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:
- Cody and Jen
- Jessica and Kristi
- Lucas and Conor
- Brittany and Alex
- Henry and Eric
- 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.