Connor and Jonathan: one harmonic 'Amazing Race' team for Culture Monster to root for
"Amazing Race 17" made its debut Sunday night, and sticking out like nerdy thumbs in the 12-team field was a male twosome of self-professed a capella fanatics immediately dubbed by fellow contestants as "Team Glee."
Princeton students and best friends Connor Diemand-Yauman and Jonathan Schwartz got off to a slow start, being the last of 12 teams to catch a flight from Boston to London on leg one of the race.
But the 22-year-olds, who sang in tenor harmony as they drove around the English countryside, ended Episode 1 a strong third. Additionally, they were unfailingly polite to other teams, stopping to try to assist one team with an overheating engine and another with a flat tire. (It should be noted that, fitting the reality show typecast, they demonstrated no mechanical skills with either car problem.)
Diemand-Yauman claimed to draw strength for the around-the-globe competition from their singing-oriented skills.
"Tenors in the a capella world are known for being bad-asses, manly, it's the manliest of parts," opined Diemand-Yauman. Schwartz, whose resemblance to Harry Potter was immediately noted by another rival team, underscored their unabashedly uber-nerd background by noting in an online bio that one of his favorite hobbies is "filling out surveys."
"The Amazing Race" got off to a good start in the ratings Sunday night, according to early figures from the Nielsen Co., attracting about 11.1 million viewers, a 7% increase from last fall's premiere.
— Christopher Smith