Arguably the most polarizing personalities in recent reality television history, let alone The Amazing Race, there was barely any neutral ground with Justin & Diana. People loved them, people hated them, and there were legitimate reasons for either side of the coin. While it’s not enough to say they make the list because of their impact, which implies that it only takes making an impact to be worthy of recognition, they did have some groundbreaking traits in the series.
Not many men will be seen crying on television – even fewer will be seen unspooling their deepest darkest secrets and fears in the middle of a meltdown in Episode 1. Justin let loose the full extent of his personality from the word Go, be it in the form of jovially bouncing around with the locals in whatever task he happened to be competing in at the time, or playfully taunting the rest of the teams during the same tasks. In the humble opinion of this list’s author, these ended up being more entertaining that annoying, which is a difficult area to navigate. There were definitely annoying aspects, as it felt a little too much like purposefully grabbing the camera’s attention, but the rest of the time it erred on the side of fun. At the end of the day, whether you found the antics annoying or amusing, it was all harmless fun that was in no way disrespectful to anyone involved, and that cannot be said for a lot of teams in the show’s history, even some of the greats.
There also comes the matter of their overdog streak, during which they procured five straight leg wins – in the past, this has never been a good thing, especially because the teams who tend to get the sets of wins fall on the side of boring or offensive. Justin & Diana was the first time, once again in this author’s humble opinion, that Justin & Diana were definitely the best case scenario out of all the season’s dating couples for this to happen to. A season with seven leg wins by Cindy & Rick? Kelsey & Joey? Any other team with such a lack in personality as they? Not good outcomes for the season.
Their overdog win streak did take a bit of steam out of the season, given from that point on the only possible story could have been “Who will take down Justin & Diana?” but they were overall fun and enjoyable presences on a season with some dire lack of quality teams. Justin’s interaction with the locals and the tasks was great, Diana’s own interactions with Justin and the children of the race was also great, and their notability alongside that earns them a placement on this list.