Recap: The Amazing Race 20, Episode 3 – “You bust me right in the head with it.”

The Amazing Race 20, Episode 3 – Bust Me Right in the Head With It

The Leg

Dave & Rachel and Art & JJ get to the airport first, hoping to get the first flight to Asuncion, Paraguay.  They see there is an 8:45am direct flight, but it is full so they try to get on the waiting list. The rest of the teams quickly join them at the airport. Nary & Jamie calls the other teams over to also sign up for the waiting list which absolutely annoys JJ. 

Dave & Rachel and Art & JJ gloat about eventually getting on the flight, but Nary & Jamie and Mark & Bopper get on as well.  Everyone else has to take a 10:40am flight.

The first four teams arrive in Asuncion and head to Metalúrgica Punta de Rieles metal shop where they must search through toy slides and barbeque grills for their next clue. Art & JJ get there first and find the Detour.

For this Detour, teams choose between Stacked Up or Strung Out.
In Stacked Up, teams head to Mercado Central de Abasto, Paraguay’s largest fruit market where they must stack watermelons starting with a 10×10 base to form a perfect pyramid.
In Strung Out, teams head to the auditorium at the Universidad Nacional de Asunción where they must untangle and then string Paraguay’s national instrument, the harp.

All four teams head to the watermelons. They gather watermelons from the delivery trucks and move them to set platforms where they will form the pyramids. As they get started on the Detour, the 2nd flight arrives. The rest of the teams, except twins Elliot & Andrew, choose the watermelons. 

Art & JJ quickly finish the task and are off, but just like that, the stacks of Nary & Jamie, Rachel & Dave and Mark & Bopper go tumbling down.  Dave wants to use the Express Pass, but Rachel says they should just switch Detours. Nary & Jamie follow, as do Mark & Bopper. 

Just as Kentucky leaves, Mississippi arrives. Kerri & Stacy ask Mark & Bopper how the watermelons were and they say it was fine… then proceed to take their taxi. Kerri & Stacy get into the yard and see tumbled stacks of melons so they quickly turn around and head to the University. 

Across town, Art & JJ arrive at the Plaza and find the Road Block.  In this Road Block, teams will have to perform a traditional Paraguayan bottle dance. Balancing a bottle on their heads, teams must perform a choreographed dance without breaking it to receive their next clue. If they have broken all the bottles on their respective tables before completing the task, they’ll incur a 2 hour penalty.

Art chooses to do the Road Block. He gets it done and they head to the Pit Stop, the statue at the Escalinata de Antequera where they officially check-in first and win a trip to the Bahamas.

Back at the Detour, Brendon & Rachel and Vanessa & Ralph are starting to collect the watermelons.  Vanessa tries to block Brenchel’s path, then laughs as Rachel bending over, despite Ralph begging her to focus. Having no luck getting the watermelons even to their platforms, Rachel tells Brendon they gotta switch Detours.

Elliot & Andrew, Mark & Bopper, Nary & Jamie, and Kerri & Stacy all arrive at the University and start stringing the harps.  Rachel & Dave get there and see all the other teams so they decide to use the Express Pass.  They head to the Plaza as Brendon & Rachel arrive last at the auditorium.

As Elliot & Andrew are struggling with the harp strings, Dave is having trouble at the Road Block.  He quickly goes through all the bottles and he and Rachel head to Phil to absorb their two hour penalty.

Back at the harps, Rachel manages to quickly finish the strings and she and Brendon are out of there first with Mark & Bopper close behind.  Meanwhile, Joey & Danny manage to safely stack their watermelon pyramid and also head to the Plaza, leaving Vanessa & Ralph struggling as their melons go tumbling once again.  At the other end, Kerri & Stacy and Nary & Jamie finish their harps, leaving Elliot & Andrew.

Both Vanessa & Ralph and Elliot & Andrew frustrated with their respective Detour choices consider switching, but decide to stick with the ones they’ve chosen.

The other teams arrive at the Road Block and Rachel quickly finishes first out of the group with Joey right behind.  After almost getting run over by a car, Rachel crawls to the Mat, heaving and hunched over. She and Brendon are officially Team #2. Joey & Danny come in right behind them to claim 3rd. 

Mark and Nary finish the Road Block and they reunite with their partners to run to the Pit Stop together where they arrive just before Dave & Rachel’s penalty is completed.  Mark & Bopper take 4th, Nary & Jamie finish 5th and Dave & Rachel have to settle for 6th in spite of, as Phil notes, being the first team to not complete any task in a leg and still survive.

Darkness falls and Kerri & Stacy finally arrive at the Mat to finish 7th.  That leaves Elliot & Andrew and Vanessa & Ralph to fight it out for last.  Both teams finish their frustrating Detours and head to the Road Block. Thought Elliot gets a head start, Ralph manages to finishes seconds before him. In a footrace to the Mat, Vanessa & Ralph come out on top to officially finish as Team #8 with the twins Elliot & Andrew in last and eliminated.

Episode Thoughts
A very interesting leg.  The plane situation almost caused bunching and grouping again, but those pesky watermelons finally got most of the teams together at a task at the same time. I can’t believe I’m asking for more equalizers. Hours of Operation, where are you!?!?!

The watermelons, and Bopper getting knocked in the head with one, were a nice reminder of the immortal moment from TAR17 with poor Claire. The harp side of the Detour seemed to be the easier and less physical of the two. It always looks harder on paper. The Road Block was great as well and I wonder if Bert and Co. expected more teams to get the penalty instead of just Dave & Rachel.  TAR Asia loves their penalty Detours and Road Blocks and it usually does cause chaos. But we didn’t get it here.

I don’t get how the bottles were breaking over their heads though. Sabotage!!

Overall, it was a breezy leg. The tasks helped make the episode exciting. With the teams heading to Italy next week (per the preview), hopefully we can get away from the bunching into separate groups and get a real Race going.

El Gomero
Recoleto, Buenos Aires, Argentina


Metalúrgica Punta de Rieles
Asunción, Paraguay

Mercado Central de Abasto
Asunción, Paraguay

Universidad Nacional de Asunción
San Lorenzo, Paraguay

Plaza de la Democracia
Asunción, Paraguay

Escalinata de Antequera
Asunción, Paraguay

El Gomero
Recoleto, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Rachel & Dave 12:22am
Art & JJ 12:25am
No other team departure times were shown


> ε

In order of completion
> or < indicates team switched Detours.

Who did the Road Block?
Who’s ready to use their head?
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block

2 Art JJ 1
1 Rachel Dave* 2
1 Brendon Rachel 2
1 Joey Danny 2
1 Bopper Mark 2
2 Nary Jamie 1
2 Kerri Stacy 1
1 Vanessa Ralph 2
1 Elliot Andrew 2

* Dave did not complete the Road Block.

1 Dave Cherie 1
0 Misa Maiya 1

Escalinata de Antequera
Asunción, Paraguay

1st Art & JJ +1
2nd Brendon & Rachel +2
3rd Joey & Danny +4
4th Bopper & Mark-1
5th Nary & Jamie +1
6th Rachel & Dave* -5
7th Kerri & Stacy -2
8th Vanessa & Ralph -1
Eliminated Elliot & Andrew =

* Rachel & Dave arrived 2nd, but were issued a 2-hour penalty for not completing the Road Block, dropping them to 6th.
Brendon & Rachel Brendon & Rachel – After last week’s subpar leg, they recover this week with an especially strong performance from Rachel.  Not only did she excel at the Detour (the harp one at least) and the Road Block, she took the high road (for now) against Vanessa’s obsession with her ass. To top it all off, she pulls a Jill (of John Vito & Jill) at the Mat and arrives heaving and out of breath.  Hilarity and awesomeness all over.
Bopper & Mark Bopper & Mark – They continue to bring both the funny and the awesome.  They’ve been Racing very well through these first three legs, maybe contrary to people’s expectations. Strong performance in this leg as well despite the tumbling melons. That, plus their hilariously sneaky gameplaying and their continued Kentucky one-liners, make them one of the most enjoyable teams this Race. Dare I say even more fun than Rachel?
Nary & Jamie Nary & Jamie – Another okay leg from them.  I feel like they’re holding back a little because they really do seem like they’re capable of a lot more. I’d definitely like to see them step it up and go far in the Race.
Joey & Danny Joey & Danny – They finally put together a solid leg.  They had to come from behind, again, but they did it and secure a place in the top tier for the first time this Race. They still have to step it up and they certainly benefited from the Detour switches, but they have good momentum going into the next leg if they keep it up.
Kerri & Stacy Kerri & Stacy – The Road Block tripped them up, but an okay leg for them as well.  They’re keeping up with the pack, but they’ll definitely have to step it up too. They were a few watermelons and strings close to being eliminated, and who knows if they even completed the Road Block? The Mississippi-Kentucky connection should be fun to watch should it continue though.
Elliot & Andrew Elliot & Andrew – After two under the radar legs, they go and show what could’ve been in this, their last leg.  It’s been a while since we’ve had the fun sibling tension on the Race and their Detour meltdown was unfortunate. Just proves one mistake can cost you the Race. They didn’t really make a huge blunder, but they fell behind at the wrong time. Too bad.
Rachel & Dave Rachel & Dave – After two dominant performances, they have probably one of the worst legs ever on the Race.  Whether they win TAR20 or not, they’ll have the dubious distinction of being the only team ever to not complete a single task in a leg. Ouch. Using the Express Pass so early then failing the Road Block (which wouldn’t be so bad if it hadn’t been for the other teams successfully completing it) compared to their excellent performances in the first two legs is very worrisome. Plus the dysfunction in stressful situations, maybe they aren’t the dominant team after all.
Vanessa & Ralph Vanessa & Ralph – Well, Vanessa seems to be obsessed with Rachel’s ass.  I give much kudos to Ralph as he tried to get her to focus as well as being the motivator of their team to finish. He also did great at the Road Block. So Vanessa could be the liability on their team if she’s more concerned with getting Rachel than on doing the tasks.
Art & JJ Art & JJ – A little luck goes a long way, and they certainly got plenty of it tonight.  They did manage to maintain their lead the whole leg, set off by an awesome taxi driver and their performance in the previous leg. But their cockiness could end up being their undoing later on. As Dave & Rachel showed, it’s not easy to stay on top.
Quotes from Episode 20.03

Jamie: “So excited.  I’m about to shit myself.”

Rachel: “This is a Race, and I’m not about to lose it to some doo-heads.”

Bopper: “Drive it like you stole it baby!”

Bopper: “It’s hotter than new love baby!”

Bopper: “You bust me right in the head with it.”

Rachel: “Her disgusting smile is painted on like her overdone makeup.”

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The Amazing Race, Season 19 - The Amazing Race

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