Category: The Amazing Race


Team BFF are leaving at 1040 PM to fly to Africa. They have to correctly ID the specific country to get in to the travel agency. At that time of night, they’ll all be on the same plane, so I’m just going to cut to said country (Botswana). The teams have to run out of the airport and find a particular “puddle jumper” airline and sign up for one of three flights to their next clue. Teams Country Blondes and Brohockey get the first flight, and Team BFF is on the last one.

They land on a dirt airstrip and get their next clue, which sends them driving down a dirt road (marked) and looking for their next clue, which is a Roadblock. One team member will have to pick three local Bushmen to guide them to an area where they can dig out a scorpion’s nest. Then a Bushman puts it in a jar, and guides them to their next clue. I don’t think even Teams You Tube or ‘Bama could screw this up. Turns out the Bushmen are going to accompany the teams the rest of the way, and Team Brohockey is the first to give them a lift to the Detour, where they select learning to build a fire over learning how to trap a guinea fowl. Meanwhile, it turns out that besides actually digging the scorpion out, the racer has to put it in the jar, which is a major hold up for Joey. As the teams head to their Detours, they have to learn animal calls, evidently for no reason other than to look stupid on national TV, which Team Newlyweds omit. But they do have to bitch about the smell emanating from said Bushmen. Do you see shower facilities available, people? Teams ‘Bama and BFF are racing for last, but both of them are smart enough to realize that, Team  Brohockey’s luck not withstanding, making a fire by basically rubbing two sticks together is NOT the faster of the two detours, which leapfrogs them to 3rd and 2nd place, respectively.

Team Brohockey won the leg’s trip to Thailand, and all the teams except Newlyweds give up on the fire and set a trap for a guinea fowl. It turns out they don’t have to actually wait for one to come along, but just prove it works by tripping it. Once Team Newlyweds actually give up on creating sparks and go for trapping, the editing makes it look like they might not be in last place, since Team Roller Derby falls into the trap of reading the clue, which specifically says to make their way to the Pit Stop on foot, but then decide to drive, or at least check the parking lot to see if anyone else drove. One of them actually said, “Maybe we don’t really have to do it on foot.” Why the hell didn’t the other one reply either, “Check the clue again!” or, if they were the ones with the clue, actually look at it, and say, “No, it says right here ON FOOT.” Why must at least one team do this every season? It doesn’t matter, either way, Team Newlyweds are last, but since this is the real non-elimination leg, another one of the teams I despise gets to stick around, although at least they will have a speed bump next week (or had one last night on the episode I haven’t watched yet).

Nina Lisa

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Eight teams left. Double U-turn ahead. One team quits. Should be interesting!

Team Survivor is leaving at 5:01 AM for Hanoi, Vietnam. That sounds like a reasonable time, but I predict bunching at the airport anyway. At the travel agency, Team S tells Teams BFF and Newlyweds they’ll be leaving the race in ‘Nam. The latter two teams promise not to U-turn each other. Both want to break up the triumvirate of Teams You Tube, Surf, and Roller Derby, since they’re so far ahead they don’t know it has been by virtue of Team Surf’s infamous Philimination.

While there were two flights to Vietnam, the expected bunching occurs at their first destination, since it’s closed for the night. They head to a nearby hotel to camp out. In the morning, Team Survivor officially gets Philiminated. The two remaining lead teams chose to let the laggards believe they were coming back after seeing a doctor, prompting Team Country Blondes to get to the gallery an hour-and-a-half before it opens. Team BFF shows  up next, and they’re agreeing to U-Turn either Team You Tube or Team Roller Derby as the other teams wander up and join in.

I’m more annoyed by Team ‘Bama than Team YT, but since Joey expected Hanoi to be jungle and not a city, I can’t say as I’d miss them very much. While Team Country Blondes get to open their clue first, they’re stymied by it being a joint Roadblock. They have to watch a performance, and at the end a Vietnamese phrase will be shown and they’ll have to run out of the theatre and find that phrase among the hundreds of political posters hung in the gallery. They have five minutes to do it in, and this is where Team BFF finally takes the lead. Pam’s work experience has given her a good visual memory, and she’s the only one to find the correct poster during the first break.

Everybody else has to sit through the performance again, and now Megan of Team YT and Beth of Team Roller Derby are each taking half the phrase. Too bad for them they’re not among the next three teams to get it right; although Megan finds the correct poster she doesn’t desert Beth, and has to hang the poster back up and watch the performance again. She’s the first out the doors on the third trip, and doesn’t hesitate once Beth assures her she’s got it as well. Team Brohockey is hot on their heels as we cut to Team BFF doing their shtick of getting lost while looking for a Bamboo Dance they have to participate in. But they quickly find it, and one of them yells, “We have to hold hands” as they hop through a series of bamboo poles that are being rhythmically clapped together in varying patterns. Remember that; it’ll be important later.  The next clue is for the Detour: Make Your Move or Make Your Meal. When Phil describes both to us, I think the first one will be easier. So does Team BFF, since they say they know Chinese chess and dash off to do that one. The other teams have arrived and are doing the dance and speeding off again fairly quickly, except for Team ‘Bama. They came in 2nd, but as they followed their example through the poles, Chuck hollered out “Don’t hold hands!” Once they figure out this was a bonehead move on his part (and not the first one he’ll make today), they head off to cook in 6th place.

Evidently the clue doesn’t adequately explain the Make Your Move, since Pam and Winnie’s expertise in Chinese chess seems to be the only reason they’re able to figure it out so fast. Find the chessboard, pick four counters. Find four people with tunics with the same symbols as the counters. Place them on the giant chessboard along with a staff in the same position as the counters on the game board. Again, one of them makes an important observation, which her teammate dismisses: “Doesn’t it have to be blue?” Indeed, it does, as they’re quick to figure out, and they’re off to a (the?) B-52 memorial, where they find the Double U-turn. I have to say, during this whole time, the teams were talking about a U-turn, singular, and I was wondering if my memory was playing tricks on me again, so I was pretty happy to see it. What I’m not happy about is the possibility of Team Roller Derby getting U-turned, since they’re conceivably stronger than Team YT. But no, Team BFF U-turns the latter, then head for the Pit Stop before Team Brohockey finishes the Detour in second place. They win a winter ski trip for two as Team YT, out of the Detour in 3rd, somehow pass Team Brohockey to find out they’ve been U-turned. They’re not happy. “You’re in third place,” I say. “Hurry up. Chuck and Winona are screwing up.” That would be because when they got to the start of the cooking part of the detour, they were faced with two different sets of baskets (they’re designed to be worn over one shoulder), one empty and one with chickens, and Chuck decided they didn’t need the chickens, then set off in completely the wrong direction, not only leaving his wife to lug the baskets (OK, they’re still empty and he has both backpacks, but she’s wearing them like a yoke and that makes it awkward to move fast on the crowded streets) but running off in completely the wrong direction despite her protests that the market is supposed to be near the temple where they just picked up the baskets. As if they heard me, Team You Tube promptly U-turns Team ‘Bama.

When Team YT arrive at the market, they’re upset to see Team ‘Bama there. Although they just U-turned them, they don’t realize the redneck bumpkins are still working on the first half of the Detour, and decide they’re fighting for last place. Well, that’d be because they don’t know only four teams have checked in so far. They hand their shopping list to one of the vendors, who, in subtitled Vietnamese, evidently tells the other shopkeepers that this team wants the same thing the previous team(s) wanted. Unfortunately, they wind up with not all the right stuff and not necessarily the right amounts of the right stuff, which sends them into another freak-out. In the meantime, Winona has spotted the baskets and chickens that Joey’s sporting, and persuades Chuck to go back and get them while Team Country Blondes check in at #5. Still not a race for last, You Tubers. And even though their cabbie gets lost, they check in as Team #6 while Team ‘Bama heads for the second half of the Detour. They get the sad music and the truncated task before arriving at the mat in last place. I really wouldn’t miss them, but if Phil doesn’t follow “You’re in last place” with an immediate Philimination, you know it’s a non-elimination leg. But for some reason, after 21 seasons, most of the teams he instead starts talking to still haven’t figured that out. In this case, since Team Survivor was forced to withdraw, Team ‘Bama lives to see another leg, with nary a Speed Bump in sight.

At the Pit Keep Going (thanks, M. Giant), Phil hands Team Survivor another clue. They’re headed to Bali. Dave doesn’t want to give up (although I suspect they’re the team that [had to] quit this past Sunday), so they head to the airport. I hope they don’t have to wait for a flight, because if there’s too much bunching, I don’t think they’ll be able to keep their advantage. But as this episode goes on, Phil is quickly checking the other teams in, so it looks like my hopes are for naught. Sure enough, Team Newlyweds phone a travel agency, and find out the fastest flight is at 8:30 AM. Luckily, only four teams make that flight. It occurs to me as I’m typing up my notes that we didn’t know what time they hit the PKG, although it looked like daylight. At any rate, three more teams make a flight that lands at 12:05 PM, and the last two are on a third flight, which has a different layover but is also scheduled to arrive at 12:05 PM.

Once the teams arrive at Bali, they have to head to the Monkey Forest and hand a coconut to a monkey, which will tear it open (eventually) and pop out a capsule with their next clue. Don’t ask either me or M. Giant how they got the clues in the coconut in the first place. This next clue is for a Detour: Sandy Bottom or Fruity Top. Sandy Bottom sounds faster, but I suspect Fruity Top will be easier on Dave’s leg, and they evidently agree with me. In fact, all the other teams except for Team Roller Derby pick this one.

Team You Tube’s alliance with Team Surf gets them to Bali about 10:30 AM. Team Survivor exposits that they have a two or three hour lead. I presume they mean over the final flight? Because the other three teams are hot on their heels to the Detour.

Team Brohockey gets stuck with the taxi driver who doesn’t know where anything is, but otherwise, placings don’t seem to shift much, despite the erroneous subtitles that first label Teams Surf and You Tube as being in 5th and 6th place, respectively, then do the same for Teams ‘Bama and Roller Derby. Maybe because we haven’t seen the other two actually arrive at the Detour yet? No, guess it was just a screw up on the engineer’s part. Oops. Teams BFF and Survivor are the first two teams away from Fruity Top.

So Team Surf arrives at the detour. Well, almost. Despite the lack of any red and yellow flags or display of race colors, a task coordinator who understands/speaks any English, or even any, well, FRUIT, they promptly decide that whatever miniscule thing this poor guy whose yard they’ve invaded is the example of their offering (it appears to be made out of flower petals), and quickly make another one, even putting a piece of unwrapped candy on it. The Balinese man is even looking at them like they’re total idiots. Or in this case, obliviots (oblivious idiots, for those of you not good at this new method of creating portmanteau words). After they waste an unknown amount of time, they reread the clue and discover they were supposed to put on sarongs first. Somehow, these are provided to them by someone who actually speaks English. They ask him to ask the gentleman if he’s seen anyone else like them. “Not yet” is the reply, but now the English speaker is reading their clue, and tells them they’re at the wrong house, so they go running off down the street.

Team You Tube arrives at Fruity Top. Team Brohockey’s monkey disappears with the coconut. Team Roller Derby arrives at Sandy Bottom. John of Team Surf brags about his anal retentive details obssession as he blatantly screws up the offering. Never mind that a lack of attention to details like a lack of race colors AND FRUIT FOR A DETOUR CALLED FRUITY TOP caused them to waste time doing the completely wrong thing. Team ‘Bama arrives at Fruity Top. Team Brohockey somehow got their clue back and choose Sandy Bottom, but their cabbie doesn’t know where that is, either. Luckily, he says he does know where Fruity Top is, so they decide to go there instead. I just hope they leave that poor man in house #1 alone.

Team BFF benefits from not having to navigate themselves and arrive at the Roadblock still in first place. Phil explains they have to find a surf shop in what turns out to be a multi-level maze of a bazaar, then find the one surf board depicting something all the racers have “encountered”, a picture of the priest who gave the teams their blessings way back in Bora Bora. Once they find it, they have to find their partner again and head to the Pit Stop. If they don’t have the right board, they get to do it all over again.  Connor manages to sneak a peek at Winnie’s board, and, while she gets lost as usual, he gets Team Survivor in first place again. This time, they’ve won $5,000 each.

Team Surf can’t figure out what they’re doing wrong with the offering, and decide to switch Detours. John claims he doesn’t want to waste the Express Pass. Team YouTube finishes the offering. Team Country Blondes grab the wrong surfboard. John says they’ll make a decision about the Express Pass if Team Roller Derby is still at Sandy Bottom when they arrive. Team Roller Derby is shown getting their clue to the Roadblock as Team Country Blondes look for Phil.

With ten minutes left in the episode, Team country Blondes is ready to prove the third time’s the charm, even though they don’t know it; Team You Tube went to the wrong beach and are now walking to the correct one and being passed by Team ‘Bama in a taxi. But it’s still daylight, and all of these teams have been giving interviews at night, so while I was going to stop here and only discuss the laggards, we’ve reached the point in the race where the ending can be just as interesting as the beginning.

Team ‘Bama is extremely lost, in fact, Chuck looks like he belongs with Team BFF, plus he has the wrong board to boot. Team You Tube checks in as Team 5 while Team Roller Derby, right behind them, is sent back. As they charge off, Joey gives back to the alliance and shows them the correct board. Team Surf finally finishes the Detour, having no clue that they’re in absolute last place. They claim they’re going to use the EP if the Roadblock is too hard, but it’s a surfing task and they are, after all, Team Surf.

Team Roller Derby also gives back to the alliance, by not showing Team ‘Bama, who isn’t part of the second alliance, the correct surfboard. Team ‘Bama is now in a race for last with Team Surf, but a) Chuck knows where he’s going now, and knows at least one board which it isn’t, and b) Team Surf is still looking for the surf shop to begin with. Of course, we don’t get to see which board Chuck grabs for take two, just to ratchet up the suspense for the possibility of Worst. Use. Of. Express Pass. EVER.

John is using a headlamp now, to futiley search among the boards. He grabs one, finds his partner and the Pit Stop, and is told it’s not right. When he moves to look at the others, Phil flatly tells him he’s not allowed to. We get a chyron telling us that 1 hour and 15 minutes have elapsed as he finally gets the right board. If this turns out to be a non-elimination leg after a PKG, I might just throw something, that’s how badly I want these dweebs to be Philiminated.

And they are. John proves remarkable sanguine about being the first team in TAR history to be Philiminated while still holding an Express Pass. He calls it notable. Yeah, but not in a good way, dude. He points out there’s no point in getting upset over past decisions they now have no control over. Wow. Phil winds up looking at the camera in disbelief and saying, “Oy, vey.” and everyone is thrown so much that the usual end credit music is kinda wonky.

Next Week (ok, ok, two days ago): Double U-Turn! And one team (is forced to?) quits.

The previouslies concentrate on Team Survivor’s journey so far, which makes me think they’re going to be dropping out this episode. The doctor tells Dave he needs to go get a sonograph in Papeete. The race will be swinging back through there on its way to Christchurch, New Zealand. The injury’s guilted Team Surf into handing over the second Express Pass as originally planned. Everyone’s excited to be going to, as the clue says, Phil’s hometown.

At the airport, Team Survivor tells Team Surf they’re heading to the doctor, so Team Surf gives them the pass. Team Brohockey sees it. They’ll be joining Team Surf on the first flight out, at 9 am. Teams YouTube, Roller Derby, and ‘Bama get on the second flight at 11:35. Team Survivor is also on this flight, having gone to a doctor and found out that both his Achilles tendon and the muscle attached to it are torn. He gets a boot at the pharmacy to help keep it stable and they join everyone at the airport.

Team Surf forms a new alliance with Teams YouTube and Roller Derby against Team Brohockey, who’ve joined forces with Team Country Blondes.

In Auckland, Team BFF goes from last to first when they get on the first flight to Christchurch, at 5 pm. Teams Surf and Roller Derby are on the second one at 5:30. So are Teams Survivor and YouTube.

Team Brohockey land a third flight at 6 pm as Team ‘Bama asks a line for cuts because they’re in a race, to no effect. They wait in line while Team Country Blondes use a kiosk to check in online. Team Newlyweds are on standby for the 5:30 flight, and make it.

Team ‘Bama discovers they were not in the right line for buying tickets, and use a phone and kiosk to get tickets on a 7:30 pm flight. Per usual, they loudly boast about how clever they are and wonder why no-one else does it, too, without ever considering that the reason they don’t see anyone is because they’re dead last. I have to say, I hope they stay there. They don’t stay clueless for long, discovering that not only are there no other teams in the airport, there aren’t any waiting at the gate, either. As they board the last flight, it appears that Team BFF is landing and getting in their product-placed car to find the Rakaia River Gorge, where they’ll grab a number for a Jet Boat tour. The sign says it’s open from 6 am to 7 pm, which leads me to find out that it’s just over an hour flight from Auckland to Christchurch, so depending on how fast Team BFF moves, they might just make it up the river to their first clue before closing, but I honestly expect a full bunch up again. At least they’d have a tag to (temporarily) preserve their #1 status. Sure enough, we’re soon shown the next two flight’s worth of teams landing and getting in their cars in quick succession. Then the tape at CBS.com effs up. This is the second time this week that’s happened; I might just stop watching their shows at their website. When I get the new video to this point, Team BFF turns out to be just as good at getting lost on land as they were in the ocean.

Team Survivor manages to grab the first tag, and since the place is now obviously closed, I’m not going to bother to recount the rest of the arrivals (Tents and a fire pit have already been set up for them). The next morning, teams are slightly staggered as they race the boats (which they get to drive) off to find their next clue. Team BFF is in 5th place.

The clue is a Detour: Rev It Up or Reel It In. First they have to take an ATV to whichever location they choose. Rev It Up requires the each to drive a vintage car through a slalom course in less than 83 seconds total. Reel It In requires them to go fly fishing and catch one fish at least 12″ long. Team Survivor opt to Rev It Up, but after they get there and are running to the cars, Dave thinks to ask if there’s a clutch. There is, and since this is New Zealand, they’re left-hand drive. His left foot is the one that’s booted and bagged. They quickly head to the other half, declining to use the Express Pass. Looks like Team ‘Bama’s the only ones joining them, and I’d expect them to be pretty good at fishing, so they might soon change their minds on that.

Team Surf fails to disengage their parking brake and have to start over. We get to see several teams failing before Team Survivor gives up fishing and use their Express Pass, since Dave wants to stay in it as long as he can. They head to Mount Hutt Station, with the first team out of Rev It Up, Team Surf, not far behind. Team YouTube also finishes up as the remaining revvers arrive. We briefly check in with Team ‘Bama, then watch the car races until almost everyone’s done. At the river, both get a fish on and land it at the same time. Both fish are over the minimum required foot, so they quickly get tossed back and we’re back to the cars.

Team Survivor arrives at Mount Hutt Station to find their next clue is a Roadblock. One of them has to run an obstacle course known as a shemozzle. THey have to dress up in gum boots, shorts, and a burlap sack, then pick a shepherd and dog to guide/accompany them around the course as they get molassesed and feathered while collecting eggs. THey have to deliver a dozen unbroken eggs at the finish line. Obviously, Connor’s doing this one. After his first run, he only has five. He gets five on the second run, too, and heads back for the last two. Thankfully, since he’s now had to waterslide into a manure pond three times, this clue is for the Pit Stop, and they’re off before anyone else even arrives. Maybe Dave will get a chance to rest his leg.

All the teams have finally arrived at the course, and are going through it.

Team Survivor checks in, and win a trip to Bangkok. And then, Phil hands them another clue. He asks if they’re up to continuing. Dave replies he thinks he should concentrate on recovery, but then the screen fades to black with the words, “To Be Continued” and his voice over tries to give us some doubt as to his final decision.

Nina Lisa

OK, let’s see if I can still remember who all these people are and the nicknames I’ve assigned them. Although I should probably tell you I’m changing Team Twin to Team Doublemint. Not that it matters. Oops.

Although Team Surf opens their clue in first place, at two fifty-six a.m., the first ubiquitous “even the teams up via waiting for transportation” occurs. The water taxi stand to take them to their next destination doesn’t open until 0730. When Team Survivor pulls them aside to discuss the whole deal they made the previous day, Team Surf suddenly enacts a previously unknown deal breaker — if any of the non-allied teams find out about the alliance before they’re required to hand the pass over, the pact is null and void. This rightly pisses off Team Survivor. Non-alliance teams start kissing ass.

The two penalized teams have not yet arrived when the water taxis take everyone off to get a blessing from a local priest, after which they receive their first clue, a Detour. Pick a Pearl or Take a Trunk. The clue clearly states they need to get their scuba gear before going back to the water taxis. Everyone except Team Roller Derby goes for the pearls, but when they get there, Team Survivor has to go back for their gear.

Team Roller Derby is working well together, but it turns out Team Doublemint is hydrophobic, as am I, and I don’t mean that in the rabies sense. They can’t decide whether to take the six-hour penalty and definitely be out, or battle their way through and definitely be out. Oops.

Team You Tube develops a plan that temporarily lands them in first place while we learn that the two laggard teams are now behind by only an hour and a half. Despite the extra boat trip, Team Survivor quickly joins Teams Brohockey and Surf in taking off to find their “personal watercraft” so they can follow a hand drawn local map to Motu Tapu. Team Roller Derby gets their clue in 5th place.

Team Doublemint is really struggling, and I, who love playing in water but start getting panicky if it goes much higher than my waist, totally empathize. Knowing this feeling, I understand why they can’t focus enough to realize they can untie the strings from the main line instead of pulling each oyster off one by one. By this time, Team Newlyweds have talked Team Country Blondes into going to the same detour (they also pick Trunk, which does seem faster), and Team BFF, whose struggles are only somewhat less than Team Doublemint, find their second pearl and move on.

The first teams to arrive at Motu Tapu discover a Roadblock based on an old Polynesian game. You have to get on a pair of stilts and kick a coconut along 35 yards of sand and across a finish line. If you fall off, you can leave the coconut where it is, but you have to go back to the start. Team BFF are panicked enough just by being in the ocean that they get lost. The two laggard teams get to their chosen Detour, while Teams Brohockey and Survivor race for the Pit Stop, with Team Surf not far behind. Phil checks them all in (in that order) and ask Team Survivor what’s going on. Dave (the father) explains that he thinks he felt his Achilles tendon rupture on the run to the mat. I’m not sure I’d know that was what happened if it happened to me. Connor helps him hobble off to see a doctor.

The laggards have finished the Detour. Team Doublmint decides to try the second half, and Team BFF is still lost. Team Doublemint finds the diving helmet easier to deal with than the scuba gear, and I plan to remember that for my next trip to Hawaii. But Team BFF has found Motu Tapu, the laggards have also gotten there, and everyone else is checked in. Team BFF falls behind at the roadblock, but check in as Team #9, and Team Doublemint is Philiminated.

Next week: It looks like Team Survivor is out, and the racers head to New Zealand.

Nina Lisa

The eleven teams racing this season are starting from the Griffith Observatory. As their intro packages roll, I quickly assign them nicknames. Team ‘Bama, Team Brohockey, Team Roller Derby, Team Newlyweds, Team Survivor (cancer), Team Surf City, Team Twin (until I can come up with something cooler/steal MGiant’s), Team BFF (because it’d be racist to call them Team Asian), Team You Tube, Team Inferno, and Team Country Blondes. This year’s twist is the winners of the first leg get a second Express Pass, which they have to give to another team by the end of the fourth leg. They’re off to Bora Bora, which Phil says the Race has not yet been to. There are two flights, but only the first five teams will get the earlier flight, which gives them a one hour advantage. SOP, so far.

The opening credits manage to reiterate the nicknames I’ve chosen, so I don’t have to keep their names straight. I’m really not planning on a total recap.  As they arrive at the airport, teams meet and introduce themselves. Team Brohockey seems interested in alyin’ aligning with Team Country Blondes. Team ‘Bama is first on the Air Tahiti Nui flight. Teams BFF and Twin are two and three, in that order. Team Survivor is fourth, and Team Surf City manages to cut the blondes off for fifh place. Team BFF is cozying up to the other teams in hopes of getting the second Express Pass. At the layover, Team Twin proposes that whoever comes in first give the second express pass to the second place team. The others aren’t too sure, but quickly set down fight club rules: Only the first five teams are eligible, and nobody tells the laggards about the alliance. Once they land in Tahiti proper, the order shuffles a bit as they sign up to skydive from a helicopter.

Speaking of the laggards, the groom is definitely the better half of Team Newlyweds.

After the skydive, they arrive at a beach where 400 sandcastles await, with eleven clues buried somewhere beneath. This is a second roadblock, so the non-skydivers must do it. Only two snags: 1) it can get up to, if not over, 100 degrees and 2) they have to rebuild each sandcastle after they destroy it. Back at the first Roadblock, Team Roller Derby screws up and put themselves in last place.

On the beach, Team ‘Bama is the last to arrive and start digging through some poor old native lady’s coconuts. The other teams just laugh, as well they should. Finally, ‘Bama spots the huge sandcastle with the bright red bucket with the clues sticking plainly out of it just a little farther down the beach.

1/2 of Team Twin comments that this is where the field levels out. “Evidently,” replies the male half of Team Surf City, as his girlfriend finds the clue. They have to run down the beach a ways and assemble an outrigger, which they then have to paddle for a mile to the Pit Stop. He discovers the difference between an outrigger and a catamaran (which is the stable one with two hulls) as they capsize for the first time.

At the sandcastles, Team Brohockey arrives. One of the twins predicts his brother will go ballistic if another team arrives and finds the clue right off. Dude. You just cursed  yourselves. You know that, right? Team Country Blondes arrive next and I’m just going to presume the rest get there too, mmkay?

The curse takes effect as Team Brohockey races off to the outriggers. At the Pit Stop, Team Surf City collects the passes, then interviews that they’re not sure they want to just hand it over as was agreed. I’m not going to rant about either the stupidity of breaking an alliance or of forming it so quickly in the first place. As Team Brohockey officially comes in second, the heat is taking its toll on the sand diggers. Team Survivor Father realizes he hasn’t been digging deeply, and promptly finds the third place clue. Again, I’m going to presume they all finish at some point and only concentrate on the laggards now. Except to note that Team Roller Derby just leapt from last to fourth, and Team Twin is fading fast.

Finally, the last three teams are Team Inferno, Team Newlyweds, and Team Country Blondes. Eventually, the Bride suggests all three take the four hour penalty and get a fresh start for the next challenge. They figure they can beat the other two teams. The blondes are willing, and so are the firefighters, who somehow know that the next stage involves canoeing. I guess people weren’t quiet about reading the clues near them. Since they go canoeing all the time back home, they figure they have an advantage. Since they don’t have to take the penalty right away, I’m guessing whoever loses the canoe/foot race will be eliminated and the other two will incur it in the morning.

Team Inferno discovers that a narrow outrigger with only one float attached is not like their canoes back north, and capsize as soon as they get in, allowing both other teams to pass them. They’re catching up when they capsize again, and realize it’s over. As I suspected, the other two teams will take the penalty in the morning.

The Amazing Race

I’ll be watching TAR online when it returns to CBS on Feb 17.

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