Next to bad cab drivers, Killer Fatigue and perhaps too much bickering, the biggest killer of Amazing Race teams in 18 seasons has been bad clue reading. This epidemic has taken many forms, none more common than the fumbled “walk to the Pit Stop” version which claimed Heather/Eve most famously in Season 3.
Perhaps we need a telethon or something to educate people so they can avoid such sad tragedies. Brook/Claire can host. We can bring in past Racers to provide the entertainment. The Ivy League singers can croon. The past pageant girls can sing, dance, twirl, or mangle world events. The Gingers and other past cheerleaders can do some routine. The Trotters can dunk. Blake/Paige can show how to market shoes and vintage T-Shirts. Rob can demonstrate how to make Crispy Rice. The Poker Chicks can give a bluffing demonstration. KNat can give a seminar in surgical techniques (granted, this one may need some jazzing up by Brook. Maybe she can smash a watermelon on Claire first). The Cowboys can do some rope tricks. Dandrew can get lost. The Clowns can do acrobatics and juggling. Zev/Justin can do a Who’s on First routine, while S2 Gary can tell awful jokes. Lori/Bolo can fight in a Steel Cage Match. Millie/Chuck can not have sex. Gus can chug some beers. And Amanda/Kris can be forced to do everything the other guests had to do.
I think I am done now.
Seriously though, the Goths’ ride ends in fifth place. Again. This time it was not a bad job navigating the streets that did them in, it was choosing to let someone else navigate. The Goths took a cab to the Pit Stop instead of hoofing it, arriving in third place but facing a penalty. As they waited, Garlory wandered in to claim third place, and the Goths stood to the side and bickered. Badly. I mean, I know a lot of these shows are creatures of the editing room, but boy, those were some awful moments.
If you recall, even some of the Racers who have gotten on my nerves, most recently AR17’s Thomas, get a pass when they don’t take it out on their partner. Last year when they lost in the Finals, Thomas was classy and didn’t lash out. Meanwhile, let’s contrast that with the Goths in the Penalty Corner. They misread the clue. Vixen, who has carried this team for a large amount of this Race, even said in the cab that something didn’t feel right. However, instead of expressing some comforting words, Kent said, “Maybe you should have read it more carefully.” Ouch. Kent claimed he was being positive with her, but I think I need to quote Inigo Montoya, “You keep using that word, I don’t think it means what you think it means.”
Vixen knew, “Your version of being positive is to attack me. That sucks.” And then, the show gave us a super awesome visual. As the Goths lashed out at each other during the penalty, all of sudden Justin barreled around the corner and just like that, Zev/Justin’s terrible leg came to an end with a very surprising fourth place finish. The dudes got lucky, but sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.
Now, there has been a bit of a controversy afterwards as the Goths have been accusing the Trotters of bullying. This stems from the Roadblock as the Gnome Who Must Not Be Named made a return. Roadblockers had to make a chocolate gnome and the process entailed essentially painting colored chocolate on a plastic mold and placing it in the freezer while you worked on the other half. Then you switch and move along.
It was not very clear what actually happened, but what was implied was that Vixen did not really follow the procedure in that manner and when she went to put hers in the freezer, she took Flight Time’s out. When this was discovered, Big Easy got angry. Flight Time did not, he just went ahead and seemingly started over. However, Easy had issues, “Is that how it’s gonna happen right now…I ain’t blamin’, I’m tellin’ the truth!” Kent tried to confront, but seriously, who wins that battle? Meanwhile, Kent mocked Big Easy behind his back.
I really don’t know what happened there. Did she mess up? Did someone else mess up? How did Flight Time make up all that time if he started over? It was really strange. Zev said it well, “There’s too many cooks in the kitchen.” Hey, if I wanted kitchen drama, I’d watch more Top Chef!
The other question I have is during the Detour. Well, two questions. First, when presented the option of the potentially scary choice and the safe, potentially time consuming option, why would you choose the second option? Both Zev/Justin and Garlory chose to chopper up the mountain and instead of dropping one teammate into a crevice to do a rescue, they used a device to find a buried “victim.” That was a mistake, it almost always is a mistake to do that. As a result, Garlory struggled and Zev/Justin really struggled for the rest of the leg.
Also, the task was designed to showcase mountain rescue techniques. Now, correct me if I am wrong, but the number one part of the job description is to, well, rescue. Right? I am thinking that part of rescuing the victim is not tearing the body in half. That’s not really a rescue, is it? Well, that’s what Garlory and Zev and…well…really just Justin, as Zev was as involved in that task as I was, both wound up doing. I thought that bisecting the victim might have been penalty-worthy, but it seems that is acceptable mountain rescue behavior.
So, next week is the “Finale,” and then some next week. It is sort of like the AR5 finale, where the second to last leg was piggybacked onto the Finale for a two-hour end. In that season, it was due to the ultra-dramatic climax to that second-to-last leg. It truly deserved to be in the Finale, as that was the classic Colin on the Ascender episode, one of the Top 10 moments in Race history if you ask me. I wonder if this season has something similar up its sleeve for the Final Four before we head on down to the Finish Line and one of these four teams’ quest for Unfinished Business becomes complete.