Un-'Amazing' Racers

I love "The Amazing Race," but sometimes I have to wonder about the average intelligence of some of the contestants.

You may want to skip to the end if you haven't seen last night's episode.

So, four of the five teams are at this boat dock. They have to attach a propeller to an engine to make their boat go. The hot redheads -- my favorite team, obviously -- figure out that they ought to take their bags with them on the boat trip. So they run back after fixing the engine, get their bags, then go off in the boat.

The other three teams see this, or should see it, but only one of them -- the brother and sister -- take their gear along with them. The other two teams -- the stuntmen brothers and the athletic sisters -- hop on the boats without their gear, then realize they won't be able to get their stuff.

The sisters, who have also left their passports behind as well as their shoes, complete the rest of the tasks (barefooted), but Phil won't check them in, because they don't have their passports. They can't take a cab back because, yep, they left their money behind as well.

Still, they aren't the dumbest team. That dubious distinction belongs to the stuntmen, who spend 20 minutes arguing about whether to go back or not. They did bring along their money and passports, but the older brother said he needs to go back and get his back, because he brought along certain things that are valuable to him. What, his collection of rare Faberge eggs? His coin collection? What could he possibly bring that's so important that he needs to risk losing a half-million dollars?

So they take a cab back to get their stuff and pay their first cab driver. Needless to say, they run out of money, so they end up giving away some of their possessions -- perhaps one of the older brother's priceless valuables -- to pay the cabbies. So even though they reach the finish line ahead of the sisters, they incur a four-hour penalty, the second week in a row they are penalized for breaking the rules.

(In fairness to the stuntmen, I've seen teams run out of money in the past and offer things like a watch or something to settle the bill and weren't penalized).

Lately, "The Amazing Race" hasn't recruited the cream of the crop to compete. Last edition, there wasn't a single team I really rooted for (though the college guys' seizure-like marching with the Russian Army may still be the funniest thing I've ever seen on TV), and this edition, not a whole lot to root for either except for the hot redheads.

How can I root against a team with a deaf kid and his mom, you say? Please, they are dirty players, already helping to get one team booted from the show. Technically, they don't cheat, but their lack of sportsmanship certainly isn't cricket, either.

As for the brother/sister team, I like the sister but the brother is such a jerk that I can't pull for them (though she deserves $500,000 for putting up with him.)

Where are the teams I used to pull for, the Chip & Kims or Uchenna & Joyces who were not only good racers, but genuinely nice people? Let's hope they recruit some for the next edition.

MONDAY'S BEST BET: Notice I took a week off for vacation, yet still updated the blog every day? How cool am I?

Anyway, the biggest event last week was Kutner's suicide on "House" (Fox, 8 p.m.), the after-effects of which will still be felt this week. It's followed by the return of Kim Bauer (Elisha Cuthbert) to "24." Talk about characters you wish would off themselves. I wonder if she has a new boyfriend so he can get an appendage chopped off like her last couple.

Loved last week's "Chuck" with Chevy Chase and Scott Bakula; hope this week's episode (NBC, 8 p.m.) is as good and I hope NBC brings this back for another season. It's followed by new episodes of "Heroes" and "Medium."

CBS has all new episodes of comedies, followed by "CSI: Miami" at 10 p.m., while "Dancing With The Stars" is 90 minutes and followed by "Surviving Suburbia" and "Castle."

"American Experience" (PBS, 9 p.m.) talks about Native Americans.

ABC Family has new episodes of "Greek," "Roommates" and "Sophie."

Finally, "Saving Grace" (TNT, 10 p.m.) is all new, and you can check out the New York Mets' new ballpark when they open their home season tonight against San Diego (ESPN, 7 p.m.)