So, I just watched the latest episode of The Amazing Race and I have mixed feelings about what I just saw.
Let’s start with the positive, shall we?
One of the most appealing things about The Amazing Race is that you get to see all of the beautiful countries that the teams visit. Even though the teams rarely have the opportunity to really enjoy the scenery, the show still works as a fun little travelogue for the viewers at home. Tonight, the teams flew from Columbia to Switzerland and I was really happy that they did.
Switzerland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I spent the summer after I graduated high school exploring Europe. And while I ended up spending most of my time in Italy, I still spent a few nights in Switzerland and it was absolutely amazing! The mountains were breathtaking and the air itself seemed to be cleanest that I had ever breathed. It was an amazing experience and watching Friday’s episode brought back a lot of really good memories.
Secondly, the challenges were truly challenging. For the Detour, teams either had to put together an extremely intricate swiss army knife or they had to figure out how many people could sit on Europe’s longest bench. Both took a lot of effort and concentration. Then, the roadblock was a complex map challenge, where they had to look at hundreds of maps and figure out which map represented with country. Once teams figured out how to do it, it was easy. But, at the same time, some teams are better at figuring things out than others.
But, despite all of that, I got frustrated very early with tonight’s episode. This season’s racers are all online celebrities and I’ve noticed that a lot of them seem to lack the killer instinct that was possessed by the best racers of the past. The majority of them seem to be more interested in being stars and promoting their brand than in trying to win the race. Hopefully, things will get a bit more cut throat as the race progresses because, tonight, everyone was way too nice to almost everyone else.
(It’s true that nobody was very nice to Brittany and Jessica but that’s because even this group of racers understand that someone has to come in last and be eliminated.)
Things started off with everyone talking about how Blair, who always finishes close to last, has a crush on Brodie, who always seems to finish each leg in either first or second place. Tyler or Korey even suggested that Brodie and Blair should be known as Blodie and then encouraged us to “get it trending.”
And really — bleh. First off, Brodie isn’t that hot. He’s got a creepy smile, a boring personality, and it wouldn’t hurt him to shave. Meanwhile, Blair and her father are in perennial danger of getting eliminated. Considering how much those two have struggled during every single leg of the race, the last thing Blair needs to do is get distracted by a crush on a guy who isn’t all that special to begin with. Would you give up a chance to win a million dollars just for a showmance?
And that leads me to my second issue — why was everyone helping out almost everyone else tonight? Whenever one team figured out how to do a challenge, they would let everyone else know. It all goes back to that lack of killer instinct. Nobody had any killer instinct tonight.
Well, that’s not quite true. When it became obvious that Brittany and Jessica were in last place, the rest of the teams pretty much shut them out. When Jessica begged for help during the flag challenge, the remaining teams ignored her. And while it may have seemed rather mean on their part, it was smart strategy. As Blair pointed out, somebody was going to have to come in last.
But really, an even smarter strategy would have been for none of the teams to have worked together or helped each other out. My favorite racers have always followed the strategy made famous by Boston Rob and Amber. Why help a bunch of people you’re never going to see outside of the race?
(Especially when there’s a million dollars on the line!)
At the end of the leg, almost all of the racers pretty much showed up at the pit stop at the same time and there was big impromptu party at the mat. Phil said that this was the biggest collection of people to arrive at the mat at the same time since All-Stars.
Either Erin or Joslyn (who can keep them straight) said, “That’s because we’re all-stars.”
Yeah, you wish.
To no one’s great surprise, Brittany and Jessica showed up last. They had terrible luck during this leg of the race. Not only did the rest of the teams refuse to help them but they also ended up getting the last train to the pit stop. Phil eliminated them from the race.
For the record, here’s how everyone finished this leg of the race. The top 8 teams were so close together that all of them pretty much arrived at the mat within seconds of each other. Next week, when its time to start the 5th leg, they’ll all be leaving at nearly the same time so, this time around, the order of finish is not as important as it’s been on other legs of the race (unless, of course, your Brittany and Jessica);
- Brodie and Kurt
- Tyler and Korey
- Dana and Matt
- Burnie and Ashley
- Zach and Rachel
- Erin and Joslyn
- Sheri and Cole
- Scott and Blair
- Brittany and Jessica (eliminated)
There are 8 teams left and, since the race began, it’s been pretty obvious who is at the top and who isn’t. Though things can always change (remember what happened to Team Texas last season), it appears that Brodie and Kurt, Tyler and Korey, and Burnie and Ashley are the three strongest teams. Dana and Matt have the potential to be strong but they spend too much time arguing and that hardly ever works out well. Meanwhile, Zach and Richael, Erin and Joslyn, Sheri and Cole, and Scott and Blair as probably going to be steadily eliminated, one after another, over the next four legs.
Personally, I do hope that Zach and Rachel prove me wrong and manage to move up into the upper tier of this season’s racers. Last week, I shared two of Zach’s Jedi Kitten videos. Here’s a little more from Zach:
GO ZACH AND RACHEL!