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'The Amazing Race' recap: 'The Great Amazing Nasty Race'

All is fair in ‘The Amazing Race,’ and the stranger pairs are finding there’s plenty of room for war.

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Monty Brinton/CBS

The Amazing Race

type:
TV Show
genre:
Reality TV
run date:
03/08/01
performer:
Phil Keoghan
Producer:
Jerry Bruckheimer
broadcaster:
CBS
seasons:
29
Current Status:
In Season

Hasn’t anyone ever told the Blind Daters you catch more bees with honey than vinegar? The honeymoon phase of being strangers racing for a million dollars is finally over, and I am digging the psychological drama. It’s amazing that TAR packed this much drama and what really felt like stakes into a leg that was over pretty much before it started. Since the New Kids came in last on a non-elimination leg last week, not only did they have to complete a Speed Bump, but arrived in Bangkok at least an hour after the other teams because of the large delay in departure as the last place team. Has there seemed to be a particularly large discrepancy between departure times this season?

**Side Note** I stood behind Jonathan Knight in a Dunkin Donuts this week and I was too undercaffeinated and he was too deep in conversation with someone for me to interrupt and be all, “I pour over the details of your every move each week,” but rest assured, if I ever happen upon Phil in his natural habitat, I shan’t make the same mistake again. **End Side Note**

Each week, whether it’s peace or drama, I find myself especially interested in where the Blind Date couples stand each week. They’re like the new kids in school—there’s a strangeness to them (and between them) that makes their next moves totally unpredictable. Compared to say, cutest couple, Harley and Jonathan, who you know are going to support each other and push together until the bitter in, there’s Jenny and Jelani, who might be deftly working out the details of a misleading clue in the backseat or explaining to each other exactly where their partner can shove their Type-A attitude at any given time.

This week, at least for two of the teams, that unpredictable newness peeled back a fresh layer to reveal how the basic strangers operate under the extreme duress of not being able to stand each other. Okay, Blair and Hayley have basically been at a raw behavioral level of complaining to and about each other since the moment they met… I take that back again: Hayley has. Because they’re so incredibly mismatched, it’s always been confusing as to exactly who was causing the problem on Team Medical, and the trauma nurse and navy surgeon prompted a particularly divisive debate—shy or stuck up; nag or strong-willed—in the comments last week. But this week, I chose my side: Blair might not listen well, but Hayley is a torturous team player. It’s clear from the moment they set foot in the taxi for this leg and she starts telling him how he could have negotiated for the tuk tuk better and he asks for directions wrong, that she’s going to blame him for everything that goes wrong.

It might not have started that way, but it’s likely how it will end for them. And I’m dying for them to stay on the show to see to just how many new levels this relationship will evolve over 10 more weeks of mutual distrust.

This week, the nine remaining teams fly from Phuket to bustling Bangkok to race their way through the most hectic of Thai cities. All of the teams except the New Kids arrive on the same flight to race to the first clue at Wat Yannawa, where Jelani and Jenny enter into their first nothing-passive-about-it argument about him wasting time trying to keep a taxi that Jeff had already claimed. They were doing so well together, I don’t know what happened, but I think, basically, Jenny finally unleashed beast-lawyer mode. Bring it on.

The clue points to the Detour: Water vs. Wheel. The teams have to choose between Bangkok modes of transportation—either a tuk tuk or a longtail water taxi—to travel through the city to their next clue, making two stops along the way of each route. The first five teams all basically choose Water because those boats look hella fun, leaving Team Medical, the Lawyers, and all of their communication problems to squeeze themselves into tuk tuks, as well as Jeff and Jackie, and the New Kids when they eventually arrive. The Water teams, though they have the more pleasant riding experience, certainly get the least pleasant task: Thousand-Year-Old Egg. Oh boy…I’ve never had this Thai delicacy, but I couldn’t believe the teams weren’t more disgusted at scarfing down the jet black egg that had been acquiring its color for the last thousand years. But the only team who had and real trouble were the Hairdressers who stormed around the market like two bulls in a, well, egg shop, eating any random boiled egg they could fine. I know Matt is reminiscent of Mr. Wrestler from last season, but we can be sure they’re unrelated from the fact that Matt never once mentioned the benefits of the protein from his extra average-aged egg.

NEXT: Snooker, and cats, and screwdrivers, oh my!

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