Normally we all let loose with a big sigh when we hear the current episode of our favorite Reality TV show will be a recap show. Tonight’s recap of the first six episodes of The Amazing Race was a little different. While making sure we were up-to-date on the show’s biggest moments such as Aaron getting hysterical with Rebecca about his sunglasses, Don and Mary Jean taking Adam and Rebecca’s car mistakenly, Hera and Don getting seasick, Rebecca telling Aaron to stop being a wussy boy when he confronts her about her screaming, Jonathon and Victoria’s abusive fight getting to the pit stop in Berlin, and Lori and Bolo being woefully behind at the end of last week’s show, we are also treated to many great unseen moments, and some moments are simply further explained.
The first tidbit we see is Freddy and Kendra losing their very first clue that was obtained in Chicago. Jonathon finds the clue on the ground, and knowing what we know now of Jonathon, we aren’t so sure what he intends to do with it. To our relief, when he hears Freddy and Kendra talking about losing their clue on the train, Jonathon gives it back. Also on the train, Gus says the first team he is gunning for is “yellow shirt”, aka Jonathon. He asks for an alliance with Hayden and Aaron and Avi and Joe. Since he and Hera eventually only had an alliance with Avi and Joe, it would seem Hayden and Aaron must have rebuffed Gus’ advances.
In a somewhat disturbing move, Bolo pretends to have Cerebral Palsy to get through Customs more quickly at the airport. Lori apologizes, explaining he is “a little slow.” Hayden feels this could come back to haunt him some day. I have to agree, as I would be afraid to tempt the laws of fate with that one. It also points to the overall feeling that these racers will do everything it takes to get ahead. I am hoping I would never want to win that badly.
Lena and Kristy can’t believe they are expected to spend the night in tents pitched atop snow in the middle of nowhere. They remember hearing you are supposed to be warmer if you sleep naked in your sleeping bag. After Lori and Bolo put on a wrestling exhibition, Lori breaks off and teaches Rebecca a little Wrestling 101. Adam notes he should be nicer to Rebecca now, or she is likely to break his arm or something. In the morning, as Lori announces her implants are frozen, sisters Lena and Kristy admit they were even too cold to cuddle.
On the next leg of the race, when the teams are faced with rental cars with stick shifts, previously we only saw Meredith and Maria having problems driving. Now we see that Hayden was having problems as well. We also find that Meredith and Maria were holding up everyone else, blocking them into the parking lot, not being able to get their car in drive. Kris jumps out of the car she is riding in with Jon, and helps them drive out. Meredith and Maria are so pleased with how nice she was, not realizing she was partially doing this just to get them out of her and Jon’s way.
After they arrived at the next stop, and overnight to await boarding a viking ship the next morning, Jonathon knocks Victoria in the head closing the trunk. He begins lecturing Victoria about her lack of teamwork, and makes her apologize for doubting him. Lena and Kristy stand nearby shaking their heads, saying they liked Victoria, but not Jonathon because of the way he treats her. As Jonathon is talking about how proud he is of himself, Victoria tells him to wash his shirt because he stinks. Apparently Jonathon isn’t the only pest, as later Lena finds spiders in her bed, and makes Kristy sleep in that side of the bed after spraying the bed with bug repellant, not telling Kristy until later the full reason why.
On the way to the pit stop Kristy insists on she and Lena fixing their makeup while they drive to the pit stop, as she doesn’t want to see Phil with nude lips, as she thinks he’s a real “Choo Choo Charlie.” Rebecca is doing her own share of flirting on the next leg of the race while riding a train. She is hungry, and she and Adam are most likely saving money for other traveling expenses. She flirts and begs food from someone else on the train, and he agrees to buy her a sandwich. She pushes the envelope further, and asks for pizza for Adam, but is refused. Adam doesn’t want to share the sandwich with her because of the way she obtained it.
As the Ice Bar, Jonathon “grabs the bull by the horns” literally. He grabs a bull made of ice, and breaks the horns right off. At the Ikea stop, Aaron says Jonathon shouldn’t talk to Victoria the way he does. It seems everyone is bothered by Jonathon’s treatment of Victoria. It definitely makes us wonder what is seen behind the scenes that we are never privy to.
Kendra thinks Freddy is being very cheap wanting to sleep outside in the grass instead of sleeping in a hotel. He asks if she intends to get room service there. She is incredulous he would even think that. On the next leg they argue bout the same thing again. They argue yet again on the Berlin leg, as Kendra says she wants to do some research while waiting for the Olympic Stadium to open. Freddy tries to make her understand that if they are waiting for one thing to open, most likely anywhere she would go to do research would be closed as well. He tells her to lower her voice, and she shouts back he should start being productive instead of giving up. Freddy just walks away bewildered.
In Senegal, as Kris says she feels many Americans are elitist about how other countries live, she says she hopes she doesn’t hear anyone on The Amazing Race displaying ugly behavior. It almost seems like foreshadowing, as after they show Kendra with her many derogatory comments of Senegal and the people there. Kris says that many of her studies centered around Africa, as she jumps in a lake and plays with the local kids.
Many of the local men give strong Lori thumbs up when she is able to carry the heavy basket of wet salt on top of head. Don watches Mary Jean carry the load of salt for his team with much difficulty, and he weeps remembering the first time he met her, saying he never thought then he could lover her any more, but this moment he definitely does.
Jonathon and Victoria are held up in their cab by the presidential motorcade, and he later tries to thwart Lori and Bolo from getting on the ferry. He tells a worker Bolo is so much stronger and faster, and asks him to detain them for questioning, not allowing them on the ferry. It appears he doesn’t succeed. On the other side, he befriends a local and asks for his help. The local wants a favor in return promoting some story of his back in America. At the the Slave House, Hera thinks of her American passport she is holding, and realizes her ability to now hold that comes in part from the people that walked through this famous archway.
Driving to the Berlin Wall, Hayden says she knows she has seen pictures of it, and remembers it as just a wall with graffiti on it. She compares it to the Great Wall of China, and wonders how great it really was. Sometimes I get the feeling Hayden opens her mouth and starts speaking before she is thinking. After Gus drinks the beer in the challenge of looking for coasters with his and Hera’s picture and names, Gus explains to Hera it was low alcohol beer anyway. Asked how he knew this, he says he knew by the taste it was only about a three-pointer, yet it still had great flavor. He adds that they have a beer named after him in Gettysburg. Hera appears to roll her eyes at this one, just as any daughter would hearing her father’s story for the umpteenth time.
We find that before they were able to drive away in the small, unreliable cars last week, the teams had to fill the tanks with gas themselves. Jon ends up soaking his pants and changes clothes right there in the parking lot. Oh, to be a fly on a lot. Jon starts the car by running it with his feet on the pavement outside, and he and Kris starting singing the Flintstones theme song. Lori and Bolo argue over where the cap to the gas tank is, and as she is screaming at him, Lori tells Bolo he needs a stress test. Jonathon wonders about Adam and Rebecca making it, noting they didn’t add gas, and they don’t seem to know how to drive it. He ends up being very correct as Adam and Rebecca end up alongside of the road waiting for a replacement car.
I have found after the show, that I thoroughly enjoyed it. It seemed much better than your average Reality TV mid-season recap show. I think it’s the nature of The Amazing Race. There is so much great stuff happening, and it gets edited out to fit in one hour. Maybe CBS needs to give it a Big Brother treatment, putting it on more than once a week to be sure we see all the great moments we fans deserve.
I welcome questions and comments at LauraBelle@realityshack.com.