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October 24, 2014

'The Amazing Race' Season 17, Episode 8 Recap

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Nov 15th 2010 5:00AM
Rappelling into the ['The Amazing Race 17' - 'Ali Baba in a Suit']

Tonight we boldly went to where no reality show (or just a rare few) has gone before -- the Middle East. For some odd reason I just can't see 'The Real Housewives of New Jersey' filming there. Yet it was a perfect location for a leg of 'The Amazing Race.'

Not only is the countryside simply amazing, but the teams were well-received by the locals. With all of the problems in today's world, this leg was a fresh air journey into the country of Oman as well as a glance at the people who live there.

OK, I need to put this on the table before I even get started ... I don't like Chad. The way he's behaved toward Stephanie, deriding her education and treating her as if she's a lesser person, makes me want to shout -- "Leave him! Dump him!" -- at my television. I keep hoping that the chip on his shoulder will weigh him down as much as an albatross around his neck would.

When Chad and Stephanie accidentally slept in and missed their departure, I got all giddy. Not so much for Stephanie's plight, but I wanted to see Chad's cheeks go all red and blotchy once more before he got Philiminated. Alas, it just wasn't meant to be. Although they caught a later flight to Oman than the other teams, their flight arrived early letting them slip into the middle of the pack.

Not only did they catch up to the others, but Chad proposed to Stephanie and she accepted. Oh, this is so not looking like a pleasant episode for me. I actually enjoy the other teams (well, maybe not so much Nick, as he reminds me a bit of Chad gone punk). Of course, Chad was shown as all sweetness and light thanks to the editing this week, which made him seem like such a good fiancé. What's going to happen next? They'll win the leg and go off on a vacation or something?

First things first: The teams had to do their challenges in the ninety-degree heat of Oman. Rappelling down the "Grand Canyon" of Oman for the Roadblock looked like a blast! Even though she can be dumb as a box of rocks, it's fun to watch Vicki throw herself into these challenges. She's like a kid with no sense of fear. I love it! Searching for the lamps with the rings was a whole 'nuther matter, though. I hope I wasn't alone in thinking "new lamps for old" and "Aladdin."

The real peek at the Omani people came during the Detour as teams first filled trucks with water, then delivered it to designated homes. As in every other country through which the race runs, the locals seemed to be happy to be a part of it. Whether giving directions or becoming otherwise involved in the challenges, not one person balked at helping the racers. And, for once, the teams themselves seemed like great representatives for us. Sure, Nick threw a bit of a temper tantrum at a flat tire, but he didn't say anything stupid to the locals.

The marketplace where they had to deliver frankincense to Ali Baba in a suit was definitely the kind of place a real tourist could spend a few days exploring. Not so here! The teams had the need for speed. No time to shop! (Talking of shopping on 'TAR', remember Danny and Oswald, from Season 2? They found time to shop just about everywhere.)

After winning three legs of the race thus far, it was Nat and Kat's turn to fall behind, along with Gary and Mallory. The latter have been running mid-pack each week, better than I would have predicted. Both teams followed a map to get to the canyon destination. Epic failure for both!

Tonight seemed to be the night of the couples. Jill and Thomas have been strong throughout the race and this time were pitted against Stephanie and Chad heading for the Pit Stop. Yes! Jill and Thomas made it there first! Yay! Er, no. They had to endure a 30-minute penalty for paying a taxi to lead them. Chad and Stephanie took first place, along with this week's prize: A trip to Belize. Sigh.

Gary and Mallory came in last and were Philiminated. While Mallory sometimes made me cringe just because she's just so darn perky and bubbly, I'm going to miss them. Unlike many father and daughter teams before, they weren't mending a relationship. They were enhancing their already good relationship.

'The Amazing Race' airs Sundays, 8PM ET on CBS.

Will Chad go back to being mean to Stephanie?
Of course, he'll never really change.259 (79.2%)
No, he realizes the error of his ways.17 (5.2%)
I don't know. I just don't want them to win!51 (15.6%)

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