Amazing Race 9 down to a mostly hate-worthy final three teams

The Amazing Race 9 has its final three teams, and I have just one team to root for. Ray and Yolanda have my support, in part because they’re the underdogs, having come in first only once; the other two teams, Eric and Jeremy, and BJ and Tyler, have basically been first and second the entire race, with a few exceptions. Also I hate the other two teams. And since this is The Amazing Race, anything is possible in the course of one leg.

Before we review this penultimate episode, there seems to be a disparity between the way many other people and I view the Hippies, or perhaps it’s just their fans who are the most vocal. While I generally love teams that have fun with the race and are true to themselves whether they’re up or they’re down, and while BJ and Tyler have pretty much done all of that, I loathe them. Mostly, it’s because I just don’t buy it: They seem to me like they’re overacting and trying to get viewers to love them because they’re just so darn crazy, and disingeniouslness bugs me. At the same time, there’s been a hint of ruthlessness recently that seems to be more of their true nature. I’d respect them a lot more if they were occasionally funlovingcrazy and occasionally mean and competitive.

Overall, though, I think these past few weeks have been much more competitive than usual. It’s the Rob Mariano effect, and it’s arrived a year late. And for some reason, watching teams battle each other is just not as much fun as just watching the teams compete against themselves. Maybe that’ll happen next season, along with the return of clues that are actually clues rather than just directions. (A boy can dream.) Anyway, here are some highlights from last night’s episode:

  • BJ started this leg without shoes or pants, so some teams left him stuff. But as he said, “Monica and Joseph didn’t leave us anything because they’re not giving people. MoJo’s gotten a little too cocky for their own good.” Hey, BJ? Phone call. It’s the fucking kettle.
  • Jeremy said, “Hey, look, it’s a girl with a beard.” His favorite kind.
  • While Monica and Joseph were being helped by a ticketing agent at the airport, Eric nosed in, and Monica dismissed him by saying that the man was “just looking at porn on the Internet.”
  • If this were a radio show, I would have taped Jeremy saying “Bangkok” and played it over and over again, because I am 13.
  • Begging for money, BJ ecnoutered a woman who wanted him to strip for money. “Take it off! Take it off! Take it off!” she cried, but as he started pulling his shirt over his head, she screamed, “Put it on! Put it on!”
  • “They look like rats on steroids,” Ray said about monkeys at the Detour. Jeremy brilliantly decided to feed them, and one literally jumped onto his crotch. “I think this monkey likes me,” he said, and the editors gave us a shot of a monkey with swollen testicles. Oh, editors!
  • Having to create a feast for monkeys was the best Detour ever, entirely because of the monkeys. As the teams tried to recreate a spread of food, the monkeys would jump on their creations and steal pieces. I vote that the monkeys come back every season.
  • “Hopefully it’s a task that pisses you off so much you can’t even complete it,” Yolanda said of one challenge.
  • After Jeremy said, “We used to get a lot of girls gold leafing,” the editors gave us a Shot of rooster crowing. I’m not quite sure I get the metaphor, but I laughed anyway.
  • Team MoJo ran out of mojo (yes, I’m out of ideas) and came in last place, and thus was eliminated. Only two more hours left.

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.


Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

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.