When I saw last week’s preview of the Double U-Turn coming up in this episode, I braced myself for the invariable whining and complaining from the team that gets U-Turned. As readers of my Amazing Race Recaps from previous seasons may remember, I am a big proponent of using the tools that are available to you to win the game. It’s the same concept as a stolen base in baseball…it’s not unethical or ‘dirty’ to do it, even though the name ‘stolen base’ itself is a connotation of wrongdoing.
In previous seasons, we’ve seen teams get riled up over being U-Turned, but if you’re not willing to use the U-Turn with only 5 teams left in the Race, then you don’t really want to win. As I stated last season when Brent and Caite U-Turned Carol and Brandi, I think that any move that eliminates 20% of the field in a contest for $1 million dollars is a pretty smart move.
But on to this week’s episode, which saw the Final 5 teams travelling to Bangladesh…where the premiere of the dreaded DOUBLE U-Turn awaited them.
My Random Thoughts:
- I’ve been pretty hard this season on Thomas for his condescending ways, but I had a hearty laugh hearing him begin the episode saying that there was a “Do-Blay” U-Turn ahead. Now, I don’t think Mr. Notre Dame Class of ’02 really thought that was the correct pronunciation of “double”, but it’s an obvious editing ploy because he likes to correct Jill on anything and everything…like the difference between wheelbarrows and rickshaws, or what ‘extremities’ are on your body.
- Jill, meanwhile is becoming more and more dramatic with everything that comes out of her mouth. Tonight she said that “Getting to the U-Turn first is crucial”, and that getting the earlier flight was also 'crucial'. I would suggest the word ‘obvious’ could replace ‘crucial’ in either instance, but when you also factor in that just riding the rickshaw in Bangladesh was ‘crazy’ to her, and rappelling in Oman last week was ‘insane’ , I have a feeling that everything in Jill’s life is excessively dramatic. Like at dinner, she could turn to Thomas and say, ‘This Chicken is NUTS!’ He, of course, would respond with "I've had this a thousand times before."
- At the airport in Oman, we saw Jill and Thomas fight for an earlier flight, Nat and Kat head off to Dubai in search of something better, Team Home Shopping and The Tattoo Twins searching for other options…and Chad and Stephanie grabbing a snack. I guess they were still basking too much in the afterglow of their new engagement to actually focus on trying to win the Race. Maybe the circulation to Chad’s brain was cut off by that ridiculous neck pillow that he wore in the airport for no reason. Or maybe the Neanderthal football jock gene in his brain just kept saying “Mmmmm…Blizzard.” Did you love how they blurred out the Dairy Queen logo on the sign, but still left in the fact that Chad wanted to go get a Blizzard?
- Essentially, we saw the first 15 minutes in an airport, all just to learn that Jill and Thomas had a 7-hour lead. Was that really necessary?
- I had to laugh at the Sugar Cane drink challenge because we had a family brunch today with about 20 people to celebrate my mom’s birthday, and for the latter portion of the brunch at the restaurant, all of the kids were filling up their water glasses with sugar cubes from the table. One of the glasses had eight cubes in it, and we were commenting on how sweet it would have been. That’s what I imagined the Sugar Cane liquid would have tasted like, although Thomas pounded it back like he was the anchor leg on a Notre Dame Boat Race. (Nice touch on the Irish shirt this week, by the way)
- When Jill was doing the Rickshaw Roadblock, and talking about “nuts and bullets”, Thomas was calling out supportively to her, but all we really heard were two suggestive phrases, as he said: “she’s handling that wrench pretty well”, and “put that booty into it.” It was a little gratuitous, and I was half-expecting the Rickshaw supervisor to tell her that she couldn’t leave until she “greased his chain”, but thankfully, that was all. To be fair, I suppose you have to try and fit something interesting into the show when your leading team hits the Pit Stop at 8:28 and no one else is even in the country yet.
Speaking of the Rickshaw supervisor, did you notice how visibly disappointed he was every time someone thought they were finished but were missing something. It wasn’t a simple Yes or No from this guy…he was letting them know he expected better.
- Upon finding out they were U-Turned by Jill and Thomas, Brook and Claire’s only response was a simple “You’re lame", before heading off to do the Brick portion of the Detour. What ensued, however, was Brook essentially treating Claire as her own personal pack mule, as she hollered “C’Mon Claire!” no less than SIX times during the Detour. Claire was ready to drop, and she let Brook know after the fact. Brook responded by saying “You’re sick? I’m exhausted!” The obvious conversation-ender would have been to shoot back with “You’re exhausted? I HAD A WATERMELON EXPLODE IN MY FACE!”, but Claire took the high road.
- I expected Chad to go into a full-on bout of Roid Rage when he saw that they had been U-Turned. Little did I know that the rage would happen before even finding out, as he was shushing Stephanie repeatedly and getting frustrated with being lost. He impressed me with his handling of the U-Turn, however, as other than a few ‘grasping-at-straws’ taunts at Nat (which had no effect whatsoever), he essentially took it like a man. Previous and future teams should take a lesson from the two teams tonight on how to handle being U-Turned.
- At the Rickshaw challenge, Brook said “I’m gonna charge through it like a spider monkey.” I don’t get the reference. Are spider monkeys really fast at putting bikes together? Are they fast at anything? Or does putting this rickshaw together somehow require a prehensile tail? Someone explain this to me, because that made about as much sense as her saying "Let’s make like a stapler and get out of here.” And when did these two stop the Amazing Race Kiss Count? Or are they still kissing everyone possible and we’re just not seeing it?
- I found it a little suspicious that at the Pit Stop mat, Phil made a point to say to Brook and Claire “You still have a chance to become the first all-female team to win The Amazing Race.” I found it fishy, because he didn’t say it to Nat and Kat. Theories?
- Chad and Stephanie got the boot. At least they still have each other. I mean, they have been engaged for 2 days. I give it 18 months, tops.
Next Week: Brook does some Hong Kong Dirty Dancing, and Nick is Boyfriend of the Year once again.
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