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Investigative Report: Are Karl and Kay Malone on the next season of “The Amazing Race”?

July 4, 2011
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Preface: Let me just say, the Amazing Race community over at Reality Fan Forum is ridiculous. They have fans all over the world watching for and following the teams as they travel, while others rule in and rule out destinations based on flights schedules, while others still monitor Facebook and Twitter for sightings, while an array of translators fluent in various languages translate those Facebook statuses and tweets. Amazing.

OK, so let’s start with where it all began for us non-RFF readers. The first mention I saw of it was on Twitter about 10 days ago, while the second was the rumor being written up in the Trib.

How did the rumor get started? Someone got pictures of all the teams at the airport and the community immediately began trying to identify the contestants.

This was one of the teams, identified as a married couple:

My first impression was that this could very well be Karl and Kay Malone. The man doesn’t look to be Karl’s height, but it’s hard to tell from the kind of upward angle from which the photo was taken.

The speculation on the couple’s identity begins soon after the picture is posted:

i thnk that black guy football player he look so familair and aslo by the big ring on finger they must be rich so football player and there aslo married by ring on his finger so i am right so we are look for football player
ZBC Company JL June 21, 2011, 08:49:18 AM

I think so too zach! Anybody think that could be some NFL ring? Super Bowl??
georgiapeach June 21, 2011, 09:07:26 AM

I do think he looks like an athlete, perhaps basketball is an option as well? (They just finished their season)
I’ll work on this some more…
Prophet June 21, 2011, 09:17:19 AM

And it is very important to consider that if it were not for the current NFL lockout teams would be in training soon. Why would a NFL player apply before he knew there would be a lockout? And even with the lockout would he be free to go all around the world for several weeks?
Prophet June 21, 2011, 09:21:26 AM

Initial speculation identified him as NFL player JaMarcus Russell:

Is that person Jamarcus Russell formerly of the Oakland Raiders? He hasn’t tweeted since June 10 saying, “Ill be back”.
Leafsfan June 21, 2011, 09:38:15 AM

i amlook photo it does loook like him same tattos and sam ficail
ZBC Company JL June 21, 2011, 09:46:32 AM

Jamarcus Russel definitely doesn’t have anything to do this off-season.
Prophet June 21, 2011, 09:55:37 AM

I don’t think they would cast Jamarcus. He is not very popular and is widely considered a bad player. He also has a criminal record.
Prophet June 21, 2011, 10:15:46 AM

Then, the Karl Malone guesses started:

My last guess is Karl Malone formerly of the NBA.
Leafsfan June 21, 2011, 10:33:21 AM

Well, that’s not completely impossible
Prophet June 21, 2011, 10:35:26 AM

I know that I have seen that guy somewhere. He is definitely an athlete. I can tell you that, but I just can’t put a name to his face.
amazing race fan June 21, 2011, 10:50:01 AM

It’s very possible. The female partner looks like his wife, Kay.

retard boi June 21, 2011, 10:51:45 AM

Winner!

Chateau d If June 21, 2011, 10:55:42 AM

YEA!!!!!!!!!!
Leafsfan June 21, 2011, 10:56:28 AM

I was hoping TAR wouldn’t go the Survivor route with professional athletes. I just hope they don’t overdo it. Karl Malone is a pretty big name in the NBA. His wife was 1988 Miss Idaho USA, so the trend of beauty queens continues.
chill_sd June 21, 2011, 11:40:44 AM

You guys are really good figuring out that was Karl Malone! Impressive!!!
TARAsia Fan June 21, 2011, 02:44:22 PM

Doubt:

Just a quick post since I’m heading out to a meeting: the big African American guy doesn’t look like Kay Malone. But maybe excitement clouded my vision
krabbe June 22, 2011, 02:36:31 AM

I’m kind of uneasy with our identification of Karl Malone. The guy in the pictures doesn’t look 6’9″ tall. He looks at most 4 or 5 inches taller than his wife. Maybe his wife is well over 6′ tall, but that would be pretty unusual for a beauty pageant winner. Also, while the other racers are at varying distances from the wall, comparing them to the darker lines on the wall in the background, the general feeling is that they aren’t that much shorter than the Karl Malone in our pictures. However, it could be the camera angles since they are at various locations along that wall. The security guard near the door appears to tower over everyone else since presumably he is closer to the photographer and nearest to the wall.

On the other hand, our identification of Karl Malone has gotten a fair amount of attention and has been in the Salt Lake City newspaper. If Karl is just going through his day to day life back in Louisiana (I read that he works for Louisiana Tech University these days), I imagine someone would have called it to his attention. In that case, I expect we would have heard a denial from him about the rumors of his being on the Amazing Race. The lack of a denial by this point lends some credibility to our identification.
Plaidmoon2 June 30, 2011, 12:27:54 AM

Then, we got a couple of clearer shots of the couple, which conclusively closed the case…

…although this subsequent post almost got me convinced again:

In this comparison I set up the stick figure on the Malone media shot and directly copied and pasted it on top of the shot from LAX.

It looks like a match to me!

Chateau d If June 30, 2011, 02:16:09 AM

great work chateau.
eddieshi1 June 30, 2011, 02:18:43 AM

OK, I’m convinced too. I thought it might end up being an issue with the camera angles and the distances in those earlier pictures and apparently that was the case. In these latest pictures, Karl is clearly about a foot taller than his wife and about 4 to 6 inches taller than Phil.

Photographic Forensic Analysis – best left to the experts. Don’t try this at home, kids!

Good work, Chateau!
Plaidmoon2 June 30, 2011, 02:57:50 AM

Based on her eyebrows and ear shape, not to mention general features, it sure looks like Kay Malone in the most recent pictures above arriving at the mat. I’d say the picture from LAX of him looking at the camera sure looks like Karl. The one above, as they come into the mat, not so much, though if you look at him on the video – maybe. He does seem to look different in general if you catch him from the front vs. the side, and maybe the picture above just got him at a bad moment or a bad angle. The mustache/beard is his style, the relative heights of him and her seem right.

Have to agree that in the photo with Phil, he doesn’t look quite as tall as you might expect. However, he’s got on a good size backpack, so maybe is slouching; at 47, could have lost a bit of height; might never have actually been 6’9″ to begin with; Phil could be wearing cowboy boots.

If it’s not actually the Malones, it’s a couple that sure looks just like them!
lovetherace June 30, 2011, 12:27:00 PM

People do round up their physical measurement statistics and athletes in particular do (such as height in the NBA and NFL) to intimidate opponents. Also, since I have lost about 1.5 inches in height over the past decade, it could have happened to Karl Malone too. He could only be 6’6″ now.
apskip July 01, 2011, 11:21:59 AM

It’s funny…they could’ve just asked someone/an NBA fan who knows what Karl looks like for a definitive answer.

As of present time, RFF is still identifying this team as “Karl and Kay Malone.”

So yeah, I could’ve just posted the clear pic and said, “It’s not true,” but I figured some people might need the extra reading given the lockout and all.

Well…the false hope was fun while it lasted.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 4, 2011 5:20 pm

    They should have just looked at the guys legs (or calfs to be precise) and see it’s not Karl Malone. Malone has got thrice those calfs.

  2. Riles permalink
    July 7, 2011 5:30 am

    No ShapeUps … No Karl.

  3. mzjazz permalink
    July 7, 2011 6:12 am

    Finnur, that was going to be my exact post. Karl would be outraged to hear that people believed those were his calves.

    I wish it were Karl and Kay. I’d be addicted so quickly!

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