The Amazing Race almost lost me mid-episode, and despite my now-consistent displeasure with the direction the series has taken, that hasn’t ever happened before.
But starting with an insultingly inorganic and time-wasting Snapple ad was ridiculous (as I wrote last week, I’m okay with product placement, but only when it doesn’t take over). And then we had to suffer through the time-wasting filler of watching every single team except the cowboys get on the same flight.
I understand the editors wanted to make sure we realized how horrible a mistake this was, so we could be impressed when they caught up later, but it’s really easy to show all the teams on the same flight (which we later saw, complete with someone rattling off every team that was on that flight), and the cowboys getting on another one.
The episode also again featured a weak Detour challenge that seemed to provide no real challenge to anyone. Kids laughing while Jen and Kisha retched while manipulating buffalo poop in their gloved hands is funny but familiar. Likewise, Mallory’s reaction to people being cremated and bathing naked was nice (“I’ve never seen anything like this. But I’m glad we saw it.”) but again, familiar. The Roadblock was more difficult, thanks to having to find holy men amid the chaos of streets in India, but only really seemed to challenge Ron, who could get lost looking for hay in a haystack. Thankfully, he and Christina went home (which was obvious from the very start). They won’t be missed.
To make this season more pleasant–and to make it even more dull?–it’s time for Kent and Vyxsin to go home. Ironically, it was a scene with them that woke me up and made me laugh, and not when Kent slammed his head into the trunk and blamed their driver. On their way to the pit stop, they tried a water taxi, but Vyxsin jumped into the Ganges to escape because she decided it was going too slow. This is roughly the equivalent of jumping out of a moving vehicle, and Kent’s response was hilarious: “Don’t go in the water, are you insane?” he said after she’d jumped in. “Are you crazy? Get out of that water!” It was like he was talking to a puppy.
Of course, they survived, because they’re never punished for their failures. And their horrendously annoying behavior continues. But there’s some promise in the next episode, when Vyxsin yells at Kent, “If we get eliminated today, I swear to God I’m never going to speak to you again.” Oh, please start that punishment early.