Hay-holding breasts, flute-playing nose appear in India

The Amazing Race has visited India more than any other place except the United States, and from last season’s colorful holi challenge to last night’s emotional and chaotic visit to the country, it’s obvious why: it makes for excellent television, bringing out the best and worst in people.

  • At the beginning of the episode, Luke said his mother was in charge of “communicating” with others, while he is “doing all the strategizing.” And eye-rolling, don’t forget that.
  • Victor said the race “is an opportunity for me to be out there, to be extroverted, to do the unexpected.” You could have done the expected by stopping at “out.”
  • Mel and Mike had some issue with a cab driver who disappeared, leaving their bags in his trunk–”We can’t get the stuff out of the trunk,” Mel said–and after he got upset, he said to the camera, “This race certainly isn’t important enough to dehumanize somebody else by yelling and screaming at them, so I’m going to feel bad for the rest of the day.” Clearly, Mel has never watched a single episode in his life, because that’s pretty much been the rule for the previous 13 seasons.
  • Mel’s welcome compassion toward other human beings was immediately contrasted with Christie and Jodi, who were waiting for their cab driver to get gas. One of them asked, “Do they not have a hurry button?” No, but they have a shut-the-dumb-Americans-up button, and it’s called getting out of the car to get gas so he doesn’t have to listen to you.
  • Jaime or Cara said, “Seeing all the stray dogs and the cows and the goats just wandering around with no food makes me so sad.” But the people? Screw them. And that was pretty much their attitude as they told their cab driver to hurry up and help them win $1 million: “Sir, hurry, now, it’s a race.”
  • The show slowed down a bit to show us some of the country, including the slum that teams were driving through, and Luke started crying after he saw kids eating trash on the side of the road. “It’s very sad this is normal,” Margie said.
  • I haven’t been able to distinguish between Jaime and Cara all season–they practically look like twins–but now I have a way: Jaime is the ass. “Do you understand English? You annoy me,” she said to a man at the Roadblock.
  • Seconds after a camel kicked sideways and knocked an Indian man over, Tammy tripped over a rock and fell down, far away from any camels.
  • Mel chose to do the Roadblock, and it quickly became apparent that it was “not one for the 68-year-old,” as Mike said. But because Mel paid attention to the directions, which said they should use appropriate tools to transport the water and feed, he actually overtook everyone and finished before the others who’d started at the same time.
  • At the camel Roadblock, there was a quick shot of a cameraman running behind a white partition set up on the road next to where the teammates were waiting, a rare glimpse at the people who make the show possible–and the lengths the show goes to to conceal them.
  • “I used my boobies to transport the hay,” Jaime said. I guess when she read the part about using appropriate tools she used the two things that she knows how to use.
  • Margie and Luke chose the Detour that involved dancing in the street for money, and the editors dropped the audio as they cut to a shot of Margie translating for Luke, “Deaf people don’t hear music. My ears are broken.” The lack of audio helped me finally learn that deaf people can’t hear sound. Who knew?
  • Jaime and Cara couldn’t find their cab driver, but when they did, Jaime screeched, “There you are. Where’s our bags?” Well, one of them is currently screaming at a cab driver.
  • Visual image of the week: The local greeter playing two flutes, one in each nostril. Awesome.
  • “You guys cut that pretty close. They’re right behind you,” Phil said to Mike and Mark, and then eliminated Jodi and Christie. They’ve been screw-ups–I still can’t get over the way they pulled their luggage on wheels halfway around the world–but I was totally rooting for them at the end. They overcame a Speedbump and the slowest cab to nearly check in before Mike and Mark, which was impressive, especially since they’ve set the bar so low that not even Mike and Mark could walk under it.

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

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.