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Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

The Amazing Race, April 22 – When It Becomes “Truly Amazing”

Blonde Rachel decides to try her had at dancing onstage, and you can see her obvious dance training. Bopper and Dave enjoy her performance. She passes, and she and Dave get a clue telling them to head to the Indian Coffee House and find the Head Waiter who will give them their next clue. Art is keeping score. “Chicks 1, Dudes Nothing.” Bopper claims he is normally the dance man, but says this old knee injury has come back to haunt him at the wrong time.

Blonde Rachel and Dave hit up a rickshaw and head to the coffee house. While Mark is told to keep practicing the dance, J.J. doesn’t think he’ll ever get this. Mark also starts getting dizzy. Vanessa takes the stage to try out the dance and makes the same arms mistake that J.J. did. She’s told to figure out where she went wrong. As Redhead Rachel takes the stage, Art is still complaining about dudes not moving the same as girls, saying it just doesn’t look the same. Redhead Rachel messes up her arms in a different way than the others.

Arriving at the coffee house, Blonde Rachel and Dave get their next clue, a Detour – Cricket or Clutch It. In Cricket, each team member will be required to hit one ball past a professional cricket player to the boundary around the field. The ball can either be hit along the ground or over the top. In Clutch It, teams will have to learn skills used by the rickshaw drivers and transport passengers around a training course.

Blonde Rachel wants to Clutch It, while Dave admits he would have rather done Cricket. Rachel tells him he doesn’t have skill and ability in Cricket, but he counters he has skill and ability in every sport. She fakes a gag, and I think everyone watching this right now is doing the same thing. These flight simulators are not like the ones we had in Driver’s Ed. Rachel thinks they’re fun, and eventually gets to do some real “road-training.” She and Dave then switch seats when he takes offense to her laughing during training.

Back at the Bollywood dance, J.J. is trying again, and messes up the arms yet again. Art is still playing the same broken record that he’ll never look like all the chicks out there, obviously ignoring the fact there are male and female Bollywood dancers. Vanessa is having a tough time still as well, saying she used to be able to do this. Does she mean dance in general or has she done Bollywood before? Bopper points out that Mark is sweating while he’s learning the dance. He’s been a fan of the Race longer than Mark, so he is keeping his faith in him, sure that he’ll get it figured out.

Brendon knows if Rachel gets emotional, it will throw off her game. He says it’s good to have a girl on your team to do things like this, but it’s bad because they get emotional. She tries the dance again, and once again messes up the arms. She jumps off the stage pouting, saying it’s never going to be perfect, making Ralph call her Big Baby again, and making Art compare her to the cheerleader who doesn’t make the team but keeps trying anyway. He also knows he should have done this thing.

Blonde Rachel says driving a rickshaw is harder than it looks, as it’s hard to turn on a dime. Dave is still trying to learn how to drive this vehicle. He hits a pole and fails. She remarks when she did it she at least made it a lot more fun and hit a bunch of poles. She takes her stab again at it.

Mark decides to perform the routine before he passes out or has a heart attack. Brendon tries to talk Rachel out of getting emotional, like we’ve seen him do hundreds of times before on Big Brother, but she claims it’s hard not to be when you’re a girl. Well, I do know some guys who have a hard time not getting emotional, and I also know some girls who have no problem being stoic through everything. Vanessa claims she has nothing left. Art is deciding J.J. looks like a gorilla in a chiffon suit. Mark makes his first attempt at dancing onstage and messes up the arms. Bopper tells him they’re Kentucky boys, not Las Vegas dancers, so he just needs to keep his head up.

Vanessa finally completes the dance on her third attempt and moves on. Redhead Rachel makes her fourth attempt and tries to stay non-emotional. Mark complains of having no energy and thinks he’s about to pass out, but Bopper knows he won’t give up. J.J. is complaining that this isn’t the one he wanted to do. Rachel finally completes this thing and they get their clue and move on.

J.J. thinks he’s going to cost he and Art the whole Race, and Mark thinks he’s about to get sick again. Art convinces J.J. to make his fourth attempt, while Mark keeps learning off to the side. This time J.J. finishes and gets the clue. His dance troupe congratulates him probably more than Art does. Art, however, does give him the moniker of “Hollywood Travolta.” And his official score now is “Chicks 3, Dudes 1.” Bopper knows they’re in last place. Mark puts his heart into his third attempt, and nearly makes it, but messes up the arms. He reasons it out with the guys teaching him the dance, saying he can barely raise his arms anymore.

Dave asks Blonde Rachel if she’ll listen to him on when to turn, and she says she will if he’s nice about it. He thinks she has it, but she counters that she won’t if he keeps barking in her ear. He yells at the end in celebration, “Listen to your frickin’ husband!” She completes it, and they get the clue to make their way to the next pit stop, Bolgatty Palace.

Vanessa and Ralph make it to the coffee place and get the clue to the Detour. They decide to Clutch It. She gets behind the wheel first. Ralph thinks it just seems like a simpler task to do, while Vanessa admits she failed Driver’s Ed, and she’s hit a few things in San Antonio, including the Alamo. She calls that an accident. Okay, I did hit a garage door … once. I had my learner’s permit at the time and was driving with my dad. I will never, ever live that down.

Big Brother arrive and get the clue, deciding to do Cricket. Border Patrol arrive and decide to do the same. Both teams start learning how to play, as J.J. tells Art it’s just like baseball. None of them do well hitting the ball initially.

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