dave & Connor. But what took me over the edge is the Roadblock count. I would have just suffered in silence if it wasn't for that 8-5 split.