November 22, 2012

Amazing Race 21, "We Was Robbed"

Last week’s episode concluded with three teams still trying to finish the leg. Brent was having no luck in the pool, and James and Abba were standing dumbfounded at the mat without a passport. Their chances for locating their bags are very low, and getting temporary documents from the embassy is a long shot. The rockers try to stay positive, but this feels like a case where the editors are creating tension where it doesn’t exist. Meanwhile, Josh and Brent take one last attempt at the Detour and aren’t getting any leeway from the judge. The first half of this episode is pretty strange, especially when Phil reveals that it’s a non-elimination leg. This device was probably set up in advance, but it’s still odd to have the rockers technically in the race. They’re wandering around Moscow and trying to make some headway, but it’s not surprising when they have no success. It’s too bad to see them go; their laid-back approach made them one of the better teams this season. Thankfully, the tasks are great fun and make up for the lack of a close finale. For more details, check out my full review of this episode for Sound on Sight.

Here are some other interesting points that I didn't address in my review:
  • During the early seasons of the race, Phil began each episode by clearly stating the 12-hour time difference between the point when the leading team arrived at the Pit Stop and their next departure. This brought a feeling that anything could happen because the producers had to work harder to keep everyone close. I understand why the duration for each Pit Stop now varies, but not even showing the times at the start makes me wonder what happened behind the scenes. 
  • On a related note, it wouldn't shock me if the footage we saw of James and Abba wasn't from the same day as the other competitors. Getting a temporary passport just isn't going to happen in such a short time, so there was little doubt they were heading home unless a miracle happened. 
  • The twins had a rough time last week and just seemed grumpy, but they rebounded well this time. During the Detour, Natalie rips her pants while executing the dance moves. It's a silly moment and shows that they're still having fun despite the greater tensions at this point of the competition.
  • It's interesting that this leg is the first time we've heard about James' injury. You can really see the pain when he tries to execute the "coffee grinder" move. This ankle problem could make it tougher for them to stay ahead near the end.