There are two teams on this edition of The Amazing Race that are really difficult to pin down.  Sometimes I feel I’m being too hard on them, somethings I get angry with myself for even entertaining the thought of them being redeemable.  Such is the bi-polar nature of reality television.  Editing, pressure, lack of sleep, stress…these things make people cranky, and when people get cranky they snap at each other.  Tonight’s episode saw our final four teams head to Taiwan, land of Nike shoes, as they participated in rock walking, underground driving and one very ridiculous firecracker ritual. 

Leg 10: Osaka, Japan>Taipei, Taiwan>Taichung, Taiwan>Taipei, Taiwan

The teams left Osaka early in the morning and were told to go to the Umeda Sky Building and find the Floating Garden, the location of their next clue.  The Floating Garden is actually a suspended observatory high up on the Umeda Building.  The next clue told teams to fly to Taipei, Taiwan.  Once in Taiwan, they first went to the Main Station, then took one of the trains there to the city of Taichung.  Once in Taichung, teams took cabs to Acrobatics Jeep.  Acrobatics Jeep held the episodes Road Block.  One team member had to endure two stunt driving displays, while sitting in the drivers’ seat.  The first ride involved a stunt driver going onto a large, suspended teeter-totter and precariously balancing the truck while accelerating backwards and forwards.  Next, the team member threw on some goggles and got into an amphibious jeep as it submerged under water for 17 seconds.

After completing this task, the last place team from last episode, TK and Rachel, had to perform a Speed Bump as penance.  In the Speed Bump, both team members took a taxi one mile down the road and participated in a ritual: they had to dress up in a flame-retardant jump suits and run through a field as fireworks were launched at them.  Then, they were doused with water.  All the teams next were told to take the train back to Taipei and go to the GK Tea House.  Once there, they had to drink a cup of tea which had their next clue on the bottom of it, though it was written in Chinese.  The clue led teams to the Night Market of Gong Guan, where they had to find the Happy Clown.  The clown gave teams their next clue: head to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall – the location of their next pit stop. 

4th Place/Eliminated: Jennifer and Nathan

They were moving along pretty nicely, not blowing up at each other and then…BOOOM!  On their way to the pit stop, the mismatched duo imploded, as it seemed they would all season, culminating in a silly, yet vicious argument on the streets of Taipei that may have cost them the game.  Instead of taking a cab from the market to the pit stop, they took some bad advice and went on the subway.  Probably cost them a spot on the final leg.  But, let’s go back to their behavior: it was definitely volatile, with awful things said both ways, but it didn’t bother me as much as some of the stuff Jenn complained about this episode: namely, her saying that TK and Rachel are undeserving of their spot in the finals because they don’t try very hard.  Jenn, apparently, equates anger and momentary hatred of one’s partner with effort.  However, I do think I’ve been too hard on Jenn and Nate.  Outside of the stress of the race, they seem like a solid couple.  I think the editing has probably been cruelest to Jenn and Nate.  We’ll find out tomorrow when we interview the couple. 

3rd Place: Nicolas and Donald

They’re still chugging along.  Not doing anything special, just not making any killer mistakes.  Donald is still alive and coherent (seemingly) and Nicolas is still the decision maker and valet for Don’s bags.  It would be quite impressive if they could pull off the big upset next week in the finale. 

2nd Place: TK and Rachel 

They ran a really good leg, finishing everything about as fast as it could be finished, especially the speed bump.  However, they were given some monumental team bunching early on in the leg, with a suspicious first task (go to Umeda Tower, wait 3 hours so TK and Rachel can catch up, then immediately get your next clue, telling you to head to Taipei) that allowed almost a full recovery from the quasi-hippies right at the outset.  I’m not going to complain, though – these guys are my favorite team on the race.

1st Place: Ronald and Christina

Maybe Ronald really is becoming a better person/parent on the Race.  This leg tonight was easily his most mild-mannered and positive.  There was no criticism, no lapses of judgment, and Christina couldn’t say enough good things about her father.  Again, this could be the power of editing, CBS maybe wanting to portray more personal growth from Ron than what really went down.  Regardless, it’s encouraging.

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of CBS)

Click here to read EW’s recap of this episode

Oscar Dahl

Senior Writer, BuddyTV