A Dose of Reality: The Amazing Race: All Stars - Episode 5
by Rachel Jaffe
Published: March 19, 2007
The ending we were all talking about last week was the elimination of Uberracers Rob and Amber. With their departure, the field was wide open as the remaining racers left in the following order:
Cha Cha Cha: Danny and Oswald left at 12:02 a.m.
Dysfunctional Duo: Eric and Danielle left at 12:05 a.m.
The Kahu-nots: Teri and Ian left at 1:04 a.m.
Guidos: Joe and Bill left at 1:55 a.m.
Beauty Queens: Dustin and Kandice left at 1:58 a.m.
Baldies: Uchenna and Joyce left at 2:38 a.m.
Schmirna: Charla and Mirna left at 2:41 a.m.
The teams were to travel by taxi to the Martial Mountain chain, ride a chair lift, and then, using an avalanche beacon, locate another beacon (and the next clue) buried in the snow on Martial Glacier.
While the departure times covered almost three hours, the chair lift didn't open until 8 a.m., negating the spread. The Guidos got off to a good start, being first on the chair lift and first to find their beacon. Other teams had a harder time. The Beauty Queens missed the pick-up spot for their equipment and had to backtrack. Team Cha Cha Cha was utterly confused, and didn't seem to understand how to interpret the beacon at all.
The buried clue directed the racers to travel more than 7,000 miles to Maputo, Mozambique. All of the teams were provided with tickets for the last flight to Maputo (which would get them in at 3 p.m.), but they all had the right to check with travel agencies to try to get an earlier flight. (They needed to go to travel agencies because passengers cannot buy international tickets at the local airport.) Ultimately, all the teams ended up on a flight arriving at 9:40 a.m.
Roadblock: "Who Smells a Rat?"
Once in Mozambique, the teams found marked vehicles and drivers, and, using them, traveled to the Apopo Training Fields. Eric and Danielle took advantage of the chance to jerk the Guidos' chain by speeding up and almost passing them, causing Bill to compulsively check on the Dysfunctional Duo's location. Eric and Danielle were united in their disrespect for the Guidos, calling them "Freaks."
The next clue was a Roadblock, which is a task that only one partner may perform. This Roadblock paid homage to the trained rats in Mozambique who are used to locate leftover land mines. Who knew? And these rats were huge -- practically bunnies! In this Roadblock, the team members had to guide rats along various paths until the rats located a (deactivated) mine, which would also have a clue with it. The racers used various techniques to try to encourage their rats. Joe was the first to ask about his rat's name (Nelson). Oswald told his rat, "I'll set you free after and I'll take you to a nice lab where they'll apply make-up to you."
First out again were the Guidos, followed by Team Cha Cha Cha, Baldies, and the Kahu-nots. Last to leave were the Dysfunctional Duo, the Beauty Queens, and, finally, Schmirna. After completing the Roadblock, the teams had to go 50 miles back into Maputo, and look for their next clue at Praca dos Trabalhadores.
While going back to Maputo might seem relatively easy, several of the teams were confused by the road signs (since there were multiple paths into Maputo. Guidos were first to the clue, followed by Team Cha Cha Cha, but next to arrive were Schmirna (who had a very accommodating local man guiding them), Baldies, Beauty Queens, the Dysfunctional Duo and the Kahu-nots.
Detour - "Pamper" or "Porter"
A Detour is a choice between two alternative tasks; in this case, it was a choice between "Pamper" or "Porter" In "Pamper," the teams would travel half a mile to the central market and find a particular stall. There, they would choose a nail manicure set and try to convince people to buy manicures from them. Once they earned 30 metecais they could receive their next clue. In "Porter," the teams had to go two miles to Mercado Janet. There, they had to use their hands to fill 10 45-pound bags with coal, and then sew the bags shut. Once that was done, they would have to carry one of the bags to a particular address. While ordinarily I'd say to avoid a task that depends on other people (such as selling manicures) in favor of one over which the teams have control, it seemed clear to me that the "Porter" task would be incredibly time-consuming. I was surprised that the Guidos and Team Cha Cha Cha chose "Porter." Schmirna chose "Manicure" (even roping their local guide into purchasing a manicure), but Baldies went with Porter. Beauty Queens, unsurprisingly, chose "Pamper," and had a great time giving manicures, including a freebie to a solemn little girl with no money. The remaining teams all chose "Porter," but Teri and Ian accidentally found the market first so switched tasks. It worked out well for them, because they found a pair of young girls who between them paid the full 30 metecais they needed. I hope the girls saw themselves on TV, because I think in terms of price and quality of manicures, they got ripped off!
The Pit Stop - Fortaleza
The next stop after the Detour was the pit stop -- Fortaleza, a fort completed in 1781 that is the oldest building in Maputo. For the first time ever, Schmirna had a first-place finish, and they were exuberant in their celebration. They also won a trip to Aruba. They were followed by the Beauty Queens and the Kahu-nots -- all teams who chose "Pamper" in the Detour.
The first "Porter" team to arrive was Team Cha Cha Cha. Oswald, covered in coal, warned Phil he was going to hug him, leading to a hilarious scene of Phil running away and Oswald and Danny racing after him. Guidos had a good advantage over the Dysfunctional Duo, but the cab they were following made some wrong turns, allowing both teams to arrive at the Pit Stop at practically the same time. Guidos beat the Dysfunctional Duo in the foot race to the mat, causing the Dysfunctional Duo -- and Eric in particular -- to make some cruel comments in the interview. "The Guidos remind me of old women who are past their prime. She [Danielle] got beat by a bunch of queens."
The last team to arrive was Joyce and Uchenna, who'd had problems finding the address for their coal delivery. Despite my bitching about their being included on the show, they've once again won me over, so I was happy when Phil announced that this was a non-elimination leg. And, unlike their season, when they also came in last on a non-elimination leg, they did not have to surrender all their possessions and beg for money. Instead, the team is "marked for elimination." If they come in first, they're golden. If they don't, they will receive a 30-minute time penalty. And, as Joyce reflected, in a field as competitive as this 30 minutes is a long time. (Joyce, if it makes you feel any better, looking at departure times I can tell you that so far the spread of the field has been much more than 30 minutes.)
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