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Amazing Race 17 – Ep 9 – Defeat, with a Graham Cracker Crust


So, the bulk of this episode was Bigfoot and Wife leisurely completing the tasks to cruise into first place, and then a couple of hours later the Tattoo Two did the same for second. But the other part, it was a mad dash to the finish to avoid elimination between KNat, QVC and Chad/Steph. They seemingly arrived at the first task together. KNat took a big lead after the Detour thanks to the Double U-Turn, but Nat seemingly squandered it by struggling with the Roadblock. At one point, all three teams were assembling the bike at the Roadblock, with QVC and Chad/Steph completing the task almost simultaneously.

Down the stretch, KNat squeaked in to third, and QVC edged out Chad/Steph for fourth. To be perfectly honest, I actually thought we’d get a non-elim this leg, but instead one leg after getting engaged and finishing first, the couple is eliminated.

Route Markers

• I loved the juxtaposition between Jill/Thomas doing some hardcore racing and finding a new flight, and Chad/Steph eating cheeseburgers and a Blizzard with a graham cracker crust. It seems Oman has itself a Dairy Queen.

• Dhaka, Bangladesh is the densest city in the world, and 6 am traffic looks like rush hour everywhere else.

• The Jill Is An Idiot Theme returned as Thomas corrected her that the wheelbarrow of the street is called a rickshaw. And had to explain what “extremities” are. I still find that whole thing annoying, but when she said the pieces needed to build the Roadblock rickshaw were “nuts and bullets,” well, it makes it hard to defend her. Although, “nuts and bullets” sounds like a great name for a band.

• Jill had other rough spots, like when that van almost flattened her during the brick Detour!

• Although she did have a better leg than Nat’s hair. I mean, what was up with that? It was the second worst hair day of the Reality season behind Survivor: Nicaragua Marty (Yahoo).

• A couple of small moments I loved – Thomas making some inadvertent innuendo related to the sugar cane juice, and regarding Jill’s use of a wrench; KNat waving like royalty from the rickshaw, QVC with their hair down; Nat explaining how her IKEA experience helped her through the Roadblock; Brook and her flair; Steph telling Chad to shut it; Nat explaining that she’s earned an MD, not a PHd, thank you very much; and “the bell is your friend.” Great episode for small moments.

• I wonder if QVC was allowed to U-Turn Chad/Steph? It was moot because KNat did it, but I wonder if QVC, though U-Turned themselves, would be allowed to U-Turn another team.

• As Chad repeatedly told Steph to shush, all I could think of was, “ah…young love.” Seriously, I don’t think at any time during my 15+ year relationship with my wife that I have ever aggressively shushed her the way Chad did twice in five minutes on national TV. Of course, if I tried, I’d be eating through a straw for about six months…but still.

• As you know, I love the real moments found in “reality” shows … and we got a great one tonight. After going through the grueling second Detour task, Claire asked Brook to slow down. I know, impossible. But Claire admitted to her, “I don’t run marathons like you … if you wanted someone like that, you should have got another partner.” In that moment of fatigue, Claire expressed so much self-doubt and, what I perceived at least, a repressed envy for Brook’s, well, Brookiness. It was such a wonderful, real moment.

So we head to the Final Four, and we are guaranteed the fifth ever all-Female team that will run to the Finish Line. Perhaps a sixth. KNat and/or QVC will join Bama, the BQs, Charla/Mirna and Jamie/Cara – with the Beauty Queens and the Miami cheerleaders the only ones finishing as high as second place. Will this be the one? We’ll soon find out.

First Task – Use a press to squeeze out a mug of sugar cane juice from, well, sugar cane, and then drink it – Thomas, Nick, Kat, Brook and Chad do the dirty work.

Detour – Balanced Meal – deliver 30 snack packs, in the ugliest lunchboxes ever, to the workers on a boat repair shipyard, and haul them up to the deck. Tattoo Two and KNat do this one, and QVC and Chad/Steph start here as well. The trick is to loop them all together in the rope – or in KNat’s case their own straps – and haul them up.

Balanced Bricks – transport 100 bricks from a barge to a shop, by balancing them on their heads. Jill/Bigfoot took this one, and the two U-Turned teams are forced to join. Slow and steady wins this race, but the U-Turned teams have to haul both bricks and ass to get it done, and Claire almost passes out as a result.

Roadblock – Construct a rickshaw by putting together wheels, a seat, a canopy, bell, tassels, pedals, a back seat and a chain. Jill, Nick, Nat, Brook and Steph take the task. Jill nad Nick forget the chain, Nat seems to take the longest, and Brook’s bell and Steph’s back seat are their main issues.

Order of Finish – Bigfoot and wife (who win $15,000 gift from Discover card. Cool), Tattoo Two, KNat, QVC and Chad/Steph (ELIMINATED)

Next week – Brook dances a dance both sexy and goofy at the same time, while Nick continues down the Ghana path.

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