After two straight weeks of incredibly tense episodes slightly unraveled by anti-climactic non-elimination legs, one team finally got the boot on Sunday (April 29) night’s Amazing Race: All-Stars.


[Of course there are spoilers coming here, but you knew that.]

Oswald and Danny were eliminated because they finished last for the week. They were eliminated because they were already Marked for Elimination. But really they were eliminated because they should have been eliminated last week. Danny and Oswald have been my second or third favorite team through most of the season, but they lost me last week with Oswald’s fatalistic karmic whining.

While Sunday’s episode contained a good amount of humor, there was almost no actual drama. Danny and Oswald were behind from the beginning, spent a very brief period in third and then faded to the back of the pack again. Meanwhile, Dustin and Kandice were in first from the start, completed each task with the lead and reached the mat on top as well. Eric and Danielle replaced Charla and Mirna in second, but it was mostly static.

That meant that the editors were forced to create suspense where probably none existed. Will Danny and Oswald be able to catch up at the Tokyo airport? Oh no! They won’t! Oh wait. Yes they will. Will Charla and Mirna get lost going to the pit stop and let Danny and Oswald catch up? Oh yes! They will! Oh wait. No they won’t.

Boy, though, the episode was sure patriotic. On Guam, the teams got to wash an Air Force bomber or take part in a heroic food drop (Charla and Mirna were the only team to take that Detour option, which required no work, but earned them minutes of inspirational music). Then, having fully celebrated the Air Force, the teams went off to a Naval base and got to take part in an Search and Rescue mission that proved the dangers of not knowing how to use a GPS navigator. It initially seemed obnoxious when Mirna condescended to explain the GPS tracker to Charla ("Use the GPS. It tells you which way to go."), telling her not to touch the screen or push the buttons, but who knows how well they’d have done if Charla had actually listened?

Since the finale is next week, there won’t be very much time to miss Danny and Oswald, but they contributed good-natured one-liners throughout the season ("Oh my God. The Teletubbies go to war." was tonight’s best quip) and played a solid game. Danny’s closing comment about remaining convinced that Oswald would be pushing him around the gay old age home he’s going to open was priceless.

Other thoughts on this week’s episode:

  • Second best line of the episode: Dustin saying "We want to be the first all girl-girl team to win." She didn’t mean for it to sound naughty, but it did.
  • Actually, this is more about the scenes from next week’s episode, but I’m not sure my heart can deal with Dustin and Kandice fighting. Even if they’ve been catty to other teams, they’ve been nothing but devoted to each other. On the other hand, why does it not surprise me that Kandice would be the one saying mean things? Poor Dustin. She was so perfect this week on the GPS challenge. No hesitation and endless enthusiasm. I hope that the fight happens early next episode, because I’m rooting hard for the Beauty Queens and if they stop being likeable, I may just turn off the TV, because I’m not rooting for either of the other teams.

  • Not that Eric was badly behaved this week. There was Danielle wandering through the jungle squealing at spiders and worrying about Eric killing her, but when she got back to him, he greeted her with a big hug and a "Good job." He’ll probably be back to screaming at her next week.
  • Just another week of Mirna shrieking at Charla. Sigh. I’ve never disliked Charla as much as Mirna. In fact, I’ve always been OK with her, but what was up with her confusion with that GPS device? Mirna told her not to touch the buttons. The Navy dude told her not to touch the buttons and the screen. Why did she keep touching the buttons and the screen? And does anybody have a clue what Mirna was talking about in the cab in Macau? After asking the cabbie — in her thickest Mirnish accent — how to say "airport" and learning the correct translation was, in fact, "airport," she observed "You have to try to do the right accent. It makes all the difference in the world." Odd.

    Who are you rooting for next week? And who most deserves to win?

  • Posted by:Daniel Fienberg