home Archive The Amazing Race 17, Nov. 14 – Ali Baba and the 40 Extra Winks

The Amazing Race 17, Nov. 14 – Ali Baba and the 40 Extra Winks

The first flight arrives, and the two teams take off in cabs. Kat notes it’s different than where they’ve been in the Race so far, as it’s 90+ degrees and humid. She can just imagine what it’s like in the daytime. The second flight arrives, and Chad and Stephanie’s flight arrives early. She notes they were surprised to see the other teams, but the others seem even more surprised to see them.

The Doctors and Brook and Claire find the man with the ingots, and both teams get a 7:30 departure time. Thomas calls his and Jill’s cab driver “Speed Racer,” and they arrive with a 7:45 departure. Gary and Mallory know they have to hurry with Chad and Stephanie not too much further behind them, and Vicki mentions what a shock it was to see them . Chad and Stephanie know they have to catch up. It’s a mad dash as all these teams arrive at Burj Al Mubkharah at close to the same time. Chad and Stephanie end up getting a 7:45 departure, and Nick and Vicki get 8:00, along with the Gary and Mallory.

At 6:00 AM, all the teams are stretching out, applying makeup, etc., sitting outside close to their departure point. Chad asks Stephanie to take a little walk with him. He decided about a month ago that he wanted to propose to her. He knows she’s the one for him and is ready for the commitment. His mom passed away his freshman year of college, and his stepdad gave him his mom’s ring. He’s been carrying it through each country, waiting for the right minute to pop the question. Suddenly, this guy is likable.

Chad tells Stephanie she has done so many things for him, and he can’t imagine spending his life with anyone else but her. He drops down to one knee, making the others all realize what he’s doing. He asks her to marry him, and she accepts. He places the ring on her finger, and the other teams all cheer. She wasn’t expecting it, and calls it romantic and perfect. They rejoin the other teams who give them hugs. Everyone is touched to know it’s Chad’s mom’s ring, and he thinks she’d be happy to know he proposed with it.

The Doctors and Brook and Claire race up the tower and find a clue telling them to now drive themselves to Jebel Shams, the tallest mountain in Oman. At the base of the mountain, they’ll be met by a safety driver who will drive them to the top, due to the treacherous conditions. Here they’ll find their next clue. Brook and Claire consider stopping for directions, as Kat tells Nat their map seems a little vague, and it seems like a while away.

Jill/Thomas and Chad/Stephanie race up the tower at 7:45. After taking off, Chad and Stephanie stop to ask for directions. Jill tells Thomas they need to that as well, while he feels that statement is so obvious, it didn’t need to be said. She’d like him to lose the attitude. I think we all would. All the guys this time, save for the dads and the son, seem to have that same ‘tude. They get directions, and Thomas thinks the people here are very nice.

The last two teams, Nick/Vicki and Gary/Mallory head to the top of the tower to get the next clue. Vicki wonders if they should follow Gary and Mallory, since they have a map, but Nick points out it takes just as long to figure out how to get somewhere as it does to ask someone who knows for sure where it is. Well, that’s if you find someone who’s sure.

Nick and Vicki stop and ask, as Brook and Claire are doing the same thing. They wind up at the same gas station. When Vicki shares info with Brook, and Nick gets upset, telling her to shut up. He furthers it, saying she has no common sense in her body, and that he’ll go home the next time she gives anyone advice. She needs to tell him, “Ela al leka.” (See you later in Arabic.) He thinks Brook and Claire are “probably laughing at your dumb ass right now.” They are laughing, but we don’t know if that’s why, and it would be kind of nice if they were instead laughing at him.

Unbelievably, guess who’s the first team to Jebel Shams? Chad and Stephanie. Gary and Mallory are arguing a little, as she thinks they’re going the right way, but he doesn’t. Chad and Stephanie are on their way up the mountain, and he’s glad the safety driver is the one behind the wheel. They run to the cluebox, amongst goats, and find a Roadblock. One person from each team will rappel 500 feet onto a narrow ledge on the side of mountain where they will search through hundreds of lamps to find one containing Aladdin’s magic ring. When they do, they’ll get the next clue.

Stephanie doesn’t want to do the Roadblock, so Chad agrees to. He notes he normally doesn’t have that much of an issue with heights, yet as she points out, it’s like the Grand Canyon of Oman. Jill and Thomas arrive, and she agrees to do it, saying she’s going to “rapple” down, pronouncing it like it rhymes with apple. She does have a fear of heights, but it takes a “really high area” to make her stomach drop, and heart race. Chad lands and starts searching through the lamps.


Freelance entertainment and tech writer, editor