What did we learn this week on The Amazing Race? Unfortunately, the leg itself was not very challenging or dynamic, so very little about the team’s ability to compete. One thing we know for sure now is that JJ is a very angry man.
What we don’t know about JJ’s psyche is why he reacted so aggressively to what made him angry. He blew up this week when Rachel and Dave did not honor their agreement that whichever team arrived at the Double U-Turn first would U-Turn Brendon and Rachel.
In JJ’s world this is an unforgivable offense. Sure, everyone gets why her might be a little annoyed or would decide not to work with Rachel and Dave anymore. But JJ took it to another level. He spent a long cab ride obsessing over whether Rachel and Dave did not honor the agreement and seethed even further when he confirmed it.
Normal people would simply acknowledge that at least Brendon and Rachel ultimately were U-Turned and just agree not to trust the couple anymore. JJ, instead, plots his course of action against the pair by saying he’s going to pretend they’re not even there the next time they see them.
Admittedly, Rachel and Dave’s actual excuse for not U-Turning Brendon and Rachel as well as the line they gave JJ was thin. You’re never so far ahead of a trailing team in the race where you can’t use more time. However, it still wouldn’t seem to justify JJ’s intense anger.
Fortunately we got to see a lot of positive, awesome things before JJ turned in to Colton from Survivor. The leg began with an incredible descent in to the Ngorogoro Crater. During the drive the teams were surrounded by some of the most beautiful wildlife and scenery Africa or even the world has to offer.
For my money the two best reasons to watch The Amazing Race are for the competition and the places they see and visit. While this week was almost devoid of competition and short comings because of that were made up by the drive through the beautiful Tanzanian countryside.
Even when the teams left the crater and drove in to Safari Junction we were given a glimpse in to a life that is so vastly different than ours. Nothing demonstrated his more than the Water Supply option of the Detour when teams had to wait in line to fill jugs with clean water. They would deliver the water to the homes of the small town because there is now plumbing delivering them water.
Is anything taken more for granted in the developed world than running water? We’re so spoiled by the fresh water flowing in to our houses and buildings that we now feel buying bottled water is somehow better for us. We certainly would not wait much more than a few seconds to get out water, no matter what the source.
These revelations about cultures so vastly different than ours occur at least once on every season of The Amazing Race (well, except for the not so great family edition that didn’t leave the United States). For all of the racers short-comings each season virtually all of them seem immensely appreciative of the opportunity they get to visit these countries. Kudos to them.
As for the race itself, I feel an opportunity was missed this week with the Double U-Turn Since its inception a few seasons back it has always been well placed, that is, in tandem with difficult Detour challenges. This results in a dynamic situation where teams move around in the standings.
The first (and maybe only) Double U-Turn of this season did not give us this often exciting element of a season of The Amazing Race. For starters, the Detour options were not that difficult, just time consuming. Secondly, it was so late in the race, who to U-Turn was too obvious. The standings were not impacted at all.
More from this week:
- If anyone has an explanation for Hillary Clington or the Barack Obama “storefronts” that were shown, I’d love to hear it. Otherwise it just seemed random.
- Did anyone else notice that the spare tire Vanessa and Ralph’s taxi driver was putting on his cab looked bald? I think Vanessa made a comment to that effect saying that she wasn’t sure she felt any safer with the new tire.
- We were so close to an epic Rachel melt down moment if Brendon didn’t correct her from U-Turning Rachel and Dave after they were already passed the Detour. We would have finally gotten rid of them! Alas, they’re like roaches and just won’t die.