If someone was looking for an episode of The Amazing Race that defined anticlimax, you’d have to point them in the direction of this one. Well, first you’d probably want to ask them why they have such an odd and very specific request, then you’d point them in the direction “Good Old Fashioned Spit in the Face.” This episode of The Amazing Race wasn’t bad, it was just so unfinished and unexpected (not in a good way). There was a lot of tension built up between the ongoing feud between Team Texas and The Green Team but it amounted to nothing.
The episode itself didn’t have a proper ending unless you count a “To Be Continued…” to be satisfying conclusion to a story. If so, you’re probably just as weird as the person who wants to know what The Amazing Race episode best defines anticlimax. So hypothetical person, this is the best episode of TV you’ve ever seen. For everyone else this is just a mild disappointment.
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In a not at all staged and completely natural conversation, Tanner, Josh, Kelsey and Joey scheme to get Justin (and Diana of course. Poor silent Diana) out of the game. Tanner and Josh promise that they will use their Express Pass and give it to Kelsey and Joey if they U-Turn them. The plan being that Tanner and Josh use the U-Turn on Justin and Diana. It’s not just Kelsey and Joey, the offer is up to any team.
All the teams get on one of two flights to Africa. Team Texas and Team Newcasters are the first to reach the Roadblock. Tanner and Josh use their Express Pass now to skip ahead to the Detour. While Tanner and Josh are their way out, Justin and Diana arrive at the Roadblock. Justin then proceeds to tell the camera how stupid Tanner and Josh are to use their Express Pass and the U-Turn this early in the game while Joey sits awkwardly pretending he isn’t planning to everything possible to get rid of Justin. If this isn’t weird enough Justin “cunningly” tries to create an alliance with Joey, which the latter agrees to by a series of affirmative stammers.
The Non-Existent Roadblock “Challenge”
The reason this deliciously uncomfortable exchange happens is because the women are completing the Roadblock. The team member that chooses to do the Roadblock has to take an airborne ride in some flying bicycle thing across the savanna and find the red and yellow flag. A flag that is right in front of the main attraction of the ride, the Victoria Falls waterfall, which is the largest waterfall in the world. So literally, no one misses it. This is less a challenge and more a ride with an increased focused on sightseeing.
As everyone else gets to the Roadblock, they talk about Tanner and Josh’s folly about using their Express Pass on such an easily. Justin also continues to tell us how amazing he is at The Amazing Race. I guess Justin suffers from a double delusion that he is both working with Kelsey and Joey and has played the game before.
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The Slightly More Challenging Detour
The embarrassment of Justin’s delusions pales in the face of comparison of Tanner and Josh’s blunder. They finally get to the Roadblock only to discover they must wait till 8:00 am the next morning to even start the challenge. This is either masterful trolling by The Amazing Race producers or the masterful idiocy in using an Express Pass or a bit of both. It also drains any tension out of the episode before this point, so yeah…
To add insult to injury, Justin and Diana are right there with Tanner and Josh in the morning to complete their Detour. The teams have to choose between painting a wooden giraffe and playing a game of croquet. This is the first time in Season 27 that teams evenly choose both competitions. The croquet match is a croquet match. The giraffe painting requires the teams to stain and polish a reasonably large giraffe statue with a toothbrush. Now this is masterful trolling by The Amazing Race producers.
The End (Apparently)
Teams Justin-Diana and Tanner-Josh finish their croquet match within moments of each other. It’s a race between the two to get to the Pit Stop and the much touted Double U-Turn. The real show though is back at the giraffe challenge. Logan and Chris have been largely absent in the season so far, but they more than make up for their lack of screen-time at this challenge. Chris whines (a lot) and Logan yells at him for whining, which only causes Chris to whine more, so he’s at a decibel that only dogs can hear.
Getting back to The Amazing Race feud of the century, (or season. I don’t want to be that over-dramatic) Justin and Diana get to the Pit Stop right before Tanner and Josh. The moment we’ve been waiting for happens, the Double U-Turn. Literally nothing happens, no one uses the U-Turn. At least no one uses the Double U-Turn in this episode because the episode ends. The two teams keep racing and the big cliffhanger is Tanner and Josh deciding who to give their wasted Express Pass to in the next leg.
The Amazing Race airs at 8pm on CBS
(Image courtesy of CBS)