With only six teams left on The Amazing Race, tensions have reached an all time high as the Six Pack (formerly the fatalistically named “Back Pack”) has managed to stay in the competition, despite all its cutthroat opponents. Yes, using the powers of friendship and sharing, this Nerd Herd has persevered through hardship, keeping an optimistic attitude (for the most part) all the way. Truthfully, if these people were on Big Brother, we’d probably hate them (memories of season six, anyone?). But their dorky alliance is perfect for The Amazing Race, especially with such bland-tastic dimwits as Kimberob and the junkie models puttering around.
However, the real question coming into this latest episode was not whether or not the Six Pack could stay intact. No, it was much larger: who would become the official villain now that Peter had made his exit? The answer was not as clear cut as you’d expect…This week’s episode began with Team Kentucky emerging from the Pit Stop first. They had to hop a plane to Mauritius, a tiny island nation in the Indian Ocean, just off the coast of Africa. I’ll be the first to say it: I’d never heard of Mauritius. Maybe I need to brush up on my geography. I guess such oversights will happen when the only Carmen Sandiego game you’ve ever played religiously was based in Europe. I might not know where Mauritius is, but dammit if you can stump me on Andorran trivia!
Memo to self: remember to pick up a copy of Where In The Tiny Island Nations of the Indian Ocean Is Carmen Sandiego? (Don’t think I won’t look in the Kerguelen Islands, CARMEN!)
Anyway, as they headed off to the airport, Mary informed us that she would certainly sacrifice the race for friendship (don’t worry, she didn’t say “The Friendship”). She also informed us that the “Backpack” had renamed itself the “Six Pack” because honestly, “Backpack” was entirely too self-defeatist. “We’re not losers. We’re the six-pack!” Mary said enthusiastically. We’ll see about that “loser” status later…
Next out of the gate were Dustin and Kandice, who were kind of the opposite of David and Mary. They were friendly and sweet and all, but they had no desire to strike up alliances or even forge friendships. They wanted the metaphorical tiara at the end of this race, and they would stop at nothing to get it. That’s right: pageant queens who are also cutthroat. Who would have thunk it?
Leaving third were my favorite bickering team: Kimberly and Rob. Their quarrelsome, loathsome nature mixed with their bland personalities have made them the unintentional comic foils of the season. I can’t quite label them as villains because the truth is that they’re simply not menacing. They’re just two crazy Angelenos that are unwittingly hilarious (and idiotic) more than anything else. Nevertheless, as they headed out, Kimberly informed us, “It’s time for me to take control of the team.” That would be like me hopping on the Titanic and saying, “I’m just gonna try to patch a hole or two.”
As teams arrived at the airport, it became obvious that the only available flight to Mauritius departed at 8 AM, and even worse, it had a layover in London, England. I mention “England” because apparently not everyone knows where London is… like the Beauty Queens.
“Ask him what country that’s in?” one of the girls asked when a ticketing agent mentioned the mildly famous city. Seriously, where is London? Oooh! I know! ANDORRA!
While the Beauty Queens tried to locate the obscure hamlet of London, Kimberob decided to stalk David and Mary to find out what flight they were on. I’m pretty sure this was the first time I’d ever seen Rob deign to speak to anyone who didn’t seem “cool” and a wannabe actor. Of course, David wasn’t about to warm up to the cityfolk. He denied him any sort of information, and afterwards, he even went so far as to mock him behind his back. Sadly, Rob didn’t hear any of this taunting — mostly because he was busy whining (again) about the six-pack. “I don’t want to deal with Alabama, Kentucky. They segregate themselves.” A) They don’t segregate themselves. They just choose not to hang out with douchebags (like you). And B) you probably shouldn’t talk about segregation and Alabama. Might be a sore subject.
A few minutes later, Kimberob learned that they’d have to fly through London to get to Mauritius, causing Rob to balk, “Kuwait to LONDON???” GOOD GOD, PEOPLE! HE’S JUST A HUMAN BEING!!! He can’t be expected to travel that far! Show a little compassion!
Back at the Pit Stop, Lyn and Karlyn emerged, and right away, we could tell they were no longer the fun-lovin’ ladies we had grown to know and love. Then again, they never really were very fun-lovin’, but now they were most certainly the crabbiest third of the Six Pack alliance. “Don’t put yourself out for me because I’m not going to do the same for you,” Karlyn told us, explaining her outlook on any sort of alliance. Meanwhile, Godwin and Erwin emerged next, and they continued to be absolutely gung-ho on Six Pack pride. “The more we help Alabama and Kentucky move forward, the more we have help down the line,” they said. Perhaps they haven’t realized this, but they’re kind of jacked — maybe this whole Six Pack thing is kind of, I don’t know, massively holding them back?
Last and sort of least were Tyler and James, who departed the Pit Stop at 4:55 AM. Like so many of their scenes on the show, there was nothing very noteworthy about this momentous occasion.
Over at the airport, we checked in with the Beauty Queens who were now exercising their rights to be condescending Americans. Regarding the ticketing agents, one of the girls said, “These guys are not the brightest bulbs.” Keep in mind that she said this right in front of “these guys.” And also keep in mind that up until two minutes prior, the Beauty Queens were questioning the location of London. (I guess they spent their youth playing Where In The World Except England Is Carmen Sandiego?)
Ultimately, Dustin and Kandice had to cope with the reality that they would have to fly through this mysterious London city in order to reach Mauritius. As they booked their flight, Lyn/Lyn hopped in line behind them, thinking that they would be next to snatch some tickets. Oh how they were mistaken. Tyler and James suddenly arrived on the scene, and since pretty people generally run rampant over those who are less pretty, the Beauty Queens decided to immediately help the guys, despite that the moms were next in line. WELL. No blondie can pull a fast one over a sassy black woman and not expect to get a mouthful of, well, sass. Karlyn immediately protested this shady yet legal move, and soon she and the Beauty Queens were bickering at full force. At one point, one of the blondes had the temerity to call Karlyn pushy, causing her to seethe back, “I’m being pushy? Y’all just pushed them in front of us. How am I being pushy?” We then cut to the Kuwaiti ticketing agent, whose stunned face seemed to say, “I have never before seen an angry black woman. It’s just like on Being Bobby Brown.”
“I am transfixed by sassy black woman.”
Of course, we knew all the fighting didn’t really matter since everyone would and did wind up on the same flight. Still, after the Beauty Queens had received their tickets and left the area, Karlyn continue to harp on the situation, telling the agent, “If you think it was right for them to push them in front of us, then you do what you need to do. If you can live with that on your conscious…” Yes, somehow I think he’ll survive, even with such heavy guilt weighing on his soul.
Meanwhile, Tyler decided it wasn’t acceptable to leave well enough alone. He began antagonizing Karlyn, mocking her gestures and attitude in the process. I’m sure he thought he was being hilarious, but it all seemed incredibly condescending and dickish. Ultimately, he told Karlyn that this was the most she had said the entire race, causing her to snap back, “Why you telling me I can’t talk? I can say what the hell I want to say.”
“Say something smart then,” Tyler replied. SLAM! He may be officially a dick now, but man, Tyler certainly won that argument. If only Wilmer Valderrama had suddenly screeched up in a car and regulated.
After the commercial break, Tyler explained why the single moms were so heated at the ticket counter: “They’re just jealous.” He then added, “Not everyone can be as dreamy as we are.” Of course, we all knew Lyn/Lyn were far from jealous — they were merely pissed because the models seemed to be cutting them in line. However, it was comforting to know that these models weren’t afraid to dip into their narcissistic impulses to rationalize their behavior. I just wonder if they write off all their detractors as merely the victims of jealousy too. That guy who they rear ended on the highway two years ago? Yeah, he was jealous. The repo man? Totally jealous. Phil Keoghan? Major jealousy.
Anyway, the teams all flew off to Mauritus, and upon arrival they had to drive a marked car to their next location. And would that be? Well, each car came with a model schooner with the clue “Swim to me” written on it. As you can imagine, teams then had to find the real version of the boat, which was located in a bay, and swim out to it.
Well, one of the first teams to reach their car were James and Tyler, who quickly discovered that in Mauritius, the steering wheel is on the right. This caused the guys to laugh like crazy, which seemed odd because it wasn’t that funny. In fact, it wasn’t very funny at all. Why were they so giggly? I’d hate to think they fell off the wagon with a spare whippet they found on the Mauritian black market. Nevertheless, the laughter was short-lived after the guys zoomed out of the parking lot without even thinking of asking a local for directions to the schooner. As a result, they were completely lost and confused — almost as if they were in some sort of crazy world where everyone was pretty than they were!
As for the Six Pack, the Cho brothers decided to loyally wait around for David and Mary, but Lyn and Karlyn weren’t feeling quite so charitable. They drove off without hesitation, thus leaving us to question the bonds behind the Six Pack alliance. Of course, we might have been suspicious, but David, Mary, Godwin and Erwin were still living in a utopian wonderland where friendship and daffodils ruled supreme. We’ll see how long that lasts.
A few minutes later, Team Kentucky found the model schooner in their car, causing Mary to gush, “WOW!!!” I love you Mary, but it’s not like that ship was crafted from gold and ivory. You might want to settle down just a bit. Nevertheless, Mary’s high spirits soon did come crashing down as the reality of the next challenge dawned on her. “I’m kind of scared,” she said, “because I’m afraid of fish.” She then added, “I never done seen a fish before. That’s why this is all so nervousing.”
David, on the other hand, was fine with fish. It was the water that gave him the heebie-jeebies. Apparently when he was five, a cousin tossed him in a lake in an effort to give him a crash course on swimming. Well, it certainly was a crash-course… in developing a lifelong phobia. Nicely done, cuz!
Anyway, teams soon arrived at the bay in which the schooner was located, and since there was nowhere else to get changed, everyone donned their bathing suits right there in the open. Teams then all jumped into the water, with Mary exclaiming, “Lord have mercy! There’s fish!” What a horrible coincidence! Of all the oceans in the world, this one just had to have fish. What are the chances?
We then cut to Tyler and James, who were not only lost but stuck in traffic. All those other motorists were just JEALOUS! Meanwhile, in the water, Rob appeared to be on the verge of drowning as he struggled to swim against the waves. I know what you’re thinking — Rob being a total pussy? TOTAL SHOCKER. Also swimming slowly were David and Mary, and I instantly feared that they’d be passed by Tyler and James (assuming they ever find the damn bay).
Soon, everyone had retrieved their next clue from the boat (except the models, who were still suck amidst all those jealous drivers on the road). Anyway, the next stop on the race was a post office located forty-nine miles away, and leading the teams were the Beauty Queens, who happily pondered to themselves, “Where’s your Six Pack now?” You know, it’s not like the Six Pack ever dissolved. It was still going strong, albeit, towards the back. And technically, the Six Pack was still better off than Tyler and James, who had finally just arrived at the bay. Ever the sterling detective, James quickly located the schooner, saying, “It’s in the water!” Great observation. I never would have thought when the clue said “Swim to me,” that the boat would actually be in water. I just assumed it was on a giant compost heap.
Anyway, the junkie model dove into the water and began swimming out to the vessel while Kentucky and Alabama struggled to paddle back to shore (where the Cho Brothers were kindly yet stupidly waiting for them). Meanwhile, out on the open road, Kimberob were spending the day trailing the Beauty Queens with each and every move. Unfortunately, Dustin and Kandice were not very pleased with this, and so they peeled off the main road, shaking the bickering couple in the process. “We’re happy to be on our own!” the girls said afterwards. Might this be an ominous sign of what was to come?
Back at the bay, everyone in the Six Pack had reached dry land and were heading off to the post office. Not far behind were James and Tyler, who made short work of this swimming mission, but their fortunes once again turned un-Zoolanderish as they found themselves traveling down a dead end road. Idiots. As a result, Tyler honed his inner-diva, causing James to comment, “Sometimes, Tyler gets a little snickety.” I’ll assume that’s just like being PERsnickety, yes?
Elsewhere on the island nation, Rob had found himself in quite the quandary: his car didn’t seem to be working. “I wish this car would get in gear!” he whined (of course), growing more flustered by the second. Soon enough, every vehicle behind him began honking, and it wasn’t long before Kimberly stuck her trident in Rob’s ass and yelled, “JUST DO THIS!!!” Don’t yell at him, Kimberly. HE’S JUST A HUMAN BEING! Ultimately, Rob was so frustrated that he simply stormed out of the car and ran away. Um… where exactly was he going? Maybe he wanted to drink his woes away in a local Mauritian tavern.
“Maybe if I throw this paper down really quickly, the car will get into gear…”
After the commercial break, Rob then returned to his Nissan of ill-repute where he told Kimberly, “You’re revving me up! You don’t calm me down. You rev me up!” On the one hand, you gotta wish somebody would just punch him in the face, but then again, it’s probably more fun watching him agonize in the throes of complete and utter stress. Nevertheless, while Rob proved to us why his hair seemed to be prematurely graying, the Beauty Queen had their own problems to deal with: mainly, their questionable driving skills, which apparently were not much better than their geography skills. The girls failed to come to a complete stop on the road, causing them to rear-end a local bus. The other guy seemed fine, but the little Nissan had probably seen better days. Looks like Kandice and Dustin hadn’t played much Where In The DMV Rule Book, Specifically the Chapter Regarding Use of the Brakes, Is Carmen Sandiego?
Luckily for the girls, their car was still operable (unlike Kimberob’s), and despite this setback, they still managed to arrive at the post office first, battered car and all (Dustin swore that this was her first car accident ever, and by “ever,” she meant “this month”). Anyway, at the post office, the girls received their next clue, which was the Detour: salt or sea. In “Salt,” teams had to drive two miles to a salt pan and search among three enormous piles of salt for a salt shaker. Wow. That only sounded like THE WORST THING EVER.
“Sea,” on the other hand, required teams to go to a dock, take a boat to an island, use a treasure map and find a mast and sail. Unsurprisingly, the girls chose the latter option, and as they trekked out to their boat, we then headed back to the wonderful world of Kimberob where at long last they were receiving a brand new car. Way to go, Nissan! Gotta love the free press that comes with having your new car break down on national television!
Well, Kimberly and Rob may have had a new car, but their woes were far from over. They promptly got lost, causing Rob’s blood to boil all over again. “It’s hard to enjoy the scenery when you’re, like, stressed out,” he complained. Of course, it’s hard to enjoy the scenery if you’re a perennial whiner too. Luckily, Kimberly was able to soothe him with a dose of reality: “This isn’t a vaca. This is a competition,” she said. Btw, memo to the producers, I think the proper spelling of that abbrev is “vacay.” And yes, Kimberly is so the sort of girl who talks about “vacays” with no sense of irony.
Arriving at the post office next were the Six Pack, and while they’re all so affable and nice, I can’t say much for their decision-making. For whatever reason, they all opted to do “Salt,” despite the fact that such scouring missions have almost always resulted in someone getting stuck for hours and hours. Surprisingly, the junkie models also decided to try their hand at the “salt” mission, but almost immediately, they realized it might not have been a smart idea. “I wonder if this will make my fingers pickle?” Tyler asked. I would be more concerned about having my fingers prune. Nevertheless, maybe if Tyler had worn the GLOVES that everyone else had on, he wouldn’t have had to worry about any of the various curing processes his precious fingers might go through.
Over at the post office, Kimberly and Rob were now bickering over where to park the car. “Kimberly, CHILL OUT!” Rob yelled, clearly forgetting that it was he who was going absolutely bonkers not long ago.
“I can be stressed! If you can be stressed out, I can be stressed out!” she snapped back, erroneously assuming that Rob might actually have the mental capabilities to understand he reasoning. Nevertheless, the two finally retrieved their clue, and as Kimberly tried to read it, Rob snarled, “You’re missing words!!” DAMN YOU FOR OMITTING VITAL PREPOSITIONS AND GERUNDS!!!
Amusingly, the two then went off running towards the Detour, but ever the spaz, Rob managed to trip up, landing on the ground with a satisfying thud in the process. “BABE!” he yelled, instinctually ready to blame her somehow. “I just fell!” he added. Yes, idiot. I’m sure she could figure that out. It’s not like you voluntarily decided to hurl yourself onto the ground. Of course, that’s not out of the question either.
Checking in on the Beauty Queens, after a relaxing trip out to the island on their boat, the girls were now stressed again as they found themselves lost looking for their sails and masts. However, we knew they’d be fine. It was those numskulls at the salt piles that seemed the most in peril. Sure enough, morale quickly dropped at “Salt,” especially when Kimberob showed up and a disgusted Kimberly balked, “Are we seriously doing this right now?” STOP REVVING ME UP WITH YOUR AVERSION TO SALT, KIMBERLY!!!
Of course, leave it to Kimberly and Rob to make the smartest decision of all: leaving the Detour. The two quickly scampered away to “Sea,” causing the models to rethink their plans as well. Ultimately, almost everyone realized that searching through enormous mounds of salt might not be the path to success. Everyone but David and Mary, who stuck around against their better judgment. Oh, gentle Six Pack members. How misguided your strategies are…
After the commercial break, we caught up with the Beauty Queens, who had finally found their hidden treasure. The two bounded up to their mast and sail, but little did they know that those sneaky producers had booby trapped the environs. Dustin suddenly lurched downwards into a pit, causing laugher and good cheer all around. Oh, Bertram Van Munster! You beguiling prankster, you!
Anyway, with the task complete, the girls learned they’d have to drive over to the next Pit Stop, a chateau of some sort located on the island. Dustin and Kandice quickly departed, and not long after, the models and Kimberob arrived at the island, ready to begin their treasure hunt of discontent. Almost immediately, Rob began barking at Kimberly, saying, “Along the beach. Along the beach.”
“Why do you think–” Kimberly replied back, but before she could finish, he yelled, “ALONG THE BEACH!” Good God, woman! It’s an arbitrary declaration! Get with the program!
Finally, after realizing that salt wasn’t necessarily a great choice, David and Mary decided to give up and head to the island. Of course, at this point, they should have just stuck with the salt because if they went to “Sea,” last place was essentially guaranteed. However, I guess they treasured their sanity over the money, so they hopped in a boat and motored away. En route to the island, they passed the Beauty Queens, who officially declared Team Kentucky the most tolerable of the Six Pack alliance. Lyn and Karlyn, meanwhile, refused to even acknowledge Dustin and Kandice, instead opting to maintain an angry glare during their entire boat ride.
In a shocking turn of events, Kimberob actually found their mast and sail before the models, who unsurprisingly were totally lost. The quarrelsome couple headed back to their boat just as Lyn/Lyn and Win/Win came ashore, and not long after, Tyler and James finally took their heads out of their asses and found their mast and sail too. Yes, barring any major catastrophes (and one can never totally bar them on this show), it looked like someone from the Six Pack was going home. Most delighted about this were the junkie models, who later reveled in the others’ downfall. “So it looks like our pack is going to finish in the top three,” Tyler said.
“And their six pack is the backpack,” James replied. WELL DEDUCED!
Soon everyone in the Six Pack had retrieved their items from the island, but we knew there was no way they could catch up, right? Not so fast. Suddenly, we saw several images of people in the “Front Pack” all confused and lost. Yeah, that was nice and all, but it was blatant misdirection. Sure enough, the beauty queens and models arrived at the chateau at seemingly the same time, although it was Dustin and Kandice who emerged on top. The girls claimed first place and a couple of scooters, which I’m sure they’ll promptly crash as soon as the race ends. Oddly enough, Phil seemed to get a little randy as he said, “You can carry a passenger; so you guys can take a date out if you want.” Was Phil dropping a hint? Or more importantly, were we witnessing a PhilBlush™?
“So… you ladies wanna go on a date?”
“This is really awkward, but I have to wash my hair…”
Anyway, Tyler and James showed up in second place, and Kimberly and Rob took third (how they fell behind was beyond me). Meanwhile, the Six Pack were all together on the road. Mary noted that when they parked, they were gonna wait on the ‘Bama girls. Huh? Why? This wasn’t just a Detour. This was the Pit Stop. Of course, Lyn/Lyn had no intention of waiting for anyone. They were going for broke. Well, at one point, the Chos and the single moms went one way, and Mary and David for whatever reason went another. It was the crucial move. And the crucial mistake for Kentucky. Win/Win wound up taking fourth, and snagging fifth were Lyn and Karlyn, who expressed sadness that they knew who was in last place.
Sure enough, Mary and David showed up at the back of the Backpack where they seemed doomed to go home once and for all. But lo! The non-elimination round saved them again! That’s right! They were still in the race. Conspiracy theorists, start writing!
With a wave of relief overtaking him, David announced, “We know what we gotta do!” Yeah, how about don’t pick dumb challenges. Anyway, the two were marked for elimination yet again, and just before they left the mat, Phil reminded them, “This is your second chance, guys.” Well, more like their third, but that’s neither here nor there.
Eventually, the show ended with the Six Pack reunited and Godwin, of all people, crying with joy that his buddies were still in it. Eh, one of them will probably be gone next week.
What did you think about this episode? Too convenient that David and Mary lucked out with the non-elimination round twice?