There were two good things about tonight’s episode of The Amazing Race.
First off, the sixth leg of the race took the teams to Italy. The summer after I graduated high school, I went to Italy so I spent this entire episode pointing at the TV and going, “I’ve been there!” I’m sure that probably got annoying after a little while but Italy is a beautiful country and I have a lot of good memories of my trip. It was nice to be reminded of that summer.
The other good thing was that it proved something that I’ve always said about this show. If you live by the U-turn, you will eventually die by the U-turn. Earlier in the race, for no particular reason, Vanck and Ashton used the U-turn on Matt and Redmond. When that U-turn failed to knock their rivals out of the race, Ashton responded by taunting them over only coming in third at the end of the third leg.
Subsequently, Ashton has managed get on everyone’s nerves with her superior attitude. She has also treated her partner with almost nonstop disdain, constantly complaining about having to run the race with him. While I can understand not wanting to race with Vanck (because, let’s be honest, he just gives off a creepy vibe), Vanck was her partner. She was stuck with him. All the complaining in the world wasn’t going to change that and, at the very least, Vanck was still a better partner to Ashton than Shamir was to Sarah.
This episode, Ashton’s attitude finally came back to bite her. In Italy, with a U-turn approaching, all of the other teams conspired to get Vanck and Ashton out of the race. Liz and Michael u-turned Vanck and Ashton. Becca and Floyd, who arrived right after, then u-turned Liz and Michael knowing that Liz and Michael would not be affected by it and that, as a result, only Vanck and Ashton would have to do both tasks of the detour.
From the minute Vanck and Ashton were detoured, it was pretty much over for them. They were already running behind and, as soon as they saw that they would have to do both tasks, they seemed to give up. I would feel bad for them if not for the way Ashton had treated everyone else. I hate to see people gang up once team but, in this case, Ashton and Vanck brought it on themselves.
Karma. Don’t mess with it.
As for how the others team did, here they are in order of finish:
Becca and Floyd came in first! They call themselves Team Fun and I know a lot of people love them but I think I would go insane if I had to spend more than five minutes in the presence of either one of them. Positive energy is good in theory but sometimes, you need a break from the relentless joy.
Matt and Redmond came in second! They’re both obviously frustrated by the fact that they have yet to get a first place finish but they’re running a strong race and I do think they might very well end up winning it all. They work well together and they have no obvious weaknesses. Tonight, it was just a matter of luck that Becca and Floyd reached the mat first.
Tara and Joey came in third. Team Boring is still running strong.
Liz and Michael came in fourth. They’ve got a way to go to return to their former glory but at least Liz and Michael are actually talking to each other again. They’re either going to be put the last leg’s meltdown behind them or it’s going to happen again and they’ll end up being eliminated.
Brooke and Scott came in fifth. I pretty much lost what little patience I had for Brooke tonight. Her partner has twice conquered his crippling fear of heights. Tonight, Brooke was the one who had to climb a mountain and look for a clue and, as always happens whenever she has to do something difficult, Brooke’s response was to have an emotional meltdown. I mean, I’m scared of heights too but sometimes, you have to stop whining and just do whatever has to be done. Brooke and Scott have been consistently in the back of the pack so, if they don’t get it together, they’re not going to be around much longer.
Logan and London came in sixth. London and Logan should be a strong team but, for whatever reason, they have yet to move up in the rankings. So far, over the course of six legs, they have finished: 8th twice, 5th three times, and now in 6th. I’ve grown to like London and Logan but there’s only so many times you can narrowly avoid finishing last.
And finally, in seventh, Vanck and Ashton! Sorry, y’all. It’s always good to have a villain on any reality show but no one actually wants to see the villains stick around for too long. With the season halfway over, it was time for Vanck and Ashton to get their comeuppance and move on.
Next week, they’re in Venice!
Ah, what wonderful memories.