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Amazing Race, Episode 2 Recap: “You Know I’m Not As Smart As You”

Here is Sean Furfaro's recap of Amazing Race, Episode 2.

The remaining ten teams continued their adventure through Argentina this week, traveling to Buenos Aires on the next leg of The Amazing Race. Which team is working with a donkey? Who’s really good at Lego? And why are there never any tears when Rachel “cries” ?

My Random Thoughts:

- From the Pit Stop in Salta (Fun Fact: home of the world’s highest vineyards), teams had to drive to the Cafayate town square, and wait for the Chasqui to deliver next clue. I was worried, because “waiting for the Chasqui” sounds like something that involves a doctor and a foreign hospital, but thankfully it was just the mountain postman.

This was the equalizer for this leg of the race, as the Chasqui wouldn’t arrive until after the sunrise at 6:35 am, so any lead was lost. And with almost 3 hours separating all the teams, that could have been a pretty significant lead.

Here’s something interesting that I noticed, though. The interval between the 9th place team and the Guidos in last place, was only 6 minutes…which means that Misa and Maiya, who missed the Pit Stop last week, had to have been within that six-minute window. Three teams within six minutes on the very first leg? Talk about a tight finish.

- As the teams were all gathered in the town square waiting for the Chasqui, we learned a bit more about the teams: Team Army doesn’t want to use the Express Pass if possible, Team Feds lied about their jobs and everyone thinks they’re kindergarten teachers, Vanessa likes to talk to dogs, and Mark and Bopper’s attitude is “we ain't in no hurry to get to first.”
Bad Rachel said that “this game is super different than Big Brother”, which made me laugh because OF COURSE it’s different, you moron! You can’t just sit around in a hammock all day calling people names like you did on Big Brother. Plus, this show isn’t rigged for you to win like last season’s BB13 was. At least I hope it’s not…I stopped recapping Big Brother because of that, and I don’t want to stop recapping The Amazing Race.

I did, however, laugh at Art and JJ’s comment about Brendon, saying that he’s nothing but a sheep that follows what everyone else does: “He’s a UCLA student. What do you expect?” At that point, I really wanted someone to show him a video clip of what Brendon said last week about being half-Mexican and hating Border Agents.

We then learned that Mr. Clown had two separate bouts with Hodgkins, and has beaten it…and been cancer-free since 2001. That is great to hear, as was Mrs. Clown’s comment “if we can beat cancer twice, I’m pretty sure we can win the race.” Although, it’s a TAR tradition that once you learn the heartwarming human backstory on a team, it’s generally the night you say goodbye to them. Remember last season when Kaylani was talking about her daughter, and being a single mom? I wasn’t optimistic for Team Circus.
- When the Chasqui arrived, the teams swarmed him like pre-teen girls at a Justin Bieber mall-sighting, and all found out that they now had to face a Detour. The choice was between Boil My Water, which would see them building a solar kitchen, and Light My Fire, which involved gathering wood and clay, and walking a mile with a donkey to deliver it.

- Most of the teams went for Boil My Water, and they soon discovered that the only instructions they had to build this solar kitchen, were in picture form on the side of the box. So, under the watchful eyes of llamas, birds, cats, and a dog with a Mohawk, they set out to try and build their respective solar kitchens, which would eventually have to be functional enough to boil a kettle of water.

The clowns didn’t even notice the picture, Bad Rachel started her self-pity party complaining that she wasn’t good at it because “I’m just a girl”, one of the Guidos cut himself, and Team Badonkadonk offered a helping hand.

Did you notice the awkward swearing on this Detour? Within about ten seconds, we heard three different teams express their frustration as follows: “Oh Sh….shnikeys”, “Son of a monkey’s uncle”, and “This is hotter than…shenanigans.” It was like watching The Sopranos on A&E with all of the swearing edited.
Mark and Bopper breezed through the Detour, mostly due to Mark’s affinity for doing Lego with his son. And if you’ve ever done Lego kits with your kids, you’ll know what he means, because that was a perfect analogy. One booklet, all pictures…no words.

- Art and JJ were the only team to choose Light My Fire, and after getting lost on the way, and running into the teams at the other Detour, I was thinking that they were screwed. If you’re removing yourself from the rest of the pack, starting later than everyone else, and working on a task in which you have to walk a mile…it’s not a good idea.

They kept insisting that they could make up time, because as Art said to JJ: “I told you boiling water’s a pain in the ass in a solar oven.” The funny thing is that he said it in a way that came across like he was trying to say “I’ve told you this a MILLION times.”
The funnier thing is that the way he phrased it made it sound like “pain in the ass in a solar oven” is a figure of speech. If he said “Boiling water in a solar oven is a pain in the ass”…that’s one thing, but “boiling water’s a pain in the ass in a solar oven” is something else entirely.

- With Mark’s Lego prowess, Team Kentucky finished first, and Team Border Patrol made up the time like they promised and finished second. All the teams now had to go to the Salta Bus Terminal and take an 18-hour bus ride to Buenos Aires.

There were three buses that left with the teams, but there was no indication how much time was between each of the departures. The first bus carried Team Kentucky, Team Army, Team Border Patrol, and Team Reality Whores. The second bus had Team Guidos, Team Circus, Team Twins, and Team Divorce. The final bus had Team Badonkadonk (the cousins), and Team Fake Teachers.

But after a window exploded on the bus, with glass shattering inside, the second bus was delayed for over two hours, and the third bus passed them while they were stranded. They tried to fix it with duct tape and cardboard, but after seeing the footage of the curtains flapping later in the trip, it looks like they just carried on as it was after they cleaned the glass up.

- In Buenos Aires, teams were face with a Road Block that asked Where’s The Beef? Once they decided who would be participating, they had to enter the Cattle Auction Market, and based on the information given to them, they had to calculate the average weight of the cows in the pen. Then, they had to “run to the waiting Gaucho and give him your answer.”
To anyone with half a brain, this was simple arithmetic, but the producers decided that to fully and comprehensively illustrate the task, they needed to give us a graphic. The graphic showed “Total Weight” divided by “# of cows” would equal “Average.” But the best part was that the “# of cows” was illustrated by a pyramid of cows, as if they were cheerleaders stacked on top of each other.

- Bad Rachel started complaining about 4 seconds after volunteering to do it. After learning that she couldn’t use a calculator, she cried out “Oh No!” and started her pre-emptive complaining. “I don’t know anything about cows”, she whined to Brendon. Well, the challenge is about MATH…not cows. Didn’t this woman once claim to be a scientist? And now she’s saying that she can’t grasp long division?

And just in case you weren’t sold on the fact that Bad Rachel is a moron, after her whining about cow poo and math, she then dropped this bomb: “I don’t know anything about cows except that they taste good in steak.” It’s not an ingredient in the steak, you idiot…it IS the steak.

JJ and Good Rachel worked together to get the correct answer, and their clue told them to take a taxi to the next Pit Stop, which was at El Gomero, a 200-year-old rubber tree in Buenos Aires.

- Bad Rachel continued to be stressed out, complaining that “Brendon hates my guts right now.” Mark, for some reason, jumped IN with the cattle, and then was calling out to the “Groucho” to give his answer, which was wrong because he wasn’t rounding up.
Then, for some reason, Mark decided to work with Bad Rachel, even though she brought nothing to this temporary partnership, and all he was essentially doing was giving her the answer once he figured it out. None of that team-up made any sense for Team Kentucky.

- After the Road Block, Bad Rachel, of course, had one of her classic meltdowns, throwing out as much drama as possible for Brendon to deal with. Those of you who watched her on Big Brother will recognize this as one of her wonderful traits, and you will also recall her maddening habit of “crying” without actually crying.

Well, we saw that again tonight after the road Block, when she melted down and dropped the drama once again, crying that she wasn’t as smart as Brendon, and that she can’t handle things under pressure. But if you watch that scene, you’ll notice that it’s just the same whiny fake crying, as if she were a toddler testing her parents to see how much she can get away with.
And just like on Big Brother, Brendon has to now put all of his energy into trying to calm her down and apologizing to her for the next hour. Her response to his supportive measures was to tell him “you have a booger on your nose.” Talk about dysfunctional.

- At the Pit Stop, Phil was standing with a Diego Maradona impersonator…and for the record, it was a Fat Maradona impersonator, not a Hand of God Maradona impersonator. (Kind of like Old Elvis and Fat Vegas Elvis, you know?) Team Army was first to the mat, and won a trip to Grenada for winning the leg. Team Border Patrol was close behind, making the United States military and Border Service Agency equally proud.

- Back at the Road Block, the final three teams were The Guidos, The Twins, and The Clowns. My initial suspicion about the Clowns was confirmed when one of the Guidos said to one of the Brothers, “Yo, we can beat the clown. He said he’s terrible in math.” And sure enough, they teamed up to get the answer first and head off to the Pit Stop.

- Yes, The Clowns finished last, and with one final red-nosed step on the mat, Phil told them that they were eliminated from the Race. I thought their story was nice, but I was honestly turned off by the walk-off scene, with the circus music, sped up like a silent film, and with that campy fake trip. Why make them a heartwarming cancer-survivor story if you’re going to clown it up at the end?

Next Week: Harp Stringing, More Watermelons, And Rachel Brings The Bitchy.

Amazing Race Fans, feel free to check out the archive of Amazing Race Recaps at Sean's Random Thoughts, or you can also add me on Facebook or Twitter, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions.

Thanks for reading.

(Photo Credits: Reality Fan Forum, CBS)

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