The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan has never guessed the final three teams on day one, and his losing streak remains intact for the 15th installment of the series, a “truly fantastic season” that concludes Sunday night on CBS. “I never know who will make it to the finale and that’s what makes the show work. The audience is left guessing every step of the way,” he told PEOPLE. He also gave his assessment on the remaining teams who will battle for the jackpot on the Race‘s last stop, Las Vegas. –Carrie Bell
The All-Americans Meghan Rickey, 23, and Cheyne Whitney, 23, of San Diego, Calif.Strengths: Apart from having the most first-place showings of any team ever, “they have that wonderful, youthful enthusiasm about life and completely embrace new experiences. They have questioned each other’s actions, but somehow always worked things out. I’m sure the Race has tested their relationship more than any other experience to date. I’m most surprised by Meghan’s incredible transformation. At the start, she told me she was focused on facing her deep-seated fears and wanted to use this experience to change the way she approached life. She has stepped up for her team throughout and pushed way beyond her comfort zone.” Weaknesses: “Being young could be their downfall. The pressure could finally prove to be too much when so much is on the line. It’s imperative that they slow down enough to make the right decisions and not let their boundless puppy-like enthusiasm steer them in the wrong direction.” Best Strategic Move: Going for the Fast Forward in Dubai. “That was a strong power play that paid off big time. They’ve never been scared to go for it.”
The Gay Brothers Dan, 21, and Sam McMillen, 23, of Liberty, Mo.Strengths: “They’re brothers with the longest-standing relationship and after announcing their shared sexual preference to each other, a special connection was formed that could be the deciding factor when it comes to finishing on top. There’s no denying their love for each other. Their yelling and screaming could be an advantage as long as the communication is constructive. Often their frustration simply comes from wanting to do well. Both have a strong desire to take home the win and if things get physical they‘ve already proven they aren’t adverse to using a little muscle to stay ahead.” Weaknesses: “The brothers seem to break down and get fragmented when the pressure mounts. Can they keep their composure or will they choke? To win this race they will need to work as a unit.” Best Strategic Move: “I’m not saying it was the right move, but their decision to not help Big Easy with ‘Franz’ clue in Prague did the Globetrotters in and secured their spot in the final three. I also think Dan apologizing to Sam after the hay bales strengthened their relationship.”
Mr. And Miss America Ericka Dunlap, 27, and Brian Kleinschmidt, 27, of NashvilleStrengths: “Their devotion to each other has kept them together through extremely challenging times. Their support for each other is bound by an undying love that has withstood fierce resistance. They compliment each other and absolutely deserve a shot at the million. I really hope their family members who have doubts about their partnership will reconsider after watching them race around the world together.” They’ve also gotten lucky, which comes in handy in Sin City. “They’re survivors who seem to be traveling with an angel on their shoulders. If they can keep their composure, there’s no question they have the fitness and smarts to win.” Weaknesses: “At times there’s a Men are from Mars Woman are from Venus thing going on with these two. This tends to happen more with pressure. Have they learned from their mistakes or will the added stress of the final leg prove too much for them to handle?” Best Strategic Move: “Karma comes into play on the Race. They didn’t make any real enemies, played a kind, courteous game and helped fellow Racers when they could. Some of that good fortune might have been what kept them around in the Race.”
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