Teams head to Azerbaijan for fun with oil and apples and hay
It was only two weeks ago that I mused on the problematic nature of the "Amazing Race" Fast-Forward.
"Fast-Forwards are almost never any good, are they? And the show has structured them so badly that you almost never have two teams competing for the Fast-Forward because everybody knows that the tasks are easy, so the Fast-Forward becomes a reward for the first team to the clue, which is an arbitrary thing to reward."
With Sunday (March 25) night's episode, I was proven both right and wrong, as "The Amazing Race" had its second Fast-Forward of the month.
On one hand, two teams competed for the Fast-Forward, which was exactly what I said didn't happen nearly enough.
On the other hand -- the more practical hand -- not only was it the first two teams to reach the clue who attempted the Fast-Forward, but the Fast-Forward proved to be an all-or-nothing proposition. It was a difficult task, in an episode without a difficult Detour or Roadblock, meaning that the team that completed the Fast-Forward ended up winning the Leg and the team that didn't complete the Fast-Forward ended up going home, because there was no opportunity to make up time by excelling at later challenges.
That meant that we deviated from the Only One Team Attempts the Fast-Forward norm exactly long enough to convince future competing teams that the dice roll that comes from attempting a Fast-Forward you know another team is attempting just isn't worth it. Attempting the Fast-Forward led to a 50 percent chance of winning the Leg and a 50 percent chance of total elimination. Not attempting the Fast-Forward had a 100 percent success rate in terms of not-being-eliminated, which is kinda the goal when you're gunning for a million bucks and not just the week's sponsored prize package.
So when a silly recapper like me dares to question why multiple "Amazing Race" teams rarely go for the same Fast-Forward, we have our cautionary tale in place.
Full recap after the break...