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I fear that I may do The Amazing Race a disservice. Tonight’s episode was fantastically exciting. It featured not only another stunning Colin/Christie meltdown, but also some unexpected drama from the gimmicky Yield feature which finally got some play. Alas, a torrent of work has overwhelmed little old me, so I won’t be able to summon my usual snarkiness, but I’ll try.I might as well get down to business. We’re down to the final four teams: Chip and Kim, Colin and Christy, Brandon and Nicole, and Linda and Karen. Nerves seem to be fraying. The typically upbeat Bowling Moms started off the show with a bickerfest revolving around the map. It was the first cartography meltdown since the golden days of Alison and Donny, and it made me realize that unlike previous seasons, there haven’t been too many driver/navigator clashes this time around.
Karen has been growing weary of Linda over the past few episodes, and tonight they were at each other’s throats momentarily. I don’t like seeing happy people argue. I wanted to crawl under a bed and make it go away, but that’s really only because the two of them sound like Beaker arguing with a squeaky windshield. They eventually got over their bickering, but I couldn’t help noticing throughout the rest of the episode how thinly veiled Karen’s contempt for her partner now is. Oh well. Moms are allowed to be cranky, especially if it nabs them the #2 spot at the Pitstop.
“I will crush the Cookie Palace with my giant hand!”
The high placement surprised me a little. For sure I thought the Born Again models would have beaten the Moms to the Pitstop, but I guess they ran into problems when their cabbie almost drove them to the “Cookie Palace” instead of the “Coconut Palace”, where Phil was dutifully awaiting. Coconut Palace? Who named all the places in the Philippines after apartment complexes in Florida?
Chip and Kim landed that all important first place finish, which meant they won a lovely trip to Hawaii. The native Manilla greeter watched on quietly as Chip and Phil engaged in an awkward bit of fist bumping. Of course the Filipino sidekick was probably preoccupied with self-satisfied pride for resurrecting Tina Turner’s wardrobe from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.
Chip and Kim had run a great race to land first place. They finally stopped trying to be nice and put on their game faces, which incidentally also included giant smiles. Still, the two pulled the all important jerk move of forcing the Yield on Colin and Christie. This new addition to the Amazing Race lexicon has been vastly underused this season. Actually, it hasn’t been used at all. We were starting to doubt it’s relevance until tonight when the Yield raised its ugly head. Not only did the wait infuriate Colin (then again what doesn’t? He sees a nun and he’s ready to take a chainsaw to her), but it also sparked the taste for revenge.
“We’ve been stabbed in the back,” complained the abusive couple. “The only person I’m allowed to stab in the back is Christy. Literally. I want to take a knife to her,” commented Colin. Okay, I made that last part up, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the thought had crossed Colin’s mind, especially after last night’s embarrassing Detour which had teams guiding an ox and a plow through the mud to find the next clue. While all the other teams were savvy enough to have one person guiding the ox and another guiding the plow, Colin and Christie made it a one man job.
Now, in defense of Colin – and this rare that I ever start a sentence like this – but in defense of Colin, Christie was being fairly useless. Literally. She was standing around with arms firmly crossed, offering irritating advice such as “Is there any way possible that you cannot wander aimlessly?” What’s Colin supposed to say to that? “Yes, but I prefer to scamper around like a jackass.” Truthfully, Christie was amazingly annoying this week. First she adopted the new technique of reading clues as if she were auditioning for a Micro Machines commercial. Then she practically crawled into a bus driver’s lap and nagged him to push the pedal to the metal. By the time they reached the muddy Detour, I thought for sure we’d see our first piece of domestic violence/
Of course this silliness led to another fantastic Colin breakdown in the Third World. “My ox is broken!” he screamed with enough murderous rage that I thought he was going to drown Christie in the wet mud. Eventually, he broke down a little and moped to the ox, “I hate you.” Apparently the feeling was mutual.
The duo did eventually emerge from the muddy chaos and cross the finish line. After the last non-elimination leg kept Brandon and Nicole alive and kicking, viewers like me feared that a second sucky team would be spared. And sadly, our premonitions were right. Phil faked out the Texas lovers by acting all sad and glum, but we knew it was too good to be true and sure enough, it was a non-elimination round. After an episode full of glorious setbacks for Colin and Christie, including a squandered lead due to a botched flight connection (best airport delay EVER), the future poster children for domestic abuse managed to hang on for another week. Chances are they’ll burn Chip and Kim next week with a dose of their own medicine, and quite frankly, I’m not sure the peppy team will be able to take it. If only Charla and her whistle were still around…