The penultimate episode of The Amazing Race 16 is finally here. It's been a long and stressful road for our four remaining teams, but they'll have to amp it up just one more notch if they hope to make it to the final round. In our last episode, the teams arrived in Shanghai, China where the racing got pretty intense. After enduring a fashion challenge and two roadblocks, the detectives (Louie and Michael) came in last place, but were luckily spared from elimination. The detectives must perform a speed bump task on this leg of the race as punishment for coming in last on the previous leg. Can the detectives get out of last place and avoid elimination this week? Which teams will make it to the final three? Will Caite ever shut her mouth and stop being an annoying little piece of garbage (I doubt that'll happen anytime soon)? We'll find out the answers to these questions and more as we get on with this review.
We begin at the pit stop for the last leg of the race, which is the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum. The racers open their next clue which tells them to go to the Garden Bridge. Once the racers find the bridge, they must go to the middle section of it where their next clue will await them. Jet and Cord leave the pitstop first and start looking for the garden bridge. They ask a local where it is and she points the cowboys toward a bridge that could possibly be it. However, when Jet and Cord get there, they don't find a clue and quickly realize that they are not in the right location. After this mishap occurs, the cowboys find a taxi driver who takes them to ANOTHER garden bridge (apparently, Shanghai has two garden bridges) and once the cowboys arrive there, they finally receive their next clue. Brent and his incredibly pathetic girlfriend have the easiest time finding the bridge because they ask a local where it is and she responds by doing a search for it on her phone. Shortly afterwards, the local finds it and the two idiots race off to the bridge in a taxi, where they find their next clue. The last two teams do not fare as well on this task. Dan and Jordan walk around for over two hours without any luck finding the garden bridge. They decide to team up with Louie and Michael in order to have a better chance of spotting it, but the detectives have no luck either. Finally, Louie and Michael find a cab driver who knows where it is. Louie and Michael get in a cab to go to the bridge, with Dan and Jordan following right behind them in another cab. The only problem is the taxi driver doesn't speak english. Dan tells the driver to follow Louie and Michael's cab numerous times, but the driver doesn't understand what he is saying. Finally, the brothers lose sight of the detectives. Dan looks as if he's about to lose it and demands to get out of the cab. But eventually, both teams make it to the bridge and receive their next clue. The language barrier is always a hard one to overcome on the amazing race. It has caused major frustration for racers in the past and I can understand why Dan got so upset at his driver. It's a race for a million dollars and any one of us would probably lose our cool also if we had a taxi driver who couldn't comprehend a simple direction that we're giving them. I don't think we should be too harsh on Dan for how he acted here, but it further proves my point that Dan and Jordan get flustered too easily and this could hurt them on the race. They both better get their act together if they want to be one of the final three teams standing.
After the teams arrive at the garden bridge, they receive their next clue which tells them to go to the Longhua Temple. Once the teams arrive at the temple, they discover the roadblock for this leg of the race. One team member must go inside the temple and count all the golden statues inside the room. After that team member is done counting, that person must then write down their guess and hand it to the judge. If the team member has written down the correct number of statues on the paper (which is 523), the team member will receive the next clue. If the team member has written down an incorrect number, then that team member must wait ten minutes before guessing again. Brent and Little Miss Obnoxious arrive at the temple first. Caite counts the statues and makes multiple guesses, but she continues to be incorrect. This allows the cowboys to catch up to the dating couple at the temple. Jet keeps his cool and begins to count the statues in the room. After a little while, Jet and Caite both correctly guess 523 at the same time and receive their next clue. Later on, the two trailing teams arrive at the temple. Dan immediately begins to count the statues for his team, but Louie and Michael have other problems to deal with. For coming in last on the previous leg, Louie and Michael must complete a speed bump task as punishment before they can perform the roadblock. In this speed bump, Louie and Michael must each take a coin and throw it into a large incense burner for good luck. The detectives complete this task quickly and now, Louie can go into the temple and start counting statues. Dan gets the count right on his first try, but Louie misses a couple of statues on his first guess. He waits ten minutes and adds the other two that he missed, bringing the total to 523. Louie's guess is correct and the detectives receive their next clue. I have to admit that task looked pretty difficult. There were so many gold statues in there and it's very easy to lose track of what you're doing. There were other people walking around in the temple as well and I would've found that distracting. It probably would've taken me many guesses before I got it right. This is why I don't go on the Amazing Race. There's too much to do here and I'm too lazy to want to deal with any of that, lol.
Once the roadblock is completed, the teams receive their next clue which tells them to hop onboard a motorcycle (which will be driven by a professional, not by the racers themselves) that will take them to the Yuyuan gardens. Once teams arrive there, they will receive their next clue. As Cord is riding along in his motorcycle, he jokes about how riding through Shanghai, China is new for him since he comes from a whole county that has "one light and it's flashing yellow". Yeah, I imagine this whole race has been quite a new experience for the cowboys in general. Earlier in this episode, Cord discusses an injury that he received in 2004 that almost killed him. Jet stayed by his side the whole time and now, Cord is grateful to be alive and competing in this race with his brother. They may come from a small town and they may seem to not know much, but there's no doubt that the cowboys can overcome any obstacle to survive in this race. These two clearly have the will and the stamina to hang in there or else, they would not have made it to the final four. Now the question is will the cowboys become one of the last three teams standing and if so, will these two go on to win the race? That is the question. Only time will tell us the answer, though.
Once the teams arrive in Yuyuan gardens, they find their next clue which is the detour for this leg of the race. The choice is either "Pork Chops" or "Pork Dumplings". The teams that choose "Pork Chops" must go to a store that sells elaborate stamps known as chops. Once there, the teams must search among the inventory of stamps to find two of them that will have a picture of a pig and their name engraved on the bottom of it. Once a team has found both of its stamps, that team will receive their next clue. The teams that choose to do the "Pork Dumplings" task must go to a restaurant where they will pick up ten orders of dumplings and deliver them through the crowded market to a specific area. Once a team has successfully delivered the dumplings to the right place, that team will receive their next clue. Both of the tasks here look about equal on the first glance, but the teams clearly perferred one task over the other. All four teams chose to do the "Pork Chops" option while no one even attempted the "Pork Dumplings". This is probably because the "Pork Chops" option requires less physical effort than the other one. It could also be because the "Pork Chops" challenge is a needle in a haystack sort of thing where it can be hard, but a team could potentially luck out and get ahead quickly if they find their stamps right away. The Dumplings option could take longer if they have no idea where they have to deliver them to. Again, these are all guesses on my part, but I'm assuming these might be the reasons why every team went with the "Pork Chops" task. Anyway, as the teams begin to look through the many stamps for the two that they need, Brent complains about having to go to the bathroom. He needs to pee really bad, but Caite wants to stay and continue the task so that they don't fall behind. Finally, Brent can't take it anymore and decides to go potty, but it doesn't cost them much time because once they come back from the bathroom, Brent and Caite find their stamps first and leave the detour. Jet and Cord follow closely behind after they find both of their stamps seconds after Brent and Caite do. The two trailing teams arrive at the detour much later and both teams search as hard as they can in a desperate effort to get the task completed as quick as possible in order to avoid elimination. Dan and Jordan arrive at the detour first and have a slight lead over the detectives. The detectives try to make up for the lost time after they arrive, but it's too little too late. Dan and Jordan complete the task ahead of the detectives and leave. After a while, the detectives find their stamps and leave as well. It's getting close between these two teams in the back of the pack. Who will survive and who will get eliminated? Let's find out.
After the detour is completed, the teams receive their next clue which tells them to head to the pit stop for this leg of the race. This time, the pit stop is located at the riverside promenade which overlooks the shanghai waterfront. The last team to arrive at the promenade will be eliminated. Brent and his whiny girlfriend arrive in first place. For winning this leg of the race, Brent and Caite have both won a trip to coastal spain. Just Peachy. Unfortunately, my worst fears have been realized. My least favorite team has not only made it to the final three, but now, they stand a good chance of winning. Excuse me while I go hurl. Jet and Cord arrive in second place and are hopeful that they can win The Amazing Race. Jet even jokes that they both want to get buckles that say "Amazing Race Champions" on them, lol. Well, I hope it happens. Anything is better than having Brent and Caite win the race at this point. Only two teams are left. Who will stay and who will get the boot? The team to come in third is......Dan and Jordan!!!! The brothers have narrowly escaped elimination. Louie and Michael are the last place team and Phil tells both detectives that they have been eliminated from the race. In their closing statements, Louie and Michael both say that their friendship is strong and that they will remember this race for the rest of their lives. Those are nice parting words if I do say so myself. :-)
Louie and Michael have surely had an interesting run this season. During the first three legs, these two came narrowly close to being eliminated many times, but still managed to survive. At the time, I thought it was all but inevitable that these two would be booted out of the game very early on. They were clearly very clumsy and I couldn't see them surviving for much longer. But then, Episode 4 comes along and they completely turn their game around. After three first placed finishes in a row, it became apparent that this is one team that should not be overlooked. They might be older than most of the other teams that were in the race, but they had a lot going for them. They completed the tasks well, they hardly argued with each other, and they were also able to use their friendships with other racers (mainly Brent and Caite) to eliminate other competition from the game (mainly Carol and Brandy). I criticized these two heavily at the beginning of the season and I still feel that they're not a perfect team if there even is such a thing. However, what they have proven is that they are a determined team that went farther in the game than most people would have predicted. I give them both a lot of credit for that. It's too bad that the detectives didn't win the million, but they sure played a great game and you can't go wrong with that. :-)
We have only one more episode left to go of The Amazing Race 16 and it has come down to our final three teams who are vying for that first place finish and that million dollar check. Dan and Jordan have come very far in the race. I thought they were a weak team at first, but they've done a good job of getting themselves to the final three. However, I don't think the brothers are going to win this one. They're up against two teams that have finished better and have been overall more consistent than they have in the race. I predict a third place finish for Dan and Jordan. Next up, we have Brent and........that annoying girl that buzzes around him all the time. I flat out can't stand Caite and I pray she doesn't win this. I've been hoping beyond hope that she would be eliminated before the finals, but alas, it wasn't meant to be. Now she might have a real chance at winning this race and if she does, we'll never hear the end of it. I predict that Brent and Caite will come in second place. But I'll probably end up being wrong and they'll most likely go on to win the damn thing. If that happens, I'll be an unhappy camper, but I'll give her credit for a win if she's able to pulls it off. It's only fair. Caite believes she's overcoming the stereotype of being a dumb beauty pageant contestant by doing well. I wouldn't go that far, but I will give her props for running a somewhat good race when it's all said and done. Finally, we have the cowboys. I believe that Jet and Cord have the best chance of coming out on top. They're quick on their feet and can adapt to any situation like clockwork. Even though they came in last on a previous leg and were spared elimination, I still feel that the cowboys' first place finishes more than make up for that blunder. This is the team to watch and I believe (and hope) that the cowboys take home the victory.
We're getting down to the wire. The next episode is the season finale. Who will win? Who will come in second and third? We'll see how our final three teams will fare next time on the final episode of the season. Till then.
What did you think of this review?