I see that point, but since the beginning of The Amazing Race, the team in last place on the Non-Elimination has faced some sort of significant punishment, from losing all of their money, to losing their backpacks and only being able to keep their travel documents and the clothes on their backs. Neither of those were great ideas, as the teams just ended up looking like hobos who happened to be followed by a camera crew, either because they were panhandling, or because they were carrying around hotel garbage bags with their stuff inside.
I don’t have a problem with the last place team not being punished at all. Just call it a lucky break, and they go on as normal in the next leg of the race. But don’t try to paint these five or ten minute “Speed Bumps” as anything other than a token redundant task that really makes no difference at all.
If you want to continue the concept of the Speed Bump, I would suggest at each Road Block or Detour, only ONE of the envelopes contains the Speed Bump task, and the team that opens that envelope then has to perform it. I really think that would add an interesting element to the show, and could make for some great TV.
But on to this week’s episode: Will Mallory continue to yell and scream for no reason whatsoever? Who’s been on lots of gondolas? And why are people eating a sheep's head?
My Random Thoughts:
- When the teams left the Pit Stop after ripping open a clue that said “Make a run for the border", I was expecting a task that involved them carrying Taco Bell Tacos over into Norway. But then I realized that this isn’t Survivor or The Apprentice, and the product placements aren’t THAT in your face…unless it’s involving Travelocity. On that note, keep in mind that the needless “carry the Travelocity Gnome for the entire leg” episode must be coming up soon.
- Did Michael really just say that the Race is probably the last time that he and Kevin are going to be able to pee together? I know that fathers and sons do a lot of different things to bond with each other, but is urination on that list?
- I loved that in tonight’s episode, we got pounded over the head with the fact that Thomas went to Notre Dame and that Jill didn’t go to college. My favourite exchange was this one:
Jill: “Have you been in many Gondolas?”
Thomas: “Of course. I’ve been in LOTS of gondolas.”
I half expected Thomas to turn to her and say “Dammit Woman, you know I went to Notre Dame! That was first-year curriculum…Gondola Riding 101.” Of course, Jill would later explain that Thomas was sure to excel at the rappelling challenge because he grew up in the mountains rappelling all the time. So, as far as I can tell, Thomas is pretty much a Gondola Riding, Mountain Rappelling, Bridge-Identifying, Position-Predicting, genius who went to Notre Dame. Go Irish! (Did you notice that even on the Pit Stop Mat, when Phil told them they were third, he said ‘Yeah, I figured that.”)
- Mallory gave her reasoning for wanting to do the Fast Forward: “A Christmas ritual!? I Love Christmas!” At least Gary overruled that logic, but up until tonight, had he actually spoken, or did we just not notice because of Mallory’s high-pitched squeaks and whistles? - At the Fast Forward where Nat and Kat had to eat the Sheep’s head, did we really need to hear Kat say that she’s been a vegetarian for 22 years…THREE times? The point is valid once, but looking at the head itself and what they had to eat, it was a non-issue once they decided to attempt it. Even the most voracious carnivore would likely have had a hard time with that one.
- Nick and Vicki even going for the Fast Forward when they were in 6th place was ridiculous. But not nearly as ridiculous as when they got there and had no idea what the sign “Fast Forward Taken” meant? How much more direct did the sign need to be? Did it have to be a picture of Nat and Kat waving the Fast Forward and a speech balloon that said “Too Late Bitches!”
- I had to laugh at the partners constantly yelling “Good Job!” to their teammates as they rappelled off of the bridge towards the water below. Essentially, you’re congratulating them for falling. Gravity did the work there, not your partner. Save your energy for the ascent, when they really need it. - Claire had trouble ascending on the second part of the Road Block, and Brook was hollering support from the bridge. Well, it was intended to be support, I’m sure, but Brook has a way of making it sound like she’s just yelling orders at Claire. And after Claire complained about how hard it was, I kind of wanted Brook to drop a watermelon off of the bridge and hit her in the face again. If you can shake that off and complete the task, you can climb a rope.
- The teams that chose the Boats detour had to deliver fish and a chainsaw to the top of a mountain to a Norwegian man wearing a Cosby sweater. I don’t really have a lot to say about that except that I really liked the phrase “2 large cod and a chainsaw” when Phil said it, because it sounded like the end of about 50 different jokes. Also, do you think the cod and chainsaw were slated to be used together? Gross.
- Claire, on the way up the mountain with the chainsaw, again started complaining, saying “my body is in shock.” Woman, you had a watermelon explode in your face…stop whining about climbing a hill.
- Phil gave Gary and Mallory 2 raises of the eyebrow to indicate that they had finished in second place. Nice touch, Phil…way to mix it up. I’ve missed the Brow. - Nick talked about how he was Mr. Competitive bike rider, but then Vicki blew right by him on the Bikes challenge, and he ended up trailing behind her, pushing his own knee while pedaling? I’m picture him finishing last in every race, but I’m sure he would have thought it was second place based on how he thought they finished this leg.
- Brook cut her eye on the car door on the way to the Pit Stop mat, and Phil made a big deal out if it, even declaring “That’s insane!” OK, I know this is the third time I’m mentioning it, but CLAIRE HAD A WATERMELON EXPLODE IN HER FACE!! Brook cutting her eyelid is not “insane.”
- It was obvious for the entire episode that Katie and Rachel were too far behind to recover, even though they justified that it was easier to be in last place because there’s no pressure. (???) Well, at least they now have spiffy matching green shirts, jackets and shoes to wear together after the race. It’s a shame they were eliminated before the race headed to warmer climates.
Next Week: Baboushkas, film reels, and stepping in crap…welcome to Russia.
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I mentioned last week that all Amazing Race fans should read Josh Wolk’s recap as well as Darren Franich’s EW.com recap. From now on at the end of each post, I will have direct links to both. Links will become active as the posts go up online, usually within 3 hours after the episode airs on the East Coast.
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