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Tim Willson

Amazing Race 14

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Correction, it's not the Race Across America, but Phil's own Ride Across America to raise funds for MS. You can sign up to ride with him if he come through your town.

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It was really sad to see

Mel and Mike

get eliminated. Too bad they lost so much time trying to find that gorilla statue. But they were pure class all the way to the end.

What makes it more disappointing was the appalling behavior by the

stuntmen brothers

. If you're going to sabotage other teams by hiding what could be an important piece of equipment (tire pumps), then go do that stuff on Survivor or Big Brother.

A public service announcement for the cheerleaders: People in other countries aren't obliged to speak English for you. Deal with it.

On a positive note, I wouldn't mind seeing Tammy and Victor win. They look like the strongest team by far, and they are generally likeable.

I hope Margie is going to be OK after collapsing with heat stroke at the pit stop.

Edited by Crow

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I agree with all that Crow says. But I found it a fairly boring leg. I was surprised it wasn't non-elim since it didn't even have a road block.

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I'm sure it had a Road Block. We just weren't shown it.

I'm also sad to see Mel & Mike go, and am also appalled by the actions of the Mini-men. I actually think that Margie & Luke will have to drop out of the Race due to the heatstroke - they did not appear in the promos for the next episode at all.

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It was really sad to see

Mel and Mike

get eliminated. Too bad they lost so much time trying to find that gorilla statue. But they were pure class all the way to the end.

What makes it more disappointing was the appalling behavior by the

stuntmen brothers

. If you're going to sabotage other teams by hiding what could be an important piece of equipment (tire pumps), then go do that stuff on Survivor or Big Brother.

A public service announcement for the cheerleaders: People in other countries aren't obliged to speak English for you. Deal with it.

On a positive note, I wouldn't mind seeing Tammy and Victor win. They look like the strongest team by far, and they are generally likeable.

I hope Margie is going to be OK after collapsing with heat stroke at the pit stop.

I was bugged by this leg of the race. It's probably because I found Mel and Mike the most likable of the remaining racers, but it seems to me that racers should not have to incur such drastic setbacks because of issues that are totally outside their control (e.g., a clueless taxi driver who refused to admit that he really didn't know where he was going, and who wasted what appeared to be hours of precious time). I realize that an element of randomness comes with the territory. I just thought it was a shame that two likable people, and two fine racers, should be eliminated by factors that had absolutely nothing to do with their racing skills.

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If there is a U-turn in next week's leg, I'll bet no one will have qualms about hitting the Tweedles. (Great name for them from the Cheerleaders.)

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The cheerleaders are mean.

The stuntmen cheated.

The sisters have ... um ... diminished intellectual capacity, and make too many mistakes.

If Margie & Luke do have to drop out, then Tammy & Victor are the ones to root for.

Is it heatstroke if you don't completely black out? Could it be just simple dehydration? She shouldn't have refused the ambulance.

Neither the sisters nor the cheerleaders have the emotional resilience to cope with being U-Turned -- and the promo suggests that the stuntmen get themselves into major trouble on the next episode.

It is a shame about Mel & Mike, but on the other hand, they did see "the herd" getting advice and going off together in a different direction, and they chose not to follow. So I wouldn't say that their situation had nothing to do with their racing skills. They knew they were taking a big gamble ... when the teams have to seek information and one team gets answer A while all the others get answer B, it's usually A that is incorrect.

I wonder if teams are allowed to quiz their flight attendants or other passengers on the plane? If I were on a 14-hour flight to Thailand with a gorilla photo, I'd want to ask the flight attendants about it, and also get them to teach me "Hello" and "Thank you" in Thai.

Edited by mrmando

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Wow. Um. OK.

Not only are the stuntmen cheaters, they're even dumber than the sisters. They look to be in their 50s, and I have a hard time understanding how two guys who are so careless and cut so many corners managed to survive in a dangerous profession like stunt work.

Did you notice when one of the cheerleaders said

"I think I'm doing pretty well with communication"?

I nearly busted a gut.

Do the rules mandate that contestants carry their passports in their fanny packs? It's hard to watch this show and see the same mistakes repeated from season to season.

So the reason Margie & Luke weren't in the preview highlights is that they burned through this leg like gangbusters with no mistakes, hangups, or drama. Not so for next week, when I guess we'll find out to what extent racers are penalized for

fighting with other racers.

Edited by mrmando

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Is anyone still NOT impressed with Tammy and Victor? They are emerging as the stand-out Racers this season.

I am so done with Margie and Luke, and Kisha and Jen. Neither team came out of last episode covered in glory, and this episode just magnified their shame. Ugh.

The cheerleaders are - the cheerleaders. They are gorgeous ugly Americans. And that's all I have to say about them.

I have to admit, I have no way of connecting with the idea that one could be afraid of the water. I understand intellectually that this is the case for many people, but having grown up swimming, and around bodies of water of various sizes, I just can't put myself in that place.

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Margie is the best racer this season, probably the best racer of several seasons. So far she's been able to pick up whatever slack is created by her son's deafness. Agreed: neither she nor the sisters handled their conflict very well, and the first team to just forget about it and put it behind them will be better off. The victim card doesn't play any better than the aggressor card.

But I don't know why you would say this episode magnified Margie & Luke's shame. They scorched everyone else at swimming, and made up a lot of time in the process.

T & V are likable and certainly worth rooting for. Their narcissism isn't nearly as bad as the cheerleaders' or the sisters', but T & V

Edited by mrmando

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But I don't know why you would say this episode magnified Margie & Luke's shame. They scorched everyone else at swimming, and made up a lot of time in the process.

Margie is an excellent Racer, and Luke has done a decent job. The "shame" I spoke of was in their refusal to let go of the weirdness of the last leg, instead amplifying it with gossip and more name-calling. And Margie is the worst in that category.

I think she babies Luke in an unseemly way, and that Luke is dependent on that babying. He's 22 years old! He doesn't need to be coddled, deafness or no deafness.

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Margie is an excellent Racer, and Luke has done a decent job. The "shame" I spoke of was in their refusal to let go of the weirdness of the last leg, instead amplifying it with gossip and more name-calling. And Margie is the worst in that category.

Complete agreement with you on that. I don't think I heard anything about it from either team in the last half of the episode; I hope that means it's finally a dead issue.

I think she babies Luke in an unseemly way, and that Luke is dependent on that babying. He's 22 years old! He doesn't need to be coddled, deafness or no deafness.

My wife calls Margie a "mama bear." It may be a reason to dislike her, but do you think it's had a negative effect on their performance in the race?

As the parent of a child with a disability, I guess I'm more sympathetic to Margie than the average person might be.

I was ready to take Luke's side vis-a-vis the first shoving incident, but the second incident made everyone look bad.

Edited by mrmando

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Loved Tammy and Victor until the incident where Victor insisted on following a trail that did not exist, refusing to listen to her. But they've really come together well since then, and they are a force. Margie and Luke have been my favorites until recently, though I still really admire them for doing so well. As someone already said, Margie may be one of the toughest racers of recent seasons, stronger than a lot of younger racers. (I totally understand her adreneline-fueled outburst at the mat with Kisha and Jen, but no-one came out of that looking mature.)

The swimming pool scene was gritty - and good on Kisha for a great attitude when Jen lost it. 18 minutes in the pool means they weren't that far behind Victor and Tammy, who finished in about 9-10 minutes, I think. The non-stop pit stop will be a pretty amazing relief to them when they get there, and Kisha deserves it for they way she supported her sister, wanting to finish well even though elimination seemed certain.

Not a crazy-good cast, but these are pretty memorable, pretty strong racers. Should be a good finish.

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Yesterday, searching CBS.com for an episode recap, which I eventually found, I watched a clip of the ousted teams at the

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Wow. What rotten luck for

Kisha & Jen.

To fight their way back from being U-turned and then lose at the pit stop because of a

bathroom break

Edited by mrmando

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Quite a leg, with lots of twists and turns. But as Daniel discovered on Lost, also a lot of constants. Jamie WILL treat cabdrivers and passers-by with disrespect and disdain. (From the previews of next week's finale it looks like

that is not inherent to the language barrier, as Jamie disrespects English-speaking cabbies, as well.

) Tammy and Victor WILL stay pretty calm and motor their way to the finish line with a minimum of hassle. And the Race WILL wear down contestants to the point of snippiness and bad decisions (paging Margie in the first case, and Jen in the second). I can't wait for the finale. Did Phil say whether it's one hour or two?

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I was going to say something, but i gotta hit the restroom first. Be right back. :)

I don't think you can really blame a

restroom break

for

Kisha and Jen

getting eliminated. Rather, it was because they lost too much time at the road block, compared to

Jamie and Cara

. My admiration for

Cara

did go up, watching the way she gobbled down those starfish and those larvae. I wonder exactly what the time gap between

Kisha and Jen and the Reds

really was, though. I doubt it was small enough for the

restroom break

to have made a difference, given that the other team was already off the mat by the time

Kisha and Jen

got there.

The "what the ?" look on the taxi driver's face when Jamie nearly stabbed him with the gnome was priceless. I wish

T&V had U-turned the Reds instead of Kisha and Jen

, simply to watch Jamie trying to speak Mandarin for the waiter Detour option. I think her head would have exploded.

Edited by Crow

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We did see K&J getting out of their cab too soon as well ... looked like they were still a block away from the Bird's Nest. J&C got closer to the edifice before leaving their cab.

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My predictions for tonight:

Jamie and Cara will grab the initial lead on the final taxi ride to the finish line. Then Jamie will forget she is back in America and will start screaming at the taxi driver because he doesn't speak English. Said taxi driver will fire back with some choice epithets in English, and then pull over to the side of the road and ditch the cab.

Margie and Luke and Victor and Tammy will get into a footrace to the final mat. Luke will attempt to take out Victor with a hip check, but Victor will elude him like Alex Ovechkin, and he and Tammy will cross the finish line in victory.

Edited by Crow

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Great finale! It ended as it should - Tammy & Victor

muscled and thought their way to a victory so complete that the editors didn't even try to make the last cab ride suspenseful

. The surfboard challenge was an interesting moment, with

Luke

dominating early but

getting frustrated and losing confidence

later on, and

Victor

coming in and demolishing it utterly. It also gave us some poignant and redeeming moments, as when

Luke and Jamie

helped each other solve their challenge problems.

A satisfying conclusion to a solid season of the Race.

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I didn't think the finale was all that great, but I was pleased with the outcome. I was most impressed with the cheerleaders, although I'm supposed to hate them.

Don't these contestants know that they'll be tested on their knowledge of previous legs at some point during the finale, or late in the race? Why aren't they better prepared.

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I didn't think the finale was all that great, but I was pleased with the outcome. I was most impressed with the cheerleaders, although I'm supposed to hate them.

Don't these contestants know that they'll be tested on their knowledge of previous legs at some point during the finale, or late in the race? Why aren't they better prepared.

I think the memory challenge, even if it is inevitable, is far tougher for the contestants than it is for us, the viewers. We, as the viewers, have the added benefit of three weeks of round-the-clock racing edited down to eleven 40-minute, easily digestible segments. So when half of an episode is devoted to watching people try to suck down scorpions, we naturally think that scorpions are pretty important to the show. But I can understand why such a telling detail (for us) might be forgotten in the midst of the race. In the midst of the race, the racers show up at the roadside restaurant, scarf down the scorpions as quickly as they can, and move on. It doesn't surprise me that a scorpion on a surfboard might be overlooked in the midst of 299 other surfboards with equally cryptic symbols. I thought Victor's performance in that event was truly remarkable, and it didn't surprise me at all that the other contestants missed one or more of the clues.

The only negative of the final episode for me was Luke reminding us that deaf people really can do anything. Thanks, Luke. How does one sign "Shut the hell up"?

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I thought it was a pretty good final episode, though the whole thing had a weird Survivor vibe. I kept waiting for Phil to call the teams to Tribal Council.

I was pleased to see

Victor and Tammy

win. They were the best racers throughout the race.

I felt sorry for Luke. He was doing very well with the surfboards, but had a mental block at the end. It's something that can happen to all of us. I was impressed with Jamie's performance at the surfboards and that she was only mildly annoying this week during the cab rides.

It was great to see Mel and Mike again at the Final Mat, and to see a flashback of the Indian nose-flute guy during the surfboard challenge.

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Margie talked about Luke's efforts to prepare himself for the memory challenge ... so yes, the racers knew it was coming. Poor kid just froze up, and switched to guessing-game tactics out of frustration.

It's much easier for 2 people to carry a pig on a spit if they can get it up on their shoulders. Things looked good for Margie & Luke when they were the only team to figure this out, but the short lead they built just wasn't enough. Even though Margie still gets my vote as the best all-around racer this season, Victor was clearly the most intelligent racer, and it was gratifying to see the triumph of brains over brawn. Tammy & Victor had their meltdown early in the race, and got stronger as time went on, whereas Margie & Luke blew up in China and didn't quite get things back together. With the cheerleaders, perhaps it's the luck of the Irish: they weren't particularly gifted in terms of physical strength, personality, or mental acuity, but they did look cute sitting next to a tiger, and that was good enough for second place. Good-looking but otherwise-average people worldwide should take heart.

Although teams aren't allowed to bring any maps or written guides with them, they can purchase such things during the race. Most U.S. airports have a stationery shop. After you get your flight tickets for the first leg of the race, a blank notebook and a pen would be a wise purchase. Then, methinks, you could write down the roadblocks, detours, speed bumps, pit stops, etc. at the end of each leg, and this would help you prepare for the memory challenge. I have no idea whether teams have done this. Of course, actually using written notes during the memory challenge would be bad television.

Thinking back to how I felt after 10 days of stress and sleep deprivation in Athens (and I was sleeping in the same place every night), I am not surprised that racers are prone to mental lapses near the end of the race.

Were Mark & Michael shopping for souvenirs during the race? There has to be a reason they ran out of money more often than the other teams.

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