If there is one thing that the contestants of The Amazing Race
season 29 have loved, it is their Double U-Turns. The Double U-Turn has been a constant on The Amazing Race for
years but never has it been used so viciously and often. This episode, entitled "Good Job Donkey," sees the last Double U-Turn of the season arrive and once again it is the direct cause of a strong team going home.
A Slap in the Face and a Stab in the Back
The teams head to Greece where at the Detour they are faced with this Double U-Turn. Since, as mentioned, no one told these Amazing Race teams that the Double U-Turn is optional Brooke and Scott are first up to use it. They U-Turn Michael and Liz who already have a Speed Bump to deal with it. This is a dirty move. To balance things out Tara and Joey U-Turn Team Fun. This is the dirtiest move. How dare anyone cross human sunshine beams Becca and Floyd! From this moment forward the leg is just a battle for last between adorable Team Fun and kind of likable depending on the moment Michael and Liz. Brooke doesn't even whine that much to make anything she does noteworthy and The Amazing Race focuses almost solely on this last place brawl.
As you can imagine Michael doesn't handle this stress well because he doesn't have the best control on his temper. Mike's monstrous anger comes out before he is even U-Turned. Liz and Michael get lost on the way to the Detour and it's bad. Luckily for them Becca and Floyd are similarly struggling to find the Detour but handling it in the exact opposite manner. As Becca and Floyd try to figure things out together, Michael turns even redder (and sweatier) than usual yelling at Liz how she doesn't know how to read a map. Michael's decision to sign up for The Amazing Race knowing how much directions flummox him is one of life's greatest mysteries.
Liz is given a reprieve from Michael's ginger wrath when they finally arrive at the Detour. Michael can direct his anger at someone else after finding that Brooke and Scott have U-Turned him. Much like Mike had a huge rant directed at LoLo because he has done everything for them and they just "stabbed in him the back" in the last leg he now does the same for Brooke and Scott. Brooke and Scott's actions are a lot more severe than LoLo's, who just didn't Mike give a clue location, but it is hard to feel that sorry for Michael. Michael just acts so entitled and bratty even if Brooke is the bitterest of pills to swallow.
The Weirdest Wedding Ever
The Detours are another pair of the strenuous physical challenges that aren't exactly the best TV. The choice is between For the Groom and For the Bride. In either Detour the teams must perform a task for a bride and groom of at a big (very skinny) Greek wedding. The bride is the only one speaks and it is in the most broken of English. She seems very unaware of any of the rules of The Amazing Race too. She's wonderful and fascinating. There are so many questions here but the teams are focused on their Detours. They do not ask how this poor couple ended up in the center of an American game show.
The Detours are just as confusing in context. In For the Bride, the teams must lead a donkey around the streets and get cheese from little old ladies. In For the Groom the teams must scale a gigantic set of steps and gather two goats. Both the cheese and the goats must then be brought back to the wedding. Again, there are so many questions but not nearly enough time to ask them all.
Nothing Can Save You Now
The U-Turners (and all the other teams) then must first run a lap around one of the first Olympic stadiums before heading to the Roadblock. The stadium is gorgeous but Michael and Liz's experience is marred slightly by their Speed Bump. The two have to make a shish kabob and cover it in intestines. It looks gross but Michael crushes it because he is a literal butcher. This brings up an issue.The Amazing Race really needs to stop handing out challenges that are tailor made for some of the contestants. Becca had the climbing challenge earlier this season, Michael has the Speed Bump now and the upcoming Roadblock is perfect for Tara and (though he doesn't participate) Redmond.
The Roadblock in question requires the designated team member to dress up like a Grecian guard and perform a changing of the guard ceremony. Tara, having been in the armed forces for years, is perfect for this Roadblock and performs it perfectly. Most teams don't struggle with the challenge it's true but Tara has a clear and obvious advantage over everyone else. It doesn't help that Roadblock isn't that interesting despite the fact that it requires grown men (and women) to talk about having pom-poms on their boots.
Still there is some tension to the Roadblock when the two U-Turners arrive. Thanks to some great editing by The Amazing Race it looks like Michael and Liz are nipping at Becca and Floyd's heels the entire time. It is a real nail biter of an ending but no fancy cutaways can hide the ultimate truth.
Everything going against Michael and Liz catches up with them. Michael and Liz come in last place and are eliminated from The Amazing Race. As they leave they do affirm that they have formed an almost sibling bond in their short time together. It's true too. As exhausting as Michael was at times his relationship with Liz is probably one of the most genuine and most likely to last in this season of strangers.
What do you make of Liz and Michael's exit? Did Scott and Brooke cross a line giving them the U-Turn? Are you sad to see them go or was it their time? Will Tara and Joey have any fallout from targeting Becca and Floyd?
(Image courtesy of CBS)