Two teams become one at the Amazing Race’s new Intersection

Another week, another 36-minute delay for the start of The Amazing Race. Instead of Phil, there’s a newsworthy profile of Russell Crowe. Sigh. CBS just hates us. Speaking of hate, teams that hated each other were forced to work together this week as the show introduced a new twist. Here’s this week’s installment of stupid things they said:

  • Eric and Jeremy raised the bar last season for homoerotic comments and double-entendre. But sometimes, Tyler and James–mostly James–gives off a less-than-heterosexual vibe, and I’m not just talking about when Rob called him a “stallion.” But tonight Tyler did so with two sentences, although each was capped with a three-word phrase (“in our team”) that effectively neutered the secondary meaning: “You know, there are certain times when James is more passive in our relationship–in our team,” he said. “I feel like I need to take responsibility and step up in the dominant role–in our team.”
  • David and Mary seem to be devolving into third graders as the race progresses. On the plane to Madagascar, David whined, “I ain’t never sit in a window yet. It’s my turn.”
  • Kimberly wanted to know how people in Madagascar survived, because “breathing in exhaust is bad for you, right?” Dr. Rob, M.F.er, explained this to her as if he was so, so smart and she was so, so dumb: “Babe, they die a lot younger than we do, that’s what happens. Most of them don’t get enough protein, so their brains don’t develop as much. Brain needs protein.” And your brain needs a lobotomy.
  • Phil explained the Intersection, “a new twist in the race. [Teams] must join forces with another team, then perform all tasks and make all decisions together until further notice.” This is kind of annoying, since one of the race’s strengths over 10 seasons has been that teams compete independently. Alas, I guess this is just my reality TV conservatism. I breathed into a paper bag for 10 minutes and all was okay.
  • At the Intersection, when the blondes read that they’d have to wait for another team to join up with, one of them said, “Are we the last team?” Of course, that’d be impossible, since if all teams–oh hell, why am I trying to explain her lack of logic? She’s just dumb.
  • Phil kept referring to the “newly joined teams,” which sounded kind of dirty.
  • Faced with choosing a Detour task, one of the blondes said to their new partners, the Cho brothers, “You are Asian–we could make paper! Ha ha ha!” One of the brothers said, exasperated, “Just go.”
  • And the Weirdest Metaphor of the Episode award goes to Mary: Regarding the Detour task, which involved covering mattresses, she said it was just “like a little girl’s panty hose.”
  • Tyler and James, and Rob and Kimberly, did the Fast Forward together, eating plates of cow lips. They were super-confident that they were far ahead of all the other teams. Of course, they weren’t. “The other teams cannot be ahead of us, unless they ran a miracle,” Tyler said. His overconfidence and the editing combined to seem like one of those times when the editors were faking us out, but no: Dustin and Kandice actually checked in first. “You guys beat the Fast Forward team here,” Phil told them, although after the two girls hugged him and squished his face in between theirs, he probably wanted to say, “Would someone please get me Wet One so I can wash this Dustin and Kandice off my face?”
  • Phil’s facial expressions deserve an Emmy. When Godwin dove onto the mat, and asked him, “Am I safe?”, Phil communicated through his eyebrows alone, “Safe from ridicule for being such a gigantic twit? No.”
  • Despite being marked for elimination, Mary helped Lyn and Karlyn, their best friends on the race–and the last-place team. “I’m not going to change who I am as a person; I’ve made friends well worth more than a million dollars in this race. I’m not going to become a devil just for the money. It’s not worth it to me,” Mary said. The 30-minute penalty led to their elimination, as Lyn and Karlyn checked in 10 minutes after David and Mary showed up at the pit stop. They all had a good cry, and then Mary did her best to make us cry with a moving speech. “I don’t have to be stuck in one place,” she said. “That I need to get out and take my kids to see the world. I don’t want my kids to be like me; I want ‘em to experience life, because I never experienced life.”

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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.