Amazing Race Season 34

Yeah the mega-leg is essentially like those double legs where they get to the mat and Phil says “You’re still racing!” except that there’s no mat.

The cheese task seemed so simple that I figured there had to be a catch. But other than the cheese wheel weighing 88 pounds, it was pretty straightforward.

Between the “Read the f’ing clue!” moment and the teams unable to drive a stick, I was thinking that someone needs to make TAR Bingo cards, or maybe a TAR drinking game.

Claire gives me major Rhea Sehorn vibes from Better Call Saul.

Just hearing the name Claire makes me really wish for a high speed melon to show up somewhere this season.

Regarding what is missing this season, I’m going to blame the lack of drama on the motivational speaker team, specifically Dom. We don’t need someone spewing all that peace and tranquility nonsense! How is that ever going to make the show interesting?

Yes! For the first couple of legs I kept thinking “she reminds me of someone…” and then this week it finally clicked.

Eliminating commercial air travel and taxi cabs has changed the game considerably. I miss them, too, but what’re you gonna do? Maybe by season 36 or 37 they’ll be back.

If I may disagree with Whack-a-Mole, the absence — or, in certain seasons, near-absence — of alliances, back stabbing, and all the other Survivor/Big Brother bullshit is why TAR is the only competition show I watch. Yes, there’s usually a “Should I help them or not” dilemma here and there, and “we’ll work together for now” team-ups, but the focus of the game has always been traveling smart and completing tasks.

IINM, no one here has picked any favorites yet. Neither have I, although I’m starting to like the twins and the military brothers. I was very glad to see Rex and his dentures leave, even though I loved their team name. The woman on the cheerleaders team is beautiful, and the man on the Big Brother team is super-cute, and I’m just shallow enough for that to have me rooting for them so far. I love the Jamaican father, but every time I start to root for them, she cuts him out curtly and rudely (“Go do something else, Dad. Thank you.” or some such), which leaves me cold. The crying motivational speaker alternates between being inspirational and annoying as hell, and her teammate (fiancé?) seems to be pretty much mute.

So no one to love yet. I don’t think anyone has emerged as an obvious “team to beat,” either.

I’m another who is glad there isn’t any drama with alliances and revenge play. I never liked that and hope it doesn’t happen this season. I didn’t even notice that we were missing airport scenes but in covid times, that makes sense. And knowing they would be driving more, what excuse does a team have for not perfecting their stick driving skills - it’s not that hard! I don’t have a favorite team yet. It usually takes me a good part of the season to get there. This mega leg should be where exhaustion sets in so we are probably in for some meltdowns next episode.

These days, the excuse could be not finding a car with a manual transmission with which to practice.

I actually agree with you.

I do not want it all to devolve to backstabbing and bad-mouthing other teams. I hate Survivor/Big Brother bullshit too.

But I did like it when teams would work together in order to get past a better team or a dislikable one (I remember Jonathan the narcissist from season 16(ish) and wanted nothing more than to see him get beat).

In this season I’m kinda meh about everyone. They all seem nice enough. I wish them all well. And I really don’t have a favorite or care who wins.

More, since everyone is like that they all just arrive, do a task, and move to the next task. As I said, this really could just be a gameshow on a stage at this point. In a race around the world they are now handheld in getting around the world losing a main draw of the show (IMHO).

Hey, how about that? I agree with you, too!

During the last episode, my wife made a rude comment about how nobody knows how to read a map any more (we both pre-date GPS). So at least there’s that.

I mean, in just three episodes we’ve already had several cases of teams driving in the wrong direction for an extended period of time. And last week, the cheerleaders took so long getting from Germany to Austria (misreading the clue and looking for Grünwalderhof in Munich only accounts for some of the huge amount of time they lost), it nearly cost them the race. If they hadn’t aced the dancing task, they would almost certainly have been last.

There really are no villains to root against, at least not yet. The closest I can come is to muster up some mild dislike for the female cheerleader. And I’m not even sure why, I guess it’s because I don’t like the way she squats when she’s reading a map on the ground.

I had a similar deja-vu vibe about Claire; yeah, I guess she’s sort of Kim-ish. I’d love to see Kim and Jimmy as partners on the race. I think Jimmy would have handled the yodeling.

I quietly snorted.


Biggest difference is that they know it’s a double leg up front. They aren’t racing to the mat and then finding out they still have to keep going.

Regarding the chartered flights and start structure: I like it. Airport drama hasn’t really being a thing for a long time, even pre-COVID. You’d have five minutes of the teams running around the airport with some fake drama, cut to “all teams are on the same flight.” I like this new format better. No more bunching because something isn’t open for another 5 hours. You get an actual advantage based on how you did the last leg, but it’s not so separated that it’s impossible for the last team to catch up.

Wow that daughter is an entitled brat.

Agreed. She should have ended it after that.

I’m ok with who lost though. Not a fan of that team. Either of those two I would have been fine to see go.

Watching that episode was almost painful. It felt like half the time was listening to those two whiners at great length, and the Roadblock task was utterly boring to watch. Pound away at plaster encasing a preformed (out of what?) statue for apparently up to an hour and a half? No talent, skill, ingenuity or anything else besides arm muscle stamina required? The collect food part of the Detour was apparently so easy no one got lost or dropped food or even seemed stressed. The match the models, eh, one team needed to go take a second look, nobody else had any trouble.

Just an overall dud episode, IMHO.

After thought: The whining woman eliminated gives her profession as MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER. Migod.

The last detour should have been harder. How many different pictures of the models were there to choose from? If I recall correctly, Phil described the food collection task by saying teams had to go to 3 out of over 150 places where the little doors were. I immediately thought that it was a needle in a haystack task. Turns out both tasks weren’t too difficult.

On the other hand, businesses have to close and fashion models have to sleep. Though they deserved it, no one wanted to watch the last two teams struggling until sunrise.

In the past the actors (or whatever you want to call who they hire) tend to stay the whole time (within some reason). I always assumed that was part of the deal when they are hired. Doubtless they are paid for it all so, while hanging around may suck, they do it.

I loved that she got to the chisel task, proclaimed this was not in her wheelhouse and wanted to take a penalty, without even looking around to see what the task actually was. Are your motivational speeches about giving up immediately when you encounter adversity?

I wish both teams had been eliminated. Hopefully, daddy’s little girl will just sit down on the next leg and refuse to continue. No wait, she should suffer some before she gives up.

Well, to be fair, her arms were tired.

I’m happy to never have to see rainbow hair compete again. I rolled my eyes to their upper limits when she thought the other folks were skillfully carving that sculpture free-hand from a solid block.

Whiny daughter, who seems just, oh so put out by all this inconvenience, needs to go next. I do feel for her dad, though, who has to be embarrassed by her toddlerness. I half expected her to ask him to carry her to the finish mat.


I’m wondering if this might have been a situation where it was the DAD’s dream to compete, and he sort of pressured the daughter into doing it. He said she had anxiety in explaining why she hadn’t done any of the individual challenges so far. My guess is a person with an anxiety disorder would definitely not be the type to want to head off to face solid weeks of nothing but strange people, strange places, new challenges – nothing at all of the familiar routine you feel comfortable about.

And it’s definitely easier to get fed up with and want to quit if its something you never really wanted in the first place. I don’t remember what she might have said in the earlier ‘intro’ type interviews they did with each team, so maybe I’m completely wrong.

But, yeah, I still want her gone.