Three teams race for the mat in the most intense Amazing Race footrace ever

Just when The Amazing Race 9 was getting a little bit boring, it picked up again with a conclusion that was the most heart-pounding and intense few moments the show has had in a long time. I almost threw up. Here’s what happened during and leading up to that moment:

  • Yolanda is learning a lot about her partner Ray. For example, she said she’s learned “oh, that is the noise he makes when he brushes his teeth.”
  • Monica asked a man on the street about hotels, and he said, “Cheap place to stay, love? You can stay at my joint for free.” Then he wet his pants when he saw Joseph and backpedaled: “That’s all right, man. I’m just joking. No, I’m not, but I saw you.”
  • “Ray’s on a short leash,” Eric said. “My leash is about five feet long,” Joseph said. Not to be outdone or let a conversation end without yet another suggestive reference, Eric said, “I don’t let Jeremy out of the house.” Things we already knew, chapter 39, verse 412.
  • “Beej. Eric has been really flirting with Monica,” Tyler told BJ, clearly jealous.
  • A few moments later, Eric told Joseph and Monica, “I just want Monica to talk dirty to me from behind that tree.” Why behind a tree? So you can, say, imagine she’s Jeremy?
  • Sixteen words I wish Phil would have spoken while the Weavers were racing last season: “Then they’ll need to wade out into a pool of crocodiles to retrieve their next clue.”
  • Calling and waiting for cabs ignited an all-out war. First Eric called the taxi company to, as Jeremy said, “cancel the hippies’ taxi.” Then BJ and Tyler, who are rapidly becoming the dicks of the race, climbed into Joseph and Monica’s taxi. But Joseph opened the door and looked ready to drag them out — “Get out, guys. Kidding me?” — so they fled. “It’s not worth a million dollars to piss somebody off,” either BJ or Tyler said to the other, annoyed with his teammate for letting Joseph win.
  • Eric and Jeremy waited for the cab they called but which never came. “I think we canceled ours in the process,” Jeremy said. “I think it’s called karma,” Eric said. Do you know that kind of guy who’s a sexist pig and has a closeted gay friend? My name is Eric.
  • Joseph told a ticket agent, “We don’t want anybody else to find out about this. “What’s it worth?” the ticket agent asked. “A million dollars,” Joseph said. The guy looked at him incredulously: “No, to me.” Monica quickly jumped in with, “It’s worth a big kiss,” but the guy gave Joseph a look that said, “I’ll help you win a million dollars if you keep her away from me.”
  • “This is how you practice safe sex,” someone said as they all put on rubber waders.
  • Yielded by BJ and Tyler, Joseph and Monica fought with each other, and were so busy arguing that they didn’t even notice when the Yield hourglass ran out.
  • “Have fun. Hopefully your chute opens, dude,” Jeremy said, and I can’t even bring myself to make fun of the fact that he said “hopefully your chute opens, dude,” just like I’m not going to say anything about Eric having a man strapped to his back and Jeremy looking on enviously.
  • “If you were single, you’d be in trouble with me,” Jeremy said to Yolanda. She replied, “Oh, yeah?” with the same sort of tone that one would say, “what, you think I look like a dude?”
  • Ray and his tandem skydiving partner landed in a seated position, and when Yolanda ran up, Ray was sitting between the guy’s legs. She said, “Oh, that’s so sweet. He’s holding you and everything!” Ray said, “It’s not funny.”
  • “You can hear Monica screaming all the way up there,” Joseph said, as she parachuted to the ground.
  • There was nothing particularly funny about the Detour that featured aboriginals playing the didgeridoo, except for the spelling of didgeridoo.
  • When Ray and Yolanda arrived first at the mat, Phil stood far away, because they had the most dangerous local greeter ever: he had two whips that he cracked through the air right before every team arrived.
  • Ray and Yolanda each won a one-year lease on a Mercedes M-class, like the ones they were driving in Australia, and Ray was concerned. “Will it be on the right side?” he asked of the steering wheel. “I promise–it’ll be all set up for America,” Phil said.
  • Monica and Joseph quickly caught up with the frat boys and the hippies, and they were in a three-way race for the pit stop. As they drove, we saw a shot of Monica and Joseph’s car following the hippies, but the windshield was all pixelated. Then we found out why: “I’m flippin’ ‘em off, ’cause I hate the hippies,” Joseph said, middle fingers extended.
  • The three teams parked and raced for the mat in what was definitely the most intense race this season, if not ever. Dumbass BJ went through a ditch instead of over a bridge, allowing Monica passed him and beat them to the mat. Joseph was positively giddy. “We got here before you. You Yielded us!” he said, and she shrieked. BJ and Tyler arrived in third place, but in the most unfair and frustrating development ever, those lucky fuckers got saved by the second nonelimination leg. Curse you, nonelimination leg!

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.