The Amazing Race Season 22 Review “Like James Bond Again”

I was very excited to see The Amazing Race heading to the land of Hobbits and cute flightless birds – New Zealand. There isn’t another country with more to offer in terms of outdoor adventure. The teams headed to the south island’s biggest city and hometown of host Phil Keoghan, Christchurch. Unfortunately, this week’s challenges did little to take advantage of the country’s beautiful landscapes and they didn’t even show Christchurch.

We picked back up with the medical drama of Dave and Connor. After a trip to the doctor, it’s confirmed that Dave has torn the muscle and tendon in his Achilles. They weren’t ready to give up quite yet, though. In a completely shocking moment, they approach John and Jessica before the flights out of Tahiti, and John and Jessica actually give them the express pass. There was no wrangling, no arguing, no cajoling. After the comments John had made previously about not sticking to the “alliance” agreement, I was surprised that he just gave up the express pass. It was heartening that they were willing to do this after seeing that Dave is injured. It was still hilarious to watch the hockey players mimicking John – there is something about that guy that makes me think he is Spencer Pratt’s long lost cousin.

As in the past, international flights are the great equalizer and all of the teams ended up on the same flight to Auckland. They staggered out on the flights to Christchurch, but reunited to camp on a river bank waiting for the next morning’s jet boat departures. The jet boats are crazy fun. They skim the water at high speeds and turn on a dime. They used the boats simply as transport to their next task, which probably makes sense because it would have been too dangerous to have the teams perform any actual challenges with them.

The first detour was a big disappointment. The teams had to choose between racing junker, aka “vintage” cars, and fishing. Everyone picked the car option except team mullet and Dave/Connor. Of all the amazing activities they could have picked in New Zealand, these two were so boring and disappointing. They could’ve done hang-gliding, mountain biking, zip lines, rafting, etc. Driving beat up clunkers down a dirt strip was beyond lame. The fishing challenge wasn’t any better. How much excitement can you get from people standing next to a river?

The next challenge was just bizarre. The teams had to collect eggs on an obstacle course that looked as though it had been set up by children. It reminded me of something that I would have watched as a kid on Nickelodeon’s Double Dare. For an unknown reason, a shepherd dog would run alongside the racers. It made no sense. Again, this was the best they could do in New Zealand? Don’t get me wrong, the dogs were cute. They just seemed like an afterthought way to Kiwi-fy the activity.

We still don’t know how this leg of the race shook out. Dave and Connor used the express pass and it looks like they’ll be deciding at the beginning of the next episode whether they can continue on with the race. This is probably their last stop. At least by finishing first, they received a trip to Bangkok. That’s some consolation for what must have been a disappointing turn of events.
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