Throughout the years, fans have experienced many memorable moments watching The Amazing Race. There’s an excitement in meeting 11 new teams that, once again, will race across the world in a journey of a lifetime, competing for $1 million. But before the multiple detours and roadblocks is the question: who to chose as a teammate? Foes, family, strangers, and friends have risen to the occasion, but not all of them prevail. There are multiple TV shows and reality shows that can be quickly associated with unforgettable BFFs, and sometimes there are competitors who exemplify the iconic quote from Survivor‘s Kelly Wiglesworth: “I’m not here to make friends.”
Friends are the family we choose. True friendships require communication, strength, and will, which are easily the same traits that a team on The Amazing Race would need. However, there were teams that did not get along and yet still managed their way to the finals and won. Nevertheless, the teams that were the funniest, most heart-warming, and most successful in keeping fans loyal through it all were those that showcased their friendship through the grueling tasks and jet lag.
10 Zev & Justin – Season 15 & The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business
These best friends had the perfect combination of strength and humor. Known by their fans as “Team Zinger,” Zev and Justin met as sport camp counselors and quickly developed a friendship. He and Justin showed the world how to have a good time (or not, as seen in the cheese fondue challenge), even after being eliminated for his passport.
Zev was the first contestant with Asperger’s Syndrome to ever compete. During their time on the race, Justin and Zev rarely had any animosity towards each other and always had the ability to stay calm and remain good to one another.
9 Pam & Winnie – Season 22
Winnie and Pam were one of the rare duos that were perfectly down-to-earth, if a little snarky. These best friends were strong contenders throughout most of the race until switching detours would cause their elimination.
There was bickering at times between these two friends and yet they always made sure to be there for each other. Their farewell wasn’t tearful since they really took a moment to explain the beauty of this reality show: “we got to do cool stuff in cool places.”
8 Meghan & Joey – Season 22 & The Amazing Race: All-Stars (2014)
These YouTubers and best friends were underestimated during their time on the race. However, their happy-go-lucky personalities apparently meant nothing to the other teams, since they became the first team to be U-turned twice in one season.
Nonetheless, the constant “good job” and “you’re doing great” became a staple in their support system. Luck was on their side when they escaped elimination after a team did not follow the clue properly. The fans loved the team so much that they were brought back for The Amazing Race: All-Stars season.
7 Dustin & Kandice – Season 10 & The Amazing Race: All-Stars (2014)
Another dominant team that came back to The Amazing Race: All-Stars season were the beauty queens and best friends, Dustin and Kandice. Many teams had them dismissed as the “dumb blondes,” but their cunningness and physicality gave everyone a big surprise.
Talk about Miss America contestant-level competitiveness: this strong team was even willing to pay another team to yield their rivals, even after they had yielded the same team already. Friends that are able to thrive through the drama, adapt quickly, and remain focused on the goal can make it far on a race around the globe.
6 Kevin & Drew – Season 1 & The Amazing Race: All-Stars (2014)
Although their elimination by The Amazing Race top villains “Team Guido” on season 1 was heartbreaking, lifelong friends, Kevin & Drew from New York, gave the fans laughter and just the right amount of bickering – quickly turning them into fan favorites.
Fans were excited to see their high spirits on The Amazing Race: All-Stars season, but their venture was cut short by numerous injuries and setbacks. Kevin and Drew met at a fraternity while attending St. Johns University. This iconic duo is responsible for the catchphrase, “Swing, you fat bastard, swing!” which lives on forever in fans’ memories.
5 BJ & Tyler – Season 9
These fun-loving hippies were memorable not only for their outgoing and eccentric personalities and for giving us one of the top footraces at a pitstop, but they were also the official winners of season 9. In addition, they proved the Marine Corps adage, “slow is smooth, smooth is fast,” when they paced themselves during the deep-fried crickets and grasshoppers task.
Viewers not only found the team endearing but cultured, and during their time on the race, they made sure to be respectful with everyone they encountered.
4 Rob & Brennan – Season 1
The original TAR winners of the first season were best friends and lawyers, Rob and Brennan. They proved that friends who like to laugh and joke around truly know how to stay positive and enthusiastic in any given situation. They had a great advantage in the physical tasks, and their luck with getting a better cab took them to the finish line in New York.
They have remained close throughout the years, even spending Thanksgiving together as recently as 2018.
3 Flight Time & Big Easy – Season 15, The Amazing Race: All-Stars & The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business
This pair of Harlem Globetrotters were full of charisma and showed the audience what a best friendship should look like. A fan-favorite team (who got three chances to trot around the globe) even got a shout-out from Zev and Justin, who wore their shirts in tribute.
This very tall duo (Flight Time is 6’3″ and Big Easy is 6’9″) showed how actions speak louder than words. In Sri Lanka, the team faced a sewing challenge that was giving Big Easy a hard time, so naturally, in order to help with the pressure, Flight Time proceeded to make basketball tricks, which helped to alleviate the tension.
2 Mark & Bopper – Season 20
These folksy best friends from Kentucky were full of personality and charm and stole the hearts of many viewers. No true fan can forget how much Bopper encouraged Mark in the Bollywood dance routine, despite the odds and The Amazing Race community might consider this one of the most inspirational moments in the show.
Although they were expected to return for The Amazing Race: All-Stars, a health concern with Bopper stopped them, leading to Mark continuing the race with Mallory Ervin from season 17. Fans hoped for the Kentucky team to come back once Bopper got better, but there has not been any indication of another All-Star season since 2014. They were not only beloved by TAR fans, but even host Phil Keoghan admitted they were one of his three favorite teams of all time.
1 Danny & Oswald – Season 2 & The Amazing Race: All-Stars
A friendship that defines the hashtag “friendship goals,” Danny and Oswald quickly became fan favorites for their interactions with each other and the locals. They were easy-going, calm, tolerant and patient demeanor through any obstacle. Though, yes, perhaps being too patient cost them, at the end of the day, they were happy.
Their friendship was absolutely fabulous and they shopped their way into the hearts of the fans (“and well over an hour in Hong Kong to go shopping too …”)
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