While the eighth leg of "The Amazing Race" was filled to the brim with beasts, buggies, banquet preparation, blowup rafts, and blame, in the end, it was payback (as well as the lack thereof) that determined who went bye-bye.
The baseball wives have been on borrowed time for weeks. They'd already been saved by non-elimination on two previous legs, were constantly falling behind, made multiple bad decisions, and generally lacked muscle and hustle. They were starting this second round in the United Arab Emirates in last place and were going to have to do an extra Speed Bump at some point. But the bunnies had started to grow on us. They acknowledged their faults, never really mistreated anyone, supported each other wholeheartedly 100 percent of the time, faced their many fears, and generally seemed thrilled at every new experience and face they encountered.
It was a tad ironic that their ultimate undoing in a game they weren't particularly great at was a punishment doled out by a team who felt slighted by the best move of their entire "Race" tenure. Pinkie was still holding a grudge for the time she thought they cut in front of her in a standby line, which she called "that stunt you pulled at the airport." The reality was they wandered around and found an open airline office who could put them on the list while the others waited for the gate attendants to open hours later. Upon finding out their fate, Kim just assumed they did it because "they're mean," which may be just as true. Pinkie did tell her partner she "could punch him in the face," criticized his dune buggy driving skills and promised to not yell at him only if he drove fast enough for her liking on this leg alone.
But it was almost as much a matter of who else was U-turned and who wasn't. The doctors, who say they are playing an honest game, chose to penalize the Afghanimals for lying to their face about throwing the beards on the last U board. But they were far ahead of enough teams that they could perform both Detours — dressing up a camel for a pageant and prepping and serving a dish for an Arab wedding — before some folks even finished one. It also seemed to set the liars pants on fire to win, targets on their backs be damned. "We're here for the win. We got chicken blood on us today. Next is human blood," Leo threatened.
Pinkie thought Boston would choose them as payback for the taxi-stealing kerfuffle in Vienna and again, if they had chosen to exact their revenge when they beat the exes to the tower despite finishing the camel show after them, the results may have been altered.
Unfortunately the cards fell where they may and we will never know what might have been. We do know that being a ninja doesn't much suit them, but Nicky and Kim can be proud of just doing it. Kim said, "I faced so many fears and it does make me feel like I can do anything."
Other moments of note in this installment of the competition:
* The Viking coins from several legs ago finally came into play as pairs needed them to open a locked Ford Explorer. Amy had broken the code before they even read the clue proving once again she's not just a pretty face. (And she's seriously a pretty face. In fact, we learned she was Miss Rhode Island at some point in her life.) The race's other pretty faces had a harder time deducing that you had to line up the coin images as they appeared on their satchel and then retrieve the numbers from the flipside. I think the ice queens actually rubbed the coins over the keypad.
* The baseball wives burnt out a clutch after getting their ride stuck in the sand dunes and being unable to dig themselves out. "We have not done dune buggies before as you probably figured by now," Kim cracked.
* Camels are mean. Tim got blasted in the shin, Jamal got hip-checked in his face, and Boston's first contender refused to walk in front of the judges, laid on the ground, and got his costume all dirty.
* Navigation in the U.A.E. is no easy task. Frustration in the Boston camp rose as they kept getting lost including on their way to the pit stop at the Jebel Hafeet. Amy snapped, "When you make four lefts, you are back where you started." Ice faired even worse when trying to find the world's largest manmade rapids. Ashley accused Ally of being "not a very good navigator" while Ally labeled her partner a "bad driver." The exes can't blame the foreign land. They can blame only themselves as they got lost trying to find a tower that was on the grounds of the fort that shared part of the same name and in which they were standing in while reading the clue. Boston saw them running through the hot streets with their bags a half mile from where they were supposed to be, and when they were pointed back to where they'd come from by locals, Pinkie let her disappointment be known, loudly.
* The Afghanimals were up to their old tricks when the wives showed up at the catering challenge. They fibbed again when they told them they'd only been there for 15 minutes and that the task was easy. When the reality was they'd started there, then changed when the exes wandered in and scared them into thinking they'd fallen behind, and were back again because of the U-turn.
* The docs used their Express Pass to get ahead of the pack, get to the U-turn board first, and ultimately come in first place with Phil up a winding highway with a 4,000-foot rise and 21 corners. Their strategy paid off with a brand new Ford for each of them.
"The Amazing Race" airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on CBS.