Amazing Race Recap: The Road to 'Roo-in

It can’t be easy being the first evictee from a reality show, but to have to do it while wearing giant kangaroo costumes seems like a double indignity. Alas, last night’s installment of The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business gave us this exact scenario, when a pair of exhausted marsupials hopped up to the finish line only to get the ultimate bad news from a somber Phil Keoghan.

Things started off right where we left off last week: With 10 teams hitting the first pit stop and discovering that there’d be no rest, the race continued onward with a four-word clue, “to sail to stop.” And then we had Jet and Cord, staring at a series of cruel flags and a compass decoder and coming as close to swearing as they seem comfortable. “Son of a buck, man!” “Son of a buck!” Kris and Amanda, meanwhile, fretted about the U-Turn they’d been carrying since the race’s opening stages.

The teams needed to figure out that “to sail to stop” could be found on an anchor statue outside Sydney city hall. Instead of wandering aimlessly and hoping an answer would magically fall from the sky (hi, Gary and Mallory), Kisha and Jen stopped at an information booth, borrowed a computer, and were the first to sign up for the earliest of two chartered flights to Broken Hill. Kisha and Jen, along with the other five teams who scored a spot on Flight No. 1 –Zev/Justin, Margie/Luke, Jaime/Cara, Mike/Mel, and Kent/Vyxsin — got a 30-minute advantage over the teams on Flight No. 2, but the head-start wouldn’t necessarily hold up by episode’s end. Nonetheless, Mike and Mel’s strong showing here was made all the more impressive by the fact that Mel was literally pushed to the brink of collapse on the ferry ride back to mainland Sydney. “I don’t want to kill you for some joy ride,” wept Mike. But the delightful father-son duo seems to be okay with anything short of a flatline, so carry on!

At the detour, every single team made the disappointing choice of Spirit World (copying an Aboriginal ground mosaic using a patten of stones, then performing a dance “intended to raise the ancestral spirits”) over Natural World (spitting paint onto stencils to create a series of Aboriginal territory markers). Yet while we were robbed of the joy of seeing all the teams (except Kris/Amanda) with stained, saliva-strewn mouths, we did get a little something from the comedy/horror genre when Kent began yelling like some crazed child-eating creature from a Gothic edition of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. “Let’s go get the children!” “Vyxsin, help me, come get children! Go get the children! I need you to go get children!” “Vyxsin please get me children!” Cut to Kent, his low-riding jeans sagging a little too low, dragging stony-faced local youths into an oven a circle and dancing around his and Vyxsin’s mosaic.

The final task of the day found the teams heading to the “home of the magpie” (a local football stadium) to get a “roo’d awakening” (fuzzy kangaroo outfits with spring-action feet) and use a periodic table of elements to find the corner of Mercury and Bismuth. I was hoping for a little more lunacy, or at least a few more slip-trip-falls from this leg of the journey,  but most of the laughs were reserved for the back of the pack, where Ron and Christina paired up with fellow father/daughter Gary and Mallory, then instantly began wondering why. “She’s hysterical,” said Ron, alarmed by Mallory’s chicken-sans-head approach to navigation. Later, he randomly expressed his shock over the way Mallory’s voice carried out there in the Australian outback. By the time they reached their desired intersection and got into their respective vehicles, Ron decided it was time to “cut the cord” and end the partnership. Mallory kept her singular focus on reaching the pit stop. “We gotta book it, book it, book it, book it, book it!” she screamed to her dad. “PLEEEEASE!”

At the end of the leg, it was Zev/Justin scoring a Cancun vacation for finishing first, followed by Flight Time and Big Easy, Jet and Cord, Kisha and Jen, Margie and Luke, Mel and Mike, Kent and Vyxsin, Jaime and Cara (“the best-looking kangraoos to roll into town,” cooed Phil), and Gary and Mallory (pictured), squawking like a daft bird. “I’m just so hoppy to be here,” she exclaimed in a ridiculous Aussie accent. By the time Ron and Christina arrived, the dad half of the team was so spent, he couldn’t correctly identify our trusty host. “Give us the good news, Bill,” he said, while an incredulous Phil wondered aloud if he had the real Ron and Christina in front of him.

That left Amanda, Kris, and Kris’ enviable abs to bring up the rear, victim of the dreaded U-Turn. “We basically won the lottery twice,” said Kris. “But no money,” added Amanda. Keep buying those PowerBall tickets, kids.

What did you think of The Amazing Race this week? Were you upset by Amanda and Kris’ exit? Which teams are you rooting for, and who do you think will be next to go home? Sound off below, and for all my reality recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Beth T says:

    I thought the kangaroos were the funniest thing since the Cheese task :)

    And I loved that Kent, of all the people, knew Hg was the symbol for Mercury and Bi for Bismuth because he got an A in chemistry!

    I got a kick out of Margie talking about how tough/hot it was in the Kangaroo suit – because I was thinking that was better than (Luke) running in underwear in Siberia, but hey – to each his own!

    I do wish Amanda and Kris had not been the first to go, but really this season is packed with so many favorites every elimination will be a little sad.

  2. dctoronto says:

    Am I the only person watching this show who cannot stand The Globetrotters? Apart from the fact that I think it’s unfair that they benefit from their “fame”, they don’t seem to be able to do a thing that requires using their brains.

    • CarolH says:

      I am not a fan of the Globetrotters either…I didn’t like them on their original season and still don’t…what I want to know is what happened to the Express Pass that the winning team on this leg was supposed to get…I sure didn’t see Phil giving it to Zev and Justin.

  3. sashay says:

    After reading Michael’s recap that reminded me of Ron calling Phil “Bill,” I’m beginning to wonder if Ron has early stage Alzheimer. It might explain his unpredictable bouts of anger and irritation. Whatever the cause, I feel very sorry for Christina and disappointed that they aren’t the first team out. Although Kris and Amanda are boring, they’re certainly not objectionable, and it’s always great to see a team redeem themselves from a double U-turn.
    Speaking of the detour, I was surprised that every team chose Spirit World. Natural World seemed far easier and a lot more fun. Seeing how quickly Kris and Amanda sped thru it, I’m sure whomever chose it would have secured first place.
    Enjoying season so far but I am very sick of teams riding other teams coat-tails. Margie & Luke, Jaime & Cara can’t leave the screen fast enough for me. I’d now add the Goths and Mallory & Gary, since they also seem incapable of thinking for themselves.

  4. Nicole says:

    The express pass went to the first people to check in at the first mat. Even though it was the middle of the leg, Gary and Mallory got to the mat first and won the express pass.

    • sashay says:

      So you mean that they ARE thinking for themselves since they won that first half-leg? I had forgotten that, it’s just that they seemed so mindless in this stage. Maybe it’s Killer Fatigue, so it might be understandable. Certainly the cheerleaders and the mean son & his mom always lean on each other. Actually really enjoyed the fact that Gary & Mallory beat Ronald and Christina, after Ron going on and on about how Mallory doesn’t have a clue what’s doing. I hope next week then that the Goths and Mallory/Gary pick up the pace and not think – follow them! – when they don’t understand the clue.

  5. melissa says:

    All around fantastic episode. I laughed so many times!

    Too bad for Amanda and Kris, though – they seemed really sweet.

  6. darclyte says:

    I had hoped that it’d be Ron & his daughter to go first as I can’t stand him. Amanda & Kris seem to be one of the few “dating couples” on TAR that actually seem to get along. Good for Kent for knowing the symbols. Oh, and why did he change back from Kynt to Kent? I think I recall seeing something about it after his first time on TAR, but I don’t recall the reason. I like many of these teams, but I hope the sisters go next. Something about them just bugged me the first time, and this time too. Maybe it’s their annoying fake/nervous laughs?

  7. zakkaz says:

    Is it just me or did anyone else raise an eyebrow at the prospect of Luke driving? Obviously he can (and it must be legal), but how safe is it for someone who is deaf to be doing so? It’s one thing that a deaf individual would not be able to hear important sounds (e.g., approaching emergency vehicles). But in this case, he would also be distracted by his mom trying to give him directions.