‘The Amazing Race 23’ review: Did airports derail this entire Portugal leg?

Take a look -Tonight on “The Amazing Race 23,” literally the entire first 20 minutes were spent dealing with something that most people hate: Airplane drama. But, we have to admit that it’s one of our favorite parts if there is strategy involved in what is typically a game of skill.

The first rule of airplane travel is very different than the first rule of “Fight Club”: You want to talk to people about it. Form alliances! If you have two teams working to find a good flight, it certainly helps your odds to take out some other teams that you value as a threat.

The second rule of airplane travel? Never, ever go out on your own … let alone with two connecting flights. Even if you thought you may get a better flight, the risk is too high of delay (after all, these are airports that we’re talking about here) for you to take a risk. If you can’t beat a bunch of other teams that you are tied with, you don’t deserve to go on to the next round in the race, anyway. This is how we will write the farewell letter for Chester & Ephraim, who made this episode completely devoid of drama. While we feel for them getting delay after delay after delay, it’s really their own fault in the first place for deciding to go out this far on a limb in hopes of getting a plan to work out for them. Basically, they bombed out as badly as their former football team did today. (Boom!) They even got the rare Phil meeting at the airport to send them out.

On the flip side, Nicole & Travis managed to luck out after getting a good flight, and then watched Jason & Amy make a big enough mistake to claim the first place that they should have gotten Week 1 before a tragic READ THE #@$#% CLUE violation navigated them astray. This entire leg was a mess when it came to placing, with the biggest thing to note here being that Nicky & Kim, thanks to some shrewd work at the airport annoying the heck out of Marie (a national pastime), allowed them to jump to the third spot. Tim & Danny also made the move up to #4.

Assorted notes from this week:

-Does anyone else notice that the Ice Queens cringe anytime that they here “race brides”? These two women are troopers for going along with this.

-The challenges this week were not entirely difficult, but the Magellan detour was gorgeous, and yet again proof that 23 seasons in, there are plenty of cool things in the world still out there to see and do.

-The guy dressed as Magellan detour was gold for two reasons: His outfit, and that facial expression when the Oklahoma guys got an answer wrong. (Also, they need to learn that people in Portugal don’t appreciate it when you speak to him in Spanish.)

-The Oklahoma guys also apparently equated medieval times to being Native American.

-The Afghanimals tried very hard to bait Tim & Marie into using the Express Pass, but they still didn’t. Either these two were understanding of their position in the race, or they are just very, very lucky.

-Phil Keoghan nearly gave Tim & Marie a massive coronary with his new and improved “you are the last team to arrive … EXCEPT FOR ONE.”

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Photo: CBS

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