And now, we return to the straggling Weavers. The Yield runs down, and they give the Roadblock to Rolly (of course). They get the clue and get in the car, chattering about how they really just want to be eliminated. And this is where, in my ideal world, a giant mechanical claw would descend from the sky, pluck them out of the car, and drop them at their doorstep, because I despise quitters. You want out? Go home. I won't miss you.
They drive up to the library, and Phil tells them they're last. And then he tells them that they're not eliminated, and they're completely not happy about it. Phil calls them on their "unenthusiastic reaction," and Rolly says that it's because nobody likes them. Phil proceeds to take all their money and all their stuff. He then comments that they don't seem to even care what's going on. Mama explains that although they enjoy the race, she's not "up for" all the "personal stuff." Like sitting around at the Yield calling people names, for instance. That kind of personal stuff. Phil gives them a big pep talk (shut UP, Phil) about how other teams have been known to come from behind and win, blah dee blah. Mama interviews that she was ready to quit until Phil's "words of encouragement" told her that she could still win. She brags about how they got lost and Yielded and still "[came] back from it." No, you didn't! You weren't eliminated because there was no elimination, dummy! That's not a comeback! She pronounces them "ready to win." Bleh.
Executive Producer? Jerry Bruckheimer.
What's revolting to me about that entire thing isn't so much that Phil showed kindness to them, not that they deserve it. It's that the race has become so fucking soft. Phil shouldn't have to give a goddamn pep talk so you don't shrivel up like a mouse and quit. Phil didn't give words of encouragement to Flo; that was Zach's problem to deal with, which means that the team had to come up with enough drive between them to keep going, even if it all came from one person. If your team lacks the will to go on, then shut the hell up and go home, you know? This entire thing, with the stupid tasks and the easy everything and the random eliminations and Phil turning into a den mother, just makes it a different show. It's this Disney bullshit where it's all about who's mean and who's nice, and what's missing is a sense of urgency. The teams don't particularly seem to care, with the exception of maybe the Linzes, about winning.
I've barely seen any knock-yourself-out effort on the part of any of these people. They're sort of dinking around like they're on vacation, and that's why the season is boring. What has historically made the game exciting was the intensity of teams as diverse as Rob and Brennan, Guido, Ken and Gerard, Jill and John Vito, Millie and Chuck, Colin and Christie, Linda and Karen...they all had their own ways of manifesting it, but all really wanted to win. These people don't seem to give a crap. They bicker, but there's no passion for the win, and I don't care because they don't care. Maybe it's because with four people, everybody's only competing for $250,000 before taxes, which is not going to change your life. Maybe it's because the feel of the race is so much softer that there's no desperation. Maybe it's because the locations are so much less challenging that it has an amusement-park atmosphere and there aren't those genuinely challenging moments where you sense that people are really scared and not sure what to do. You're not going to get that desperate in the middle of Salt Lake City looking for the library like you will when lost in the desert in Tunisia or looking for a hotel in India where you can't speak the language, you know?