The Amazing Race 19, Episode 11 – We Are Charlie Chaplin
After sleeping in the Atomium and customizing Mustangs online, teams set out on the penultimate leg of Race 19. Dressing up in costumes provided to them in a box at the Pit Stop, teams must figure out they are dressed up as two characters from the classic comic book series The Adventures of Tintin. They must find out the characters are detectives and named Dupont & Dupond, Jonson & Johnson, or Thomson & Thompson then find and tell Tintin (and Snowy) in exchange for their next clue,
Jeremy & Sandy, Ernie & Cindy, and Amani & Marcus get the correct info from the locals, but Andy & Tommy take one local’s word for it and believe they are Charlie Chaplin. After sorting that all out, teams follow their clue and take a train to Amsterdam before flying across the Atlantic to Panama City.
Once in Panama, teams must head to Puerto El Corotu to take a boat up the Chagres River to the village of Parara Puru. The drive from the airport to the puerto takes them into the middle of the night. Andy & Tommy and Jeremy & Sandy arrive first and their native boat driver takes them through the treacherous waters in the dark to the village where they must sign up for one of three appointment times the next morning to get tattoos.
Andy & Tommy pass Jeremy & Sandy to get the 7:00am appointment, with the dating couple settling for the 7:20am appointment. Amani & Marcus and Ernie & Cindy end up with the 7:40am appointment.
After spending the rest of the night in hammocks and mosquito nets, teams get ready for their tattoos. They must read the tattoos telling them to head to the San Francisco Bay towers back in Panama for their next clue.
Taking the taxis waiting for them on the other end of the river, teams head back to Panama City. Andy & Tommy get to the cluebox (!) first and find the Road Block.
In this Road Block, the team member who hasn’t maxed out on Road Blocks yet must walk a tightrope across the two towers, grab a clue, and head back across.
Andy, Sandy, Cindy, and Amani have to do the Road Block. The next clue was a riddle, “Success in Suez led him to Panama. His failure inspired others to succeed. Find him beneath a rooster and you’ll find your next clue.”
Teams need to figure out they have to go to Plaza de Franciaand find the Ferdinand de Lesseps statue under the rooster for their next clue. Andy & Tommy head out first. Jeremy & Sandy are 2nd and their taxi driver knows where to go, so he tells the taxi drivers of the other two teams.
At the plaza, teams find the Detour.
In Filet, teams must head to the El Mercado de Mariscos fish market and deliver all the seafood in their respective bins to stalls with specific orders.
In Sole, teams must head to Salsipuedes Market and find a cobbler where they’ll make a pair of sandals for a customer from one piece of leather and straps.
Andy & Tommy, Jeremy & Sandy, and Ernie & Cindy choose Sole and are neck and neck. Amani & Marcus choose Filet, but their taxi driver, having talked to his friends again, thought he had to take Amani & Marcus to the same place at the Sole side of the Detour. They have to run back to their taxi and off to the fish market.
Andy & Tommy finish the Detour first and Amani & Marcus speed through their side of the Detour and they get the next clue telling them to head to the Plaza de la Catedral/Cathedral Square and search among the pollera dancers for the location of the next Pit Stop. What they don’t know is that the clue is printed on one of the dancer’s dresses and is symbolized on the necklaces of all the dancers.
Andy & Tommy stay in first and get to the dancers, but all they see are the coins with “Balboa” printed on them, so they believe that’s their clue.
The other three teams catch up to each other at the plaza with all of them stumped as to where to go. Meanwhile, the taxi driver takes Andy & Tommy to the Panama Canal. One of the guards or officials there tells them there’s a statue of Balboa back in Panama City, so they head back.
Back at the plaza, Ernie & Cindy decide “Balboa” is their next clue so they take off. Jeremy draws the building on one of the medallions and their driver immediately recognizes it as Panama Viejo. Amani & Marcus take the “Balboa” clue as well. The three teams head off. Jeremy & Sandy’s taxi driver calls Ernie & Cindy and Amani & Marcus’ drivers and tells them where he’s taking them.
Back, again, to the plaza, Andy & Tommy search and finally find the one dancer’s dress with “Panama Viejo” on it. They go, but it’s too late.
<BRJeremy & Sandy, Ernie & Cindy, and Amani & Marcus happily arrive within seconds of each other at the Pit Stop and each claim their spot in the final leg of the Race.
That leaves Andy & Tommy in last and eliminated after winning 6 out of the last 11 legs.
Now this was a great episode! I’m not gonna lie about that ending being one of the best endings ever, but the rest of the episode really was great.
Let’s start at the beginning. I am shocked that none of the teams knew who Tintin was! I grew up watching Tintin everyday and recognized him and Snowy and those two detectives right away. I might not have remembered the their names immediately, but I knew they were from The Adventures of Tintin at least.
Then that crazy nighttime boat ride in the pitch black darkness of it all. That was great and apparently, that drive from Panama City to the river was a couple of hours away at least. Yay for TARAu-esque out of the way Route Markers!
The Road Block was standard TAR and even the Detour really. But they served their purposes as equalizers that would setup the shocking finish.
Looked like Andy & Tommy had ditched their truck taxis from the river once they got to Panama, while the other three teams stayed with them the entire way. That certainly helped since those taxis were TAR-provided, so they naturally would all know each other. But I do think Jeremy & Sandy’s move of having their driver tell the others after the Road Block was what started that continued taxi alliance to the end. That final clue with the dress and the medallions has been in line with TAR’s more mental, riddle-infused clues this season. I hope the final leg will have the most mental, riddliest clue ever to cap off the season.
The final three teams arriving at the penultimate Mat together is definitely a first and it was fun to watch. Marcus’ football analogies have gotten pretty old, but his David & Goliath one this week was actually on the money. The six asterisked wins of Andy & Tommy did seem insurmountable. But again, one mistake could be the end for any team. As always, taxis are the biggest TAR variables and they were once again here.
Of the four, I like this final 3 and I do hope they can bring a good fight next week.