Tag Archives: The Amazing Race

The Amazing Race 34.12 — Congratulations, Derek and Claire!


Hi, everyone!

I assume, by now, everyone is seen last night’s finale of The Amazing Race.  The Race ended the way that I was hoping it would.  After traveling from Iceland to Nashville, Derek and Claire were the first team to cross the finish line and they officially won The Amazing Race!

I’ll admit that I cheered a little when it became obvious they were going to win it.  Derek and Claire are a likable couple.  Even if I didn’t already know them from Big Brother, I would have wanted them to win because they worked well together, they never yelled in anger, and they supported each other no matter what.  They were the type of team that you always hope will win The Amazing Race

Really, I would have been happy if any of the three teams had won.  And Emily and Molly should be really proud of themselves for finishing in second, despite Emily’s knee.  When the season began, I don’t think anyone expected much from them but Emily and Molly proved us all wrong.  Luis and Michelle, who came in third, were also a strong team and they definitely deserved to be in the final three.  I liked all of them but I was still really happy to see Derek and Claire win that million dollars.

(For the record, Derek and Claire are the second Big Brother couple to win the Amazing Race.  The first was the team of Jessica and Cody.)

As for this season as a whole, I really enjoyed it.  The previous season was a bit strange, what with the COVID delay leading to many of the stronger teams not returning to the Race.  This season, though, felt like a real season of The Amazing Race.  It was great fun to watch and I can’t wait for the next season!

The Amazing Race 34.11 “How Am I Going To Survive This?”


Last night, the four remaining teams went from Spain to Iceland and, by the end of the episode, we had our final three!

And I’m happy to say that it’s exactly the three teams who I wanted to see in the finale.

First off, we’ve got Derek and Claire.  I used to call Derek and Claire “Team Big Brother” but now I call them “Team Adorable” because I just love them to death.  I think when the Race began, a lot of people (myself included) assumed that Derek would be the stronger member of the team but Claire, despite some initial missteps, has really proven herself.  Much like Cody and Jessica, Derek and Claire have proven themselves to be much better suited for The Amazing Race than for Big Brother.  

Secondly, we’ve got Luis and Michelle.  Luis and Michelle are another really strong team.  They don’t have any glaring weaknesses so it’s going to be interesting to see how they do against Derek and Claire.  This seems like one of those seasons where it could all come down to who lucks out by getting the better taxi driver.

Finally, coming in third last night, are Emily and Molly.  These two are definitely underdogs, not because they’re not a good team but just because Emily’s knee has been slowing them down over the past few legs.  I would not be upset if they won.  They’re likable and they’ve never given up.  But Emily’s knee put them at a disadvantage.

Speaking of giving up, Aubrey and David were eliminated last night.  At the Detour, they decided they were never going to list the volcanic eruptions in the right order so they took the 2-hour penalty.  At that point, I’m assuming they knew they were in last place and they were going to be eliminated regardless.  They decided to accept it, instead of physically and mentally exhausting themselves.  And since Phil did announce that there were no non-elimination legs this race, their decision makes sense, though I would have kept trying just on the chance that Emily and Molly might get lost on the way to the pit stop.  If there had still been the possibility of this being a non-elimination leg, I imagine Aubrey & David would have kept going.

As I said, I’m happy with our final thee.  This is a rare case where the final three are also the three best teams.  No one snuck in.  Derek & Claire and Luis & Michelle are the front runners but you never know.  Emily & Molly might surprise us.  Either way, I’m going to be happy with whoever wins.  When was the last time you could say that about a season of The Amazing Race?

The finale is next week!

The Amazing Race 34.10 “Don’t Look Down”


On Wednesday night, the second megaleg came to a close as the teams finally reached the pit stop.  To be honest, it wasn’t a huge surprise that Marcus and Michael were the last team to arrive.  They struggled during this entire megaleg and, once they fell behind, they were never able to catch up.  Marcus and Michael were a strong team and they finished in first place on quite a few of the legs.  But, in Spain, their luck just ran out.  That said, I have a feeling that they’ll probably return for a future season.

So, we are now down to four teams and we’ve got two episodes left.  The end is approaching.  Who will make it to the finale?

Luis and Michelle, who finished the megaleg in first, seem to be guaranteed a spot in the final three.  They have run a strong race.  They work well together as a team.  They’re determined to win but they don’t allow mistakes to distract them.  It would shock me if they somehow didn’t make it to the finale.

Derek and Claire also seem like a good bet to make it to the finale.  They finished the megaleg in third place.  Claire conquered her crippling fear of heights at the roadblock.  My heart went out to her because I’m not a fan of heights myself.  But the important thing is that she did it and she and Derek never gave up.  Derek and Claire have made their mistakes but they’ve always recovered.  They work well together.  They support each other.  I’m sure they’ll make it to the finale.

But who will be joining them?

Aubrey and David finished the megaleg in 2nd place but they haven’t been a consistently strong team and David still seems to be so intense that it’s easy to imagine one small mistake causing the team to meltdown.

Meanwhile, Molly and Emily finished the megaleg in fourth.  They’ve been a strong team but Emily’s knee slowed them down this leg and it’s hard to imagine that it will be any better during the next leg.  Molly and Emily may be more likable and emotionally stable than Aubrey and David but they’re having to deal with a serious injury.

So, if I had to guess, I think our top three will be Luis and Michelle, Aubrey and David, and Derek and Claire.  And I will be rooting for Derek and Claire until the end!

We’ll see what happens next week as the Race travels from Spain to Iceland!

The Amazing Race 34.9 “Vamos a la Playa”


Last night saw the beginning of the second megaleg of the season!  That means that, once the teams landed in Spain, they had to do two roadblocks and two detours on their way to the next pit stop.  That also means that we only got to see the first half of the megaleg last night and, as a result, no one was eliminated.

I enjoyed the first half of the megaleg, mostly because I liked the roadblock where they had to arrange six glass panels in order to recreate Pablo Picasso’s Three Musicians.  Watching that roadblock, I realized that my art history degree would make me invincible in The Amazing Race!  But, at the same time, I have to admit to being disappointed that this episode ended with the teams still racing and no one being eliminated.  I would actually prefer that they brought back the non-elimination leg than continue to split the megalegs into two separate episodes.

Here’s where everyone was when last night’s episode ended:

In 1st place, Derek and Claire were running a strong race and they definitely seemed like the team to beat.  They’re a cute couple, too.  At first, I thought it was foolish of Derek to help out Aubrey and David but, in retrospect, it could be that he wants them to stick around because he knows they’ll be easy to beat.

In 2nd place, we have got Aubrey and David.  After struggling over the past two legs, Aubrey and David are once again running strong.  That said, David tends to get so worked up over things that I still think they’re one meltdown away from getting eliminated.

In third place, Luis and Michelle.  They’re still strong and they’re still consistent.  There’s no way they don’t make it to the finale.

In 4th place, Emily and Molly.  Emily’s knee is slowing them down, at the worst possible moment.

In 5th place, Marcus and Michael.  They’re struggling in Spain and I have a feeling this leg might be their last one.  Usually, when Marcus and Michael win, it’s because they got through the leg without making any mistakes.  When they do make a mistake or have problems with a roadblock or detour, they always struggle to recover and make up the time.  They have the potential to be the strongest team in the race but they were definitely struggling last night.

Next week, the megaleg ends and, as Phil would say, the last time to arrive will be eliminated.

The Amazing Race 34.8 “La Ville Rose”


Alas, poor Quinton and Mattie.

Last night, Quinton and Mattie were the last to arrive at the Pit Stop in Toulouse and they were eliminated from the race.  They finished in 6th place, which is really not a bad finish for a team that never really had a strong leg over the course of the race.  They were the ultimate middle-of-the-road team.  They managed to finish 3rd twice and that was as good as it got for them.  They seem like nice people but they were also the team that I always had to remind myself about whenever I was trying to write up one of these recaps.

We have five teams left.  Derek and Claire and Luis and Michelle are consistently strong and, at this point, I would be shocked if they didn’t make it to the final leg.  Emily and Molly are a strong team but Emily’s knee injury could slow them down.  Marcus and Michael are strong, except for when they’re having to drive.  There’s always a team that struggles with finding the next roadblock or detour and this season, it’s Marcus and Michael.  Aubrey and David have struggled a lot over the past two episodes but they could potentially sneak into the top three.

As for how everyone finished last night, it was:

  1. Derek and Claire, claiming their second first place finish of the season.  When this season began, Claire seemed like she would be the weak link for this team but, last night, she easily handled the roadblock.  These two are in a good position.
  2. Louis and Michelle, who are both coming on strong.  Luis’s “bromance” with Derek was cute.
  3. Emily and Molly, who are a strong team but I cringe every time I see Emily starting to limp.  I’ve dealt with knee injuries.  They are the worst and they always flare up at the worst possible time.
  4. Marcus and Michael, who have 3 first place finishes this season.  They’re strong but, last night, they wasted a lot of time driving.
  5. Aubrey and David, who are holding on.  At this point, whether they make it to the end seems to depend more on whether or not the other teams screw up than on anything else.
  6. Quinton and Mattie, who were eliminated.

Next week, the Race goes to Spain!

The Amazing Race 34.7 “It’s Simply Medieval”


After being saved, last week, by Abby and Will’s positive COVID test, Lumumba and Glenda finally ran out luck as the race moved into France. 

Glenda and Lumumba were the last team to depart Jordan and they were also the last team to check into the pit stop at France and they were eliminated from the race.  It’s a bit of a shame as Glenda and Lumumba were definitely one of the stronger teams out there during the first two legs of the race.  They finished 2nd twice, before struggling  during the “mega leg.”  They finished that leg of the race in 8th place and they basically never managed to work their way back up.  Sometimes, a strong team just had bad luck and that’s what happened here.  That said, they both handled being eliminated well.  I liked their attitude and the fact that, even if they didn’t win, they still seemed to enjoy their time on the race.

As for the remaining teams …. well, it really is anyone’s race.  This leg was interesting because not only did we nearly have a four-way tie at the Pit Stop but first and second place were taken by two teams that had struggled during the previous few legs of the race.  I would say that every team left in the Race is strong enough to be a contender.  I would even say that about David and Aubrey, assuming that they don’t have another melt down over driving like they did last night.

Here’s how everyone finished:

Coming in first, Marcus and Michael.  After falling to fifth place in Jordan, Marcus and Michael came back to win this leg of the race and reclaim the number one spot.  They’re not the most charismatic team in Amazing Race history but they work well together, they don’t get upset, and they approach each roadblock and detour with intelligence. 

Coming in second, Emily and Molly!  Emily and Molly went from sixth to second.  Like Marcus and Michael, they work well together and they don’t give up.

Coming in third, Derek and Claire!  Team Big Brother is running a consistently strong race.  It wouldn’t surprise me if they followed in the footsteps of Cody and Jessica and Rachel and Brendon and made it to the final leg of the race.

Coming in fourth, Luis and Michelle!  Again, this is another strong team.  They have a lot of competitive fire to them.  The only thing I worry about with them is that Luis is so intense that it just seems like he’s destined to have a fight with a cab driver or make some sort of similar mistake that would cause them to miss making the top three by just a few minutes.

Coming in fifth, Quinton and Mattie.  Even this late in the race, the cheerleaders have not made a huge impression but the fact that they’ve lasted this long is impressive.  I don’t expect them to be among the final teams racing but you never know.  They’ve been strong enough to last this long.

Coming in sixth, David and Aubrey.  David and Aubrey had a bit of a meltdown last night and, as a result, they went from 2nd to 6th.  They’ve proven themselves to be a strong team but their future in the race depends on whether or not they could put this leg behind them and now allow it to mess with their confidence.

And finally, coming in seventh and eliminated, Glenda and Lumumba.

If I had to guess right now, I’d say our final three teams will be Marcus & Michael, Luis & Michelle, and Derek & Claire.  We’ll find out how right (or wrong) I am in a few more weeks!

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!

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!

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!

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.