The Amazing Race “You Look Like Gollum” Review (Season 28 Episode 2)

the amazing race "You Look Like Gollum"

The Amazing Race started their 28th season last week with the introduction to 11 excruciating teams of “social media influencers”, and it went just about as well as anyone could have expected. It’s 11 teams filled with irritating young millenials all just scrambling for more Twitter followers and online notoriety, and there’s nary a human moment among any of them. With the exception of maybe a couple of teams, it seems like nobody is here because of their fanhood or love for the game.

That trend continued this week with “You Look Like Gollum”. Scott and Blair enjoyed the very first week one non-elimination leg, so this episode started with what was supposed to be a cute scene involving Blair showing Phil all of the silly beauty products she brought along. This was supposed to be a funny little scene to kick off the episode, but it really just bothered me and encapsulated what’s wrong with this season. The mentality of these kids is just to look good for TV, and winning the race is just a secondary goal.

The Mensa brothers Darius and Cameron bragged about how smart they are, but even when they already realized that most of the others had already booked flights, they stopped on their way to the ticket counter to take a picture with a fan. I’m not saying they should have shut down the cute little boy who pledged to be their biggest fan, but it just shows to me that none of these people really seem to have their heads in the game.

Anyway, I guess I should stop complaining and just get to the episode itself. The teams made their way for the first time in Race history to Columbia, and to the beautiful city of Cartagena. There was some good old-fashioned Travel Fu going on at the Mexico City airport beforehand, and it was nice to see everybody scrambling for the best flights again. (Well, except for Darius and Cameron, but I’ll leave them alone now!)

Upon arrival to Cartagena, everybody made their way to the Road Block. Not only was this Road Block a blatant reason to put attractive women in a bathing suit and cover them in mud, but it was yet another one of those “limited availability” challenges that I hate so much. I just wish that Phil confirmed on camera that they are replenishing the emeralds in that pit whenever somebody found one, but I highly doubt that’s the case. Of course, by the time Hagan and her super slow cabbie finally arrive, she couldn’t find one because everybody else had already cleaned them out! These kinds of challenges are totally unfair to the people who arrive last, and those are the people who need the most help!

The Detour was a choice between “Pop Up” and “Parrilla”. Both sides of the Detour were fine, but they both oddly had to do with detail work. Sure, building a shelter and cooking a fish are very different disciplines, but both had to do with people looking at an example for reference and attempting to duplicate it, and then getting them confirmed by a judge. Tyler and Korey really proved themselves to be very capable competitors, and I’m really still a big fan of Burnie and Ashley. Brody and Kurt are sticking around at the top of the pack, but they seem pretty loud and confident and are the perfect candidates for making a huge mistake pretty soon.

Even though I really wanted the self professed Mensa members to come in last place, just because it would have been a wonderful case of Amazing Race karma, they squeaked it out and the mother/daughter team was sent home instead. They were unlucky with their cabbie, but then they made their own bad decision by leaving it at the fruit stand, and they paid the ultimate price.

What did you think of the episode? Anybody else annoyed with this season?

Random Thoughts:

– Is it just me, or does doing a Speed Bump seem to help teams out? I feel like it’s very rare that a team has to complete one of those and still goes home.

– I was a bit surprised that they kept showing the logos and likenesses of all of those licensed movie characters at the beach, like Terminator and Optimus Prime.

– I don’t feel like it’s that productive to belabor the point in the main review, but here’s more examples of these people being Internet Personalities first and racers second: Joslyn talking about Blair making a video tutorial about her mud exfoliation, Erin telling her story about her crotch fish to the camera, the Mensa Bros. showing their Rubics Cube footage, the Dudebros showing their ultimate frisbee highlights, etc.