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Nobody Thinks

One player cut his thumb open on a packing box. Another turned her ankle and had to limp through the rest of the tasks. Mark was so close to heat stroke that he had to take intravenous fluids before he and Bopper could even start the leg, three hours behind everyone else. But at least Big Brother Rachel didn't have to cut her hair. I wonder if she thought about the extensions she could buy with a million dollars.

This was a brutal leg of The Amazing Race, and not just because the only team anybody likes was eliminated. Bopper and Mark had only one chance, and that was the Fast Forward. While the other four teams were at the Road Block spinning coconut rope, JJ was beside himself that no one had taken the Fast Forward, leaving an opening for Team Kentucky to pass them all.

It should have happened that way, but the time disadvantage, together with the Speed Bump they incurred for finishing last on the previous leg, proved to be too much to overcome. It seems to me that if the Fast Forward is a task that allows a team to skip all other tasks, they should have been able to skip the Speed Bump, too. But it didn't work out that way, and the heart went out of the race.

Now all that's left is the bitter taste of the final four insulting each other. It would be okay if they were clever, but I'm sick of hearing Vanessa talk about Big Brother Rachel's nose. And I'm even sicker of Rachel talking about Vanessa talking about Rachel's nose.

Actually, the only reason Bopper and Mark had a chance was that Art and JJ had a series of misadventures, starting with not being able to flag down a rickshaw as they left the last Pit Stop. Later they were the only one to choose the side of the Detour that required sifting and delivering ginger, which took much longer than decorating an elephant and shoveling its manure. They finished fourth and will start last on the next leg.

Rachel and Dave fell behind Vanessa and Ralph on their way to the Road Block, but they passed them again at that task and held the lead through the Detour. They had a slim lead but extended it when they managed to get their ferry to the Pit Stop to depart before anyone else could board. It was hard work and good luck that got them their sixth win.

Despite going to the Fast Forward, balking at shaving their heads, and retracing their steps, Brendon and Rachel moved from an early fourth place to finish second, hitting the mat just ahead of Vanessa and Ralph (and what a treat it was to see those two teams sharing air space).

Even though Rachel and Dave bicker so often, I think it's due more to the stress of the race than any serious weakness in their relationship. Vanessa and Ralph also argue, but she proved herself by getting up off her tweaked ankle and racing on. Art and JJ have some rough edges, but they're likeable enough. I'd be okay with any of those three teams winning the race, as long as it's not, you know, that other team.

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