Recap: The Amazing Race 28, Episode 2 – "I got some mud in my butt."

Recap: The Amazing Race 28, Episode 2 – You Look Like Gollum

Blair tells Phil she will empty out her backpack so she and her dad can catch up. That includes dumping her hair dryer and curling iron.

They’ll find out if that will help them as the teams now make their way to Cartagena, Colombia.

On the first flight arriving at 8:59am are Matt & Dana, Tyler & Korey, Burnie & Ashley and Kurt & Brodie. On the second flight are Zach & Rachel, Jessica & Brittany, Sheri & Cole, and Erin & Joslyn arriving at 9:37am.

Marty is confident she can get good tickets since she has experience as a flight attendant. But Scott & Blair get the last seats on the second flight. Marty & Hagan have to settle for a 10am arrival. Cameron & Darius have a little trouble with being assertive, so they end up on a flight arriving at 10:30am. Though they did get stopped by a young fan wanting to take a selfie with them.

Once in Colombia, teams must make their way to Totumo where they will find the Road Block: Who’s a hot mess?

For this Road Block, teams will jump into volcanic mud to look for an emerald. They will then hand it to an attendant who will point them to their cluebox in the water/mud.

Brodie finds the emerald satchel even before Dana gets into the mud. Once she does, she finds something pink, but not the emerald. Ashley and Korey get started with the Road Block

Brodie & Kurt can now make their way to Manzanillo del Mar.

Korey finds the emerald, but drops it on his way down so he goes back to look for another one. Dana and Ashley finish next while Korey is close behind.

The next flights arrive. Marty & Hagan’s flight is delayed 10 minutes and then they get a slow taxi driver.

Back at the Road Block, Rachel, Blair, Joslyn, Cole and Brittany decide to jump in the mud. But Blair doesn’t have a swimsuit. Rachel offers spandex.

Across town, Brodie & Kurt get the next clue which reveals the Detour:

In Pop-Up, teams must build a beach shelter for two music cars. In Parrilla, teams must prepare barbacoa.

Brodie & Kurt, Matt & Dana, Burnie & Ashley and Tyler & Korey choose Pop-Up. Phil welcomes them to the beach party.

Matt & Dana and Brodie & Kurt ask for a check, but it’s no bueno. Tyler & Korey, however, get it right on their first attempt and open the next clue pointing them to the Pit Stop in Plaza Bolivar.

Back at the volcano, Hagan and Cameron do the Road Block. And it’s Cameron who finds the emerald first. Hagan can’t find the correct satchel.

Zach & Rachel, Sheri & Cole arrive on the beach as Brodie & Kurt finish and head to the Pit Stop.

Erin & Joslyn decide to do Parrilla. They start by cleaning the fish and Erin relates a traumatic experience from her childhood when a fish got caught inside… her crotch.

Scott & Blair find their Speed Bump.

For this Speed Bump, they will help local fishermen haul in their net and collect all the fish before they can continue.

Back at Pop Up, Zach & Rachel are unsure if they’re doing it right. Dana & Matt finally realize their mistake and try to fix it while Burnie & Ashley finish and leave. Brittany & Jessica arrive at the beach kitchen while Erin & Joslyn start frying fish.

At the Pit Stop, Tyler & Korey step on the Mat and are officially Team #1. They win a trip to St. Thomas. Brodie & Kurt are Team #2, Burnie & Ashley are Team #3 and Matt & Dana are Team #4.

Darius & Cameron don’t see the cluebox at the juice shop so they continue driving all the way to the beach where the teams tell them to go back. They finally find the clue and choose Parrilla. Marty & Hagan also choose Parrilla, but decide to run to the beach instead of taking their taxi.

Jessica & Brittany and Erin & Joslyn serve their dishes while Zach & Rachel and Sheri & Cole finish their party shades.

After making sure their fish is cooked, Scott & Blair are next to leave the Detour.

Over at the Pit Stop, Erin & Joslyn, Zach & Rachel and Brittany & Jessica finish 5th through 7th, respectively. Sheri & Cole are Team #8 and Scott & Blair are Team #9.

Marty & Hagan finish the Detour, but they have to run all the way back to their taxi at the juice store. Darius & Cameron finish the Detour and hop into their taxi. And on the way back, they pass Marty & Hagan still jogging.

Darius & Cameron step on the Mat and are officially Team #10.

Marty & Hagan arrive at the Pit Stop knowing they are last. And Phil confirms they are eliminated.

Episode Thoughts

Now that’s more like it. Last week’s episode was definitely dragged down by the harping on the teams being social media stars, the dumb, contrived non-Starting Line and the joke of an opening credits sequence.

But while the floating names of doom return to terrorize us this week, this second episode was much, much better than the premiere.

Speaking of harping, I harp on the poor Leg design of contemporary TAR quite regularly. And I’ll have to do it again here. The current, simplified template of TAR’s Legs really remove the need for airport scrambling and even make the case for eliminating it altogether. It’s much better to force teams onto one flight, or equalize them in the destination city so teams can Race side-by-side.

Like in this episode, teams were finishing the Leg before other teams even got to the first Route Marker. Recent seasons had teams finishing Legs in like two hours. That’s not much of a competition, especially when teams are forcibly grouped and separated by an hour or two right at the start.

And there’s definitely tasks, like the ones on this Leg, where having as many teams as possible fighting for position and competing with each other make for great television. Take the Road Block. It was a fine task. It’s always great to get teams dirty. But remember the season preview and pre-Race commercials showing the task? It looked like a chaotic muddy free-for-all. But it definitely wasn’t how it played out in the episode. And that’s partly because there were ever only 2-3 teams in the mudpit at a time. How about at least five, if not all 11 teams at that Road Block? That would’ve been great.

Same for the Detour. Both typical, but good TAR tasks. Flashback to TAR25’s should-be Emmy winning Morocco 1 Leg. The chaos of teams setting up the food carts all at once was one of the single best scenes on TAR in years. That scene could’ve easily been replicated here on this Leg on both sides of the Detour. TAR wouldn’t even need to creatively edit the footage. The teams would provide them the insanity all on their own.

Anyway, all the tasks this Leg were pretty good. The Speed Bump as well could’ve easily been a Detour option or even Road Block too. It was much better than most Speed Bumps and definitely better than last season’s nail in the coffin Speed Bump/Road Block Handicap.

There may have been a couple of placement changes throughout the Leg, but you really couldn’t get a handle on them or even appreciate them since the show tried to use too many quick cuts to create excitement. That sometimes produces the opposite effect.

But overall, it was a solid episode. And most especially because they kept the social media mentions to a bare minimum.

My Subjective Team Rankings

Scott & Blair are firmly my favorite team now thanks mainly to Blair’s awesomely hilarious enthusiasm. It’s Mallory x100. And it’s amazing. Add in the underdog and comeback aspects of their Leg and they make for a fun team to watch.

Erin & Joslyn shoot up my list after seeing some potential in them last week. Erin especially seems poised to deliver plenty of great moments moving forward. Like her random fish story this Leg and that little preview for next week. I definitely wouldn’t mind seeing them go far.

Dana & Matt were definitely more interesting this week. Yes, I like low-key bickering couples. But when you see the bickering couples actually be competitive as well, they become more interesting and fun to watch.

It’s really too bad about Marty & Hagan. Lots of bad luck for them this Leg and they then had to cap it off with a big mistake in not taking their taxi to the beach. It was great to see them keep fighting in spite of all the bad luck though. But it’s a shame they were the first to go. At least they had two full Legs.

Cameron & Darius are alright. I’d like to see them play up the booksmart angle of their personalities more. That’s more interesting than Vines, though it was nice to see them get stopped by a young fan. And with that booksmart angle, things like them not being able to book flights provides for some good TV. It also sets them apart from the typical brother/bro/alpha-male team dynamic we usually see.

Burnie & Ashley were actually a little quieter this week. I think Burnie’s little quips would resonate more if there weren’t other loud personalities on this season. Jessica & Brittany also have some potential as a fun team, but they too are also being overshadowed by others. Zach & Rachel fill that “nice team” role. But since they’ve been at the back of the pack most of the Race so far, we haven’t really seen much from them yet. Setting them up as a darkhorse team?

Sheri & Cole would be great if Cole would calm down a little bit. The difference between his screaming and Blair’s is that he gets loud at the most random times. Not when he’s trying to pick fish up from the ground or looking for a swimsuit. Plus, they didn’t have any tears this week. =(

Kurt & Brodie are okay and thankfully, Brodie’s calmed down as well. But it will be good to see them be more fun and still be competitive without being only all about the Race. We didn’t need to see Tyler & Korey‘s YouTube clips again this week. But they’re inoffensive as well, though again there are other more fun, interesting and enjoyable personalities elsewhere.

Episode Quotes

Phil: “You brought a hair dryer on The Amazing Race?”

Ashley: “I got some mud in my butt.”

Blair: “Do you have anything I can wear as a bathing suit that isn’t a thong?”

Brittany: “I’m about to blow my nose in my shirt.”

Brittany: “I cut myself with the knife because I’m a genius.”



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