Breaking the streak of ironic eliminations, we instead get to witness what may have been the dumbest elimination ever. And there have been some dumb eliminations on this show, but Ron managed to really do a doozy. When tasked with finding six holy men who match photos presented to the Racers, Ron seemed to think that he had to check in the neighboring town rather than the market square nearby. Ron seemed to think that the holy men might have decided to go incognito and swim in the Ganges. Because The Amazing Race always makes their tasks extremely difficult. Ron admitted to overthinking the task. No kidding!
The Cowboys actually took a flight an hour later than them and they still caught up and passed Ron on this task. Amazingly, a team that is awfully intelligent and skilled with Race activities managed to lose in such a ridiculous manner. I feel badly for Christina who I consider one of the stronger Racers, but Ron was often a drag. He was surely good for some quips – although I am doubtful that they were actually meant to be quips. Occasionally, Ron would be really clutch – like last week with the tea – and then he would be a nutcase. That inconsistency never got them in AR12, but it finally caught up to them here.
Next topic – how these teams are not U-Turning, lying to, or just doing whatever possible to get in the way of the Cowboys to eliminate them. I understand that there is only so much you can do in the Amazing Race to do that – this is not Survivor – but you can do some things. I know the Boys are good guys, and very likable, but they are really, really dangerous. Right now, I think the only thing keeping the Cowboys away from crossing the Finish Line first is an unforced error, to use a tennis term.
Such an unforced error is going to buy a ticket at an airline window and not listening – the agent clearly said “WE have a flight at 11:45.” They didn’t say there IS a flight, so clearly they weren’t helping the boys out by finding the best flight, they wanted a sale. It is their natural naïveté that could do them in – but not their ability to Race. They not only overcame the one-hour deficit, but they finished fifth. They may make more errors, but few teams are able to recover from them as well as the Cowboys.
I was wondering how the show would work this out, but it appears the Goths are emerging as the villains this year. It was not clear since no villainous teams were actually cast this season, but through some fairly weird actions, they are shaping up to fill that role. What benefit did Kent get from betraying Gary at the end of that Roadblock? A small time advantage with a Detour still to come? It just seemed gratuitous.
The Amazing Race is great for something that no other show on network TV can do – not even the news. That’s the ability to see parts of the world you never really knew existed. Such is Varanasi, India. Fascinating city. It is the spiritual capital of India, which is very cool, it’s not as if the show is going anytime soon to Mecca or Jerusalem. And it is a different type of Indian poverty that we have seen in a while – it is not really urban, but we have seen rural India before on the show. What this location had was a serenity about it that belied the poverty we were witnessing. It was a strange dynamic, and hard to really put your finger on. It was as if the city had a tangible soul that came across on our flat screens. One of the many reasons to love the Amazing Race – learning about Varanasi is not something you will experience watching Dancing With The Stars.