Recap: The Amazing Race 1, Episode 6 – Whatever It Takes to Win
Original Airdate: Wednesday, October 17, 2001
The six remaining teams begin the 6th Leg of the Race by being evacuated to the nearby town of Gabes to avoid an impending sandstorm in the Sahara. The mandatory 12-hour Pit Stop was thereby extended, though teams would still depart in the order they arrived at the end of the last Leg.
Kevin & Drew depart at 2:24am and open the first clue directing teams to find the Palace Hotel in Tunis. Teams must secure their own transportation by taxi, but Phil warns there aren’t too many options in the middle of the night.
Joe & Bill depart at 2:46am with Nancy & Emily departing at 3:12am. Rob & Brennan leave at 3:52am, Frank & Margarita at 4:42am and Lenny & Karyn at 4:43am.
Turns out it is actually quite easy for teams to find taxis and they are all on their way to Tunis.
Joe & Bill arrive at the Palace Hotel first and open the clue containing a photograph. Teams are to fly to Rome and find the location circled on the photo of the Coliseum.
Joe & Bill hurry to the airport to find flights. Because of a strike at the airport in Rome, they determine a connection through Zurich is their best option. Kevin & Drew arrive and after some joking around with each other, try to book the same flights the Guidos are on. However, that flight is now fully booked.
Nancy & Emily catch up and, working with Kevin & Drew, they get their names on the waiting list of that Zurich flight. Joe & Bill lurk around the departure lobby as all the other teams arrive and they scramble to find any flights out of Tunisia that might be possible.
The other teams are jealous of Joe & Bill’s luck. But Kevin & Drew have a bit of luck of their own. They are able to secure seats on a flight that actually gets them into Rome three hours ahead of Joe & Bill. AND they are able to get tickets for Nancy & Emily and Rob & Brennan as well.
Drew had bought a necklace in Tunisia for his girlfriend for good luck, but he gives it to the nice lady at the ticket counter who helped them get the tickets.
Lenny & Karyn decide to take a gamble and wait two hours until the Rome strike is over. Then they may be able to score a direct flight.
Joe & Bill begin to worry as they watch the other teams. Kevin & Drew, Nancy & Emily and Rob & Brennan’s flight is just minutes from departing and they must hurry to the gate. Joe & Bill decide they will try and block them from entering the boarding area so they will miss it.
Joe & Bill perfectly time their movements so as to try and create enough chaos at the checkpoint to block the teams from reaching their flight. After some tense moments, including Joe & Bill apparently physically putting themselves in front of Nancy, the three teams eventually get on their flight to Rome via Lyon, France departing at 1pm.
Frank & Margarita get on a flight via London departing five minutes later while Joe & Bill’s flight via Zurich departs at 3:15pm. Lenny & Karyn’s gamble pays off as they depart at 5pm. But it is a direct flight and puts them straight in the lead when they arrive at 7:10pm.
Joe & Bill arrive at 8:10pm, but the three teams’ flight from Lyon to Rome is canceled. Their only hope now is to fly to Milan and then take a train to Rome. Frank & Margarita end up flying from London to Geneva in order to get a flight to Rome.
Next to the Coliseum, Lenny & Karyn find the next clue revealing a Detour: Foot or Hoof. In Foot, teams must find a large, well-known statue of a foot that everyone knows about using a provided photo of it. In Hoof, teams would need to find a less-well-known statue using a more obscure photo. However, waiting near this Detour will be taxis teams can use to make up some time.
Luckily for the other teams, there are HOURS OF OPERATION so they are all able to catch-up at the (actually) easy to find horse monument.
The Hoof side of the Detour opens at 10am. Nancy & Emily, Rob & Brennan and Kevin & Drew all easily arrive there first and watch as Joe & Bill come walking up after having spent the night in a hotel. Joe & Bill greet them a Good Morning, but none of the three teams care to accept it after what happened in Tunisia.
Joe & Bill think the other teams are stupid for focusing on them instead of the Race.
The three teams tell Frank & Margarita and Lenny & Karyn about what happened at the airport and how Joe & Bill pushed Nancy. Lenny & Karyn decide to get Joe & Bill’s side of the story and the Guidos insist none of that was pre-meditated. And that it was the other teams who ran over after seeing them make their way to the gate and caused the tense confrontation.
After the storytime, Lenny & Karyn decide to go to the Foot instead of waiting here and immediately get the next clue telling teams to take a train to Castelfranco Emilia and make their way to Pagani Auto Factory.
The Hoof side of the Detour opens and teams run to the next clue.
Lenny & Karyn miss the first train out of Rome, which all the other teams got on, due to production difficulties. They will receive a time credit at the Pit Stop.
Meanwhile, Joe & Bill and Frank & Margarita get information that they should get off at the Bologna station and then take a taxi to Castelfranco Emilia. Rob & Brennan and Nancy & Emily believe you should carefully read the clue. And the clue specifically stated to take the train to Castelfranco Emilia. Bill says he never believed taking the taxi to be cheating.
The three teams get off at the correct station, but there are only two taxis available. Nancy says it is okay for the boys to take those two cabs as long as they send one back for her and Emily. Emily is not happy.
At the auto factory, teams will encounter the Road Block: For someone who likes to take things slowly. For this Road Block, teams must drive a Smart car to the town of Sant’Agata Bolognese using a map written completely in Italian. Their partner, however, will be driven to the Pit Stop in an Italian sports car at 100 mph.
Frank does the Road Block and pays their taxi driver to lead him to the Pit Stop. Margarita hops in a sports car and they drive past Frank.
Joe, Brennan and Drew are next to start the Road Block.
Frank reunites with Margarita at the Pit Stop and are the first team to check-in. Joe & Bill arrive second. Rob & Brennan take 3rd with Kevin & Drew in 4th,
Frank & Margarita finish as Team #5. That means Lenny & Karyn are last, but this is the first of three Non-Elimination Legs in the Race. Because of the time credit, they will stay at the Pit Stop for less than the required 12 hours.
Frank & Margarita and Joe & Bill were issued a time penalty and will stay at the Pit Stop more than the mandatory 12 hours. Though it will not affect their placement, they will depart closer to the 3rd place team.
The four teams involved in the #AirportIncident express their feelings of the situation. Nancy is embarrassed to have been a part of it. Rob & Brennan think Joe & Bill have a great chance of winning, but the things they do really ruin the game. Kevin & Drew think Joe & Bill are simply outcasts.
Joe & Bill believe this all started with a verbal threat of getting their legs broken by “parole officer” Kevin & Drew which then escalated when they were pushed and shoved at the airport which is the kind of “violence” that “women experience … all the time.”
Joe asks the producers, with a cheeky smile, if they think they’re lives are in danger.
Emily says that Joe & Bill being the oldest people left would mean they had more manners than what they did yesterday.
WOWOWOW. Now this was an amazing episode! Of course, the #AirportIncident is one of the most memorable moments from season one. But I definitely do not remember it being such a hilariously dramatic ordeal. Tears and threats of violence and lying and passive aggressive comments and lives being put in danger.
WTF! Lololol Wow! You are definitely not going to see this kind of drama on modern TAR. And honestly, I don’t know that we saw anything close to this at any point across the other 31 seasons.
This was a combination of emotions running high and one team just being so deliciously villainous. Add in the legit airport drama of needing to find flights, especially with an airport strike happening as well. All this in 2001 would have been so intense and gripping to watch. In 2021, actually, it still is.
This was definitely the episode that solidified Joe & Bill as all-time villains. To think that this is the first season of TAR and we got this kind of drama is amazing. Let’s face it, if something like this were to happen today (or in any other season since TAR1), it probably would be an overly contrived ploy from a team to get more screentime in the hopes of securing their post-TAR 15 minutes of internet fame.
But not with Team Guido. This was pure cutthroat gameplay and it is really so fascinating to watch. It is hilarious to see them lie to Karyn’s face as they tell the story. And even more at the end of the episode when they were talking about the threats to their life. Complete with their smirks to the camera knowing exactly what they were doing.
Now imagine Paul & Amie involved in the #AirportIncident too! Lol That would’ve been awesome.
It is so hilarious and fun to watch now, but I know it must have been infuriating to watch back then. For me, I know this is the episode that made me thoroughly hate Joe & Bill. (And yes, I remember feeling that strongly.) In hindsight, I might appreciate their over-the-top villainy. But in 2001 when reality TV was still a very small niche, this was crazy television.
I mean, what more can you say. You just have to watch this entire episode play out to fully experience how much this was great TV.
Now for the rest of episode, we got to see TAR face their first major logistical nightmare. It’s very interesting to watch teams needing to be evacuated and then having to deal with the airport strike, delaying the Leg’s resumption in Rome. Not only that, two penalties AND a production difficulty time credit. You can only imagine the scrambling that had to have happened behind the scenes during this Leg.
As for the tasks, they were definitely Meh. The Detour was basically deciding if you wanted to wait for the earlier thing to open or the later one. Huh?
It’s funny seeing Phil describing things and having the opposite happen. First, he said taxis would be hard to come by at night, yet all teams found a taxi no problem. Then he described the Hoof Detour as being so difficult to find, yet all teams just strolled on up to the location no problem. Really funny to watch the contradictions.
The Road Block was alright. But I think the main draw of it was seeing the non-participating team member speed by the slow Smart car.
Overall, the Leg itself was nothing special. But the teams delivered in a way that you will rarely see over 32 seasons of TAR. Just simply amazing television with all that drama. Frustrating to watch in 2001, fun to watch in 2021.
My Subjective Team Rankings
Now remember, I am commenting on the teams with a 2021 lens. What I feel about these teams and the episode now will not be what I originally felt back in 2001.
So I have Joe & Bill right up top because they were the catalyst for all the insanity this Leg. I mean, it’s so absurd what they did. Yet absolutely hilarious. Just watching them wait at the checkpoint until the other teams came running in. The amount of planning for that moment was diabolical. Lol Like, that’s the kind of mastermind stuff you’d see on Survivor or something. And then to turn around and pretend to play the victim. Watching them tell Lenny & Karyn that lie about the situation and then their ranting at the end of the episode in a way where you know they were just laughing on the inside for having caused all the trouble. AMAZING. Lol I might not like them after this episode (and I definitely hated them in 2001), but I more than appreciate what they set in motion here. They made this episode possible.
And the rest of the teams played their part as well. Nancy & Emily were the perfect “victims” for Joe & Bill’s plan. Rob & Brennan and Kevin & Drew definitely had no problem portraying them as such and then puffing their chests. I mean, all of this is just so funny and crazy. Perfectly dramatic, 100% unscripted.
Because of the drama, Frank & Margarita and Lenny & Karyn took a backseat and were just the innocent bystanders. But honestly, I wish they were involved too. The final six is the perfect spot for such drama. But what we got was already excellent TV.
Frank: “‘Damn, they’re still here?!'”
Bill: “I do the work and you benefit.”
Emily: “Welcome to our world, sweetheart.”
Drew: “Don’t ever say ‘Good Morning’ to me again.”
Nancy: “I am embarrassed to be associated with that incident.”
Joe: “You tell us, are our lives in danger?”
Emily: “I’m 21 and I have more manners than both of them combined. And that’s really sad.”