Amazing Race’s missing task: there never was a speed bump for Nick and Vicki

The Amazing Race 17 has minor controversy on its hands, as last week’s episode ended in a non-elimination for Nick DeCarlo and Vicki Casciola, but the team didn’t complete the required punishment, a speed bump task, this episode.

The answer lies in last week’s episode: There never was a speed bump task. At the end of the episode, when Nick and Vicki arrive at the mat, Phil says, “This is a non-elimination leg and you will get to race another day.” That’s all he said.

Why didn’t he give them a task? Now comes speculation, because, annoyingly, the episode didn’t tell us, but it seems like they weren’t given an extra task probably because last week shouldn’t have even been a non-elimination leg–or if it actually was a pre-scheduled non-elimination leg, they were given a pass because of a production error. The rather ridiculous equalizer at the start of the leg plus the lack of start times in this week’s episode clearly suggests that production made sure that everyone was even at the beginning of this leg to compensate for a screw-up.

HitFix’s Dan Fienberg summarizes a theory from an IMDB message board discussion that says “Nick had posted on his personal Facebook page that in the Classical Music Detour in the previous leg, there’d been a judging error. Apparently they’d been giving a correct answer, but a judge had been telling them that they were wrong.”

Naturally, that person’s post is a summary of a summary of something someone else read. Why the hell can’t people, you know, include a link or quote from something they’ve read? It’s the Internet after all. Nick’s actual Facebook profile is locked down so his posts aren’t visible, and there is nothing of interest on their team Facebook page. Perhaps we’ll get more clarity later.

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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.