‘The Amazing Race 21’ review: A surprising Express Pass, ridiculous taxis

For the second episode of “The Amazing Race” this season, we were off to Indonesia for what was the second straight leg that teams really wanted to win. Why? In becoming victorious this time, you get the opportunity to have the much-coveted express pass, which guarantees you a chance to stay put in the game for a little while longer if you really need to skip a task a little bit later in the race.

One team clearly made a move this week straight out the gate in order to get the pass, and also prove that they wanted to “run their own race”: monster truck drivers Rob & Kelley. Let this be a lesson to all future racers, though: if you are at an airport and no other team takes the same flight as you, it’s probably because your flight stinks. Teams are bored and waiting around, so they are going to do their research even if we don’t see it on TV. This caused these two to start off at the back of the pack, whereas Mark & Addy got off to a huge advantage thanks to catching a connecting flight; unfortunately, they lost it later thanks to the old pariah known as the pesky cab driver.

The only saving grace for Team Monster Truck? That Gary & Will, who were the subject of our preview this week, struggled at the rather dull roadblock that required teams to make balloon animals for kids while pedaling. (Unfortunately, we really didn’t think that any of the tasks this time were exciting at all.)

Personally, we love that when the dust settled, Natalie and Nadiya were the team to win the Express Pass. They’re not the typical physical team who ends up getting this award, and we’re hoping to see so much of them for the rest of the season. (With that being said, we’re having nightmares about the guy with the nails at the Pit Stop.) Our personal favorites in Jaymes & James ended up in third, while the Beekman Boys Josh & Brent came behind Team $2 million in Abbie & Ryan in fifth. Most of the other teams all managed to finish without a problem, and there was a three-way battle to avoid last at the end.

So what happened? Rob & Kelley were able to make up some time thanks to Gary & Will’s mistake, and avoiding elimination because of it. Strangely, so did Gary & Will thanks to something that is infuriating: a bad tax driver dooming Amy & Daniel. We were almost hoping that Gary & Will’s terrible attitude and “giving up” would cause Amy & Daniel to pass them, but it didn’t happen. Instead, we saw a great and really strong time that we really liked sent home for something that was not even remotely their fault. We know there are issues with driving in foreign countries, but we would rather see this than taxis decide what happens.

What did you think about this episode?

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