Karma comes calling on The Amazing Race


Last time on The Amazing Race, 22 individuals paired up to make 11 teams, some worked well, some didn’t, a very strong team finished first, one team was undeservedly eliminated due to darkness, 10 teams remain.

On the second leg of this season’s race, teams had to fly to Sao Paulo, Brazil … on SIX different flights! I don’t think I’ve ever seen teams have to book themselves so scattered and it totally threw off everyone’s race standings at the end of the first leg. Teams generally leave the starting point for a leg spaced out by how they arrived at the Pit Stop, so despite the editing a lot of teams must have arrived within seconds or minutes of each other because the travel agency was packed, causing the beginning of the shake-ups as some teams got stuck with slower agents who could not book them on the first flight fast enough. It was not a particularly good start to the leg for Shamir, and it only got worse as the day wore on.

The first leg’s most dysfunctional team, Vanck & Ashton (7th at the Pit Stop), have found a way to use his logic skills and her people skills to move forward and ended up on the first flight with Matt & Redmond (3rd). On the second flight are Seth & Olive (1st), Shamir & Sara (5th), and Brooke & Scott (4th). Third flight had one team, Liz & Michael, who survived elimination because of Kevin & Jenn’s time penalty. Flight number four had London & Logan (8th), while flight five had Becca & Floyd, who finished the first leg in second place, and Tara & Joey (6th). That left the mismatched Jessie & Francesca (9th) now besties and bringing up the rear. Unfortunately, we don’t know much about the time between flights except that flight two arrives at 3:30 AM … and the flights are being booked at 5:00 AM so there was a lot of wait time at the airport.


But there was enough time between the first and second flights for the first two teams to make an agreement. Their first task in Sao Paulo required teams to cab it to an airport where they would each take a helicopter flight over the massive city, land on a helipad on top of a skyscraper and then make their way to the first clue box in the city. Vanck & Ashton and Matt & Redmond agreed to a coin toss to determine which team would get on the first chopper regardless of who got to the airport first. Vanck & Ashton won the toss, but Matt & Redmond arrived first … and wrote their names on the first flight, saying they assumed their rivals would have done the same thing. Ashton swears they would not have done that, and that lit a fire under them, possibly being the thing that finally brought her and Vanck together.

The Detours on this leg seemed deceptively simple but it all came down to the little details. Teams could choose “Keep the Beat,” which required each of them to learn an instrument and participate in a samba parade, or “Work Your Feet,” which required constructing a makeshift gym out of everyday items under an overpass. Each one had their own little details that it took time to master but “Work Your Feet” seemed to be the easier, although more physical, of the two because if one or both team members couldn’t keep the beat or hold their instrument correctly, they had to do it again. From what we saw, only one team, Matt & Redmond, missed the detail of adding water to a metal barrel when they completed their gym set-up. It didn’t take them long to figure it out though and they complete the Detour in first place. Vanck & Ashton finished second.


Unfortunately, Brooke & Scott got stuck in a massive traffic jam and decided to hop out of their cab and book it on foot to their Detour. It was not a good day for Brooke, who fell almost face first into the pavement, injuring her arm in the process, but she charged ahead saying, “Pain is temporary, elimination is forever.” Scott, short of temper as he seems, actually supported her and did most of the heavy lifting during their gym set-up. But the day was about to get worse for him as her injury meant she would not be able to do the coming Road Block.

At the “Keep the Beat” Detour, most of the teams took several tries to get it just right but “band geeks” Liz & Michael finished the challenge on their second try, while Becca & Floyd got it on the first try. Floyd, it seems, was a ringer for this challenge as he played the bass drum in school so he knew how to keep time. Shamir’s woes increased a bit as he seriously bruised his hand banging on the drum. Oh, but it was only going to get worse.

The next clue was a real challenge to find as there was no clue box, just a woman riding around on a bicycle. Of course she was clearly marked in the show’s red and yellow colors, but many of the teams still had a bit of a time finding her … and the location. Matt & Redmond’s cab driver dropped them off at the wrong place, giving Vanck & Ashton a huge leg up, getting them to the right spot in first place. Hello karma!


Here teams were met with the Road Block, “Rise ‘n Shine,” which required one member to take an elevator to the top of a skyscraper, then rappel down to a marked window and wash it. Perfectly. Any mistakes and the person had to be lowered to the ground and do the whole thing over again before they were handed their next clue. Ashton went first followed by Liz, who finished the Detour in fifth place. Matt & Redmond are still nowhere to be seen, and Jessie & Francesca are just taking their helicopter ride. Unless this is a non-elimination leg, it’s not looking good for them.


Matt & Redmond finally got to the Road Block in third place, followed by Seth & Olive in fourth. Shamir & Sara are fifth and Brooke & Scott are sixth. Both men accepted the Road Block but once Scott said he’d do it and then saw what it was, he tried to change his decision. But once you accept a challenge, you’re stuck with it and Scott, it turns out, has a debilitating fear of heights causing him to burst into tears outside the building, in the elevator, and while he was getting harnessed up. But he had a moment where he gathered his wits about him, took it slow going down the side, didn’t look down and actually conquered his fear, not costing him or Sara the game.

Shamir on the other hand … wow, this guy is a piece of work. His day didn’t start out great when he almost blew up at the travel agency, then he bruised his hand on the drum (not something that seemed to have happened to anyone else, or at least no one else made a big deal of it), and now he has to deal with the discomfort of wearing a harness. The same harness that all the other guys who did the Road Block had to wear, yet Shamir behaved like he was being physically assaulted, screaming and whining about the pain to his junk. A couple of the other guys thought his behavior was funny, but Sara was not happy especially when he punched a window and cracked it, had to stop and demanded to be seen by a medic, who took him into an ambulance to examine him and tell him that he was perfectly fine. Yeesh! Suck it up, man! If Scott could swallow his fear and Redmond could do it with ONE LEG then you can handle a little discomfort to move forward in the race.


The race to the Pit Stop really came down to who could clean their window the best and the quickest, and the first place team was a complete surprise, considering how they found it difficult working together last week on the rowing challenge. Liz & Michael (#TeamLizandMike), who started the leg in last place, left on the third flight, and then passed five other teams finished the second leg of the race in first place! Hot on their heels was Vanck & Ashton (#TeamVanckandAshton) in second place. Needless to say, Ashton was more than a little pleased that they beat #TheBoys to the mat. The second place finish also solidified her relationship with Vanck, proving these two complete opposites can work together. The rest of the standings on the second leg:

  • 3. Matt Ladley & Redmond Ramos – #TheBoys
  • 4. Seth Tyler & Olive Beauregard – #TeamAmerica
  • 5. Becca Droz & Floyd Pierce – #TeamFun
  • 6. Brooke Camhi & Scott Flanary – #TeamWillandGrace
  • 7. Tara Carr & Joey Covino – #TeamMomandDad
  • 8. London Kaye & Logan Bauer – #TeamLoLo


The fifth thru eighth place teams arrived within seconds of each other with five and six a virtual tie. But while eight teams were at the Pit Stop, Shamir was still attempting to master his harness while Jessie & Francesca finally caught up. And they probably could have overtaken Shamir & Sara if they had been a little more observant and less gullible. They were in the right place to find the girl on the bike with their clue, and in fact she rode right past them several times. At one point she was right in front of them when they asked Sara where she was … and Sara, in a moment of self-preservation, sent the girls on a wild goose chase a few blocks away, as the girl on the bike pedaled right past them again!


That little bit of trickery gave Shamir the buffer he so desperately needed, allowing them to hit the Pit Stop in ninth place and not very happy. Shamir had a whole lot of attitude with Phil, making it very uncomfortable for all of them, while Sara tried to put a positive spin on things, but their body language suggested they may encounter more trouble along the way. Unfortunately for Jessie & Francesca, their time on the race came to an end as they were the second team eliminated.

Next week, a U-Turn ruffles a lot of feathers.

What did you think of this episode? Does Shamir need to learn to suck it up? Did he right team get eliminated? Tell us in the comments below!


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