For the first time ever, the Amazing Race made its way to Paraguay. And when it got there, it decides to tune its funny bone by providing some comedic challenges, some unexpected hard core gameplay, and a fabulous game of “what curse did she say?” It also gave us one of the more interesting examples of parallel screw-ups in which a team who thought they were doomed, turned out to be safe.
Comedy – In Task #1, the teams randomly had to find a clue in an equipment warehouse which looked like the most densely-packed playground ever constructed. Of course, not many playgrounds also come equipped with grills for the children to whip up some steaks and hot dogs. At least none that haven’t tragically burned down in a charcoal tragedy. The teams were forced to go down slides and maneuver around in an awkward manner. I’d personally like to know what kind of bizarro company keeps their merchandise stored in such a manner.
In the Detour, we got the funniest moments of the episode as teams were required to either stack watermelons into a giant pyramid, or to go an string and tune a harp. Neither task was easy, as the strings were tangled up in a little ball making that side even harder. However, it was the melon task that created the most stress. JJArt rocked it, but few others did. That pyramid would get built, but thanks to the oddly oblong shapes of watermelons, the structure was hard to make sturdy. And it would collapse. And collapse. And collapse. Several teams elected to flip tasks. Army Wife even burned their Express Pass on this one. Stalker provided the most interesting dynamic as the two of them struggled and struggled. And struggled. But Vanessa refused to switch tasks. She even said that they were going to keep at it to set an example for his kids. What example is that? Blindly and stubbornly doing something you know is not the right decision? The only thing that saved them from their own stubbornness was the ineptitude of another team. But more on that in a bit.
Hard Core Game Play – It came from Bopper. Make no mistake about it – despite their down home good ole boy persona, these guys are here to play. Just ask the Mathletes/Cousins. The ladies arrived at the watermelon challenge after the Boppers had given up after tons of melon collapsing. But they didn’t realize that the boys were leaving after much failure, not after completing the task. The guys didn’t miss a beat and told them the task was simple, and the Mathletes went right in there. And the guys actually swiped their cab to boot! Damn. After realizing they were duped, they wrote a note that said “All Bets” and told us, the viewer, as they ripped it, “All bets are off.” Nice.
Was this a smart move by Bopper? Well, not really sure. It was smart, but it seemed a bit pointless. As I have said before, on the Race you don’t have to be nice – there are no consequences as the other teams cannot really do anything about you. It ain’t Survivor. However, it was pretty cool.
What Did She Say? – I mean, seriously, Baby Rachel is so very annoying. I mean, she takes being annoying to incredible levels. Annoying people are watching and asking her to tone down her act. And yet, there she is not only doing rather well in challenges, but getting Mean Girled by Vanessa.
Attention show – stop making me feel badly for Baby Rachel! In the latest edition of Really, I Don’t Want To Like This Woman, Vanessa mocked her during the melon challenge. Not for anything that she did or said – no, apparently Baby Rachel’s leggings are a bit worn around the crotch. We could either see her full bum, or we could see her full Sharon Stone. Hard to tell because of all of the bleeping, but instead of telling her, Vanessa chose to actually tease her. Like it’s middle school or something. Ahem, you’re a grown woman. Is this how we interact with each other now? The classlessness on this season is starting to pile way too high.
Editing Dream – I was really hoping that due to her attitude that Stalker would go home. And it looked great – they couldn’t stack the melons, and thanks to her, they were just going to keep going. Night fell, and they were still going at it. I mean, what could really go wrong – it’s not as if the musician in the Race would fail to string an instrument properly. Oh wait, what’s that?
That’s right – Elliot. Or Andrew. I don’t know. The musician just couldn’t string the damn harp. So they were doing the Detour deep into the night as well. I don’t know what to tell you – these guys got about 40 seconds of screen time and didn’t do much with those seconds. You knew they weren’t getting out of South America. Well, they couldn’t do the harp. So both teams were simultaneously sucking at two tasks. And while the editors were clearly having fun, I knew what was going to happen.
The twins got to the Roadblock first, but long-haired Elliot had a lot of trouble balancing the bottle on his head, especially after getting soaked the first time. This allowed Ralph the chance to catch up, and pass the boys. With the Pit Stop accessible on foot, it was over. No one could be stupid enough to screw up finding the Pit Stop . And again, despite the editing drama, I knew Stalker was safe. Why? Because the show spoiled itself in the first episode by showing clips from upcoming eps, they focused a great deal on the Baby Rachel/Vanessa clash. There was no chance they were going this early.