So, the vacation continues… Our contestants almost leisurely travel from Tahiti to New Zealand. If any team happens to get a little ahead or drag a little behind – no worries, there are plenty of “bunching up” along the way where the teams get a fresh start. They all travel as a pack, get to the Detour and Roadblock pretty much together, and that precludes any suspense, uncertainty or drama. Alas!
The only drama is of medical variety – apparently David (team “Survivors” – father and son) seriously hurt his Achilles tendon; he is still racing for the time being but with crutches and medical boot. Everybody seems to realize that for David and Connor the Race might come to an end sooner rather than later. How many legs of the Race can you successfully complete with an injured leg, after all?
Team “Perfect” (John and Jessica) can kill two birds with one stone now – which they do by giving the Second Express Pass to David and Connor. For one, they are giving it to a team who are no longer strong competitors and no longer a threat due to David’s physical handicap. On the other hand, they now earn some brownie points for being nice, compassionate and keeping their word. Never mind that just a short time ago they contemplated other possibilities for the Second Express Pass.
We are now arriving with our teams to the beautiful New Zealand. The shots of the countryside are gorgeous, but the visual pleasure is spoiled by auditory torture – it’s our shrieking You-Tubers Joey and Meghan with their never-ending “Ahhh! New Zealand!“, “Ohhh, the sheep!” “Whoopee! Like James Bond again!“…What does James Bond have to do with it, again??! …I dig the enthusiasm in contestants, but theirs comes across as overdone, annoying and phony, and even a couple of “shaken, not stirred” would not make it less painful.
The Detour is a choice between “Rev it up” and “Reel it in” – in one each partner has to drive a car through an obstacle course under a certain time, in another each partner has to catch a fish over a certain size. Almost everybody runs to do “Rev it up“, including David and Connor who realize a little too late that David cannot drive a car in his medical boot. The father and son switch to “Reel it in“, but – not having much luck with fishing – decide to use their Express Pass.
With David and Connor slightly ahead, the rest of the contestants pretty much reunite at the Roadblock. This Roadblock is something I would gladly pay to take part in – a Shemozzle Race. It’s a bizzare, dirty and f-u-n. It involves molasses, feathers, mud, dogs and carrying eggs without breaking them in the process. If it were not for such challenges and beautiful locations, The Amazing Race might be in trouble – the contestants so far do not add any spice to the show.
I get it that not everybody is as fun as, let’s say, the Globetrotters, or as memorable as Charla and Mirna, or as polarizing and energizing as the last season’s Twinnies; but this season’s cast seems so bland. Sure, they mostly are nice (except perhaps the Honeymooners), but neither memorable nor fun. Even Tim-the-dog at the Pit Stop seems to show more personality. Well, at least the locations and challenges are fun.
David and Connor are the first to the Pit Stop, but the Race continues. And the episode ends with “to be continued..“, so we don’t know yet who would be eliminated. I especially hate such ending because I will be in a far away land for more than 2 weeks with no internet connection (most likely). So I will remain in the dark for quite some time. Not that it terribly matters – at this point I really am fine with any of these teams going home, except maybe Chuck and Wynona, solely for Chuck’s genuine and infectious enthusiasm.
What do you think, guys? Who will be going home next? Would David and Connor continue racing despite David’s injury? Do you care one way or another?
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