Boring Amazing Race 15 team eliminated during a slow episode in Vietnam

Because The Amazing Race 15 actually started on time, and I didn’t get to spend any quality time with Andy Rooney, there was a period of time during the episode that I thought I’d missed an entire episode or five. Although it’s just this season’s third episode, it felt like one of those bridge episodes that comes in the middle of a season and that isn’t very dynamic but works well enough. This week’s episode had virtually no connection at all to the stuff the first episode relentlessly focused on–the poker players’ job lie, the gay brothers’ straight lie, Zev’s Asperger’s–and worse, it was kinda boring.

It was, however, a massive improvement over last week’s first hour, which gets a D at best, although it was nothing like last week’s second hour, which was easily an A. And there were some moments that kept it moving forward, but not as many as usual:

  • Gary told us, “As a parent, it’s still difficult to turn that loose and accept him as an adult.” I know your son has pink hair, but maybe if you didn’t call him “that,” you’d be able to form more of a connection.
  • Lance said the race is the “survival of the fittest.” And, since he’s still around, clearly it’s also the survival of the dickest.
  • Basically everything Tiffany said in an interview makes my fifth-grader brain do a happy dance because it’s so full of double-entendre and (probably unintentional) sexual innuendo–especially if you break the sentences in funny places. Teams had to retrieve a clue from a puppet dragon in a pool of water, and that was difficult because the dragons kept darting away. Tiffany said, “I’m thinking, maybe I just need to talk to the dragon. Maybe I just need to give him a little finger to come over and help me out.” Ha! Then she said, “I could have blown him,” and then she continued, “…kisses; the puppet didn’t care.”
  • Because they’re assholes, Lance and Keri were the only team to not figure out that the clue the dragon gave them–a postage stamp with a picture of a building–was the clue. So they ran around and demanded, “Where’s the clue?” Lance even looked at the camera operator like he was going to jump him if the guy didn’t tell them where he was going next.
  • Team virgin Mika and Canaan tried to retrieve the clue from the dragon not by leaning across the pool and grabbing for it, but by doing a dance, standing in front of the tank and waving their arms. The first time they have sex is going to be hilarious.
  • After finally figuring out the postage stamp, Lance and Keri raced to the next location, where they couldn’t find the next clue, because they are not only a bad couple, but a bad team. As usual, Lance yelled angrily at his partner: “The clue box is right here. Dammit, Keri.” If he could only find other sorts of clues.
  • Teams had to wheel cement animals through a park, and when Maria and Tiffany had problems, Tiffany told us, “Dan was super-sweet. He came back and tried to help us. And as much as we love those guys, we don’t want to impede their progress, though, because they should race and do as awesome as they can.” Well, DUH. Between lying about themselves and helping another team at the expense of their own progress, never mind the constant sniping at one another, I think Dan and Sam think they’re on Road Rules.
  • For some reason, Justin and Zev picked the biggest, most awkward animal to wheel around, and after it fell over and broke, Justin told us, “the giraffe was a mistake.”
  • Ericka and Brian are impossibly sweet as a couple. Picking their animal, Ericka explained, “We decided to go with the zerbra. It worked really well for us.” They then interlocked their fingers to create alternating white and black lines. So cute.
  • Not cute: Cheyne kissed Meghan and said, “You taste delicious and sweaty.”
  • Struggling with wheeling her animal around, Tiffany said, “Every other team has a man to lean on, and we don’t.” Well, a) Canaan won’t let Mika lean on him, and b) most other teams have a teammate to lean on, whereas yours was somewhere else as you were about to pass out. Seriously, what was Maria doing?
  • Cheyne asked for directions to Reunification Palace by saying Reunification PLACE. You’d think someone named Cheyne would know something about literal pronunciation.
  • Maria said that Tiffany should do the Roadblock task, which involved smashing apart a VCR, because, she said, “I’m not good at putting stuff together.” Or reading clues. Or doing anything.
  • Working on a VCR between her legs, Tiffany said, “I like these power tools. These are bad ass.” See?
  • Cheyne and Mika easily lost a foot race to Flight Time and Big Easy, both teams gathered on the mat, and Cheyne yelled “dammit!” when Phil said the Globetrotters came in first, as if Phil would suddenly declare Meghan and Cheyne first even though Meghan wasn’t near the mat when the three men arrived.
  • Keri stood up to Lance and told him, “you gotta stop if you want a teammate. He said, “I’m all done with you.” Later, as he shredded a VCR with his hands, Lance said, “It was kind of the man thing to do.” So manly, ripping things and his fiance apart.
  • Phil asked Lance something about being the most competitive racer, which was Phil’s nice way of saying, “Lance, are you the biggest fucking asshole on the race this season?” Lance replied, “Phil, I will wrestle you right now on the ground.” Phil said, “I don’t want to do that,” but it was Zev who stole the moment, telling Phil: “We’ll take him on.”
  • After stumbling through the race and being way too slow, Ron and Marcy were eliminated, although there was a last-second bit of hope when three teams raced for the mat, and it looked like Lance and Keri might get lost again. But no. Marcy’s time in Vietnam was emotional because her dad was shot down there during the war, and hearing her talk about that with such emotion was definitely great. After being eliminated, she told us, “My dad used to always say, you can’t hit a home run unless you step up to the plate. And I think going on TAR was stepping up the plate.” And striking out, but yes, at least they gave it a good, if entirely unmemorable, shot.

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.