Recap: The Amazing Race (24) All-Stars 2, Episode 6 – “Down and Dirty”
It’s early morning and teams open their first clues of the 6th Leg pointing them to the Dutch Museum where they will have to search the Hall of Headstones for their next clue.
HOURS OF OPERATION! It’s a mad dash into the museum at 8:30am. They open the next clue telling them to take a train to the city of Alawwa and find the next clue at Ceypetco Fuel Station.
The teams stick together on the hour and a half train ride. After enjoying the short peace and calm, it’s another rush out of the train. Brendon & Rachel decide to cross the tracks on the right side of the train instead of getting off at the platform and they arrive at the Route Marker first to open up the clue revealing the Road Block.
In this Road Block, teams will choose a color card and search through a gaggle of tuk-tuks parked nearby for four that match it. They will then lead those four back to the station and fill ’em up with 3 liters of gas to receive their next clue.
Rachel heads inside to choose the green car and runs toward the tuk-tuks as the other teams come running in. Jamal, Dave, John, Big Easy, Cord and Caroline are the other participants.
Rachel, however, mistakenly thinks she needs to take any green painted tuk-tuk and doesn’t look at the card in the window. She uses her body to clear a path for her tuk-tuks while Dave takes no prisoners as everyone is aggressively tussling for position. Falling behind, Cord decides to go the other way into the station and manages to cut in line.
Rachel’s filled up four tuk-tuks, but is shocked when they don’t hand her the next clue. She grows frustrated until John clues her in to the correct procedure.
Big Easy pushes tuk-tuks out of his way and he and Flight Time are out first.
Teams must now travel by train to Rambukkana and make their way to the Millennium Elephant Foundation where they must search the river for their next clue.
Jamal and John are next followed by Cord, Dave and Caroline. The train for Rambukkana leaves in a few minutes. As soon as Rachel is done, they sprint back to the train station and manage to hop onto the train much to the disappointment of the other teams.
The teams arrive in Rambukkana and it’s another frenzy for tuk-tuks to the elephant preserve.
Teams wade into the river to find the next clue which contains the Detour.
In Trunk, teams must work together with an elephant to transport three pieces of timber each using a specially designed chain for their new friend to a waiting trunk. Once they’ve loaded their six logs and they feed their friend with some palm leaves, they’ll get the next clue.
In Sheet, teams will have to make paper using elephant poop. After filling a wheelbarrow with poop, they’ll mix it with water and paper scraps to create a pulp that they will use on papermaking screens. Once they’ve made five sheets of paper and laid them out in the sun, they’ll get their next clue.
Leo & Jamal, Dave & Connor, Jessica & John and Jet & Cord all choose Trunk. Flight Time & Easy do too, but there are only four chains, so they and the other two teams end up being forced to do Sheet.
Big Easy and Rachel use their hands to fill up their wheelbarrows with dung. Rachel uses her hands to mix the dung soup. They take their barrels of mush to the screens, but when they start making paper, they all get the thumbs down. They have too many bubbles.
Over with the elephants, it’s between Leo & Jamal and Jet & Cord for the lead as Dave & Connor and Jessica & John don’t tie their logs correctly.
Jet & Cord finish first and open the clue pointing them to Ambepussa Rest House where they will let their ears “guide [them] to the wise man.” Leo & Jamal and Jessica & John are close behind.
Dave & Connor leave the Detour before any of the Sheet teams, but Flight Time & Big Easy are first of the last three.
Jet & Cord and Leo & Jamal get to Ambepussa. They each must sit and listen to the wise man’s music before he can hand them their next clue telling them to head to the Pit Stop at Mount Lavinia Hotel Beach. Jessica & John are solidly in 3rd, but Flight Time & Big Easy catch up to Dave & Conner in the taxis, both their drivers are brothers. Caroline & Jennifer are not far behind Brendon & Rachel and now all teams are on the road on the way to the Pit Stop.
Jet & Cord and Leo & Jamal arrive at Mount Lavinia and it’s a footrace to the Mat on the beach with the Afghanimals coming out on top.
Leo & Jamal officially check-in as Team #1 and win a trip to Berlin. Jet & Cord have to settle for 2nd.
Jessica & John and Dave & Connor arrive together, but Jessica & John have no problems passing Mr. Achilles. They finish Team #3 and Dave & Connor take 4th.
Flight Time & Big Easy’s driver has no idea where to go and that allows Brendon & Rachel to check-in as Team #5.
It’s a battle for last and Flight Time & Big Easy take 6th, leaving Caroline & Jennifer in last place. But Phil tells them it is a non-elimination Leg and they are still in it.
SEE! See what a great Leg can come out of real competition. Letting the teams Race and compete side-by-side produces great TV. Even if the teams are a bunch of horrible people, a good Leg with great competition and interesting tasks can give us a great hour.
If you’re going to have linear Legs, equalizers are perfectly fine since it gives everyone a fair chance instead of teams staying in the same order for Legs at a time because they never have a chance to catch up.
The Hours of Operation was a necessary equalizer especially since they had to catch a train that could have possibly put teams hours and hours behind at the start without it.
It was interesting though to have each Route Marker in a different city, with trains being the only mode of transportation to each. The Road Block was great insanity. A perfect example of why having teams Race side-by-side is the way to go. Imagine if only three teams were doing that task? Or worse, one or two? That would have been horrible.
Both sides of the Detour were great choices, but what sucked about it was having a limit on how many teams could do the Trunk side. It’s different from first come, first served Road Blocks that require only one team or so at a time. Here, they intentionally only put four spots so the last teams were forced to do the other, slower task. A better way would’ve been to have teams take turns. After one trip, the next team goes.
At the same time, what a shock that they had an extra Route Marker before the Pit Stop. And it was a real Route Marker too, they actually had to sit and listen to the wise man play his whole tune.
Not surprising that this was a non-elimination Leg, but it got me thinking. What if a team repeatedly gets saved a non-elimination Leg? Maybe a nice little tweak would be if a team gets non-elimed for a 2nd or 3rd time in a Race, they get an extra punishment. Sure, it might be a little unfair, but at the same time it pushes teams to be competing 100% all the time and not be content with just not being last.
Anyway, overall, this might have been the most exciting episode this season. Maybe a little too much time devoted to that last taxi Race, but still a perfect example of why TAR needs to stop doing Linear Legs or if they do, to not give teams unfair advantages by staggering train and plane trips, etc.
My Subjective Team Rankings
It was a close one for Brendon & Rachel. They were lucky this was the kind of Leg it was. But they also get kudos for keeping their heads together and fighting their way back. Even without the 2nd train ride, I think they could’ve clawed their way back into the top half. They need to remember their own advice, Race Smarter, not Harder.
Jessica & John have been doing alright. There are times when they Race hard, then there’s other times they glide through without much hustle or effort. Still, they are one of the more tolerable teams. Flight Time & Big Easy have also toned their shtick down, but they’ve been Racing pretty badly. They seem tired. Definitely different from their previous two appearances. At least they’re not peeing on local tourist attractions.
Leo & Jamal were in the front this Leg, so of course their camwhoring returns full force. A good Leg and good taxi driver for them. Dave & Connor have been alright, but dude, Dave was going crazy at that Road Block and even bordering on being a major ass. Be aggressive, but he was being ridiculously dickish too. And no Dave, Connor is not the most capable Racer on this Race.
I enjoy how Caroline & Jen like to whine whenever things aren’t specifically catered to them or tasks aren’t ones they’re particularly interested in. Not. Jet & Cord, you should be very happy with that 2nd. Because you are definitely not entitled to a 1st place win every Leg, plus you never know when you’ll end up wishing you got a 2nd instead of last.
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