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


And even worse, PingPing died, so his legacy in the U.S. is being mocked on camera by a woman who was mocked on camera for being an idiot. Lovely.

Everyone assumed Brent and Caite would rock the fashion challenge, and they did. Ho hum. However, Brent got to star as the dumb ass during the second Roadblock. Presented with the identical setback that Cord faced, Brent whined and yelled and chased after the tiles, thus allowing more to escape. While Cord reacted swiftly to stem the damage, Brent panicked. While Cord found solutions, Brent screamed at the tiles. No Brent, the wind didn’t cause you to fail in catching the Cowboys, you did.

Dan and Boy Jordan – They left in first, and arrived in second to last, but the guys had a good leg. Not in race performance, but in likability. I have not previously warmed to them, Boy Jordan bothered me with his bitching, and the lack of manual transmission driving irked me, but this leg helped a lot. Besides their spot-on insight into the U-Turn and the ramifications of taking out Crandy instead of the Cowboys, the boys showed some true brotherly love. Something far too rare on TV and in real life.

When Boy Jordan seriously struggled through the noodle challenge, Dan stepped up to give his brother a break. And a hug. And serious words of encouragement. Dan knows his brother, and this is what he needed. Great job, Dan. It takes a real man to step up and show that kind of emotion and vulnerability in front of the whole world. I loved that. By far my favorite moment for them. He even brought his brother a tissue!

Despite the Detectives’ obvious fashion joke about the gay guy – come one guys, you are better than that – Dan and Boy Jordan did do pretty well at the fashion challenge. The only issue with the last second trading of stockings with the Detectives’ model. And off they went in a virtual tie to the second Roadblock.

Here, Dan continued his strong leg by absolutely smoking Michael on the puzzle. He gave the shout out to their dad who taught them the rule that everyone learns (except perhaps Michael) when making puzzles – build the frame first. And thus, a third place finish.

Louie and Michael – The Detectives started in last and finished in last, and it is curious whether or not they have already peaked. Anyone who knows this show knew they were getting a non-elimination leg and a reprieve for next week, and they will face the extra task next week as a result, but they had a rough leg in China.

It started with the terrible cab driver issues that befell them and the brothers, a very common theme in past China legs. Louie volunteered to do the pasta roadblock thanks to his Italian upbringing, but he did not start off well. It was only Boy Jordan’s worse performance that made Louie look better. From there, the Detectives went to the fashion challenge, and surprisingly it was powers of observation that hurt the Detectives rather than fashion choices. The entrance to the challenge was right next to the clue box, and yet the guys wandered all around trying to find it. This detour (HA – get it?) potentially greatly contributed to their failure in the end.

Michael took the puzzle challenge and seemed lost from start to finish. That’s observation and problem solving that stumped the Detectives. Hmm. I don’t know why he did so poorly in the challenge, but once Dan left and the stadium lights went on, you knew Michael was doing very poorly. They were saved only by the obviousness of the non-elimination leg.

So before the quotes and hits, we go into the Final Three leg with some interesting teams, and a question of whether anyone can really beat the Cowboys in the end.


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