The Amazing Race Recap

By David Mumpower

February 25, 2009

How therapeutic.

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Previously on The Amazing Race, I hated everyone. In fact, I still do except for a few annoyingly likable teams. The stunt men may be small in stature but they showed a tremendous amount of serenity and humor during last week's leg. Amanda and Kris stand out like a sore thumb as a couple when compared to last week's eliminated team, Jennifer and Preston, as well as the barely surviving Linda and Steve. Given the way the latter two couples openly despised each other, it was hard not to notice how sweet and respectful Amanda and Kris were to one another. And finally, mother/son tandem Margie and Luke won the race and North America's love last week as the deaf man and the woman who speaks to him with her hands and her heart. Those are the good teams. Everyone else still sucks and deserves a long weekend of Pussycat Dolls songs and Paul Blart: Mall Cop screenings as far as I'm concerned.

Tonight's leg of the race begins in the mountains of Switzerland. Margie and Luke have earned the honor of being the first team to depart at 2:56 a.m. Their destination is Munich, Germany, wherein they will have to perform in a poorly reviewed Steven Spielberg film. Actually, they will drive to Ruhpolding and ride a cable car to the top of a mountain, at which point I'm sure they will not have to perform any task that involves extreme heights.


The departure times for the various contestants at the front of the group are 2:57 a.m. for Victor and Tammy, 2:59 a.m. for Mark and Michael, and 3:18 for Mel and Mike. So, there is only about 20 minutes of difference for this batch. The skew doesn't begin until we get to Kisha and Jen, currently in eighth place, and Steve and Linda, the ninth place team. Both of them leave just after 4 a.m., over an hour behind the leaders and a good half hour behind most of the other competitors. The particularly screwed team happens to be the flight attendants. After narrowly avoiding elimination last week, they don't leave until 4:12 a.m. today. An hour and 16 minutes from first to last may not seem like a significant time lapse. After all, we have seen the difference between first and second place be that much. This leg is different, because teams must catch a flight almost immediately. There is no grouping in order to guarantee all the contenders the same chance at success. All the teams are going to have to get by on their actual skill, at least in the early portion of the race. That's a welcome change.

The taxi rides to the airport show how much the teams are thinking ahead about the competition. Several of the teams borrow cell phones from their drivers in order to call ahead and secure tickets. The brother/sister tandem is the first to demonstrate such behavior then Mel and Mike, Brad and Victoria, and Cara and Jaime. In fact, the only team in the early grouping that fails to plan ahead is the stunt men, Mark and Michael. They blithely brag about gaining 30 seconds on the competition by running, which matters exactly squat in the greater scheme. Buying plane tickets on an early flight, on the other hand, could save them several hours. This leg is 15 minutes old and they've already screwed up royally.

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