Altruism pays off and persistence does not on The Amazing Race 10

With no football to delay the start of The Amazing Race 10 this week, the action began on time as the teams headed for Kuwait, site of one of the race sightings from last summer. Highlights from the actual episode:

  • The route information was not a piece of paper, but a Nokia phone that had a videotaped message of Phil on it.
  • Trying to get tickets to fly to Kuwait, Peter told a travel agent, “We need help very quickly — a medical emergency for her leg.” Sarah didn’t object, and I guess she can use her disability in any way she’d like; I just wish she’d use her artificial leg to kick Peter in the peter.
  • Also at the travel agency, the blondes played the Miss America card, trying to get faster service by flaunting their titles.
  • At a challenge in Kuwait City, Peter told Sarah, “I think you climb here.” I’m super-impressed by Sarah’s abilities, but don’t you think it’d be a better idea for the guy with two non-leaking, non-artificial legs to climb up the side of one of the Kuwait Towers? If that happened, though, Peter wouldn’t be able to sit on his ass and scream obnoxious things at Sarah such as, “the bionic spider woman!”
  • In 10 seasons, there haven’t been an act of altruism such as there was in this episode. Of course, that’s because this is a race, not Boy Scouts. But I digress. “The Cho brothers,” Mary explained, put the whole race on the line for us.” They did so by stalling the other teams and thus allowing David and Mary to go for the Fast Forward, and thus arrive at the pit stop first, avoiding their Marked for Elimination penalty. Why the hell would the Cho brothers do such a thing? “We wanted to play a certain way, and they’ve been good friends, so, we want to keep them in as long as possible,” Erwin explained. “It’s a bit of a risk for us since we’re now last; hopefully we won’t be eliminated for it.” Fortunately, they weren’t; they didn’t even come in last place.
  • At the Fast Forward, Mary prepared to approach a (mock) burning oil well to retrieve the Fast Forward, and all she had on her mind was fame. “I’m nervous. I’m scared to death. But maybe Steven Seagal will see me and want me to be on one of his movies,” she said. That movie will be called Under Seige 3: In a Car with Coalminer and Wife.
  • Explaining the Detour task, Phil said, “Teams choose one of these robotic jockeys and attach it to a camel. Using a voice-activated remote control, which causes the jockey to lightly whip the camel, they must drive it to the end of a 140 yard track.” How many times do you think Phil had to deliver those lines before he did so without laughing? And by the way, the word “lightly” was clearly added to appease PETA and friends. Because, in all fairness, the robotic jockey’s whip was basically a weed whacker attached to the camel’s back.
  • David and Mary, Marked for Elimination, checked in first, and even won a prize. Of course, they did so thanks to the Fast Forward and the help of their friends. Since one of the two Fast Forwards was on the leg following the non-elimination leg, it sort of seems like the producers have largely given up on the non-elimination leg, and that’s okay with me. Even a 30-minute penalty isn’t that severe, as we’ve seen many teams survive those over the years.
  • Peter is a douchebag and a bad liar. Trying to hide the fact that they’d found the clue, he told another team, “We have to move our car; we’re illegally parked.”
  • Last week’s episode had a series of those false cliffhangers. This week, the editors played with the expectation of those, and it totally worked. Before the break, Peter and Sarah were lost, but accidentally saw a race flag. “I’m so glad I saw that,” Peter said in his smug-ass way. After the break, though, they realized they’d stumbled on the already taken Fast Forward, not the task. Ha!
  • One of the reasons why I’m liking this season is that the assumed underdogs are coming out ahead. Tyler and James checked in second-to-last, again, while David and Mary were first, followed by the other “weaker” teams.
  • Peter and Sarah were finally put out of their misery, and each indicated their relationship is over. Sarah was harsh, saying Peter “isn’t a very nurturing or kind individual.” I kind of hoped for a Biggest Loser-style update: Where are they now? “He’s not the person for me,” Sarah said. But did they get back together? Has he begun shouting Successories at another legless person?