At one early point in this second leg of the season, The Amazing Race teams have to walk solemnly through a church. This sets the pace for the rest of the episode, slow as molasses. Physically yes, the teams were running around and panting. I’m sure FitBit and The Amazing Race will let us know exactly how many steps they took and calories they burned too. It’s a product placement and partnership that is annoying as it is obvious.
Back to the episode though, this straightforward leg was visually about as boring as you’ll find in The Amazing Race.
The Amazing Race Season 27 Premiere Recap: First Stop, Rio de Janeiro >>>
A Villain Emerges?
Tanner and Josh are the first to leave the pit stop and the first to get the next country. The teams are heading to Buenos Aires, Argentina, the birth place of Pope Francis. They have to find the church where Pope Francis was baptized, but The Amazing Race doesn’t tell the teams the actual name of the church. This should be a simple matter of Google and information sharing, but Justin (and Diana) make a huge deal out of it. Specifically, Justin throws a hissy fit when Denise and James tell two other teams the name of the church. This does little to endear Justin to me or the rest of the teams.
Dissemble or Reassemble
The teams touch down in Argentina on the same plane. They just have to wait till the next morning to enter the church. Once the church door’s open, the teams enter one by one and get their clue for their next challenge. It’s a “Detour.” The teams must choose between two options. One involves pushing a recycling cart around the city and grabbing cardboard out of trash cans until they have 100 kilograms of cardboard. The other involves getting a statue from a shop, driving to a park and assembling the statue there for their next clue. The catch being they have to figure out their own directions.
For whatever reason, all but one of the teams choose the recycling challenge. This is the most excited human beings have ever been about cardboard and dumpster diving. In fact, there are so many teams going after trash that the carts they need to push and the cardboard they need to pick, become scarce. The first teams (Tanner and Josh, Justin and Diana and Logan and Chris) manage to finish quickly. The last arriving (Jazmine and Danielle) are remarkably less lucky. They even struggle finding their cart to begin the challenge.
While the rest of the teams are literally sweating in trash cans, the unnerving news anchors, Kelsey and Joey, choose the statue challenge. Joey nonchalantly sits in the back with the statue while Kelsey is the navigator. On the voiceover, they talk over each other about how being a news reporter makes them excellent for details and directions. Apparently, they don’t teach good communication skills in the newsroom. One of them can barely finish a sentence before the other one cuts them off. They seem cool with it in their off putting dual Stepford Wife-like smile way however.
Defying Gravity and Patience
After Jazmine and Danielle find their cart, there are very little problems in the teams completing the Detour. Everyone makes their way to the “Roadblock” where one member of each team completes the task while the other one looks on. This is a dancing challenge, typically the most frustrating challenge in The Amazing Race repertoire. This one has the an added a free of heights twist to it. The dance that they learn begins on the floor but the racers are hooked up to a harness and they will finish the dance on the wall!
Justin and Diana are the first to arrive. Justin says that he is a much better dancer because the man is incapable of not being hip. Despite his dancing proficiency, he lets Diana do the Roadblock. Justin continues to talk from the sidelines about how much better he would be doing the challenge because the man is incapable of shutting up.
A few more teams arrive, but unfortunately Diana still finishes first. Much to the chagrin of Tanner and Josh who are the newly-minted conductors of the Anti-Justin and Diana train. I’ve given Josh and Tanner a lot of grief for their general everything, but this dislike of Justin brings us together closer than ever before.
Playing for Second
To be quite honest, while it is initially cool to watch this dancing Roadblock, it is a bit of dud. The teams don’t have too much trouble finishing the task. The Amazing Race feels the need to tell us how hard the competition is with team interviews, but they never show anyone really struggling. The teams pretty much finish as they come in and move onto the Pit Stop.
Speaking of which, Justin and Diana have turned their first place finish at the Roadblock to a first place overall finish. Justin is overjoyed as a super fan hearing Phil tell them they came in first. This, unlike everything else Justin does, is kind of charming. (I still sort of hate him though.)
Revisiting my new BFFs, Tanner and Josh, they finish the dancing Roadblock fourth. Denise and James and Logan and Chris have come in second and third. All three teams converge on the Pit Stop at the same time. Tanner and Josh decide that they need to beat these two and start sprinting for Phil. During the mad dash, Tanner or Josh (I can’t tell them apart … OK so we aren’t that close), pulls their hamstring. So half of the team cripples themselves for second place. I’m not feeling so hot about Tanner and Josh anymore.
A Sad End
After this somewhat spectacular and stupid incident, things go back to being boring. The middle of the pack arrives at the Pit Stop. We’re left with the final three teams at the Roadblock. The final three teams are Jazmine and Danielle, Alex and Adam and Jin and Ernest. They all finish around the same time and then the real competition begins: trying to find a cab. It’s something that none of three are very successful at, but eventually they get the cab and then they race to the Pit Stop.
Through some fancy editing, The Amazing Race makes it look close, but I doubt it that it really is. Danielle and Jazmine come in eighth. Jin and Ernest are in ninth. This means that Alex and Adam come in last and are eliminated from the race. In my opinion, this is kind of unfair. They lost because of a taxi problem, not because of anything they did wrong. The Amazing Race should have used one of their non-elimination rounds for this, but they didn’t. So Alex and Adam are gone after two legs. Between Team TMZ and now this, The Amazing Race Season 27 really likes getting rid of its likable teams as quickly as possible.
The Amazing Race airs at 8pm on CBS.
(Image courtesy of CBS)