The Amazing Race 26 Recap Part II
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
February 27, 2015
Sure enough, Jelani & Jenny’s sleuthing allows them to surpass Jackie & Jeffrey for first place. Jenny earns our admiration by requesting that Jelani perform Syncing Steps with her. There are about 16 competitors who would not find this bit funny, but we do. Out of the random people slotted together, Jelani & Jenny have had the best first date, finishing in first place and thereby earning an Express Pass. Only moments later, Jackie & Jeffrey arrive. To our disappointment, Jackie seems satisfied with this outcome. We thought that Jeffrey was going to be literally unmanned on national television.
Now is the time when more people try (and fail) at Syncing Steps. Between cuts to #DanceFails, Laura & Tyler finish in third place. Soon afterward, Hayley & Blair finish the Detour. Then, Harley & Jonathan and the Olympians head to the Pit Stop. Team Sochi earns fourth place (first among existing couples) and the New Kid on the Block and his trainer/lover finish fifth as The Right Stuff plays. Color us mortified, CBS.
Finally, Matt & Ashley complete their dance moves on the 25th (!!!) try. Some teams finally do something we’ve been screaming at them (through the television and a TARDIS) to do all along. They practice in the background while others perform (and fail at) the task. That means eight teams should be safe, assuming no disastrous outcome in heading to the Pit Stop. Only two of the three remaining teams will survive the leg.
We would also note that the teams who know one another are decidedly getting their asses kicked. Out of the teams who have not completed the detour, ALL of them are existing couples rather than blind daters. That’s deplorable. CJ & Lebya finally decide that enough is enough. They lock in and perform one of the best routines thus far, earning their next clue. That leaves Rochelle & Mike and Jeff & Lyda, the pilot and stewardess who have been virtually ignored the entire episode. Seriously, we doubt they’ve said 50 words in combination. Right on cue, Rochelle & Mike finish, leaving the people with the most natural advantage in The Amazing Race, tremendous international travel experience, in last place.
The editing tries to persuade us that the outcome is in doubt. While that nonsense transpires, we learn the ordering for the bottom half of the remaining teams. Bergen & Kurt finish in sixth place and then uncomfortably state that it’s too early to say if they could be a couple. This means NO! Moments later, Mike & Rochelle settle the first leg for good. Currently in seventh place, they wisely use their U-Turn exactly as they should, delaying the only team they are certain is behind them, Jeff & Lyda. This is actually terrible news for Team Truck Stop Love (we’ve seen that porno), because they won’t be able to use the U-Turn again this season. Still, they have to play for today to guarantee tomorrow.
There’s just no way Jeff & Lyda survive now, which explains the scarcity of their screen time. Even during an extended 90-minute episode, there is little point in showing a lot of a dull team during an episode highlighting a season-long social experiment. So, the last 10 minutes of the season premiere is largely filler. Mike & Rochelle finish seventh while Jeff & Lyda realize they’ve been U-Turned. They were in last place anyway, so it’s an instance of piling on more than anything else. Desperately, they try to U-Turn a competing team. All of the teams they debate were past them anyway, so it doesn’t matter when they pick Jackie & Jeffrey.
We play out the string as Hayley & Blair finish the “Worst. First Date. Ever.” She’s clearly smitten enough to ignore that they only finished in eighth place. For their part, Matt & Ashley look exhausted, but she still manages to celebrate ninth place. Then, we cut back to Jeff & Lyda, who quickly complete the Samurai Sake challenge only a few minutes after finishing Syncing Steps on their 23rd attempt. Jeff aptly summarizes their entire performance on The Amazing Race by saying, “Boy, do I wish I’d done this earlier.” On top of everything else, it had free booze! How did this nonsense happen?
As CJ & Lebya are edited to seem like they may not beat Jeff & Lyda, we roll our eyes and wait for the confirmation that they beat Jeff & Lyda. Guess what? They beat Jeff & Lyda! It’s the TAR equivalent of the Harlem Globetrotters beating the Washington Generals. Spoiler: it wasn’t close. Their entire leg was brutal. It’s unfortunate, because they seem like a great couple, just not a television-worthy one. Hayley & Blair, on the other hand…