"Once I recognized that the non-dating teams were performing way above my expectations, I changed my thinking," reveals our "The Amazing Race" contest champ Jason Nolette, who wins our prize of a $100 Amazon gift certificate and eternal bragging rights for topping our Season 26 leaderboard. "From Week 5 to the finale, I only picked one of these three teams to finish first in that week's leg."
Nolette answered every question this season and came out victorious with 57% prediction accuracy and a 33,765 point score. (View his predictions by clicking here.) So, how did this user pull off his season-long victory?
"At first, I thought that the dating teams would have the edge, so I bet mostly on them to win. At the beginning of the season I bet on Aly and Steve to win Season 26. Around Week 4, I realized that the blind date couples were performing a lot stronger than I had expected, especially Tyler and Laura, Jelani and Jenny, and Blair and Hayley.
"When betting 500 points, I only use that on questions that have other than 'Yes' or 'No' answers. Instead, I bet 500 points on questions like 'Who will be eliminated?' My 200 point bets are used on the questions that will give me the highest points based on the odds and my level of confidence.
"Initially, I was not certain if I would like the twist of having blind date couples for the first time on 'The Amazing Race.' It didn't take me long to realize that the blind date couples added a new element to the season, and it worked superbly! At the beginning of the season, I would not have thought that the final three teams would all be blind date couples."
As you can see from the chart below, 41% of our users predicted a victory for Tyler and Laura. They pegged TeamSoCal to be the first across the finish line. Indeed, this temporary twosome had topped our predictions for all but one of the 12 weeks.
And we overestimated the potential of the battling Blair and Hayley. Despite arriving at the Reunion Tower in first place, Hayley's failure to find the location of the next clue set them back. See our users' complete odds for the finale.
"The Amazing Race" may be over, but we are forecasting everything from the results on TV shows like "Game of Thrones" to the winners of the Emmys, Critics' Choice TV Awards and Tonys.
Average Gold Derby users just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it's important that you give us your predictions. You can change them later as often as you like.
Get started by making your prediction as to which main character will die next on "Game of Thrones" using our easy drag-and-drop menu below. And be sure to sound off on the current season of "Survivor" in Gold Derby's reality TV forum.