Television Without Pity

‘The Amazing Race’: The Season’s Dumbest Moments

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Snowboarders Andy and Tommy puzzle over another "Race" clue (CBS)

Snowboarders Andy and Tommy puzzle over another "Race" clue (CBS)

Thanks to yet another disappointing season filled with extremely easy challenges and lackluster contestants, we've almost given up hope that "The Amazing Race" can return to its former glory. Here are the stupidest moments from one of the show's worst installments.

Shop 'Til You Drop
The Speed Bumps and the new "Hazard" have become notoriously easy tasks that give racers on the verge of elimination a better-than-fighting shot to get back in the game. We want to see some real challenges, not watch a person get dropped two stories in the mall via a bungee cord. Our grandmas could do that.

The Magic of the Internet
Kaylani lost her passport at a gas pump before her team even got to the first challenge. Instead of her instantly being eliminated like we'd hope, some kind stranger used Twitter to find out where the Racers were heading and returned her passport to the airport just in the nick of time. It was all very... convenient. Where were the Internet followers when Zev lost his passport, eh?

Pedal to the Metal
There were not one, not two, but three challenges that had the contestants riding bikes to complete their tasks. Riding a bike is not difficult (well, unless your pedal falls off, like some people's did). Could they at least have had unicycles or something?

The Poor Orphans
"The Amazing Race" has always been very good about listing careful rules in the task clues that the racers are given and penalizing teams if they don't follow them. But at the orphanage in Indonesia, many folks were penalized for a small clue that appeared after the original clue. It wasn't even that noticeable of a sign, and it didn't have race colors or a flag on it. It caused a lot of confusion, and it eliminated Ethan and Jenna for something silly and not entirely their fault.

A Day at the Beach
Sure, it was windy in Phuket, but arranging beach chairs is not a Detour. It's a seaside outing. We've got more to contend with when we try and lug a cooler and an umbrella to the beach.

Temple of Near Doom
At a Buddhist temple, the teams had to solve a puzzle about statues, and the snowboarders actually gave Marcus and Amani the right answers. And Marcus still couldn't figure out the puzzle and almost lost the game. Thank goodness they hated their cabdriver.

And No One Gets Philiminated
There weren't really more non-elimination or "we're still racing" legs this season than in years past, but we've been tired of them for a while. During this installment, in particular, they seemed to come when teams that really deserved ousting could get a second chance. The producers either need to add more teams or shorten the season, because we're really over it.

Class Action
Laurence (who seemed to pay little attention to pesky things like rules) didn't want to listen to his son Zac about buying first-class bus tickets, but then decided beyond the last minute that his kid might have a point and turned them around, costing precious time. And the first-class rule didn't even apply to buses. You can't blame Zac for being cautious (teams have been Philiminated for less), but someone should have been the adult here.

The Devil's in the Details
There were multiple times where the snowboarders were slowed down because of a failure to fully process a clue (weirdly, they did see the sign at the orphanage), but their attempts to go so fast and not get things right ultimately led to their demise. Some might also call it karma for slamming the Buddhist religion.

Double the Displeasure
What is the point of the Double U-Turn if people aren't going to use it? Or if the racers who do use it are morons who try and U-Turn teams who have passed them? (Laurence, we are looking directly at you.) And then when they were used, U-Turns don't really affect the game that much. Yes, Laurence and Zac got eliminated after being saddled with one, but that's because they were idiots and got lost, not because doing both the butter and bunny tasks was time-consuming.

Express Train to Nowhere
Ernie and Cindy found themselves in a few precarious spots, but seemed to forget about their valuable Express Pass. But then they finally decided to use it... in order to secure first place in Malawi. And then lost it in a footrace. Use it to stay in the race, not to win a free vacation.

Repeat After Me
Early on, the teams had to remember a saying from Confucius and repeat it into a phone. Yes, this helped test the brains of the frazzled racers. But then there was a second memorization challenge in Copenhagen involving a few lines from Hans Christian Andersen, this time with dramatic flair. Be more original in your challenges! Or at least don't recycle the same idea more than once in a race.

The Man Behind the Mask
In Indonesia, the teams had to spelunk (aka slowly lower themselves down a wall), go through a large, spacious and fairly well-lit cave to find a mask and then climb a ladder to get out. Really?! And that was after the Speed Bump that required Bill and Cathi to untie a knot.

Get a sneak peek at this week's "Amazing Race" season finale right here:

The season finale of "The Amazing Race" airs Sunday, 12/11 at 8pm ET on CBS.

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