The Amazing Race
competition is definitely exciting now. The U-Turns have made their debut this 30th season and it is bringing out the best and the worst of the remaining six teams. As the teams travel to Zimbabwe, more twists will unfold. Which of the teams will find themselves twisted up and which will make their way closer to one million dollars?
Kristi and Jen lead the pack on this next leg to Zimbabwe where they will travel by train to a wildlife conservation area that stands as a tribute to efforts against poaching and animal cruelty. The tables have turned dramatically in recent events as the game is now being played to its true nature. Team Big Brother has been seen as a threat, but now they have proved their point as Jessica has made harsh, yet competition-fitting decisions to see that she and Cody stay among the leading teams. This comes at a price, though, as they now will have a target on their back moving forward.
It may not be a coincidence that teams are visiting wildlife as the competition heats up and the animal instincts kick in. Each team must set up camp at the conservation and it looks just as hard as it might seem to one who has never pitched a tent before. They race against one another and the setting sun as the order in which they finish will play a huge part in the next part of this leg.
Possibly the biggest twist of all the twists this season, Phil informs the teams that they will be swapping partners and racing together as new teams until further notice. Team Big Brother finished first and choose to swap with Team Extreme. Team Ocean Rescue swap with Team Indy Car. This leaves Team Yale to mix things up with Team Fire Fighters. Let's hope this doesn't get too confusing as the new teams sprint to rafts in order to comb the swamp for two canteens, holding their next clues.
The choice of Detours, "Rhino Track" or "Bushwhack," are all about the all too unfortunate reality of animal poachers in Africa. Teams who chose "Rhino Track" must ride horseback as they scour the land for signs of poacher camps, spotting any man-made belongings they would have left behind. On the other hand, "Bushwhack" involves driving a stick shift jeep through the muddy terrain and looking for supply drop offs for those who spot poachers, replenishing their water supply.
While the teams have been dismantled for the time being, it doesn't stop original partners from still working together to ultimately create one mega team of four people. Unfortunately, the nature of these tasks don't allow for this to be so easy. Teams who take to the horses and grab poacher evidence find the easier ride while their counterparts find trouble in the muck that slow them down tremendously. Ironically enough, it's Conor of Team Indy Car and new partner Lucas of Team Ocean Rescue and Henry of Team Yale and one of the firefighting twins stall out in the mud.
Change in Power
Cody and Jen arrive to the mat first, but they have to wait until their teammates catch up before Phil can check them in. To their dismay, Alex and Brittany arrive next and Lucas and Conor follow them, meaning both teams lead the pack and are returned to their original states to continue on with the race.
Kristi and Jessica struggle at the last stage of their Detour, arranging evidence from the poacher stations in order. As the other firefighting twin and Evan arrive to do the same, they ask for help, are quickly rejected and then passed. The twins and Yale nerds are soon reunited at the mat, leaving the top contending teams to fall to the back as karma rears its ugly head.
Karma continues to play a part as the second Double U-Turn pops up in the city of Harare. Team Ocean Rescue and Team IndyCar choose Team Big Brother and Team Yale.
As the Natives Do
The next leg is officially underway as Phil explains the second round of Detours, "Handle with Care" and "Just Get it There." Teams who pick the former must drop off mail and pick up the outgoing correspondence in a professional building, or they can opt for delivering tires by hand down congested streets just as the locals do.
Most teams choose to run through the streets of Harare and deliver tires, but no one has a more embarrassing go of it than Team Indy Car. One would think they would feel at home near tires, but no. These guys deliver their tires to the wrong truck. The driver looks into the camera with a look that probably mirrors my own. "What is going on?" he seems to say with his eyes as Alex and Conor dance about aimlessly and finally realize they've made a mistake, taking the tires back and going about their way.
Get Down the Zimbab-way
Team Extreme is the first to arrive at the next musical task. Teams must learn a song in the native language of Zimbabwe and perform in front of a crowd. Team Extreme is the first to finish the song and dance task and arrive at the mat first, but most importantly Team Big Brother fight through both U-Turns (and the lack of rhythm) and finish in fifth place. Yet someone still has to go home on this leg. Going home tonight is ... Team Firefighters.
Are you enjoying The Amazing Race now that the competition is heating up and teams are throwing one another shade? Or do you find that the shade is warranted in a game such as this? Leave your comments below and join the conversation!
(Image courtesy of CBS)