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Amazing Race 21 – Episode 6 – “Bangladesh Good. Not Bad”

Yeah, yeah, late again. I know.

This week’s Amazing Race involved a change of setting – bye bye Bangladesh, hello Turkey. Teams got bunched up and sent to the European side of Turkey, only to be re-routed to the Asian side of Turkey – a fun usage of the unique nature of Turkey. But despite the tasks, the scrambling and the elimination of a team, one occurrence which took place this week stands out as the item of conversation.

Look, Twins, I want to like you guys. You are a strong team – you understand how to run this Race, and you are an all-female team who seems to be rather strong in challenges. You can be a good team. So, please, I am begging you, stop doing things that piss me off! I can almost live with the endless shouts of “Twinnie” and the still-unexplained hatred of Team Apprentice. I can live with never knowing which one of you is doing a challenge. I can live with having to look up each week how to spell your names. But, I am having a VERY hard time looking past your theft of another team’s money.

And it was a theft – no matter how you, other teams, or the Show try to spin it. I have read tweets from Racers that upon finding the Hairs’ lost money, the Twins were told to not give it back. I don’t buy it – and if true, shame on the producers. That’s manufactured reality show drama, which I do not care for – it would mean they chose to have the Hairs wander through impoverished Bangladesh because it would make for good TV. And, who’s going to stop the Twins from ignoring the producers and handing that cash back to the Hairs? What? Are they going to be kicked off the show for doing the right thing? And shame on Texas for going along with it – I give partial kudos for Trey for at least having the initial instinct that this whole idea was wrong.

The result of this cash incident is that I am officially in Team Hairs’ camp for rooting interest this season. They have been good for a funny quip, and have shown serious resolve – lost cash, injured knee, ailing father, etc. My respect for Twins and Texas took a serious hit – while respect for talent on the Race remains, respect for sportsmanship fallen to nil. This wasn’t the same thing as giving wrong directions to another team, or taking a cab from another team. To me this is taking away possessions from another team. To me, this is worse than Romber driving past Breg (second reference to that incident this season!) – where at least they could see the show staff tending to the brothers. This was something that could have been settled right away – how many people in that Bangladeshi travel agency were carrying around a wad of American cash? You pick it up and ask your fellow racers, “Hey, who lost some money?” And then you go beat them in the Race course fair and square.

Boo!

Ok, rant over. The Goats were going to be in a lot of trouble this week, as they left the Pit Stop six and a half hours behind the Hairs, and 90 minutes behind Magic Mike. They also got very lucky that there was an airport bunching. As it turns out, the key moment for the outcome of this leg was at the Istanbul airport. Teams had to decide whether or not to take a cab or the Metro to the Detour. Important Race note – 99 out of 100 times, it is better to take a cab. Always.

However, Magic Mike and the Truckers did not follow this plan, and they began to fall behind. Y realized that this was the Road to Elimination and the boys bolted for a cab. The Truckers, upon seeing this, failed to see the light themselves and stayed the course. Rob even mocked James Squared by calling them followers. The big guy is in his own world sometimes. As a result, they lagged behind the whole way, and while they caught up at the Roadblock, really needed someone to get lost in order to stay alive. They didn’t and met Browsie’s elimination. We are now down to six – five if you realize that the Goats have barely hung on for a few weeks now.

Detour – The choice was Simit or Scrub It – Simit is a kind of Turkish bagel. Teams had to stack a whole bunch of them on a tray, balance it on one person’s head, and then deliver them to three locations. The other task involved a spa and a massage. Somehow, two teams decided to haul bagels. Over a massage. There are few things in the world I would choose over a free massage. I mean, if you are offering one now, I’m ready to go. Crazy.

Granted, the Turkish deep tissue massage was a bit brutal, but still. You’ve been racing for a couple of weeks. You’re tired and dirty. Take the damn massage! The task did bring us the closest we’ve come in a while to seeing Racers naked. I remember the underwear race in Russia, the frozen dip in icy water, and a few other naked or near naked moments, but this one presented more than half of the Racers naked except for some flesh colored wrappings. I was looking down for a moment, looked up and thought Abbie was buck naked. I was surprised it made it past CBS censors. But, alas, it was an illusion. Male and female Race fans were a tad disappointed in the development.

Meanwhile, the Goats struggled with direction in more than one way. Before they had trouble getting directions to move the bagels, they had their Speed Bump. It was arguably the easiest one ever – eat ice cream. Really. That was it. Go to the marked stand, endure some goofy antics from the vendor, and eat ice cream. And they messed that up! They went to the wrong vendor, which meant they had to eat seconds. Normally, that would be far from a punishment, but, you know, the Race. Only the Truckers’ decision to do the bagel task made some sense – the massage would take a set time, the bagels could, in theory, be a chance to make up some time.

Roadblock – Serve Turkish Sherbet. This is the traditional Race task of selling a local product until you reach a certain level of sales. I would imagine it would be fairly easy to do this kind of task since the locals would have the fascination issue going on – crazy Americans with cameras selling treats. Who wouldn’t buy from them?

Anything of interest here? Actually yes. Lexi’s cheerleading skills came into play as she worked the crowd like a master. Ryan’s Apprentice skills come in as he turned it into a challenge from that show – he found a dude and hired him to help him out for a percentage of the sales. It meant selling more than needed, but at least he had some help. And Brent also showed some great skill in working the crowd as his sales history came into play. Oh, and Chip James found some women. Duh.

In the end, Texas earns their first win, and the Truckers get booted. Rob may have been a stubborn Racer, but he went out with class. He praised his wife, who without her, he’d be nothing.

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