The Amazing Race really needs a new title or at least this season needs a new subtitle. The Amazing Race should really be called The Amazing Race: Hunt of Justin and Diana. This is yet another race where Justin and Diana are so far ahead that first place is basically irrelevant. The remaining teams are racing against one another for second place. Despite what that suggests though, this was an actually an entertaining leg and it had one of the most surprising and emotional endings of the seasons.
An Irritating Start
This leg of The Amazing Race starts with two nauseating developments. The first is that Diana apologizes to Justin for letting him down the last leg. Justin tells her that the only way she can let him down is if she quits. Never mind the fact that Justin spent the majority of the last leg listing all Diana’s mistakes in gruesome fashion.
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The other thing that makes your skin crawl is a shameless product placement for the Travelocity app. Justin is so impressed by how easy it is to use! In one moment The Amazing Race combines my two least favorite things: transparent product placement and Justin’s annoying enthusiasm.
Working Hard for Their Clues
Anyway, while using the app the teams book a flight to Poland. Justin and Diana are the only team to get on the earliest flight. Everyone else is on the same later flight. Once the teams touch down, they have to choose their Detour: “Mine or Music.” The Mine teams have to work in a salt mine to get their clue. The music teams have to transport and play a piano for tips. There’s a pretty even split with half the teams choosing Music and the other choosing Mine.
For “Mine,” the biggest challenge for Tanner and Josh is just trying to find a taxi to go to there. While they search, Justin and Diana come and leave Mine and Logan and Chris arrive. At Mine, Logan informs us that Chris loves blue collar work. Chris, whose primary modes are whining and crying, loves hard work (apparently). Of all the ridiculous things Logan and/or Chris have said this season, this one just might take the cake. Anyway they still manage to finish Mine before Tanner and Josh even get there.
At Music, the biggest challenge is actually transporting the piano. Kelsey and Joey along with Denise and James Earl get the tips they need relatively quickly by being cordial, friendly and setting up in a well-traveled area. Tiffany and Krista on the other hand are not so lucky. They look like they are in alleyway and vacillate between yelling at people for money and weeping openly. They (obviously) struggle.
Breaks and Successes
From the Detour, the teams take a pause to walk through the Oskar Schindler museum. It’s all emotional and very cool. I even forget to feel blinding hatred when I look at Justin. He gets very emotional at the museum and it’s surprisingly sweet. From this timeout, the teams must go to the Roadblock.
At the Roadblock, the designated member of the team must put together a platter of Polish dishes. They are only given the Polish names and they must choose foods based on educated guesses. Justin and Diana are the first to arrive… and the first to finish. (The amount of times I have wrote that sentence this season makes me physically ill.) They also come in first for the entire leg. Mercifully though, Phil informs them that there will be a U-Turn on the next leg. Justin is smugly sure that the other teams won’t beat them to it. (I have not wished for someone to be wrong more in my life. My “affection” for Justin ends, having lasted approximately five minutes.)
At the Roadblock, teams Kelsey/Joey and Denise/James Earl arrive at roughly the same time. They work together to finish the Roadblock and make it to the Pit Stop at the same time. They come in second and third place. They all plot to get rid of Justin and Diana during the next leg.
A Shocking (Tear-Soaked) End
Tanner and Josh are lagging (very) far behind. Teams Tiffany/Krista and Logan/Chris arrive to the Roadblock before them. The Roadblock doesn’t even start before Logan and Chris start ripping into each other. That “hardcore blue-collar worker” Chris wants to complete this challenge because he is worried that he won’t be able to complete another more physically demanding Roadblock. He throws such a big hissy fit because he is such a strong strapping man, that Logan relents and lets him do it.I really can’t decide if I love these two or despise them with every fiber of my being.
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When Tanner and Josh eventually do arrive, Tiffany works with Josh to complete it. Crybaby Chris manages to overtake the two of them though. It’s between Team Texas and Team Cheerleader for who is going home.
In a moment of chivalry Josh allows Tiffany to go first. This puts Tanner and him in last place. Josh says they wouldn’t have completed the Roadblock so quickly without their help. While I am not too attached to either team, I’ll admit that I feel an innate affection to anyone who is not Justin or Diana, but this is still sad. It’s a really classy way to go out.
But Tanner and Josh aren’t out of the race! Non-eliminations are still in play this season despite the weird two-parters that have been sprinkled in as well. Tanner and Josh are still in the race but they will encounter a Speed Bump in the next leg.
The Amazing Race airs Fridays at 8pm on CBS
(Image courtesy of CBS)