Recap: The Amazing Race 26, Episode 7 – “Back in Business”
Hayley & Blair open the first clue of the Leg and learn they will be flying to Windhoek, Namibia via Frankfurt. Once in Windhoek, teams must sign-up for one of six bush planes.
Hayley & Blair are upset they ended up with the last bush plane because Blair wanted to get a comfortable side seat instead of be up closer to the front. But Hayley feels better when she sees their bush plane pilot is gorgeous.
Aly & Steve are in first as they land and find Ford Ranger 4x4s which they will drive to the Bushmen Village while also picking up a salt lick along the way.
Jelani & Jenny, Matt & Ashley and Laura & Tyler (who win another Date Night) are next. But Laura & Tyler pass the salt licks.
Aly & Steve arrive at the village and find an egg containing the Road Block.
For this Road Block, teams will help the bushmen build a grass hut.
Since they’ve been taking turns, Steve makes Aly do the Road Block. But she becomes annoyed since she expected a task like this and Steve would’ve been perfect for it.
Back at the airstrip, Mike & Rochelle aren’t too happy to see another manual car. But now, they can’t even start it, allowing Blair & Hayley to pass them. Turns out, Mike was using the wrong key.
Blair & Hayley arrive at the village, but realize they’ve passed the salt licks. Steve tells them it was near the start, so they go back. Laura & Tyler follow suit with Tyler saying he can build a hut faster than Blair, no problem.
Everyone’s at the Road Block now with Aly, Jelani, Matt, Tyler, Blair and Rochelle doing the task.
Hayley has fun playing with the non-sick children.
Tyler, Matt, Jelani and Aly finish first. They must now drive to Ranger Headquarters where they will exchange their salt licks for a clue.
That clue reveals the Detour.
In Track, teams will use telemetric technology to locate an elephant.
In Pack, teams will prepare wildebeest meat to feed the wild dogs.
Tyler & Laura, Jelani & Jenny and Matt & Ashley all choose Pack. And since there’s only three slots available, Aly & Steve must choose Track.
As Ashley starts gagging, Hayley & Blair finish the Road Block, leaving Mike & Rochelle in last.
Hayley & Blair are forced to choose Track as the Pack teams finish chopping up meat. They head out to feed the dogs and quickly get the next clue pointing them to the Pit Stop at Spitzkoppe.
Mike & Rochelle get encouragement from the bushmen as they head to the Detour where they are now able to choose Pack. That allows them to move into 4th place as Aly & Steve and Hayley & Blair start getting frustrated.
But Aly & Steve and Hayley & Blair finally find elephants and it’s all teams on a long drive to Spitzkoppe.
Laura & Tyler suddenly stop their car, wanting to make sure they’re going the right way, much to the annoyance of Jelani & Jenny. While in first, Matt & Ashley freak out when they see everyone has stopped, so they hurry and reverse only to find out nothing was wrong.
Meanwhile, Aly warns Steve that he’s driving too close to the side of the road. And sure enough, he runs over a log that pierces the tire. That allows Hayley & Blair to pass them.
Later in town, Matt & Ashley stop to ask for directions which allows Tyler & Laura to pass them. Jelani & Jenny decide not to follow the two leading teams and they take a wrong turn instead.
Tyler & Laura arrive at Spitzkoppe first and see Phil up on a mound, but have no idea how to get up there. Matt & Ashley come running and climb up the rocks to get themselves a win and $5000 each. Tyler & Laura have to settle for 2nd.
Blair & Hayley manage to get 3rd and Jelani & Jenny are happily shocked to be 4th. Mike & Rochelle are 5th.
That leaves a frustrated Aly and Steve in last. But this is a Non-Elimination Leg.
Hmm. Interesting Leg. The episode itself felt very slow. It was beautiful, travel porn-wise. But competition-wise, it was kinda dull.
Teams helping out the villagers was great and seeing them drive through that stunning landscape was awesome. But even in a Non-Elimination Leg, that Detour was bad. Add in the staggered bush planes, it made for a very linear Leg, but without much drama really.
I guess it definitely makes sense for this to be the first hour of two back-to-back episodes. But at the same time, it might not be an episode that would keep viewers into that second hour. We’ll see if the second hour delivers much more.
My Subjective Team Rankings
Blair & Hayley are still my favorite team so far. They are just really fun and entertaining to watch. You never know what you’ll get from them. I’m still kinda bummed Jelani & Jenny aren’t the powerhouse they initially were, but I still enjoy them as well.
Rochelle & Mike are nice underdogs, but I definitely still hope they can step it up a little more. I do want teams to earn their way in the later Legs instead of continue to fall forward. But Rochelle again showed that she’s definitely a tough one.
Matt & Ashley were fine this Leg. It was a good win. I wish we got to see more of this Aly & Steve in the previous Legs. Lots of good personality stuff and it made them much more interesting to watch.
Tyler & Laura are definitely meh. Other than their almost-cocky attitude, I think it’s also because they are the only team we ever get to see take selfies. That makes them much more self-involved than others and adds to their, I guess, unlikeable characters on the show so far.
Aly: “I don’t dig holes very often.”
Jenny: “Meat smells like money.”
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