Monday, April 16, 2012

Amazing Race 20-08 Recap: "Let Them Drink Their Haterade"

This week's recap will be a little different - due to lack of time, I'm writing the recap as I watch the episode. Thus, let us begin!

The opening music has been spiffed up again, with some teams receiving new footage of them on the Race. Eliot & Andrew are still depicted throwing a fit, though.

We resume in Ngorongoro, Tanzania. Rachel & Dave begin in first place and receive instructions to drive their safari jeep into Ngorongoro Crater and find Safari Junction where a shop dubbed "Hillary Clington" is located. As Bopper & Mark depart, Bopper points out how he injured his knee on the previous leg, but is trying to overcome the pain. The duo note at one time no one considered them threats, but that's probably changed. As Art & J.J. leave in third place, they note "Double U-Turn ahead" in the instructions, the first time this message has appeared on this Race. It seems three legs earlier, Art & J.J. made a pact with Rachel & Dave and Joey "Fitness" & Danny (now eliminated) while they were in Bavaria, promising one of them would use the U-Turn on Brendon & Rachel.

As Brendon & Rachel leave in fourth place they realize they'll be targets for the U-Turn. "The more the haters hate, the more stronger Brendon and I get, so, let them drink their haterade and uh, Brendon and I will be the ones that benefit from it." And thus, we have this episode's title. Vanessa & Ralph leave next in fifth place.

Teams really enjoy the spectacle of driving through the crater; the footage here is utterly beautiful! Outstanding sunrises, lush growth, animals everywhere! "We seen animals - we didn't know what they was!" says Bopper. "One of the best parts was that Vanessa and other people we don't like were nowhere to be found." says Rachel (Big Brother). It seems Vanessa really wanted to see an elephant some day, so she's elated by the safari.

As Rachel & Dave and Bopper & Mark search for the "Hillary Clington" stall, another stall reads "Barack Obama." Heh. The two lead teams find their next clue and it's time for the Detour: Water Supply or Air Supply. In Water Supply, teams must load a cart full of water for a home owner; in Air Supply, teams must repair a bicycle tire. Both teams decide to do Air Supply. Art & J.J. arrive next and decide on Water Supply.

At Air Supply, Rachel asks Bopper & Mark to agree not to U-Turn each other. Mark says he had to make his own bike while he was growing up, so the task seems to be his suit. Art & J.J. think Water Supply is easy until they reach the line; seeing how many people there are ahead of them and how long it takes for water to come out, they estimate a half hour wait just to reach the front of the line.

Brendon & Rachel choose Air Supply, while Vanessa & Ralph get lost searching for "Hillary Clington." Bopper & Mark finish the Detour first and are directed to Jack Stelzer Pub, where the Double U-Turn is located. Rachel & Dave finish just as Brendon & Rachel arrive at Air Supply. Back at the Pit Stop, Nary & Jamie are only just departing; they realize they're way in the back, so they hope to have a good time and fight to stay in the Race. Bopper & Mark arrive at the pub and choose not to U-Turn. Rachel & Dave decide they don't want to create any enemies, so they choose not to U-Turn. Both teams head to Gem Gallery & Arts. Vanessa & Ralph wander by the Air Supply Detour, still without their clue.

Vanessa & Ralph finally get to "Hillary Clington" and decide to do the Air Supply Detour since they know where it is. While riding by taxi, this exchange happens:

Rachel: "It was nice a couple of hours ago looking at all the bamboons and the zebras, it was nice and relaxing and now all of a sudden now it's race time! So..."

Dave: "Did you say bamboons?"

Rachel: "Bamboons?"

Dave: "Baboons."

Rachel: "Baboons. Yeah. Those things."

It's nice to see Rachel & Dave having a bit of fun. They arrive at Gem Gallery & Arts, where the Speed Bump sign for Nary & Jamie is visible. The next clue directs Rachel & Dave to Mto wa Mbu, Monduli at "Margaret's Farm." Bopper & Mark's taxi is close behind. Bopper & Mark are happy just to stay in the game, but they'd dearly love to claim first place. Art & J.J. finish delivering their water and head to the pub. They think they're in first place when they see no one's used the U-Turn, believing Rachel & Dave would have honoured their arrangement. Thus, they choose to U-Turn Brendon & Rachel. Art & J.J. head to Gem Gallery & Arts. Still thinking they're in the lead, they hope Rachel & Dave will U-Turn "The teachers... or cops." Recalling how they earlier exposed Nary & Jamie's cover story about being teachers, Art notes "it was fun to call them on that."

Bopper & Mark's taxi passes Rachel & Dave on the road. At Air Supply, Brendon & Rachel finish their task and head to the pub, just as Vanessa & Ralph are heading to the task. Nary & Jamie have only just found "Hillary Clington." As Vanessa & Ralph begin their work, Vanessa sagely notes, "Better get used to thinking about the next challenge because you know we'll be doing it. I know Brendon & Rachel are going to U-Turn us." Yes, exactly; so why did you go out of your way to antagonize them during the Race, knowing it would ensure they'd wield the U-Turn?

Art & J.J. head to Margaret's Farm, J.J. supposing they're at least third, but only if Rachel & Dave didn't honour their word, "which I don't think they'd do." Brendon & Rachel, seeing they're U-Turned, they quickly decide to U-Turn Vanessa & Ralph, their least favourite team. Nary & Jamie head to the Air Supply Detour as Vanessa & Ralph finish. Vanessa & Ralph aren't surprised to see they're U-Turned and head to Water Supply. Brendon & Rachel are stunned to see how long the Water Supply line is.

At Margaret's Farm, Bopper & Mark arrive first and it's time for the Roadblock: "Harvest Honey." One team member has to harvest 500 grams of honey from a beehive; Mark volunteers because of Bopper's bad knee. Rachel & Dave are close behind as Dave takes the Roadblock. Bopper reveals he had knee surgery recently, which is why it's such a problem for him.

On Water Supply, Rachel drops a container, hurting her foot. She flips out at Brendon, causing him to spill their cart. Good gosh, someone needs self-control lessons.

At Margaret's Farm, Mark finishes the Roadblock first: they must head on foot to the Pit Stop, Lake Manyara. On foot? Poor Bopper. Art & J.J. arrive at the farm and see Rachel & Dave ahead. J.J. is not pleased. Art takes the Roadblock. J.J. asks Rachel & Dave why they didn't follow the agreement and Rachel replies because of the Speed Bump Nary & Jamie were facing, they didn't see the point in wielding a U-Turn. J.J. is offended by this, declaring to Art "You and I race, and that's it." He doesn't want to maintain his alliance with Rachel & Dave, which had lasted since the first leg.

Bopper's knee gives out en route, but he and Mark soldier on to the finish. They are, for the first time, in first place! Rock on! Rachel & Dave are close behind and Rachel remarks of Dave, "I'm happy, he's being a poor loser." This draws Phil's notice and he asks if Dave is being a poor loser. "She should have contributed more." is his response. For goodness sake... Dave is one of the most sour leading contestants I've ever seen. Keep searching for those grey clouds in every silver lining! Phil rewards Bopper & Mark with a trip for two to Hawaii. Bopper says, "Team Kentucky is definitely in the house, baby!" Mark adds, "And we're comin' on strong." Amen.

As Art collects his honey he says he feels like Winnie the Pooh. "Yeah, man, that's how Winnie rolls!" J.J. is still upset as they head to the Pit Stop, but Art is trying to calm him down. J.J. now wishes he'd been ahead of Rachel & Dave so he could've U-Turned them.

Back at the Detour, Brendon & Rachel finish Water Supply, with Vanessa & Ralph after them and Nary & Jamie finish Air Supply; all three teams are racing to not be last! Rachel is starting to sob as she & Brendon get in their taxi. As Vanessa & Ralph set out in their taxi, Vanessa says "We have the best luck with cabs." Soon after this, their taxi blows out a tire! Man, what a gift to the editors!

Nary & Jamie arrive at the gallery at the same time as Vanessa & Ralph; now they can finally take their Speed Bump task! They must set up an art display stand according to a provided diagram. Brendon & Rachel arrive at Margaret's Farm, where Rachel takes the Roadblock task. She finishes quickly and takes fourth place. Vanessa & Ralph arrive and Ralph takes the Roadblock, just as Nary & Jamie finish the Speed Bump.

However, Ralph has already finished the Roadblock, pretty well dooming Nary & Jamie. Vanessa & Ralph are once again fifth place and this seems to be the first time in Amazing Race history that the U-Turn has been wielded, yet no U-Turned team was eliminated! Nary finishes the Roadblock and she and Jamie are eliminated. I'm sorry to see them go, they were good friends and always positive, unlike much of the competition.

Thoughts on the last five teams:

  1. Bopper & Mark: My favourite team is finally on top! This was a great outcome, the best result I could've hoped for.
  2. Rachel & Dave: I try to imagine Dave doesn't realize how negative his tone toward Rachel often is and I look for moments where he demonstrates humour or general pleasantness. However, it's becoming very hard to remain positive about him. Dave is one Negative Nellie and it's frustrating because Rachel has the right attitude for everything Dave gets wrong.
  3. Art & J.J.: J.J.'s way off-base for being upset with Rachel & Dave, it's hardly worth throwing out a potentially-useful alliance. There's usually two U-Turns, man, maybe the next one won't be on the same leg as a Speed Bump.
  4. Brendon & Rachel: Even with the U-Turn, they did very well; Rachel lost her cool a few times, but not in such a way that it wrecked their gameplay, unlike earlier legs.
  5. Vanessa & Ralph: These two are squeezing by on some serious luck, because a U-Turn and a flat tire combined would elminate most teams; at least they're well aware of their shortcomings.

Next week: The Race goes to India, which almost always tears down even the strongest teams. Art & J.J. are still bitter about Rachel & Dave, while Mark appears to have a meltdown during a Roadblock. Whimper.

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