Despite its first reality-competition Emmy loss (winner: "Top Chef"), "The Amazing Race" is trudging along undaunted. CBS just announced the 11 teams for the upcoming 17th edition of the show (premiering Sept. 26), and I've already picked the best teams to watch — for better or worse. JORDAN BARTEL, B

Brook Roberts and Claire Champlin
ages: 27, 30
hometowns: San Diego; Reno, Nev.
why i like them: It'll be interesting to see if the on-demand perkiness of these home shopping TV hosts/best friends can translate on the road. Also, can't wait to get to know someone whose life ambition is to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and take over for Kelly Ripa. Nice to meet you, Brook!
negative point: Claire says she's doing "'Race' to have ... an 'amazing' experience." Looks like someone has heard the show's title.

Michael Wu and Kevin Wu (left)
ages: 58, 20
hometown: Sugar Land, Texas
why i like them: Father-son duos are always special. Plus, they both call themselves "Internet entertainers." You know what they say: Fathers and sons who Internet entertain together ..."
negative point: Michael is "not really comfortable in a competitive situation."

Nat Strand and Kat Chang

ages: 31, 35
hometowns: Scottsdale, Ariz; Santa Monica, Calif.
why i like them: These friends are both doctors (smart!) yet don't seem to be Meredith Grey-ish at all (notably, they smile and like doing things outdoors).
negative points: Their names rhyme; Nat would switch places with "the Dalai Lama or Heidi Klum," which confuses/annoys me.

Chad Waltrip and Stephanie Smith
ages: 26, 23
hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
why i like them: A really, really cute couple who hopes to grow during the experience. Furthermore, Stephanie's a champion swimmer and a former Miss USA contestant.
negative points: I'm wary of anyone who'd want to switch places with Matthew McConaughey (Chad, no!) and Celine Dion (Stephanie, seriously rethink that!).

Photos by CBS