‘The Amazing Race 21’ review: Going old-school produces good results

“The Amazing Race” is probably one of the most difficult shows to create on TV, and when you think about the show’s short production time (just 21 days), it’s inevitable that you are going to have to spend at least a little bit of time in the same city for two legs. Sometimes, this is annoying; however, this may have ultimately been one of the best episodes of the season even if we had seen much of Dhaka already.

So what made this episode so great? First and foremost, there was some genuine character development. We learned what James & Abba are really fighting for after learning that James’ father has stage four cancer, and we also saw some more insight into the actual relationship of Josh & Brent, and how they had to spend so much team apart. We felt like we really got to know some of these people better, including Ryan and his irrational desire to get the first-place record when he¬†should¬†really just be happy with first place. (James & Abba won this time around.)

The other thing we actually liked here? That there were no equalizers, and everyone was penalized for their placement in the last leg. Save for the first-place team, though, everyone was still close enough so that there was still plenty of drama between the teams. The roadblock and the detour each challenged all of the teams physically and mentally, whether it be constructing a scale or just hauling bamboo. It was also scorching hot, and dehydration nearly caused Chippendales boys Jaymes & James to come in last place. It did cause them to slow down, and it may have also caused a key memory lapse at the detour that almost caused them to slide to last.

Josh & Brent, who struggled at the roadblock, were the team that was in last, but thanks to it being a non-elimination leg, everyone will continue to be racing moving forward. The one thing we really loved about this leg was that every team’s fate was really in their hands: there were no bad cab drivers, plane rides, or anything that teams could blame for failure outside of their own actions. From here on out, let’s hope the producers wisen up and keep teams out of the taxis.

What did you think about this episode? If you want to read some more about this season, all you have to do is click here.

Photo: ABC

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