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Amazing Race 16, Final 4 Commentary – All In With The Cowboys


Putting aside the Family Edition, which is universally (except by Family Edition Racers) accepted to be the worst Amazing Race season, I may have put Amazing Race 16 on the lowest rung of the non-FE Race list. The closest analogy would be AR6 where all the good teams got eliminated early and we were left with several unlikable/annoying teams, along with one awesome team (Kris/Jon). This year, the teams weren’t as obnoxious as AR6, but the annoying/moronic factors are through the roof.

With the elimination of the Bumbling Detectives (at least for the last couple of legs, bumbling), we are left with these Racers:

– or “Please Stop Making Fun of Me For Being An Idiot While I Mock Other Cultures And Fail To Count Properly.”

Brent – or “I’m About As Deep As A Cracker And Make Caite Look Like A Rhodes Scholar – Hang On I Have To Go Pee.”

Dan – or “I’m Totally The Guy Who Gets Things Done On This Team, Except For When I Have Rage Convulsions In My Taxi When My Chinese Driver Inexplicably Speaks Chinese In His Own Country.”

Boy Jordan – or “Have I Mentioned That My Dream Is To Win A Reality Show With Simple Cliché Strategies Like ‘Never Come In Last.’”

That’s what we have to deal with with two of our Final Three teams. Meanwhile, you have the Cowboys and their dry wit and extreme lack of fabricated drama. Heck, these guys are so cool that when Cord was hospitalized years back for getting a hoof in the head, his brother never left his side. That’s not reality drama – that’s Movie of the Week drama. I can totally see Jean Smart playing their mom.

So, I am all-in with the Cowboys, to use a poker term (sorry AR15’s Maria/Tiffany). And for a Miami Dolphins fan (shout-out to AR15’s Dolphin cheerleaders!), that is something very hard for me to say. The last time I rooted this hard for Cowboys was when Dallas played Buffalo in back-to-back Super Bowls. Damn those Bills for denying Dan Marino a chance at a title. Yep, still bitter.

To make more analogies to past Races, this week’s Final Four looked an awful lot like Season 1 in structure. Two teams separated themselves from the pack and the narrative split as it became about who will come in first, and later, which team will join the Finals. The only difference, Team Guido and Fraternity Guys were about a day behind following the India/Bangkok legs before they got to China. We all know that Dan/Boy Jordan will get a bunching opportunity at the airport next week and all teams will be on even footing.

Cowboys and Brent/Caite each ran very solid legs this week, although Brent/Caite was, as usual, just a couple of beats away from disaster. Caite had a rare gem of insight in having a local use their SmartPhone to get the Chinese name of the Park Bridge. But she couldn’t count statues properly. Brent was strangely introspective in his observations on how different cultures are similar in many ways, in this case in faith. And then he almost has his bladder explode. Somewhere Kisha/Jen was hoping for an explosion of urine in that stamp shop.

Meanwhile, Dan/Boy Jordan wasted TWO HOURS searching for the Park Bridge. Two hours. After the first, wouldn’t you think about stopping somewhere for help? They used the Speed Bump coming to the Detectives as a reason to WAIT for them to depart. Thus wasting a couple of hours in the lead and banking on the Speed Bump being substantial enough to give them a cushion. It never is. What made this even better is that the Detectives were just as clueless as the brothers were. Binoculars? Really, Michael? And when is the clue box hiding behind signs in the medium of highways? Why they didn’t use the cabbie language translation option earlier was surprising – the episode was cut to imply that they knew about it, while I will have to assume they found out about it in the course of searching for the bridge.

Not to be outdone, the brothers then elect to follow the Detectives rather than have the cabbies exchange information. They got REALLY lucky that they were able to catch up to the guys and avoid getting insanely lost in China. I won’t even get into what Michael was doing with that flashlight while searching for the proper stamps. Of all the obstacles presented to them in that task, bad lighting did not seem to be one of them.

So, we are here, and if I never have to endure another sentence about Caite’s desire to not look stupid or Boy Jordan’s shallow lifelong dream to be a reality show contestant, I will be happy. My preseason pick was Brent/Caite, and if it means jinxing them, I hope it does the trick.

I just want to see the Cowboys cross the Finish Line in First Place and have Phil present them with the Amazing Race 16 Champions Belt Buckles that Jet wants so badly. Then I hope to banish the rest of these bozos into the Reality Show discard pile. Oh, hello Mirna, there you are. Oh, right next to Wil. Have you guys met Caite? Goodbye.


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