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"The Amazing Race"

By admin Published: April 19, 2009

With tonight's outcome all but preordained by the results a week ago, "Race" had two things to keep the episode interesting: the Margie/Luke vs. Kisha/Jen duel, and Tammy and Victor's taking advantage of their knowledge of Chinese. My favorite example of the latter: "If we don't win, our parents will cry themselves to death."

Also, the Chinese lessons were much more lighthearted than what went down between the other two teams. I completely agree that Kisha and Jen laughing at Luke's anger was inappropriate. Nor did I like the name-calling. But Luke was also far more deliberately provocative at the clue boxes than he was willing to admit at the pit stop. How many slo-mo replays do we need to see him (a) thrown an elbow and (b) shove someone into a clue box? It was ugly, it was tense, and a show that doesn't generally get into this stuff spent entirely too much time on replays and dialogue driving toward the final confrontation.

As I said, one problem here was that there was no suspense about who would get eliminated. Mark and Mike started more than six hours behind the leader, could not get on the same plane as other contestants and seemed in no hurry to complete tasks (although they were probably as aware of their time disadvantage as viewers were). We couldn't fill an hour with Jaime yelling again about people who don't speak English -- although we certainly got more of that -- so instead we get an overhyped confrontation that was not at all fun to watch.

I'm hoping for better things, and a return to more positive behavior, next time around.

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