Margie and Luke had their fates sealed about 15 minutes into Episode 5, and there wasn't much suspense after that.
We knew it wasn't going to be a non-elimination leg because last week was.
Almost the first 15 minutes of this episode was spent watching team make flight reservations, from Borneo to Sri Lanka. That's usually a sign that a team is going to make a choice they won't be able to recover from.
Six of the eight remaining teams got seats on the only direct flight out of Kuala Lumpur, which left two teams -- Margie and Luke and Brendon and Rachel -- with a tough decision.
Brendon and Rachel went for broke, booked a connecting flight through Singapore and ended up arriving first in Sri Lanka. Margie and Luke took a chance on standby. It was a reasonable choice, it just didn't pay off.
That really crushed the mother and son team. Margie and Luke fell so far behind that they weren't even shown performing any part of their Detour and Roadblock tasks. But falling hopelessly behind might have given Luke time to get his head together. He had his head held high at the Pit Stop, where he and his mom were eliminated.
But it was still an enjoyable episode.
It was almost soothing.
We liked seeing the contestants enjoying that beautiful train ride along the coast of Sri Lanka. For the first time this season, the contestants got to enjoy the kind of travel experience that makes them turn to the camera and say, "This is the great part! We're seeing the world!"
We like it when all of the contestants are traveling together and interacting. The Country Singers look like they genuinely like the Cowboys.
We liked this week's Roadblock at the Trendy Connections garment factory, in which one member of each team had to sew a shirt.
I think all roommates should watch "The Amazing Race" together like we do in Apartment 81. It's a nice way to spend a Sunday night, for sure. But more important, you end up learning about what skills your household might need to develop in case of an emergency.
So far, by my count, we have these skills. Chris is a warrior when it comes to dealing with the cable company's customer service. Melissa has trained the cats to go in toilet. Richard self-choreographed a dance to the "Amazing Race" theme.
Last night, we discovered some other skills we need to cultivate pretty darn fast -- sewing and fishing.
It was a fun Detour, too. Everyone (except Margie and Luke) arrived at the same time, and there a nice balance of teams choosing the Fishing Pole and Spin Control options.
We liked seeing Globetrotters sail through Spin Control, a task that required spinning plates on sticks and agile footwork.
We liked the Cowboy's "It ain't nothing to be proud of but it's a fish" attitude.
We liked seeing Rachel keep Brendon's head together yet again as he kept dropping plates.
And we liked how Jessica and John make the tough decision to bail out on one Detour option and start another one. Doing this didn't work for them in Season 22, but it did this time
There are now seven teams left.
Here’s who’s looking the strongest:
Dave and Connor -- They reached the Pit Stop in 1st for the second time this season, and have never finished worse than 4th.If they have a weakness, we can't see it.
The Cowboys -- They have been struggling a little bit with some tasks, but they still have the Express Pass. It's hard to see them not making the final four.
Leo and Jamal -- The Afghanimals slipped back to fourth place, but they still look strong.
Here’s who’s looking kind of strong, for now at least:
The Country Singers -- The only all-female team left in the competition has something to prove. They've improved every week, arriving second at this week's Pit Stop.
Brendon and Rachel -- They have survived three shaky weeks in a row and finally look like they're on equal footing with the other teams.
Who has us worried:
The Globetrotters -- They were the second team to arrive at the garment factory but the next to last team to leave it.
John and Jessica still haven't reached the Pit Stop in higher than 5th place. Are they a sleeper team, or just sleepy?