In the previous installment of The Amazing Race, Shamir confirmed everyone’s worst fears that he was a total jerk by being a total jerk. Instead of just doing his given Roadblock (rappeling down a building and washing windows while wearing a harness) Shamir kicked and screamed (literally) about how much his balls hurt. Shamir made an impression as a total crybaby and even bigger impression as the villain of the season. While Shamir doesn’t suddenly become decent in this episode of The Amazing Race entitled, “Bucket List Type Stuff,” (he probably gets worse) another team emerges as even bigger toolbags.
The teams head to Tanzania and they all end up in one big clump. There is no plane drama and no staggered starts. Everyone is together and taking in the scenery. It’s nice, inspiring and … totally boring as the generic prettiness of the team that is nauseatingly calling themselves “LoLo.” Luckily, The Amazing Race quickly gets rid of the harmony. Once the teams get to the first Detour in Tanzania, they’re faced with a Blind Double U-Turn. This means two teams can (and will) be U-Turned without anyone knowing who did it. Unfortunately, since the teams are so bunched together, the mystery doesn’t really hold.
Seth and Olive are everyone’s targets because they are so strong. When Jerry and Tara arrive first at the Detour, reminding everyone that they are actual contestants in this game and not just strangers who wandered on-screen, they U-Turn Seth and Olive. The real story here is the second team of the Double U-Turn. The rivalry that Matt and Redmond sparked with Vanck and Ashton comes back to bite them in this leg as the latter team U-Turns the “dudebros.”
Rather than take their U-Turn in stride and be general adults about it, they throw a huge hissy fit. Redmond in particularly starts taunting Vanck and Ashton calling them weak and pathetic. It’s terribly petty and cements Redmond as a total jerk. Matt is less culpable as he doesn’t participate in the bullying but he certainly doesn’t calm the volatile Redmond down either. Shamir, meanwhile, is sulking in the background and smirking (or admiring) that there is someone in this season who is a bigger ass than himself.
Build It, Weave It or Whine It
Shamir’s smugness is short lived. The Detour is a choice of “Build It” (building school desks and benches for a school) and “Weave” (making a basket). Since “Weave” requires patience and skill, most teams choose “Build It.” Yet “Build” requires a lot of teamwork and cooperation, so it doesn’t help that many teams. All the regular teams struggle with the Detour. Brooke and Scott can’t help but snipe at each other the entire time and barely hold back from true aggression. No one implodes more though than Shamir with his pitiful partner, Sara, caught in the crossfire again.
Shamir starts off bad getting a splinter in his widdle finger. Shamir reacts as if he has just been tortured by a cruel and uncaring God rather than just got a tiny piece of wood brush his finger. Shortly thereafter though, Shamir begins blaming Sara for all his troubles and trying his best to reclaim his villain status. Sara-shaming has become Shamir’s newest ball ache excuse.
As arrogant and awful as Redmond and Matt may have turned out to be during this leg, they do work extraordinarily well together. They can complete “Build It” and “Weave It” in record time. Despite having to do both Detours, they surge to the front of the pack again. Shamir is a jerk but at least he has the decency to be a wreck. Matt and Redmond can actually back up their arrogance which makes them even less likable. Matt and Redmond’s skills leave Shamir and Sara fighting for last place with the way more likable Seth and Olive.
African Supermarket Sweep
There is one more challenge to go however. The big Roadblock (that was Shamir’s downfall the last leg) follows the Detour. This Roadblock doesn’t involve any rappelling or “nut crushing” as Shamir would call it. Instead, it is the dreaded shopping challenge where the team has a shopping list written in the language of the land. These are always awful challenges as the frustration and stress can make the best teams seem totally ignorant and borderline racist in a foreign land. There is an interesting wrinkle added here however, as the team must haggle for their ingredients with their own money. The teams still treat the native people as more objects than humans but it does add a new layer to this well-worn Amazing Race challenge.
Given his dreadful Roadblock experience last time, Sara is designated to haggle instead of Shamir. This turns out to be a blessing for everyone involved because it becomes clear quickly that Sara (and Shamir) are super broke. How this happened is anyone’s guess and I’m certainly not going to try to figure it out because economics are even more boring than LoLo. Sara does her best to manage diplomatically and kindly with the lack. Shamir probably would have have either punched someone or tried to garner sympathy by telling them about how much he hurt his genitals the day prior.
Sara’s lack of cash allows Seth and Olive to have a glimmer of hope of catching up, but it doesn’t become much more than just a glimmer. There is surprising hiccup where Floyd loses his passport. This causes our team of adorable nerds to come in the penultimate spot in the scramble to discover it. Floyd and partner Becca still beat Seth and Olive to the finish line though coming right behind Shamir and Sara. Seth and Olive come in last and are eliminated.
On the one hand, this allows me to make fun of Shamir more so that’s a plus. On the other, this is now three for three with The Amazing Race getting rid of a truly likable team. Though it’s not really the show’s fault that the most lovable people are the biggest losers this season. Unless you want to blame the whole stranger format…
So what do you think? Is the stranger format to blame for the last three eliminations? Do you think the first three eliminated teams were even that likable? Do you want Shamir to go home as soon as possible? Do you enjoy him being a drama queen?