Thanks to CBS finally getting the rights to put "The Amazing Race" up on their website, I was able to watch last night's episode this afternoon. Quick spoilers coming up just as soon as the winds change...
New season continues to be strong, and to reward me for my decision to give the franchise another chance. A minimum of airport drama, a minimum of jerkiness (though both are inevitable to some degree due to the format and the stress it creates), some well-constructed challenges and a few lucky twists of fate have all led to two very good episodes.
In particular, the drama with the shifting winds led to one of my favorite reality show moments ever, in Mel White's refusal to pray for them to change in his favor. It's such a staple of reality TV (and sports, for that matter) for people to crassly assume that God cares about who wins a game show (or a football game) and will reward whoever makes the loudest/earliest/most frequent prayers in His name, that it's so refreshing to hear someone instead believe that God has more important things to worry about. It sort of reminded me of David Cook's refusal to pimp out his dying brother for votes last season on "American Idol," in that reality TV has so lowered the bar for what we accept as human behavior in certain situations that it's almost startling to see people behave reasonably, or in any kind of manner that favors dignity over personal gain.
Even without the non-prayer, it was still a suspenseful sequence in which Mother Nature, combined with Mel's bad groin, created something far more entertaining than if the challenge had gone as planned. And while the Segway part of the Detour didn't seem exceedingly difficult, the pie-throwing was one of the more entertaining needle-in-a-haystack choices they've come up with.
I like that Steve got his on-camera moment of tenderness and support for Linda before they were eliminated, and even them snapping at each other on the drive to the pit stop didn't get in the way of that. (Again, racing makes people crabby sometimes.)
What did everybody else think?