'The Amazing Race' recap, 'Be Safe and Don't Hit a Cow'

I'm filling in for your regular recapper, Janell. I'm usually on b's dance show beat, covering "Dancing with the Stars" and "So You Think You Can Dance." This show is pairs of people doing things that are uncomfortable, so how different can it be?

Seven teams remain, including one with a guy with MAGNIFICENT hair. Haters gonna hate, but that permed mullet takes some dedication, y'all.


We're in Botswana and there is a very cute little kid bopping around. This area has a lot of wildlife and the racers all get to take time to see some elephants roaming around.

Bates & Anthony,at 5:39 a.m., leaving for Boro Village. Oh, these guys are hockey players? Those teeth are fake, right? This is some nice eye candy for your female recapper, fake teeth or no. Awww, there's some big babykitties (lions) lolling around napping. Did you know the average house cat sleeps 16-18 hours per day? And yet one of mine is always awake at 5:39 a.m. ready to smack me in the face.


Pam & Winnie, departing 6:11 a.m. They say if they could race the race with no other teams they'd be fine. Oh dear.

Chuck (Oh, that's hair dude!), departing 6:17 a.m. Joey & Meghan, departing 6:23 a.m., followed closely by Caroline & Jennifer at 6:28 a.m.  As Joey runs to the car I notice his striped tube top socks pulled up over shiny black leggings. I'm probably going to find him exasperating, aren't I?  Caroline & Jennifer credit their faith with allowing them to keep a good attitude during the race.

Mona & Beth, departing 6:37 a.m, followed by Max & Katie at 6:49. They're both having trouble finding the cars, but Mona & Beth notice footprints while Max & Katie do not. Max also says of their last place finish, "It's ourselves beating ourselves." Shouldn't that be, "It's us beating ourselves"? It's bad enough that reality TV  is perpetuating the horrible misuse of the first person singular reflexive pronoun, but now it's starting to spread to the first person plural? It's time to make our stand America. (Read Grammar Girl about when to use me/myself and us/ourselves.

Anyway, enough with the grammar and on with the show. The hockey brothers stop for directions and the clerks hand them a map and say they might get lost. FORESHADOWING?

Wynona says Africa "smells like a big bowl of dung." Oh, so she's our token ugly American this season? Joey & Meghan stop to ask for directions and, in an interview, talk about how their generation doesn't know how to read maps because of Google. Get off my lawn, kid. Here, I'll have your phone tell you how to do that.

Caroline & Jennifer get pulled over for speeding, which must be an unusual experience for a pretty blond girl. Caroline boasts in an interview that she's talked her way out of a ticket before and she was reasonably certain she could again. The police officer who stopped them is softening and tells them that they have to talk to his boss. The boss stands firm and writes the ticket to Jennifer. On behalf of dumpy brown haired women everywhere, I rejoice.

Mona & Beth pass by as the blondes are stopped getting their ticket. They're told they have to drive to the police station and pay the equivalent of $100. They are less than pleased and curiously not discussing how this relates to their faith.

Max & Katie finally find their car and the ensuing bickering is breathtaking for a couple that are supposed to be newlyweds. It usually takes a good few years to get to that level of disrespect and contempt. Overachievers.

Bates & Anthony arrive first at the clue box and find a fast forward. The task? Water ski for a mile in waters that are clearly marked as unsafe for swimming because of crocodiles. Bates isn't worried about the crocodiles but is worried that the last time he tried to water ski, it did not go well. They go for it anyway. The guide tells them that they checked for crocodiles last night and everything was fine. The camera crew is finding some crocodiles though. Bates is really struggling with getting up and staying up at first. But then he gets it and "doesn't move a muscle" to stay up the rest of the way.

Pam & Winnie get excited about finding the Fast Forward, but are pretty sure Bates & Anthony would have done it so they quickly switch to the Road Block. "Who wants to go up the creek without a paddle?" the clue asks. Phil explains that teams will use a traditional canoe, made from a single tree, to transport two goats up river to receive their next clue.  The goats are adorable and there is much cooing. Ladies, don't think about what's likely to happen to those goats later on. Pam mentions that the goat is peeing all over her leg. Not so cute now, huh? Goats freak me out with their horizontal pupils.

Bates & Anthony complete their task and get their fast forward. The boat's taking them to the lodge and I notice Anthony must've have taken his teeth out. Hee. And Bates is excited that he got to take his shirt off and flashes us some torso. Thank you, Bates.

Caroline & Jennifer arrive at the police station and find that they won't take US currency for the speed ticket, only pula. So now they have to go get the right kind of money and they are fretting about all the time this is taking.


Chuck & Wynona get to the Road Block and Wynona goes after the goats. The goats are uncooperative. She's got a goat in the boat but it escapes. And then there's banjo music because of course...

Joey & Meghan have taken a wrong turn somewhere, but Max & Katie appear to be making up the time they lost trying to find a car.

OK, the police aren't letting Caroline leave the station. So Jennifer hands a guy American cash and he's supposed to go exchange it for them and bring back pula. Oh, honey. I can't decide if I want faith in your fellow humans to be rewarded or if I want the pretty blonde girl to get a lesson in "people won't always just do what you want because you're cute."

Max gets pulled over for going 76. Lightweight. Jennifer was going 96. Getting back in the car, Max says "At least we have the pula to pay for it." Back at the police station, the nice stranger brought back Jennifer's cash and is rewarded with a hug from the pretty blonde.  Remember when Phoebe and Joey on Friends had that whole argument about altruism? Point for Phoebe here.

Bates is sitting in the boat in only his underwear. He says, "Can't get better scenery than this. . . And Africa looks good, too." He laughs as he says it and I hope the guy's just a goof and not really full of himself.

Back in the canoes, Pam & Winnie find the goat delivery point, Wynona is a world champion whiner, and Mona & Beth are literally in the weeds. Joey & Meghan are still driving around lost.

Jennifer & Caroline get to the Road Block and Caroline squeals she'll do it because she loves goats. Goats reward such adoration by running away from her, just like they did every other contestant. She gets two in the canoe and off they go. They've got a shot at catching up to Mona & Beth.


Speaking of Mona & Beth, I like the way they're talking to each other. The one sitting down? Mona? She's so respectful and supportive of Beth when she encourages her to stand up to pilot the canoe. Of course this probably means they're out soon, since I like them.


Chuck & Wynona, coming back down the river after delivering their goats, end up almost occupying the same spot of river as Mona & Beth. Both teams are trying to negotiate the boats without tipping over and they pass without incident.

Caroline is apparently reliving her tomboy childhood with this canoe thing, so yay for her. Max & Katie are at the police station to pay their ticket. Joey & Meghan are still driving around lost.

As Chuck & Wynona approach the river bank, he encourages her in a way that gives me a flashback to what they were probably like in the delivery room during the births of their children. They get the clue telling them to proceed by river taxi to the Lodge.

Mona & Beth and Jennifer & Caroline deliver their goats at about the same time and are both trying to get into their canoes to go back down the river. Mona is clearly about to lose her temper, but she manages to tell Beth with authenticity that she's proud of her for conquering the challenge.

Bates & Anthony are first to arrive at the Pit Stop, "Again," as Phil notes. They've won $7,500 each, too! This is apparently their third first-place finish of the race. Joey & Meghan are still driving around lost. (Presumably. Every time they're not shown to us, I assume that's what's happening in their world.)

Chuck & Wynona are speeding down the river in their taxi-boat and Chuck's hair blowing in the breeze is glorious. GLORIOUS, I say. It moves and doesn't move, at the same time. It defies physics and logic and your rules of good taste. It is eating Bart Simpson's shorts. It is staring down Chuck Norris. It makes the honey badger look as neurotic as Woody Allen.

Pam & Winnie get on the shuttle to the lodge and Chuck & Wynona are right behind them in a shuttle of their own. Chuck says, "I'm sure that made the hairdo look good." I freaking love that he calls it a "hairdo." Don't worry, Chuck. Like a werewolf of London, your hair is perfect.

Jennifer & Caroline and Mona & Beth get their clues to go to the lodge. Max & Katie are leaving the police station and as they pull out, there's that thud, and it's not just Katie's estimation of her new husband hitting new lows. He's run into a pole.

Meanwhile, Joey & Meghan are still driving around lost. (See above)

Max decides not to get out and look at the damage done to the car because, as he says in an interview, "I'd just start sweating it." Katie says, "Maybe some teams got lost." And cut to...

A bright yellow lizard moving veeeeerrrrrry slowly. And a very lost Joey & Meghan. I see what you did there, sense-of-humor-having editors. And then they spot another car! It's Max & Katie. Then Joey interviews and is suddenly every closeted Baptist guy I knew in high school. His bio says he's from Boston and now is in Los Angeles... so where is this voice coming from?

Max & Katie now have to complete a Speed Bump, due to being last to arrive in the previous non-elimination leg. They have to finish making a grass skirt and then do a "seduction dance." While they do this, Joey & Meghan start up the river with their goats.

Pam & Winnie pull the Detour clue: "Brains or Brawn" Brains: Go on a horseback animal safari and look for 10 metal animal cutouts, then use tiles to represent the animals in the order in which they appeared. Brawn: Stack firewood on a cart and then, using a carrot on a stick, convince the donkeys to pull the cart half a mile.

Pam & Winnie choose Brawn, because weren't they talking in an interview earlier about how they're strength is their intelligence? And Chuck & Wynona pick brains because they're smart enough to know to stay away from any task involving donkeys. As they go along, Wynona starts to make up a song to remember the animals. I'm not being sarcastic when I say that's a smart move. I still remember the first five months of the year in Spanish because of a Cinco de Mayo song we sang in high school 20 years ago.

Jennifer & Caroline choose brawn. No comment. Mona & Beth choose brawn, because roller derby.

Joey & Meghan are having a hard time in the canoe, much like everyone else before them. Max & Katie are distrustful Americans because the locals put some makeup on them in a hut.

Pam & Winnie are finding out just how uncooperative donkeys can be. The bystanders are laughing at the situation and I can't say I blame them. Pam & Winnie get flustered when two other teams show up and they start to wonder about switching Detours. They quickly decide to switch and announce they are doing so. I think that will be a very smart move for them. They were getting nowhere with those donkeys.

Max & Katie are dancing and the crowd of onlookers are giggling at them. Joey & Meghan are still struggling. Max picks up his goats two at a time and they're on their way.

Horseback safari is going well for those teams -- Pam & Winnie are realizing they made a very smart decision switching detours. Chuck & Wynona are rolling along too and Wynona's got her little song for the first five animals and tells Chuck he has to remember the next five.

Joey & Meghan deliver their goats and then Max & Katie shortly behind them. Fair play to Max & Katie, they made up time from that Speed Bump pretty well.

Donkeys are being donkeys and going down the path and Jennifer & Caroline get their cart stuck on a tree. Mona & Beth take the chance to pass them on the outside.

Chuck interviews that his reaction to all the beautiful wildlife is that he wishes he could hunt it. Sigh. Wynona's "heiny" is sore because it's not a padded saddle.

Meghan & Joey and Max & Katie both get on the river taxis. Katie points out the obvious, saying that they have to beat Meghan & Joey at the Detour or they're done.

Mona & Beth reach the end of the half mile with the donkeys, but the donkeys have trouble understanding that when Mona & Beth say "Whoa," they mean "Whoa." While Jennifer & Caroline struggle with their tangled up donkeys, Mona & Beth finish unloading the wood and get the clue telling them to go the Pit Stop. They are currently in 2nd place.  Jennifer & Caroline shortly get their clue and are in 3rd place.

Mona & Beth are told they're Team Number 2 and there is much rejoicing. Caroline & Jennifer are Team Number 3 and there is more rejoicing.

Chuck & Wynona finish their ride and put the tiles in order on their first try. They are Team Number 4. Chuck's hair under a pith helmet is wonderful.


Oh no, Pam & Winnie miss one of their animals completely. And then think that the bird on a hippo marker counts as two animals.  They finish their ride, do their tiles, and are told by the park ranger it's incorrect and that they'll have to go back to the very beginning.

Pam & Winnie are back in the saddle again, redoing the Safari. Joey & Meghan have loaded their cart but can't get the donkeys to move. Max & Katie take off, so they are ahead of them at least for now. And now it's a donkey cart race! It's like Ben Hur without the guys in short skirts!

It's impossible to know with all the cross cutting where Pam & Winnie are in relation to the donkey-cart-detour folks. Max & Katie get to the cart-unloading area just before Joey & Meghan and both teams are hustling to unload the carts.

Pam & Winnie are told again that their answer is incorrect. It's probably because they are putting the bird tile on top of the rhino tile. First of all, it was a hippo, not a rhino. Secondly, the correct answer wants only the bird for that metal cutout.  The ranger tells them it's incorrect. They decide to go back to Brawn and their fate is sealed.

Joey & Meghan run to the mat just before Max & Katie. Phil tries to fake them out. And then tells Joey & Meghan they're Team 5 and Max & Katie that they're Team 6.

Pam says in an interview "Crying is for bitches" and they know they're going to be eliminated and they are.

Two weeks from now: Switzerland! And there's cheese! Wheels of cheese! And Wyonona's on the side of a cliff.

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