Recap: The Amazing Race 29, Episode 3 – “Bucket List Type Stuff”
After the Mat, Shamir continues to talk about his balls to the other teams. Everyone just about settles into the dynamics of their new strange(r) partners as Leg 3 begins with teams learning they will be flying to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. They are armed with $330 and a warning about a Blind Double U-Turn!
Once in Dar es Salaam, teams must head to the Askari Monument where they will be given a newspaper which they must search through for the next clue. That clue tells teams to take a ferry to Zanzibar. Teams hurry over to the terminal where Matt & Redmond continue to rub people the wrong way by cutting in line. All teams will get on the same 7am ferry, but Ashton says it’s a matter of principle and it is now Strike 2 for “#TeamMan.”
Teams arrive in Zanzibar and must head to Mkokotoni Market where they will immediately find the Blind Double U-Turn. Liz & Michael comment that it is Unlimited U-Turns this season, so hell yeah they’ll use it.
But Tara & Joey arrive at the U-Turn first and decide to U-Turn Seth & Olive. Vanck & Ashton U-Turn Matt & Redmond.
After, teams will find the Detour: Build It or Weave It.
In Build It, teams must build a desk and bench and deliver it to school children who will repay their kindness with a quick Swahili lesson.
In Weave It, teams must weave two baskets using coconut leaves.
To get to both Detours, teams will sail across the bay in a dhow.
Matt & Redmond are pissed and try to get under Vanck & Ashton’s skin as well as try to get Tara & Joey to admit they were the other U-Turners. Seth & Olive take the U-Turn a little more calmly.
Most teams choose Build It, but Matt & Redmond head over to Weave It first while London is confident in her weaving skills. Once they actually get to the weaving, London gets nervous, especially when Matt & Redmond seem to be getting the hang of the weaving much easier than she is. London & Logan switch.
Liz & Michael ask for a check first, but get the thumbs down. Seth & Olive are first to get approved with Liz & Michael and Tara & Joey close behind. Seth & Olive get a quick “lesson” on common Swahili phrases and hurry over to the Weave It Detour.
Liz & Michael get the next clue pointing teams to Darajani Market where they will find the Road Block: Who’s ready to do some market research?
For this Road Block, teams must buy dinner for a nice local family using a provided shopping list with unfamiliar terms.
Michael, Joey and Vanck decide to do the Road Block.
Back at the Detour, Matt & Redmond are able to finish assembling their table before Shamir & Sara who are now last on that side of the Detour, even after London & Logan who switched.
While Vanck gets great help from locals at the Road Block, Floyd, London and Brooke decide to work together. Matt & Redmond arrive and Matt does the Road Block.
Joey gets back to the family with all the ingredients first, but his chicken is not halal. Michael, however, gets his chicken halal and gets the next clue directing him and Liz to the Pit Stop, Emerson on Hurumzi in Stone Town.
Liz & Michael win their second Leg in a row and a trip to Amsterdam. Tara & Joey are Team #2.
Vanck & Ashton are Team #3 and Phil asks them about the U-Turn. A few minutes later, U-Turned Matt & Redmond are able to pass the rest of the teams to finish as Team #4. Redmond is very upset at Vanck & Ashton’s decision to U-Turn them and especially does not like Ashton who explains her and Vanck’s decision.
Becca & Floyd are Team #5. London & Logan are 6th and Brooke & Scott are 7th.
Back at the Road Block, Sara has run out of money and is trying to haggle with the vendors. She is able to get 10,000 shilling back and continues shopping. But Olive is having a little harder time when she has to use Brazilian money. She is able to settle with the vendors, but she and Seth have no money for a cab so they decide to run to the Pit Stop.
At the Pit stop, Becca & Floyd have just found out that they do not have Floyd’s passport. Phil unchecks them in and tells them to do what they have to do to retrieve them. Becca’s fun meter has crashed.
Sara & Shamir are able to get to the Mat and check in as Team #7. Becca & Floyd’s taxi driver returns Floyd’s passport and they hurry back to Phil and are safely Team #8.
That means Seth & Olive are last and eliminated.
No question, this was the strongest of the three episodes so far. Just good, old fashioned Racing in a classic TAR country. I think the biggest contributor to making this a great Leg and episode was the Leg design. I’ve harped on it repeatedly over the last few years, but having teams Racing side-by-side instead of forcibly separating them and staggering start times helps foster good competition and natural drama and excitement.
Seeing all teams at the tasks at the same time also helps make editing easier for TAR since the editing has become really lazy the last few seasons, eliminating the thrill and fast-paced excitement the show once had, even if just faux drama.
Anyway, the Detour was good. Recycled tasks, sure. (The weaving is totally a Level 2 version of the TARPH2 –the real one lol- Detour.)
I don’t know about Unlimited U-Turns though. I guess the thinking was teams wouldn’t want to use the U-Turn until later in the Race and were discouraged to maybe use it too early. But at the same time it kind of removes the risks of using the U-Turn and the gamble it originally was. If TARUS wants Unlimited U-Turns and putting them before Detours, why not just bring over the Forced Voting U-Turns then. TARUS wants whatever drama the U-Turn might provoke. Voting U-Turns (not on every Leg though) will certainly bring about more drama.
The Road Block was fine. Also a familiar TAR task. Heck, I even had it in the Ilocos Leg I made up. (https://dryedmangoez.com/2014/11/14/the-amazing-race-26-legs-1-2-san-francisco-%E2%86%92-albay-%E2%86%92-ilocos-norte/) Speaking of halal chicken, I would like to see a future TAR task where teams slaughter animals themselves. That would be very fun. It’s food of course. And if a K-pop idol can kill and clean a chicken herself (as AOA’s Seolhyun did on Brave Family with no emotional trauma) ), then teams can too.
And finally, new maps! But still not as excellent as TARAu’s maps though.
Overall, a great, fun, enjoyable episode. I can see why CBS/Bertram and Co. wanted to double up Episodes 1 and 2 originally. They were so bland and uninteresting compared to this episode. I can also see why Phil told fans to at least wait until Episode 3 to pass judgment. lol
My Subjective Team Rankings
So it was a pretty eventful week for the teams. Some interesting dynamics popping up all over the place.
Sometimes, I like one team member more than the other. Even as far as I like one team member and hate the other one. It’s not that severe here. But I definitely am a fan of both Ashton and Sara.
First, Ashton is awesome. She has a lot of fight and is very competitive. We saw that in Leg 1 even. But even more so on this Leg against Matt & Redmond. The U-Turn was pretty justified, especially when Blind and after all of Matt & Redmond’s shenanigans. I kinda wanted Vanck to jump in a little though, but I get the feeling he’s not one to engage. Which may be a good thing or a bad thing for their team. Bad for our entertainment, definitely. But we’ll see how that goes Race-wise. Still Vanck’s okay. And next week, it appears the fireworks return for him and Ashton.
With Sara, I think anyone will empathize with her being partnered with the surprisingly whiny Shamir. But even with the hurt testicles on her team, Sara has emerged as a very strong and savvy Racer. She did great at the Road Block. And I wouldn’t be surprised if she might do even better on her own than with Shamir, tbh.
I’m rooting for Tara & Joey. They’ve been solid after Joey’s rough start and are really Racing well while also providing enough entertainment to avoid being boring. Michael & Liz are the same. And even with their two wins, neither came easy and their good Racing really helped them.
It’s too bad about Seth & Olive. They certainly were a favorite and a strong team even if they dropped off last Leg. Even just having that perception put them at risk, but they did justify that opinion of them. They had lots of great potential for being strong Racers. Just too bad about them not being able to do enough to stay.
Scott & Brooke took a little bit of a backseat on this Leg, but next episode looks like they’re back. For London & Logan, London is definitely the standout. She’s been fun and they’ve been a solid team.
What a shock about Becca & Floyd. I haven’t been fan of their “fun” shtick, but I think Becca going from “biggest smile” to pointing her finger(?) in Floyd’s face was just insane and maybe shows how much of an act this whole fun meter stuff really is. It’s actually kind of scary how that 180 came about.
Matt & Redmond aren’t the worst ever. But it’s pretty easy to see why Ashton would want to U-Turn them. The cutting in line was definitely worse though than last week’s ignoring of the loose deal. And the U-Turn ended up being even more justified when Matt & Remond just smoked almost everyone else. They are a threat, no question.
And finally, Shamir is last on the list. He’s not terrible, but the whining is almost laughable and over the top. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was also an act. But for now, we’ll just assume he really is whiny and a tough teammate to have, especially if you just met him.
Ashton: “I just don’t like it when people screw me over.”
Sara: “Do you want to hold hands?”
Liz: “I’m not a dude, I’m sorry.”
Shamir: “This desk is smashing into my face.”
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