The Reality TV Guru

The Amazing Race episode 7 recap, November 6, 2011.

Justin and Jennifer find themselves paddling away from the Finish line (photo courtesy CBS)

Welcome to the seventh episode of The Amazing Race! With no teams eliminated last week, seven teams still remain in the race around the world.

Just after completing the last leg, teams take their recently acquired bed frames and move into some huts. “Home, sweet, home”, Ernie jokes as he and Cindy inspect their hut. No room service here!

The next leg begins with Andy & Tommy departing at the chilly hour of 5:28 in the morning. Teams will take a local bus from the Lilongwe bus station for a two-hour ride to the town of Salima. Andy & Tommy joke about Phil Keoghan’s “However…” lines which got them in first place more than once due to a team ahead of them forgetting something.

Justin & Jennifer are the second team to depart about 10 minutes behind them. We find out from them as they read the instructions out loud that there is a Double U-Turn somewhere in this leg. They are followed by Jeremy & Sandy, Laurence & Zac, Ernie & Cindy, Bill & Cathi and finally Marcus & Amani, who will have to complete a Speed Bump this leg.

All of the teams except Marcus & Amani manage to get onto the 7:00 bus well before it departs. Marcus & Amani arrive to see the bus completely packed with people and luggage. Maybe they could ride on the roof like we’ve seen in other countries? The bus conductor manages to find (or make) some seats for them and they’re all on the same bus. It’s back to being an equal race. Marcus contemplates “how fortunate we are” as he views the people and scenes out the window of the bus during their ride.

The bus arrives in Salima and there is someone holding a Speed Bump sign for Marcus & Amani and there is someone else carrying a basket of vegetables on her head with the next sets of clues tucked in. The next task is a Roadblock, where one team member must ride a bicycle with a local passenger on the bike to deliver some fish at three addresses. Trying this task are Andy, Laurence, Jennifer, Cindy, Cathi (who gets honked at by a truck en route) and Sandy.

Meanwhile, Marcus & Amani have a Speed Bump to complete. They have to complete a puzzle with an image of the Malawi flag by shuffling tiles around on a board which has a single gap. It’s like that toy puzzle with squares numbered 1-15 and an open gap to slide the numbers around, except this one is 4 x 3 with 11 pieces instead of 15. They start work on it, with Amani doing the shuffling of tiles. She gets close to doing it fairly quickly, with just a couple of tiles to swap, which is not as easy as it looks unless you’ve done this type of puzzle before. Indeed, she has trouble with it and Marcus comments, “We are majorly behind.” Then he tries his hand at it for a bit, but then lets Amani finish the job and she gets the hang of it to finish the puzzle. Marcus then proceeds to do the bike task.

The teams on the bicycles don’t get any help for directions from their passenger, so they have to ask the locals how to get to the three locations they’ve been assigned. Andy is riding along with his passenger and suddenly the pedal crank to his bike breaks and falls apart. Do they always have one taxi or bike or whatever that always seems to randomly break down on one team? One of the locals helps whack it back together with a hammer.

Cindy is the first to finish the bicycle task and get the next clue. It is a Detour, “Dugout” or “Lugout”. For Dugout, teams will paddle a heavy wooden dugout canoe to complete a race course on Lake Malawi. For Lugout, teams will have to unload a bunch of goods and eight passengers from a ferry boat sitting in the water and deliver them dry to the shore. Andy is the second to return with the bike, joking that it’s like racing in the Tour de France. Cathi completes the bike task in third place, followed by Zac and Sandy.

Meanwhile, after completing a delivery, Jennifer realizes she left her clue with Justin and she doesn’t know what to do next. “Something about a bike master”, she comments as she stands there in inaction. After a while, she decides to find another team in the area to find out what she is supposed to do next. Elsewhere, Marcus has finished the bike task, moving him and Amani from the back of the pack into sixth place. Jennifer isn’t going to find any teams anywhere nearby, so she’s effectively totally lost. She’s walking around with her bike asking people if they’ve seen any of the other teams. Then she decides to wait at the entrance to the village in the hope of seeing another team, all of whom are now long gone.

Front runners Ernie & Cindy and Andy & Tommy decide to do the dugout task and arrive at the lake. Andy & Tommy get the hang of it and are already racing out on the course. Ernie & Cindy have trouble getting anywhere with the canoe, so they decide to use their Express Pass to skip the task. Laurence & Zac, Bill & Cathi and Jeremy & Sandy are the next three teams to arrive at Lake Malawi to do the Dugout canoe race.

Laurence is giving Zac instructions on how to canoe, which is decidedly unlike sailing. “Back paddle, back paddle! Ok, now forward… together!” he barks. They aren’t the only ones having trouble cooperating as Jeremy is also barking at Sandy. She’s telling him to quit yelling at her. In confessional, she notes that they were embarrassed, seeing 60-year olders Bill & Cathi going “straight as an arrow”, “nice and calm” whereas she and Jeremy were not.

Ernie & Cindy pick up their next clue to go to and find the Jamaica Shop. She asks around, but nobody seems to know. Meanwhile, Marcus & Amani are on their way to the lake. There are goats blocking the way on the road and he says, “Lay it on that horn! That’s how I did it when I ran the football. Get out of the way, Miami Dolphins, I am comin’ through!”

Meanwhile, at last Jennifer decides to ride back to the main village and tell Justin he’s got the clue. Well, duh. This is where she should have gone to begin with. They’re way behind in last place, judging by the appearance of the long tree shadows on the street. She later apologizes to Justin for her mistake in not riding back right away and he says that’s ok, he’s glad she’s in once piece as he was worried she had gotten hurt or something.

Ernie & Cindy decide to head to a taxi depot and ask where the Jamaica shop is and they’re told it’s in Chigumukile village and just go down the stairs. Andy & Tommy finish the canoe race and literally flip out of the canoe in 360’s to the cheer of the crowd along the beach. As they run along the beach, a whole crowd of kids run along with them. They encounter Ernie & Cindy going the opposite direction and then turn around back to the beach.

At a small hut on the beach, Ernie & Cindy find the Double U-Turn, where one team can U-turn another two teams to force them to do the previous Detour’s other task. Ernie & Cindy decline to use it and collect their next clue. From there, they make their way on foot to the next Pit Stop, the Sunbird Livingstonia Beach, named after (who else?) Dr. Livingstone. Andy & Tommy, close behind, also decline to use the Double U-turn on anybody.

Marcus & Amani decide to do the Lugout task, being the only team to do so. Marcus dances and drums for a short while with some guys on the beach to get psyched up and then he and Amani wade out to the ferry. Marcus decides to carry people while Amani carries goods. He’s a strong guy and is able to ferry guys out with them on his shoulders. “This is a workout, that’s all it is,” he comments in his usual NFL lingo.

Meanwhile, Ernie & Cindy and Andy & Tommy are on the way to the Pit stop. It could be a foot race to see who comes in first and… indeed it does! Ernie & Cindy see Andy & Tommy behind them on the dirt road on the way to the Pit Stop. They are running neck-and-neck just as they hit the beach where Phil is waiting for them! There is a mad scramble of a sprint to the finish between the two teams. As the slowest runner among them, Cindy falls behind the three guys and Andy & Tommy are the first pair to reach the mat. Andy & Tommy win yet another trip a $15,000 Discover card that they can spend on after the Race.

Meanwhile, Laurence & Zac complete the canoe race, running in fourth place. Bill & Cathi finished it earlier and reach the mat in third place. Wow, these old folks are something else! Nicely done. Phil asks them what the secret is and Cathi says “communication”. Let this be a lesson for us younger whipper snappers.

Marcus finally hauls in the eighth person to shore in the Lugout task and they’re running in fifth place. But then it’s fourth place as they find the Jamaica Shop before Laurence & Zac do. They also opt not to use the Double U-Turn. Laurence & Zac reach the shop next and decide to use the Double U-turn. But they use it on Amani & Marcus, who have already passed the checkpoint! So, it’s a wasted U-turn shot that could earn the ire of Amani & Marcus later if they ever found out about it. Marcus & Amani reach the mat in fourth place, with Laurence & Zac in fifth.

Jeremy & Sandy finally manage to complete the canoe race, running in sixth place. They reach the mat well before Justin & Jennifer arrive to finish in last place. They are eliminated from the Race. Jennifer admits it “was a silly mistake on my part” with the bicycle task, standing around without the clue.

“Money or not, this has still been an amazing journey,” Jennifer concludes.

Next week: Teams hit the dance floor in Denmark and Ernie & Cindy make a game-changing move. Stay tuned!

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus