It may be time for The Amazing Race to cut back on Non-Elimination legs, because they keep popping up at inopportune times for me this season, continually sparing teams I’d just as soon lose and, as I may have lamented previously, failing to spare Rob-n-Amber in their moment of need.

[Spoilers will follow. Duh.]

The latest team to take advantage of a Non-Elimination Leg is Eric and Danielle, as the Bickering Boors got on a late flight from Malaysia to Hong Kong and never made up the time, only to discover that the leg airing Sunday (April 15) was the leg no pigs would die.

So Eric and Danielle are Marked for Elimination next week, but will they also target Charla and Mirna with the same bitterness they grumbled at the Beauty Queens this week? The Beauty Queens Yielded them, but for my money, what Charla and Mirna did this week was far sleazier, accepting Danny and Oswald’s standby number to move ahead of the place Eric and Danielle had earned by waiting in line. Mirna wouldn’t think that was sleazy, but then again, she thinks that the Beauty Queens were playing dirty when they used the Yield, so she’s just a moron.

For my money, Charla and Mirna deserved some sort of penalty this week anyway. In Hong Kong, the clue clearly instructed them to take a taxi to one ferry station and take a boat to another destination. Instead, their cabbie drove them directly to that second station, where they preceded to get on the wrong ferry, forcing an unnecessary round-trip voyage. I wonder if the producers decided that their stupidity getting on the Kowloon ferry was a sufficient enough penalty, but I’d have preferred to see them Marked for Death instead of Eric and Danielle.

Overall, if you take out the stupid, anti-climactic Non-Elimination ending, it was a pretty fun leg.

It had the airport drama of the counter battle between Charla and Mirna and the Beauty Queens, which played like something off the first grade schoolyard — "You cut!" "I didn’t cut. He called back-cuts!" "There’s no such thing as back-cuts, cootie-breath!"

And it also had an all-time classic Detour, in which the teams had to scale the scaffolding on a tall building while random kung-fu fighters swung around punching and kicking in their direction.

Other quality moments from Sunday’s episode:

  • Most Stomach-Churning Charla/Mirna Moment: Mirna telling the kung-fu fighters "We are here to make love not war," which wouldn’t have been so bad if not for the obligatory uber-ethnic broken English.
  • Second Most Stomach-Churning Charla/Mirna Moment: Either Mirna’s continued conviction that the Beauty Queens pad their bras (does she also have issues with Danielle’s obvious, um, enhancements?) or — seconds after her complaints about dirty play — her attempts to get the China Air ticketing agent to bump civilians off of an earlier flight.
  • Third Most Stomach-Churning Charla/Mirna Moment: Mirna’s mandatory assertion to the camera that Charla’s in this game to prove doubters wrong. That assertion came within minutes of Mirna expressing doubts about Charla’s ability to do the challenge, doubts which caused them to consider an alternate Detour and fall behind the Beauty Queens. Nobody doubts Charla nearly as much as Mirna.
  • Wishful Thinking Quote of the Episode: "Go stand in a puddle and drop your hair-drier in it and kill ourselves." [Eric to Danielle on their next course of action after failing to get on a good flight.]

    Thoughts on this week’s episode? Any not-so-favorite Charla/Mirna moments that I forgot? And is there a simple answer for why they weren’t penalized?

  • Posted by:Daniel Fienberg