I admire the hell out of Rachel and her boyfriend, Thomas Kyle (as his mother's message on the product-placed Blackberry revealed TK's full name to be). They had setback after setback tonight and they didn't meltdown. First, she left the clue at the cafe, and they scoured the car, then turned around to go back. He never called her "stupid" or anything. Then, he had to go up in that plane three times to everyone else's once before he saw "Vinci" in the field. She never yelled "I hate you!" Then, after successfully completing what looked to be the tougher detour, they got a freaking flat tire on the way to the pitstop. Did they start sobbing, screaming or whining? No, TK changed the tire and they went back on their way, with zero drama. Can you even begin to imagine if this series of events had happened to any of the other teams left? Nate may have killed Butt-Chin Jen. Christina may have killed herself after her father belittled her to the brink of insanity. And we did get a glimpse of Vixen having a mini-breakdown and Kent sniping at her, but I can't really blame her, given the degree of lost they were for most of the leg and the fact that she said at one point she'd been up for 30 hours. I'd have driven into a ditch by that point. I had to chuckle at how rough he looked by the end of the day. Pity he had to waste all that purple lip gloss sitting in the back seat of a car. This is definitely one of those teams where I wish she could stay and he could go. He's such and annoying wuss and she seems like, under her stupid pink hair, she's a pretty cool chick.
Gotta love my boys Don and Nick, who each got a sweet "FF" tat and cruised in as Team #1. I loved Don wishing they'd gotten a head-shaving FF. Remember poor Joyce a few years back, and how kick-ass she was about losing all her hair? To be fair though, those tats were pretty small. It was like the Friends episode where Rachel and Phoebe got tattoos and Phoebe's was like, a dot, that she told everyone was the earth as seen from outer space. (Rachel: "I just got a heart. Phoebe got the whole world!")
I had a very good feeling that it was a non-elim, and I'm digging on the idea of the "speed bump" ahead for Kent and Vixen. Clearly, the producers have finally figured out the whole take all your stuff and make you beg for money thing was useless, and that's a good thing. And I think this is better than a time penalty.
To all who celebrate, have a Merry Christmas! I'm personally hoping to consume all the baked goods I missed out on at Thanksgiving.
And, even though I don't know when you're going to read this, here's a big birthday shout-out to my best friend, Mindy, who is 35 today! (And, yes, my best friend's name is really Mindy, I'm not schizophrenic. Nor are we twins. Ah, nevermind.)