The Amazing Race 29 episode 3 review: The fun meter malfunctions

Fun MeterThere was a great disturbance in the force on The Amazing Race 29 episode 3, and that said force was the fun meter as created by Becca & Floyd on the show. It’s the barometer for how happy she is — when the fun meter crashes, we all crash — or, at least we think that’s how it goes.

This episode was for the most part peaceful for the two of them, but they survived a close scare after the pair’s passports fell out of the cab that they were in right before they got to the Pit Stop. It was the only time all season that we’ve seen any sort of dissension in the ranks between the two of them, but the one thing that we’re learning here is that there’s going to be a lot of discord between some of these teams here and there.

Take, for example, Shamir & Sara. They remain a hot mess, but they somehow kept it together long enough in this episode for them to avoid elimination. Luckily, there were no challenges that put Shamir’s just at risk; the only real issue that the two of them had was taking forever on the Detour. Even Liz & Michael, who won their second straight leg, had a moment or two of conflict when hauling their furniture back in the Detour. These two are, two date, the surprise of the show. Michael is a surprisingly resourceful guy on the show, and Liz is strong, fast, and pretty determined. Neither one of them are your typical racer, but clearly, you don’t need to be to do well at this show.

Now, let’s get to Matt & Redmond, who really came off like high school bullies at times in how they acted. First, they cut in line after lying to Vanck & Ashton last week. Then, they got super-confrontational and intimidating after Vanck & Ashton U-Turned them, and even at the end of the episode they still tried to get under their skin. If it works for them, it works for them — it just doesn’t make them all that likable, and it’s a weird thing to say about a team featuring a pro snowboarder and a war hero.

The other real star of this leg was the location — Zanzibar was beautiful, and it’s a part of the world that we haven’t seen all that much of in the past. While the tasks that we got throughout the hour didn’t show off too much geography, they did give you culture in between the school in the Detour and the crowded market in the Roadblock.

Farewell to Seth & Olive

The elimination of the cop / firefighter duo, probably one of the strongest teams this season, stinks from a competitive standpoint since you like to see the best teams go far. They were a victim of the U-Turn, as Tara & Joey saw an opportunity to get rid of strong competitors and jumped on it. They implemented a strategy and it worked, so hats off to them.

We will concede that from the perspective of great television, Seth & Olive weren’t the most enthusiastic, the funniest, or the most volatile team. They would have been nice to have around, but there are more eye-popping teams still remaining.


This was a solid episode of The Amazing Race that continued to build on everything that we’ve seen so far this season, and also showed further that the casting twist works far better than we ever thought that it would. While we don’t love every team remaining, there are enough likable people left to leave us compelled. The locations, meanwhile, are always a star. Grade: B+.

Next week

There will be a two-hour episode! We’ll preview that more soon over at the link here, so be sure to be on the lookout for a little more in the way of news there. (Photo: CBS.)

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