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'The Amazing Race' recap: 'Baby Bear's Soup'

Well, so long Team Kentucky. It just wasn’t meant to be, we reckon. 

The stitched-together team of Mark and Mallory had a lot going against them anyway – they lacked in strength and stamina – but they just plain never adjusted to each other’s mindset. 

Their differing views on what to do about Mark’s knapsack — she wanted to retrieve after they’d made it to the Pit Stop; he wanted his bag back now — was painful to see. Watching the show with the advantage of hindsight, and from the comfort of Apartment 81, we thought Mallory was right. They should have gone back for the bag later. But we thought it was her fault they left the bag behind in the first place.

After a lackluster season opener, Episode 2 came as a big relief. It’s going to be a fun season, with the potential for some interesting, unexpected rivalries and feuds.

"Amazing Race" fans got to see some very unusual things happen.  When have so many teams arrived at the Pit Stop in such short intervals. Even Phil was startled by the seven-team pile-up. And dead-heat runs to the finish line are pretty rare, too. Credit Team Big Brother

The second leg kept the contestants in the Guangzho, China, which on two consecutive episodes has failed to make any kind of impression on Apartment 81, or on the contestants for that matter. More travelogue, please.

This week’s Roadblock, in which teams had to assemble a child’s motorized car, although not particularly compelling to watch, did produce two interesting plot developments, which may or may not end up mattering as the race goes on.

The Cowboys, under intense flirtatious pressure, forked over their extra Express Pass to the Country Singers, who were struggling mightily with the task. At first it seemed like a dumb decision, but the Cowboys weren’t comfortable having the extra pass anyway – unloading it quickly, and even thoughtlessly, might have been the best decision for them.

And Team You Tube’s Meagan seemed genuinely annoyed when Joel and Jessica hustled past her team to the pit stop. It might be just the think to light a fire under Team You Tube, which never looks aggressive enough. And nice job, Meagan, for calling out the Country Singers on sheer lack of skills, and their over-reliance on help from other teams.

Here’s who’s looking the strongest:

Newlyweds Brendon and Rachel kept their head in the game. If they can keep their focus, they’ll be strong contenders.

Leo and Jamal, who have clearly been hitting the weight room in the off-season, only managed a 7th-place finish, but they don’t look capable of making big mistakes.

The Globetrotters continue to charm the pants off of everyone they meet, but eventually Herb is going to have to step aside and let Nate tackle one of the Roadblocks.

Here’s who’s looking  kind of strong, for now at least:

Margie and Luke are running well so far, but we’re still not convinced they have the for the long haul. And maybe Luke is kind of annoying?

Jet and Cord, after a seamlessly run first week, reverted to just the kind of fuzzy thinking and impetuous acting that has tripped them up in previous seasons. But they still have more rounded skills, when it comes to tasks, then any other team.

Father and son Dave and Connor have no revealed no big weaknesses but Dave seems disinclined to make friends, or even passing acquaintances, with other teams. That could end up hurting them.

Who has to step up, fast:

The Country Singers are not endearing themselves to the other teams. If anyone gets served a Roadblock in the coming weeks, expect it to be them.

John and Jessica are getting negligible screen time. Is that because they’re boring, or because they won’t be around for long. It would be great if they turned out to be villains.

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