MAY 16 UPDATE: Congratulations to Team Blasian on their 2nd place finish in the Amazing Race – well done! Their combined smarts and determination kept them close during the entire race and indeed there were many opportunities for them to win the race. They did not find love, but it looks like they will be good friends. By and large, as one of the first Blasian couples on any reality television contest show, they represented Blasian couples very nicely. See the comments at the end of this post, for more color on their Amazing Race experience. The originally published article follows after the line break.
The 26th season of The Amazing Race introduces us to Blasian couple, Jelani Roy, an African American lawyer, 32, from New York, and Jenny Wu, a Chinese American lawyer, 32, from Los Angeles. They are set up on a blind date which involves racing around the world against 10 other couples. Jelani and Jenny are one of 5 blind date couples who were matched at the beginning of season 26.
In this season, the five blind date couples are racing against 6 established couples in a new twist to The Amazing Race. None of the blind date couples knew who they would be matched with before the season began, so although Jelani and Jenny did not choose to be a Blasian couple, they are a great looking couple and they are representing Blasian couples very well so far. With four episodes shown so far. They won the first two legs of race by using their smarts and working very well together. In the fourth episode, their communication broke down a bit from the stress of the race and they fell to 7th out of 9 teams. Hopefully they can use their smarts and determination to pull back to the top of the teams.
Racing around the world with either a known partner and certainly with an unknown partner, can bring out the best and the worst in some couples. With one of the other blind date couples in season 26, Blair Townsend, a white doctor, and Hayley Keel, a white ER nurse, the woman is having regular fits of anger and blows up with non-stop verbal attacks against her partner – it’s not pretty. Blair, the doctor, quickly wrote off any potential love connection with Hayley having seen her true character so early.
For Jelani and Jenny, they certainly have had their moments of stress and Jenny gets a little snippy at times with Jelani, but nowhere near as bad as the Blair and Hayley couple. For two lawyers, I’m actually surprised that they have not had more arguments. Also the silly arguments they have had have all been with their emotions well under control, so the arguments are about the event in question and do not degrade into personal attacks – very lawyer like in that regard which is nice to see. So far, Jelani and Jenny seem to be handling the stress of the race just fine, even though Jenny mentions that she does not deal well with not being in control at times in the race.
So is there a love connection with the two lawyers? Here is what Jenny said when asked whether there was a potential love connection for them, “This is a friendship, a budding friendship”. Jenny basically friend zoned Jelani, who was very gracious by just agreeing with her. The reality is that it was sort of a crazy concept for “The Amazing Race” to put blind daters in this kind of pressure packed race around the world and expect them to find love in the process.
So far, maybe only one of the five blind date couples seem to have a potential love spark, but the other blind date couples, including Jelani and Jenny have all decided to just be friends and do their best to win the race as a team. Even though Jelani and Jenny do not appear to have a love connection at this point, it’s exciting to see a Blasian couple on prime time television and hopefully it helps some viewers who may not have had seen Blasian couples before now.
Media images are very important in setting people’s perceptions and so far we would put Jelani and Jenny in the plus column for positive Blasian couple television images.