If nothing else, this season of The Amazing Race will be remembered for drama at the pit stop.
On previous seasons of The Amazing Race, coming in last at the pit stop would typically mean a few tears, an expression of regret, and, ultimately, a show of appreciation for whoever your partner was in the race. Phil would tell you that he was sad to see you go and, most of the time, he would mean it. Phil’s kind of the anti-Probst in that way. Whereas Jeff Probst often seems to view the people on Survivor as merely being pieces in a game, Phil always seems to get emotionally involved in the race. Phil would always make sure that the eliminated teams at least got to leave the game with a shred of dignity.
That hasn’t always been the case during the current season of The Amazing Race. This season, showing up last to the pit stop had led to a lot of drama and accusations. Not surprisingly, the main reason for this is the Riley Sisters.
I always go back and forth on how I feel about Rachel. On a personal level, she drives me crazy. I get tired of the whining. I get tired of the overdone theatrics. I get tired of the constant bitterness. I worry about what will happen to her once Big Brother and The Amazing Race are no longer on the air. Her life revolves around going on reality TV shows and acting like a child. I’m not sure that mentally healthy, though it’s certainly paid off for her financially.
At the same time, Rachel brings the drama. It’s important to have a villain on these shows and Rachel always seem to be willing to play the role. Watching Rachel, you do have to wonder how much of her obnoxious behavior is authentic and how much of it is just her playing the role that’s made her famous? I imagine it’s probably a little of both.
This season, even more so than the previous two times that she was on the race, Rachel has managed to alienate every other team on the show. Rachel may be a bit more passive-aggressive while racing with her sister as opposed to her husband but she’s still the same old Rachel. Unfortunately, because Rachel and Elissa have consistently been at the back of the pack throughout this entire season, they always seem to be at the mat when the last team to arrive finally shows up. They’re always present at eliminations and this had led to some drama.
For instance, Corrine and Eliza probably would have thrown a hissy fit over getting eliminated regardless. But having Rachel standing there undoubtedly didn’t help. Britney and Janelle weren’t as vocal as either Corrine or Eliza but you could still tell that neither was happy to leave the race with Rachel staring at them. And then last night, it was Nicole and Victor’s turn.
When Nicole and Victor reached the pit stop last night, it was already an emotional moment. The entire leg of the race took place in the mountains of Switzerland. Nicole, much like me, is terrified of heights. As a result, Nicole spent almost the entire leg of the race freaking out. And then, when she and Victor finally reached the pit stop, there was Rachel and Elissa.
Nicole and Victor were already mad at Rachel and Elissa because Rachel told them that all of the other teams were planning on U-turning them. Rachel apparently thought that she was just giving them a “heads up” but instead, Nicole and Victor felt as if Rachel and Elissa were trying to manipulate them into using the U-turn themselves.
(Meanwhile, the other teams were not happy to discover that Rachel and Elissa had revealed their plans.)
So, when they reached the mat, we spent what seemed like several minutes listening to Nicole go on about how difficult the day had been. She wasn’t just upset over having to confront her fear of heights. She was also upset that Rachel and Elissa had tried to make her and Victor feel paranoid. To be honest, it was a little bit hard to follow Nicole’s monologue but it was still clear, by the end, that she and Victor have no interest in working with Rachel and Elissa.
Fortunately, for Nicole and Victor, last night was a non-elimination leg! So, they’re still in the race! I’m glad about that. I like Nicole and Victor and, honestly, Switzerland is too beautiful a country for anyone to be eliminated in.
Here’s how the teams finished:
Coming in 1st, Tyler and Korey. Tyler and Korey had another good leg of the race, which means we didn’t have to listen to them whine about not being in first for once.
Coming in 2nd, Colin and Christie. Colin and Christie are continuing to come on strong. I have yet to see any signs of weakness from either one of them. Comparing the way Christie and Nicole each dealt with their fear of heights says a lot about why one team came in second and one came in last.
Coming in 3rd, Becca and Floyd. Team Fun is inconsistent. When they’re strong, they’re really strong. When they struggle, they really struggle. Last night, they were very strong.
Coming in 4th, Leo and Jamal. I’m still a little bit surprised that these two are finishing higher in the race but the Afghanimals still have the potential to win the race.
Coming in 5th, Rachel and Elissa. Now that they’ve managed to alienate everyone, they may be in trouble next week, for reasons that I’ll going into shortly.
Coming in 6th, Chris and Bret. After a strong couple of legs, the final Survivor team seemed to struggle a bit last night. They’ve done a lot better than I thought they would but these physical challenges could be their downfall.
Coming in 7th, Nicole and Victor! But fear not! It was a non-elimination leg and the cutest team on the race will survive to race at least one more leg.
Next week, we’re still in Switzerland but there’s a new twist! The remaining teams will be voting to determine which team will be given the next U-turn. And while the other teams may have earlier said that Nicole and Victor were the team that needed to be U-turned, Rachel and Elissa have managed to annoy a lot of people.
We’ll see what happens!