Amazing Race
I Didn't Make Her Cry

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The Gloves Come Off

Vanessa and Ralph arrive in last place and soon take in the fact that a lot of the teams are arguing. Like how Other Rachel keeps sarcastically saying to Dave, "Yes, sir!" and he tells her not to be an asshole. Ralph and Vanessa naturally see this as an opportunity, as long as they can avoid falling into bickering themselves. I have to say that this stuff is tough to do in a hurry without fighting. I mean, I've put up somewhat less complicated camping equipment while racing -- not against other teams, but mosquitoes or rainclouds or failing daylight or a hungry kid and it can get tense. Even Bopper tells Mark to watch his tone and JJ tells art to hurry before their flimsy structure in progress collapses (which it does) and Other Rachel tells Dave she's sick of his pouting and asks what he wants to do about whatever he thinks isn't right. "Shut your mouth," he says unhelpfully, whanging away with the mallet. "That's why we're not here with our wives," JJ smugly tells the camera. Lucky Art and JJ's wives. "First team to arrive, last team to leave. What's new," Dave bitches and Other Rachel calls him "the most negative person I know in this fricking universe." Let's test that assertion by watching some commercials, shall we?

Finally, after having a whole frame set up, Dave angrily points out to Rachel what the issue is, showing her some brackets that have to be on the roofline instead of where the walls will meet the ceiling. Like it's her fault. They tear apart the whole thing in short order and get going again quickly. "When communication is flowing and we're supportive of one another, we're unstoppable," Dave boasts. Which explains why they've only won half the legs. Soon the whole frame is up and Other Rachel's arranging their furniture while Jamie talks about the frustration and difficulty she and Nary are dealing with. And yet somehow not biting each other's heads off.

Time passes, as shown by some time-lapse cloud photography and we come back to several teams with their tents nearly erected. Maybe there really wasn't a Roadblock, given that this is turning out to be challenging enough to make up for both the absence of a Roadblock and half of a Detour. Rachel says she's used to pop-up tents (as a "VIP hostess," I'm sure that's true), but interviews that this one is extreme. "I feel like I'm setting up a circus tent," she says as Brendon makes with the pounding. Part of that may be due to the way she herself is dressed, though. Bopper is tying his and Mark's entrance flaps in place, with Mark right under him. Art is tying knots outside while JJ is taking care of the interior tasks. "I felt like a woman," JJ says with his usual degree of enlightenment, as we watch him carefully folding towels before moving on to the shower. Ralph and Vanessa seem to be working well together, which Ralph credits to her "listening and following instructions," and which I attribute to gigantic Ralph's ability to pop these huge, heavy frame pieces together like Tinkertoys. She observes to Ralph, "We're way ahead of the teachers." That's what they get for showing up at the travel agency after Nary and Jamie were outed.

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Amazing Race

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