Two Women Win The Amazing Race! (Sexism Over?)
The most recent season of The Amazing Race ended tonight with a resounding victory by doctors Nat and Kat! They combined athleticism with surgical precision to become the first female duo to win–in the seventeenth season of the show. Men paired with men have won, men paired with women have won, but the previous sixteen teams to win never had more than one uterus on board. These are heady times, people. Women are winning Oscars for movie direction, they’re winning The Amazing Race together… I eagerly await the next cultural glass ceiling to be shattered! Seriously, it was about time. There have been many contenders, including the dynamic Beauty Queens who missed it by a handful of minutes a few years ago.
The runners-up this time around were another female pair, bubbly but lovable television hosts Brook and Claire, who also defied expectations about what the face of a fierce competitor looks like. Perky, and in pink, in this case. In a distant third were the (probably) favored winners, Jill and Thomas, a dating pair who resembled basically every other dating couple to ever win the show. They made a classic error mid-leg that was entirely their fault, and which filled me with glee by ensuring the girl-girl win.
That error, in case you are curious, was to jump into a cab and demand that the driver just start going without confirming that he knew their destination or could assist them in any way in finding it first. The clue was coded, meaning the racers had to figure out where the location was before they could get to it. Jill and Thomas’s driver could not figure out where the clue was pointing them, nor did he have an internet phone they could use to find it out. They were already on the freeway before any of this was brought to light; as a result, he drove them all over the place and then deposited them in some crummy residential neighborhood where a frustrated Thomas stood in the middle of the street and shouted “Can somebody let me use their internet?” Nat and Kat, on the other hand, asked something like three different cab drivers whether they had internet phones before jumping in the car with one who did. Brook and Claire jumped into a cab and immediately asked to be taken to the nearest hotel. (If I’ve learned anything from The Amazing Race, it’s that internet can always be found in airports and hotels.) (Also, that you always ask the cab driver if he knows where he’s going first! So many teams have been sunk by this.)
Speaking of that tricky clue, it appears I also have to add another classical tome to my list of Books I Haven’t Read. The clue asked racers to know that “Sancho Panza” was the servant of Don Quixote, so as to lead them to Don Quixote Studios, where their final task was located. None of the three teams knew this information off the tops of their heads, prompting much “What a disgrace!” discussion on certain television websites I visit. I didn’t recognize the character, either.
(Not that I haven’t been snobbish on other occasions when racers demonstrated what they didn’t know about literature or other high-minded pursuits. See this entry from my old blog, Cereal Monogamist, where I mention the Kafka challenge and the Chekhov challenge, both from past seasons.)