Monthly Archives: October 2022

The Amazing Race 34.6 “Step by Step”


Last night, I had to take an important call at the start of the latest episode of The Amazing Race so I wasn’t able to pay as close attention to the show as I usually am.  I’m glad that I was DVR’d the episode and re-watched it before I wrote up this recap because it turns out that, due to that call, I missed some very important information when I first watched the episode.

For instance, Abby and Will are no longer in the race!  Last week, they finished in 4th place and they seemed like they were in a good position to move up in the rankings.  However, at the start of the 5th leg, it was announced that Abby and Will had been pulled out of the race due to a positive COVID test.  That left only seven teams to race through Jordan.

Now, with this season, the main gimmick has been that there aren’t any non-elimination legs.  Well, technically, that’s still true even though last night’s last place finisher — Glenda and Lumumba — were not eliminated from the race.  Because Abby and Will had already been eliminated from the Race, Glenda and Lumumba were not eliminated despite coming in 7th.  So, while that COVID test sucked for Abby and Will, it also means that Glenda and Lumumba will be getting a second chance to see if they can move back up the ranks.  Watching them struggle over the past few legs of the race, it’s easy to forget just how strongly they performed at the beginning.

Here’s how everyone did last night:

Coming in first, Luis and Michelle!  For the second week in a row, my favorite team was the first to the pit stop.

Coming in second, Aubrey and David!  Last week, Aubrey and David came in 8th and seemed like they were in trouble.  This week, they hit second place.  This is one reason why I’m enjoying this season.  It really does seem like any team could win.

Coming in third, Quinton and Mattie!  Again, this is a team that has struggled during previous legs but they did well on this latest leg.

Coming in fourth, Derek and Claire!  Derek and Claire are still in it.  Even if they don’t always finish in the top three, they are definitely a strong team and I feel optimistic about them making it to the finale.

Coming in fifth, Marcus and Michael.  After a series of strong legs, Marcus and Michael struggled this leg.

Coming in sixth, Molly and Emily.  Like Marcus and Michael, this strong team struggled during this leg.

Coming in seventh, Glenda and Lumumba.  Due to Abby and Will’s misfortune, they’re getting a second chance.  They’re not a weak team but they’ve had some rotten luck of the last few legs of the race.

Again, I think any of these teams could win.  This is one of the strongest groups that the show has featured in a while.

Next week, the Race leaves Jordan for France!

Survivor 43.6 “Mergatory”


Gabler got his revenge!

Ever since this season’s second episode, I have been waiting for Gabler to get his revenge on Elie and Jeanine for searching his bag to find out when his idol expired.  And last night, the merge finally gave him his chance.  Of course, Elie helped him out by frantically making deal after deal with all of the castaways.  Once people started talking, it made it easy to see that Elie couldn’t be trusted.  By a vote of 7-2-2-1, Elie was voted out.

For the record, the votes of the newly merged tribe broke down as follows:

Jeanine and Jesse both lost their votes when they went to the summit last week so they did not vote in this tribal.  Jeanine did not play her idol for Elie, which is perhaps the first smart thing that Jeanine has done in this game.

Cassidy, Cody, Dwight, Gabler, James, Ryan, and Sami all voted for Elie.

Elie and Owen both voted for James.

Karla voted for Owen and Noelle voted for Cassidy.

Along with Elie getting voted out, the big news from last night’s episode is that the three tribes are now merged into one big tribe and, from the point on, everyone will be competing for individual immunity.  Thankfully, we did not get any elaborate twists with this merge, beyond having the merged tribe divide into two randomly-selected groups that then competed for immunity.  There was no hourglass to break or any of that nonsense.  I’m going to guess Survivor learned a lesson from the extreme negative backlash that greeted the hourglass twist over the last two seasons.

With the merge now official, it’s going to be a whole new game.  And finally, we’re going to get a chance to actually know these castaways.  Pre-merge, it’s always a struggle to keep up with who is who.  But it’s after the merge that the true good players start to emerge.

We’ll see what happens!


Elie Scott, the 6th person voted out of Survivor 43

The Amazing Race 34.5 “The Amazing Race of Arabia”


Last week, I wrote that I had the feeling that Linton and Sharik had reached the point where they had mentally checked out of the race.

This week pretty much confirmed my suspicions, as Linton and Sharik were the last team to arrive at the pit stop and they were eliminated.  One of the results of doing away with non-elimination legs is that players have less time to recover from being mentally exhausted.  In a previous season, last night’s episode probably would have been a non-elimination leg (i.e., totally new location, difficult roadblocks) and Linton and Sharik would have gotten a second chance to pull themselves together.  In the past, how many teams came in last at a non-elimination leg and then turned themselves around during the very next leg of the race?  It was one of the most common things about the Race.  But, with no non-elimination legs, everyone has to be at their best during the entire race.  There are no second chances.  Personally, I kind of like that.  The Amazing Race has always worked because it kept things simple and there’s nothing more simple than first place wins and last place loses.

I enjoyed last night’s trip to Jordan.  This was a new location for the Race and it brought with it new roadblocks, new detours, and new challenges. The roadblocks and detours were challenging on their own.  Not try to imagine doing them in the desert.  I also liked that all of the teams, with the exception of Linton and Sharik, showed that they still have a lot of energy and determination.  This is the first season in a while in which it has felt as if anyone can win.

Here’s how the teams finished this week:

Luis and Michelle went from being the middle of the pack to being team number one!  They’re a strong team but I could totally see Luis getting so competitive that he could be his own worse enemy.  We shall see how the rest of the race goes for them.

After struggling over the last few legs, Derek and Claire finished second!  They’re a strong team, especially when Derek is the one doing the roadblocks.

Marcus and Michael fell from first to third but still did well.  They are definitely a strong team.

Coming in fourth, Abby and Will.  Suddenly, out of nowhere, Abby and Will are coming on strong.  Last week, they went from 7th to 3rd.  This week, only a minute or two separated them from Marcus and Michael.

Coming in fifth, Emily and Molly.  Going from first to fifth is not great but they still seem like they should be around for a while.

Coming in 6th, Quinton and Mattie.  Will Quinton and Mattie ever break out from the middle of the pack?

Coming in 7th, Glenda and Lumumba.  This team started strong with two second place finishes and then they fell back to an 8th and a 7th place finish. They’ve had a run of bad luck but, as Derek and Claire proved tonight, a strong team can make a comeback.  I wouldn’t count these two out.

Coming in 8th, Aubrey and David.  I like Aubrey and David but they’re reaching the point where they are going to need to do something to move up from the back of the pack.  So far, they’ve gone 11th, 8th, 6th, and now 8th again.

Coming in 9th, Linton and Sharik.  No one was surprised by this elimination, least of all Linton and Sharik.

Next week, the teams continue to race through Jordan!

Survivor 43.5 “Stop With All The Niceness”


For the second week in a row, Coco was sent to tribal council.  Geo was the fifth person voted out of Survivor!


I have to be honest and say that Geo made next to no impression on me before this episode.  It took a few minutes for me to remember that he was the one who said he was excited about going to Tribal Council last week.  That right there was a sure sign that he was doomed because anyone who knows how to play Survivor would never be excited about going to tribal council.

Actually, anyone who has ever watched this game would know better than to blurt out that they had gotten an advantage while on the post-immunity challenge “journey” but that’s exactly what Geo did, telling Karla that he had the “Knowledge is Power” advantage.  Apparently, it didn’t occur to Geo that Karla is friends with Cassidy who was already upset about Geo voting for her at the previous tribal council.  As soon as Geo let Karla know that he had the power, Karla let the rest of the tribe know and the end result was that Geo was blind-sided by a vote of 3-2.

Also shocked by the results was Ryan.  Ryan actually threw the immunity challenge because he thought he had the votes to get Cassidy voted off the island.  If Ryan was as smart as he thinks he is, he would have lined up the votes before throwing the challenge.  It turned out that Ryan did not have the votes and now, Ryan’s main ally has been voted out of the game.

In other news, Jeanine found the final Beware Advantage and she was able to get all the beads from her tribemates so she now has a special immunity idol.  Of course, she made the mistake of telling both Elie and Owen and then Elie told Sami and then, after Jeanine made the idol, Sami told Gabler.  So, it’s not a secret immunity idol at all.  That means, that there are three immunity idols floating around the game, along with Gabler’s immunity advantage, which he has for his next tribal council.  Personally, I think that’s a bit too much.

Next week: The merge finally happens!  Are they doing to do that stupid thing with the hourglass again?  We’ll find out!


Geo, the 5th person voted out of Survivor 43

The Amazing Race 34.4 “Everyone’s An Artist”


For all the drama about the latest leg of The Amazing Race being a “megaleg,” it pretty much ended up the way that I think we were all expecting.  From the minute they arrived in Italy, it was pretty obvious that Emily and Molly were going to work their way up from the back of the pack and capture first place.  It was also pretty obvious that Rich and Dom were going to be the last team to arrive.  I hate to say it but I’m surprised Rich and Dom made it as far as they did because it was obvious that they were doomed from the start.  If you can’t follow directions, you’re not going to survive The Amazing Race.

What is interesting is that, with the exception of Rich and Dom, all of the teams that initially struggled when the race began have now become the new front runners.  Meanwhile, the teams that seemed the strongest are now struggling.  When I watched the first episode of this season, I never would have guessed that Derek and Claire would have gone from 1st place to the back of the pack.  I also never would have guessed that the third leg would have ended with Emily & Molly, Marcus & Michael, and Abby & Will in the top three positions.

That’s a good thing, though.  Last season, it was obvious from the minute the race restarted that Kim & Penn were going to win.  This season, there’s a bit more suspense.

Here’s how everyone finished in it Italy:

Coming in first, Emily & Molly.  Wow, this team really came out of nowhere and just dominated this leg of the race.  Good for them.  I hope they can keep it up.

Coming in second, Michael & Marcus.  After nearly getting eliminated during the first leg of the race, Michael & Marcus have been a consistently strong team and I expect them to be around for a while.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see them win.

Coming in third, Abby & Will.  Up until last night, I had barely even noticed Abby and Will.  They ran a strong leg and it’ll be interesting to see if it was a fluke or if they continue to be a strong team in the legs to come.  They’re a cute couple.

Coming in fourth, Luis & Michelle!  My favorite team, mostly because Michelle and I are both dancers.  They may not have cracked the top three but they’ve been getting better with each leg of the race.

Coming in fifth, Quinton & Mattie.  The cheerleaders still seem like a typical middle-of-the-road team but, as we’ve seen over the past two episodes, this seems to be a season in which it’s dangerous to underestimate anyone’s chances. 

Coming in sixth, Aubrey & David.  What I said about Quinton & Mattie also applies to Aubrey & David.  They’re kind of stuck in the middle of the pack but they do seem like they have the potential to move up.

Coming in seventh, Claire and Derek.  Claire and Derek have struggled a bit over the past two legs.  Sometimes, that happens to a strong team.  Hopefully, the next leg will be better for them.

Coming in eighth, Glenda and Lumumba.  This team went from two 2nd place finishes to finishing in 8th, which is just proof of how quickly this race can change.

Coming in ninth, Linton & Sharik.  This team should be worried.  Even after they found they hadn’t been eliminated, they both come across like they had already mentally checked out of the race.  Hopefully, they were both just really tired.

Coming in tenth and eliminated, Rich and Dom.  No surprise here.  They struggled the entire race.

Next week, the race moves from Italy to Jordan!

Survivor 43.4 “Show No Mercy”


One of my main objections to the three-tribe format on Survivor is that always seems to lead to a situation where one tribe loses almost all of its members before the tribal while another tribe enters the merge at full strength.  It always seems to lead to a lopsided merge and it also keeps the players from really getting to know each other in the days leading up to the merge.

Last night, though, Vesi and Baka finally did something that I’m surprised no one has done before.  They teamed up at the immunity challenge so that they could send Coco, the one tribe that had yet to lose immunity, to tribal council.  After Vesi solved their puzzle, they helped Baka complete their puzzle.  The end result was that Vesi and Baka both won immunity and Coco finally went to tribal.  It was a moment of surprisingly smart strategizing on the part of the Vesi tribe.

In fact, Vesi pretty much dominated last night’s episode.  After two tribals in a row, they came back with a determination to start winning.  Not only did Vesi win the immunity challenge but they also won the reward challenge and with it, the chance to steal something from another tribe.  Though his tribemates wanted to take Baka’s fishing gear, Cody insisted on weakening the Coco tribe by taking some of their food.  It was a good move, though it’s obvious that Cody’s take charge personality is starting to rub his tribemates the wrong way.

As for tribal council, Lindsay basically talked herself out of the game.  At first, it seemed like Geo was going to be the target but then Lindsay got paranoid that everyone was going to vote for her.  And she spent so much time asking people if she was the target that eventually, she did become the target.  If Lindsay had kept quiet and just trusted the members of her tribe, she would have been fine.  Instead, by a vote of 4-1-1, Lindsay became the fourth person voted out of Survivor 43.


Lindsay, the 4th person voted out of Survivor 43

We are four episodes in and not a single man has been voted out yet, which is unusual for Survivor.  I do think that Cody and Gabler need to be careful because it’s obvious that their tribemates are getting a little tired of being bossed around.

We’ll see what happens next week!

The Amazing Race 34.3 “It’s All In The Details”


The Amazing Race cheated a bit last night.

It was with great fanfare that Phil announced that there would be no more non-elimination legs.  Personally, I thought that was a good decision that would make the race even more exciting.  But last night, Phil informed us that the latest leg of the race was a “mega leg.”  For the racers, that means they’ll have to do another detour and another roadblock before reaching their pit stop.  For viewers, that means we’ll see the second part of this leg next week.  But really, it adds up to a non-elimination leg because, whoever is the last to leave the motorcycle roadblock, is still not going to be eliminated.  Just because the show is calling it something different, that doesn’t make it a non-elimination leg.

Oh well!  No worries. I’m just happy that this latest leg is taking place in Italy, which is not only a lovely country but also, along with Ireland and Spain, one of my ancestral homelands.  As for the racers, Emily and Molly really surprised me last night.  I was ready to write them off but they came on strong and really worked well together.  Claire and Derek are adorable but they seem to struggle whenever Claire is the one who has to do a roadblock.  Unlike Derek, Claire isn’t really detail-oriented and I was started to cringe as soon as I saw that she would be the one working on the motorcycle.  (I hate to say it but I think Derek is letting his frustration get to him, which is not the best way to run a race with someone like Claire.)  Glenda and Lumumba are struggling this leg, which was a bit of a surprise considering how well they did during the past two legs.  That said, Rich and Dom seem to be destined for elimination, if not next week than soon.  They have a terrible sense of direction and just bad luck in general.

So, for now, this leg is still in process.  Emily and Molly are coming on strong, as are Marcus and Michael.  Rich & Dom and Glenda & Lumumba are struggling.  Everyone else is kind of in the middle.  We’ll see what happens next week.


Survivor 43.3 “I’ll Sign The Divorce Papers”


For all the promise of drama that we got from the preview for this week’s  Survivor, last night’s episode was pretty much a standard episode.  

Sami did tell Gabler that Elie and Jeanie searched his bag for information about his idol and that did turn Gabler against them.  Intriguingly, Gabler is now pretending to be stupid and allowing the girls to think that he doesn’t realize that his idol still works.  Gabler says that he not only wants to get Elie out of the game but he wants to humiliate her in the process.  And that may seem mean but I’m totally on Gabler’s side.  I hate it when people go through someone else’s bag on Survivor.  Add to that, both Elie and Jeanie are way too quick to assume that everyone’s dumb except for them.  Karma doesn’t put up with that sort of thing.

But, Gabler is going to have to hold off on his revenge because his tribe did not go to Tribal.  Instead, it was the Vesi Tribe who made a second trip to tribal council and, by a vote of 4-1, they did what they probably should have done last week and they voted out Nneka.  (Nneka voted for Noelle and appeared to be genuinely surprised about being blindsided.)  Nneka seems like a nice person but she was useless in immunity challenges and, at this point of the game, you have to be good at challenges.  When your tribe goes to two tribal councils in a row, you don’t have much choice but to get rid of your weakest player.  As well, voting out Nneka gave Jesse a chance to repair his alliance with Dwight so it was definitely the best decision for everyone but Nneka.

In advantage news, Karla found the Coco Tribe’s Beware Advantage.  She was able to collect all of the beads and she now has an immunity bracelet as a result.  So, she and Cody both have immunity bracelets.  Gabler has an immunity idol that will be good the next time he goes to tribal council.  And, as a result of last night’s trip to the summit, Noelle has a “Steal-a-Vote” advantage that she can use to steal someone else’s vote at tribal.

As I said, it was a pretty standard episode but that’s okay.  Sometimes, it’s nice to have a simple episode where all of the votes actually make sense.


Nneka, the third person voted out of Survivor 43