Stuck in the Desert and Officially Detained - or, Philiminated with extreme prejudice.
Rob & Sheila and Amy & Daniel and Caitlin & Brittany and Gary & Will and Rob & Kelley and James & Abba and Abbie & Ryan - Already eliminated.
Flat Tire - or, not likely to get anywhere soon.
Stopping for Gas - or, not broken-down, exactly, but not a good sign.
Josh & Brent (holding steady) - This is the sixth leg in a row that Josh & Brent have finished either last (in a NEL) or next-to-last. To be fair, they did out-perform Natalie & Nadiya on this episode, navigating and completing tasks more quickly than the Twinnies. Conversely, this is the first time Josh & Brent finished in the top three, ever. And Josh’s ankle is probably going to be an issue at some point during the next leg, like maybe when he thinks it’s a good idea to do the kickboxing Roadblock. Conclusion: even if Josh & Brentluck into the final three, they’re not going to be very competitive.
"Rapido! Por Favor?" - or, making meaningless ineffectual comments from the back seat, but in no immediate danger.
Natalie & Nadiya (down from “Passing”) - After a tidy Fast Forward performance and a first-place finish last week, Natalie & Nadiya finally expose their Achilles heel, which appears to be successfuly getting from Point A to Point B under their own guidance. Now they have a Speed Bump to contend with in the next leg. Historically, these haven’t been very challenging, but any extra time spent, with only three other teams in the race, is problematic. (Historical note: over nine seasons when the Speed Bump has been in use, there were 10 NELs with either four or five teams running. Of those 10 NELs, the penalized team came in last on the next leg 7 times.) Even assuming Natalie & Nadiya edge out Josh & Brent next week for a place in the final three (which is, to be fair, a pretty decent assumption), there’s a decent likelyhood they’ll be called on to drive themselves places on the last leg.
In the Passing Lane - or, ahead of the pack, but not quite comfortably.
Jaymes & James (holding steady) - A reasonably good leg from Jaymes & James, although they, oddly, went the wrong way navigating toward the Detour and wound up arriving at the other Detour. It seemed to work out for them this week, but that’s not always going to be the case. Still, Jaymes & James have placed first or second for four weeks running, so they’re apt to be pretty relaxed going into the last two legs.
Trey & Lexi (holding steady) - This is the third first-place finish by Trey & Lexi, which is more than any other team this season. In a duel between them and Jaymes & James, I think I might bet on Jaymes & James, but not by much.
Cruisin’ with Earl - or, drivin’ on the shoulder, takin’ shortcuts, and generally kickin’ butt.