Leo and Jamal are cousins from Southern California. They introduce themselves as the "Afghanimals" while clowning around obnoxiously in an urban setting like a couple of goofy third-graders. Their interview explains that their parents fled Afghanistan to give them a better life and that they're just as American as your next-door neighbor. I'm glad they said that, because now I can hate them without being racist.
This season's blondes are Ally and Ashley, "NHL ice crew teammates from Long Beach, California." Apparently their job is to skate out and clean the ice during TV breaks for L.A. Kings games, which we see them doing in between shots of them smiling vapidly at the camera. Seriously, there's so little going on behind their eyes it's hard to tell which direction they're looking. Ally says they're not looking for love on the race, but if it happens it would be great, and then she suddenly remembers she has a boyfriend. Oh yeah, they'll be around a while.
Nicole and Travis are "married ER physicians from Atlanta, Georgia." Nicole says they're a team at home (where they apparently have four kids) and at work, so he believes they're the formidable couple. With both of them gone for a month, let's hope there aren't many injuries in Atlanta for a little while.
Hoskote and Naina are a father and daughter team from Laguna Niguel, California. Hoskote speaks with an Indian accent, while Naina could pass for a network news anchor as she says that her father still has some antiquated ideas from the old country. As we see them doing yoga and goofing off on a beach, Hoskote says he believes in the idea of "father knows best," which I'm sure has nothing to do with his being the father. He wants her to have an arranged marriage, which she isn't necessarily down with. Hmm. I'm all for respecting different cultures, but I'm not sure which one Naina considers herself part of at this point.
Tim and Danny are "oil plant workers from Cordell, Oklahoma." Their small town with its empty streets is shot in a dustbowl-filter to telegraph the poverty-stricken, podunk environment from which we're clearly supposed to assume they hail. An impression which may not be entirely inaccurate. The shorter one, Danny, says they work 70 to 90 hours per week, pretty much paycheck to paycheck. Tim says his wife has polycystic kidney disease, and Danny has two daughters, so they both need the money. I don't know which oil company pays them so poorly, but I'll be sure to think of these two next time it costs me half their day's wages to fill my gas tank.