Cliffhanging cliffhanger in Helsinki on The Amazing Race

Traveling from Madagascar to Finland, the teams on The Amazing Race 10 had to ski or slog their way through mud, and rappel face-first down the tower at Helsinki Olympic Stadium. The mud-slogging was a good metaphor, as this episode seemed to drag pretty substantially–especially considering that it had no elimination at the end and no real cliffhanger. While we’re waiting for Phil to return and spike a team, here are the few stupid things teams said this week:

  • Phil said they had to check laptops “to discover a surprise in their AOL e.mail.” Apparently, he meant a surprise other than an inbox full of spam and e.mail messages from friends asking, “Why the hell do you still have an AOL e.mail account? Are you functionally impaired?”
  • Here’s a bunch of Tyler and James’ dialogue, condensed and edited to remove some phrases; most of this was spoken while James was on Tyler’s back spanking him: “I think that James does appreciate … that I get on … sometimes … but I think he knows it comes from a loving place from me.” … “You got it buddy. Push through it.” … “This sucks.” … “So deep. It’s deep; it’s deep, just…” … “You’ll get out.” … “Arrgh.” … “Let’s go.” … “Come on. You wanna switch? No.” … “Yes, yes!” “You gotta push.” … “Aw, man. Come on, bro. You gotta dig for it.” … “Let’s change.” … “Look at that, dude. That is crazy.” … “Goin’ deep.” … “Coming out’s a bitch.” … “There you go. Check in there. That’s what I like to see.” … “Yeah, hammertime.” … “This is going very, very smoothly right now.” … “James is going to have a rough time. He’s going to be frozen. That was sick!” … “Lean all the way forward, bro, towards me. ” … “Lean forward into it.” … “Hurts, bro.” … “Oh my god!”
  • Surprise, surprise, Kimberly and Rob fought over nothing in a cab when Kimberly asked Rob to stop repeating directions. “For the sake of our team,” he said, “stop telling me to do.” Rob, for the sake of all of us, shut the hell up.
  • As James and Tyler passed the blondes in a taxi, there was a nice shot of the sound guy sitting next to them, headphones on. Later, in the cave, a camera operator was visible in silhouette for a second. It’s so easy to forget that teams are crammed into the back seat of cabs with a third person, and it’s impressive we almost never see anyone except the teams.
  • Smearing cream on his face aboard a train, Tyler said, “Moisturizer’s very important. It says, ‘I like my face. And I care to keep it for a year or two.’”
  • Some nice people waiting for a cab let Rob and Kimberly jump to the front of the line, but they lost their patience when Lyn and Karlyn arrived. “Please. There is a queue. There are a long queue,” a guy who looked exactly like George Plimpton said.
  • Introducing the Detour task, a waders-clad Phil stood in mud and, as someone demonstrated jumping into the mud and crawling through it, Phil flinched and looked at the guy, saying via his facial expressions, “Is it really necessary for you to splash so dramatically?”
  • Rob might be an ass, but at least he recognizes that he acts like a two-year-old. After he and Kimberly missed a train, he decided they’d just lost the race. “We’ll get on the next one!” Kimberly said, but Rob asked her to stop being rational for a few minutes so he could have a temper-tantrum: “Just let me have my moment.”
  • As Lyn and Karlyn passed them, Erwin said, “Our style would have been to wait for them.” The Cho brothers seem like nice guys, but they really seem to be dumb sometimes. First they play with water guns in an airport; now they continually refuse to, you know, race during a race. This is not summer camp, guys.
  • This episode ended with a quasi-cliffhanger, although minus the drama that usually accompanies a cliffhanger. Tyler and James looked at their next clue, which simply said, “KEEP RACING!!!”

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.