There’s only one week to go before the two-hour finale of ‘The Amazing Race,’ and while I have this far predicted Rachel and Dave will win, I am less convinced now. The trouble is, with the elimination last night, I’m finding it a little hard to care. I had a soft spot for those two and their reason for participating. OK, so the never ever looked like winners, but I like to champion and underdog every once in a while.
But on to what happened in the latest episode:
Actually what happened was a fair bit of nastiness, not least of it J.J. mimicking the couple’s dysfunctional communication: “You’re my partner now, not my wife. You’re weak!”
First up last night we saw Rachel and Dave taking a trip to an Indian temple, where their got a Race card. Rachel and Brendon opted to try a deceptively difficult Fast Forward. Well, it should have been easy but it entailed them having their heads shaved. Of course Rachel was never going to do that. I wouldn’t, either. But still, her whining about having spent $500 on hair extensions when she could win $1 million seemed a bit silly to me. Oh and she cried, of course. Brendon was, as ever, patient and understanding with her.
Team Border Patrol were amazed (and over-simplistic?): “If you don’t want to cut your hair for a million dollars, why are you even here?”
But let’s face it anyway Rachel and Brendon are less interested in winning ‘The Amazing Race’ than they are in getting exposure to help their TV careers. A lot less.
Mark and Bopper, exhausted, stayed in their hotel rooms while everyone else had a go at spinning rope out of coconut husks. It turned out to be harder and more bloody than I imagined, but still by far more entertaining was the chat between the halves of the teams who didn’t do the task.
“Ralph is one of my few boyfriends who hasn’t crossdressed,” Vanessa said.
For some reason I didn’t feel any more sympathy for a self-deprecating Rachel as she explained why she didn’t want to shave her head: “I need hair to be pretty… I don’t need a big nose and no hair.”
I found it chilling that when the other Rachel was cheering on her husband, Dave shot her down with, “I don’t need positive reinforcement, I appreciate silence”
Ralph finished his coconut rope first but then disaster struck ad Vanessa tripped and hurt her ankle. We went to a commercial break but it was an anticlimax to return and find that she had managed to limp to their taxi rickshaw without too much trouble.
While the four leading teams were leaving the coconut barn, Mark and Bopper just getting started. Even with the Fast Forward still in play, it was pretty clear their time on ‘The Amazing’ Race was up.
For Mark and Bopper’s Speed Bump, we returned to the Puli Kali dancers so they could pint a tiger face on the dancers’ stomachs. They went straight on to getting their heads shaved.
But they had far too much time to make up when it came to the final task: Pack a Box or Pachyderm. With Pack a Box, a team had to fill 10 boxes with ginger roots, seal them, stencil a label on and deliver them. For Pachyderm, the teams had to decorate an elephant in a garish headdress and then shovel and dump 15 wheelbarrows full of elephant dung.
Everyone except for Art and J.J. chose Pachyderm. It was an easy task, even if shovelling the dung wasn’t so pleasant.
In contrast, the ginger packing was pretty hard work. Or at least Art and J.J. made it look that way.
Teamy Army shovelled their dung first and bribed the ferryman to set off early, so Rache and Brendon were left behind. So not only did Team Army win $10,000 each, but they were one also first-place finish away from tying the record on ‘The Amazing Race.’
Ralph and Vanessa reached the ferry before it set off again, but Rachel and Brendon still managed to beat them on foot to a second-place finish. The Dating Divorcees came in third, with some more pointless bickering. Art and J.J. came in fourth and Mark and Bopper last.
They accepted defeat with surprising ease and dignity. I was more sad than they seemed.
But we only have to wait one week to see them again as ‘The Amazing Race’ reaches its finale and all the losing contestants return anyway.
Who do you want to see win?