Recap: The Amazing Race 17, Episode 2 – “I just kissed an Englishman in a tractor!”

Episode 17.02: A Kiss Saves the Day

It’s the 2nd leg of the Race and teams learn they will be flying to Accra, Ghana.  One there, they’ll make their way to Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park for their next clue.

Team Glee Nerds, Brook & Claire, and the Volleyball Players team up on their way to the airport.  Brook kisses a tractor driver a few times to get him to give them directions to Heathrow.

All the teams get on the same Virgin Atlantic flight and the leg really begins when the teams come running out of the airport and scramble for taxis.

On the way to the clue, in the midst of all the typical “I can’t believe this!”/“look at the trash” comments, teams encounter people knocking on their windows and reaching into the taxis asking for a little bit of money.  Most of the teams politely refuse, but Andie gives some money.  Jenna hopes that’ll bring them good karma. 

Nick & Vicki arrive at the memorial first.  (First!?!?!)  But the rest of the teams are right behind them and Brook & Claire take the lead.  They get their clue telling them to find their next clue at the Makola Market.

Teams get to the Market and find the Road Block.
In this Road Block, teams must earn 15 Ghanaian cedis, about ten dollars, by selling sunglasses to the locals.  They can not sell a pair of glasses for less than 3 cedis.  

Brook, no surprise, has an easy time selling while Kevin is pleasantly surprised by how well his father sells.  

Meanwhile, Gary & Mallory’s taxi dies and they have to get another, putting them in last.  

Back at the market, Chad, Nick, Rachel, Jill and Kat are having trouble selling to some local jokers and aspiring dancers and people who just don’t want what they’re selling.

Gary & Mallory finally catch up at the Road Block just as Brook & Claire and Michael & Kevin set off for their next clue at Peace Motor Spare Parts.  Connor & Jonathan and Chad & Stephanie are right behind.

At the next clue, Brook & Claire find the first Detour of the season.
In this Detour teams choose between Tune In or Check Out.
In Tune In, teams make their way to a nearby electrical store and pick up a TV antenna system which they will have to install themselves in one of the nearby marked homes.  When they get a clear picture on the home’s TV screen, they’ll get their next clue.
In Check Out, teams will make their way to a woodworking shop where coffins are made to match the lifestyle of their eventual occupants.  Teams will choose one of the unique, colorful coffins and transport them through the streets to the Hello Coffin showroom for their next clue.  

Brook & Claire choose Tune In and begin installing the antenna.  Michael & Kevin arrive, but can’t see the clue box right next to them, allowing Team Tinkerbell and Pan and Katie & Rachel to pass them.  Chad & Stephanie and Michael & Kevin choose Tune In, while Katie & Rachel do Check Out, getting help from the locals pushing the piano coffin.

Back at the Market, Jenna finishes and she and her mother are off.  Mallory gets a guy who says he wants to buy the whole board of glasses but ends up only buying one, but that’s all she needed anyway.  Dr. Kat isn’t doing too well though while Jill makes sure her customer has non-scratched glasses (much to Thomas’ chagrin.  He doesn’t want her to care about locals’ feelings.).   A woman messes with Nick, giving him a full dance performance and then walks away with the glasses.  She eventually pays leaving just Nat & Kat at the Road Block.

The doctors finally leave the Road Block.  Back at the antenna installations, Brook climbs back up to adjust the antenna until the picture is clear on the television set.  The man hands them their clue telling them to head to the Pit Stop in the middle of Kaneshie Market.  The home shopping hosts claim 1st and a ten day trip to Hawaii.

Katie & Rachel take the coffin to the showroom and head to the Pit Stop to check in 2nd with Michael & Kevin setting off from the Road Block to finish the leg 3rd.  Chad & Stephanie check in 4th.

Andie & Jenna, Gary & Mallory, and Nat & Kat are unlucky with their taxi drivers.  Jill & Thomas get to the Detour and choose the coffins.  Nick & Vicki choose the antennas.  Connor & Jonathan have trouble getting a clear picture and decide to switch Detours.  

The three lost teams all catch up with each other and start to follow each other as they go back the other way.  They get to the Detour, Gary & Mallory choose the antenna while Nat & Kat choose coffins as do Andie & Jenna.

Jill & Thomas finish 5th

The remaining teams finish the Detour and they all get stuck in traffic.  Nat & Kat’s driver begins weaving in and out of the traffic and pass Gary & Mallory, Connor & Jonathan, and Nick & Vicki.  Team Glee then passes Nick & Vicki as well and it becomes a race between Glee and the doctors for 6th place. 

Connor & Jonathan just sneak by to claim 6th with Nat & Kat finishing 7th.  Nick & Vicki come in 8th.

Gary & Mallory’s driver manages to get them in 9th leaving Andie & Jenna last and eliminated.

Episode Thoughts
A good second episode.  Pretty packed I think, also an interesting leg that kept all the teams neck and neck.  Not necessarily bunching outside of the flight to Ghana, but a level playing field with teams’ fates in their own hands and at the mercy of their taxi drivers.

Good tasks this leg as well.  Detours and Road Blocks that have teams directly interacting with the locals, and in this leg, having teams right in the heart of busy markets and homes, are always awesome.  One of the best things about The Amazing Race is having everyday Americans getting a chance to explore the world and experience new and different cultures.  I hope they have more of these kinds of tasks in future legs.

Having the Mat in the middle of a crowded marketplace as opposed to some private residence or secluded resort is also a nice change of what we’re used to.  I guess no need to protect against spoilers in Ghana?

But all in all, a good, fun and reasonably exciting episode.  A fine start so far for TAR17.

Leg Two Itinerary
Eastnor Castle Meadow
Ledbury, Herefordshire, England


Accra, Ghana

Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park

Makola Market

Peace Motor Spare Parts

Adom Electicals

Emmanuel’s Woodshop/Hello Coffin Showroom

Kaneshie Market

Departure Times

Eastnor Castle Meadow
Ledbury, Herefordshire, England

Jill & Thomas 11:55am
Nat & Kat 12:00pm
Connor & Jonathan 12:20pm
Brook & Claire 12:21pm
Katie & Rachel 12:22pm
Gary & Mallory 12:40pm
Michael & Kevin 12:41pm
Chad & Stephanie 12:50pm
Andie & Jenna 1:35pm
Nick & Vicki 1:45pm

Who Did the Detour?
In order of completion




*Connor & Jonathan switched Detours.
Road Block Count
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did this week’s Road Block

Who thinks they can handle some shady dealings?
1 Brook Claire 1
1 Michael Kevin 1
2 Connor Jonathan 0
2 Chad Stephanie 0
0 Katie Rachel 2
0 Andie Jenna 2
1 Gary Mallory 1
1 Jill Thomas 1
2 Nick Vicki 0
1 Nat Kat 1

1 Ron Tony 0

Order of Finish
1st Brook & Claire /
2nd Katie & Rachel /
3rd Michael & Kevin /
4th Chad & Stephanie /
5th Jill & Thomas /
6th Connor & Jonathan /
7th Nat & Kat /
8th Nick & Vicki /
9th Gary & Mallory /
Eliminated Andie & Jenna /
My Subjective Team Rankings for Leg 2
Michael & Kevin Michael & Kevin – They stepped it up this week.  They got a lead at the start of the leg and were able to maintain it despite missing that cluebox at the Detour.  I’m still waiting for them to start bringing the funny, but maybe this is the real Michael and Kevin?  Encouraging and proud of each other as opposed to the hilarious scripted ribbing they do to each other in their videos.  Still I hope they do well.  I hope that preview for next week isn’t a bad sign!
Brook & Claire Brook & Claire – They’re definitely seem to be positioning themselves as one of the teams to beat this leg.  I’m sure there won’t be any more sales related tasks (right?) so we’ll see how far their salestalk will take them.  But other than that, they’ve got the energy and the determination to win so that should go a long way for them for a possible race to the finish.
Gary & Mallory Gary & Mallory – They had a tough leg, but they still stayed positive and pushed through.  They fell behind before the Road Block, but Mallory’s wasn’t any less energetic and jolly which helped them stay in the Race I believe.  I do think they’ll have to step it up next leg though if they want to stay in the Race.  They’ll have to get themselves out of the bottom of the pack sooner or later or they’ll just as easily be eliminated.  (I hope not though!)
Andie & Jenna Andie & Jenna – Sad to see them eliminated 2nd.  It would have been nice to see them go further.  Bad taxi luck definitely did them in this leg since Jenna passed several teams at the Road Block after being one of the last team to get there.  Unfortunate as it would have been interesting to see their relationship on the Race as well as see them possibly making it very far.  But I guess Nancy & Emily (TAR1) remain the top mother-daughter team in TAR history.
Nat & Kat Nat & Kat – I still like them, but Kat’s lack of energy and urgency at the Road Block, especially when they were last, is points off from me.  They’ve got what it takes, but Kat basically shutting down at the Road Block was crazy!  Good that they picked it up somewhat at the Detour and huge thanks to their great taxi driver.  Otherwise they would’ve been in huge trouble this week which would’ve been a shame after a great first leg.  Hope they can recover.
Katie & Rachel Katie & Rachel – Not much from them again this week.  Almost invisible really other than their  TAR-typical We’re going into the bad part of town comment.  They appear to be a capable team, but they haven’t yet shown what they can really do like Brook & Claire or even Nat & Kat have.
Chad & Stephanie Chad & Stephanie – A good leg for them.  None of the typical TAR-couple banter which is great, and they got through both the Road Block and Detour fine.  I’ll definitely warm up to them as long as they stay away from dysfunction.  (But if they do do dysfunction, as least make it fun!)
Connor & Jonathan Connor & Jonathan – They’re pretty iffy.  They’ve been running towards the back of the pack, benefiting from other teams’ mistakes to get them ahead.  But moves like switching relatively simple Detours would have cost them the Race in any other leg.  Again with the singing, but all the singing in the world won’t get them to Race better.  Good attitude throughout the leg, but they’ve got to follow through on actual tasks. 
Jill & Thomas Jill & Thomas – Not a particularly good leg for them.  Definitely rolled my eyes at Thomas and the “You care about feelings” beef against Jill.  That’s not going to fly with TAR karma.  But that attitude of his fits in with Jill’s concern about Thomas feeling like his Notre Dame education somehow makes him better than other people.  Definitely a turn off and I wasn’t too hot on this team in the first place.
Nick & Vicki Nick & Vicki – No dumb moments for them this leg, but it still shocked me whenever they’d appear first during the leg.  I guess it was the impression they left from their first leg performance, but seeing them first towards the beginning of the leg was very jarring.  =D But worse was, like Kat, Nick’s lack of urgency at the Road Block.  No energy whatsoever which is probably why that lady managed to mess with him so easily.  They’re next in line if they don’t make some big moves next leg.
Quotes from Episode 17.02

Nat: “If there were two boats in the ocean, Kat would be an oceanliner steering the course, and I might be the dingy on the side going every which way.”

Mallory: “Aww!  I hope I get to hold little African babies!”

Brook: “I just kissed an Englishman in a tractor!”

Brook: ““A kiss saves the day.

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