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The Amazing Race recap: Season of the Bitch

Tensions run high in China after Jen and Luke get physical in a battle to be the first one to get a clue

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Margie Luke
Sonja Flemming/CBS

The Amazing Race

TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Phil Keoghan
Jerry Bruckheimer
Current Status:
In Season

First a disclaimer/apology: If something absolutely hilarious or Amazing-Race-Hall-of-Fame-ish happened in the first 11 minutes of the show, you’ll find no mention of it here, as, for some reason, my DVR did not record it. (This excuse brought to you by the fine folks at Time Warner Cable: they put the ”F you!” in ”Cable.” Doesn’t matter that there is no f, y, o, or u in the word ”cable”—they find a way to stuff it in there anyway.) Fortunately, I figured out the problem before I missed more of the show, which was a good thing, as I nearly missed the main moment of the episode. Or as I like to call it, Bitchapalooza. Or should I have gone with Shove-acella?

I considered not even writing a recap tonight. In place of it I would just describe the two cluebox scrambles over and over and over and over and over and over (and over) again, just like they did on the show. They replayed that moment so many times that it is now the Zapruder film of petty reality TV. By the end I expected to see Phil telestrating it, noting that Luke’s arm goes ”back…and to the left. Back…and to the left.”

It all went down in China, the land where birds fetch fish and cheerleaders go to be laughed at. Tammy and Victor had the advantage, what with speaking the language and all, although it didn’t seem to buy them much time. After all, Jaime was right behind them, speaking the international language of huffy impatience. At one point she said to her cabbie, while jabbing at the instructions on her clue, ”You: go here.” Doesn’t matter where you are in the world, people love to be talked to in the same way you’d tell a dog where to crap.

The teams first needed to snag a clue in front of a hair stylist. Kisha and Jen arrived at the same time as Margie and Luke, which is where the trouble began. Well, the trouble technically began when both teams couldn’t find the clue box, even as they nearly leaned up against it. But the fighting trouble began when they finally spotted the box, and Luke charged it, trying to block Jen from getting her envelope. When she reached around him, he tried to fend her off with his elbow—that’s the way I saw it. I can neither verify nor disprove that Luke is a bitch, but he certainly seemed like he was being a dick. I mean, does keeping someone from her clue for an extra three seconds really give you an advantage? When you feel it’s that important to claim bragging rights over something that doesn’t matter at all, it’s competitiveness run amok. The whole thing made me think of a story that the writer Ron Rosenbaum once wrote about encountering Oliver Stone in the bathroom at a benefit. Stone was pissed about something Rosenbaum had written about him in a profile, and railed at him while both of them were using the urinals. Finishing first, Stone exited the bathroom with this closer: ”Taking a long time, aren’t you Ron?” He had won the pissing contest that Rosenbaum wasn’t aware that they were having. I get the feeling that this Race is one long pissing contest for Luke.

NEXT: Was it a bitch move?