The Amazing Race Review: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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We got it all on this week’s episode of The Amazing Race.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  This is partly what we’ve come to expect out of the best reality show on television.  This week, however, the good and the ugly exceeded even the lofty standards The Amazing Race has set.

Time to Polish!

As with the order of the saying, we’ll start with the good.  The ending of this week’s episode was tremendous, from two different angles.  For starters, one of our favorite teams, Mark and Bopper, avoided elimination thanks to a well-placed non-elimination leg. 

The duo from Kentucky got behind early and could never recover.  Amazingly they got within sight of Kerri and Stacie at the car museum, but that was as close as they got.  Nothing in the leg was dynamic enough to give them a chance to make up the one hour and fifteen minute deficit they created for themselves. 

Certainly Mark and Bopper deserved to stay in the race, at least as much as any other team previously spared by the non-elimination leg.  Even if they are not your favorite team this season, they can’t be your least favorite (Brendon and Rachel take that cake – more on them later). 

Still not convinced?  Ask Art and JJ why they deserve to stay in the race.

Right before Mark and Bopper were told they would be spared elimination is when the good exceeded our expectations.  Whether they assumed the Kentuckians would be eliminated or not, Art and JJ, winners of this leg of the race, decided to split the $10,000 they won with Bopper. 

In a completely selfless move, the border patrol team recognized that giving $5,000 to Mark to help him with his daughter’s health care needs would go miles farther than anything they could use the money for.  For all Art and JJ know, Mark and Bopper could still win the race and the one million dollar prize, so there was no need to give the money up so quickly.  However, it is likely a safe bet that Bopper will give the $5,000 back if he does win.

So while Mark and Bopper get to stay around at least one more leg, it was this week’s “bad” that put them in the spot to begin with.  Obviously going to the airport before a travel agency was a mistake on Mark and Bopper’s part.  It put them on the second flight and saddled them with an insurmountable deficit.

What I don’t understand was how their choice to go to the airport vs. a travel agency was such an obvious blunder?  In numerous previous seasons teams have often been right to go straight to the airport vs. the travel agency.  How did all of the teams know to go straight to the travel agency?  Even Art and JJ seemed unusually confident that the only option was the travel agency first.

Fortunately the bad wasn’t that bad and the good was really good this week.  It had a lot to make up for with the ugly.  Big Brother Rachel had another epic meltdown and for some reason Brendon puts up with her.

Perhaps the best way to summarize Big Brother Rachel’s effect on the episode is that I had to mute her towards the end.  Her rants at the museum were absurd and when she started getting overwhelmed at the Detour, I couldn’t take it anymore.

The final breaking point was when she tearfully whined that The Amazing Race was supposed to be a fun trip around the world.  How naïve is this girl?  That’s as dumb as saying Big Brother was supposed to be a summer vacation. 

These reality shows are created to put people in situations the evoke emotions.  For my money I find The Amazing Race to be the best because it creates these moments of emotion seemingly without manipulating the players.  So many others, like Big Brother, force people in to situations where they’ll fight or cry.

However, The Amazing Race is intentionally stressful and difficult on purpose.  The idea is that how people react is interesting to the viewers.  Fortunately for us someone like Big Brother Rachel is unlikely to come out on top in The Amazing Race.  Hopefully we won’t have to deal with her antics much longer. 

More from this episode:

  • He’s not as annoying as Big Brother Rachel, but Major Dave is kind of a jerk.  He certainly was this episode to his wife, other Rachel.  I find it amusing when people have no idea bad they look on these shows.
  • I wish Rachel and Dave had tried the Fast Forward.  It would have been great to see Dave definitively wrong and Rachel proven correct.
  • Why is Brendon with Rachel?  What could they possibly have in common?

Taste Your Salami Review

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The Amazing Race Season 20 Episode 4 Quotes

I never want to see another watermelon as long as I live.


The girls are hot as hell over here.