There are a few teams here and there on “The Amazing Race” that you really feel could have been something special, and were doomed either by a bad break or circumstances beyond their control. Chester & Ephraim last season were good examples of that, and the season before that, it was Dave & Connor. Early on, they had the makings of being the best father / son team to ever be on the race; but when Dave ruptured his ACL at the end of the second leg, you knew it was only a matter of time before it was over for them.
When you consider that these two still managed a pair of first-place finishes before leaving the race, though, you have to consider one thing: They could be a really darn amazing team if they didn’t have to go through these sort of obstacles. That is what we’re going to see from them on the race this time around.
Names – David and Connor O’Leary
“Amazing Race” history – Finishing in eighth place back in season 22 (which was won by Bates and Anthony); Caroline & Jennifer, who we’ve already spotlighted, are among the many teams from this season returning.
Claim to fame – Like we mentioned above, it’s clearly Dave’s injury and the two persevering through that for a couple of weeks before quitting. They had already an emotional story before that, as both of them are cancer survivors who have gone on to have extremely happy, healthy lives.
Strengths – Like we just said, these two guys have both went through cancer, and watched either their father or their son do the same thing. If anyone is equipped to race around the world and manage stress, it’s these two. Their relationship is also such that there will probably be little to no conflict, which gives them an advantage over at least half of the other teams. They are both in good shape, they are intelligent, and they also seem to be pretty well-liked. While they were pretty dominant in their brief time on the show together, that is probably not a lasting memory to the extent that anyone thinks that they need to be taken out or U-Turned at any point early in the race.
Weaknesses – While a year has passed since Dave’s injury, you have to wonder with something like an ACL tear if he had recovered to the extent that he needed to do well on this show. “The Amazing Race” is exhausting, and it takes some professional athletes that long to come back from this sort of injury (Dave’s a much older man than a pro athlete). They are not going to be the fastest team there (even if Dave is 100%), so they will have to make up with that in other ways.
Prediction – This is one that we’ve wrestled with, mostly because we like the team and we want to see them succeed. We just don’t see them doing that much better here than either seventh or sixth. They were dominant through the early part of their season, but we really didn’t feel like season 22 was stuffed full of dominant racers to compete with them. They will be smart enough to avoid elimination early, but we feel like the ceiling for Dave & Connor is that heartbreaking fourth-place finish at best. (We’ll share our full predictions right before the premiere.)
To see the rest of our opinions on the crop of “Amazing Race” contestants this season, be sure to visit the link here. Also, sign up now for our CarterMatt Newsletter, and we will have even more TV scoop sent straight to you.