The Amazing Race recap: Naked Ambition

One team strips, another is foiled and Franked (again)
Ep. 09 | Aired Nov 25, 2012

FISHY BUSINESS Natalie and Nadiya finish strong (smelling) in tonight's game-changer.

Cliff Lipson/CBS

I'm feeling torn right now.

A part of me has come to really enjoy Ryan and Abbie. They're quick and strong and kinda funny, plus Abbie has some truly enviable race-wear -- and also appears to parle francais. I've liked the bond that's developed between them and the Beekman Boys over the course of the last few legs. And I've sympathized with A&R because Lord knows they've had some crap luck recently. The airline stuff. The miserable organ challenge in the rain tonight. Ryan getting caked in mud. And, then, of course, the U-Turn. When Abbie threw her body onto that stranger for three hugs and cried on her shoulder I nearly cried myself. The Race has not been particularly kind to this team recently.

But might I suggest that they've come full circle over the course of their TAR journey? Back in the first leg, they got some help from Amy and Daniel, then overtook them in a footrace to the Pit Stop where they won the leg and the shot at the two million dollar prize. Fair enough. Just part of the game, right? At the time, Ryan tried to console a dazed and shocked Amy by throwing out some vague, "big picture" ramblings about how that moment was about more than just the race and how Amy and Daniel were more than just their friends. Yet, tonight, when others played the game and it happened to work against Abbie and Ryan, they were flabbergasted and morally offended. Suddenly the story was about how they'd been "stabbed in the back" and how the Chips' action "speaks volumes about them." I hardly think the Chips were playing dirty when they hit Abbie and Ryan with the U-turn. It was just The Chips daring to be -- nay, forcing themselves to be -- competitive. In fact, at the top of the leg, Ryan was all competitive bluster himself. "Someone's going down, it's not us," he'd promised, adding something or other about sheep being led to slaughter (Tell me he wasn't referring to the Beekmans there? I wasn't sure.). So it's more than a little hypocritical for Ryan to be so self-righteous about the Chips playing to win. The entitlement there is off the charts. Ryan claims the Chippendales cost him two million dollars, which is, of course, bananas on so many levels. The plain truth of it is the Race didn't go as perfectly as he'd hoped it would -- which just puts him in good company with many other fallen teams, including, well, Amy and Daniel, who were eliminated after some plain old bad luck with a taxi.

And anyway, by winning that first leg -- and simply by being a strong team -- haven't Abbie and Ryan always had huge target on their backs? Wasn't what went down tonight a foregone conclusion?

But enough about them.

Let's go to Amsterdam! No, to France! No, Amsterdam! Not France then? Non, stop talking about France! Turn that flag right side up and let's head to the land of clogs and happy bicyclists!

NEXT: More missed connections


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