The Amazing Race – Season 12, Episode 10 – And Then There was Three…

“Sorry, guys, ‘I’m not happy to see you’”

January 13th, 2008

There’s no suspense in the opening this week: Phil flat out tells us that someone is going to be eliminated tonight. It’s time to narrow us down to the final three, and there’s no team with an easy ride – Ron and Chris have been working well as of late, but they still have their issues. However, it becomes clear early on that the real battle is between the slow, the bickering and the disadvantaged.

Donald will invariably hold back Nicholas, although the team has persevered through worse. Nathan and Jennifer are fine under normal circumstances, but the least bit of pressure destroys their relationship. And TK & Rachel have a Speed Bump standing in their way, along with a three hour disadvantage. Who will fall behind? Who will live to see next week’s finale? Read on to find out.

Everyone is happy as they leave the pit stop in Japan that TK & Rachel are 3 hours behind, while the three teams were tightly bunched around 7am. It isn’t good news for TK & Rachel, either, that the first task is a brief taxi ride to a nearby building – they need bunching badly, and it doesn’t look like they’re going to get it…until we find that the hours of operation are 10am.

Bunch Time

This building with a hole in it, which seemed a cryptic clue, seems easy to find, and the first three teams are hopeful that there will be an opportunity to get ahead. Then, however, it’s a trip to the airport for a flight to Taiwan. Nicholas, oddly, believes that there are a lot of pansies left in the race (Umm, okay?). TL & Rachel spend far too long lollygagging around the Floating Gardens for me to really question his logic on the whole, but it seems an odd statement to make.

Airport Madness

And thus begins the embarrassment as teams battle to get on an early flight which involves some conniving from Christina and some bickering from Nathan and Jennifer (On her BIRTHDAY no less). TK & Rachel are letting the race get to them, as they walk by the clue box and start to mentally and physically melt down. The end result is Ron and Christina departing first, with Nathan and Jennifer and Nicholas and Don leaving fifteen minutes after. It is ominous that we don’t see TK & Rachel’s flight get in, but ominous in a good way for fans of the couple – they even get into the immigration line before the other two teams.

The Train, The Train!

The lagging three teams are all on the same train leaving Taipei, as Ron and Christina are still in the lead (But not by much, though). I don’t know why Nate and Jen are so worried about being in last: TK & Rachel will have to do an entire different task, and as they’ll see the Roadblock isn’t exactly something that will create any distance between two teams. They have some cab issues, but it’s not an entire task’s worth.

Roadblock

Who’s ready for a tricky ride? They will become a passenger in a stunt car which will rock on a teeter totter for a while, and then drive underwater for seventeen seconds, and then they will receive their next clue…if they’re alive, Phil says. Delightful! Ronald is first to go, and is terrified while Christina enjoys his torture while maintaining a caring guise. He survives (Take that, pessimistic Phil), and they remain in first on their way back to Taipei (So another train ride to bunch). Nathan enjoys it, as does Rachel, while she says some very strange things (Holy Schnike?).

Post-Roadblock…it’s a Speed Bump

An important note here: Christina got a timetable of the trains, which means we’re aware of what times they are fighting for. They’re looking to make the 7:16, but will be delayed until 7:36 – this means there’s a 20-minute window we’re playing with. But, before they can get to the trains, it’s time for a Speed Bump. They must run through fireworks, and then get doused with water. Ideally for them, however, the task is only a mile away, and the other two teams are behind them in the roadblock. The even better news for them: the other two teams are forced to wait for twenty-nine minutes. Will it be enough for them to catch-up?

You betcha!

Jennifer? Continues to flip out. She’s having some serious issues with the race portion of the…race. She really needs to deal with it, as she just calls it stupid and pouts about it. Nicholas and Donald attempt to be helpful, but really they want to just gossip. Which is no more admirable than Nathan and Jennifer’s pouting, really, but whatever. The intensity begins with Ron and Christina too far ahead to really worry about it.

Nicholas and Donald appear to get a nice route out of the train station, while TK & Rachel appear to have a bit of a slowpoke. The result: Nathan and Jennifer yell a lot, Nicholas and Don arrive first and depart, while Nathan and Jennifer are struggling. The important part: TK & Rachel don’t drink their tea in the store, but rather depart first. Is it a rule violation? We’ll see.

Detour – Earth, Fire…Wind? No? Okay.

Teams must choose between a mystical fire ritual in a giant lantern raising ceremony thing, and they have to do it twenty times, or they have to walk on a 220ft path (both ways) on jagged rocks. Ron and Christina choose Earth, and the younger woman struggles with the pain while Ron’s calloused feet walk right over them. They depart quickly, leaving the final three teams to struggle it out.

And struggle they do: Jennifer confuses cow and clown (And they get some confusing subway directions which could cost them), TK & Rachel leave in 3rd (Also choosing Earth), and it’s Donald and Nicholas who leave first but have some issues with taxis. With two teams in taxis, Nathan and Jennifer begin to meltdown: she just freaks out a lot, and Subwaygate becomes the final straw for the team. Their ability to return from this should be nil, especially since everyone is doing the fast/painful detour option.

And then they start – Nicholas and Don have some serious issues, while TK rushes through it and finishes before them. It becomes a race for taxis, which is tough when Nate and Jennifer are still completing the task and I don’t think the taxi struggles are going to be enough (Editing manipulation, as per usual – people don’t have this much trouble finding a national monument). And, let’s see how the finale wears down…

The Eliminated Team

…it’s Nathan and Jennifer. It’s perhaps the worst birthday gift in the history of television, as Jennifer is eliminated from the race on her birthday. They raced so hard, and almost destroyed their relationship, and they don’t even have a trip/prize to show for it. On the one hand, I’m glad to see a strong physical team not make it to the finals and waltz over more likable ones. On the other hand, their tearful and likely staged discussion of their relationship was kind of tragic, and I’d rather have them around than Nicholas, who I hate.

The Final Three

Ronald and Christina – Departing in first, and on a roll at the very end, they are the team to beat. They are working well together, her language skills have certainly come in handy, and it seems as if their airport strategy has been working in conjunction with their general speed. The only weak link is that their relationship is still sketchy, but it’s been better as of late.

TK & Rachel – They’re laidback, but they overcame their disadvantage to race fast through the tasks and waltz into the final three. The only think not to like about them is that there is nothing the least bit unlikable about them – they are almost too kind and wholesome, and I’d like to see an emotion outside of contentment more than once an episode.

Nicholas and Donald – If they win, I will be frustrated. I’ve got issues with someone backpacking their way through the race, something that can’t be said of the other teams. Donald has done almost nothing the entire time, and is just getting dragged around by an ungrateful twenty-something without common sense. They just haven’t done anything to deserve it, so hopefully it’s the latter two struggling it out.

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2 Comments

Filed under The Amazing Race

2 responses to “The Amazing Race – Season 12, Episode 10 – And Then There was Three…

  1. I think this has been one of the most interesting seasons in terms of the relationships between the various teams. So many people seem to go on the race to “test” or improve their relationship, but Ron & Christina are the first team I can remember that have actually made positive steps forward. It’s rather remarkable, especially considering the stress-monkey nature of the race. I am really pleased with this unexpected final 3 (I actually don’t mind Nick and Don, though I’d prefer that they don’t win).

    You left off my favorite part — when Nate says that all he knows about Taiwan was that he liked Thai food. Pure editing gold, right there.

  2. The entire Nathan Thai Food section, which WAS awesome, was lumped in with Nicholas being an idiot, so I was distracted. On rewatching it, I especially loved the cut (Plus sound effect) to Ron assuring Christina that Nathan and Jennifer were sharp.

    And you’re quite right about Ron and Christina, although I would perhaps qualify that as early as two episodes ago there definitely was not that love in place. He’s been good over periods before, but one task can totally sink him. They’re growing, definitely strange for people on the Race, but by the same token he’s got some issues to iron out before I name him father of the year.

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