And just like that, Jet and Cord catapulted from currency-confusing cowboys to leaders of the pack. On Sunday, the 10 remaining teams on the sixteenth installment of The Amazing Race traveled to Puerto Varas, Chile, for the second leg of the race, where teams struggled navigating the Chilean bus system, dressing llamas or themselves as flying condors, and running around the Weisser Family Farm searching for German baking ingredients.
Once again, mistakes abounded. Jeff and Jordan ended up going to the wrong bus station; Dan and Jordan got lost as they struggled with a manual transmission; Louie and Michael drove right past the final task and ended up 19 miles out of the way; and most teams wasted a day in one bus terminal while Jeff and Jordan, Jet and Cord, and Brent and Caite slipped away after finding a better option. When all the dust settled, Jet and Cord were triumphant while Jody and Shannon had to pack for Elimination Station.
Before I crown the biggest mistake, I have to give the cowboys some love. Instead of waiting around for a direct bus, they were smart enough to look for other options. Jeff and Jordan did the same thing, but the cowboys did not rest on their laurels, patting themselves on the back with their great strategic move. They kept vigilant and pulled ahead of every other team. Once they got the lead, they never looked back. Let’s be honest: who thought Jeff and Jordan and Jet and Cord would be the two biggest threats?
I love the fact that Jeff called Jordan out for not knowing how many eggs were in a baker’s dozen! Not only was it endearing, but I’ve recently realized that many otherwise smart do not know things that most of us take for granted. Is there really such a thing as common knowledge anymore? I quizzed a group of over-achieving high school kids a few weeks ago and was shocked at some of the answers. Who was the white guy Pocahontas had a crush on? (No, not Christopher Columbus.) Who invented the light bulb? (No, not Thomas Jefferson.) Who is Chekhov? (Really? Watch season 14 again.)
Enough suspense … the award for the mistake of the week goes to Shannon! Let me explain. There is no question Jody is the world’s coolest grandmother. I don’t know many who can handle getting kicked in the head by a cow. She carried her own weight, is not afraid to try new things and has endurance many 30-somethings would envy. As Jody put it, the roadblock proved that septuagenarians “can do physical things.” But what I don’t understand is why — since Jody and Shannon were likely in last place — did Shannon let her grandmother do that roadblock? The one thing Jody did not have was hustle. Slow and steady does not win when you’re in last place. I’m all for proving you can do it, but when you’re hoping to avoid elimination you need to scramble, unless you’ve already resigned yourself to leaving the race. I’m not saying hustling would have made a difference, or that Shannon would have done a quicker job, but it did seem like the team as a whole never understood the urgency of being in a race. If I were Shannon, I would have told my grandmother she can prove herself on the next task! And since Louie and Michael did fall into the back of the pack, hustling could very well have made a big difference. –Victor Jih
Tell us: If you were in last place, would you have let your grandmother take the roadblock (even if she says you’re her favorite)? How are you supposed to milk a cow without getting kicked in the head? And please tell me your family and friends passed Victor’s Amazing Common Knowledge Quiz!Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic