Leg 5: Denmark to Morocco
This episode marked the leg of the race where the contestants started to crack. I'm an Amazing Race virgin, so I have no idea if there's a point in every season where folks start to go bonkers due to the stress, the pressure and the general pace of the proceedings, but if there is, this was it for Season 25.
It started building last week when #MomDaughter team Shelley and Nici fell apart in Denmark. This week there was still tension between them, but they seemed to present a unified front, sending bad vibes outward rather than passive-aggressively squabbling with each other. Their jostling of Keith and Whitney of #TeamNashville almost came to blows. In an interview, Shelley and Nici cut in with "Karma takes care of everything," foreshadowing the last-place finish and elimination of the soon-to-be-married southerners. While I never actively rooted for #MomDaughter, they've definitely lost a lot of sparkle, becoming downright unlikable. It's not like they care what I think, though, as they made very clear on Twitter.
Speaking of unlikable, I can't help but wonder if #TheDentists Misti and Jim enjoy anything they're doing. They attempt to support each other by tossing around banal self-help-isms with an empty grimness, but that's about it. It's all about winning for them. Sure, The Amazing Race is a reality show with a big prize for first place, but loosen up and have some fun out there, guys. Even if you do win, it's going to feel hollow if you didn't get any pleasure from the journey.
If the first-place prize went to the team with the best attitude, UW-Madison food science Ph.D. students Maya and Amy, a.k.a the #SweetScientists, would be a shoo-in.
For the roadblock, teams had to head to the Bab Debbagh Tannery, whose smell several teams likened to poo-poo. The stench made a professional wrestler double over, dry heaving. At the tannery the contestants had to clean the hair from three goatskins. Not an enviable mission, and easily the grossest of the race so far.
Here's Maya's take on it: "It smells like you're at a zoo, petting the goats. It's not the most pleasant thing in the world, but it's not the worst thing I've ever smelled either. We're embracing the culture here, so it's not that bad." She shared more of her thoughts on experiencing new cultures and the bubbling inter-team tension in an interview.
The #SweetScientists seem to be the only team sincerely enjoying the journey (including a breather to watch snake charmers), and they aren't letting the pressure get to them.
However, the #SweetScientists did face a challenge with a detour called "Twirl Time." Their trouble with this task landed them in next-to-last place, and Maya and Amy showing up at the pit stop at the same time as #TheWrestlers Brooke and Robbie and #TheDentists.
First place went to #TheCyclists Kym and Alli, who got $5,000 each for their trouble. I don't think they kissed anyone in this episode.
Here's an itty bitty spoiler, so skip it if you want to maximize the tension this Friday: It looks like episode 7 (airing on Friday, Nov. 7) is titled "Pretty Fly For a Food Scientist," so the good news is that episode 6, which airs on Halloween (titled "I Feel Like I Just Kissed a Goat"), either won't be an elimination leg, or our #SweetScientists will come closer to winning (knock on wood).
The bad news though, is that the Offspring, the band responsible for "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)," might be involved. I hope it's way more of the former than the latter.
Keep up with the #SweetScientists and view images of them racing on the team's Facebook page.