The Amazing Race 11/17 - One Hot Camel

One of the things I don’t really like about the U-Turn is that, if used strategically, it drops the last-place team even further back, which is exactly what happened this episode. And that just sucks any excitement out of the finish, since it’s pretty clear who’s getting eliminated. Since the producers go through great and contrived lengths to bunch the teams up (see: Hours of Operation, etc), it’s kind of weird that they include this anti-bunching strategy.

Taxi Assessment:

Stuck in the Desert and Officially Detained - or, Philiminated with extreme prejudice.
Hoskote & Naina and Rowan & Shane and Chester & Ephraim and Brandon & Adam and Tim & Danny - Already eliminated.
Nicky & Kim (down from “Stopping”) - With a Speed Bump to do and a U-Turn coming up, Nicky & Kim needed to hurry up at the beginning of the leg. They started out OK, at least until they had to accomplish an actual task, and then got stuck in the sand and remained in last place the rest of the leg. Getting U-Turned didn’t help, of course, but that was somewhat predictable, since some team (Tim & Marie in this case) was likely to want some breathing room.

Flat Tire - or, not likely to get anywhere soon.
Ally & Ashley (holding steady) - Yet another second-to-last finish for Ally & Ashley, who hit the mat behind even Leo & Jamal, who had to do both sides of the Detour. Ally & Ashley did have one bright spot on this leg, where Ally easily maneuvered their dune buggy past Nicky & Kim; however, their later navigation troubles more than made up for any time savings. They’re lucky that, once again, one other team had more troubles than they did. But luck can only carry them so far, and their minor skill set isn’t likely to carry them any farther.

Stopping for Gas - or, not broken-down, exactly, but not a good sign.
No one.

"Rapido! Por Favor?" - or, making meaningless ineffectual comments from the back seat, but in no immediate danger.
Leo & Jamal (holding steady) - I’m not exactly morally opposed to lying to other teams - it’s a Race, after all, and you don’t owe your competition any help - but I’m not quite sure why Leo & Jamal keep doing it. It’s like they’re the underpants gnomes of the race: Lie to the other teams -> ??? -> Win the Race! Sure, I like the third step of that strategy, but the missing second step is somewhat troublesome. Like telling Nicky & Kim how easy the task is benefits Leo & Jamal how? Nicky & Kim are going to give it a shot anyway, and are going to quickly figure out for themselves how easy or not it is.
Tim & Marie (holding steady) - I kind of love Tim & Marie’s predictable toy-robot-like need to hustle off in whatever direction they happen to be facing at the time, regardless of whether it’s the right one or not. Contemplative thought? What’s that all about, right? Of course, my kind-of-love is because Tim & Marie continually embarass themselves, not because action-over-thought is a winning strategy. This is exactly what’s going to drop Tim & Marie from contention by the end of the Race.

In the Passing Lane - or, ahead of the pack, but not quite comfortably.
Jason & Amy (holding steady) - Jason & Amy finish in second place one more time. Even though they haven’t won a leg yet, I’m liking their chances in the final three.

Cruisin’ with Earl - or, drivin’ on the shoulder, takin’ shortcuts, and generally kickin’ butt.
Travis & Nicole (holding steady) - I was going to ding Travis & Nicole for using the Express Pass when they didn’t really need to, because the Express Pass is more valuable for getting out of a jam than maintaining a first-place lead. Then I found out that (I think) the Express Pass must be used by the end of leg eight, which is this one

Not a placeholder since it’s after the fact, and I poked around it see if anyone started the tread, but it looks like nobody did, I was offline yesterday, blah-blah-blah…

Who knew an animal-related roadblock would be fairly easy as animal-related roadblocks go?

I’ve got a friend currently in Dubai who says that yes, it’s really like that IRL. Plus the food is cheap compared to, say, here in the US.

Not surprised at all at the elimination. The Bunnies have been on thin ice for awhile. I have to give them credit, though, for doing TAR because it’s so obviously out of their comfort zones.

Considering the amount of bad vibes Pinky and NoBrain collected, I was surprised that nobody U-turned them.

They didn’t explicitly say, to my recollection, that the Express Pass had to be used in this leg, but I certainly inferred it from the way Travis & Nicole talked about it at the beginning of the leg. They made it sound like there was no strategy or deliberation; this was the leg they were going to use it. Did any of the other teams even ever find out that they had it?

Also it sure looked like that camel task went pretty quickly, especially if you could identify a nice looking one to begin with.

I was kind of surprised that the camel task turned out to be the “correct” one - you’d think selecting and cutting a bunch of ingredients would be the way to go. I suspect that camels are so ornery that the assistants wound up doing most of the work keeping it still & calm while the Racers got them prepared. And only Tim & Marie got dinged for an ugly camel, right? Everyone else picked a beautiful one on the first try.

In this case, the camel task was easier and faster and they didn’t know that Nicky & Kim were U-turned (they may have suspected it, but didn’t know it) and they didn’t know how much time the . So by saying that the cooking was an easy task, they kept the Bunnies behind them.

Not sorry to see them go - last week when they were crying about being a mom and unable to do this, she annoyed me. Yes, she’s a mom, but she’s a very well off woman and nothing is stopping her from going on a trip almost whenever she wants - she has the wherewithal do to so.

I loved the bunny on the dune buggy who, while she was not moving AT ALL and throwing up tons of sand was all, “Is it working?” It’s like they give no thought to the what the expected result should be.

It was also telling at the mat when the ice girls and the Afghanimals were musing about what would happen to their relationship if they finished one-two in the finale. The girls immediately started flirting because the boys would then be millionaires. They didn’t consider for a second that the boys would need to flirt with the millionaire girls. Kind of sad, really.

There was a window in which Travis and Nicole had to use the Express Pass. This was probably the last leg where they could use it, so yeah, no strategy on their part.

The camel roadblock was easier in part because of the handlers. Most animal-related roadblocks have the teams handling the animal(s) themselves. OTOH the cooking roadblock would have been a snap if any of them had culinary training.

BTW – thanks to whoever merged threads. I saw zut’s post right after mine went up and I was hoping somebody would catch it :slight_smile:

I didn’t hear/know about the time limit for using the Express Pass.

Regardless, I think that Travis and Nicole’s use of the Express Pass this leg was strategically appropriate because it was announced at the beginning that there would be a U-Turn ahead. By using the Express Pass to skip the Detour this leg, they guaranteed that they would be first at the U-Turn and avoid getting U-Turned themselves. Indeed, because of their obvious competitive strength, it seems likely that they were at great risk of another team using the U-Turn to try to knock them out.

I don’t know - I still think that even if you know it’s the last leg before you can use the EP, you at least try the task before using it. If they got U-turned on the food/camel task, they could have used the EP then and headed right to the Roadblock. They still ran the risk of an impossible Roadblock, which IMHO is what you should be saving the EP for anyway - at least with a Detour you have the possibility of switching tasks, whereas if you pick the wrong person to do a Roadblock, you’re just screwed.

Which they came close to with Nicole being too short to easily reach the flags. If Nicole had been seriously physically uncoordinated and therefore not able to jump directionally on the bouncy, shifting raft, they’d have been screwed.

I will miss the Bunnies nice american breasts!

The Two Wild and Crazy Afgans are douches. Pity they race so well.

Pinky and No Brain have just been lucky. They are too stupidly arrogant to win. I pick them to get Phileminated next.

I liked Nicky (or Kim, I never figured out which was which) comment at the end. “It’s not fun being ninjas. Can we go back to being bunnies?”

StG

I found myself wondering if there were producer shenanigans involved. If anyone want to u-turn them, they might have be persuaded not to, since villains (or at least serious assholes) make for "interesting television."

0% chance of this.

I wonder if the part where the clue was at the top of a tree and a trained tree-climber retrieved it was changed at the last minute. It seemed like this was originally conceived for a contestant to do and was perhaps deemed too dangerous. This made the segment seem pointless.

That was pretty much the way I saw it. I wonder, too, if Detours typically take longer than Roadblocks (I think a typical Detour involves transit time, while Roadblocks do not). That’s speculative, but another possibly good reason to choose the Detour. In any case, one might quibble about whether their choice was exactly optimal, but it certainly wasn’t dumb (err… assuming I’m right about the leg 8 thing).

Yeah, I wondered the same thing. It’s not like TAR is short on tasks which require teams to watch someone else doing something, but this one was particularly pointless.

It wasn’t really a task, though. It wasn’t a detour or roadblock, just route info.

It actually involved more racer effort than the usual route info clue, which is basically just “find the cluebox”. Here they actually had to look up for it and ask someone to go get it for them.