Recap: The Amazing Race 17, Episode 3 – “You have no common sense in your whole body.”

Episode 17.03: In Phil We Trust

The third leg begins as Brook & Claire open their clue first telling them to head to the Akotoku Boxing Academy on the other side of Accra.  Once there, they find the Road Block.

In this Road Block, teams will take part in pro boxing training; first, properly wrap their hands, then work on the speed bag for 60 seconds and jump rope for 60 seconds.

Brook asks to do this one and is confident since they both train at a boxing facility.  Brook speeds through the task, kissing the guys along the way, as the other teams begin arriving.  Leaving the Pit Stop within 30 minutes of each other and the unpredictability of taxis, teams are arriving in completely different order from when they left the Mat.

Brook & Claire finish and head off to find a Supply Depot in the Dodowa District for their next clue.  Katie & Rachel and Chad & Stephanie are close behind and actually catch up with a lost Nat & Kat who have gone too far.

Meanwhile, Jonathan & Connor, who leave the Road Block 4th, have now passed Brook & Claire on their way to the next Route Marker.  At the Supply Depot, they must gather a list of supplies and deliver them to the foreman at the Asebi D/A Primary School who’ll hand them their next clue.

The supplies they need: two wheelbarrows, a bag of cement, two bricks, two shovels, two brooms, two trowels, two scrapers.

Connor & Jonathan wheel themselves to the school and get the next clue.  Teams will now join one of the local classrooms and take part in a geography quiz where they need to correctly locate Ghana on a map of Africa for their next clue.

After a couple of tries, they find Ghana and the Detour.  In this Detour, teams will have to choose between Bicycle Parts and Language Arts.
In Bicycle Parts, teams will have to play local Ghanaian game where they use a stick to roll a bicycle rim on the ground.  They’ll have to roll it across a field and back without it falling over.
In Language Arts, teams receive a poem with eight bolded phrases, each having a corresponding symbol in the visual alphabet Adinkra.  Using a decoder on the wall, teams will have to find the correct sequence of symbols on a large decorative cloth like a word search game.

Connor & Jonathan decide to do Language Arts.  Meanwhile, Brook & Claire take the supplies to the foreman but find they forgot their 2nd wheelbarrow.  They must wheel all their supplies back to the depot to get it.  They run into Michael & Kevin on the way… who also only took one wheelbarrow.  They don’t say anything to them.

Katie & Rachel realize they need two wheelbarrows, but then forget one trowel.  They have to go back.  All the other teams arrive in a caravan, but Nat & Kat are having really bad taxi luck this leg, keeping them in last.

On the other end, Connor & Jonathan find the symbols, are handed the clue by one of the students, and head to the Pit Stop, the home of Awusa Ntso.  They claim First and $5000 each.

Back to the other teams, Brook & Claire and Michael & Kevin run into each again and the other teams are on their way too.  Nick & Vicki get to the foreman, only to be told they need just one bag of cement.  They have to wheel back and Nick is pissed.  This allows Gary & Mallory to move into 2nd place after finding Ghana on their first try.  They choose Bicycle Parts.

Michael & Kevin are now in 4th with Jill & Thomas, Chad & Stephanie, and Katie & Rachel close behind.  So close in fact that all three of them somehow pass the father and son as they all join Brook & Claire at the Detour at the same time.

The four teams choose Language Arts.  Brook & Claire think they have to trap the poor little Ghanaian kids in a chalk circle so they encircle them and the other three teams follow suit.  Umm… no.

They all realize their idiocy, but then can’t find the huge decoder on the side of the freakin’ school building.  Instead they go harassing the children’s schoolwork and scattering it all over the ground.  Katie & Rachel decide to switch and head to the Bicycle Parts Detour just as Gary & Mallory finish and head to the Pit Stop.  They officially arrive at the top of the pack and claim 2nd.

Chad & Stephanie decide to switch just as Michael & Kevin finally get to the Detour.  Back at the map, Nick & Vicki are having big trouble.  The entire map is almost filled and they still haven’t found Ghana.

Now everyone’s at the Detour.  Brook & Claire, Jill & Thomas, Nat & Kat, and Michael & Kevin all give up on Language Arts (none of them saw the decoder) and they switch. 

Chad & Stephanie head to the Pit Stop in 3rd and Katie & Rachel follow in 4th. 
Vicki gets over an asthma attack and she and Nick finish 5th with Brook & Claire right next to them in 6th.

Phil tells the teams that they’ll all come back tomorrow to help remodel the school.

Jill & Thomas and Nat & Kat check in to the Pit Stop 7th and 8th respectively, leaving Michael & Kevin at the Detour.  Michael is having trouble.  He’s tired, can’t breathe, he’s dizzy, the heat isn’t helping.  He doesn’t think he can finish, but Kevin encourages him.  The medical staff comes out to look at him. 

Michael soldiers son and finishes the Detour.  They head to the Pit Stop and Phil gives them the bad good news… it is a non-elimination.  They live to see another leg.

Episode Thoughts
It was a very interesting episode.  With the teams leaving the Pit Stop within about 30 minutes of each other, the usual unpredictability of taxis, and staying in the same city, it was a very close leg with crazy shifts in placement throughout.  That definitely makes for an exciting Race, but also it must have been a pain to edit!  It was a pretty hectic leg.

Very nice seeing the teams continue to interact with the locals.  Love that they will be helping out the schoolchildren.  Hope they show that at the beginning of the next episode.

The tasks were relatively simple, but once again, “It’s all in the details.” [/Kris, TAR6]  Can you believe teams STILL can not read clues?  They don’t know how to read clues telling them exactly what to do!  They should be thankful TAR doesn’t give them complicated riddles as clues all the time, otherwise it would be logistical chaos with teams getting themselves lost into the next country.  I mean really, they tell you to get two of something, you get it.  And then you double check before you head off.  Then later, you can’t find a huge wall right in front of your face that gives you the answers to your task?  Seventeen seasons and we still have crazy Racers who can’t follow directions.

But it was a good leg.  I definitely saw the non-elimination coming from a mile away though.  Looking forward to seeing how the Racers going from extreme heat to extreme cold next week!

Leg Three Itinerary
Kaneshie Market
Accra, Ghana


Akotoku Boxing Academy
Jamestown, Accra

Supply Depot
Dodowa, Accra

Asebi D/A Primary School
Dodowa, Accra

Home of Awusa Ntso
Dodowa, Accra, Ghana

Departure Times

Kaneshie Market
Accra, Ghana
Brook & Claire 7:34am
Katie & Rachel 7:35am
Michael & Kevin 7:45am
Chad & Stephanie 7:52am
Jill & Thomas 7:58am
Connor & Jonathan 8:01am
Nat & Kat 8:02am
Nick & Vicki 8:04am
Gary & Mallory 8:06am

Who Did the Detour?
In order of completion





*Several teams chose the Language Arts Detour and switched to Bicycle Parts.

Road Block Count
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did this week’s Road Block

You’ve got a rocky road ahead.
2 Brook Claire 1
1 Katie Rachel 2
3 Chad Stephanie 0
3 Connor Jonathan 0
1 Michael Kevin 2
2 Gary Mallory 1
2 Nick Vicki 1
1 Jill Thomas 2
2 Nat Kat 1

0 Andie Jenna 2
1 Ron Tony 0

Order of Finish
1st Connor & Jonathan (+5)
2nd Gary & Mallory (+7)
3rd Chad & Stephanie (+1)
4th Katie & Rachel (-2)
5th Nick & Vicki (+3)
6th Brook & Claire (-5)
7th Jill & Thomas (-2)
8th Nat & Kat (-1)
9th Michael & Kevin (-6)
My Subjective Team Rankings for Leg 3
Gary & Mallory Gary & Mallory – A great, great leg for them.  They finally step up and they shoot to the top.  Great work from Gary and continuing positivity from both, always a good combination on the Race.  Even when they are trailing, they stay positive and that’s gotten them to where they are now.  As long as they keep that up and avoid mistakes, they’ve got a great shot.
Michael & Kevin Michael & Kevin – After stepping up last week, they get tripped up this week.  Aside from Michael’s health, this wasn’t a good leg for them at all.  They tended to disappear during the leg and then pop up three spots behind from where they were.  First it was on their way to the Road Block, then it was going to the classroom.  They must have gotten lost often. That is in addition to their wheelbarrow oversight that kept them from 2nd.  They will have a chance to recover next week heading to a new country.  I certainly hope they can.
Brook & Claire Brook & Claire – It was definitely a step back for them this leg.   It wasn’t their usual dominant performance.  Still, they didn’t give up and more importantly, they didn’t lose their cool.  They’re still one of the teams to beat though and they could easily find their way back to the top next week.
Nat & Kat Nat & Kat – They performed a little better in the tasks this week and if it wasn’t for their horrible taxi luck, they might have moved into the top half of the group.  Instead, they stay at the bottom.  They’ve got a shot next week to redeem themselves from two very poor legs.  They’ve got to step it up or last place is going to catch up to them.
Connor & Jonathan Connor & Jonathan – Some luck, plenty of positive vibes and solid work rewarded them with a first place finish.  Very good leg for them which should really signal their arrival in the Race.    If they can keep it up from here on out, they’re in good shape.  Oh, but please, no more singing.
Chad & Stephanie Chad & Stephanie – Another relatively good leg for them.  And not thinking about that preview, they work well together and are having fun.  I guess that won’t carry over into next leg, but so far, they’ve definitely been improving from their first leg blunder, both competition-wise and personality-wise.
Katie & Rachel Katie & Rachel – A so-so team with so-so personalities.  I don’t see them being the first female team winning the Race judging from the first three legs.  Not only that, but they’re kind of boring and sometimes bordering on unlikeable.  I’d love for that to change, but the way they’re competing, they could just as easily make one wrong move and get themselves eliminated.
Jill & Thomas Jill & Thomas – Jill is alright, but Thomas gets douchey for the 2nd week in a row.  No need to throw Ghanaian children’s schoolwork around dude.  That and poor performances make it appear they got lucky in the first leg.  They might end up using that Express Pass sooner rather than later at this point.  
Nick & Vicki Nick & Vicki – Aaannndd there’s the dysfunction.  Nick getting pissy certainly doesn’t help.  But the bad luck of the other teams did.  Vicki seems fine and kudos to keeping her cool even when her boyfriend did not.  It took an asthma attack for him to calm down.  They’re still skating on thin ice though with all the mistakes they’re making
Quotes from Episode 17.03

Claire: “If Brook gets into the ring with those guys, I’m scared for the other guy.”

Nick: “You have no common sense in your whole body.”

Nick: “We couldn’t locate Ghana on a map with a magnet.”

Nick: “We’re the dumbest people known to Earth, literally.”

Nat: “There’s a goat marker!”

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