Down to the Final Four of the 22nd Race Around the World. Well, 21st Race Around the World. One was a race around North America. And if you want to watch that race – it is on Hulu Plus. That’s right – Seasons 1-11 are available for those signed up for Hulu Plus – I am writing this as I enjoy the incredible debut season of The Amazing Race. I forgot just how perfect that premiere episode was and how unique the show was when it aired. Incredibly, it holds up all these years later. The formula works – even though it has been tweaked a great deal over time. Although starting with Season 2 it started to look produced – Season 1 almost felt fly-on-the-wall. So, if you haven’t watched the early seasons – do it. They remain my favorites of the whole run of the show.
Season 22 will be wrapping up next week after the five remaining teams ventured to Scotland. Slap Shot gave us the great Mike Myers deep cut by declaring that if it’s not Scottish, it’s crap. I think of Sean Connery and my boy’s former pre-school teacher. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard the words “snips of paper” repeated back to you in a soft Scottish accent.
For once we have an old school Amazing Race factor deciding a huge portion of the show – the Airport Shuffle. The teams head to the airport with instructions to get to Edinburgh. Newlyweds leave first, and the Moms leave last, with about 2 ½ hours separating them. Newlyweds head to the nearby hotel business center to line up tickets on the 10:40 am flight. The rest head to the airport. YouTube and the Moms grab tickets on the 1 pm flight and gloat when they find out Slap Shot and Underwood were locked out of it and had to land a 4 pm flight. It was the gloating that makes it so easy to root against YouTube.
Max and Katie stayed the hell away from the other teams so they could board their early flight quietly. Meanwhile, as tends to happen when teams realize they are on bad flights, the Race lovebirds seek an earlier flight as YouTube and the Moms do a happy dance. They find the Newlyweds flight, so the three teams have a two hour and twenty minute advantage on the YouTube/Moms alliance. Big error by those teams in settling for the flight they had. If you ever go on the Race – scramble for a better flight for as long as you can. Never get comfortable.
So barring a major error by an early team, or a Race-induced bunching, we had two races this week – the one for first, and the one for last. Complicating things for teams…a Double U-Turn. The front-runners decide to U-Turn both the Moms and YouTube. This is one way to do it – it really ensures the first flight teams will survive the elimination by having the two stragglers do both Detours. Another way they could have done it would have been to target one team for the U-Turn that they wanted out and really handcuff them. Personally, I am fine with their strategy – just ensure your own survival, don’t worry about the other teams, just make sure you make it.
So, we’ll touch on the first group a bit later on, but the main crux of this episode took place as the 1 pm flight landed and YouTube and the Moms realize that they were on the slow flight. Now the two allies have to break up and battle for survival. The Moms hysterically state at the airport parking lot – “There should be five (cars). Maybe somebody was on a better flight?” Yeah. Maybe.
At the Detour (more on that later), the Moms finish it somewhat quicker as Meghan just took more time to master the skills than Mona. It was not a lot of an advantage, but it was just enough for them to overcome the Speed Bump and head to the Roadblock at an even pace. Again, the Moms beat YouTube at the task and just have to avoid getting lost in Scotland. They don’t get lost and grab the fourth position.
That means YouTube is out. I can’t say I’ll miss them – they were not a very strong team and were rather bereft of personality. Oh, they THINK they have a lot of personality, but what they have is a lot of noise and a lot of quirks. But tell me – do you feel like you know ANYTHING about these two at all? I mean, Joey is just a cartoon cutout of what a young, gay millennial would be if created from the mind of Mitch McConnell. And Meghan? I can’t tell you one thing about her – she seemed to like thrill rides? Anything else? They are the most non-descript team in recent memory – which is amazing because they are in the entertainment business, albeit way on the outskirts. If the entertainment business was Westeros, they’d be in the Basilisk Isles. Man, I am reading too much Song of Ice and Fire.