Who Went Home on THE AMAZING RACE? - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

Who Went Home on THE AMAZING RACE?

November 1, 2009 by  

Phil: “Flight Time and Big Easy – you look ridiculous!”

In 15 seasons of watching THE AMAZING RACE (ok maybe 14 – I couldn’t bare to watch the horrendous ‘family’ season), tonight was one of the most bizarre, dramatic (if not anti-climactic) and annoying finishes I’ve ever seen. A team that had no business moving on to the next leg did, while another team actually quit the race during a relatively easy (at least in terms of this show) detour.

We’re at the halfway point of the season. Twelve teams started and six remain. As is always the case this far into the season, I have my favorites (go Team Globetrotters), but unlike previous TAR seasons there aren’t many pairs that I’m actively routing against. (Well, not now that Lance and Keri are gone.) There’s enough suspense in the tasks themselves that the show doesn’t need to rely on villainous characters to bring drama. I actually like liking the teams –  it makes for a more enjoyable season.

The racers started off their day in the beautiful Dubai but quickly boarded planes to their next destination – Amsterdam.  After coming in first last week, Meghan and Cheyne’s were the first to depart in the morning. Unfortunately, the next flight to Amsterdam didn’t leave until midnight, allowing all the other teams to catch up. Bummer. I’ve watched this show long enough to know that they never let one team get that much of a head start.  They need to even up the playing field whether it be by a later flight or a closed venue. Without it there would be no sense of competition.  But it’s got to be rather annoying if you’re the first place finisher with a hefty lead going into the next day. Thems the breaks I guess.

Once in Amsterdam, the contestants were off to Martinitoren – now that’s my kind of town. Yes sir, I’ll have another Martinitoren, with two olives please.

Unfortunately there was no drinking in this task. The Roadblock required one member of the team to climb the steep steps of a tower counting the many bells along the way. Meghan and Sam decided to team up and count together. Now I’m all about strategic team work, and I think in this case it was the right move to make. But I’m not sure what Sam was thinking when after completing the task he told Tiffany the correct number of bells. I know they’ve had somewhat of an alliance this season, but it’s still a race for $1M, and you just can’t give a free pass like that to someone. You never know what could happen later on. Sam, nice guys don’t usually finish first. Well…

Upon completion of the Roadblock, the teams headed further into Amsterdam where they partook in some traditional Amsterdamian activities (yeah, I said Amsterdamian – what of it?). This Detour had the teams donning traditional Dutch costumes and deciding between ‘Farmers Game’ and ‘Farmers Dance.’

In Farmers Game, teams had to bike to a creek, strip down to their Dutch skivvies, and swim across the water where they found the Dutch version of mini-golf. They had to play three holes of farmers golf – taking turns and finishing each hole in eight or less strokes. Of course, typical mini-golf it wasn’t.  With clubs shaped like clogs, vast fields, and high winds, the challenge wasn’t as easy as it might have appeared on the clue card.

But brothers Sam and Dan jumped right in the cold water and completed the task with ease. The same couldn’t be said for Meghan and Cheyne. Meghan really struggled. But she stuck with it and after a while got the hang of it.

Those not golfing partook in the Farmers Dance. In this challenge, the teams had to hit a platform with a sledge hammer hard enough to reach the bell on top. Once done they could go inside to learn a traditional Dutch folk dance and perform it correctly in front of a crowd. Sound easy enough, right? Yeah, but their reward for their performance wasn’t the clue, it was a salted herring (ew) which they had to eat before receiving their next clue. Anyone for a game of golf?

Father and son team Matt and Gary were well on their path of the Farmers Dance, but stopped short when Matt realized that the salted herring played a part. They immediately stopped the dancing task and headed back to play some golf.

Meanwhile, the increasingly annoying Ericka was still back at the tower counting the bells. No, I’m not kidding.

Maria and Tiffany opted to dance, but wasted a lot of valuable time on the first part of the task – trying to ring the bell. They finally gave up and decided to golf. But that too proved to be too difficult so back to the dance they went. After 75 attempts at ringing the bells the girls still couldn’t do it, so it was back into the water for a swim across the creek back to the golfing. For professional poker players I was shocked at their complete lack of strategy and focus.

Now I know there will be some that think that the challenge was unfair because perhaps a woman couldn’t physically ring the bell.  But that’s not what I saw.  I think if they stuck with the bell ringing they could have done it. But they opted to leave and golf and then come back. That was there downfall. By the time they returned to the bell for the second time, they were physically exhausted, but more importantly mentally exhausted.  But still they kept trying and Tiffany kept getting closer.  Maybe it was the editing, but I don’t understand why they gave up on trying to hit the bell despite how close she was getting.  As for Maria – that’s just BS.  That had nothing to do with a lack of female strength – that girl wasn’t even trying and don’t try to convince me otherwise. I think as a team they made some poor decisions that led to them physically not being able to finish.

My favorite team, the Globetrotters, had a blast getting their groove on at the Farmers Dance. The showman had no problems learning the dance, and seemed to enjoy dancing ‘soul train style’ much more than eating the salted herring. I wasn’t sure if Flight was going to pull through but he did. But I wouldn’t count on his ordering herring off the menu anytime soon.

By this time Brian and Ericka finally made it past the first challenge and were off to do a little jig with the Dutch. But their self imposed misfortune continued when they failed to read the directions that instructed them to take bicycles to the challenge. The two wandered aimlessly in very uncomfortable wooden clogs before finally re-reading the clue. They only had themselves to blame. And you know I have no sympathy for teams that fall behind because they fail to read the clue properly.

Eventually they danced their way through the challenge and ate the herring without much fuss.

Meanwhile, Phil had already started accepting teams on to the mat. Sam & Dan took first place this week.  Meghan & Cheyne came in second.  Flight & Big Easy trotted their way into third place, while Gary & Matt finished a respectable fourth.

Despite all their missteps, it was Brian & Ericka that arrived fifth at the mat.  Unfortunately, since they didn’t pay attention to the clue and failed to take their bikes to the challenge they incurred a 30 minute penalty.  And it was a long 30 minutes for Brian who had to listen to the ever increasing whine of his wife.  She’s gorgeous, I’ll give her that, but that woman is a handful.

So as Brian & Ericka waited, professional poker players Maria & Tiffany were still playing golf.  And hugging it out.  And playing golf.  And crying. And hugging. And golfing.  Yeah, you see the pattern here.

Once Phil checked Brian & Ericka in as the 5th place finishers, he went and sought out Maria & Tiffany who never made it to the mat because they opted to quit the race on this leg.  Yes, they did come in last and most likely would have been Philiminated, but they quit…on a mini golf challenge.  Now that I find grating! Of all the challenges teams face during the course of the season, this one was not particularly difficult at all.  I think they just mentally shut down.  I mean, what’s $1M – they could just head to Vegas for the weekend, right? Still, I find it annoying that they quit.

So despite all their missteps Brian & Ericka live to race another day. Sam & Dan get their first place finish and Tiffany & Maria cashed in their chips and headed home.

Still rooting for Flight and Big Easy to take the big win, but I’m also really enjoying the other teams as well (although after this week it’s going to take a lot to get me rooting for Ericka again).

Despite the crazy ending, it was just an ok episode.  I’m still waiting for the show to bring back the more intense and risky challenges that we saw in early seasons. Yes, it’s always fun to see to professional basketball players dressed up as Dutchmen, but I’d rather see them shimmy down a mountainside or leap off a tall building any day.  We’re half way through, let’s pick up the sense of real adventure in the second half of the season.

Thoughts on tonight’s ending?  Was anyone else aggravated that Maria & Tiffany quit or were you just happy to see them go? What did you think of this week’s challenges?  How did your favorite teams do this week?  The comments are open!


4 Responses to “Who Went Home on THE AMAZING RACE?”

  1. grumpyoldman on November 2nd, 2009 10:30 am

    The poker girls were screwed. Both challenges should not have involved a feat of strength. But they make a cute couple.

  2. MB on November 2nd, 2009 11:22 am

    You’re right – all of the teams are likable, especially now that those two dimwits are gone. I mean, seriously, how weak can you be???

  3. Caro on November 2nd, 2009 12:23 pm

    I noticed at the beginning of this week’s episode that they seemed to have a longer rest period than normal. Meghan and Cheyne arrived in full daylight and left at 1:13 p.m. Once they arrived at the airport, it all became more clear as to what was going on.

    I also had some love for Brian – calming his wife down before she went back to count the bells. 15 minutes well spent to get her in the right frame of mind to tackle the challenge.

  4. Doug on November 2nd, 2009 12:36 pm

    I thought it a bit unfair that the “poker girls”, the only team without a male, were forced into the mini-golf option because they didn’t have the strength to hit the “bell” platform with sufficient force to ring it. Were it not for that, they probably would have breezed thru the dance and onto the pit stop. They only went on to the “golf” option after failing at the “he-man” bell…and by then there strength and determination had been sapped, making the (windy) golf an insurmountable struggle.