After checkpoint #3, TJ Lavin stops Team UK in their tracks. After checkpoint #2 CT pushed the US gurney and “tampered” with it. As a result, Team UK had to stop for ten minutes.
CT was pissed and called the decision bullshit. To be honest, CT might be correct. The decision is kind of inconsistent with the treatment of Team US.
At two points during the laps Team UK passed Team US. After checkpoint one the UK team saw a window and sprinted head of the US gurney. As this happened, the US team didn’t want to lose their lead. Paulie active pushed Kam into the UK gurney. If you watch the episode, you can hear Kam scream Paulie’s name. Clearly he meant to push Kam, but Paulie’s indirect shove did not have the same force as CT.
After checkpoint #2, US had a lead again. Team UK saw the opportunity to pass the Team US but the paths were narrow. When Team UK was directly behind team US, the US gurney tired to prevent the UK from passing. Paulie intentionally shifted his position to prevent the UK from passing. This is not explicitly against any rules, and actually isn’t an awful strategy. Slow Team UK and make them hold their gurney longer, but Paulie was annoying his teammates by preventing the UK from passing.
Eventually, UK makes their move and runs past the US team. This is when the pushing occurs, and Cara Maria clearly looses her footing when CT pushes the US gurney. We also hear Zach yell at CT after his shove. Still, I can’t ignore that Team US was intentionally trying to be a barrier and stop UK from passing by.
Ultimately, I don’t think UK should have been assessed a penalty. They only shoved the US because the paths were narrow and the US was trying to prevent them from taking the lead. The final is supposed to be a race, and if production can’t provide wide enough paths for someone to take a lead in a race, then it isn’t ridiculous that competitors would rely on other methods to take their lead. It’s not like UK cast members were trying to break the bamboo on the US gurney. They just wanted to get by.
Ultimately, this penalty didn’t hurt UK too badly, but I still don’t think US is innocent here.