Spoilers for last night's "The Amazing Race" coming up just as soon as I see what Walter Koenig's up to...
Last week, it was clear early on who was going home, but there were enough entertaining things happening (notably Victor's meltdown) that it didn't much matter. This week, Kris and Amanda were more or less goners as soon as they got U-Turned -- given the way the leg was structured and how far along everybody else was, their only chance was if another team just couldn't unscramble "Chekhov" after hours and hours of trying -- and there wasn't enough else of interest to compensate for the lack of suspense.
I'm sorry to see the U-Turn back, by the way -- not because I think it's unfair, but because I get so sick and tired of other teams acting like it is, and getting all self-righteous about it when it's just another element of the game. Making it a blind U-Turn helped limit that, as did the fact that its victims are relatively level-headed and nice(*) and only belly-ached about it a little. But I'm not looking forward to the potential "How dare they?" reflex when it comes up again later in the race.
(*) It's kind of shocking how non-awful Kris and Amanda were, given how that type of team almost always turns out to be made up of one or two d-bags. As they seemed like the team to beat overall, it looks like Margie and Luke made a smart decision on both a micro (ensure that you're not eliminated on this leg) and macro (eliminate the biggest threat to win the million bucks) level.
Couple of other thoughts:
• I hate hate hate the decision to include previews for the episode we're about to watch at the end of the previouslies. I like watching the recap of the previous episodes because it sometimes frames things in ways I didn't notice before, but I'm going to have to either give it up or be real quick on the fast-forward button.
• Mark and Michael seem like nice guys, but they're really, really, colossally dumb.
• I loved the whip-pan from the Caravan of Idiots to the nearby repair sign, and obvious Team Schneebly found the situation funny as well.
• It amazes me that everybody first tried to do the wood stacking challenge, which seemed much trickier and more time-consuming than the construction one. (Though the latter turned out to have its own problems for the Caravan.) It wasn't quite as lopsided a choice as the one in the All-Stars season where almost everyone chose to haul bags of coal instead of giving manicures, but it was still pretty jaw-dropping.
• So far, I think they've done a good job of spending just enough time in the airports to tell us what we need to know. One group chose to connect one way, one group chose the other, and the first group got a huge lead because of that choice, even with the hours-of-operation bunch in Siberia. That's all we need, and no lingering on the annoying stuff.
What did everybody else think?