, unless you want to get on David and Connor for seeming to forget that the competition was made up of six teams and not just one giant one.
Sure, there were some questionable decisions made, but at the end of the day, the general ineptitude of the Globetrotters overshadowed any minor little screw-ups the other teams committed. It didn't have to be that way, though, as the father-son duo basically held the hands of the country singers and the Afghanimals through all the challenges and sealed Flight Time and Big Easy's fate. Not that they would've noticed.
Brendon and Rachel and Jet and Cord basically put together flawless legs en route to first- and second-place finishes, respectively. I really want to hate Brenchel's strange strategy of U-Turning the team directly behind them, as it is seldom used by the pair in the lead. It is part of the game, yes, but you tend to see it employed as an act of either desperation or vengeance. The first-place team usually declines in the spirit of fair competition and good sportsmanship (i.e. I don't need to use this to beat you).
That being said, the U-Turn accomplished exactly what Brenchel intended. It gave them an insurmountable lead that even a second go-round at the calligraphy Roadblock didn't jeopardize. So bravo to them for that, and for winning a second straight leg. But they're not my favorite team. In fact, I'm actually surprised how much support they're getting in the comments sections. And how much people have turned on David and Connor.
The cowboys had to use their Express Pass regardless, and the fact that they didn't get U-Turned pretty much guaranteed them a spot at the front of the pack. But they avoided blunders nonetheless.
The Country Singers Get Babied
I'm not quite sure what the plan was for Caroline and Jennifer, because they couldn't do anything on their own this leg. They got printed directions to their next location, yet somehow completely relied on following David and Connor to get there. I guess the thought of getting separated on a busy highway never crossed their minds, because they got hopelessly lost without their Mormon North Stars (Morth Stars? Normon Stars?) to guide them.
They actually got mad at David and Connor for "ditching" them, but I guess the father and son made up for it by essentially doing the donkey build challenge for everyone. If not for all the help, the Globetrotters may have had a shot to catch these two.
Leo and Jamal Take the Help
It was an interesting week for this usually strong team, as they also were more than willing to let David and Connor carry the load even after getting U-Turned by them. I don't quite know why David and Connor picked them when three other teams were still out there, but they redeemed themselves in the Afghanimals' eyes by offering to work together and additionally passing on information to them about how to build the donkey. Still, it was very trusting to switch to the donkey ride and believe they were actually going to receive that help.
As for David and Connor, I may have gone a bit overboard in my rankings about how classy a team they are. Many viewers took issue with some mean-spirited comments directed at Brenchel and with David's immature reaction to being U-Turned. And I get that. To use your age as a reason for people to take it easy on you, especially when you're one of the stronger teams, is just annoying. And to resort to personal attacks behind someone's back is equally childish.
David felt slighted by the unexpected strategical move, and maybe I take less issue with it because I find Rachel incredibly annoying. But actions speak louder than words, and David and Connor went above and beyond to offer help they probably shouldn't have. It might even have been a stupid decision, because if the Afghanimals had somehow gone home instead of the Globetrotters, the road to a million bucks just got that much easier.
No one ever said you have to be helpful to your enemies, and when this is all done, I think their integrity in looking out for their allies will help them keep their heads high, win or lose. Brenchel might be running a more strategic if not cutthroat race, but not necessarily a better one. And you never know when a team might need a little bit of help to stay in the race. Which team do you think has a better chance of receiving it?
The Washington Generals Steal One
That brings us to the Globetrotters, and really, where do you start? With the way they located their next stop? By circling it on a map and trying to figure out the rest instead of getting step-by-step directions? Or with the numerous times they had to stop and ask along the way?
Then there's the complete lack of urgency they showed the entire time, even though they started in last place and didn't even see another team along the way. And when they couldn't figure out how to build the donkey, Flight Time danced around like that was somehow going to fix things.
I can't blame them for switching Detours ... the first time. It appeared that Big Easy was just too aptly named for donkey riding, and it seemed plausible that they might not be built for speed in a timed event. But the decision to switch back has to be the dumbest move of the leg. After all, they already knew how difficult the other challenge could be for them, and they had almost completed the donkey building. You would think they could put their heads together and figure out that last step, instead of doing all the work for naught.
I dunno, maybe they just didn't care anymore. Maybe the knew they were toast. But rule #1 is that you go hard until the end. It probably wouldn't have made a difference, particularly with David and Connor on babysitting duty. But it would've been nice to see them show a bit of hustle or the appearance of caring more than an "Oh shucks, I guess we're out."
They were a middle-of-the-road team all along this season, but then the middle was gone. I guess they got U-Turned after all.
The Amazing Race: All-Stars
airs Sundays at 8pm on CBS.
(Image courtesy of CBS)