The Amazing Race 14: Previewing Episode 9 "Our Parents Will Cry Themselves To Death"
Obviously we still don't have photos from the more recent episodes of The Amazing Race 14, which is why I had to settle for a shot of mother-and-son team Margie and Luke.  Conveniently, they're my discussion point for the next paragraphs or so.  Perhaps similarly convenient is the fact that the race is now headed to China--the first of three legs in the country, ultimately leading to Beijing, the home of last year's Olympics, or the place where Michael Phelps gained sporting glory only to stumble (ever-so-slightly?) with controversial photos.  At least this Michael isn't like the Michael on the race--but enough with that.

While writing the half-fail (but half-success) that is my recap of last week's episode, I was genuinely intrigued by their teaser for this week's episode.  Luke--the guy Mike called the "sinister deaf kid"--is slugging it out with Jen.  At this stage of the race, things have indeed become very competitive, and when push comes to shove, things have to reach a boiling point.  In this case, it's an exasperated Luke doing a gesture, which apparently means "bitch".  I didn't know you can do that with sign language.  I tried imitating it--but I have to learn sign language first before I can make sense of it.

Luke's initial appeal was to surprise us by being one of the most competitive racers this season--perhaps throughout the show's history, if you consider his hearing impairment.  Over the past eight episodes this has been translated to him saving his team's cushions--close calls, not forgetting their baggage, and perhaps the ability to see things that nobody else sees, all peppered with his half-annoyed (or so it sounds) grunts, or his attempts to say "mom".

You can't blame him--he's a fan of the show, and he obviously knows how to play it.  Not that the other teams have underestimated him, but you just can't tell what he thinks--or he's unaware sometimes of what is happening around him.  So, upon the first close chase (and collision) with Jen at the route marker, things flare up and we go ahead.  The second time, similar, but more intense.  The pit stop must be really, really crazy.  With the mother-son team and the sisters slugging it out all throughout, whoever comes last must be moot.  (Or obvious.  Mark and Michael, duh.  Unless I'm proven utterly wrong here...)

Also on tonight's The Amazing Race, one team gets even more exasperated with the language divide.  If I remember correctly, it was the cheerleaders who got slightly bothered last week.  Will it cost them the race?  It'll give them a hang-up on the Detour, after all... provided nothing will go overtime on Sunday, wait for it from 8pm.

-Henrik Batallones, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of CBS)