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The Amazing Race: Ditching Teams and Stealing Packs

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Tonight, The Amazing Race asked a really interesting question (we’ll be getting into SPOILERS rather quickly here, just FYI), or at least the teams did – do you go to your destination direct or do you change plans somewhere if it’ll get you in 15 minutes early?  Having watched for years on end, I’m not sure what I would have chosen.  Yes, getting in 15 minutes early is good, but the odds for a delay also increase when you throw in that extra flight. 

I tend to think that at this point in the game, when there are still a whole lot of teams left and there are sure to be a bunch of bottlenecks down the line, I would have gone with the direct flight.  In the end I would have been right—the connecting flight which should have been 15 minutes early ended up an hour and a half late—I just wish I could attribute that to some sort of innate genius on my part instead of it simply being me playing slightly conservative.

That call really could have gone either way, and Zev & Justin, despite being on the flight that got in later ended up being one of the first teams to finish the Roadblock so it didn’t matter hugely any way.  The call I don’t think could have gone either way was Margie & Luke (and Mel & Mike and Kent & Vyxsin) ditching Jaime & Cara while driving to the Roadblock.  Margie & Luke and Jaime & Cara have been working together since their first appearance on the show, and they were all caravanning tonight.  Coming up with a good reason for Margie & Luke to ditch their friends is something I have a little bit of trouble with. 

I know that there are people out there who haven’t been fans of Margie & Luke since their first appearance, but I defended them at that time (mostly) and have liked them as a team.  For Margie & Luke to ditch their friends tonight was wrong and certainly causes me to reconsider my feelings about them.  Plus, Jaime ended up taking off some random person’s mirror in Tokyo and so she and Cara would have been left behind soon enough no matter what – you can’t expect another team to stay when you’re waiting on the cops to adjudicate a traffic mishap.  Okay, no one knew that Jaime would hit a car, but even so Margie & Luke were wrong.

Here though is the big issue tonight: the Globetrotters, accidentally, took Christina’s fanny pack at the Detour.  They realized their mistake before they left and put the fanny pack in the men’s changing room Photo Credit: Robert Voets/CBSwith Ron’s stuff, which was nice, but not where they found it.  Christina, I think naturally, kind of wigged out.  She had an absolute right to be nervous – they couldn’t continue on the race without their passports which were in the pack.  It obviously wouldn’t have been Christina & Ron’s fault if someone had stolen their pack, but the race couldn’t exactly stop while the team got new passports from the State Department, so her worry was appropriate.  Eventually, of course, Ron & Christina went to get changed and found the pack.  Ron, being rather a crotchety fellow, was still rather angry about the whole thing and Christina wasn’t exactly over it immediately either.

Now that I understand.  I think the Globetrotters absolutely should have put the pack back exactly where they found it.  I was actually moderately surprised that Phil checked them in at the Pit Stop without a 30 minute penalty at the outset (seriously, I wrote that sentence without the “outset” bit before I saw Phil give them the penalty once Christina complained).  I do think Christina was a little out of line thinking that maybe the Globetrotters did it on purpose, but the 30 minute penalty was definitely deserved.

As for Mel & Mike and their elimination.  Well… I liked them as players, but I never felt as though they had a chance at winning so I’m not unhappy seeing them gone.  Has it been every episode this season that they’ve contemplated/mentioned/joked about/ruminated on quitting?  I think so.  They’re not a team that I’ve disliked, but it has felt as though they were in over there head this go-round.  Who knows, maybe they’ll try again on The Amazing Race:  Business that Should Have Been Finished Long Ago.

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About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.
  • no_tell

    The thirty minutes was a giveaway. A BFD… they didn’t lose any time, they didn’t lose anything, they didn’t gain anything.