The Amazing Race 11/14

It’s Placeholder Time!

…are we going to be pre-empted by another football game again?!?

Six minutes and fifty four seconds left in the game. In football time, isn’t that about half an hour? Maybe forty five minutes?

there have been two plays and five minutes elapse, and there are still six minutes and fifty two seconds left

So, at least today we have an answer: One minute of real time equals four minutes of football time.

Judging by the previews, something bad may be going to happen tonight.

I used to think that the prayers of reality show contestants must fall on deaf ears, but is there any explanation for tonight’s show other than divine intervention?

Seemed to be a tough leg…unless you asked for directions, it seemed. Nat & Kat were fortunate that Gary & Mallory had an even worse day than they had.

Didn’t Mallory mention in passing that they had been driving for about 9 hours? I thought she said it when they finally got the correct directions.

I liked this leg – it was basically a three-way race within a bigger race. I couldn’t help but feel a bit schmoosy when Chad proposed (awww)

I thought that mountain range looked familiar. I’d taken out a library book about “extraordinary global trips” and there’s a photograph of that canyon in one of the chapters. Oman has only been opened to visitors since the late 80s-early 90s, and many of the trails on that mountain range they were on are ancient and not very developed enough to withstand a lot of tourist traffic (the area where they were obviously is, though).

Before tonight, I knew virtually nothing about Oman’s geography, but I would not have guessed it would have a beautiful canyon.

I’m surprised we didn’t hear Thomas tell Jill how he learned how to say “rappel” at Notre Dame.

Speaking of which, how good is a college education that doesn’t teach you to not make the exact same mistakes that got a team booted just the leg before? RTMFC!

Crap–the race was going so well–no stupid gimmicks, and then the stupid U Turn next week.

Interesting variant on the “needle in the haystack” thing: all the rings were in the fugly fake-jeweled lamps…so that might have been a break if two teams were searching at the same time.

Of the remaining teams, I vaguely dislike smarmy “I went to Notre Dame but don’t read the rules. Rules are for little people who went to community college” but I really dislike Mr. Tatoopid. He’s such a whiney little bitch.

I really do have to compliement the Amazing Casting people–the teams are all a little lame but I really appreciate the civility and…call it sportsmanship (“Hey, good luck”, etc) that they’re all more or less showing. It’s refreshing not to have inter team drama.

I didn’t see what caused Nat & Kat to get so far behind. The didn’t seem to get lost like the father & daughter team. I obviously missed something. They better get their game on, though.


A couple of questions.

Is it normal for travel agencies to be opened at 1 am in St Petersburg, Russia?

Did anyone think that Team Tattoopid was going to get a penalty because the goat was eating their clue?

I couldn’t help but feel a bit nauseous when Stephanie accepted. There must be something different about that guy when the cameras aren’t rolling.

Yeah, I was yelling “Don’t do it, Stephanie!” at the TV.

I can’t believe they overslept for two hours and still came in first. I hope Nat and Kat have a better leg next week, but I fear the U-turn. (Double U-turn, even worse!)

Have the producers completely given up on the idea that Pit Stops should last 12 hours? Phil used to say something like, “Nat and Kat, who arrived at 1:06pm, will depart at 1:06am.” Seems like he’s just given up on announcing the arrival time.

Taxi Assessment:

Stuck in the Desert and Officially Detained - or, Philiminated with extreme prejudice.
Ron & Tony and Andie & Jenna and Connor & Jonathan and Katie & Rachel and Michael & Kevin - See you in the final episode.
Gary & Mallory (down from “Passing”) - Are Omani maps really that bad, that simply trying to make sense of it leads one hours and hours out of the way? There’s not really much to say about this elimination, because it came from one early mistake, and one mistake only.

Flat Tire - or, not likely to get anywhere soon.
No one this week.

Stopping for Gas - or, not broken-down, exactly, but not a good sign.
Nick & Vicki (up from “Flat Tire”) - I’m bumping Nick & Vicki up a notch this week, not for anything that they’ve done, but for what they’ve not done: commit a major stupid blunder. Watching Nick wander around saying “Ali Baba in a suit” was hilarious, but hardly a terrible mistake, and Nick & Vicki, despite being probably the weakest of the remaining teams, have a shot at gettiing to th final three. This week, they stayed in front of Brook & Claire for, surprisingly, their second top-three finish in a row. On the negative side, Nick is letting fatigue control his temper, and that’s an easy way to wind up doing something stupid–not that this team needs another way of bringing the stupid.
Chad & Stephanie (holding steady) - I almost gave Chad & Stephanie special recognition for oversleeping because, let’s face it, dropping another two hours back from the rest of the pack is a major blunder. However, legs starting in the middle of the night almost never have tasks that need to be completed right away, and in the end Chad & Stephanie got exactly the same flight they would have gotten anyway, only with two extra hours of sleep. So all in all a win for them. Plus they’re accelerating their “fast-paced relationship.” First sight of each other, dating, living together, buying a house, engagement… all in a matter of months. I wish them all the best, but, well, you know. Fast out of the gate, fast over the finish line.

"Rapido! Por Favor?" - or, making meaningless ineffectual comments from the back seat, but in no immediate danger.
Jill & Thomas (holding steady) - Wow. Michael & Kevin came in last a week ago because (amongst other things) they did exactly what Jill & Thomas did this week, costing them first place: hiring a taxi to lead them. I imagine Michael & Kevin were whisked off to Sequester-land right quick, so there’s no way Jill & Thomas would have known that, but that particular rule must be written in eensy-teensy print for two teams to have missed it.

In the Passing Lane - or, ahead of the pack, but not quite comfortably.
Brook & Claire (holding steady) - A so-so leg from Brook & Claire. They fall substantially behind the top two teams, despite leaving the tower in first place. That almost makes me wonder if there was a task the teams performed that we didn’t see, but given the navigation woes of Gary & Mallory and Nat & Kat, I suppose an hour discrepancy can be easily explained by excessive wandering.

Cruisin’ with Earl - or, drivin’ on the shoulder, takin’ shortcuts, and generally kickin’ butt.
Nat & Kat (holding steady) - Nat & Kat are very lucky Gary & Mallory outdid them in the getting lost department. I’m leaving them ranked here at the top, because I still think they’re the best of the remaining teams, but they really can’t afford to make that kind of mistake again.

[sub]Props to Mullinator and his Raj Rating[/sub]

Interestingly, the oficial CBS recap say, “Jill & Thomas made a costly mistake by hiring a taxi driver to lead them, strictly forbidden in Amazing Race rules…” I infer that it wasn’t the MFC that gave them a problem, but rather a MF Rule Change.

As much as I’m not a fan of the U-Turn, I find it intriguing that potentially two teams are being U-Turned, which makes a different dynamic in the race, I think.

That’s what I was thinking. If only one team gets U-Turned, they’re screwed; not much suspense there. If two teams get U-Turned, there’s still a battle to not come in last.

Might change the strategy of who gets U-Turned, too. Used to be you’d give it to the weakest team, to protect your own position in the Race. With two teams taking the hit, you might give it to somebody stronger.

And it’s late in the Race, too. That’s when the daggers start to come out.

Yes. They’ve totally given up.

Apparently that’s because they need more time to set up fake race-stops like that “Ali Baba in the “suit”” ( :rolleyes: ) thing.

Because of the internet and the much expanded fan-base, they’re (overly) worried about spoilers, so lots of stuff is done at night in totally phony locations. The producers rent an empty storefront, fill it with local looking crap and hire someone to pretend to be a shopkeeper. Apparently (no cite) the “Chop” store last season was one of those phony producer-made stores.

I still hate U-Turns. Everyone’s making a good point that 2 U-Turns are better than 1, but it’s still fucking with another team’s progress rather than running your own race. U-Turns and Yields are (IMO) just attempts to turn TAR into Survivor.

I’m not getting the Chad hatred. Yeah, he’s a big beefy man-child (pouting, etc) ala Jethro Clampett, but seems to be a decent guy despite that. But she’s kind of a hyper-emotional weirdo, so…neither’s perfect. Male Tattoopid is far, FAR worse than Chad–Chad pouts but at least he doesn’t throw tantrums. And Notre Dumb is somewhat worse than Chad–the pouting on the mat from “only” coming in second place was embarassing.

My favorite team is the Doctors, so they’ll get the heartbreaking 4th place elimination (unless they do a last minute change of the rules to allow 4 teams into the final three–which they (I suspect) will if there’s only one “all girl” team left. IIRC they did that once before–they made the final 4-person leg into a non-elim, and made the first half of the 3 person leg back into an elim round. )

The sad part is that both the doctors and the home-shopping women are fairly strong teams, but if they win, it won’t be a “real” victory since they started with a wimped out group–there were no “alpha-male” teams, no strong “father-son” teams (the Asian kid and his dad weren’t strong…just lucky).

I love that the “no taxi-following thing” is apparently a permanant rule, not a “in this instance” rule. There were about 6 seasons where “racing” meant “hire a taxi and follow them” which was dull. BIG improvement.

Here’s my question about all of these “newly dating” teams…by the time they’ve applied to the Race, auditioned, been accepted, then gone on the Race, they’re really not newly dating anymore, are they? My understanding was that that whole process takes a while.