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Amazing Race 16, Finale – First Class Decision, No Class Behavior


So another Race is in the books, and this time I walk away as a fan of the show about as disappointed in the results as I have ever been. No, it is not Flo-levels of disappointment, or All-Stars, or Hippies, or Kendra. But I must say that my disappointment level was rather high after the brothers crossed the finish line ahead (I presume substantially ahead) of the Cowboys. And while I have not been a fan of the brothers this season, I fell headlong into dislike as this episode unspooled.

The two of them have bothered me quite a bit – culminating in the bludgeoning we viewers have received in the form of Boy Jordan’s dream of winning the Race. The funny thing is, as fans, one would think we would be on board. And many of you have been, but for me, I found it to be quite pathetic. Shouldn’t your dreams be a bit more deep and profound rather than a desire to win a reality show? And if it wasn’t for the inane obvious comments that he made throughout the race, the memorization of Caite’s speech, Dan’s anger issues, etc., perhaps it wouldn’t have bothered me so much. But they were, and it did.

So, they were in my doghouse going in, but were going to be my back-up choice should the Cowboys falter. And then the airport incident happened.

To refresh, the Models left the Pit Stop at 2:37 am, the Cowboys at 3:11 am, and the Brothers at 6:00 am. There were no incidents (that we saw) in traveling to the airport. So when Dan and Boy Jordan arrived, the Models and Cowboys were camped out on line waiting for it to open. Boy Jordan put his backpack in front of the Cowboys and left. When he returned, he assumed that gave him second placement in line.

First, I give credit to the Brothers for sheer chutzpah. Second, I give my Cowboys a real hit for not doing anything about it. While it is an example of their good-naturedness to not cause a scene and to shame the Brothers with snarky comments, it did not change anything. The Cowboys were wronged here and then let the other guys get away with it. I would have yelled bloody murder until someone from the airline stepped in.

Now, this line cutting did not affect the outcome of the Race, but it just gave us a perfect example of how one set of brothers could get to the Final Three on the Amazing Race and attempt to win it by adhering to basic rules and etiquette of society, while the other set of brothers are cheater, cheater, pumpkin eaters. I can almost defend it if they at least owned up to it being an unnecessary and classless move, but Boy Jordan tried to defend it.

Amazing Race is not Survivor – you don’t have to lie and cheat to win it, in fact, most teams don’t. Why they chose to make asses out of themselves on line is beyond me. Especially since it distracts from the next move, which was one of the best strategic moves made in Race history. As it was smart, within the rules, and in the end, won the Race for them.

That is the way Dan was able to get bumped to First Class seats. I wish we got to see how, because that would have been interesting to see how he managed it. But we just know he did it. As you all know, Racers can only purchase economy seats, but nowhere is it written that they cannot get bumped up to other levels by employees. Ray and Deana did that in Amazing Race 7, for example. Perfect example of “it can’t hurt to ask.”

So, they got to leave the plane first, and built up a lead. To their credit, they didn’t screw up along the way and held that lead until the end. Meanwhile, the Models fell off immediately due to cab issues and the Cowboys made a couple of errors. The worst of their mistakes came at the Lucasfilm challenge (more on that later). Faced with another instance of the Brothers standing literally in their way, Jet elected to stand and wait as Boy Jordan spun around to enable Dan to read the clue. Why he couldn’t shuffle slowly and ease past Boy Jordan I don’t know, surely simple touching of another team member is not prohibited, right? It could have easily been done without it being classified as anything physical like pushing or worse. Letting Boy Jordan finish doomed the Brothers. Not figuring out WHY Boy Jordan was spinning didn’t help either.

So, as it turns out, it was a fairly boring finale in as much as the outcome was never really in doubt. When the Models turned up on the Cowboys’ heels at the Star Wars challenge, you knew they were closer to the end than to the front.

So, congratulations to the Brothers, I think you won in a fairly crappy manner, but you did win and you did earn the win. Doesn’t mean I have to like it.


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