[dropcap]H[/dropcap]ello TWIM Nation, it’s time once again for a new season of Relative Race. Unfortunately I didn’t get a job with Relative Race since our last go around, so I will stick to being your illustrious recap specialist here on TWIM.
Season 6 is off with a bang, as the teams gather at Virginia International Raceway, ready to meet their relatives and compete for $50,000. The show opens with Dan in a Formula 1 car, and I’m reminded that he gets to do all the fun stuff. I think I may have told my wife at least ten times that I want to drive a Formula 1 car someday. To which she responded with the appropriate eye-roll.
Did you know our podcast hosts had a chance to interview Dan Debenahm! You can list to Geoff and Al’s interview here.
Well, what are we waiting for, let’s meet the teams!
Hailing from Randallstown, Maryland, comes Ray and Nicole Campbell. These two have been married for 10 years and have two kids. They both work in the telecommunications industry. Ray is coming on this show to find his family. He was adopted at 3-weeks old. His mother gave him up for adoption while keeping his brother. Ray has wondered his whole life why, and he is hoping to find answers to that question.
Bless your hearts! Chris and DeShae Pardon come from Ruston, Louisianna ready to battle. They are hoping DeShae’s meticulous notes and planning will carry them through to the finale. DeShae is seeking her biological family, as she was put up for adoption at birth..
From Leland Carolina, come Paul and Anitra Lewis, who are hoping to break the losing streak of Team Blue. Anitra was given up for adoption at birth by her 16 year old mother. For many years she didn’t know she was adopted, but at the age of 7, she learned the truth. Paul and Anitra are hoping to use the money to adopt children.
Draper Utah is the home of J. D. and Jenn Barnes, who have been married for a whopping 29 years. Lacrosse Coach J.D and stay-at-home mom and grandma Jenn are hoping to find J.D’s biological father.
The teams were paired together in the task of rotating tires on a formula one race car. It became quickly apparent that some teams were better with the wheel guns, or recognizing the the wheel nuts were on backwards. Now for reference a typical pit crew consists of around 20 people. 3 people per wheel, 2 jack operators and a handful of mechanics. They can accomplish a pit stop in 2 seconds. See the video below for reference.
Our teams weren’t quite that fast, but they did their best. Once they are rotated the tires of their cars, they drove 2 laps around the track. Green and Black were the first out gate, while Red and Blue struggled with the wheel nuts.
1. Team Blue
In Washington D.C. Anitra meets her cousin Andre, who just so happens to be their family historian. Andre is able to show Anitra some of the pictures of their ancestors and the 1-room school house they were integral in creating. With Anitra being an English Professor, she immediately feels a connection to her ancestors.
2. Team Green
Over in Charlotte, North Carolina, DeShae finds her 1st cousins Jazzmyn and Tori on her father’s side. Unfortunately they were unaware of DeShae because they lost contact with their father’s side of the family after his death. DeShae however does get to see a picture of her grandparents for the first time.
3. Team Red
Ray and Nicole find themselves in Graham, North Carolina where they meet Ray’s cousin Isabelle and her family. This is probably one of the most emotional reunions of the night, as Ray breaks down in Isabelle’s arms. While they didn’t have any direct answers for him about his parents, his family has created a blank family tree for him to fill in as he continues his journey on Relative Race
4. Team Black
Plagued by not being able to find their relatives street, J.D and Jenn come in last place for the day, but they didn’t lose in the family department. J.D is able to meet his first cousin on his father’s side, Lisa. He learns that his family didn’t know about him, and he also learns the unfortunate news that his father passed away at 32, probably never knowing anything about J.D. either. Regardless of the strike, it appeared to bring a little bit of closure to some of J.D’s questions.
At the end of Day 1 it is worth noting that the Team’s seem very supportive of each other. I’ve noticed this over the last several seasons and I appreciate it. Sure it is a game, but at the end of the day it’s about reconnecting with family, and they all appear genuinely excited when someone on another team connects to their past.