The Amazing Race Recap

By Daron Aldridge

October 31, 2011

Zing! It's a nonelimination round. Again.

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Three things happened last week of note (in my mind): the right team went home, a team I liked lost their likability luster and the producers didn’t quite play fair.

First, the other most glaring blight on this season (common sense-wise) was removed when twins Liz & Marie failed to overcome the Speed Bump and every other task quick enough. Goodbye and take heart in knowing that you lasted two legs longer than your showgirl compatriots.

Second, Laurence of Laurence & Zac fame was knocked down a few pegs with his condescending attitude we usually only see exerted from a male to a female dating or married couple on the race. Just a very unflattering showing by him.

Finally, I noted in the last recap that I thought it was an unfair equalizer to make all the teams do the extensive overnight travel in the middle of the episode. It’s a week later and I still think it was unfair. It basically said to the teams, “Hey, you did great on the first couple tasks. You know that momentum that is key to this race? Well, we’re going to squash that right now. Have fun being at the mercy of the overnight bus driver.” This is cool with me at the start of the leg because teams are just getting going but it seemed like just an effort to prevent the leaders to no longer be leading.

Here’s how I rank the teams now:

  • (tie) Team Dude snowboarders Andy & Tommy and Mr. & Mrs. NFL Amani & Marcus: I felt that the married team would be strong in my preseason scouting report and they finally came through with a first place win. Granted, they were aided by the aforementioned bus debacle but this may have been the shift in fortunes to give them momentum. Team Dude was the primary victim of the bus situation because this dropped them from first past the leg’s half way point to fifth. Despite this, history can’t be changed and these guys have owned just about every other leg. They are still my number one but they share the spot now.

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  • Siblings Justin & Jennifer: They are still working well in spite of the frequent blowups, Jennifer’s overdramatic eyerolls and Justin’s unfounded arrogance in their racing ability. More thinking on their feet like last week’s use of the cabbie’s camera phone will serve them well and they seem willing to pause the bickering just long enough to remain in contention.

  • Team Task Master engaged couple Ernie & Cindy: Ernie proved to be the liability last week on the Roadblock and that is why I give the siblings the edge here. They can have some strong racing and are still holding the Express Pass but their slipups are becoming more frequent and that’s what will keep them out of the top three.

  • Father/son Laurence & Zac: Team Regatta lost favorability in my mind as stated above but that doesn’t mean much in the race (as much as I wish my opinion counted that much). The problem is that reason for the tarnished image was directly related to them losing ground. So it is with good conscience that I rank them as nothing more than middle of the pack racers - much to my dismay because they had the best Race-friendly resumes.

  • Grandparents Bill & Cathi: Yes, Ma & Pa ended up so close to first place (and good for them in doing it) but I still think they are one physical task away from elimination. While I like them, I just think the Amazing Race’s need for endurance will be too much. On the bright side, I predict they outlast…

  • Team Test Drive dating divorcees Jeremy & Sandy: No meltdowns last week; yet, they were still bottom dwellers. While I believe that Ma & Pa are one physical task from elimination, Jeremy & Sandy are one fight away from the same fate. Avoiding elimination seems to just be best they can hope for each leg.

Continued:       1       2       3       4       5



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