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September 3, 2015

Review: The Amazing Race - This is Not My Finest Hour

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Nov 2nd 2009 12:41AM
Ericka is having a tough time this leg on The Amazing Race
(S15E07) Poor Ericka. In tonight's episode of The Amazing Race, she didn't look quite like Miss America. Stress will do that to you. It seems each week a team or two make what might be a fatal error in the game. Oh, not something that could kill them -- just one which could lead to being Philiminated. This leg wasn't only tough on Brian and Ericka. One of the Globetrotters had to don a dress. Thankfully, it seemed to be specially tailored to fit him.

It was so not a night for the women. There really aren't many women left in the race at this point. We have Ericka of Ericka and Brian, Tiffany and Maria (the poker gals), and Megan of Megan and Cheyne. I keep thinking that "Cheyne" could be a girl's name, but he's a rather buff dude. The remaining teams are all guys -- Matt and Garry, Sam and Dan, and the Globetrotters. The women just broke down tonight. As a woman, I felt a bit miffed at them.

Ericka royally screwed up counting the carillon bells in the tower. I was thinking it seemed pretty easy, as every other team member got it right on the first try. She seemed to let her nerves and fatigue get the best of her. I don't think it was an easy roadblock at all. The bells clanging and the stairs might do me in, too. But I'm not on the show. I only saw the other teams struggle a bit, then conquer the task. I saw her do it over and over again with an emotional breakdown midway.

Megan actually made a good choice teaming up with Sam in the tower. So we don't know how she would have done on her own. But where she let me down was when she constantly whined about the golf detour. Darn it all, if she wanted to do the dancing, she should have told Cheyne right off. True, I'd probably whine on the show. But that doesn't necessarily mean I condone whining. Stop it, Megan.

Then there's the poker gals. They fell so absolutely apart tonight that they quit the show. Say what? I've been under the impression that Tiffany and Maria were at least quasi-tough. They know odds. If they didn't have the strength to ring the bell on dozens of tries the first time, what made them think they could do it after they're more worn down? They lost their focus and concentration. The golf didn't look easy but they let their frustration get to them.

Although Brian and Ericka compounded Ericka's tower troubles by not reading the clue to ride bikes to the detour, they still fared better than the poker girls. They didn't give up. Even if Ericka got on my nerves tonight, I credit her for sticking with it. Even with their 30-minute penalty, they beat the team who gave up the race.

The best part of the show for me was watching the three male teams in the Dutch couple costumes. Once again, the spirit and energy of Flight Time and Big Easy delighted me and their sense of humor brought a chuckle. I don't think they're the best racers ever on the show, but they do make it all seem a bit more fun. I'm also enjoying Gary and Matt more each week. How about you? On a random note, Sam and Dan told everyone they're gay. Okay. I liked that no one thought it was a big deal.

For the record, this season has really had some odd Philiminations:
  • One couple was eliminated before the race left the starting gate.
  • Zev and Justin came in first on a leg but were Philiminated due to a lost passport.
  • Two teams couldn't complete a task and eliminated themselves from the race -- Mika and Canaan, Tiffany and Maria.
I can only wonder if the next team Philiminated will be a normal exit.

[Watch episodes and clips of The Amazing Race over at SlashControl.]

Will the final three teams this season be all guys?
No, Megan and Cheyne will make it that far231 (62.9%)
Brian and Ericka will be in the final three22 (6.0%)
Yep - gay bros, Globetrotters, and father/son114 (31.1%)

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Tiffany Michelle and Maria had started to grow on me. In Japan they couldn't finish a task because they lost a person, but were saved by a non-elimination leg. They fought back and started to do better. I think we will be seeing a non-elimination leg soon.

November 02 2009 at 7:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The poker girls probably didn't know how far back the other team was or even if they had finished the golf challenge. All the other teams soared past them so they didn't know if taking the thirty minute penalty could have worked in their favor

November 02 2009 at 3:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Tatiana's comment
Sir Yuck-Yuck

their poker players, couldn't they have taken a "gamble" LOL

November 03 2009 at 10:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Remember when Rob (of Rob and Amber) didn't want to do the eating challenge, and convinced others not to do it too, they beat out the other non-finishers even with the penalty. The Poker pair should have passed on the bell, danced and gone to the mat, and taken their penalty, bet they would have beat Erika (counting is HARD!).

November 02 2009 at 2:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nancy in Seattle

They should have combined their strength by standing one in front of the other and using four arms to swing the hammer and bring it down....with a little coordination and the upper body strength of both simultaneously the might have been able to ring the bell....that being said I agree with the poster who say they should have bypassed the bell challenge and gone straight to the dancing and hoped for just penalty.

November 02 2009 at 11:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If the Poker Girls were really smart, they would have skipped the bell ringing to move right on to the dancing. Seems like they could have kept int the race from the get go even with a 30 or 60 minute penalty.

November 02 2009 at 8:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Kesey's comment
Sir Yuck-Yuck

Ooooh good point Kesey, I now wish they did do that, as the poker gals Tiffany & Maria were starting to grow on me plus I want to see a all girl team finally win. All the teams seem to want the g-trotters gone so I thought Sam or was it Dan LOL who told Tiffany there were 62 bells I thought he would have told Ericka the number was 62 as well so they'd all be gone and out of there ahead of the g-trotters.

November 02 2009 at 8:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Yme Sandelmann

Actually, I was impressed with the poker gals. How often did they try the "ring the bell"? 80 times?! And they did ride the bike and swim across the river twice AND did the golf challenge like a millions times, too. Did they blame each other? No. Were they frustrated? Of course they were. But they didn't give up, until they reached a point where there was no chance they could ever finish the task. Phil would've come to tell them they are last anyway. It was ridiculous they had to ring the bell in the first place. Choices are usually between strength/dexterity...
Next week will be fun to watch. I remember the road-block well :)

November 02 2009 at 5:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Bell-ringing is not about raw strength. It is a carnival strength. ANybody can do it once they know the trick (rotational force).

November 02 2009 at 4:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Look, if you are doing this race, you gotta know there will be challenges. Afraid of a water slide is ridiculous. The "strength" was not so much of a challenge that an old man could not do it. Plus, the poker tramps were given the answer on the bell tower and no one complained about using the wink and a wiggle to con guys. The area in which I viewed the show had no finishers other than the two who had a penalty. Bad editing locally. You could figure it out that there was one elimination and one only meaning everyone else is safe but who won the stage?

November 02 2009 at 1:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The poker girls didnt give up the race. They were physically too weak to do either of the tasks. They didnt have the upper body strength to ring the bell and they didnt have the strength or coordination needed to play the golf game. They didnt give up. They were bested by the tasks. Some of the stronger all womens teams of past seasons would have done better.

I have totally had my fill of Erika. Her constant moaning is getting really hard to take. I was so hoping that she would be sent home tonight, but the pathetic poker girls were just not up to the task.

November 02 2009 at 1:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Anne Smetka

This last leg of the Amazing Race, where Tiffany and Maria were eliminated, was definitely tipped in favor of the men. Strength was definitely an advantage in both tasks, so teams with men had a huge advantage. Extremely unfair. No wonder an all-female team has never won. Shameful.

November 02 2009 at 1:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Anne Smetka's comment

I agree with Ann and not the original poster. The challenge here were not designed for women with relatively lower amounts of upper body strength. At least one of the challenges should always be possible for every team, otherwise what's the point of having them on the race in the first place?

The poker players tried both challenges several times, showed lot of determination and will -- no fault of their own that they couldn't finish. It's just that the odds were unfairly stacked against them and no other outcome was possible.

November 02 2009 at 1:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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