Teams race around the airport on The Amazing Race All-Stars

Picture it, Maputo, 2007: Teams of two Americans spend time in airports trying to get airplane tickets. One team, a little person and her annoying cousin fly away first, leaving all the other teams behind to fight for standby seats on overbooked flights to Tanzania. That pretty much sums up most of last night’s Amazing Race 11 episode, which largely took place in airports. Despite this, because the editors are among the best around, the results were still engaging, if not exactly suspenseful.

  • The episode would have been a lot better if it’d included more of Oswald’s impression of Santino impersonating Tim Gunn on Project Runway. “We have the same driver, Andre,” he said. Slipping into a Santino-as-Gunn voice, he said, “Andrae, where’s Andrae?” At Red Lobster, of course.
  • Eric said, with a completely serious tone and expression, that Tanzania is “where the Tanzanian devil lives.” After Danielle corrected him (“Tasmania”), he tried to regather his testicles and insert them back into his scrotum by mocking his alleged girlfriend: “I was just kidding. You knucklehead.”
  • “That was a little awkward, holding hands and all that religious stuff,” Charla said after Mirna asked an airport employee who was helping them to hold hands and pray with her. “He enjoyed it,” Mirna said.
  • Walking down the jetway, Eric committed one of the biggest race sins: foreshadowing one’s own calamity. “Still waiting for somebody to run after us and tell us to stop,” he said. Moments later, on board the plane, an airline rep told them, “You were accidentally given somebody else’s seats. Sorry, I must ask you to leave the plane right now.” Eric offered the passengers “50 bucks” “to get off the plane,” but no one agreed, perhaps because they knew he was racing for $1 million, the cheap bastard.
  • Being pulled off the plane led Danielle to throw her backpack to the ground, start crying, and demand more juice and peanut butter crackers. “I don’t wanna do this anymore,” she cried.
  • “Due to the weather,” Charla and Mirna were told, their boat to Zanzibar would leave at 5:30 a.m. the next day. That was pretty suspicious, considering that delay would allow the rest of the group to catch up to their commanding lead, especially since the clouds overhead were just wispy little ones. At least edit in some thunderheads.
  • “This is our corner. We work this bench,” Oswald told Charla and Mirna, pretending to be a prostitute.
  • While Mirna laid on the deck of a boat, waving a TAR flag, Charla leaned overboard and hurled. This was funny because of the editing, which showed everyone lounging on the boat, and as the camera panned to puking Charla, the soundtrack stopped with a violent record scratch. It was also funny because puke is inherently humorous, unless it’s coming out of one’s own mouth.
  • “Two ones in a row. You are too hot to handle,” Phil told Charla and Mirna checked in first again, and they screamed excitedly. “I have some good news for you,” Phil continued. “As the winners of this leg of the race, you have each won a 12-and-a-half foot catamaran.” Cue the crickets. “Huh?” Mirna asked. “What is that?” Charla said. “It’s a dual-hulled sailing boat,” Phil said, as if that was in any way more descriptive, and the two pretended to be excited.
  • Uchenna and Joyce checked in third but had a 30-minute penalty because they were marked for elimination. But they were at least 30 minutes ahead of the next team, so their penalty turned out to be irrelevant. Oh, new nonelimination leg penalty. You are better than the begging for money penalty, but you fail to deliver drama so often, I fear you will be replaced soon.
  • A friend told me to watch Phil on the mat for something unusual, and it came when Eric and Danielle checked in the middle of the night. As Phil said, “Eric and Danielle, you are team number five,” his eyes were barely open, and he looked like someone who was awakened by a flashlight and a mariachi band. Even hosts need their sleep.
  • “There’s always a chance,” Teri said, but there wasn’t. The Guidos easily beat them to the pit stop, and no one really cares that they’re gone.
  • Five seconds from next week’s two-hour episode seemed to make up for the slower parts of this week’s episode: Charla in knight’s armor falling on her face. I’m making the popcorn now.

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.