The second leg of the Race had a bit of a heartbreaking finish as cousins Alex and Adam came in last and were eliminated. It’s a shame not to see those two go further in the game considering some of the other teams that remain.
The second leg also started a rivalry brewing between superfans Justin & Diana and Texas boys Tanner & Josh (and half the other teams). Justin’s “enthusiasm” for the game is coming off a bit brash and arrogant, and he’s really rubbed the Texans the wrong way. That rivalry really started percolating on the third leg as the two teams were virtually neck-and-neck at each challenge. It’s to the point that Tanner & Josh are aligning themselves with other teams to be sure to U-Turn Justin (Diana is, unfortunately, collateral damage) at the first opportunity … which will be sometime during the next leg of the race. Of course, that U-Turn works both ways and the boys may find themselves on the receiving end of it if they’re not careful.
This week’s challenges weren’t extremely physical, but they did require an eye for detail. At the Road Block, one team member had to prepare three sides of meat in the same style as the Argentinian gauchos. This required the correct skewering techniques, the proper way to tie the meat, and the proper placement by the fire. (And I’m sorry, but I would have asked for a cart or a poncho so I didn’t have to carry the raw meat against my clothes!) It took most of the teams several tries to meet the gaucho’s approval, most of them simply having the bones facing the wrong way on the rack of rib. The only one to get it on the first try, naturally, was Rick the doctor. Who else would have an eye for detail when it comes to stitching things up? Of course, bragging about that can and will bite you in the ass.
Another team having some issues at the Road Block — and in general — was Denise and James Earl. James chose to do the Road Block as his mom cheered him on. Now, if you’ve been watching the show for a while, you’ll know that the team member sitting out the Road Block never offers any words of advice because they are expressly forbidden from doing so in the rules of the game. Denise, in her enthusiasm and frustration, directed James Earl on the placement of the ribs. The other teams took notice … and so did the producers. More on that in a minute.
After completing the Road Block, teams had to choose one of two Detours. Properly outfitting a (fake) polo pony or cleaning out a carriage and taking it to a location to be connected to a pair of horses to be then taken to retrieve the clue. The polo pony seemed to be the easiest, and quickest, Detour based on the reading of the clue and most teams chose that one. Again, the attention to detail was imperative to complete the challenge and one small thing about how the bit was attached made the lead Tanner & Josh had over Justin & Diana virtually disappear. With Josh’s pulled hamstring from the run to the Pit Stop in the last leg slowing him down, it really came down to the wire as the two teams raced to the Pit Stop. Tanner & Josh just beat Justin & Diana, and the U-Turn smack talk got serious.
Back at the Detour, Cindy & Rick (the detail oriented doctors) chose to do the carriage part, read their clue and walked to the location. Where they then decided to read the clue again and discovered they had forgotten the horsewhip they were supposed to take with them. So back to the start to get the whip, which allowed a few teams to catch up. In reality, the carriage challenge was the faster of the two Detours as teams just had to dust it a bit before pulling it to the location where the horses were. The doctors remembered to take their whip, but Tiffany & Krista got to the horses and realized they had left their whip with the feather dusters! So back they went which almost gave Ernest & Jin, who started the leg way, way in last place (about 90 minutes behind the first team to start), a chance to catch up. They were only 20 minutes behind team number eight, which had been able to board a bus to the next destination, but the wait for the next bus really set them back.
When James Earl & Denise got to the Pit Stop, Phil told them they were the fifth team to arrive. Now, again with the detail, you always have to listen to how Phil greets you at the mat. If he says, “You’re team number five!”, it’s all good. When he says you’re the fifth team to arrive, that’s not good. Due to Denise’s over-zealousness, they incurred a 30-minute penalty. When Logan & Chris checked in, Phil told them they were the sixth team to arrive, however they were in fifth place. Luckily for James Earl and Denise, no one else arrived within their penalty time, so they ended up in sixth place.
Unfortunately, the last place start never allowed Ernest and Jin to catch up, and they were ultimately eliminated. But Phil brought out some local dancers and it was more celebratory than sad … and at least Phil didn’t have to come to them.