Monthly Archives: February 2018

The Amazing Race 30 Episode 8 “It’s Just A Million Dollars, No Pressure”

Well, that’s it!

Another season of The Amazing Race has come to a close and we now know which team is a million dollars richer.  Before I talk about who won, I want to say something about this season as a whole.

This season, The Amazing Race tried a few things that I didn’t care for.  Specifically, I didn’t like the head-to-head challenges that ended some of the legs.  To me, those were terribly unfair and they pretty much went against everything that made The Amazing Race such an enjoyable show.  I sincerely hope that twist will not show up during the next season of the race.

Other than that, I really enjoyed this latest Race.  After a few weak seasons that were marred by gimmicks (like when they tried to turn the Amazing Race into a dating show and Phil was reduced to asking the teams if they were feeling any sparks while racing around the world), this season featured interesting racers, challenging roadblocks and detours, and a host of close finishes.  For once, all four of the final teams felt like they had a right to be in the finale.  With the exception of the head-to-head competitions, this was a good, strong season and it reminded me of why I like this show so much in the first place.  It’s not just that the Race takes teams to some of the most interesting and beautiful places on Earth.  It’s not just that it’s always interesting to see who can handle traveling and who is going to have a complete meltdown.  I love this show because, until Phil eliminates them, no one is ever out of the race.  A team can easily go from the back of the pack to coming in first.  By that some token, just because a team starts a leg in first place, that doesn’t mean they’re going to escape elimination when they reach the pit stop.  Unlike so many other “reality” competition show, The Race is a genuine challenge.

Now, as for what happened tonight…

I was sorry to see Alex and Conor eliminated at the end of the first hour.  That team had really grown on me and, as Conor put it, they didn’t even make it to the pit stop before Phil had to show up and eliminate them.  At the same time, Alex and Conor’s weakness was always that they miss important details.  They did well in the race and fought hard but ultimately, someone had to be eliminated.

With Alex and Conor gone, our final three were:

Kristi and Jen

Evan and Henry

Cody and Jessica

From the minute that the teams arrived in San Francisco, I felt that Cody and Jessica would win.  They were both obviously determined to come in first and they worked well together as a team.  As strong as Kristi and Jen had been throughout every other leg in the race, things fell apart for them once they arrived in San Francisco.  Physically and mentally exhausted, they fell behind the other two teams and never really caught up.

What surprised me was how strong Henry and Evan turned out to be.  They nearly won the race.  In fact, they would have won if Henry hadn’t second guessed himself during the final challenge.  Henry had his little airplane built but instead of asking for it to be checked, he over thought and switched out the right part for the wrong part.  I can only imagine what Evan said when she saw that replay.

(For all the bragging that Evan did about how analytical she and Henry were, this was a case where it would have been better if Henry had just followed his instinct.  At least he finally told Evan to stop yelling at him.)

In the end, Jessica was the first one to finish correctly building her plane and then she and Cody ran across the finish line.  Jessica was excited.  Cody has his usual expression on his face.  They were followed by Henry and Evan, neither one of whom seemed to be happy about coming in second.  In fact, that was probably the most subdued Amazing Race finish line that I’ve ever seen.  As usual, Phil was excited but none of the other teams seemed to be that happy about seeing either Cody and Jessica or Henry and Evan step up to the mat.  Instead, it seemed that they saved most of their applause for third-place finishers, Kristi and Jen.

So, with this victory, Cody and Jessica have both won $500,000 (assuming that they evenly split the million dollars).  That’s the same amount of money that Paul didn’t win during the two times that he played Big Brother.  As Cody and Jessica stepped up to the mat, I couldn’t help but remember what Christmas said to Jessica when they were in the Big Brother House together.  “Is Cody really worth giving up $500,000 over?”

Anyway, that’s it for this season!  I enjoyed watching and I enjoyed writing about it!  Thank you everyone for reading and Survivor coverage starts next week!

Lisa Marie

The Amazing Race 30 Episode 7: The First Rule of Amazing Race Club

Hi, everyone!

Well, pity poor Brittany and Lucas.  After winning the last two legs of The Amazing Race, they finally ran out of luck and were eliminated last night.  On this site, I haven’t made any secret about the fact that they were not my favorite team this season.  Still, it has to feel bad to come that close to a million dollars and then to lose it all as a result of misplacing your passport.

Brittany and Lucas’s search for Lucas’s passport dominated the first hour of last night’s episode.  Even though the show’s intrepid editors tried to convince us that Brittany and Lucas might possibly still manage to catch up to the other teams in Bahrain, it was fairly obvious from the beginning that they didn’t have much of a chance.  By the time that Brittany and Lucas landed in Bahrain, it was night and every other team had checked into pit stop.  Though it wasn’t easy to tell from the way the shot was framed, it appears that Phil was waiting for them at the first clue box,  That was where he told them that they had been eliminated from the race.

Lucas cried and who could blame him?  They did a lot better than anyone thought they would.  When this season started, I assumed that Lucas and Brittany would be one of the first teams eliminated.  Instead, they not only proved themselves to be a strong team but they also get engaged.

The remaining four teams moved on to Thailand.  For longtime viewers of The Amazing Race, there really wasn’t any suspense about Thailand.  We already knew that this leg would be a non-elimination leg.  Henry and Evan were the last team to arrive, which means that they’ll have to deal with a speed dump during the next leg of the race.

There are four teams left and I think any one of them could potentially win.  Here they are, in order of how they finished tonight:

Coming in 1st, Alex and Conor.  Team Goofy is coming on strong and Conor appears to be taking the race more seriously than he was at the beginning.  They’re a strong physical team and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them in the finale.

Coming in 2nd, Kristi and Jen.  Kristie and Jen didn’t have an easy leg but they still managed to come in 2nd.  Throughout the entire season, Kristi and Jen have never finished below third place.  If I had to pick any team to win the race, it would be Kristi and Jen.

Coming in 3rd, Cody and Jessica.  Cody and Jessica’s main strength is … well, basically, it’s Cody.  It’s not that Jessica isn’t a strong racer but Cody is definitely the stronger of the two when it comes to Detours and Roadblocks.  Cody and Jessica work well together but they always seem to have the worst luck when it comes to finding clues and locations.

Finally, coming in 4th, Henry and Evan.  Last night, we learned just how much the other teams can’t stand Evan.  We also learned that the Amazing Race editors aren’t huge fans of Evan, either.  At the Bahrain pit stop, even the bird was apparently tired of listening to Evan brag on herself.  At the detour in Thailand, we watched as the Yale debate champions struggled and failed to solve a math problem.  That said, Henry and Evan are a stronger team than they’re given credit for and it wouldn’t surprise me if they managed to make it into the finale.

Since the finale is next week, I guess I should make my predictions about what will happen.  So, I’m going to predict that Cody and Jessica will be eliminated at the end of the next leg and the final three will be Alex and Conor, Kristi and Jen, and Henry and Evan.  My prediction for the final finish:

  1. Kristi and Jen
  2. Alex and Conor
  3. Henry and Evan

We’ll see if I’m right next week!

Lisa Marie

The Amazing Race 30 Episode 6: All’s Fair In Love and War

Oh, poor Team Arkansas.

Admittedly, when this race started, I didn’t expect much from Eric and Daniel, the firefighting twins from Arkansas.  It was hard to imagine them successfully navigating the globe and outrunning the other teams to the pit stop.

During the first few legs of the race, Eric and Daniel struggled.  If not for the first head-to-head, they would have been eliminated at the end of the 2nd leg.  But, as the race continued, Eric and Daniel finally started to show some strength.  They never managed to get a first place finish but, for three legs in a row, they finished in either 2nd or 3rd place.  They turned out to be a lot smarter than anyone gave them credit for and they worked well as a team.  They kept a positive attitude, which is something that I always appreciate.  Compared to some of the other teams (*cough* Henry *cough* Evan), Eric and Daniel were humble and likable and impossible not to root for.

Unfortunately, at the end of Wednesday’s two-hour episode, Eric and Daniel’s luck ran out.  In Zimbabwe, despite the fact that two other teans u-turned, Eric and Daniel were still the last team to arrive and they were eliminated from the race.  It was their lack of rhythm that tripped them up.  The final detour required racers to sing and dance.  It quickly became apparent that this was not Eric and Daniel’s strong suit.

As for the rest of the episode, the first hour featured a pretty big twist.  After flying from the Czech Republic to Zimbabwe and competing to see who could set up a camp the fastest, the teams were split apart and everyone was forced to complete the first part of the leg with a different partner.  The new teams were:

  1. Cody and Jen
  2. Jessica and Kristi
  3. Lucas and Conor
  4. Brittany and Alex
  5. Henry and Eric
  6. Evan and Daniel

As I said before, I’m not really a big fan of twists when it comes to The Amazing Race.  In the past, the great thing about The Amazing Race was always how straight-forward it was.  Teams raced around the world.  The last team to arrive was eliminated.  It may have been simple but it worked.  This season, there’s been a few too many twists and none of them have really felt necessary.

(That said, I would have loved it if Brittany had ended up falling in love with Alex and throwing away Lucas’s ring.  But mostly that’s just because, when it comes to Brittany and Lucas, I can’t stand either one of those self-righteous phonies.)

Anyway, after completing the first part of the leg with different partners, the teams were reunited as soon as all four of them reached a mat.  Cody and Jen were the first team to arrive but, because Jessica and Kristi were the last team to arrive, they had to stand at the pit stop and watch as every other team checked in.  Though this didn’t lead to anyone getting eliminated, it did put Cody and Jessica so far behind that they ended up getting u-turned during the second hour of the show.

As for the U-turns, Henry and Evan were u-turned by Alex and Conor while Jessica and Cody were u-turned by Brittany and Lucas.  Everyone took it personally and with good reason.  Brittany sincerely dislikes Jessica.  Meanwhile, everyone in the race appears to hate Evan.  (Henry, they like.)

However, despite being u-turned, both Jessica and Cody and Henry and Evan managed to make it to the pit stop and avoid elimination.  Instead, it was Eric and Daniel who were eliminated, leaving just five teams in the race.

Here’s how everyone did, in order of their finish:

Brittany and Lucas came in first.  Brittany announced that, if they win the million dollars, she’s going to spend all of it on her wedding.  Somehow, Lucas and Brittany have emerged as the new front-runners but neither one of them is as likable as the show seems to think they are.

Kristi and Jen came in second.  If the other racers weren’t so petty and concerned with personal slights, they would have u-turned Kristi and Jen because it seems like that’s the only way that this dynamic team could have been slowed down.  At this point, Kristi and Jen have emerged as one of the strongest teams in Amazing Race history.

Coming in third, Alex and Conor.  Team Goofy finally seems to be getting themselves together.

Coming in fourth, Henry and Evan.  At this point, Henry and Evan are a meltdown waiting to happen.  While Evan desperately rambles about how rational she is, Henry meekly follows along behind her.  They both seem like they’re on the verge of snapping.

Coming in fifth, Cody and Jessica.  They’re a strong team but they really do seem to have the worst luck.  Watching Cody pout at the second detour, I was reminded why he struggled in the Big Brother house.  He has a comfort zone and he’s very strong in that zone but ask him to do something different and he resists.

Who will be eliminated next week?  I’m predicting Henry and Evan.  The show seems to be setting them up for a big fall.

Lisa Marie