The explanation, with spoilers, after the jump ...
I haven't watched all of tonight's telecast, since I was keeping track of a local contestant on Grease: You're the One That I Want. (Ashley Spencer is her name, and she's hanging in there.) But for a column tomorrow I did check the results. Dave and Mary are out. That's not the problem. Rob and Amber finished first AGAIN.
My problems with this are so huge. It's not just that Rob is a snotty player and a big whiner. (On last week's show, he complained about another player's tactic -- when he would have done the same thing -- and then claimed he was just playing mind games. Bull. He's a bad winner and a sore loser.) It's that he and Amber are professional reality-show contestants now, and that damages the game.
I know, I've said that R&A damaged the game the last time they were on, bringing a nasty, Survivor-honed sensibility to a game that always felt more honorable to me. But their lives now are spent going from TV game to TV game, sharpening their skills along the way, and never seeming to have a life that involves something other than talking trash and playing for cash. Other Amazing Race competitors worry about things in the real world, then have to compete against a couple with no other concerns.
Yes, R&A are very, very good players. I will give them that much. And they came into the race determined not merely to win but to dominate, and so far they are doing that. But it is still possible to see someone very good at a task -- and hate them nonetheless. Think New York Yankees -- a proper parallel not only because of the swagger involved, but because "Boston Rob" would hate it so much.
I may still check into the race, just to see if R&A finally lose. But that seems unlikely right now. I may end up recording the shows, then watching again if they are eliminated. Only the way they are playing, that may mean waiting until next season.