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The Amazing Race – Apples and oil

It's the mid-season slump where the producers of 'The Amazing Race' have to rely on tricky editing to create fake tension, which only goes so far when people are sorting through a car full of apples.

- Season 20, Episode 6 - "This Is Wicked Strange"

Rachel scrapes oil off of a spa-goer in Azerbaijan


Sometimes I get really frustrated with The Amazing Race. This week’s episode is one of those times. Why, you ask? Mainly because the promos for the show have been pumping up just how crazy and potentially dangerous the challenges were this week. And then we get people stacking hay, sorting through apples, and scraping oil off of hairy men at a spa. Wow. Crazy. Dangerous.

And even the potentially dangerous task of going through a helicopter water ditch rescue exercise didn’t seem as terrifying as it could have (should have) been. Even to me, who has a terrible fear of being submerged in water while inside of something. Most of the participants in this particular task made their way out fairly easily, and only Vanessa got the commercial break of doom that made it look like she was going to have to be rescued. Of course, when we came back to the show, she punched the window out and floated to the service, nary a false eyelash out of place.

The show resorted to more dramatic editing to make the final two teams’ trip to the Pit Stop look more intense than it turned out to be. Poor Joey “Fitness” & Danny got tripped up by going for the Fast Forward against Rachel & Dave and ended up getting beat, so they had to make their way to the Road Block which put them from second to last place. They made it to the Detour and chose to sort through apples to find the one with the race flag on it, and it looked like Vanessa & Ralph had just completed the task … except they couldn’t leave because their cab driver had wandered off to find out where the Pit Stop was (and you’d think a local would know where the Esplanade Estakada was). Joey & Danny found their flag and hopped in their cab before the other cabbie returned, giving them what appeared to be a good head start but, somehow, Vanessa & Ralph made it to the Pit Stop first and Joey “Fitness” & Danny were eliminated.

I know that the team that puts The Amazing Race together has to edit things to create tension, but when you have to rely on a lot of hyperbole in promos and editing that is obviously creating a situation that doesn’t exist, it really hurts the integrity of the whole production. This season started off so well, but as we’ve crossed the halfway point and fallen into a bit of a slump, I hope that something major happens to really flip the game on its head as we come to the finale (no episode next week due to the country music awards).

Highlights from this episode:

  • Art & JJ left for the airport in first place at 8:48 AM (they finished second). Nary & Jamie left in last place at 11:42 AM (they finished fifth). All teams were on the same flight to Baku, Azerbaijan.
  • Rachel & Brendon were the only team to think to stop at a travel agent before heading to the airport, but it didn’t get them ahead of the game.
  • Mark & Bopper think they’re going to Africa because Azerbaijan is known as The Land of Fire.
  • Two teams attempted the Fast Forward, which required the stacking of 150 bales of hay in a 3 x 5 x 10 arrangement. Rachel & Dave finished first and went directly to the Pit Stop. Joey “Fitness” & Danny had to go back and ended up in last place.
  • We learned that Mark gets car sick in the back seat … which explains why Bopper is always doing the driving.
  • People in Azerbaijan like to relax in pools of black oil, which some unlucky attendant then has to scrape and wash from their bodies after the treatment. Several teams got to enjoy the scraping and washing of some large, hairy men.
  • “You want a million dollars, scrub a man’s junk.” — JJ, after completing the Oil portion of the Detour
  • Vanessa & Ralph either need glasses or are color blind. They could not see the yellow and orange clue envelopes stuck on the ends of at least three different rolled carpets right in front of them.
  • Nary & Jamie were disappointed when Phil told them they were team number five. (But you’re still in the race!)


Photo Credit: CBS

One Response to “The Amazing Race – Apples and oil”

March 27, 2012 at 10:10 AM

I found the FastForward challenge a prefect and ironic analogy of Dave and Rachel’s relationship as edited so far:
Rachel (while panting from doing all the work): Babe I need help!
Dave: You’re doing great honey! (sits and pushes a bale w/o caring it’s about to land on his wife’s head)

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