OK, I’m confused. The Truck Stop couple were in last place early on when they couldn’t start their car, they were the last to finish their grass hut, and other teams got shut out of the meat for wild dogs challenge. But when Truck Stop got to that point they got to do the meat challenge and suddenly they were in fourth place.
There are now three blind daters left and two couples, but two of the blind date couples hate each other and the other just seem to tolerate one another. It really is just a race and cooperation and and empathy seem to be useless traits.
I wondered the same thing about the meat challenge. The only thing I could figure is they only had a few “slots” available and the first few teams to arrive took all those slots, so other teams had to do the tracking task. But by the time Team Truck Stop showed up, all the teams doing the meat task were done, and now there were slots available again.
I really think that the task with the bushmen should have included a coke bottle somehow.
When the Truckstop crew showed up at the place to cut meat, they were “Currently 4th” and they were the sixth team to arrive at the Detour.
According to Wiki, they filmed this season from Mid November - Early December. That tells me that should have been in Namibia towards the end of November. Being South of the Equator, I would have guess Namibia would be extremely hot at the end of November but none of cast seemed to be suffering from the heat and they were wearing long sleeves.
The native Bushmen were not wearing much clothing though. Lots blurring of naughty bits.
I think this was evidence that he elephant task took much much longer (which is a shame because that is the one I would have done if only for the experience). There were only three Dog slots open so people got turned away but by the time that team got there a dog slot was free so they took that and finished it before the elephant teams who started sooner finished.
Yeah, that was when I first guessed that it would be a NEL - having one task be obviously easier but only a few teams got to do it. Team Truck Stop clearly benefited from coming in so far behind another team had finished and opened up a slot.
Figures that after I said that the Sochi Team was the best team they would completely fall apart and come in last two legs in a row. The dude seemed to not be the brightest bulb in the shed - first with his poor driving (resulting in the flat) and then failing miserably at the box airdrop task.
I knew the first half was an NEL because whenever they end at a campsite it’s an NEL. Anything else would be awkward. “You’re out of the race. have no chance to win but spend one more night out in the middle of no where just cause.”
Another episode with beautiful scenery but boring and pointless tasks.
In the first half, all of the teams were bunched on a single flight (unavoidable, I suppose, considering the likely number of alternate flights into Namibia). After getting to the bush village, the roadblock was to help build a hut, meaning that you could be just a little bit faster or slower, but couldn’t get trapped and lose significant time because you missed some little step or wrinkle. After that the detour was to either do a task that simply took time (cut up meat and throw it to dogs), or a task that took some minimal skill, but didn’t seem to be something that could really be speeded up or slowed down. Then there was the limited number of people that could be the (apparently much faster) dog meat task. Somewhere in the middle of the episode I realized that it had to be a non-elimination leg, because otherwise they were just randomly messing with the teams.
The second half tasks weren’t much better. The clue drop was just run, find and collect, tough but essentially a time expenditure task. After that, the smooth out the road with tires was also merely time expenditure, and the sand skiing was the physical effort of climbing the hill and then woosh down the hill. In fact, the only real challenge in the episode was the speed bump, correctly assembling the soda-can airplanes, which was a skill challenge rather than just a time and effort project.
It seems like the teams this season have done very little to differentiate themselves, but actually I think it is the weak tasks that have failed to differentiate the wheat from the chaff. Once more, there were several instances where multiple teams reached the mat nearly simultaneously. I would have thought the Olympians would have been leaders, but they have gotten knocked out because of seemingly minor stumbles, not because they screwed up the challenges. Conversely, I would have thought the truck stop couple would have bilged out by now, but they’ve been successful because the tasks haven’t enabled any stronger teams to rise consistently. It is telling that each of the teams still in (plus the just-eliminated Olympians) each have at least one first place finish, and only one team has taken the mat twice.
Other than the fact that a couple of the teams have members that tend to noticeably harangue their partners when it isn’t going well, and the truck stoppers are somewhat stouter than the rest, I still can’t really tell one team from the other.
I agree with your larger point, that the tasks this season have been pretty dismal and pointless (and the whole season has been eminently forgettable) – but this causes me to ponder:
What is the wheat/chaff differentiator? Is it tasks, or navigation? In other words, how many times does a team fall behind because they suck at a task vs falling behind because they get lost between tasks?
It’d be interesting to find out. Someone assign an intern to do the research.
I tend to agree. Team Truck Stop can’t drive a stick, can’t even start a car, and get hopelessly lost, but they keep getting their asses pulled out of the fire by random good luck (dog meat) or some other team implodes. They’ve got a first and a third, but every other leg they’ve been near the bottom, and they’ve been second to last three times.
They may be the least annoying team left, but they really don’t deserve to win. If the tasks weren’t so simple, I think they’d be gone by now.
I think Team Truck Stop really got lucky, and we all know how luck runs out. They ended up benefiting from running behind so they could do the faster meat cutting challenge, but if they had chosen to try the skiing task, I’m pretty sure they would not have been able to complete it. Look how exhausted the dude got just from jogging/fast walking on flat ground looking for the yellow case. He would never have made it up that hill on skis - not without coming in dead last for sure. So they were lucky twice this time, I’m not so sure that will hold out.
They’re definitely my favorite, though. I can still hold out hope they will keep being lucky. They’re the only ones who are consistently supportive of each other. They’re also the only ones I can tell apart from the other teams!