The Amazing Race Episode 20-8 Review: Can I get a sip of that Haterade?

Teams remained in Africa this week on The Amazing Race as they kicked off the leg by driving through the “Garden of Eden” at the Ngorongoro Crater and then finding a “Hillary Clington” streetside stall. Man, that lady is everywhere lately! It was a very picturesque episode – I always love when this show is in Africa.

There were animals all over the place, and it was interesting to see which teams really appreciated their surroundings and which teams were too focused on the competition. Of course, with a double U-turn on the horizon there was reason for concern.

Eau vs. Bicyclette

When teams arrived at the “Hillary Clington” stall they were met with the Detour – “Water Supply” or “Air Supply”. In the former, teams would have to go to a well, fill up containers and deliver them to a home. In the latter, teams would have to work with a local mechanic to fix a tire puncture on a bicycle.

This was a flawed Detour, since one task was so boring an actual component of it was “wait in this line”, and neither task was particularly strenuous or interesting. A lot of the teams went for the bicycle, which was quicker if done correctly. Art and J.J. went for the water and were met with, yes, a line at the well.

Mark and Bopper finished the Detour first, with Dave and Rachel on their tails. Obviously, the other Rachel began to panic and talk in her high-pitched (more than usual), verge-of-tears voice.

Mark and Bopper decided not to U-turn anyone, and even though Dave said he’d talked to Art and J.J. about U-turning Team Big Brother they decided not to use it either. When Art and J.J. finally finished delivering the water, no one had been U-turned yet. They assumed they were ahead of Rachel and Dave, and decided to U-turn Team Big Brother. Hahaha!

Meanwhile, Vanessa and Ralph wasted a lot of time searching for the “Hillary Clington” stall even though they were walking right by it. The Fake Teachers were far behind them, but they lost a lot of time by being idiots. When they finally found the stall, they went for the bicycle repair.

When Brendan and Rachel arrived at the double U-turn they weren’t surprised to see themselves, and were more excited to U-turn their mortal enemies Vanessa and Ralph. Personally, I think a U-turned team should have to go back and complete the other Detour before they can U-turn someone else. It would make things more interesting.

Oh, honey!

Bopper and Mark were the first to arrive at the Roadblock, which was basically one of my worst nightmares. Bees! I am mildly allergic, but my phobia with bees/wasps/etc. goes back much farther than the day I discovered that allergy. Now the allergy is just a handy excuse for my erratic behavior around any bug.

One team member had to wear a beekeeper’s suit and use smoke to harvest 500 grams of honey. Just watching it gave me serious anxiety. However, it was yet another easy task. When Art and J.J. arrived they were angry to see Dave, because it revealed that Dave had gone back on their word and hadn’t used the U-turn.

What I found weird was how focused Art and J.J. were on U-turning the “teachers”. Is it just because they know they’re lying about their occupations? Nary and Jamie were obviously the weakest team left, why U-turn them?

I was SO excited to see Bopper and Mark grab a first place finish. I don’t have high hopes for them to win, but I was thrilled to see them at least come in first once and win a fancy trip. Rachel and Dave were a close second, followed by Art and J.J. in third. The fact that Art and J.J. got so mad at Rachel and Dave about the U-turn issue was a reminder of the personality traits they have that annoy me. Get over it! Geez Louise!

Back of the Pack

Rachel cries about water.

The three teams bringing up the rear were Nary and Jamie, Brendon and Rachel and Vanessa and Ralph. Watching Rachel whine about the heavy jugs of water was a real dream. Is it mean that I was hoping Rachel would get swarmed by bees at the Roadblock? It’s not like I wish her ill…well, OK, I wouldn’t cry if her throat swelled up juuuuuust enough to silence her. Not death or anything!

Nary and Jamie work on their bicycle.

Brendon and Rachel unfortunately finished their second Detour pretty quickly, which meant that Vanessa and Ralph would be battled Nary and Jamie for last place. It seemed tight, as though V & R finished their second Detour, the water, at the same time Nary and Jamie finished their Detour, the bicycles. But Nary and Jamie still had a Speed Bump to complete.

In a cruel bit of irony, Vanessa and Ralph’s cab got a flat tire just as Vanessa mentioned their good luck with cabs. Not as easy to fix as a flat bicycle tire, unfortunately. Doesn’t Vanessa know what jinxing is? Never say you have good luck with anything ever!

Rachel completed the bee challenge for Team Big Brother but unfortunately there were no voice-altering accidents. She and Brendon arrived at the pit stop in fourth place. Sigh. I want these guys OUT!

Despite their cab issues, Vanessa and Ralph arrived at the Roadblock before Nary and Jamie had completed their Speed Bump and had finished it before the girls even arrived at the Roadblock. They stayed in the race, arriving at the pit stop in fifth place.

Unfortunately for Nary and Jamie, even a double U-turn couldn’t help them overcome a tremendous time gap and a speed bump. This leg was poorly designed in that, following a non-elimination leg, there was never a chance for the last place team to catch up. Nary and Jamie were eliminated, which wasn’t much of a shock since they’d been a pretty weak team throughout the race. Good for them for going as far as they did, but did anyone think they had a shot at winning? No.

I didn’t dislike this episode, but I’m still disappointed in how easy and uneventful some of these challenges are.  That said, I’m looking forward to seeing the teams go to India next week – though I’m worried about Mark’s health. What’d y’all think?


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