‘The Amazing Race 23’ review: Tim & Marie’s Express Pass debate (with annoying cliffhanger)

What's wrong? -Sunday night’s episode of “The Amazing Race” wasted almost no time at all when it comes to showing something cool: Norway, and a part of it so far north that the sun is still out despite it being one in the morning. It’s been very rare that the show heads to this part of the world, and as far as that goes, it was very entertaining to watch.

As for the rest of the episode, well it wasn’t that great. Having some good Marie freakouts helped, as she and Tim failed to figure out a clue. Her patting her ex on the head after he did a challenge right? Also hilarious, as was her random screaming when she couldn’t figure out what to do with the truck-themed challenge. This brought us the most intriguing part of the episode, as Nicole & Travis asked for the Express Pass in return for their help. We were so excited to see this, and then we barely saw it! It looked like Travis & Nicole didn’t get the Express Pass from them, but it was cut off by the “to be continued” marker. All this hype for nothing and had this not been so heavily advertised, it would not have been nearly as frustrating.

On a positive note, Jason & Amy also had a fun new name for the Afghanimals that is too profane to print, and a leg that cemented Brandon & Adam has major threats to win the race. These guys looked like hippies who weren’t destined to do anything before the show, but they were pretty big competitors here and get along really well. You can’t discount that.

Unfortunately, we have to deduct an entire grade from this episode, which would have otherwise been around a B+, for that awful Ford Ranger task. We have no problem with product integration, given that it is a part of life these days on TV, but there are better ways to do it than this. Having to listen to contestants be baited into praising some random car, and having a challenge that had nothing to do with an awesome location, was idiotic. There is no entertainment that comes with that. Just have people use the car, and then create challenges that are still original and interesting.

This was an episode where the show had lots of great elements, but in between the cliffhanger ending and the final challenge, squandered much of it. We know that Brandom & Adam are in first place, and that’s all we know going into next week. Grade: C-.

What did you think about this episode, and did the Express Pass trade-off make up the awful product-placement? Click here if you want to see some other interesting news related to “The Amazing Race,” this time in the form of scoop on the next all-star season.

Photo: CBS

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