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Whenever the new competitors for "Amazing Race" (or "Survivor," "Big Brother" or any other returning reality competition for that matter) are unveiled, you can easily envision how the producers and casting directors worked out the potential mix of personalities. ("Let’s see, we need two teams of screwed-up couples. Gimme a nerd herd, at least a couple of hotties with issues and throw in a mother-son act. Oh, and don’t forget the zany siblings. Also, be sure to give us some bonded bad boys.")

The thing is, I’m pretty sure that most of the teams on "AR" don’t have a clue which category they’re in. Certainly, the dysfunctional teams never seem to think they’re dysfunctional. If they did, they’d knock it off, wouldn’t they?

The part that, yes, amazes, me is that the dysfunctional doofs usually thrive — at least in the race’s early going. Episode two finds the socially and emotionally challenged in top form:

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