There were absolutely many strange things about The Amazing Race on Thursday, given that the first hour ended in an elimination whereas the second did not. Also, the second episode ended with one of the weirdest “cliffhangers” that we’ve ever seen.
Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way that there is a zero percent chance that Liz & Michael quit the race over their blowup last night. Not gonna happen. It seems based on what we’ve seen online the two are on much better terms now, and Michael must’ve really been having a pretty terrible day. Maybe he got too confident after winning two straight legs, or he just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. It’s hard to say, but they have an equal partnership. Therefore, he’s gotta treat her equally.
Before this episode, they probably were our favorite team; if Michael is remorseful and showcases a better way to treat his partner, maybe they can start to slide up our personal rankings once more.
The biggest issue that we would say this season has at this point is a real lack of teams to legitimately root for. Maybe this is just because people are human and they have tempers and make mistakes. Team Fun are easily the most likable right now, but they even had conflict with Floyd forgetting the passport. Tara & Joey is probably high up there on the list, mostly because Tara knows how to treat him and doesn’t allow him to lose his temper to the level where he starts to get really mean. (Otherwise, Joey probably would’ve imploded his team by now.)
As for some of the other teams in this well-designed leg in Norway…
Brooke & Scott – In the first part of the episode, we said that Scott did a good job trying to support Brooke after failing at taking the Roadblock himself. In this part, he was pretty awful all around in between his needling of her and even the way that he acted during some of the confessionals. This is a rare team that we though would be having conflict, though, even if they were paired with different people. both seem to have their challenges.
Matt & Redmond – According to these guys, they’re effective because they’re two dudes and women apparently fight more. Say what? They did show a weakness in the Detour when they struggled to pay attention to detail, so maybe that comes back to bite them later.
London & Logan – They seem very nice, but they’re also very bland.
Vanck & Ashton – As a former Beauty and the Geek contestant we kind of understand what the dynamics of this partnership pretty well. Vanck is stubborn and fairly desperate to prove himself, and the fact that he’s so different from Ashton doesn’t help. Ashton never seemed ready to give him a chance, and when he messed up she came down hard on him. Vanck now has a pretty serious crisis of confidence going on.
There’s a lot of good psychological stuff going on (granted, we’re no therapist and we may be totally wrong on stuff), but we’re not sure how great of an episode this was in terms of funny moments or people to root for. It was also super-weird that Becca & Floyd finished in third place despite doing the Fast Forward and really not struggling with anything.
Overall, we find this season fascinating just because there’s almost no incentive for anyone to be friends with their partners after the fact. There’s an added layer there where you have to learn to get along with someone if you want to win. Otherwise, you’re in trouble. Tonight, Liz & Michael were in trouble. We do think that there’s a capacity for them to figure it out. Episode Grade: B.
What did you think about the second episode Thursday night? Share in the comments!
Meanwhile, be sure to head over to the link here if you want to read a review from the first episode that aired Thursday. (Photo: CBS.)