The Amazing Race Season 21 Review “Chill Out, Freak”

The Amazing Race 2012 Season 21 Episode 5

Last night’s episode of The Amazing Race, “Chill Out, Freak,” kept the competitors sweating it out with grueling manual labor in Dahka, Bangladesh. Some maintained their composure better than others. The heat and humidity of the tasks pushed people to their breaking points. Yet, some managed to keep positive attitudes and pull out ahead of the pack.

In particular, James and Abba had the extra burden of competing after receiving sad news. James learned that his father’s cancer is stage 4 and there is no chance of remission. He was faced with the difficult decision of staying in the race or going home. While it is not the point of the show to delve too deeply into competitor’s personal lives, it would have been nice if the show explained more why James made the decision to keep competing. Regardless, it was a touching moment when he and Abba crossed the finish line first at the pit-stop.

The twins Natalie and Nadiya provided the much-needed comic relief of the episode. The first roadblock required the competitors to construct a scale to weigh bamboo against rocks. Abbie asked Nadiya if she had performed such a task before – a ridiculous question by any stretch of the imagination. Nadiya’s response during the recap interview was priceless: “Yeah, we have made a bloody third world scale in the back of my garden before, what do you think, are you insane?”

Sure, Natalie’s yelling of encouragement to her sister is grating for most people in earshot. But it was adorable when she got the local boy to help her cheer for Nadiya. This is the type of interaction that makes The Amazing Race enjoyable to watch. The goal is to showcase other countries and people, not just contestants trying to win a competition. It was nice to see the teams interact with people in a way other than shouting, “Taxi.”

At the detour, neither task seemed like it was going to be easy. The factory was a cringe-worthy option, until they showed the length of the bamboo and how difficult it would be to transport it by rickshaw. Somehow Rob and Kelley managed to analogize the bamboo task to their monster trucks. Bamboo is heavy like a monster truck tire. Tying down bamboo is like doing something to a monster truck. It will be a sweet day when their monster truck drives into the last place on an elimination pit-stop.

The bummer about this leg was that there was no elimination. The well-meaning but perpetually befuddled Beekman boys are sticking around another week, despite arriving in last place. They may be fabulous at goat farming, but when it comes to figuring out something as basic as the location of a taxi stand, they are hopelessly clueless. Their underwhelming performance with building the scale and transporting the bamboo made Trey and Lexi look like rock stars; and that’s not an easy thing to do.