The Amazing Race Season 30: Episode 8
By David Mumpower and Kim Hollis
February 20, 2018
Previously on The Amazing Race, it was a double episode, which is extremely annoying. After suffering through a needless non-elimination leg (it was obvious from the start that it would be one, mainly due to the partner switch gimmick), we did have an hour with an elimination. Alas, we said goodbye to the twin firefighters, genuinely nice guys who probably were the least talented team left in the Race.
Tonight, it’s a two-hour episode again, which means, ugh. Oh, well. Next week is the finale and this season has absolutely flown by.
Tonight’s leg stars with bunching. At least, that’s the plan. One particular team quickly messes up said plan, though. In fact, their actions make the next 50 minutes of the show largely irrelevant. The duo in question is Team Ocean Rescue, and they make the cardinal sin on The Amazing Race.
Early in the episode, Brittany places a passport in his fanny pack. She notes that while she loves soon-to-be husband Lucas, he’s not great with details. The authors wryly note that their relationship is similar, as David can’t be trusted at airports alone. He’d wind up accidentally starring in a sequel to The Terminal.
That’s pretty much what happens to Lucas, too. While he’s fine during the first flight out of Zimbabwe, the connecting flight becomes a nightmare. Lucas doesn’t have his passport after he gets off the plane. He presses an airport official to allow him to go back and look for it. The security officer does their job, denying him this ability. Instead, someone else from the airport goes and looks. They find nothing.
At Dubai International Airport, the other teams look on in empathy and discomfort, knowing that it easily could have been any of them. Well, everyone but Team Big Brother does this. As you know, Jessica and Brittany have feuded in recent episodes, mainly because Jessica’s acted like a jerk. Without a note of irony or acceptance of culpability, Jessica gloats at the misfortune of others. She’s apparently unfamiliar with the concept of karma. Oh wait, she IS and specifically mentions that it just kicked in…for someone else. Yikes. Jessica, if karma has your home address, it’s a Final Destination situation.
Lucas has no options. Without a passport, he cannot clear customs and enter the country legally. You know the situation is unforgivable when freakin’ Conor, Captain Useless himself, states that “the first rule of Amazing Race Club is to always have your travel documents aka passport with you.” Moments later, Lucas says, “We’re stuck here. Sorry, honey.” We’ll keep recapping, but let’s be honest. This leg is already done after 12 minutes.
By the way, Brittany deserves a tremendous amount of credit for how she deals with the situation. She’s not the least bit judgmental, letting Lucas know that she understands. She also tells him that she loves him multiple times. We don’t know how often you take trips with your partner, but it’s pretty rare to demonstrate that sort of patience during tense vacation moments. That goes quintuple for someone racing to win a million dollars. Lucas, Brittany truly does love you and is a great person to boot. You’re a very lucky man. Don’t screw this up.
The broadcasting of the rest of this episode is strange. The producers of The Amazing Race had to scramble to cover what’s effectively an international incident in one spot while keeping the competition going for the other four teams. Ultimately, they even cut one of the challenges called Walk the Plan, presumably because Lucas & Brittany never made it that far.
We know from comments that Jen Hudak made that it was a three-question test wherein partners answers questions about one another. When their answers didn’t line up, one of them had a plank pulled out from under them, causing them to splash down into the water below. Why are the fun pirate challenges always the first to go?
The aired challenges take place in Manama, Bahrain. For obvious reasons, the other teams talk about Team Ocean Rescue more than anything else. Team Big Brother continues to gloat while their savvier opponents, Team Yale, point out that their opponents are as little as an hour behind them. That’s an…optimistic take on the situation. Still, we admire that they push themselves so hard.
The first challenge is Tilting the Scales. Teams must carry heavy logs of wood across a construction site. They must find a scale and weigh out 300 pounds of timber to complete the challenge. Obviously, this one is tilted toward strong men. Alex & Conor are also the first team to arrive, so they’re in great shape. Team Extreme is right behind them, though.
The drivers choose to carry one large piece together. The women scoff at them in a later monologue, noting that you “can carry twice as much by dragging it.” Remember, friends. It’s not about the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the brain in the woman making the men look like weak-ass morons.
This leg starts out poorly for all the men. Big Brother gets lost, causing Cody to suffer the worst fate imaginable for dudes. He has to ask for directions. What a eunuch. While they receive help from the locals, Team Yale reaches the challenge. The order of finish on the first leg goes just like you’d expect. Team Extreme finishes first while Conor vents, “How’d they do that so fast?” You’re a disgrace to penis owners everywhere, dude.
The drivers still finish second while the debaters are third. Soon afterward, Team Big Brother shows up, and Cody releases some frustration on the logs. He carries roughly 7,000 times as much weight Jessica. She tells the camera that she doesn’t want to be so weak that she holds him back, but…
The next task is one of those filler things that TAR’s started doing in recent years. Teams must drive to Showaiter Sweets and eat a plate of sweets that looks like pasta before receiving their next clue. The person is called the King of Halwa, and he’s not easy to find since all the store signs are in Arabic. The drivers arrive moments after the women. Since it’s a phallocentric country (penis owners unite!), the men ask for directions. Then, they relay the information to the skiers. Both duos eat what looks like nutmeg Jello. Everyone loves it despite the nasty appearance.
Here’s a first. Team Yale is fighting! Henry’s surly today, and Evan’s so not in the mood. This is the first time we remember them squabbling all season. As they struggle, Team Big Brother sneaks ahead of him for third place. Jessica takes this opportunity to point out that Evan wears the pants in that relationship. She’s not wrong, but it seems kind of catty. She is threatened by strong women, which is unfortunate since she’s such a strong woman herself. Also, let us tell you. Jessica looooves Halwa. Here’s her profound quote. “That dessert was bomb.” What’s the last dessert that you had that was bomb, dear reader?
HEY! We have a Team Ocean Rescue update. They’ve done better in this situation than any team ever before them on the show. They’ve gone to the American consulate and received a temporary passport, which is all they need to finish the leg. Sure, they’re about 72 hours down on the competition (legitimately 4-6 hours, we would guess), but they can continue. No one else ever managed that.
Finding the next clue isn’t easy. The teams get lost AND face heavy traffic. Team Big Brother is the luckiest of them, and so they reach it first. The place is Delmon Pottery, where teams receive 10 objects to memorize. Next, they sift through hundreds of small pots throughout the store to find matching items. It’s busy work, but that’s what today’s challenges all seem to be. It’s almost as if the producers knew somebody would screw up huge at the airport.
Alex describes this challenge as a “match game”. He’s not wrong. The next few minutes of editing are the judge of this event saying, “No match!” After all the pointless shenanigans, the first duo to finish is Team Big Brother and Team Extreme is second. In other words, the busy work didn’t change the order any. Team Yale struggles the most, but the whole thing doesn’t matter. We’re just spinning our wheels until Phil eliminates the lifeguards.
The final part of the leg borders on mean. Contestants must milk a camel and then drink the output. We may choose the penalty here. Conor’s braver than us, although he doesn’t have that magic camel touch. Each of his attempts to milk the beast leads to an unpleasant jerk. That thing doesn’t want Conor drinking its milkshake down.
Despite the editing that suggests camel milking is difficult, it only takes a few minutes to complete. The worst part is chugging down the liquid. In fact, the women of Team Extreme quite enjoy the milking part. None of it impacts the order of finish, though. For some reason that’s not revealed, Team IndyCar reached the camels first followed by the skiers. We have no idea where Big Brother went, just that they get lost.
Because of these factors, the drivers win the leg and $7,500 each. That’s a LOT for Conor. Alex earned $2,548,743 for winning the Indianapolis 500. So, we half-expect him to give his share to Conor to help with the moving costs. The skiers finish second, and Team Yale is frankly lucky that the lifeguards had passport issues. The debaters had a terrible leg, making uncharacteristic mistakes. Despite that, they STILL finish third, as Team Big Brother just disappears for several minutes. We’re curious to see how far they are behind the third place team.
Also, Team Ocean Rescue is last to arrive and gets eliminated! What a shock! Lucas beats himself up pretty good over this turn of events, but his wife-to-be is extremely supportive. We’re pulling for them. By the way, they don’t appear to have completed any challenges, meaning that this was one of the most pointless legs in the show’s history. On, and in case you were wondering, they did NOT lose the ring when the passport vanished.