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August 28, 2015

'The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business' Season 18, Episode 9 Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 25th 2011 8:45AM
Gary and Mallory, 'The Amazing Race'['The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business' - 'We're Good American People (Switzerland)']

Welcome to the friendliest edition of 'The Amazing Race' yet. With six teams remaining in the competition, everybody decided to hold hands and sing 'Kumbaya' across Lichtenstein. Where's that competitive drive?

It's as if one contestant would say, "I had a hard time with this one. Do you know the answer?"

"Well, we are racing for a million dollars, but why not," they'd get in response "Let me just tell you the answer to save you the trouble."

Really? Only one team got left out of the lovefest throughout this leg of the race, and I'll give you one hint. They've spent a good portion of the last two legs competing completely by themselves.

While the social element isn't usually emphasized as much on 'The Amazing Race' as it is on the other big CBS reality shows like 'Survivor' and 'Big Brother,' it is still a factor. All those 'Race' equalizers that drive us fans crazy are opportunities for people to become friends, get to know one another's strengths and weakness, and sometimes even strike up alliances.

What's weird about this bunch is that they seemed to all be allied this week. Only the cowboys, Jet and Cord, weren't a part of the group, and that's because they haven't been for so long. Add the lack of face-time with the other teams to their proven track record for coming out of nowhere at challenges to get right back into the race, and makes sense for the other teams to see them as a threat.

It's always easier to talk about people when they're not around, and if you never see a team, as with the cowboys, you can paint them anyway you want. It doesn't hurt to convince the other teams they're a much bigger threat than you are, because then their focus will be on fighting against the cowboys and you might be able to surprise them.

The ultimate proof of this bizarre five-team alliance came at the Double U-Turn. Only one team was U-Turned. I'm not going to fault the Globetrotters at all for U-Turning the cowboys, as they knew they were second to last at that point and they knew that it's more than possible to get lost on the way to a Pit Stop.

But no one else U-Turned anyone else. If nothing else, you can U-Turn a team that's a tough competitor just to buy yourself more time out of the Starting Gate for the next leg, but I guess no one is wanting to "play dirty" out of this final group. They don't want anyone mad at them in the next leg.

Hell, I'd have probably U-Turned the goths just to get them far enough back I might not have to hear Kent's incessant whining and moaning all the time.

How Vyxsin can stand it is beyond me. When she put him in the luggage cart and just pulled him to shut him up I realized what it is about him that annoys me. He's like an 8-year old child. He's petulant, immature, quick to frustration and Vyxsin is his mother-figure. I guess if that's what they're into, then so be it, but it makes him one of the most annoying people to have ever played this game.

The only reason the Road Block went smoothly for them is because Vyxsin did it alone. It was pretty cool that they basically got to see all of Lichtenstein via a bike ride. Completing it came down really to being able to read and follow a map. I'm still amazed people come on this show without having mastered this skill. It's like those people who go on 'Survivor' who didn't learn how to swim or start a fire. Do you know anything about these games?

On the Road Block, more of that team love came out. Justin confirmed the right answer to Jen -- the length of their route in kilometers. They then both told Flight Time the answer so he wouldn't have to go back and start over. This after Jet had already gotten it wrong and been sent back. Flight Time then told Gary (which could have made the difference for him and Mallory coming off that Speed Bump and already in last place).

Justin and Zev worked brilliantly as a team this leg, and became the first team to win back-to-back legs this season. They've also won the most legs of anyone with an impressive four out of nine. Even after any equalizers they managed to pull ahead each time.

Zev stepped up big at the Detour, motivating Justin to stick with their choice of eating a giant pot of fondue cheese. After failing at the last food challenge, Justin was ready to quit, but Zev wanted him to push through it. With no time limit, Justin had time to throw up and take breaks as needed. They still managed to finish the task first and hit the Pit Stop first.

Flight Time and Big Easy, who've been strong competitors these past couple of legs, made some key errors and nearly got eliminated, but that U-Turn of the cowboys definitively assured their continued racing. This was probably welcome news to Kisha and Jen, who've struck up an attracted friendship with them. Or maybe it's all just a strategy to trick the big boys into helping them until the final legs.

I'm a big fan of Jet and Cord but I really think their lack of social game may have cost them this season's Race. In these All-Star editions, everyone is at least aware of everyone else, which makes them feel almost like friends rather than strangers at the start. It creates a different competitive environment, and in this case created this strange super-alliance. We've seen smaller ones before: I just don't remember one this big before.


1) Zev & Justin
2) Kisha & Jen
3) Kent & Vyxsin
4) Gary & Mallory
5) Flight Time & Big Easy
6) Jet & Cord [Philiminated]

Who do you want gone next?

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

[Follow Jason on Twitter.]

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After reading some recaps, I don't think I have a problem with this episode. I'll have to re-watch the episode to be sure, but it looks like I was remembering the episode wrong.

I thought Big Easy gave the wrong answer and started to ride back to the beginning, but before he'd gone far he was told the answer, and returned to the end of the route.

However, the way the recaps describe it, he was told the answer while he was still trying to find his way to the end of the route the first time. If that's true, then he never turned in a wrong answer, and therefore did not deserve a penalty.

April 28 2011 at 2:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Three things I don't have a problem with, and one that I do:

1) U Turning someone may be harsh, but it's not against the rules. In fact, it was created by the rules so that it could be done.

2) Sharing information may or may not be wise, but unless explicitly forbidden it isn't against the rules.

3) The "cowboys" seem like nice guys, but if they lose due to bad performance, bad strategy, or just bad luck, then that's part of the game.

4) In the voice-over, Phil said that those who got the mileage answer wrong had to go back to the beginning of the route and travel it again. Big Easy did not complete the task. It's not cheating to be told the answer, but to complete the task he still has to travel the route again from the beginning. If the voice-over accurately describes the instructions the teams were given, then Big Easy should have gotten a penalty at least equal to the time it takes to return to the start of the route and then re-ride the route. If the voice-over doesn't accurately describe the instructions, then CBS should have edited the episode to clarify what happened. As broadcast, the episode clearly left the impression that a team that earned a penalty did not get one. This is my one and only problem with the episode, but I think it's an extremely serious one.

April 28 2011 at 2:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sorry for all of you "fans" who think cheating is OK. We are very disapointed in decisions made.
Actually CBS has been making a LOT of bad decisions lately. Come to think of it, we hardly watch
anything on CBS wonder why?? Certainly won't be watching the race anymore.

April 28 2011 at 11:41 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to a1salesman's comment

I am sorry for fans that treat TAR wayyyyyyyyyyyy to seriously. Do you have a shrine of the cowoys in your backyard? (snicker) I will say this the last time-There was no cheating! In Buddy TV interview, Cowboy 1 said “I can't say that it was unfair. If I would have gotten the information I would have been happy with it too." Yep, they would have done the same thing. If the cowboys didn't ditch Gary, they would have gotten the answer as well.

The cowboys were a boring team that were saved by the superlegs. If you're going to quit the show because your favorite team was eliminated, you are not a fan to start with.

April 29 2011 at 9:02 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

The moral outrage on this page is hilarious. Some people act like those cowboys are sacred cows. Nobody had a problem when the other teams didn't share answers with Rontina, but it's cheating when the cowboys were eliminated. The fangirls forget that the race is a competition for a million dollars and that brothers were a big threat(they’re like cockroaches). Even the Cowboys said that it wasn't cheating in their post-exit interviews (I bet if the situation was reverse, the fangirls would call it a brilliant move)

And to those people who say that they're going to boycott the race: A lot of sorelosers said the same exact thing when Boston Rob/Amber didn't win TAR 7. Guess what! The Amazing race still went on.

April 27 2011 at 10:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The cowboy got burned on this leg of the race.

April 26 2011 at 4:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The way how this episode ended was not a fair way. The race is set up to control the race so it remains interesting. And if that is the case each team should have not been able to share the distance with other teams. There should have been check points along the route to prevent this come out. The cowboys got bryn in this leg of the brace

April 26 2011 at 4:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

sry was typing fast. excuse my typos.....

April 26 2011 at 4:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I just got finished with watching epi 9 on cbs.com. i am sooooo disappointed! I truly believe that if the other teams didn't share the answe,r jet and cord would still be in. I do not think it is fair, but it is what it is. The whole time watching it, I was almost sure the other teams were going to get penalized and then they didn't. say how everything turned out. they would have one or at least made it in the top 3. And yes cowboys were my favorite, but even if it were some other team I think what happened was not fair!. Npw i could careless who wins, but I will still watch because it is my favorite show!!

oh and does anyone know when they are casting for the next season? cant wait until i can...not 21:(

April 26 2011 at 4:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I also liked the cowboys but it is, what it is. All of these teams have raced before so I think that they understand better than we do the dynamics of the game. It is after all a game, sharing answers should be at the discretion of the team, they are not taking a test, just playing a game so I don't care that some teams share answers with others. Unlike other teams racing for the first time, these teams seem to be making a decision to team up sometimes, and they have that right. The cowboys often used someone then left quickly thereafter, they segregated themselves from the other teams which is fine but this game of all stars was turning more social. If they were going to be lone rangers then they needed to bring their A game during the races, which they did not. The other teams came with a new attitude this time, an attitude to win one million dollars and why not make alliances, three teams go to the last leg not one, which at that point I am sure no one will be sharing answers.

It is no other teams fault that Jet got the wrong answer and had to go back, that's the game, plus he left Gary who could have been of some use so karma. I feel that the cowboys would have lost anyway, they have done very badly in comparison to the other teams still left, a huge difference from their first appearance. All that said I will continue to watch because I am a true fan and I am not getting a million dollars one of these teams are, this is all just entertainment to me. I am sure that millions will still watch, just my opinion. I love this show, my favs very rarely win but that is what makes the show great.

I feel that some are just mad that the cowboys are gone, if the cowboys were in on the sharing of information know one would care.

So I hope that the final 3 will be Flight Time & Big Easy, Jen & Kisha and Zev & Justin, the 3 who played the best social game.

April 26 2011 at 1:37 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I love the cowboys so much; their always nice, have fun with the race, never cuss, and I don't believe I've ever seen them try to put down another team just to get ahead. I think it was slightly unfair how they were U- turned. If another team was U- turned, it would have worked out the way they were designed, and it would have been more interesting ( and less depressing). I think that with them being the nice ones, they are always the ones being pushed around for some reason. The buddy- buddyness that suddenly has appeared really needs to stop, but now that the cowboys are gone, the only team they can gang up against is Kent and Vyxn.And I hope they get sent home, Kent is such a jerk to her, and then team isn't a very good portrayal of America to the rest of the world. The only nice team left is Gary and Mallory so if they get kicked off, I'm not watching anymore!

April 25 2011 at 8:37 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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