The Amazing Race: We're Too Busy Being Nice To Actually Compete
First of all, there's nothing wrong with doing good deeds to other teams in the middle of The Amazing Race.  It's happened time and time again.  There are the alliances (of sorts, since I don't think that exists in the show) and there are the people you do good to because you just plain like them.  Crushes, yup.

And then there was last night's episode, where I saw an unusually high number of good deeds being done.  I did list it down, right?  Tiffany helped with a ladle during the Roadblock.  The Globetrotters warned of a really cold ski resort (although admittedly, Mika and Canaan should know that).  Sam and Dan staying behind when the poker players' car started leaking.  And then there's Brian, who helped from the airport to the desert to the ski resort, all in a belief that karma will pay them back with good tidings--which happened, when they almost ended in first place, if not for Meghan and Cheyne taking the Fast Forward.

And no, I haven't mentioned Zev and Justin's belief last week, the karma that didn't come through for them when Zev's passport disappeared in Cambodian streets.

Again, nothing wrong with it.  It's just an unusual thing in itself, because in a race you're really supposed to watch your back and keep pushing forward, else you risk losing your spot and possible get eliminated from the race.  Helping others involves stopping, or at least risk having other teams take advantage and overtake you.  But we all know that.

Instead, we get all these feel-good bits.  Aww, shucks, Brian told everyone that the Persian Gulf is not a country!  Aww, shucks, Flight and Big told Mika and Canaan the obvious!  Aww, shucks, Dan won't leave until Tiffany did!  Although that could really be a strategy--"we'll flirt around with the all-girl teams"--but still, it passes off like that.  (I have a feeling they've forgotten about their plan.)

So this race's new mantra is "do good and good will come to you", an oddly Confucian bit for a race that isn't going to China.  Again, and again, nothing wrong with it.  It just rids us of the excitement of seeing a really close race--and this race has become pretty close too, with the weekly rankings changing always--because everybody's sitting back and finding the time to help each other.  We're all too nice!  We're all too complacent!  What the hell happened?

Suddenly I regret seeing Lance and Keri go, if only because they're the annoying team.  Oh, wait, no, I don't regret it.  I am more than happy to see them go.  Thank you for having a bad sense of direction, Lance.  Please don't do it when you get married.

Guys do have a hard time asking for directions.

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