Amazing Race 33 changed the way teams exit the pit stop and mislead us – reality faded

In its fifth episode, The great race 33 introduced the new way teams are taken out of pit stops: in groups, based on arrival time.

“For the rest of the season, the teams check out of the pit stop based on the order in which they arrived in the previous stage. They leave in groups that leave every 15 minutes,” host Phil Keoghan explained to us.

When teams checked in at the end of this leg, they learned what their departure group would be. The first two teams were in the first group and the third and fourth teams in the second group. The last team to arrive will leave by itself 30 minutes later.

I will spend a brief moment regretting the loss of actual staggered departures based on actual arrival time. It used to be exactly 12 hours later (or 36 hours later for longer pit stops) that teams would leave.

This new method is definitely preferable to lumping everyone together and having an equalizer at the start of each leg of the race, which would certainly happen because they’re all traveling on the same plane.

However, I’m not sure how it will work as the number of teams shrinks even further. Will they eventually spread out individual teams by 15 minutes?

So Arun and Natalia started this leg of the race at the exact same time as Akbar and Shari, even though they came in later than Akbar and Shari in the last leg.

Which brings me to the two eliminated teams that returned to The great race 33: Michael and Moe, and Arun and Natalia.

Last week, their first episode back, they both fell behind in the pack last week, and Michael and Moe checked in last, eliminating them.

In his voiceover recap of the final leg, host Phil Keoghan said, “a mistake on the detour ended the second chance for Michael and Moe.”

That’s actually not true at all: the extra Speedbump task that both she and Arun and Natalia had to complete – which was cut from the episode – led to their elimination.

Moe explicitly said they got lost on their way to the Speedbump. And it was that Speedbump that left Arun and Natalia in last place to start this episode, although they came in last because it was another déjà vu.

But this week, Arun and Natalia were saved by a leg that couldn’t be knocked out.

Arun Kumar and Natalia Kumar, in last place during The Amazing Race 33 Episode 5
Arun Kumar and Natalia Kumar, in last place on The Amazing Race 33 episode 5. (Image from Amazing Race via CBS)

Arun and Natalia were so far behind that Phil Keoghan said, “You’re a little late—so late, in fact, that our greeter had to go.” And Phil should have been in bed with a beer long ago!

But then he revealed it was a non-elimination trajectory and they would be leaving in the “third departure time, alone.” That means they will be 30 minutes behind the first two teams next week, which could be an impossible deficit or easy to overcome depending on the leg design.

In a slight change from last week, when the teams were in town and not at the challenge locations, they wore masks. Well, usually sort of. In the previous episode, we saw several unmasked teams asking for directions and chatting with strangers. Between the outdoor location and the limited time, probably a low risk, but I’m surprised any risk was allowed given the potential to infect and affect the entire production, which could explain the sudden appearance of masks.

Okay, let’s take a look at some highlights from episode five, which was definitely a stronger leg than last week:

  • At the start of this leg, they opened a clue describing the 722-foot bungee jump Roadblock, decided who would do it — and then had to ride for more than two hours, raising fears. That’s some cheeky leg design!
  • Dusty told us there was “confinement and the anger was building in these two animals – if you open the cage you get something spectacular today.” I don’t know if they can show that on TV, Dusty.
  • The bungee jump was from the Verzasca Dam, which was featured in the opening of Golden Eye. I was wondering at first if it might be the same Swiss dam that was used in this Mole season 2 challenge, but I think Switzerland has more than one dam that reality TV shows can ask people to jump off.
  • Raquel told us Cayla “just has a better sense of direction”. Cut to Cayla: “I literally can’t find where we are. I’m just trying to figure out where we are on this map.” I think a sense of direction is different from being able to read a map.
  • Sheri was told that “for safety reasons you must complete this roadblock” because Akbar was overweight. Sheri took this better than I would have. “I just couldn’t believe it,” she said. I would have thrown that clue on the floor and yelled at the producers: Yeah right, you motherfuckers are just trying to get one more episode out of my fear of heights!
  • “The hardest part is not looking out the window,” said Penn, the person who was driving and so is supposed to be, you know, looking out the window. Frankly, he was talking about the scenery: “Every time I do that, I want to stare for 30 minutes.” I have something to stare at: the road and all the scenery around it.
  • The Travelocity leprechaun returned (the world is healing!) and began flirting with Dusty, perhaps because he’d heard Dusty was as hot as a caged animal. “I’ve got the Travelocity leprechaun watching me before I die,” Dusty said.
  • So the Travelocity leprechaun bit has really run its course for me, but I have to confess that the bungee harness was super cute.
  • The team members bungee jumped from a platform that reached over the side of the dam, but none of the camera angles made it clear to me how they just didn’t hit the wall repeatedly. I was scared with every jump.
  • “I’m really nervous for Lala,” Lulu apparently said, and for a moment I knew which twin they were.
  • Standing on the platform before jumping, Lala told the security person, “This one feels loose.” He said, “That’s okay; they can be loose there.” And then I would have demanded: TURN EVERYTHING TILL I CAN FEEL NOTHING
  • “We’re going downhill—downhill in spirit, downhill in riding,” Natalia said, as she and her father were lost again.
  • Upon arriving at the dam, Akbar looked over the edge and laughed. “It’s insanely scary,” he said. Also frightening: the way you still treat your wife for most of the race and blame her on athletes, which is a lame excuse since that was decades ago.
  • Sheri kept saying “oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god” as she walked up the platform and then asked, “Am I connected?” She jumped up and impressed me again: she’s a bad-ass who just pushes through her fears. And I laughed when, at the bottom of the jump, she simply said, “Get me up!”
  • I usually think the precision detour takes longer than the physical one, but going up and down 400 stairs multiple times to carry the nuts and wine bottles seemed like a lot more work than just squeezing ten feet of sausage and then rolling them up.
  • For the Detour staircase, the teams had to carry 12 bags of nuts and 12 bottles of wine upstairs, requiring multiple rides for both. They also had to bring a nut and a small bottle of wine for the leprechaun, who we just learned is of age.
  • I’m sad that Ryan and Dusty chose the stairs because I can only imagine what Dusty would have said about his ten-foot sausage.
  • Sheri and Akbar opted for the physical task, and Sheri decided they could carry six bottles of wine up the stairs — “Come on, let’s just try it,” she said, and I thought she might be right. But then she quickly changed her mind (“let’s put some back before we drop them”) before moving on to drop a bottle.
  • Akbar stated that he and Sheri “walked to our doom” when they got to the mat, where they learned they were actually team five.
  • Arun told us, “We beat ourselves, and it’s emotional, just because how many people get the chance to do something like that to their daughter.” It’s a nice team, but he’s right: they just aren’t right for this race. We’ll see next week if they can live up to their promise to Phil not to finish last again.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.