‘The Amazing Race 26’ episode 11 review: When a twist is not a twist

Amazing Race -Given when this season of “The Amazing Race” filmed, we imagine that the finale for the fall season of the show had not aired yet. It was with that in mind that we must view the “twist” at the end tonight’s episode. It was probably a surprise to the racers, but not exactly a surprise to those of us watching at home.

Do we like it as an idea? Not exactly, given that it crowds the finale and we prefer it when it is a three-team affair. With that being said, it’s hard to complain too much when it saves the most likable team left in Mike & Rochelle. They got some bad luck in the early going courtesy of a broken taxi, but in all honesty they were going to be in last place even without that. They were not particularly good in any aspect of the race this time, whether it be the Detour, the Roadblock, or even figuring out that there was a specific clown they were meant to get a clue from at the start of the race. Luckily, there will be a grand equalizer courtesy of the final leg being in Dallas, and they will have a chance to catch up.

The team that surprisingly looks very hard to beat right now is none other than Hayley & Blair. Remember when they acted like they hated each other? It feels like the two of them have found a way to actually channel that hate into something else, and that is a bizarre-but-functional relationship where the two have some sort of real, genuine teamwork. They’ve grown on us considerably, and it would be somewhat hilarious if they were to win after winning two straight legs.

As for Tyler & Laura and Jenny & Jelani, they each seem to be nice enough, we cannot say that there is really anything from them right now that makes them stand out. Part of the problem was the design of this leg being not the most excited. (We did, however, laugh considerably when we heard Jelani speak about his ability to “shimmy” before taking off to do the dance Detour.)

It’s weird that next week could be the final episode of the American version of this show, given that it has been a big part of our TV lives now for well over a decade. We wish it was going out with some more engaging legs, but in terms of casting this has turned out far better than we though … even if most of these blind dates are disasters. Grade: B-.

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