As the 22nd edition of "The Amazing Race" arrives at its last leg this Sunday, we caught up with the show's globetrotting host, Phil Keoghan, to get his thoughts on the remaining four teams. His boldest prediction: The country singers and the hockey guys will drop out of the race and run off together.
"It's ridiculous," Keoghan tells us. "The guys turn into schoolgirls. They get all giddy and loopy. Here they are, competitive hockey players who can get in the water with crocodiles, but they get around these girls and they act like five-year-old boys afraid to kiss little girls. They want nothing more than to be serenaded by them! It's ridiculous. They should be focused on the finish line, not on finding a date."
How did the final four teams get here? Watch this exclusive recap video to find out:
So, should Bates and Anthony be more like the derby moms? Keoghan laughs, "Have you seen roller derby? It's intense. Mona has hip-checked me a couple of times -- in good fun. I did feel like the roller derby moms would do well and make it to the end of the race. They're used to competing just like the hockey players. On Sunday, you are going to see real determination and focus. They're hungry. They're out there for their kids. They've been hanging on by a thread, but you don't want to count them out."
Even more impressive, reveals the host, are newlyweds Max and Katie. He calls them the MVPs of the race and also cites them as the most improved team this season. At the beginning, he didn't think the couple would last because "she wasn't outspoken and he wasn't realizing what she was capable of doing. Their primary mistake [was] not listening to each other." And now Keoghan thinks "they've lasted because Max had a shift in his attitude. They're in sync now."
In any case, it sounds like there won't be a clear-cut winner at the start of Sunday's finale. Keoghan reminds us that "The Amazing Race" is nothing like the Kentucky Derby: We can't pick the winners or know the odds.
"In two different seasons, I laid money down on my predictions and both times I lost," he confesses. "This year, I saw the country girls going within the first two episodes. I didn't see their competitive edge. I was wrong. They have the flirtatious quality. I don't know if you call it a quality, but they know how to get attention, how to use their looks to their advantage. And why not?"
He assures us that we will be "guessing right until the end. As always, we have something of a stumbling block, which helps to facilitate an unpredictable finish."
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The stumbling block he refers to will be a mental obstacle, explaining, "At the end of the race, when you're tired, hungry, anxious, not thinking straight, sleep-deprived, and you're hunting for the same thing as your opponents, mental pressure is much more interesting than physical pressure."
"The Amazing Race" airs Sundays at 8 PM on CBS.
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- Phil Keoghan