The fifth leg of The Amazing Race started with a small wrinkle. Instead of a traditional 12-hour pit stop in the place they ended the previous leg, the teams were put on a bus for a traveling pit stop. The bus’s destination? No one knew. Well, we, the viewers, knew - Les Monthairons, France - but the teams racing did not.
Initially this seems like a really cool comment and gets some fun mat quotes such as we took a bus from “Hamburg to…here. Wherever here is” from Jet and Cord, but ultimately doesn’t really add much to the leg. I feel like they really could do more with this concept to give the leg a unique feel to it, but dropping them off in France is hardly that challenging. At least not as challenging as it could be.
Say they pulled this stunt in Egypt? Far fewer people are going to speak English in Egypt (at least I think so) and I’m sure they could find a very remote place to put them. Have them complete a leg of the race in this remote corner of Egypt and then next leg tell them to fly to wherever. The challenge will be that the teams didn’t come to Egypt on their own so they’ll have to find a way to get to some airport, not even knowing where the best one is.
One of the best things to come out of the bus ride to nowhere was that the leg randomly started in front of the Joe Millionaire chateau. Ok, not really, but doesn’t it look like it? That was certainly my thought. I was surprised Jordan didn’t bring that up. He seems on top of pop culture. Certainly pegged Caite as Ms. Teen America pretty quickly.
I think Dan and Jordan are one of the more underrated teams on the Race right now. Previously it was Steve and Allie, but after you come in second three straight legs, everyone knows you’re a threat. I really like Dan and Jordan to do some damage because they’re working together so well.
That phrase, working together, is a bit of a misnomer. It does not literally refer to a team tackling a group project or something with actual work. In my opinion, it refers to the way a team interacts while running the race. For this, Jordan is the current MVP of the race. His antics and comments certainly make him the most entertaining person to watch, but it’s also been tremendous to keep the mood light with his brother, Dan.
Dan and Jordan seem to be getting funnier with every leg. One of the best scenes this week was the two second clip of the two of them making fun of their own inability to drive a standard car by yelling and screaming with joy at the site of an automatic vehicle to start the leg. Jordan follows up this gem by nailing his jokes again and again during the army scenes. He may have slowed down brother Dan during Under Fire, but he was so funny, Dan couldn’t help but laugh.
It’s this lighthearted approach that will help Dan and Jordan get by, keeps Steve and Allie and Jet and Cord at the top of the pack and will ultimately doom Carol and Brandi. Their bickering during the detour was so annoying and counter-productive. While walking from the clue box to the detour, they were passed by Dan and Jordan and Jet and Cord simply because they were bickering.
Everyone understands that there are parts of the Amazing Race that no one wants to do. That’s why these challenges are on the show, it makes for good televisions. So to hear Brandi complain that crawling across the field for Under Fire was not what she signed up for is a cop-out. It’s not like she hasn’t seen the Amazing Race before. These types of physical challenges have been on the show since its inception way back in 2001.
Not only was their bickering annoying, Brandi was dead, stinking wrong! Joe and Heidi had a significant lead on the pack and even with the U-Turn they normally would have been able to avoid elimination (and thus provide us with some juicy confrontation next week). However, the couple simply could not keep up with the speed of the Morse code message and when Phil finally told us what it was (“we will prevail, Vive France”), I don’t think anyone would have ever decrypted it.
When Louie and Michael U-Turned Joe and Heidi, I thought it was a mistake. Not because it would come back to haunt them or some dumb cliché like that. Rather, I feel you use the U-Turn to try to eliminate a team that you think is a threat. Certainly Joe and Heidi were a threat to Louie and Michael, but I can’t imagine they actually thought it would get the parents eliminated. In retrospect, it was a phenomenal move.
We’re five legs of the race down, plenty yet to go. What’s on our minds going forward?
- Will karma catch up to Louie and Michael for U-Turning Joe and Heidi?
- Can Dan and Jordan capitalize on their positive outlook and move up?
- Will Steve and Allie ever by the bride and not a bridesmaid?
- How long until Carol and Brandi’s bickering catches up to them?
- Has any team ever been luckier than Jordan and Jeff?