One of my favorite Jerry Seinfeld jokes is about coming in second place in a sprint event at the Olympics. He jokes that the margin of defeat is so small, how can the competitors live with losing by so little? The sprinters start, run for 10 seconds, get close to the finish and... eh?!? Aww... they lose.
The “Eh?!? Aww” joke perfectly describes how I felt at the end of this week’s episode of The Amazing Race. Before the leg began, every Mark and Bopper fan knew that even though the team avoided elimination the previous leg, they were still significantly behind the other duos. When the leg began an approximately three-hour deficit was revealed.
However, a glimmer of light was developing for the Kentucky boys at the Fast Forward. Art and JJ and Rachel and Dave had already taken a Fast Forward and were precluded from another. Vanessa and Ralph decided not to risk the possibility that the task was very hard.
Only Brendon and Rachel considered the Fast Forward, but Rachel was unwilling to cut her hair and the duo couldn’t take the Fast Forward. Suddenly a way to beat one of the four teams three hours ahead of them materialized for Mark and Bopper. They just had to be smart enough to check to see if it was available.
Fortunately, Mark and Bopper were smart enough to check the Fast Forward. Hooray, they’re going to make it! But what happened? We kept seeing teams get farther and farther in the leg and kept not seeing Mark and Bopper at the Fast Forward.
Rachel and Dave finish in first place. Okay, we were not necessarily expecting Mark and Bopper to win the leg just stay alive. But Mark and Bopper still haven’t been shown at the Fast Forward. Brendon and Rachel and Vanessa and Ralph get to the mat. Still, no Mark and Bopper at the Fast Forward.
Are Mark and Bopper going to get the Fast Forward and get eliminated? (The Amazing Race Pop Quiz: can you name the other team that won the Fast Forward and was eliminated? Answer at the end of the column.*)
No, right? Art and JJ chose extremely poorly at the Detour by picking the option that took really long. Mark and Bopper were only three hours behind. The Detour and the Roadblock had to be longer than a three hour deficit plus a Speed Bump, right? Surely the producers are just messing with us through editing to make the finish look more dramatic than normal.
Turns out the show was edited to be more dramatic, just not in the fashion we had hoped. Mark and Bopper did get the Fast Forward and were still eliminated. I neither like nor dislike Art and JJ, but if I’m choosing between those guys and Mark and Bopper, I’m always taking the Kentuckians. I’m sad to see them go.
Of course the “Eh?!? Aww” moment was far more exciting than if Big Brother Rachel had just sucked it up, cut her hair and won the Fast Forward. While it was really selfish to act that way at least her foolish decision made the leg more interesting.
JJ said it best when discussing Big Brother Rachel’s decision not to cut her hair: why go on the race if you’re not willing to cut your hair? He’s right. Anyone who’s watched the show before knows Joyce shaved her hair so that she and Uchena could win the Fast Forward. As Phil told us, they went on to win the race.
Unfortunately for Brendon, his partner isn’t nearly as selfless. Not only that, she’s extremely immature. She paid $500 for extensions? She’s in a race to win one million dollars!! Rachel can buy all the extensions you want if you win. Not only that, but shaving her head would have netted her and Brendon $10K each!
But Rachel couldn’t bring herself to cut her hair and we all benefited because of that. Now, we just need to make sure Brendon and Rachel do not win The Amazing Race.
More from this episode:
- Speaking of Rachel, I can’t believe two people with the same name are still in the race. Thank God Big Brother Rachel has the previous reality show qualifier to help identify her from Dave’s Rachel. It would not be fun having to write Brendon’s Rachel and Dave’s Rachel each time I referred to them.
- I was literally yelling at the TV for Vanessa and Ralph to go take the Fast Forward once they realized Brendon and Rachel were not doing it. Perhaps it’s obvious that they left because they couldn’t do it, but they know they have a three hour lead on Mark and Bopper, it is worth a look at least. I also believe Vanessa would have cut her hair, too.
- JJ cut his finger through his leather glove? Puts Vanessa’s ankle injury and tolerance for pain to shame!
* Dennis and Andrew won the Fast Forward during the third leg of the third season, but were still eliminated. Bonus question: Who is the third team to win the Fast Forward and arrive at the Pit Stop last (hint: they were not eliminated)?
Bill and Joe from the first season won the Fast Forward, took their time getting to the Pit Stop and ended up arriving in last place. They were bailed out when Nancy and Emily skipped a tasked and incurred a 24-hour penalty for doing so and were ultimately eliminated.