Amazing Race
Do You Need Some Mouth-To-Mouth Resuscitation?

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Miss Alli: B+ | Grade It Now!
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The one with all the eating

The waiting penalty teams are...well, waiting out their penalties. And Patrick is sitting there, not knowing precisely what to do, it appears. "I can't do it," he says to his mother. "I can't." He adds, "Debbie and Bianca aren't going to finish it; I'm sure of it." But when Debbie and Bianca get to the pit stop, Debbie literally leaps up and down with excitement about the four pounds of meat. She acts all excited and no-problem about it as she unbuckles her pants. Elsewhere, Rob leans in to the camera and says, interestingly with exactly the same grin he applies when he's congratulating himself, "When she finds out she can still be in this game, I think she's going to eat it." He pauses. "This chick's tough," he smiles. "She had the stones [I think he says 'stones'] to yell at me. She's gotta be."

Rob and Amber's penalty time expires, and they are handed their clue. They leave for the pit stop. In the car on the way to the pit stop, Rob says, "It was slick the way we pulled it off." And it was. They head up to the mat. When they get there, Phil says he doesn't know what's making him laugh (heh), but they're team number five. Phil tells them they look "very pleased with [them]selves." A construction he could just as easily have applied to the preening Alex and Lynn, of course. But didn't. "I didn't think I could do it," Rob says, "but I found a way to plot and scheme on The Amazing Race." And again, your sense of how firmly Rob has his tongue planted in his cheek when he makes that remark largely controls how he comes off to you. Phil calls it "unprecedented" that "there are teams at the Roadblock who are not moving, because you convinced them not to move." Rob and Amber laugh. "I mean, how did you do that?" Rob: "Sometimes, I wonder myself, Phil." And to me, it was so clear that that was a perfect example of him totally riffing on his own image -- he can't even say that with a straight face. I do think he loves doing that shit, but I don't think he really thinks that makes him awesome, so much as it makes him think other people are unbelievably dopey, with which I kind of agree in this instance.

Yeah, some teams who quit the Roadblock are going to finish ahead of some teams who didn't, and traditionally, that does entirely go against the way I like things to be. But by the time what you're "testing" is the ability to make yourself vomit, there's not much left of any identifiable "spirit of things" anyway, so seriously? I don't care. Is it an inspiring finish? Well, no. Neither have been a zillion different legs dating back to at least the rise of Flo. And had there been two small women who couldn't get the four pounds of beef down, and had there been two big guys who drove for two fucking hours without having any idea where they were going, who then eliminated the small women by skillfully throwing up into a bucket repeatedly? That wouldn't feel great to me, either. That's not even to mention the fact that teams have been giving up on tasks for many seasons, by switching Detours -- because they thought it gave them a better shot at staying in the race. They had another option within the rules, so they took it. Which is exactly what the teams who quit this Roadblock did. Several of the teams, you can deduce, took multiple hours to eat the food, and you never know how sick those people are going to be tomorrow, and some people just really don't want to make themselves throw up over and over for several hours. When you're foregoing a task in order to stay in the game, that strikes me as entirely different from giving up because you'd rather be eliminated than do the task, which I think wasn't the case here. But ultimately, it's about my hostility toward this kind of stupid task and its tendency to test "skills" like strategic vomiting that makes me not give as much of a damn about quitting as I normally would. Also, Rob is funny and makes self-righteous nitwits (on the show, I'm saying) incredibly frustrated. And for that, there is a little space in my heart reserved for him alone.

Back at the Roadblock, Debbie is eating, and Patrick is now saying that if he has to eat the food, he'll eat it. They both eat. Patrick throws up on the ground. Gretchen says she feels bad for both of them, and then her penalty time and Ray and Deana's expires, so they leave for the pit stop. Ray and Deana are there first, so they finish as team number six. Gretchen and Meredith roll in as team number seven, as the sun is setting. Patrick finally finishes, while there's still a good amount of daylight left. They leave. The next thing we see is Debbie receiving her clue when it's quite dark, so I wouldn't at all doubt that she was bailed out of that task once Patrick and his mom were at the pit stop. She doesn't even indicate to the judge that she's done; he just comes over and gives her her clue. In fact, at the time she's given the clue, she literally still has food in her hand. Which she puts down when they tell her she's done. Bianca cheers for her as "the only girl [sic] to finish" and so forth. They get the clue and leave.

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Amazing Race

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