Is it just me or is the editing not as interesting this season? Maybe it’s because TK, Rachel and Nate all went to high school together and have a previous bond and TK, Rachel, Don, Nick and Christina are all mellow and calm. It doesn’t add much intrigue and subplots to the show (although I think the locations this time have helped make up for the lack of drama.) I don’t have much to add to Michel’s analysis.
It seemed to me that the editing was setting up a race for first place between Nate and Jen and TK and Rachel and for third place between Ron and Christina and Don and Nick. I don’t know how Ron and Christina are still in this as their story has not progressed at all over the past few weeks. When they said that they would have U-turned Nick and Don, it reminded me of earlier in the season when they had a few run-ins. Are Nick and Don the ones to finally eliminate them? The only comment of note that Ron makes is at the detour, “I felt demoralized. I didn’t want to admit defeat, and I have to say that Christina did a wonderful job.” That detour performance by the two of them kind of summed up their story on The Amazing Race.
When Nick says, “If I’m running a race with a 70-year old man, I have to look out for him. I think my grandfathers greatest strength is that he is so driven, but doesn’t know his limits sometimes.” With the previews from next week, that is foreshadowing; it’s not really indicative to the big picture of the race. We never really seem them as part of the bigger race for the million dollars. Gramp’s life experiences help them again as he used to work in the printing business and they were able to complete the detour, “paste ‘em” quickly.
Phil asks, “Can TK and Rachel avoid the blunders that have kept them in the back of the pack?” Still using their mellow strategy, they get it all together and win this leg. TK is given several asides but most of them are comments on the race, not about Rachel and TK’s feelings or strategy as a team. Interestingly Rachel’s experience as a florist is barely mentioned and you can barely understand her, “I’ve worked with flowers for four years.” TK comments at the U-turn that they wouldn’t U-turn anyone because it “can come back and bite you in the ass.” Could that bit a little ironic if Jen and Nate, the only other strong team left, come back and beat them to win the final leg? At the mat Rachel says, “At the end of the 8th leg, it’s starting to set in that we are one of four teams that have the opportunity to win a million dollars.” TK adds in his best stoner-surfer voice, “Yeah man, a million dollars would be frickin’ awesome.” And then there was a great close-up of the two of them: CBS has just anointed them the new favorites since the Goths are about to be eliminated! That doesn’t mean they’ll win however.
Jen and Nate were focused on throughout the race even though they narrowly missed being eliminated. Their relationship is still a keystone to their story but it is being redeemed slightly. They are working together more often and when they’re not, their bickering doesn’t get out of control. Nate comments that their relationship is actually on the up and Jen says that “we have to remember how embarrassed and disgusting it was before, the way that we were acting. We need to be more aware of the situation instead of reacting on emotion.” The key quote of the episode for me was Nate saying in confessional, “Jen and I are not about to trust anyone at this stage in the race because you’ve got to do what it takes to win.” Later Jen says, “I would say Nate’s and my nerves are jumping all over the place, but in a good way. It’s getting us pumped up.” I think it’s a good possibility that they don’t win a leg until the final one and win the million dollars. We haven’t’ seen Jen complaining about not winning a leg recently, so that story is on the backburner. On the way to the pit stop, you see Jen’s passion, “I feel sick to my stomach right now.” When Nate says I love you, Jen can barely muster up the enthusiasm to return the sentiment (has anyone ever said I love you while rolling their eyes?!) Nate says “We’re just not good at stressing out.” This contrasts to Jen’s relief and “I’m so happy right now” talking with Phil at the mat. Also in the taxi, Jen complains, “you take care of it,” and Nate replies “no, we have to work this out together.” A lot of people don’t like Jen and Nate, but we have experienced their highest highs and their lowest lows with them. They are the most interesting and three dimensional characters left, and are the only ones with more than one storyline.
Dressed by Tribe
Loved your side comments on don and nic!