On tonight’s episode of The Amazing Race, “A Kiss Saves the Day,” we said goodbye to arguably the most unique team in The Amazing Race history. Unfortunately for Andie and Jenna, they were done in by perhaps the most common ways teams are eliminated: lost taxi cabs.
Andie and Jenna’s relationship was far more physical than emotional as Andie is Jenna’s biological mother although she gave Jenna up at birth because she was not ready to raise a child. The pair had only met a handful of times before going on the race and the understandable lack of chemistry showed up both in their occasionally awkward interactions along with difficulties on the race course.What’s disappointing for me is that I wanted to see more of the unintentional experiment that Andie and Jenna were unknowingly participating in on this season of The Amazing Race. Obviously CBS cast the duo because of the uniqueness of their relationship and the potentially heart warming story that could be told on the race if the team made it far. While they were eliminated, the pair will get to spend plenty of time and whatever exotic locale the show puts up the eliminated contestants in until the finale.
However, whether CBS meant it or not, Andie and Jenna were a test case for what could be an interesting way to run the race – teams of two people without a prior relationship. That’s essentially what Andie and Jenna were. While they have a reason to want to get to know each other because they share the same genes, on a social level there’s little reason to assume they’d get along any better than two random people.
The expected awkwardness of two people thrust into an intimate situation like The Amazing Race and told to work together was very evident in the first episode. Dialogue between the two was quite dry and the pair struggled on the course, lacking the candor sometimes necessary between teammates. However, their interviews and during the race quotes as well as their game play improved in the second episode as the pair become more comfortable with each other.
Alas, a poor cab ride from the Roadblock to the Detour took the biological mother and daughter from the middle of the pack to last and they were eliminated. We were denied the chance to see if the pair would become fast friends, remain cordial and reserved or openly dislike each other as the race progressed and the stress increased.
Considering the circumstances, the latter seems unlikely for Andie and Jenna. But, what about a team of two strangers? It’s definitely possible and could absolutely be interesting. For seventeen seasons, The Amazing Race has cast teams with a relationship to feed off of the existing personality quirks and conflicts. Why not try to go the other way to see what happens?
Getting back to this season of the race, I’ve been increasingly impressed with Brook and Claire. They’re a little bit wild, say and do some weird things and sometimes seem out of control, but they’re certainly getting it done on the race. As Jenna said during the Roadblock, there are some tasks that you just have to open up and go for and Brook and Claire certainly have plenty of that. For now, it’s carrying them on the race.
Brook and Claire will definitely be a team to keep an eye on as the race progresses. In addition to the HSN hosts, I think that Katie and Rachel, Michael and Kevin and Connor and Jonathan are also going to be strong teams going forward. What’s the common denominator? They’re same gender teams.
For some reason the teams that aren’t also working on their relationship while trying to work out the race do better. Friends, parents, siblings are typically able to get over and beyond the petty squabbles that come up on the race that have a tendency to get in the way for couple teams. Connor and Jonathan are the lowest positioned of these teams and that’s only because of a bad cab much like Andie and Jenna experienced.
Other thoughts about this leg:
- I was thrilled to see the race bounce the teams across the globe so quickly like they did from Boston to London to Accra. Recently the trend has seemed to be to spend at least two legs, if not more, in the same region. I fully expected the leg to send them to Scotland or Ireland or somewhere close.
- The only negative of Accra is that there was only one flight and thus the teams were evened again. It is not as interesting to me when the leading teams are not given some advantage heading in to the next leg. This also makes it less exciting when a team from the back of the pack rallies.
- The looks on the teams’ faces when their taxi cab drivers we weaving in and out of traffic were priceless.
- We need to do something about the editing drama that CBS tries to create with some of the Pit Stop finishes. Did anyone think that Katie and Rachel were going to catch Brook and Claire? Or that Andie and Jenna were not last? By forcing the issue, all this does is cheapen the experience when it actually happens.