No one made it through the 11th leg of The Amazing Race: All-Stars
unscathed, but despite all the slip-ups, the results were largely familiar. Dave and Connor won. Brendon and Rachel misread a clue and were nearly derailed by a meltdown. Leo and Jamal were eliminated in fourth place. And Caroline and Jennifer bumbled along and still survived.
The only thing that was out of the ordinary was that the country singers actually showed signs of competence, navigating the backwards stylings of UK roads and clay pigeon shooting like they were playing Duck Hunt
with a Nintendo Zapper. All that was missing was the a-hole dog that laughs at you when you miss. And they still couldn't win their first leg ever.
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It was a rough go all around Great Britain, and while the teams may not have gone green with a trip across the Irish Sea, David and Connor sure channeled the luck of the leprechaun. And the other teams didn't make it any more difficult, with a slew of blunders ranging from getting lost to natural un-coordination to one of the most inexcusable forms of error one can make on The Amazing Race.
Caroline and Jennifer and David and Connor surged to the front on the mistakes of others, which mitigated their own and was the reason why the two of them were the ones racing for the Pit Stop. The country singers' only real mistake was making a right out of the Detour instead of taking a left to the mat, and that can hardly be blamed on them. Dave and Connor made the smart choice to do the opposite of whatever the girls did, but they didn't know where they were going either.
You could make a case that if the singers didn't meander along prior to that, not only getting to their Ford Focus last but also getting in on the wrong side before showing off their lack of soccer skills, they might have been able to win something for once.
Likewise, Connor's lack of athleticism was almost jarring, and he was lucky not to join Jamal on the disabled list. (By the way, I've blown out my knee on two separate occasions, and you cannot run around on a bum knee like Jamal did. So he's fine.)
This leg of the race was a perfect example of how timing can play into the significance of getting lost, as David and Connor put themselves squarely at the back of the pack by getting lost on the way to the soccer stadium and being the last team to finish the next two challenges. But they were able to piggyback the other teams' failures into a resurgence.
Without Brenchel's breakdown, Leo and Jamal's misdirection and the singers' errant turn, Dave and Connor are eliminated from the race and no one really "deserves" to win.
Rachel Wails in Wales
The discussion has arisen during the course of the season as to what factors determine the week's most egregious error. Is it the most impactful? Because that was clearly Leo and Jamal getting lost on the way to the Detour. Or is it the dumbest? The one that should get you eliminated, even if it doesn't?
In this case, you just can't overlook the inexplicable nature of the Brenchel error, particularly considering it's what sunk them during their previous appearance. After 24 seasons, everyone know the importance of paying attention to details. And both Brendon and Rachel read the clue and said out loud that they needed size 9 or 11 Wellies. But then the frantic personalities took over.
Rachel grabbed the size 10 boot, and Brendon went right along with it. It was a rather labor-intensive Detour, too, which made it doubly exasperating when they finally finished and found out they had to do it all over again. Then came the waterworks, and the hysterics, and the screaming and the finger-pointing. Brendon hopped right on the blame game train before screaming at Rachel to stop crying, sack up and get the boot. He also channeled his frustration into his own personal Hulk spinach, tossing boots like the Tazmanian Devil.
It was a train wreck you couldn't take your eyes off of (and if you dislike Rachel as much as I do, delighted in), and if that's not more U-Turn Award worthy than driving around aimlessly for a little while, I don't know what is.
You can watch The Amazing Race: All-Stars finale on Sunday, May 18 at 8pm on CBS.