The operative word "next" is indeed the operative word this time. But, you can't depend on that being the case. It used to be that there were huge hints whether a leg was a non-elimination or not. Instead of "next," we'd hear "tonight." In the last clue before the Pit Stop, instead of "may be eliminated," we'd get "will be eliminated." It's a gentler and kinder world, but the non-elimination legs don't always come at the right time for the right team of racers. Unless, of course, they hail from Kentucky in The Amazing Race 10.
Now, remember, thanks to the Cho Brothers and the Fast Forward, David and Mary were the first arrive in the last Pit Stop in Kuwait. David and Mary had to arrive first as they were marked for elimination and would have to wait out a 30 minute penalty if they didn't come in first at the Pit Stop. Why was that? Well, it's because they arrived last in the leg before and lucked out with it being a non-Philimination leg.
So, David and Mary were the first to depart the Pit Stop with a good three-hour lead over the next team. Will they be able to maintain their standing or will they fall back with the pack?
As it happens, their lead only led them to a bunching point. Common, a bit too common, that's when all the teams end up together due to circumstances. This particular circumstance was an airport flight to Mauritius. Despite the Beauty Queens (Dustin and Kandice) thinking that the travel agents were clueless and turning down more than a few tickets for the flight; despite a thorny snit betwixt the Boy Ex-Addict Models (Tyler and James) and the Alabama Moms (Lyn and Karlyn)... all the teams ended up on the same flight. At least the snit was entertaining as the Boy Toys mocked the Surly Moms.
A worthwhile quote from the snit - Either Lyn or Karlyn to the Boys: "Live with that on your conscious!" Um. Okay. As long as it's not on my conscience.
The alliance between the ChoBros (Erwin and Godwin), Kentucky (David and Mary), and Alabama (Lyn and Karlyn) continues to strengthen. They've dubbed themselves (or have been dubbed by the other teams) as the Six Pack. I've never seen major alliances work or even be attempted on this show in the past. I guess we'll see how this one pans out.
Of the alliance, the strongest team is the Chos. I hope the two weaker teams, probably the weakest competitively in the race, won't bring them down. I really enjoy David and Mary, but they're making it by the skin of their teeth each leg. Lyn and Karlyn are placing okay, but both are very out of shape for any physical doings. Tyler and James think that the Chos want to bring weaker teams to the Final Three so they can win. Meanwhile, the Chos claim that, as an alliance, they can be stronger than those who fend for themselves.
From that point, the teams were told their next clue would be in their vehicles. It was a model boat. It didn't take any of the teams too long to figure out that the model must have a real-life counterpart somewhere on the island. Lyn and Karlyn didn't wait for Kentucky like the ChoBros did. They didn't think it made any sense for all the teams in the Six Pack to be behind. Ah, so they're in an alliance when it suits themselves, eh? I got it!
Once the teams found the real-life schooner in the bay, they had to swim out to it, retrieve a clue, then swim back to shore. That bodes well if you can swim, of course. Neither David or Mary are strong swimmers. Apparently, from what they said, even though David was thrown in a lake to learn how to swim when he was a child, they're both a bit leery of swimming. The Boy Toys, even after getting very lost (again) turned out to be very strong swimmers and this was their chance to get a leg up on the leg. I snickered when I saw Kimberly swims better than Rob.
That clue directed them to find the post office at Case Noyale, so the teams were happy for dry land. Of course, we had the usual teams getting lost, Tyler and James are constants in that regard. "We didn't go the wrong way. We just took a wrong turn." "That's going the wrong way!" Rob and Kimberly had a blow-up brouhaha of two as Rob couldn't get it in gear. His car, that is. But, the kicker this time was that Kandice and Dustin really crunched their car right into the vehicle ahead of them. I'm surprised nothing was said at the Pit Stop later on about the crash. It was entirely their fault.
The clue at the post office was a Detour, a choice between two tasks tied in with the region's economy. Both team members take part in a Detour. They could choose from Salt or Sea. In Salt, the teams had to find a salt shaker with a clue in huge piles of salt. A play on the old "needle in a haystack," most teams initially went for this task. They kept finding salt shakers, but they were filled with salt or pepper, nary a clue to be found.
All the teams ended up heading to the second task, Sea, which was Dustin and Kandice's original choice. In Sea, teams sailed to an island, followed a map to find sails and a mast, installed them on a boat, then sailed back. David and Mary were the last to give up on Salt, but their Six Pack saved them shouting when they found the masts. The map wasn't clear at all. Needless to say, Tyler and James got very lost.
From the Detour, it was immediately to the Pit Stop with no Roadblock this week. I found that a bit odd. I'm not sure what filled up the hour. While the scenery in Mauritius was stunning, the show left me a bit bewildered tonight. It seemed to be missing something and that was the adrenalin rush which accompanies the Roadblock. And, I suppose, the hour was filled up with the Six Pack alliance and reactions to it. Give me action, guys. If I want alliances, I'll rewatch Survivor.
The arrival order of the teams at the Pit Stop at the Château de Bel Ombre:
- Dustin and Kandice - Each won a motor scooter. Phil said they could take a rider or a date, but was speechless when one asked him for a date. "Um..."
- Tyler and James - How can they get so lost so much and still place so well? If they had a sense of direction, they'd be three days ahead of the rest.
- Rob and Kimberly - They placed well, but they are not getting along well. I predict implosion soon.
- Erwin and Godwin - My favorites, but they really have to start concentrating on their own race.
- Lyn and Karlyn - I'm admiring how hard they're working and I bet their children are thrilled, but I think they're the least nice of the Six Pack. I swear that they'd push the ChoBros out of the way if things got close enough to do so. I know they like them, but these women have a nasty edge to them.
- David and Mary - Last, but saved by a non-Philimination leg once again - the second in a period of three weeks. I like them. I'm getting a kick out of them. I know the non-elimination legs are pre-determined, but I find it hard to believe two such legs are so close together and the same team saved both times. Once again, they're marked for elimination and must come in first on the next leg or face a 30 minute penalty. As much as I enjoy watching them, I hope the ChoBros don't put their own race in jeopardy to save them again.
This wasn't my favorite episode. I want my adrenalin pumping and tonight's episode just didn't do that for me.