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Jeff and Jordan spared elimination by U-Turn

Amazing Race 16, what is going on with you?

In France, your teams had a pretty spectacular canvas upon which to perform challenges, but you gave them the option to crawl. I really appreciate all of the effort that went into creating an immersive environment that looked and was edited to be rather dramatic, but crawl? That’s it?

So really, tonight’s episode went like this: ride a bus, drive a car, break a loaf of bread in half, crawl, ride a bike four miles. Perhaps because there was a U-Turn (to take advantage of the elaborate set-up, clearly) and a Speedbump (for Jeff and Jordan), there wasn’t even a Roadblock.

Though Jeff and Jordan’s last-place finish and Speedbump kept them in last place, they stayed and instead we lost a team because they were U-Turned, a lame twist that caused the elimination of the first team to be U-Turned. It’s one thing to give a team a second chance and handicap them (with the Speedbump task) and another to give one team the power to basically force another team to lose.

  • Caite was comedy gold, saying that after she bought the baguette, “I’m going to eat the crap out of it. Just shove it in my throat.” And that’s when Brent crashed the car.
  • At the beginning of the episode, Steve told us, “I feel like I’m 22 years old.” I feel like you’re so boring the editors don’t even want to include you or your daughter.
  • At the site of the Detour/Speedbump/U-Turn/entire episode, Louie changed into his military costume and said, “I feel like I’m the Hulk and am going to rip out of this.” Funny how different previously innocent lines sound when there’s new context.
  • Jordan and Jeff got lost, and Jordan said, “I don’t understand these streets. They’re all the same.” Jordan, that’s intentional, and how people know that they’re streets and not, say, playgrounds.
  • The battlefield setup caused Allie to say, “Oh my gosh, this is like real war. This is scary.” I haven’t ever been in a war, but I’d guess the kind where you can actually die is a lot more real and/or scary.
  • Joe explained to us that, despite a problem with his leg, he could crawl just fine. While we watched him on all fours, he said, “I play horsie a lot, so that’s exactly the position I’m in, so I felt really comfortable.” Cool. But I thought that was called “doggie”?
  • Louie U-Turned Joe and Heidi, and Louie explained, “He needs to be knocked off his pedestal. He needs to be humbled, period.” I wonder what being humbled means to him.
  • When Caite and Brent arrived at the battlefield, he looked up and said, “They’re up in some sort of of flying things.” Yes, they’re called planes. Is Brent trying to act so stupid that he makes Caite look smart by comparison?
  • “What’s up? Where’s my clue?” Jeff asked the baker who gave him the baguette. No other team had any problem realizing the clue was inside it; sometimes, Jeff just really needs a clue and a clue.
  • “Smart people do Morse code. Dumb people do this,” one of the lesbians said while crawling through the battlefield, and the editors cut immediately to Caite and Brent. Perfect.
  • Mike and Louie checked in first, again, in part because there was virtually no movement in the standings this week, a sign that an episode and its challenges suck.
  • While they were in uniform, I couldn’t tell Dan and Jordan apart–hell, I can barely tell them apart when they have name tags on–but one of them said, “This is not my cup of tea. I do not like guns. I like swords,” and if it was Jordan, he probably meant sword fights.
  • After reading a clue that directed them to go south, Brent used his compass but still said, “I wonder if they meant just South as in a direction, or just South as in just go that direction.” I wonder how he even finds his baguette when he needs to pee.
  • Jordan plodded through the episode as if she was walking from the living room to the back yard to see whatever mess of a challenge Allison Grodner and company came up with. As she sat down and adjusted her costume, she told Jeff, “Don’t talk to me.” He took his fake rifle and pointed it into his mouth, and the editors cut to the gunshot noise from another team starting the bike race.
  • Brent and Caite were “the sixth team to arrive” but missed a clue thanks to their inability to follow directions, and had to go back and get it rather than being issued a penalty. But then they still checked in sixth, because this episode sucked.
  • Jeff expressed his frustration with his partner, saying, “I have a one in eight chance of winning a million dollars” and added that with that incentive, any random person would have “a little more hop in their step than Jordan does.” He told her, “Put your boobs on the ground and drag ’em over here.” Something about stress makes Jeff funnier, because when they presented a message saying the war is over to the person who was giving them their next clue, Jeff asked, “Is the war over because of this message or because it took us so long to get here?”
  • Joe and Heidi were U-Turned by the detectives, who thought Joe needed to be humbled even more than having a wounded knee that prevented him from being able to walk well. So, they returned to the half of the Detour no one chose–because this was a lame episode, it was obvious that one task was far more difficult than the other–but struggled with it. “It’s Morse code that takes us down,” Joe said to Heidi as they huddled in a trench to wait for Phil had to do another field Philemination. I’d feel worse if Joe hadn’t looked to be incapable of competing because of his injury, and if Heidi and Joe both weren’t starting to annoy me. But this whole season is annoying me, so there’s no real surprise there.

About the author

  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means. Learn more about Andy.

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