This week on The Amazing Race, the teams stay in Ghana to participate in a series of easy, visually boring tasks under a sweltering sun. When the most exciting part of the episode is watching people push a hoop with a stick, you know it’s going to be a long hour.
You pumped yet?!
Team HSN is the first to depart, and learn that their destination is a boxing academy in the Jamestown area of the city. Brook continues her annoying habit of screeching at anything that moves, and they arrive without incident. It’s a Detour, and the team member who elects to participate must properly wrap his or her hands for boxing gloves, and then hit a speed bag for 60 seconds and jump rope from 60 seconds. Umm, can you say lame ass task? I could do that at my local gym tonight without having to board a plane to Ghana or anywhere else. Hell, I could do it on my Wii right here. I break a sweat as I’m stretching to reach my wine on the coffee table, so it counts as exercise, dammit.
As the other teams head out one after the other, Brook elects to do the Detour for Team HSN and properly wraps her hand on her first try. She then quickly does the speed bag and jump rope portions as one of the VolleyBarbies and Mad Chad begin wrapping their hands. Wow, that was enthralling. This has to be one of the worst Detours in the history of this show.
The clue directs Team HSN to a supply depot in town, and they hop back in their cab. Meanwhile, Volleybarbie A (or B, I have no idea which one’s which) and Mad Chad both wrap their hands correctly on the first try and and move on to the physical aspect of the Detour. Many other teams are still on their way, including Team Gleek, which is singing their love to their cab driver, of course. I really wish I could bribe one of those boxing trainers to punch them in the face. Or actually, the windpipe.
Dear Samson: I have lost all respect for you. –LoLo.
Team Hot Docs is now out on the course, and they say that their strategy for being near the bottom is to never give up. Hey girls, if that whole medicine thing doesn’t work out, you two should write self-help books filled with such groundbreaking material. They say that their jobs as anesthesiologists help them because when things take a turn for the worst professionally, that’s when they have to work harder. Or, you know, they’ll KILL someone. I bet there’s some medical malpractice defense lawyer out there refurbishing his summer house thanks to these two. The Hot Docs say they hope they don’t get lost, which means of course that they will.
Team Tats and Team Kentucky finally leave the starting point, and we go back to Mad Chad on the jump rope. To the surprise of no one, he gets cocky and begins effing around, hopping on one foot and performing other silly tricks. And again to the surprise of no one, the big lug trips on the rope during a trick and has to start again. Other than making him look like an asshole for the thousand time, this doesn’t really matter though. Oh, no, he has to restart a 60 second task! There are serious ramifications to this! This is totally going to cost them the race! Ugh, really?
Kevin so far is the only idiot who hasn’t wrapped his hand on the first try, suggesting that he should spend more time worrying about himself than bitching about his dad’s suckitude. Teams Tats and Kentucky arrive and the Hot Docs are… lost. If you didn’t see that one coming, go get sterilized now. As the Hot Docs cruise around, they wind up directly in front of Teams VolleyBarbies and Mad Chad/Stephanie, both of which are trying to leave the Detour. The Hot Docs stop their cab — blocking the two other teams — and approach their cabs for directions. The two blocked teams snap that the Detour is behind them, and one of the VolleyBarbies very nastily says “You dumb doctor!”, but only after the Hot Docs are out of earshot. If you’re going to be a bitch, own it honey.
Dumb doctor trumps generic bitchy blonde any day, sweetheart
After receiving the directions, the Hot Docs return to their cab and ask the driver to turn around — but he refuses to do so. I’m assuming this was a one way street and not a random dick move on his part. By the time they do arrive, all the other teams have easily finished the Worst Detour Ever. However, I doubt the Docs are more than 10 minutes behind anyone. They were, what, one mile off course? The show’s really struggling to bring the drama tonight, folks.
Team HSN is still on their way to the next clue, and run into a herd of yaks crossing the street. Brook refers to them as very large beasts, just as her team gets passed by the Gleeks.
“It’s very touching that they came out to cheer us on and all, but could you please ask your relatives to get out of our way, Claire?”
The Gleeks arrive at the supply depot first and learn from Route Info that they must load two wheelbarrows with supplies and deliver them to a local primary school. Jonathan bitches about how difficult it is, which says something about how easy this race has been so far when this is the biggest challenge to date. Once they deliver the supplies, Route Info indicates that their next task is to correctly label Ghana on a map of Africa. Okay, this is lame too. I don’t expect anyone to know where Ghana is (unless they had access to or purchased a map with an entire map of Africa inside it), so now we’re forced to watch teams guess by trial and error. This is like the retard version of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? I bet those kids middle aged adults are laughing their asses off right now.
Do it, Rockapella!
As the Gleeks finally find Ghana on the map, Team HSN arrives and only grabs one wheelbarrow instead of the required too. If you can read the description of that tacky cocktail ring that turns my finger green, you can read your clue, ladies. The Gleeks are awarded the Road Block clue. The choice is Bicycle Parts or Language Arts. In Bicycle, the teams have to roll bicycle rims across a soccer field and back, using only a little stick to keep the thing going. If it falls, they start from the beginning. In Language, the teams receive a proverb with highlighted phrases. They must then identify the proper symbol for each phrase using a decoder key on the side of a building and then search for the symbols in the order from the proverb on a gigantic wall. As Phil says, it’s a giant word search game. I would definitely do Language Arts, especially because you can write down the symbols and don’t have to rely on memory, and Team Gleek picks the same.
Team YouTube arrives at the supply depot and only grabs one wheelbarrow, whereas one of the VolleyBarbies convinces the other one that they need two. Brook and Claire pass YouTube on their return trip, and vaguely say that they forgot something without pointing out that the guys have forgotten the same thing. Brook haters might say this is a dick move, but that’s better than being an idiot and losing an advantage. Meanwhile, the Hot Docs are still having shitty luck, as their new cab has momentarily broken down. It’s back up and running quickly, but these little delays are starting to add up. Everyone but them arrives at the supply depot, and multiple teams don’t bother to read their clue carefully and take off without the right stuff. If I ever did this race, I would drive my partner insane with constant rereading/checking of the clue, but I’d be damned if I got eliminated for not bothering to read. If anything, it will be my fat ass dangling off the end of a rope that will take me out, not that.
The Gleeks easily find the correct series of symbols on the wall and collect the clue for the Pit Stop, which is just down a marked path. They check in and win $5000 each, which is an awesome, practical prize that I would use to buy a Chanel bag pay off student loans. Really.
Just when you think Jonathan’s masculinity can’t take another hit…
Brook and Claire finally deliver their school supplies and move on to the map. Let the guessing games begin. Team Tats arrives with their supplies but is sent back for bringing two bags instead of one bag of cement. Nick’s tats ripple with rage as he lashes out at Vicky for failing to have 5th grade reading skills, for having no common sense, and for having the nerve to repeatedly apologize to him when he doesn’t give a fuck. JFC dude. Last time I checked, you were literate too. Maybe he, Thomas and Mad Chad have a side bet going for who can out-dick the others. Otherwise, can someone please tell casting to stop putting these misogynistic assholes on this show?
Team Kentucky delivers their stuff, and heads over to the school and to give us the confessionals about how these cute African baaaaaaybies don’t know any better than their sad, dirty little lives, and that really makes Mallory appreciate her Juicy Couture velor tracksuit collection even more. As much as I don’t care for her, her pops is pretty cool and he locates Ghana on the map on his first try, boosting them into third place — despite the editing not having shown anyone but the Gleeks getting this far yet. Whoops, editors. They pick Bicycle, which pops is great at, having done it before. Luckily for them, Mallory appears to be picking it up pretty quickly. Not the first time she’s had to direct a small stick into a wide open hole. ZIIIIIING.
The middle teams are edited to finish the map task immediately, sparing us the boredom of watching them guess, and they all choose Language. Claire reads the clue for Team HSN and confirms that her only useful role on this team was to be the girl who got nailed with the watermelon, as she absurdly decides that they are supposed to draw chalk circles around groups of dancing school children. Unless you’re about to practice some Wicca shit, you’re barking up the wrong tree. This stupidity hilariously leads the other nearby teams to do the same exact thing, with no one brave enough to think for themselves and be like “wait a minute — this makes no fucking sense!”
See also: this relationship.
Brook finally sees the wall of symbols and at least is on the right track, but the other teams wander around aimlessly, sifting through the children’s homework and belongings, looking for the mystery “decoder key.” AKA the giant side posted on the side of a building. Dear lord, if these people aren’t directly handed something this season, they’re as lost as Helen Keller after her parents rearrange the furniture. The VolleyBarbies show their competitive spirit by quitting and switching to Bicycle., as do Mad Chad and Stephanie. Meanwhile, YouTube has just finished the map test (7th place), Team Tats is about to finish the map after a bijillion mis-identifications and after rhetorically asking again if they’re super dumb (8th), and the Hot Docs have arrived and delivered their supplies (last).
Someone’s taking the “process of elimination” concept a little bit too far…
Team Kentucky finishes Bicycle (which I have an alarming difficulty spelling) and checks in as the second team as the Hot Docs identify Ghana on their first try and put themselves right back in the game. They choose to do Language while Tats picks Byc Bicyl Bicl goddammit! Bike. Over at Bike, Mad Chad tries to convince us what a great person he is — and perhaps convince Stephanie to say yes whenever he proposes despite earlier behavior — by gushing how great children are. Unless he’s referring to how good they are for fetching him a brewski, I don’t believe a word of it. He and Steph rock the task, while Nick continues to scream at Vicky and blame her for everything, including his own suckage at rolling the rim and his horrible tattoos. Oh wait, he’s actually proud of those. Nevermind.
Mad Chad and Stephanie check in as the third team as Team HSN and the Hot Docs abandon Language and switch to Bike. Evidently no one but the Gleeks have even SEEN the decoder on the side of the building, despite them all walking past it. The VolleyBarbies finish Bike as Vicky gives in to an asthma attack, which promptly switches Nick from calling her a stupid bitch to “sweetie.” Aww? I guess illiterate and lacking common sense is more useful to him than dead.
The VolleyBarbies check in as team four, as the last two remaining teams at Language — Thomas/Jill and YouTube — give up and switch to Bike. How embarrassing, all of you. Over at Bike, everyone is getting the hang of it, with Vicky fueled by actual positivity from Nick and Claire pretending she’s chasing a doughnut. Team Tats finishes and checks in fifth, with HSN right behind as the sixth team. At the mat, Phil announces they will all return the next day and remodel the school, which is awesome in theory but if I were them I’d say “oh fuck no” to anything that robbed me of what little sleep I’m sure they’re getting. Let me sleep in and win a leg, and I’ll donate my first place prize to the community, okay? I’m sure they can find some good use for the jetskis or canoes I receive. No? Oh well, at least it’s a write off.
Jill and Thomas finish and check in seventh, with the Hot Docs close behind. This leaves YouTube as the only team left on the field and in practically guaranteed last place. As there are still ten minutes left, I’m starting to smell the dreaded non-elimination leg, aren’t you? Before we can get to that though, we have to watch Michael nearly die as the strong sun/heat and the physical exertion requires the show to bring in medical.
Wax on, wax off, Mr. Miyagi!
Kevin is supportive of his father — well, for Kevin — as he gently but determinedly pushes his father to finish the task before finally admitting that he’s going to kill the man if he doesn’t shut his trap. As Kevin doesn’t want to do anything to interrupt the free vag train that is his YouTube bit, he needs his father still breathing. After a few minutes of Michael tearfully apologizing and Kevin blinking at him like an emotionless owl, Michael finally gets up to finish the task, resigned to being in last place but determined to finish. Good for him. Too bad your son is kind of awful.
But wait! The Hot Docs have still not checked in, as they are lost again, this time without a cab driver to blame! I’ve said it before, but I really don’t want these two doing any anesthesia work on me, ever. Not when there’s a decent chance they’ll get misdirected mid-procedure and accidentally jam a breathing tube up my rectum instead of down my throat. Vice-versa isn’t a pretty picture, either. After getting directions from some locals, the Hot Docs finally get back on track and manage to get to the Pit Stop, checking in as the eighth team after a truly disappointing day. This team was one of my early pics to win, and they are proving me wrong each episode. Pull it together!
YouTube arrives at the mat in last place… and it is! Non-elimination leg! Agh, I hate these. What was the point of suffering through this terribly boring last hour then? The end result is that Team YouTube survives to compete another day, and provide the producers with another opportunity to kill Michael. However, they will have to compete in a speed bump next leg, which could be interesting. Although, what I’m really hoping for is a yield.
So what did you think? Are you glad that they’re still in the race, or would it have been better to eliminate Michael before he has a heart attack? Are you surprised with how well the Gleeks and Team Kentucky are doing? And do you believe Mad Chad meant a word of his “the children are our future” spiel? See you next week!