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Amazing Race 16, Ep. 9 Commentary – The Tragedy of PingPing


This was one of my favorite non-elimination episodes in the history of the show. Hands down. Basically, because it was jam packed with hysterical moments, jaw dropping behavior, and good tasks. Really, really, liked this one, even if it had some unfortunate mocking of the littlest person.

I’m going to go through team by team, in order of finish, before rattling off the litany of awesome sound bites.

Jet and Cord – I have to tell you, I thought there would be no way, no how that a couple of good ol’ boy cowboys from Red State Oklahoma would turn into one of my favorite teams of all time. It just goes to show how this show can surprise you. Most of my favorite teams have been surprises to me – Romber, Beauty Queens, Cha Cha Cha – and the Cowboys may top that list of surprises.

Not only do I respect the way they have run this race – effectively with little to no drama – but I am astounded by their humor. That’s my East Coast Liberal Elitism rearing its ugly head – why would I presume that Oklahoma cowboys would not be funny? The best part is these guys are not just funny in a Larry the Cable Guy way; they could do Woody Allen humor. But I’ll go into their best lines in a bit, but first, about their racing. And how the Cowboys did not just rock a roping or herd animal challenge, but they nailed cooking, fashion and puzzles.

At Roadblock #1, Jet figured out right away that you needed flour on the dough to get the noodles to form properly, and while Caite struggled, Jet rolled through the challenge. On to the fashion challenge, where I thought the guys would be doomed. I would be doomed, despite watching Project Runway (I am constantly wrong on which dresses are the best – Mila was my favorite in the finale and clearly I was in the minority on that one!). But the boys managed to find the correct items of clothing to dress their model, with only a couple of small issues involved.

On to Roadblock #2, where Cord had to now assemble a giant 96-piece puzzle. He was moving right along, getting close to the end, when WHOOSH! – He ran into a sequence from “Twister.” About a dozen or so pieces flew away and Cord flopped his body down across the tiles to keep them in place. He then basically started stripping off clothes to weigh down the tiles, and brilliantly hopped a fence to grab folding chairs to weigh them down. He then methodically finished, and led the team across the Metro to the Pit Stop in first place.

The fourth win for the boys, and despite on non-elimination save earlier in the season, they head to the penultimate episode as the favorites to win the whole thing. It’s lucky for them that some teams chose to use their U-Turn to settle scores rather than to hamper the toughest team, which leads me to…

Brent and Caite – For all of the vitriol that this team has garnered – much of it rightfully so – they are still here. And racing better at this point than they did early on. However, that said, U-Turning Crandy instead of the Cowboys was still stupid. Dan and Boy Jordan know that – but that is due to Boy Jordan being a student of the Race. I will also choose to ignore any more of the following: references to the infamous “tiara” remark from Episode 1, talk about how mean Crandy was, and Caite’s crowing about being the last woman standing. Clearly, she is not a student of the game; the race has not been positive for women over time, and being the last woman standing is not an accomplishment. Ask Margarita, Kelly, and Yolanda who were all the last woman in their respective Final Threes.

In Roadblock #1, Caite struggled making the noodles. She whined and she complained (though not nearly as badly as Boy Jordan did), and eventually finished. However, along the way, she interacted with PingPing, the world’s smallest man who was there to give out the clues. First, to the show, way to turn the poor guy into a freak by using him as an attraction. I am sure that never got old to him. But then to Caite, who reacted to him as if he was a baby kitten. No, he’s a grown ass man! Show some respect. No you can’t take him home with you, and no, he’s not adorable. The man has a genetic condition that made him small (although the comment by one of the other teams that smoking does in fact stunt your growth was a little funny). She reacted to him as you would imagine a spoiled, rich tween would. Not a grown ass woman.


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