The Amazing Race: Do Alliances Take the Fun Out of the Competition?

True confessions time: I found myself frustrated and disappointed at the end of Sunday night’s installment of The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business. It didn’t help that my second-favorite team had been eliminated, but ultimately, it was the way they met their demise that didn’t sit right with me.

Early in the episode, the six remaining teams faced a Road Block in which one member had to measure the entire length of Lichtenstein on a motorized bicycle, then reveal the correct distance (22 km) to Olympic skiier Marco Buchel in order to receive the next clue. “The map is pretty straightforward. I mean, you do have to read it,” said Flight Time, as he made his way along the course.

The task, however, turned out to be a case of easier read than done, and in the end, four of the six players assisted one another in getting to the finish line. Jen, whose map had fallen out of her pocket, stopped to help a befuddled Justin figure out Buchel’s coordinates, then convinced her rival to let her follow along to the finish line. Later, as Justin and Jen waited for a bus to take them to their next destination, they saw Flight Time, who’d gotten lost and was heading back to the starting line to try again. With very little prodding, Justin and Jen handed him the “22 km” code word. Flight Time then went ahead and volunteered this information to Gary, reasoning that he’d rather give a leg up to a slower team and possibly hasten the elimination of a more imposing force (like the Cowboys).

That left Vyxsin and Jet as the only two people who didn’t benefit from a competitor’s assistance on the course. And with that, Jet had to go back and start at the very beginning — yes, the visit to Villa Trapp has me in a Sound of Music state of mind — and he and Cord were never able to make up the deficit.

Look, I know alliances are a time-honored tradition on The Amazing Race, and reality TV in general, but I can’t help but feel like last night’s blithe sharing of intel robbed the episode of some of its suspense and humor. I mean, without all these assists, Jen and Flight Time almost certainly would’ve had to return to the starting line — and it’s possible Justin and Gary would have, too. Think of all the panic, frustration, yelling, and crying we missed in the name of alliances. As it turned out, we got a second consecutive episode where the last-place finish seemed like a foregone conclusion. Am I nuts for thinking the show’s producers should put the kibosh on teams handing out answers to their fellow players — especially at this late stage of the competition? Otherwise, it seems way too easy to gang up against one particularly strong team and force them out of the race. Am I just being bitter over the loss of the cowboys, or am I actually onto something here? Sound off in the comments below. Before you do, though, a few other observations from Sunday’s show:

* Once again, I appreciated Gary and Mallory’s genuine awe at their surroundings, particularly Gary’s comment about how he and his daughter didn’t want to sleep on the train to Lichtenstein after 36 hours awake because they were enjoying the local landscapes way too much.

* Loved that shot of Jen on her motorized bike while a gigantic bus roared up behind her and tooted its horn. Yikes!

* I was a little bummed the show gave us a second consecutive eating challenge, and then totally astonished when Zev and Justin (who failed the weinerschnitzel wolfing last week in Austria) chose “cheese” over “wheeze.” I can’t lie: I felt a little nauseous watching Justin burping in agony and Zev chowing relentlessly as the contents of their fondue pot began to congeal (pictured). But despite Justin’s mid-challenge case of the voms, Zev carried on, and the BFFs finished yet another leg in first place.

* Could Kent’s behavior be any more irritating? His chant-like cadences become totally intolerable when he’s whining at his partner. “You hit my ankle! You hit my ankle with the cart!” he squealed during the luggage-delivery challenge, before plopping himself in the cart and having Vyxsin haul him around like a fuchsia-dyed plow horse.

* Final order of finish this week: Zev/Justin; Kisha/Jen; Kent/Vyxsin; Gary/Mallory; Flight Time/Big Easy; Jet/Cord (eliminated).

Who are you rooting for with only five teams left? Who are you hoping will go home next? And would you like to see stricter rules against alliances or the sharing of intel during challenges? Sound off below, and for all my reality recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Joel says:

    If I could root for Vyxsin to win and somehow have Kent still lose I think I would like that. She deserves it. The fact that they are still in the race despite the way Kent has been acting is a testament to how hard she has tried to carry him. Granted they had one of the worst legs of any race yet earlier this year.

    I think I’m rooting for Gary and Mallory. They may not be the strongest team left, but to me they are the most likeable.

    • MJ says:

      Love the idea of Vyxsin winning and Kent losing. When he got in the cart for her to pull him, I wanted to throw the remote at the tv.

      • darclyte says:

        In a slight defense of Kent, it was Vyxsin’s idea. I can only guess that she thought it’d be faster to do that than to have him prancing along beside her.

        • Ian says:

          I cannot wait for Kynt & Vyxsin to go, but I have a feeling they won’t because they have dumb luck and the other teams will want them to stick around because they’ll be easy to beat in the finale.

          I was also sad to see the Cowboys go. I had a lot of problems with last nite’s episode, such as (1) What kind of lame-o speed bump was that for Gary & Mallory? TAR should go back to taking away everything they have on their backs. (2) I thought it was ridiculous for TAR to have a Double U-Turn right before the Pit Stop. Usually it’s sandwiched in-between the Road Block and Detour so it’ll give the losing team a chance to still stay in the race. There was no way the cowboys had a chance to stay in the race once they were u-turned. (3) There should be a rule where teams cannot give answers to other teams. If they have to take trains when they’re supposed to, then they should not give answers either. And if they do, then they should incur a 4 hour penalty. I really don’t understand how lax TAR has gotten this season with breaking the rules, such as Kynt & Vxysin were only given a 30 min. penalty for taking a non-required flight, etc. etc. etc.

          • shawn wallace says:

            “I really don’t understand how lax TAR has gotten this season with breaking the rules, such as Kynt & Vxysin were only given a 30 min. penalty for taking a non-required flight,”

            The Rule in the Amazing Race for taking non-required transportation has always been 30 minutes.

    • Lee says:

      And I dislike that idea…she is as culpable as he is in allowing him to act like that. No…please Pink Ladies, just go away…

      • sashay says:

        Yes, she is an enabler, or even worse, a professional victim that uses his weakness to make her look & feel stronger. I was completely disgusted when she told him to get in the cart. I cannot wait to see both of them gone. I would have preferred the Cowboys to stay in before them.
        As for the alliances, sometimes I think it is advantageous for both teams, but at this point I think it is too much, especially when the alliance seems to involve four teams against two. The cowboys are so self-sufficient, that I think they discourage working together with the other teams, and there is a downside to that. At times, it’s helpful to combine efforts. Of course, Jet acted as badly as Kent when he was supposed to be working with Gary and just left him behind when he got what he wanted. Cord is a real sweetheart though. I will miss their eternally sunshine perspective to the tasks, to just put their head down and go. I feel that their lack of navigational skills meant that they would never have made it to the finals anyway, just as I think it will hold back the Globetrotters. I’m not so sorry that the Globetrotters won’t likely made it either. The peeing against the library was a huge negative in my view. Also heard Flight Time doing a radio interview to promote a basketball game in my area, and he seemed very gruff & unfriendly. All the charm comes from the Big Easy in my opinion.
        I will be happy if Zev & Justin, or Gary & Mallory win, although Jen & Kisha are growing on me the more I see them. I’m still impressed by their sisterly support during their last season’s diving debacle, and I think there would be more viewer support for them if we saw them interacting more. I do think the Cowboys took up a lot of the screen time, so it will be interesting to learn more about the other teams.

        • shawn wallace says:

          you were disgusted to see Vyxsin help her partner with an injured leg? you are a strange person sashay. it’s called TEAMWORK honey

    • AlistairCrane says:

      I love this couple!! I think they should get their own reality show. I’m rooting for them to win the money. Gary and Mallory are too sickeningly religious for my taste, Zev and Justin are gross and annoying, Kisha and Jen are too abrasive, and the Globetrotters are too silly.

      • LarryG says:

        Wow, you must hve the lowest threshhold for religious comments known to mankind. These two seldom make any such comments. Plus your comments about your certainty of racist statements coming from the cowboy’s friends in OK or people in the south towards the Globetrotters is incredibly absurd. For proof you need to revisit MLK’s response to people in Chicago in the sixties when he had a civil rights march in the windy city and experienced even more hate and violenec than he experienced in the south. MLK’s word not mine.

    • JohnDoe says:

      Really? How could anyone actually listen to that fugly woman nag all f***ing day and still root for her? At least Kent has the patience to deal with her…

  2. AlistairCrane says:

    Alliances are fun. Teamwork is just a sign of good sportsmanship—I like it!

    Is anyone else worried the cowboys’ redneck friends at home are calling the Globetrotters all sorts of racist names right now?

    • heather says:

      Actually, I’m sure the Okie cowboys friends are NOT calling the Globetrotters racist names. It tends to be anybody from any big city that tends to be a lot more racist than cowboys. You would be surprised at how diverse the rodeo circut actually is.

      And yes, my family is all from Oklahoma.

      • AlistairCrane says:

        Everyone knows people from the South are more inclined to be racist than any other people.

        • sashay says:

          These are horrible comments, Alistair Crane. You should be ashamed of yourself trying to put racism into our loving analysis of our show. Is there any chance we could get this troll banned from our site, Matt, for his racism?

        • Amber says:

          Making sweeping generalizations about any group of persons like “people from the South are more inclined to be racist than any other people” is bigoted behavior in itself. I hope you appreciate the irony of your statements and learn to be more tolerant of others in the future.

        • Ian says:

          @AlistairCrane: Since when was Oklahoma considered a part of the South? Did you flunk georgraphy in school? Another thing–have you ever met anyone from Oklahoma? I am often in Oklahoma for business trips and I have to say, they are the friendliest people I have ever met in this country.

          • Okie 2 says:

            @Ian: Oklahoma is mostly south of the Mason/Dixon Line. Texas had to cut off part of their panhandle to be admitted to the South. Had Oklahoma been a state at the time they would have been a Southern state not a northern state.

    • Amanda says:

      Yes, all us racist, cow milking, toothless, uneducated, country bumpkin cowboys (NOT rednecks, which is a stereotype of another sort) called those Globetrotters all sorts of racial names because they played the game the way the game should be played. Did you sense the sarcasm or do I have to spell it out for you?

      I don’t know these cowboys, but stereotyping those of us who work ranches and farms is rude and inappropriate. Unfortunately, it seems to be one of the last stereotypes that is socially accepted.

      Think it’s easy to farm or ranch? Head on out to one – you wouldn’t last a day.

      • LoveBug68 says:

        Not to mention – the Globetrotters trulty felt bad for doing what they had to do. but if they made one mistake finding the pit stop the Cowbro’s would beat them. Even the cowboy’s had to understand that when watching it. I was so upset that no one U turned Kent and Vyksin who I loathe with the passion of 100,000 white hot supernovas.

        • sashay says:

          I would have U turned them myself, even though it meant the viewers would have had to listen to Kent whine and moan nonstop. Anything to get them off my screen!

    • John says:

      I’m not impressed by your post, Alistair.

  3. Michael says:

    To me, the alliances just seemed so worthless to begin with. It’s not like Survivor or Big Brother where the the teams are voting a team out of the race, so therefore you’d need alliances to make a group to vote out a particular team. But this is, you run the race, do the challenges, and try not to finish last; really no need for alliances here.

    If I were a producer, I too would be let down by all these in a sense, cheaters and do something like a time penalty or something. But that’s just me.

    • Kim R says:

      I totally agree. They are not all on a team together. They are individually trying to beat every other team to win the Race. I felt like the ones who did not “do” the kilometer challenge for themselves should have been penalized for it. It felt like cheating to me. If they take a cab instead of walk they’re given a penalty. If they veer off the directions at all they have a consequence. In my opinion they did not figure this out on their own but got the clue anyway. AND it did alter the results of the race. I’m ticked. I liked the cowboys. :(

      • Lisa says:

        I completely agree. I read a comment on another board making this comparison: if one team helped another during the cheese challenge or helped another team deliver their luggage, it would not have been acceptable – they needed to finish the Detour on their own. So why shouldn’t that same standard be held for the Road Block? Something smelled a little rotten in the state of Liechtenstein…

  4. steven c. cates says:

    Very disappointed to see the Cowboys eliminated, and I also feel that clues should not be allowed to be shared – there should be a rule against it. Another extremely lame Speed Bump – no challenge to that one at all. Come on AMAZING RACE – these challenges on the show are getting easier all the time, and not fun to watch as a result.

    • Lee says:

      I remember when getting saved by non-elimination meant giving up everything but the clothes on your back and begging for money. Now they have to measure gas. Wow. AT LEAST make them u-turn.

    • Joe Blogs says:

      The simple truth is that only 3 teams actually did the Roadblock, at least as explained by Phil in the voice-over. Phil said to use the map and odometer to calculate the distance. He didn’t say, “Oh yeah, and you can overhear the answer or get someone else to tell you the answer. Jen lost her map. It would be one thing if a team told another the answer and then the second team immediately started over again to save more lost time, but this passing of info to select teams is in my mind simply cheating. I’m about to cease watching this program because I’ve seen it just too much.

  5. Dawn says:

    Agreed! The challenge said if you get the amswer—22 km—wrong you have to go back to the beginning of the route & try again. Why then were the players who got the answer from other teams not penalized at the pit stop for not doing the road block according to the rules? It’s ridiculous! I think the best team should win, not the laziest.

    • twinmom says:

      Absolutely agree! Of course I’m bitter because my Cowboys are out, but this practice of giving each other answers is watering down TAR.

    • Lori says:

      We totally agree. The task said if you were wrong you had to go back to the beginning of the ride and do it again. why were there no penalties given to the globetrotters for only going back halfway before getting the answer. The Cowboys could have just stood at the end and kept guessing if that was the case. sometimes this show annoys me!

      • Teri says:

        What should have happened with the challenge, was to use the odometer that they were given for their answer – then no one could have cheated. And what those teams did was cheating – they didn’t do the challenge.

  6. Amanda says:

    What bothered me is that I felt like I knew who would lose way to early. Yes I love the cowboys but its more then that. Last week they showed the cowboys in a preview were they were eating the cheese so last night when they picked the suitcase detour I knew automaticly that they would be uturned and so any suspense was immediately lost.
    I also hated the sharing of info last night and I am guessing that in future seasons we might see racers getting clues that say no sharing of info, especially in the later leagues of the game.

    • CalvinC says:

      They HAVE to do something in the future about the sharing of information. Every team for themselves!! That’s the only way this is going to be fair and square. I don’t like i when they do that at airports. Quit being lazy bums and figure things out for yourselves for crying out loud!!!

  7. Bruno says:

    I think alliances are just karma at work, if you’re nice, people will be nice to you and help you, if you’re a ass like Kent using people and dropping them when you don’t need them anymore, you’re not helped. What goes around comes around!

    • wasabi says:

      Then why did karma ignore the cowboys, who have always come across as nice?

      • Sassy says:

        Jet did the same thing with Gary, after Jet became lost and met up with the Speedbumped Gary. He got the correct answer and then just took off. It was the only reason I wasn’t heartbroken by the Cowboys leaving now, before the hideous Goths.
        Plus Karma affects your future lives, not your current one. Think of it as justice taking a while to decide your reward/punishment. (Although it’s actually a chance to teach you the lessons you need to learn to move on. Don’t mean to imply that Buddism is vengeful.)

        • JGM says:

          Jet did NOT get the correct answer and desert Gary. They met up before either one reached the end. In a post-interview, Jet said that they never agreed to partner at that time, they were simply riding together. Because Gary was exceptionally slow, he (Jet) knew he couldn’t take the chance to wait for him. All other teams were finished before Jet had the correct answer. That’s why they came in last.

      • Sharon says:

        I think the Cowboys had a couple of things going against them. First,in many of the legs they were so far behind or on separtate flights. That meant that they didn’t get much bonding time. Consequently, not only were they were perceived (and rightly so, IMHO) as being a strong team, but they didn’t have relationships built up with the other teams.

        As for the sharing, I’m kinda meh about it. It truly is a double-edged sword in that by giving away crucial info, teams don’t know if they’re helping another team eventually pass them. On the other hand, if they don’t share, they know they have not chance of getting help from others in the future.

  8. Gen says:

    I guess you could argue that alliances are part of the game, but it’s The Amazing Race, not Survivor. If a team reads the clue wrong and misses a step, they’re sent back or given a penalty and I think the same should be done if teams are cheating. If they want to work together, that’s fine, but if it’s one team giving answers to another, that’s not fair.

    I could be clouded by the fact that the Cowboy’s were my favourite team, but I still don’t think it’s right.

    • JayK* says:

      I totally agree. The Cowboys were my favourite and I hated all the helping going on on that Road Block. It totally took away from the task and the entire episode. Boo!

    • apolonia says:

      Absolutely agree. Was so disappointed to see the cowboys gone and especially because I feel the other teams cheated when they didn’t return to the beginning. I don’t understand why they were not penalized when they didn’t follow instructions. First time that I have not enjoyed TAR………. Hope TAR comes up with a rule that takes care of this.

  9. Lauren says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one annoyed by the alliances. I like a lot of the teams left…but I don’t think any of them are there through their own merit. Zev and Justin and the Globetrotters in particular…they’ve been helping each other out through the whole race and there have been a few times where they have squeaked in under the wire and were spared from elimination.

  10. Michelle says:

    I could not agree more. I am surprised that the show allows teams to share answers with other teams. This is not true team competition. The show does not hesitate to penalize a team for the least little other infraction. Telling other teams the answer happened in an eariler episode. Although I am a diehard TAR fan I have lost interest in this season as much as others. To me the teams returning for a second try do not have the enthusiasm and determination as they did the first time around. Hopefully next season will be more enjoyable and fair.

    • Michael says:

      I totally agree with your comment. I have had a problem with this the whole season. It isn’t only the challenges either it seems that many teams doesn’t even bother to research or do anything themselves. How many times have we heard “follow them”? This is also that many of these teams aren’t very good racers. They didn’t win their season for a reason and that reason is that they were doing to many mistakes, mistakes they are doing again but this time they are cheating their way onward.

  11. Cujo says:

    Agreed. I’m sick of teams sharing info at the challenges. It stops making them even remotely interesting to watch. Not that this season has been good by any means anyway.

  12. Sandy says:

    I too am upset the cowboys left, but the alliance issue only bothers Bc a favorite team left. If it was used to get Kent/vixen out, would we still be upset? I know I wouldn’t be. I’d be ecstatic!

  13. Micheal Jones says:

    Yes, I’m from Oklahoma and yes I was rooting for the cowboys and NO I’m NOT racist. I just think teams should be made to compete on their on and not get the answers from another team it makes the show less dramatic and much less interesting. Also it makes TAR just another lame reality show I no longer will watch. What’s sad is up until all the “sharing” of information giving unfair advantage to teams I was a fan of the show. No longer will I waste an hour of my life watching an inconsistant, unfair, undramatic cheat-a-thon.
    Those of you that continue to watch I admire your perception that this reality show is somehow different from all the other reality shows people are leaveing in droves. Mostly I’m just dissappoint in the inconsistant rules and lame penalities.

    • Lucille M Peyok says:

      I couldn’t agree more. Both my husband and me were extremely dissappointed in the way the clues were shared. We will not be watching the show any longer, which is sad because we used to really love the show. Too bad they had to get so lazy and start letting stuff slide. I don’t think I’ll even be able to watch a new season. They have really ruined what was a great show.

  14. Shannon says:

    Some call it alliance, I call it cheating! It’s not a “challenge” if someone gives you the answer! Hated to see the cowboys eliminated this way. Wish enforcement of rules ensured a level playing field.

  15. Annie says:

    The Amazing Race is my favorite show, hands down.

    But I will have a hard time watching it after this week. I just feel SO disappointed that cheating – blatent, lazy cheating – forced out one of the best and most competitive teams ever to be on the show.

    The cowboys should be able to come BACK for yet another round. They rock! And I have NEVER heard anything remotely racist, sexist, or negative/nasty about any other competitor come out of their mouths. To paste this label on them is ignorant and worse than mean.

  16. Kevin says:

    My bet is on Zev and Justin to win Amazing Race, the Globetrotters are a dark horse as well as Kisha and Jen but last night’s episode saw the end of the cowboys after they got U – Turn by Flight Time and Big Easy. I never saw that coming but for now Jet and Cord will always be my favorite and ridin’ off into the sunset. HEE HAW!

  17. g says:

    Cheating is cheating. Nor is this the first time that this has happened this season. Those who give away answers that should be found by completing the tast should be punished with time delays. Cheating ruins the natural competition. If you have to take the official flight, then you have to follow all the rules, and one of them that night was not give away the answer to your “friends”.

    • GeeMa says:

      My daughters and I get together every week to watch. This year has been frustrating because of the cheating. Technically, the tasks weren’t completed and there should have been penalties for this. I don’t watch Survivor, or shows like it, because of the back-stabbing, lying, and cheating and TAR became that type of show this year. Maybe, because the teams had been here before and felt closest to teams that they ran a previous race with. Doesn’t make for a good feeling after watching the show. The Cowboys were one of my favorite teams and I don’t blame the Globetrotters for the U-turn, but I do blame them for not completing the road block fairly. And I blame the producers for sullying what WAS one of my favorite shows!

  18. Mary says:

    I’m upset that the cowboys were eliminated (and really annoyed by the ignorant stereotypical redneck comment up at the top of the thread) but I’ve been frustrated with the sharing of info since the first episode when the Globetrotters benefitted from receiving the code from Zev/Justine. The Globetrotters are one of my favorite teams, but I thought they should have been penalized for that one and certainly penalized for this past episode, along with Jen and Gary. (In fact, I was sweating out the first leg because I just knew the Globetrotters would get a penalty at the end!)

    I’m not sure I’ll hang around for another season of TAR. It seemed like cheating is being rewarded.

    • Stacey says:

      It’s not clear Jen benefited. Yes she was in ear shot. But she had done the course on her on. So for all we know she had the 22 km. as a answer but heard the answer and it confirmed for her. It’s not like she was on the course and someone told her. I agree, it takes something away when answers are given freely. But at least with Jen, I don’t think it was cheating for Jen. Now the others…other story.

      And it’s possible Jet and Cord were too far back with having to do the course again, even if the others hadn’t gotten the answer. One never knows.

      But as others have said, if you’re nice you get more rewards. Others trust you. But it’s a race and I would love if they would just race on their own merits and not accept help from others unless they truly are in a jam.

      I didn’t like Jet and Cord. So I am glad they are gone. But then I hated Kent and Vixen worse, so I hate they are still there. The Cowboys were better then them… Damn Kent is obnoxious!

  19. Scott says:

    I’m fine with alliances as long as it doesn’t involving cheating. I consider giving the answer to a challenge cheating.

    I hope next season they implement a 2 hour penalty to any team giving answers. I can’t imagine any of the teams would have been willing to tell another team “22k” if they knew they’d get a 2 hour penalty for doing so.

    • Scott says:

      By the way, is it just me, or were Zev and Justin idiots? On the cheese fondu challenged they stuffed themselves with bread. Why didn’t they just eat the fondu like a thick soup quickly?

      • Bryan says:

        My wife and I were yelling at the TV the same thing. If your going to suffer just eat the cheese. The got filled up with bread for no reason.

  20. LoveBug68 says:

    Mostly I’ll miss the Cowboys theme music! So sad.
    I was praying someone would turn Kent and Vyxsin around. I cannot stand either one of them. They are the worst people – yes both of them as she is no better. If they could just get eliminated then I could watch the rest with ease as I love all the rest of the teams.

    • shawn wallace says:

      How is Vyxsin a bad person? She’s been good and nice the entire show. you don’t know what you are talking about LOL

  21. Gary B says:

    The helping has gone on all through this race. In the first round several teams were given the answer ” Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.” The cowboys were not helped and they would have been eliminated in the first round if it had not been double length.
    The cowboys seem to have a lot of trouble getting from place to place this season. They almost always seem to drive slower or get lost more than the other teams. Often this season I wondered where they were when other teams were in the middle of doing tasks. I do think teams should be prevented from helping one another or the tasks should all be ones where they have to complete something like eat food or build something. They should stop tasks where the teams need to give the correct number or expression. Go back to the rolling cheeses of season’s past.

  22. Julie K says:

    I totally agree about the sharing of info being completely ridiculous. My entire family was up in arms last night when they helped every team BUT the Cowboys. I love (heavy sarcasm) that you can read a clue wrong and take a taxi when you’re not supposed to and get penalized but a team doesn’t actually complete a task because they get an answer from someone else instead, they end up not getting punished at all. It completely negates part of what makes the Race so much fun to watch, the fact that teams can end up pulling ahead because they are smart and fast racers.
    I also wish Kent and Vyxsin would just go away. She is as bad as he is when she has her complete breakdowns while trying to do a task. They are whiny obnoxious and rude and I would love for them to get eliminated.

    • shawn wallace says:

      How are Kent and Vyxsin rude? As if the other teams aren’t rude? Gary totally SCREWED Jet at the bike challenge

  23. Mandi says:

    Sharing info in a race for a million dollars seems like the dumbest move ever. Isn’t this a competition? Like Michael mentions in his article…there wasn’t any scrabbling, no one was really stressed, it was boring. As soon as I heard what the roadblock was, I thought “oh this could be fun…people are going to get lost, etc.” Turned out to be so lame. Sad to see the cowboys, they were entertaining and competitive.

  24. Dbalcer says:

    I too am frustrated by all the answer giving it isn’t a challenge if the answer is given to you. Would someone else be able to help you in a physical challenge. I loved the cowboys and think they lost in the same style as when they won with class. I wish we had lost the Goths I am so tired of watching a child whine. I don’t dislike watching any team but the Goths I hope TAR addresses the “helping” that went on this season because the show has lost its competition with all the “helping hands”.

  25. MJS says:

    I also hope in future races that rules will be enforced and penalties given out for “sharing” information like that during the Road Block. I think that when the racers checked in with Marco, not only should they have had to say what the distance was, but the odometer on the bike should’ve had to match up, too. If there was a difference, then the racer would be sent back to the beginning for a ‘do over’.

    I was also disappointed that the U-Turn wasn’t used more. Even if I had been on a team running in first or second, I would’ve U-Turned someone behind me. It’s getting too late in the game to be pals with everyone. lol

  26. cj says:

    The producers really need to clear up what is cheating and what isn’t. It just ruined the whole show with everyone sharing the answer…there was no challenge to it. I loved the cowboys and never understood the animosity from the other groups. But that aside, the producers are so specific on other rules and then giving an answer to other teams is fine?? They all were very careful to take an “electric taxi” but had no qualms about just using the correct answer which had been passed on. That stunk.
    And Kent and Vyxsin…don’t understand the whole Goth thing but she seems intelligent and sensible and he is the biggest whiner on the planet. She acts more like his mother than his girlfriend. She even talks to him in that patient calming voice that mom’s sometimes use to defuse a kid’s tantrum.

  27. Richard says:

    Stratigically, it makes sense to figure out ways to get rid of other teams, that is part of the game. Sharing information is no more “cheating” than a team when lies about a clue or a direction or flights or anything else. It’s a game to win a million dollars. If sharing information rids the competition of a perceived stronger team, one that could possibly be a true threat if they make it to the final three, then it makes sense to get them out any way possible.

  28. None says:

    I completely agree with you on handing the answers to another team. Alliances can still work on the show when it comes to sharing information on flights or travel plans but I’ve never liked just giving an answer to another team. If they can’t get it on their own then they don’t deserve to win, IMO.

    • gazebo says:

      I agree. I don’t mind if someone “helps” another team by telling them info like “it’s down that road” or “you have to find 5 of them”. But not a direct answer that will allow that team to get the next clue. It’s too easy for teams to slack around and not give the same effort. The cowbros always seemed to give their all and not try to take the easy way to get an answer. What if something like this happens with the last 3 teams and 2 share an answer which results in the 3rd put way behind?

  29. Jon says:

    With my favorite team eliminated, I now stop watching. That’s just the way I roll.

  30. CJ says:

    Jet and Cord were my favorite team on the Race – both times they competed. And they really did COMPETE – fairly and honestly. I give them huge kudos for that. And when they were eliminated, they were still humble and thankful for the opportunity.

    I am really annoyed at HOW they were eliminated. Sharing answers like that should not be allowed. This is a competition, and each team should be fending for themselves.

    Now that the Cowboys are gone, my only desire is that Kent and Vixsin NOT be the winners. Other than that, I don’t really care.

  31. Amber says:

    I think it depends on the context but I think what happened last night should not be allowed by the rules and there should have been a penalty for several of the teams.
    By context I mean if the teams are running (or biking etc) through the streets and one team points another in the right direction that’s fine. Or if they say to each other let’s find the train station together – no problem.
    But last night was a roadblock that specifically said if you gave the wrong kilometers you had to go back to the starting point and measure again. In that case I think any team that doesn’t follow those instructions – even if they get the answer and know what they’re going to say when they hit the finish – should be penalized. I think it should fall under the same catagory as taking a taxi when the clue said to walk which has given teams penalties before.
    It’s a gray area I supposed but I really think where they should draw the rules line is when something is specifically stated in the clue or instructions.

  32. Abby says:

    I think there needs to be a difference between two teams working together to solve a task and one team just giving away the answer to another team. Two teams working together OK. I think the cowboys chose not to work with anyone else. If they are eliminated because other teams worked together that is fine. One team giving the answers to another team resulting in a third team being eliminated? This is wrong and should not be permitted. You have u-turns in the game to try to stop a strong team. You have to be ahead of the strong team to use the u turn. That should be all you have to stop a strong team.

  33. Jenny says:

    I was so disgusted with last night’s episode, I may not finish out the season. I don’t like the Globetrotters or sisters, (Big Easy and Kisha especially), and haven’t since their first seasons. I don’t like the way they treat other contestants. Everyone else has already said everything that needs saying about Kent & Vyxsin. *rolls eyes* I like Zev & Justin a lot, but the Cowboys were my favorite team. The way they were treated just pissed me off enough, I’m not sure I can stand watching the other teams. Mal & her dad are now my 2nd favorites, but I hope Zev & Justin win, because they have played well the entire season, and for the most part, have played honorably. Yes, CBS needs to change the rules, because it makes for a much more predictable and BORING game the way it is now. Good luck Zev & Justin!

  34. Paula says:

    Although I cannot stand Vyxin and Kent I admire the fact that SHE completed the challenges honestly without help from other alliances. When she got the wrong measurement she went back to the beginning and did it again. I gotta respect her for that! I’m sad to see so much blatant cheating. It was gross. I wish none of them would win.

  35. Larry G says:

    I agree that the sharing of information so that teams who would not have successfully completed the roadblock was outrageous. It was equal to cheating in my book. All of the teams who took the information and used it to finish the roadblock should have incurred a 3 hour penalty and be made to sit a wait for the other teams to arrive on their own effort.

  36. Marcy says:

    Seems like I, along with many others, will not continue to watch The Amazing Race.

    I liked watching purely for the cowboys. Both seasons they raced a good race. Never mean to anyone and always got along and completed the challenges.
    They way all the others teams helped each other was totally unsportsmanlike.

  37. Mark K says:

    The first two teams that get to a U-Turn should be FORCED to U-Turn someone. It really annoys me when teams get there and choose not to U-Turn someone. In the end all it becomes is a way for the second to last place team to ensure that they will not finish last.

  38. Debi says:

    I’ve already bailed on this season – I don’t like any of the competitors enough to keep watching. I’ll let you tell me who ends up winning.

  39. Chris says:

    The Globetrotter should be ashamed of their actions, but I don’t think they are. They have gotten the answer to every challenge from another team since the beginning of this race. It is just how they play the game and it is disgusting. Let’s hope the old adage is true for AM that cheaters never win. Can not wait for the globetrotters to be sent packing.

  40. Gary B says:

    I think Zev and Justin are going to win. They were on the CBS talk show that is like the View last week. Never knew any reality show contestant who was not famous appearing on a talk show before they were voted out or lost the race. I just assume this means they won.

  41. fran says:

    I am like alot of you who liked the Cowboys. the fun is gone from the rest of the show. they were really nice and not mean to any team. There is no since in watching any longer. I really do not care who wins now. And yes, apparently, Zev and partner won with them appearing on the talk show. WOW, not good.
    oh well, maybe next season it will be better or i will not be watching.

  42. K says:

    I’m finding myself increasingly frustrated with this season, mostly because Kent and Vyxsin are still a part of the race. Kudos to her for her patience, because frankly, I don’t know how she’s doing it. I agree that it looks like enabling, but when you factor in the million dollars they are racing to win, I think she just wants to get through it. But he’s outrageously annoying.

    I was bummed about the Cowboys. Not only because I felt that it was a little unfair that so many of the teams had help on the measuring, but also because they ran the race the way it was meant to be run. They were fair, smart, and played a good game… while people like Kent are still in the game, and are, essentially, useless.

    At this point, I’m rooting for Gary and Mallory to win. They were fun to watch the first time, and I’m having fun watching them again.

    • JohnDoe says:

      How could anyone watch that show and think Vyxsin has patience? Do you even know what the word ‘patience’ means? If anything, Kent was the most patient person I had seen, especially when you deal with that nag all day, looks like he started to lose it though in the last episode.

  43. Sean says:

    My Random Thoughts:

    – This week’s episode started off with a continuation of last week’s commercial for the all-new “2012 Ford Focus”, as Zev and Justin took a tour of the spiffy new vehicles that they won last week. Ok, ok…I’ll admit defeat and just accept the overt product placement this season, by let me ask you an interesting question about those cars: Why did they have Michigan plates? If you’re going to give away a car in Austria, are you really going to ensure that the plates are from Detroit? The Motor City? God Bless America, the auto industry is back!

    – Gary and Mallory ran into a delay from the get-go on this leg, with a cab driver who was more interested in finding the destination on his GPS than actually getting moving in the car. If it’s not stopping for gas, it’s always something, isn’t it? And speaking of gas, add this to the long line-up of lame Speed Bumps. Really? Measure the gas and oil to start the motorbike? That’s it? They didn’t even have to fill it…just prep the gas that they would have used? LAME.

    – In her porter uniform, didn’t Vyxsin look like one of the Palace Guards from The Wizard of Oz?

    – Look, there’s nothing in the rules (or in the Detour instructions) that said that the answer had to be calculated/gathered/figured out “on your own.”

    What about if two of the teams decided at the beginning of the Detour to ride together, and figure it out together? Is that cheating? There have been numerous instances where teams have worked together on a task…this is, and should be, an accepted form of an alliance in TAR.

    What about when Racers involve the locals who help them find where they are going, or help them push a cart through town or something? Is that cheating?

    When Mallory helped Luke on the charm challenge in China, was that cheating? Or was she just helping a friend?

    A HUGE amount of what happens on this show isn’t done on the Racers “own merit” : Cab drivers, locals, alliances, lucky breaks, and so much more…

    I actually AGREE that the teams should have to be responsible for their own challenges, but that’s a flaw in the show that should likely be changed. It needs to be specified that you can’t just give another team the answer.

    Blame the show, not the Racers. They acted within the parameters of the rules.

    I wouldn’t have done it they way that they did. I would need to complete it on my on merit, but that’s me…

    Nobody cheated.

    After you’re done here at TVLine, I hope you’ll check out the rest of my recap at

  44. Marie says:

    1. The sharing of information has always gone on, but the practice is worse this season because most of the teams knew at least one other team from their prior season. Those who did not have been at a disadvantage from the start. The producers should have seen this problem coming a mile away.

    2. The speed bump is an improvement over the former practice of taking away money from the teams – it was horrible to see teams, sometimes in impoverished countries, begging for money from the locals. But the speed bump has to actually represent a challenge and this one did not. What a joke.

    3. I HATED that the U-Turn came at the very end of the leg, that a team U-Turned had absolutely no time to make up the difference. It should have been placed earlier in the leg to give a team U-Turned a chance to make up some time and create some drama. At least Gary & Mallory had to complete their speed bump early in the leg; the placement of the U-Turn was unforgivable.

  45. Amber says:

    I felt sick watching last night’s episode. I do think that kind of sharing of information is cheating and shouldn’t be allowed. The race needs to be run fairly. The whole thing with alliances is the reason I never watched Survivor, because I can’t stand that side of human nature when people are out to get each other. I may not finish this season of TAR, I haven’t decided yet. I just don’t know who to root for anymore. I sort of like Gary and Mallory, but the constant praying whenever they get into trouble does bother me more than a bit. Zev and Justin were people I could root for, but their participation in last night’s debacle sort of killed that for me a bit. Everyone just seems so unlikeable at this point.

  46. Ali K says:

    I’m pretty sure there’s a rule saying a team is not allowed to help another team complete a task, but there’s nothing against hints. One team telling another, “Come on, we’ll find the clue box together” is sportsman-like. Telling another team the answer is not a hint, though. I was certain all of those teams were going to incur a 30-minute penalty and was disappointed when they did not. The music even sort of suggested as much each time someone told another person the answer. It was almost as if the editor was expressing their oppinion as well.

  47. KenBud says:

    It’s a simple fix. Just add in with the clue that each clue must be completed without any help from other teams. They are on camera every second they are racing, so the producers will know. They can’t get away with anything.

  48. JohnDoe says:

    Glad the cowboys are gone. They annoyed the hell out of me, and were so gimmicky, with hats and everything.

    Tip: Cowboy outfits work well when you know…you’re actually on a ranch or a farm, or prairie, herding cattle, but when you walk around a city in a uniform like that, people can’t help but think you just came from a gay bar.

  49. Bettina Rater says:

    Yeah, the sharing of information is kind of a strange situation, especially when it occurs within an official race challenge. This topic (cheating) reminds me of when Amber (of Amber and Boston Rob) got help from a bystander during a roadblock. I was no fan of Amber and Boston Rob when they were brought in to compete–their notoriety brought them an unfair advantage in that they kept getting recognized and helped out by locals on the race. But there was this time when Amber was doing a roadblock where she had to go to various stands within a marketplace to find certain items, and a local person recognized her and basically led her around to each spot so she could pick up the items. I was incensed–I was like, this person is just doing the roadblock for her! This can’t be fair! Of course, getting information from bystanders along the way is a part of the race, so I guess this would fall along the same lines, but I still thought there should be some kind of rule where another person can’t literally do an official challenge FOR you. Sorry for going off-topic, but this incident still bugs me all these years later.

  50. mmilt3475 says:

    I agree, teams helping other teams has become quite annoying. When will these people wake up and realize this is a RACE and that they should not be helping other teams if they want to WIN???

    I also agree that the producers should put a ‘no helping other teams’ rule in place for next season.