'The Amazing Race' recap, 'We're not in Oklahoma no More'

September 30, 2013|By Janell Sutherland | For The Baltimore Sun

Welcome back, everyone! I hope you got your Phil fix over the summer by watching him recreate the 1928 Tour de France on a vintage bicycle. The man does not stop. His calves do not stop.

Anyway, back to the race. It opens in an Old West movie ranch and the teams arrive by stagecoach. Let’s meet them.

Ally and Ashley are L.A. Kings Ice Crew Girls and friends. This means that, during hockey games, they wear tiny shirts and scrape ice off of the arena; they also pose for posters. They are blond, they like sparkly things and one of them has a boyfriend. They claim to be “more than a pretty face,” but their pretty faces sure look identical. They wear pink so we can spot them.

Brandon and Adam are beard lovers and childhood friends. They appear very unkempt, they like to wear speedos in waterfalls and they practice organic sustainable agriculture. I hope they are awesome; I always fall for the misfits.

Chester and Ephraim are friends and NFL teammates. They are big. They played for Texas. That’s all I know about football.

Hoskote and Naina are father and daughter. They’re Indian, and he’d like her to have a traditional arranged marriage. Naina is hoping that he’ll loosen up a bit on the race.

Jason and Amy are the token dating couple testing their relationship. At first I thought they were cutesy, and then Amy said that she graduated high school at age 16, finished college in three years and then earned two masters degrees in two years. Holy crap. Remember the Newlywed Katie who kept going on and on about her Ph.D.? Don’t you want to go back and ask her how old she was when she finished high school?

Leo and Jamal are cousins whose parents are from Afghanistan. They call themselves the Afghanimals because they are wild and crazy guys. They could either be fun or annoying.

Nicky and Kim are wives of men who play baseball. They both have brown hair, which is such a relief --I won’t get them confused with the blond girls. They are shown throwing baseballs around, and their arms look very thin.

Rowan and Shane are best friends who perform as women in a touring theater show called “The Queen of Bingo.” Their love for Bingo is great, and their love of one-liners is even greater. Rowan reminds me of Nathan Lane.

Tim and Danny are best friends from a small town in Oklahoma. They work in oil fields. One has a wife with a kidney disease, one has two daughters, so they would really like money. They are rocking some blue headbands.

Tim and Marie dated five years ago, but then they broke up, yet they still hang out. It looks like they work out at the gym together. Marie looks tough, and the bottom half of her hair is pink. I have no idea why they would want to do this together, other than the fact that they could win. I don’t see any reuniting in their future.

Travis and Nicole are married ER physicians with four kids. That…is a lot of work.

Do you know that this is the 23rd time I’ve watched Phil raise his eyebrow and tell teams to travel safe? It gives me chills every time.

The teams drive themselves to LAX. The Exes are already insulting each other, which makes me think they are really playing it up for the show. Team NFL is almost too big for the fuel-efficient car. Team OK seems to be headed the wrong way; they stop to ask directions, but the woman doesn’t speak English. “We’re already having language barriers in L.A.,” they say, then point out, “There’s not this many freeways in Oklahoma.”

At the airport, while waiting for flights, the teams chat and bond a little bit. The Cousins seem to be flirting with Pink Ice. I think Pink Ice’s boyfriend is on hold for purposes of winning the race.

Two airplanes leave, separating the top seven teams from the bottom four. They fly to Iquique, Chile, a lovely place where Phil did his solo paragliding certification in the '90s.

Tricky Clue, Part 1

The Roadblock is for one team member to paraglide while the other must meet up at the beach, but the clue is written as, “Who will follow the leader?” and they assume that the person who takes it will paraglide. But, psych! The person who takes the Roadblock will actually follow the paraglider in a cab.

Baseball Wife Kim ends up paragliding, and she is very nervous. She thinks of her son for inspiration, and I swear it sounds like her son’s name is Spidey. Make of that what you will.

The First Villain

The Exes, Cousins and Pink Ice all let their taxis go at the Roadblock, which is silly. Cousin borrows a phone and orders two taxis for himself and Pink Ice, but Ex Marie intercepts one of the cabs on the road. Oooh, she’s sneaky. She might not have done it on purpose, though; she just got to it before Pink Ice and Pink Ice didn’t haul her out of the cab.

Hidden Talents, Part 1

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