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'"Amazing Race''

By RD Heldenfels Published: April 13, 2006

The show is really mowing people down this season, with yet another week that did not include a non-elimination leg.

The latest victims: Lake and Michelle. When I wrote last week that I liked all the remaining contestants on the show, several people in the ''Amazing Race'' cult in my office were quick to argue that they did not like L&M, mainly because of their bickering. And heaven knows we got enough of that on last night's telecast, with Lake ballistic pretty much from the beginning of the race. Even so, they were allowed a tender moment -- when Michelle softly calmed Lake down.

But we are getting to the point where couples start to melt down -- Fran's panic on the bungee jump, increased references to ''we're done'' by players who make mistakes, the scenes in the promo for next week's episode -- and where the show has to be careful not to let one or two teams just take over the show.

With Eric & Jeremy and BJ & Tyler seeming unstoppable in recent weeks, I detected a little field-leveling last night when there were several points along the way where travel schedules and closed doors let all the teams catch up with each other.

BJ & Tyler actually failed to finish out of the top two. (Eric & Jeremy, first again. Can't stop those guys.) Plus the use of penalty minutes -- for teams that did not properly follow the travel assignment -- added even more suspense.

Good episode, and we are down to a group of teams that are -- without argument -- all entertaining and appealing.

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