The Amazing Race Season 23 Review “Beards in the Wind”

After last week’s somewhat anti-climactic elimination, The Amazing Race returned tonight with the much more race focused episode “Beards in the Wind”. We spent the first 23 minutes of last week’s installment in the first airport, as the teams were still trying to figure out their flights, so I was glad that we quickly got all of the teams to their destination so we could get to all of the racing. There are some people who like the “Travel Fu” side of the Race, but I’d much rather see them completing all of the crazy challenges and see the beautiful country.

Anyway, all of the teams make their way from Norway on the same flight. This is the first time they’ve all been on the same flight in this race, and I’m hoping it’s the first time of many. I like it when everybody starts from scratch together. It makes every leg a totally equal race, which often leads to a much more exciting leg. It also keeps one team from dominating the race from start to finish, since usually the first to depart gets the best flight, then they have an advantage when they show up, then they get in first yet again.

Before we got to the actual racing, Tim and Marie confirmed that their second express pass needs to be given away before the end of the fifth leg. So that means they only have this leg and the next in which to bestow this advantage on another team. I don’t know if this also means that they need to use their own express pass before that time, but I’m glad we have a deadline for that now.

Both sides of the detour centered on fish, but it was clear that the fish heads challenge was the easier of the two. Maybe if the dry fish challenge was only picking them off the racks and carrying them to the jerky building, then it would have been equal, but then they had to pound out a kilo of jerky. They made it look like you had to pound out exactly a kilo of jerky, but apparently the producers realized how difficult the challenge was because the guy wasn’t very picky.

The next Ford commercial–I mean…”Challenge” involved the teams using an incredibly strong and wonderful 2013 Ford Ranger to move a boulder. (Can I please have a car now, Ford?) Anyway, Tim and Marie didn’t find the clue underneath their boulder, so they’re just driving around aimlessly. We got a rare “To be continued…” when Nicole and Travis played hardball in an attempt to get the express pass, but I’m not sure how much help they can be to Tim and Marie. Won’t Tim and Marie get in trouble if they don’t show up with the proper clues in their possession? Don’t they need that little piece of canvas with the longhouse printed on it? Or can they simply show up at the pit stop without it?

I guess we’ll see next week, as we see the second half of this two-parter. I’m so glad that my favorite team Brandon and Adam came in first, and I hope they can keep it going!

What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments section below!

Random Thoughts:

– Brandon and Adam are always good for a few funny lines in every episode, but I loved when Adam feigned being offended (“HEY!”) when Marie said that they liked to eat gross stuff and do gross stuff all the time.

– I was darkly amused when Kim and Nicky kept talking about female empowerment and how tough they are, but then The Amazing Race cameras took EVERY SINGLE OPPORTUNITY to shoot right down Kim’s shirt. Oh, and then show Nicky losing her clue in her mouth and Kim getting her hair caught was also serving to bring them back down a notch.

– I think it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that we’re going to get a non-elimination, as that’s usually what they do with the “Keep on racing” pit stops, but I really hope that’s not the case if Tim and Marie show up last.