The Amazing Race 17 episode two ranking

Second episode

“Roadside Accraphobia”

COUNTRIES VISITED

UNITED KINGDOM – GHANA – SWEDEN – NORWAY – RUSSIA – OMAN – BANGLADESH – HONG KONG – SOUTH KOREA

Previously on TAR: Eleven teams gathered at the starting line in Gloucester, Massachusetts where they learned of a “game-changing” prize.

(Insert fifteen seconds of Phil explaining the importance of the Express Pass and how it is more lethal than Global Warming and bird flu combined.)

Once in England, best friends Ron & Tony went from first to last when they couldn’t get their bearings.

While at Eastnor Castle, dating couple Chad & Stephanie couldn’t stay afloat. In a medieval Roadblock, Claire took a shot from a watermelon misfire but battled back to defeat her foe.

Dating couple Jill & Thomas came in first and received the coveted Express Pass while Ron & Tony came in last.

Ten teams remain; who will be eliminated next?

NUMBER OF EPISODES A TEAM HAS BEEN MENTIONED IN THE ‘PREVIOUSLY ON’ SEGMENT

RON & TONY 1
CHAD & STEPHANIE 1
BROOK & CLAIRE 1
JILL & THOMAS 1

– Intro time.

– Phil introduces us to Eastnor Castle. Light classical music from the 17th or 18th century plays in the background.

ghana castle
If you get close enough to the window, you can hear a butler asking “more champagne, madam?” and see the violinist in the same room.

belle

And in the other window, you can see Belle having her portrait being painted.

– After reminding us that this was the first pit stop, Phil adds that Jill & Thomas were not only the first team to arrive, but also won the Express Pass.

ghana phil keoghan

“Phil Keoghan loves Express Pass; Express Pass loves Phil Keoghan. . .Express Pass! Bob Dole!”

ghana jill thomas

Why, here’s a shot of Thomas drooling over an Express Pass. Not even winning breakfast in bed can elicit this response!

– Jill & Thomas, who were the first to arrive, will depart at 11:55am with the Express Pass. Thomas reads that they must fly to the city of Accra. A plane from Virgin Atlantic is shown.

ghana atlantic

I hear Connor & Jonathan and other Ivy Leaguers in a capella groups exclusively ride with this airline.

– Teams must fly 3, 100 miles to the city of Accra in Ghana. When they land they must take a taxi to Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park.

ghana kwame nkrumah

kwame

Not to be confused with the Kwame Jackson Memorial Suite located in Trump Tower.

– This monument is a tribute to the father of Ghanian independence. This is where teams will find their next clue.

ghana kwame nkrumah phoenix wright

Kwame OBJECTS to being ruled by colonialist powers.

– Blah blah blah Express Pass. Jill says Thomas was in charge of the last leg, and wants to prove that Thomas is not the only one who can be full force. She doesn’t want to always be in the background.

ghana jill haney

She may just need a change of batteries.

ghana jill thomas 2

Thomas not paying attention to when Jill expresses her own will for independence. Be inspired by Mr. Nkrumah, Jill.

– THOMAS: I believe Accra is in Africa. So. . .Pretty sweet.

Yep.

– Nat & Kat depart second at 12:00pm. They tell us they are anesthesiologists , but are both very different. Kat describes Nat as living in the moment and spontaneous. Nat says Kat is calm, cool, and collected as opposed to those who are calm, cool, and uncollected.

NAT: If we were two boats in the ocean, Kat would be an ocean liner and steer the course, and I’d be the dingy on the side that’s kind of going every way.

ghana nat kat

What’s going on here?

ghana nat kat 2

I thought The Dentists from TAR 25 loved showing off their teeth, but Nat may take the cake.

donkey kong 64 guard

Or maybe she is simply requesting five bananas for us to be granted passage into the rest of the episode.

– Connor & Jonathan depart at 12:20pm. Connor informs us they have 137 dollars for this leg of the race.

kendra horn

That is 127 more dollars than what Kendra needed to live for a year in Senegal, according to her.

– Connor & Jonathan decide to stop and wait for Brook & Claire to check out of the pit stop.

JONATHAN: We’re going to wait for Brook & Claire because they’re right here, and pool our resources.

ghana connor jonathan

“And because she was the first woman to touch me anywhere on my body since the dance unit during eighth grade gym class.”

– Brook & Claire are fourth to commence at 12:21pm. Claire initially pronounces it as “Arca”, but luckily recovers. I doubt products from Ghana are advertised too much on the Home Shopping Network.

– BROOK: We hope in this leg that we’re first. We’re thinking if there’s no watermelons in this leg, we got it.

ghana brook claire

And remember, it is important to handle melons with both hands. If you are hands free. . .

london claire champlin 15

This happens.

– BROOK: They’re ripping it right now!

This is in reference to Katie & Rachel opening their clue at 12:22pm.  A temporary three-team alliance. Connor & Jonathan admit they have no idea how to exit the castle’s grounds, and are stuck there.

ghana road

I know Connor & Jonathan are desperate for attention from the opposite sex, but c’mon guys. They’re not going to be willingly stranded on Eastnor Castle’s grounds. This isn’t a freakin’ cabin the middle of the woods or far north in Alaska. You have to draw the line somewhere.

– The three teams come across a guy in a tractor.

ghana claire champlin

lol Claire looks like she just rolled out of bed after a rough Saturday night.

– Brook is anxious to chat with the driver of the tractor. She hops in there and gets in his face for help.

BROOK: Hi, how are you?!

ghana tractor

You know it’s a race when teams are willing to ask for help from Groundskeeper Willie.

BROOK: We go down the road then what do we do? Can you write it all down for me right there? And I’m gonna give you a big sloppy kiss after cause I appreciate it so much.

ghana tractor 2

Well that backfired for Connor & Jonathan. lol.

BROOK: Have you been kissed by an American before?

ghana brook roberts
The driver does not answer. Perhaps he was going to say “after she had a few drinks”, but thought that would be inappropriate with the cameras around.

ghana katie seamon

I know that look. Katie is non-verbally engaging in the act of slut shaming. She has all of the tools to communicate that non-verbally.

– Once Brook receives directions, and we hear the audio of Brook sloppily kissing Groundskeeper Willie, she turns around and has a few words for Katie. Let’s take a look.

samantha jones 2

Yeah. Pretty dramatic.

– BROOK: I just kissed an Englishman in a tractor! LET’S GO!

ghana tractor 3

I believe this is what we refer to as a “Wet Willie”.

CLAIRE: Good job, girl. You’ve kissed worse.

– Brook elaborates on this strategy.

BROOK: My tactic obviously is that a kiss saves the day.

ghana brook claire 2

And after each kiss, a jealous woman there will always be saying “oh no she di’int”.

BROOK: So if you can kiss a stranger on the cheek, you can really move mountains.

ghana brook claire 3

Or melons.

– In response to Wet Willie, Claire perfectly sums up how these kisses will play out down the road with locals throughout the season.

ghana brook claire 5

That’s a nasty way of putting it. Crude, some would say.

– The three teams pile into their cars from the previous leg. Brook’s kiss of the groundskeeper prevents us hearing from Connor, Katie or Rachel. Everyone gets overshadowed when in the presence of Brook & Claire.

ghana brook claire 4
Also, is that a real license plate? VUIO VDA? Who came up with that one? Ricky Martin in the late 90s?

ricky martin

– Gary & Mallory are sixth to depart at 12:40pm.

MALLORY: Looks like Africa, maybe?
GARY: It is.
MALLORY: Oh hooooo!

ghana gary mallory
Mallory is the first player I have seen on TAR to truly behave and act like a giddy cartoon character. So funny.

And yes, Kentucky’s school curriculum needs to include a geography lesson or two.

– Mallory is not done yet.

MALLORY: So awesome! I can’t wait!

Ghana,
Ghana,
Ghana,
Here we come.

ghana mallory ervin

ghana gary ervin

“Are you ghana stop singing anytime soon, Mallory?

MALLORY: I hope we get to hold little African babies.

I have never heard of that being the biggest reason for someone to visit a foreign country.

susan sarandon

Unless you are Susan Sarandon.

– Kevin & Michael start in seventh at 12:41pm.

KEVIN: Fly to the city of Accro.

Accro? I had to replay it a few times, but he definitely said Accro.

aero the acrobat

Probably because KevJumba is a 90s kid and spent too much time playing Aero the Accrobat. Ghana’s greatest mascot.

– Michael complains his leg hurts.

KEVIN: Ignore it.

ghana kevin michael wu

Kevin goes into Drill Sergeant Mode.

– KevJumba is confident having his dad as a teammate. Michael is worried about disappointing Kevin.

MICHAEL: I hope I’m not too much of a drag for my son.

ghana kevin michael wu 2

I wouldn’t answer that, Kevin.

– Michael apologizes to Kev for slowing him down, and for his bowels.

ghana kevin michael wu 3

Oh c’mon! You couldn’t relieve yourself right before the pit start?! This is the second leg in a row, Michael!

– Chad & Stephanie depart at 12:50pm. Because neither of them are adopted, we glance over them.

ghana chad stephanie

And because they are wearing Florida Marlins hats. Soon to be Miami Marlins. It ain`t 2003 anymore, guys.

– Guess who isn’t a Marlins fan and instead was involved in an adoption?

frank stallone

You guessed it, Frank Stallone!

– Nah, just kidding. It’s Andie & Jenna. They depart at 1:35pm. Yes, we repeat the adoption story. Andie hopes she did the right thing. Jenna admits she always thought about her mother.

ANDIE: I want to go the whole race because this is the only time we’re ever going to have like this in our whole lives.
ghana andie dekroon

This is depressing either way. Think about it.

a) They make it all the way to the end, and realize they make such a great team. After that they split up and never see each other again.

b) They fail miserably, and do not get to really know each other at all.

I wish Andie’s confessional was not quite as dramatic.

ghana jenna sykes

Whoa, why are we talking about adoption this extensively on The Amazing Race? Did the network TLC suddenly step in and influence production?

– They enter their car and the awkward topic of adoption is over for the time being.

JENNA: Can you believe we slept in a castle?
ANDIE: I know.

ghana andie jenna

Yes. You two really are.

– Nick & Vicki depart at 1:45pm. They are not as far behind first place as much as we thought. It makes me wonder if Ron & Tony did not fail in as epic of fashion as they were made out to be.

ghana nick vicki

Nick is trying way too hard to be gangsta. He has zero interest in reading the clue. All he wants to do is mug for the camera as he counts his cash monehhhhh.

Please tell me that Vicki will not know how to pronounce the city nor the country, and refers to it as “Assra, Guh-hana” because she thinks the letter ‘C’ is a soft ‘C’, and the ‘H’ in ‘Ghana’ needs to be emphasized.

banjo ghana

Yes, the same way Banjo would say it.

“Gulp, guh-hana!”

– Heathrow Airport. Jill & Thomas spot the Virgin Atlantic flight. The lady at the counter sounds like she has an Aussie accent rather than a British one. She informs them there is one flight tonight, and only one flight heads to Accra per day.

ghana woman

She assumes there is only one flight per day. I bet she is on Facebook. Understandable. It’s Virgin Atlantic. How many people are in a hurry to fly to Accra?

– They are bummed that their lead is gone and the other nine teams will catch up. Considering Andie & Jenna are still around, I think it’s safe to say that they will survive this round.

– Phil informs us it is a six hour flight. That is rare for Phil to inform us of the duration of the flight.

ghana people

Somebody needs to review all of the Africa legs, and see how many times a local transporting objects on their head is shown as teams enter the country.

ron mendoza

It may even trump Ron’s count of how many times he irrelevantly references being a POW.

ghana coconut

The coconut cart from Seychelles in TAR 16 has found its way into the Accra market.

ghana soccer

Believe it or not, this team could defeat Canada’s FIFA squad. I am serious. Our soccer program is terrible.

ghana people 2

Now that’s how you mug for the camera and win over your audience!

ghana gymnast

And if you thought Connor was the only gymnast on TAR 17, you are MISTAKEN!

– Teams are shown running out of the airport. Mad dash for taxis with all ten teams. A bunch of Americans screaming for taxis. No idea who is in the lead. A bunch of people aimlessly running around?

ghana mallory ervin 2

Now they know what it’s like to live a day in the life of Mallory Ervin.

ghana billboard

Even in Ghana they have American billboards.

– Teams get into taxis. Brook & Claire comment on how neat it is to see a bunch of people transporting things on their heads.

ghana yellow

So much yellow. Gary & Mallory would love it here.

– Even Vicki is amazed by it. Of course, Chad & Stephanie spoil the moment of observing beautiful Ghana.

ghana trash

Chad Waltrip may be the king of putting his foot in his mouth. He admits he could never imagine this. Other teams are frightened by traffic. Speaking of traffic, Nat & Kat cringe as they enter a potential lethal situation.

ghana traffic

Oh no.

ghana traffic 2

!!!!!

ghana traffic 3

!!!!!!!!!!

ghana traffic 4

Phew.

ghana traffic 5

Close one.

– Kevin describes his dad as slow and steady while he is the hare, but insists they are keeping up.

ghana kevin michael wu 4

He looks behind in hopes that there is in fact a team trailing. Keep searching, Mr. Jumba.

– Teams declare that they are entering a ‘worse’ area of Accra. I am not sure how they can figure that out when they have been in the city for less than twenty minutes.

ghana aerial

Nice aerial shot of Accra.

– Connor & Jonathan stop at a red light. There is somebody approaching the cars as he asks for cash. The cab driver casually locks the doors.

ghana connor jonathan 2

Brace yourselves. Pan handlers are coming.
.
.
.
.
ghana connor jonathan 3

Here. We. Go!

ghana connor jonathan 4

Connor & Jonathan do not have much perspective. Here they are frightened to give a man a dollar, but at Harvard they are more than willing to hand over hundreds of thousands of dollars in tuition without so much as a struggle.

JONATHAN: Sir, I feel unsafe.

ghana connor jonathan 5

rick moranis dark helmet

The Schwartz has evidently evaporated from Jonathan Schwartz himself. What happened to his past life as Dark Helmet? He has become soft.

rick moranis dark helmet 2

He has never recovered from being humiliated by Lonestar.

– Connor & Jonathan break into song once the incident is over.

CONNOR & JONATHAN: Please driiive faaaaaster!

ghana connor jonathan 6

The taxi driver will drop you off in Accra’s version of East Hastings Street if you keep up this tune much longer.

– A child tells Gary & Mallory he is hungry. Mallory apologizes, and begins to cry.

– Andie & Jenna are also approached.

ghana andie jenna 2

ghana andie jenna 3

Yes, Andie gives the child money. He thanks Andie and runs off. I hope for Andie’s sake that other kids did not see this and all flock to her car.

– Jenna believes Andie as selfless and has great intentions as well as a pure spirit. It should be noted this confessional is filmed prior to the race.

– Andie defends giving away her own limited funds.

ghana andie jenna 4

Clearly Jenna does not voice her disagreement with the move. Instead Jenna opts with the passive-aggressive response.

ghana andie jenna 5

Heh. Good one, Jenna. She makes a Bill Cosby face et al.

– Vicki is happy to be in first. She and Nick run to the clue box. Brook & Claire, Jill & Thomas, KevJumba & Papa Jumba, and others are all running around the square. Brook & Claire have the clue first.

ghana statue

If anybody makes a statue of me as a tourist attraction, I request to have six-pack abs as well.

ghana drums

Not my tempo.

– Brook & Claire read that they must head to Makola Market where they will find their next clue. Nick & Vicki are second. Chad & Stephanie third. Katie & Rachel fourth. The Jumbas are fifth. Jill & Thoms are sixth. Nat & Kat seventh.

– Connor & Jonathan see the route marker, and ask their taxi driver named George to wait for them.

He must have the lamest name in all of Ghana.

ghana kwame nkrumah

At least the clue box is easier to find here than at Eastnor Castle.

– Gary & Mallory are surprised to see only one other clue is left as they show up to the route marker in ninth. Andie & Jenna show up alone in dead last.

– Teams enter Makola Market.

ghana makola market

Clean and tidy when there are people everywhere? Maybe this is a sign to expand the marketplace a bit.

ghana makola market 2

Many of these umbrellas would go on to be used during the Portugal leg of TAR Australia 3.

– Brook comments on how big the market is. She is looking for the main entrance. Jill opts to go with the exaggeration route.

ghana makola market 3

No, but your ability to properly assess the number of people in a limited area is, Jill.

NOTE: A couple years ago I took a Sub-Saharan Political Science course. I recall a lesson where we saw a video of a weekly church sermon in Nigeria (yes, we approaching the “going to South Africa is like a homecoming because we are from Sierra Leone” territory here) and how there would be a million people gathered to hear the sermon at night.

RACHEL: This is crazy. So many people.

ghana katie rachel

What does the number of people have to do with the smell of the place, exactly?

Have Katie & Rachel ever been in a crowded area? It always stinks. Concerts, assemblies in high school, McDonalds after a sports tournament. . .it always smells awful in those places.

– Michael uses this as an excuse to reference his childhood in Taiwan where he claims markets were always this packed.

– Brook & Claire exit their taxi to retrieve their bags, but struggle to get the cab driver to come to a complete stop and unlock the trunk.

– Nick & Vicki are first to the Roadblock.

VICKI: Who is up for some shady dealings?

Are they going to sell sunglasses?

PHIL: The sun burns bright in the city of Accra! So sunglasses are one of the most popular items for sale.

ghana phil keoghan 2

Or your eyes will permanently adjust to squinting for the rest of your life.

PHIL: Now teams must compete in a sea of local vendors.

ghana phil keoghan 3

Phil’s blue cargo shirt (undoubtedly stolen from Jeff Probst) stands out.

– Teams must sell as many sunglasses as it takes to earn fifteen cities (about ten dollars).

ghana cedi

Oh. Cedis.

– They are not allowed to sell any pair of sunglasses for less than three cedis. In other words, they cannot bankrupt the vendor. Once they have fifteen cedis, they may exchange it with the vendor for their next clue.

– Nick agrees to do the Roadblock. Brook is doing it for her team.

BROOK: Are you kidding me? You’re asking me to sell something? Bring it on!

ghana brook claire 6

“Call my stall in the next fifteen minutes and we’ll throw in a second pair of sunglasses for FREE! All you have to do is pay shipping and handling for fifteen cedis!”

– Thomas wants Jill to do the Roadblock. She agrees.

ghana jill thomas 3

Surrrrrre.

– Stephanie reads the clue. All I need to do is take one glimpse of Stephanie’s face to figure it out.

ghana chad stephanie 2

Good luck getting out of this one, Chad.

– Rachel and Michael is doing the Roadblock. So is Nat. Kevin says aloud “we have to do this one fast”. KevJumba is nervous about his dad doing this because he is not sure if he can do it.

ghana kevin michael wu 5

Michael is flattered by his son’s lack of faith in his abilities to accomplish anything.

– The seven teams begin the task.

NICK: Sunglasses. Sunglasses. Big race. Big race.

Talk about a sales pitch to confuse the locals.

ghana chad waltrip

Chad chooses a sunglass shield taken directly from Ghana’s SWAT team.

ghana chad waltrip 2

“Take your best shot! The sunglasses are made of kevlar!”

– Claire explains she and Brook sell things for a living. Now prepare for the most unintentionally racist thing I have heard in TAR history.

ghana claire champlin 2

And it is not uttered by the partner who received a hit to the head by a watermelon.

– Brook allows a man to try on sunglasses.

BROOK: Oh! That looks good! You look like a gangster!

ghana brook roberts 2
Brook is already teetering. But if we know one thing about Brook, she fully dives into every single statement she makes.

BROOK: You look like a GANGSTUH! Like a RAPPUH!

ghana man

Jesus, Brook. You may as well have also said he looks like a basketball player while you’re at it. This is uncomfortable.

I like how even the man is surprised that Brook dropped this joint word association.

ghana man 4

ghana brook roberts 3

Brook distracts everyone from the statement she just made by offering up a hug. Give Brook those big ol’ Cedis, and she’ll hug you in return.

– Chad sells sunglasses to a lady on the street for three Cedis. That appears to be the common price.

ghana lady

Ghana’s first hipster, ladies and gentlemen.

– Chad explains his marketing strategy.

ghana chad stephanie 3

CHAD: I was definitely trying to target the women. You know, sex to sell. I was hoping I could flirt.
ghana chad stephanie 4

Neither Stephanie nor the viewers at home were prepared for this strategy.

ghana chad waltrip 3

Take one look at those sexy eyes of Chad’s, and you know those ladies want to hit that.

ghana chad waltrip 4

“Show me your Cedis.”

– Jill tries to sell and claims “they’re going to a really good cause.”

That will not be a popular strategy with the viewers at home. You know you have aimed low when people are shaking their head more than Chad selling his sex appeal.

– Thomas tries to communicate signals to Jill on how to help her.

ghana thomas wolfard

“Bring disco to the people of Ghana!”

ghana jill haney 2

“Yes, the good cause is disco. It has been an endangered species since 1979. For fifteen Cedis a month, you can help feed my sister some Disco Stew.”

– Jill declares this task to be impossible. Michael hustles on the streets of Accra. He sells his first pair. Rachel fist bumps a lady, and gives her the sunglasses.

ghana rachel johnston

RJ lockin’ fists with citizens of Accra.

– The lady is unaware that there is an added caveat. She must pay for the sunglasses.

ghana rachel johnston 2

Was Rachel selling the sunglasses or the fist bump?

– Connor & Jonathan show up to the Roadblock in eighth. Neither player wants to participate.

ghana connor jonathan 7

“Connor–”
“Jonny–”
“Connor–”
“Jonny–”
“Connor, this is all you.”

Just f–king decide already. Jonathan is the most persistent to not do it, and therefore Connor is playing. Perhaps Jonny threatened to take the four hour penalty.

– Gary & Mallory are still in their cab. It is struggling to start.

ghana man 2

“An American producer paid me to wreck my own car in hopes of allowing Andie & Jenna a chance to survive this round.”

GARY: His car died.
MALLORY: Wait-wait-wait-what?

ghana gary mallory 2
Is Mallory ever -not- a cartoon character?

ghana man 3

“Twenty Cedis and this problem will fix itself.”

ghana window

Something tells me this taxi has been long overdue for some maintenance.

– The driver makes another attempt at firing up the ignition.
ghana gary mallory 3

“If I close my eyes, everything will work out.”

ghana gary mallory 4

“Oh no! I ruined it by opening my eyes! It won’t work now!”

– It’s a success. Gary & Mallory can continue moving.

ghana gary mallory 5

Mallory can go back to being normal. . .or whatever her normal is.

– Andie & Jenna are ninth to Makola Market.

makoto

Not to be confused with Makoto Market.

– Andie tells Jenna to do it because she is the social butterfly, and Andie describes herself as being a horrible salesperson.

ghana andie jenna 6

This is coming from the woman who gave out money without asking for anything back ten minutes ago.

– Jenna admits she does not know if Andie is a good salesperson or not.

– We cut back to Gary & Mallory. The car has broken down again. Mallory draws a cross on her chest.

ghana gary mallory ervin

“Save me, Ghanian Jesus.”

– She waits for a response.

ghana gary mallory ervin 2

You might be on your own for this one, Mallory.

– Commercial. We resume. Gary & Mallory ask locals to help push them.

ghana carry

I mean, technically their hands are free to help, but I have a feeling that could be a bit of a circus if all of that food tumbles onto the ground.

Looks like you are on your own, Gary.

ghana gary ervin 2

For the second round in a row, one player is forced to push a vehicle. Why isn’t Mallory jumping out of the car to help?

tony hawk skitchin

ghana gary ervin 3

You’re never too old to commit your first act of Skitchin, Gary! We all knew you were a true South Californian mactor at heart!

– Two seconds later, the cab has pulled over and tells the Ervins to hire a different cab. They follow his advice. Mallory tells the new driver to move fast in the most desperate sounding voice possible. She exaggerates her Kentucky accent in the process. Perhaps her Kentuckyness comes out when stress levels rise.

– Nick tries selling the sunglasses again.

NICK: Sunglasses? Please? Big race. Help me out. Very important.

ghana nick decarlo

Sir? Sir?

NICK (turns to camera): I don’t really have a technique. I don’t think there is a technique out here. Either they’re buying them or they’re not.

ghana nick decarlo 2

“When I worked at Best Buy, I did not reach my sales target for the month. I said to the boss ‘that was all luck’, but I was released anyway. A sales associate is only as good as the customer who reaches out to that person, and willingly pays them the desired cost that benefits the company the most.”

– We go back to Brook selling sunglasses, and thankfully changes her compliments to something that comes off as not accidental racism.

BROOK: Supermodel! Looks good! Looks really good!

ghana brook roberts 4

Brook helping outfit the man who will become the next contestant on Project Waccray.

BROOK: My strategy was pitching this product for their style that made them look like a supermodel.

ghana man 5

Yes, this local receives the Jim & Misti “sparkly teeth” treatment. I believe this is the first time the graphic has been used.

– To conclude this transaction, Brook wishes to sell something to go along with the sunglasses. She mimes a kiss on the cheek, and puts her hands together to beg ‘pleeeease’.

ghana brook roberts 5

“All I want for Christmas is
To kiss your cheek
To kiss your cheek
All I want for Christmas is
To kiss your cheek.”

BROOK: And of course, a kiss on the cheek which really seems to help.”

– The man agrees, and thus Brook’s equivalent of a handshake once again occurs.

ghana brook roberts 6

Unlike most offers on the Home Shopping Network, this is not a time where you have to pay for shaping and handling.

– Brook’s final request is for the man to send his friends. That may not be a problem.

– Kat nor Jill have sold any sunglasses. Both are instructed by their teammates to take the sunglasses and move to a different area.

– Chad continues running his stall of selling sex and sunglasses in the market. He eventually gives sunglasses to a young woman (this is EXTREMELY disturbing if Chad is keeping up his strategy here). What plays out is hilarious.

ghana chad market

The lady gives Chad two Cedis, but she does it in the form of a handshake. Chad fails to catch on that even in Ghana this means deal is done. He counts the two Cedis, and asks for one more.

ghana chad waltrip 5

rookie of the year gary busey

Chad plays the role of Gary Busey in “Rookie of the Year” as he asks for one more.

ghana market

You’re going to have to try harder to win this battle of wits, Chad.

ghana chad waltrip 6

Chad decides placing his hand on her shoulder will make the difference. She just laughs at him like he was Margie Adams. Next plan?

ghana chad waltrip 7

Asking her to kneel along with him, and grabbing ahold of her armpit. This is one of the most awkward interactions I have seen since Cecil Peoples attempted to host a MMA match.

ghana chad stephanie 5

CHAD: I’m trying to make this all happen so I kept the young girl’s money hoping I could sweet talk her.

I love how Stephanie has to physically bite her own lip to prevent herself from commenting on this story.

– Chad refuses to give up. Now he wants to give her a hug for a Cedi. Not just a hug, but a BIG hug.

ghana market 2

I think it is clear who won this battle.

– Rachel and Michael are selling sunglasses. Both comment on how beautiful the women are. Michael takes it too far. Maybe.

MICHAEL: I almost want to kiss her. . .but of course I can’t!

ghana michael wu

Some would say the worst part about being on The Amazing Race is the lack of sleep, proper nutrition, and hygiene.

Michael’s biggest issue? Not being able to make out with strange women on the streets.

ghana market 3

And for her, paying three Cedis was a way to get Michael away.

– Rachel has twelve Cedis and is convinced she is going to win.

ghana market 4

Why did she buy the sunglasses from Rachel? She’s not even wearing them!

– Okay. We’re going to talk about the best local for the sunglasses task. Here’s the setup: Jill is getting frustrated, and is stubborn enough that the next lady she runs into will be pursued to buy a pair of sunglasses. No matter what type of person this lady will be.

ghana jill haney 3

Mr. Wit Man watches this interaction all go down.

– JILL: Watch your head.

ghana lady 2

Ooof. Jill gave her a full second warning, but the lady turns her head into the pile of cardboard. The slowest reflexes I have ever seen.

Except it doesn’t end here. The lady does not know Jill was simply warning about the cardboard, and now the lady is assuming some other object will be coming her way.

ghana lady 3

Perhaps she thought Jill was pointing out an invisible ghost. You can never be too careful.

ghana thomas wolfard 2

Thomas is as curious as we are.

ghana thomas wolfard 3

“JILL! What the f–k is going on?!”

– THOMAS: There is a feeling of being helpless because you cannot help your partner.

– Well, Jill feels helpless keeping her client out of trouble as another object comes towards them.

ghana lady 4

Strike two.

– Thomas talks about the Express Pass, but we can ignore it. Now the lady is back to her shop. Jill asks the lady if she likes her new sunglasses.

ghana lady 5

She communicates her answer through interpretative dance and the letter ‘X’.

xzibit

“These sunglasses are X to the Z Exquizite.”

JILL: Do you want to buy them?
LADY (in Kanye West voice): Hehhhhhh!
JILL: Would you like to buy them for three Cedis?
LADY: Hehhhhhhhhhhhhh.

ghana lady 6

She’s just taunting Jill at this point. Jill comments on the dance.

JILL: Everybody loves it!

ghana man 6

Yes, the locals are seeing this play out and copy her dance.

JILL: Would you like to buy these, miss?
LADY: lol.

You know the lady’s friend who has been standing there the whole time? She finally puts an end to the nonsense.

ghana jill haney 4

“Well, why didn’t she say so from the beginning!”

– JILL: Everybody just likes to pretend.

Yes. Ghana: The Nation of Pretenders. . .or Just Loves to Troll Rich American Reality Show Contestants.

– Kat is struggling to make her first sale.

jennifer m

Her performance is equal to that of the team running the batting cage in The Apprentice 4.

– Nick asks another guy to buy sunglasses. What occurs is another random encounter.

ghana champion

The man attempts to make up for three Cedis by dishing out compliments to Nick DeCarlo. I bet it is the first time the word ‘champion’ has been uttered in Nick’s presence.

– The man is not finished yet.

ghana champion 2

He examines Nick’s knuckles and tattoos.

ghana champion 3

They lock up fists once more. He walks away without making a purchase. The fellow just wanted a friend.

– Chad and Jenna yell into the market’s noise to advertise their sunglasses.

CHAD: Sunglasses? Who wants it?
JENNA: I have a better deal!

Smooth play, Jenna.

– Gary & Mallory are last to the Roadblock. Mallory is doing it. She starts off with a great sales pitch.

ghana mallory ervin 3

shades

Shaded Pleasure.

– There’s one more kicker to this scene.

ghana chad waltrip 8

Chad is STILL trying to get that third Cedi.

– Brook sells her final pair of sunglasses.

BROOK: It’s different and it pops.

ghana brook roberts 7

The kid in the top left corner is not quite as impressed with Brook.

ghana brook roberts 8

Her opera talents may be the root of her success.

– Brook & Claire receive their clue. They read that they must travel by taxi to Peace Motor Spare Parts where they will find their next clue.
– Jill is amazed to hear that Chad has only one pair left to sell. A customer wants Michael to find her a smaller pair of sunglasses.

– Connor is doing alright at the Roadblock, but my gut tells me his tactics reek of desperation.

ghana connor diemand yauman

It’s the same pose he struck when asking cheerleader Cindy Sanders to prom.

– Connor and Michael are working customers over. You know what? Connor comes up with the best approach yet.

CONNOR: If you take twelve, I can leave.

Yes, pay twelve Cedis if you want to free your market of American tourists for the rest of the day. I would say that is worth the price.

ghana connor diemand yauman 2

By the way, what is up with the Mexican flag in the top left hand corner?

– He convinces that guy to give him ten Cedis. Incredible. The tactic is working. It is the only ten Cedis he has earned so far.

– Michael is second to complete the Roadblock. Connor is third. Kevin is pleasantly surprised. He tells his dad the shockingly good news. Michael’s reaction?

ghana kevjumba

Michael always has low expectations.

– Let’s check back in with Chad.

ghana chad waltrip 9

He refuses to stop working on that last Cedi from the woman. Holy crap. When does persistence become harassment?

CHAD: C’mon. You would help me out sooo much.

ghana market 5

She’s LAUGHING at him! Is this a Sunday? Because this woman has been willingly listening to Chad begging her for money for about two hours.

– She must be getting bored, right?

ghana woman 2

Boredom wins. You reached the appropriate level of begging and self-humiliation to earn the highly coveted fifteenth Cedi, Chad.

– Chad trades in the Cedi and has the clue. He and Stephanie are fourth. Rachel is finished in fifth.

RACHEL: Everyone is pretty much done already.

Rachel has ALL of the tools to inaccurately estimate the number of people to finish the Roadblock up to this point.

– Brook & Claire reach Peace Motor Spare Parts in Teshie. It’s a Detour.

Tune In or Check Out?

PHIL: The creativity and ingenuity of the local people can be seen everywhere in Ghana.

ghana saw

Like holding a saw in the most awkward position possible since Carissa Gaghan in New Orleans.

PHIL:  The result sets out teams with a unique Detour.

ghana ping pong

Watch out Beijing, the Ghana Table Tennis is ready to whip your ping pongs.

You know what other game that the citizens of Accra are experts at besides soccer and tennis?

actraiser

AccRaiser.

– In Tune In, teams make their way to an electrical supply store to pick up a television set and an antenna system. Then they must find a marked house and install the antenna system to the specifications of the owner.

ghana antenna

This would be a great task for Charla & Mirna.

– When teams get the TV signal properly tuned in, they will receive their next clue.

ghana television

Ghana’s version of PBS is equally boring to Ghanaian locals as it is for those of us here in North America.

– In Check Out, teams make their way to a woodworking shop where coffins are created to represent the lifestyle of their eventual occupants. They will transport it through the backstreets of town to Hello Coffin. Once delivered, they receive their next clue.

What the hell? This is a popular thing to do somewhere in the world? Well, I’ll be damned.

ghana coffin
If this were TAR 26, the coffin would be in the shape of an iPhone. If the head inside shifts against the right corner of the coffin, a button is triggered and a selfie of the deceased would be taken.

– Brook & Claire evaluate the two options because this is before TAR started doing dumb Blind Detours. They identify that Tune In is the easier option.

ghana detour

Claire probably read this and thought “which is less likely to fly back and hit me in the face?”

The idea of a dead body accidentally falling out of the casket as a joke was frightening enough for Claire to go with the antenna.

– Brook & Claire are at Adam Electrical. They choose the safety glasses.

ghana safety

Shocker, Brook wants the pink safety glasses.

– Brook starts nailing in the antenna.

BROOK: You got a hammer in the face, I get a hammer in the finger.

ghana brook roberts 9

But at least she’ll do it with style!

– Brook asks Claire to step on a stool and help her. One problem, though.

ghana claire champlin 3

Claire chooses to stack the two stools in the least stable position possible.

india ronald cardboard

india ronald cardboard 2

Ronald Hsu’s cardboard box step stool in Mumbai during TAR 12 provided more stability than this.

ghana claire champlin 4

Claire makes the smart move and steps down. Brook starts making some funny noises as she uses the hammer.

ghana man 7

In an ironic twist, the man finds hiring TV personalities to help install a TV set more entertaining than any program he watches on the tube.

– While Claire stands around as Brook moans, she comments on what’s going around here.

ghana food

Andie & Jenna won’t be here for a few more hours. There is definitely enough time to eat as Brook completes the Detour on her own.

– The camera pans to a priceless reaction of the local preparing the food.

ghana woman 3

“Are you hungry as in American Hungry or hungry as in Ghana Hungry?”

– Brook requests Claire’s focus. She says she is done.

BROOK: Who says girls can’t hammer?

ghana brook roberts 11

And who says Brook cannot find an excuse to do a planking pose in Ghana?
– They go inside of the house to get a handle on the cable cord. Brook comments on their beautiful home.

ghana brook claire 7

I can see it happening now. Brook pushes the fridge over and it falls on Claire.

ghana brook claire 8

Does Brook think she is as light as she was in the eighth grade? That fridge ain’t gonna hold.

BROOK: Have you ever had an antenna before sir?
MAN: No, no.
BROOK: Glad I could bring you this service. I do it with a smile cause that’s customer service. It’s really hot up here.

ghana brook roberts 11

If your antenna lasts for less than four hours, please contact a doctor.

Brook’s glasses look ridiculous here.

the big comfy couch glasses

Only second to the glasses Loonette wears in The Big Comfy Couch.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The actress who plays Loona suffers from severe depression. No wonder she lays in bed all day and never leaves her room except to talk to her granny.

major bedhead

Don’t even get me started on Major Bedhead’s crack addiction.

– Right. Back to Brook.

ghana brook roberts 12

That cannot be comfortable.

– Kevin & Michael run by the clue box for the Detour. Blunder sound effect plays.  They keep searching around.

– Connor & Jonathan ask directions from a local on the street. Jonathan assumes they lost a lot of time.

– Chad & Stephanie are technically second to the clue box, and opt to do Tune In because
Chad is good with electronics. Kevin & Michael are nearby in somebody’s backyard.

ghana kevjumba 2

Jumping to see over the fence would work out well if one needed to find the clue. . .but first you need to jump more than two inches into the air.

– KevJumba speaks to Chad & Stephanie. They help the YouTube Sensasian.

– Katie & Rachel are third to the Detour. Rachel wants to do the coffin task. They walk over to the woodshop.

ghana emmanuel

So this is what the locals meant by everybody being employed to do an ‘Emmanuel Labour’ job. The racers thought they were pronouncing ‘manual labour’ weird.

– We get to check out some of the other coffins.

ghana crabs

After residents die, they are placed in this coffin where they catch crabs. This can lead to an unfortunate case of Ghanarrhea.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This blog may be comedic for the most part, but if you want to see a moment in TAR history that is emotionally charged and promotes AIDS awareness overall, please check out the TAR 11: Real All Stars episode where Oswald & Danny see a demonstration in East Africa.

These are the types of scenes I personally miss from present-day TAR.
– Rachel finds the coffin designs to be odd, and finally choose one to transport.

ghana piano

Yes, a piano.

super mario 64 piano

Once night falls, the piano has a mind of its own. No wonder it is haunted. The piano is a freakin’ casket!

– The Jumbas choose to do Tune In. Chad and Michael are doing most of the work for their respective teams. Kev orders his father to fix the tangled antenna.

– Jenna praises a local for looking like a movie star with the sunglasses. The praise goes a long way as the customer agrees to buy TWO pairs from Jenna. This all happens directly in front of Jill.

JILL: You sold two?! (to the customer) Are you interested in buying a third pair?

ghana jill haney 5

Cannot compute Jenna’s success.

ghana jenna sykes 2

Nope. Just two.

ghana jenna sykes 3

Ta-ta, Little One.

– Andie gives a confessional about how all of the customers had huge smiles on their faces after dealing with Jenna.

ghana andie dekroon 2

You know what? I’m not really listening. Why?

sophie clarke

Because it just occurred to me that maybe there was a second child that was given up for adoption, and went on to become the winner of Survivor: South Pacific.

– Andie & Jenna enter the cab.

JENNA: Every time they said ‘I will be back later’, I realized that meant ‘no’.

ghana andie jenna 7

Andie’s comeback could also apply to someone who gives out her limited funds while on The Amazing Race.

Yeah, I’m not letting that one go.

– We get our first scene of Mallory interacting with a customer.

MAN: How much? How much?
MALLORY: Sir, I have to sell them for three Cedis.

ghana mallory ervin 4

The man asked a simple question, Mallory. No need for the over-the-top reaction.

MAN: I want to buy alllllllllllllllllll.
MALLORY: . . (squeaky voice) WHAT?!
MAN: Allllllllll.

ghana mallory ervin 5

Haha. He wants to buy allllllllllllllllll. Mallory will need to count all of the sunglasses on the board and multiple it by three Cedis. Time to do some Kentucky Math!

ghana mallory ervin 6

“I’m not mad. If anything, I’m impressed!”

– Hopefully the man has the courtesy to give Mallory to count the number of sunglasses on the board.

ghana market 6

He is in more of a hurry than most teams on the race. Especially Shahla & Nabeela.

MALLORY: Are you serious? This one guy made me sit there and count.

ghana mallory ervin 7

For a cloudy day, a lot of sunglasses are sure being sold.

ghana gary mallory ervin 3

Mallory expresses her displeasure with counting the sunglasses.

ghana market 7

Not displeased enough to refrain from complimenting the customer, though.

MALLORY: There’s two hundred pairs! Do you have six hundred Cedi?

ghana mallory ervin 8

“Is he just trolling me?”

– The man asks how much for the specific pair he has on. Mallory is officially annoyed.

MALLORY: He looked at me like ‘we do this every day. You are not doing it right.’

Well, Mallory must have been doing something right because she sells it for fifteen Cedi.

– Nat screams at Kat to do a hard sell. She says it was tough to draw the line between encouraging but also giving a reality check.

ghana wait

And when one of the teams has the Express Pass, you are essentially in a tie for last with Nick & Vicki.

– Thomas also screams at Jill. The man picks out a pair that has a scratch on them. Jill opts to find a different pair on the rack which does not have a scratch. We break into a confessional.

JILL: I know money’s tight, and didn’t want to sell him a pair of sunglasses.
THOMAS: Why would you care about that? I hope you’re not worried about people’s feelings. We gotta win.

ghana thomas wolfard 4

What is Thomas doing?

aladdin sega

Doing an impression of the crystal-throwing statue from Aladdin for the Sega Genesis?

– Jill sells her final pair. Task is complete.

ghana jill haney 6

No kiss on the cheek, though.

– Vicki is getting frustrated. You thought this incredible task was over? No. Not quite. We may have a winner for the best customer for the episode.

Hell, this may be a winner for the best local in TAR history.

– Nick allows a lady to try on a pair of sunglasses.

ghana dance

Alright.

ghana dance 2

Hit it!

NOTE: Yes, some sort of 80s hip hop beat starts playing.

LADY: Everybody!
ghana dance 3
Now scrunch your shoulders from side to side

ghana dance 4

Then clap your hands,

ghana dance 5

Chug-a-chug-a-chug-a-chug-a-chug-a.

ghana dance 6

Then side-step, then side-step.

ghana dance 7

Sprinkler, sprinkler, it’s time for the Ghanaian Sprinkler.

ghana dance 8

Now shake it up, shake it up.
ghana dance 9

Keep on shakin’ til you bring home the bacon.

NICK: What a clown.

ghana nick decarlo 3

I am pretty sure she is not the clown, Nick. In fact, she is definitely not the one who is a clown because she is not in dead last on The Amazing Race due to watching an older woman shaking her butt for two minutes.

– The dance comes to an end.

LADY: Buh bye!

ghana dance 10

“Show’s over folks. Mama’s gotta rest.”

NICK: Oh no!

Apparently a casual exit stage right with the sunglasses does not settle with Nick.

ghana dance 11

You know what surprises me? She is not the first customer to try and get away with free sunglasses during the Roadblock. I point this out because there is a camera and sound crew right in their face when they do this. If I were going to steal sunglasses, I would not do it with a freakin’ American television crew recording my every move.

Maybe they cannot pick up who you are because this is the final season to not film in HD, but still.

NICK: I can’t.

LADY: I will give it to you again.

ghana dance 12

In all fairness to her, having her do a goofy dance purely for the entertainment of ten million Americans is probably worth well over three Cedis. She brings up a good point.

ghana dance 13

Glasses onnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

NICK: I think I just got jacked for some sunglasses.

ghana sunglasses

No kidding.

ghana nick decarlo 4

You haven’t even moved from that spot, Nick. That’s not being jacked. This is essentially a free giveaway.

Nick is the worst negotiator I have ever seen. He should never ever be a sales associate. He lets the woman make fun of him and scamper off with the sunglasses.

chris sabian

He really needs a lesson from Chris Sabian.

– Nat calls for Kat to have high energy, and how Nick is the only other person left.

ghana kat chang

At least Kat is not giving them away for free. She is also very passive. It is like she has low blood sugar at the moment.

ghana sunglasses 2

But she has plenty of time to not be last.

– Shockingly, the lady comes back to resume negotiations with Nick.

LADY: Two Cedis.
NICK: I can’t.

ghana sunglasses 3

Never trust a man in tattoos.

– Kat tries to increase the value of her sunglasses.

ghana kat chang 2

Yes. For four Cedis you will have PERMANENT ownership of your sunglasses. Forget those RENTALS where you have to pay three Cedis to possess them for the week.

corey hart sunglasses

Why, you could even wear them at NIGHT if you wanted to do so!

ghana kat chang 3

The man on the right is listening very attentively.

– You’ll never believe this outcome.

ghana nick decarlo 5

Unbelievable. Nick Motherf–king Decarlo just beat Kat Chang at negotiating.

Good thing Kat is a doctor.

– Nat is scared to know she is in last. Kat’s deal with the lady demanding to only pay one Cedi falls through.

ghana kat chang 4

Brutal. Nobody wants to buy sunglasses from the friend of a finger pricker. The stigma follows you everywhere.

KAT: Either I’m not a very good salesperson or no one wants sunglasses.

I have a feeling it is the former.

ghana kat chang 5

Now would be the perfect time for a large overcast and a tropical downpour. That would be hilarious.

– Commercial. We resume. Kat is stuck with the same woman once again.

ghana kat chang 6

It’s official–the locals were trolling Kat Chang the whole time. She is done the task.

KAT: I’m not going to be quitting my day job to become a professional Ghanaian Sunglass Seller.

Oddly enough, all Ghanaian Sunglass Sellers would quit their day job to become a doctor. I hear doctors tend to generally make much more money than someone who sells sunglasses.

Unless it’s an Oakley, or some other fancy type that douchebags in their late teens to mid-20s tend to wear.

– Brook & Claire are close to tuning the TV. The man has an interesting suggestion.
ghana brook roberts 14

“WHAT?!”
ghana brook roberts 15

“This is not what I thought he meant!”

ghana claire champlin 5

Dang, Claire. Just turn it to channel three and you’ll have a clear picture. That is a universal rule.

ghana chad waltrip 10

Chad casually works in the background.

– Katie warns Rachel to not get too crazy for fear of the coffin falling off the wagon. Lots of dangerous encounters on the road for them. They ask for directions to the Coffin Showroom.

KATIE: See that blue truck?

ghana truck coffin

Hearses are a bit too out of style, if you ask me.

Personally I would like his coffin to be in the form of the back of a Ducati carrying my top model body, or maybe in a brand new wooden Ferrari before it goes up to the funeral home’s elevator. . .get it up.

– So Katie & Rachel cross a few streets. They’re in good shape to finish this task.

ghana katie rachel 2

If they get hit and killed by that truck, at least the pedestrians can stuff them into their own coffin for the easy transport. That saves a huge hassle for everyone involved.

– The owner of the house gives Brook proper instructions. It is working fine. I like how everyone gets really excited to see if it works. Even the owner is extremely worked up.

ghana dance 14

Got it working just in time for the Accra Break Dance Hour!

ghana claire champlin 6
As someone who stubbornly stuck with a crappy TV for more than ten years to play my old school video games, I know what this signal means from the person in front of the TV. It means to stop touching the adapter for the SNES because the TV is no longer snowing.

– The TV is functional and they receive their clue.

ghana man 8

This is really a Caucasian male wearing a gold shirt. You need to get your cones and rods checked.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, there is indeed a Honolulu, Ghana in the northern province.

– Brook reads that they must take a taxi to the pit stop. Kaneshie Market. It is one of the largest markets in West Africa.

ghana kaneshie market

And you thought Makola Market was overwhelming.

ghana hair

Best hairstyle ever!

– Teams must make their way through the crowded market to a particular bridge.

ghana phil keoghan 4

Just hanging out.

ghana phil keoghan 5

Whoa, somebody already checked into the pit stop before Brook & Claire.

– Brook & Claire enter the cab knowing they are currently in first.
ghana brook claire 9

Needless to say they are excited.

– Katie & Rachel take the coffin up the stairs to the showroom. They complete the task.

ghana katie seamon 2

That’s a lot of sweat. Or a lot of glisten.

– Connor & Jonathan are at the Detour and choose to put together the TV. Chad & Stephanie initially fail tuning the TV. Not even close.

– Kevin & Michael keep making progress.

ghana michael wu 2

If this were the other Detour option, KevJumba would assume that his father would contribute to putting the nail in their coffin.

KEVJUMBA: My dad really helped out. I am truly starting to value him more as a teammate.
MICHAELJUMBA: As an -equal- teammate.

ghana kevin michael wu 6

I am amazed how much more funnier Michael is than Kev. Mike has surprisingly quick wit.

– The Jumbas finish the task in third place. An Asian-American family known for YouTube videos did better at an electrical repair task than a couple of White Jocks from Florida.

ghana chad stephanie 6

I know. Who saw this coming?

– Chad prays to God that the TV will work for the Ghanaian people.

ghana hand

This TV is running on holy power, according to Chad.

– It works. They receive the clue.

ghana dance 15
Apparently everyone in Accra is watching the same breakdancing ceremony.

I really hope one of the teams gets the signal working properly, and see that the owners had it set to an adult film station. If this happened to Connor & Jonathan, they would consider that house to be their Elimination Station.

ghana dance 16

Wait, it’s on the AV setting? That isn’t even a channel. Don’t you need just red, white, and blue wires to make it work?

– Andie & Jenna are in a cab. Jenna pulls out a strand of her own hair.

ghana andie jenna 8

Trust me, that happens to me all the time.

ANDIE: We’ve discovered a lot of really neat things about each other.

One example?

ghana andie jenna 9

ANDIE: We’re both double-jointed!

– They learn more stuff about each other.

ANDIE: Some things that she doesn’t love that she got from me–
JENNA: Naturally frizzy hair.
ANDIE: We have really frizzy hair that we need to straighten. Sorry about that.

ghana andie jenna 10

logan anime

Again, if only you had hair like me. ❤ Jealous much?

– Gary & Mallory are told Peace Motor Parts is far away. Mallory decides to trust their cab driver.

ghana gary mallory ervin 4

I think Mallory will be relieved to see the coffin task once she reaches the Detour.

– Jill & Thomas are sixth to the Detour. Jill agrees to do the coffin task. They pick the camera coffin.

THOMAS: I got it.

ghana jill thomas 4

How strong is Thomas?

ghana jill thomas 5

The answer: Not very.

– Nick & Vicki are somehow seventh to the Detour. They jumped up two spots. The Ervins and #MotherDaughter have lost ground.

– Nat believes her driver is confused, and decides to ask directions from an officer. Wise decision.

– Brook & Claire arrive at the market. They are overwhelmed by the size of the market. Essentially, their reaction is no different from Makola Market.

BROOK: Oh, Claire! It could be anywhere!

ghana pit stop

And by ‘anywhere’, we mean this pinpoint location!

– Katie & Rachel are second to the market. It is a showdown between the two strongest all-female teams in The Amazing Race history. Little do we know that Katie & Rachel are currently using ALL of the tools to crack first place.

ghana pit stop 2

Public safety employees is probably a wise decision for a crowded and enlarged market.

KATIE & RACHEL: Where is he? Where is he?
BROOK: I don’t know!

ghana brook roberts 16

“All I know is that I am standing beside this nice Mercedes!”

– Both teams keep running around the market.

ghana pit stop 3

The Ghanaian population has already caught on to forming a human barricade around Katie & Rachel to further reduce their screen time.

– Who will reach Phil first?

ghana phil keoghan 7

Other than the hundreds of Ghanaians who are paying Phil five Cedis for an autograph, and ten Cedis for a picture with The Grand Kiwi Meister himself?

ghana pit stop 4

She is the first woman to say “my eyes are down here”.

– Brook & Clare reach the mat first. The pit stop greeter welcomes her.

FIRST PLACE: BROOK & CLAIRE

ghana phil keoghan 8

ghana phil keoghan 6

ghana brook claire 10

Lots of energy to go around.

ghana brook claire 11

And apparently Brook is desperate to cover her mouth. Maybe she is trying not to vomit all over the pit stop mat?

– Phil informs them that they have won a 10-day trip for two to Hawaii. Breakfast in bed on some of these days is presumed to be included.

But seriously, this is a freakin’ big prize. This makes up for producers handing out an Express Pass worth ten dollars at the end of the first leg.

CLAIRE: They probably think “we’re the ditzy la-la girls like they’re cut, they’re high maintenance. They’re not going to go anywhere”. We’re here to stay.
BROOK: We’re not going anywhere anytime soon.

ghana brook claire 12

ghana brook claire 13

ghana brook claire 14
All of that is negated by the ditziest and la-la-est celebration dance I have ever seen.

ghana brook claire 15

Who knew the most tiring part of this round was the celebration dance? No more ‘Burn Dance’ for you, Brook.

– We press onwards as Katie & Rachel stealthily check into the mat from behind.

ghana katie rachel 3

Maybe they thought checking in from behind is the hip thing to do? Who knows.

SECOND PLACE: KATIE & RACHEL

They receive zero confessionals and nothing other than a hug shown.

– Jonathan yells out to Connor that the TV nearly displayed colour. Obviously Connor proceeds to move the antenna to make it as blurry as possible. It is the worst signal we have seen yet.

ghana connor diemand yauman 3

The mystery as to why it will not work is solved. Connor decided to play with the antenna like it was a toy gun. That’s why it will not work.

– They decide to switch Detour options as Jonathan apologizes for being unable to install his TV. During the switch, Jonathan runs into a kid, and asks for a high five.

ghana jonathan schwartz

“Hey there, little dude! Staying out of trouble?”

ghana jonathan schwartz 2

“High five, my man!”

ghana jonathan schwartz 3

“What about a low five?”
“How about a NO five?!”

Yes, it is true. Jonathan Schwartz was rejected by a Ghanaian child. Even he could see through Jonathan and know that he is not cool within the first five seconds of meeting him.

THIRD PLACE: KEVIN & MICHAEL

ghana kevin michael wu 7

Where the hell did Kevin’s glasses come from?

– Jill & Thomas use two locals to transport it upstairs to the showroom.

ghana jill thomas 6

What happened to the third local that was with him? Is he laying inside of the coffin just for fun?

FOURTH PLACE: CHAD & STEPHANIE

ghana chad stephanie 4

All of the pixie dust is squeezed out of Tinkerbell.

– Nat & Kat’s driver is still lost. Meanwhile, we check in with Mallory’s strategy of trusting her driver.

ghana gary mallory ervin 5

Those are not the words one wants to hear from their cab driver.

ghana driver

Especially when the driver is amused that he was responsible for getting you lost.

– Gary & Mallory and Nat & Kat are both pulling over for directions. Andie & Jenna pass both vehicles, and pull over shortly thereafter.

ghana kevin garnett

Obscure TAR Trivia: Nat & Kat’s driver is wearing a Kevin Garnett jersey circa Timberwolves era.

kevin garnett

Even in West Africa they are K-G’ing it. Anything is possible, indeed.

– Andie & Jenna’s driver asks a woman on the side of the road for directions.

ghana andie jenna 11

For them, anything is -not- possible.

– Gary & Mallory’s driver is set as he hops back in. They are turning around. So is Nat & Kat’s driver.

ghana gary mallory ervin 6

Her hopes and dreams may be close to being smashed, but Mallory refuses to give up the smile on her face.

– Andie & Jenna notice the other two cabs are heading back. This makes them worried.

ghana andie jenna 12

Mainly because their driver is a couple of blocks away asking for directions on foot. Why didn’t he take his vehicle to a busier area? It’s not like the video game Grand Theft Auto where you are at the mercy of waiting for a vehicle to magically appear on this street. This guy -has- a vehicle. He can run back, drive a few blocks, get directions, and be on his way.

ghana driver 2

What? Is he seriously hitching a ride with that vehicle? He truly has given up on his job.

Also, I have posted about plenty of Bills. Sorry, random graffiti.

– Commercial. We resume. I was kidding about the driver getting into another vehicle. He returns to Andie & Jenna, and informs them that he knows where he is going.

– Connor & Jonathan pick a fish coffin.

JONATHAN: I don’t know how you’d fit in here. I guess if you really like fish you can sleep with the fishes.
ghana connor jonathan 8

Yes, Schwartz pulls out a Godfather reference. This makes up for his lack of muscles as he and Connor struggle to transport the coffin.

ghana group

This must be the most entertaining day ever for the people of Accra. They get to watch weak and spoiled Americans attempting to sell sunglasses, search markets, showcase an inability to set up a television, and now the struggle to move a coffin.

– Gary & Mallory are eighth to the Detour. Mallory suggests they tune a television. Nat & Kat pick the coffins.

– Nick & Vicki finish tuning the television. They are currently sixth.

ghana vicki casciola

“Wait! I want to stay for a minute. This is a feed from the Nollywood station!”

– Vicki ditches the television and reads the clue with Nick.

ghana nick vicki 2

As well as several other locals who wish to accompany them to the next destination.

FIFTH PLACE: JILL & THOMAS

– Gary & Mallory are doing well with setting up the antenna. I do have a question, though.

ghana mallory ervin 9

This guy already has a TV! Why does he need a second one for his living room? Wouldn’t that be a bit excessive? Does he want his favourite drama AND to watch his soccer team playing simultaneously?

– Nat & Kat pick the coffin with crabs.

ghana nat kat 3

Leave it to a pair of doctors to choose the coffin that is synonymous with a serious illness.

– Nat informs Kat that she has tied a surgical knot. Connor & Jonathan wheel their coffin through the roads to Hello Coffins.

ghana connor diemand yauman 4

Goodbye insurance.

ghana road 2

Connor & Jonathan are not catching a break here in Accra. Sure, these two guys are somewhat annoying, but did they really deserve a day like this?

If you answered ‘yes’, then congratulations, you are the perfect reader for this blog.

– Andie & Jenna are last to the Detour. They choose the coffin task while in dead last.

– Connor & Jonathan complete the Detour in seventh. Nat & Kat are dragging their coffin at an accelerated pace.

ghana nat kat 4

Who knew a coffin transport would not have brakes. I guess they don’t have to worry about injuring what’s inside.

– We cut to Gary & Mallory finishing the Detour. Easy tune-up for them. They do that for fun in Kentucky, I s’pose.

ghana mallory ervin 10

“Yay!”

– Nat & Kat transport the crab to Hello Coffins.

ghana coffin 2

A lobster? I’m pretty sure it’s a crab because that would be funnier in this situation. Otherwise my Ghanarrhea reference seems dumb and stupid.

– Nat & Kat finish the task in ninth. Andie & Jenna are shown being done seconds later in last. Many teams are stuck in traffic. There is no wiggle room.

ghana road 3

A Canyonero would come in handy here.

– One driver braves the congested streets of Accra. A team that desperately needed this right now.

ghana nat kat 5

Nat is loving this risky business; Kat is not.

– They keep moving and pass a taxi on the road.

ghana gary mallory ervin 7

“Oh noes!”

ghana taxi

I think this is how one would be K-G’ing it on The Amazing Race. That driver is more than deserving to wear a Kevin Garnett jersey.

– NAT: We just passed our little brothers.

Yeah, she is referring to Connor & Jonathan. Connor & Jonathan and Nat & Kat both pass Nick & Vicki on the road. This is a close road race. Mallory is stressing out. So is Jenna.

JONATHAN: I believe we can beat the doctors in a foot race.

– More crazy driving on the road.

ghana nat kat 6

Kat refuses to embrace the wild side.

JONATHAN: Ohhhh god.  These taxi drivers are nuts. We’re not complaining as long as we’re not dying.

ghana connor jonathan 9

Connor, you thought your Segway that you use to ride around campus was the wildest ride ever conceived by man. Well, you sir are wrong. Welcome to vehicles with more than two wheels, my friend.

ghana connor jonathan 10

You know the rules, Connor. You’re not allowed to die. This is American reality television!

ghana nat kat 7

Nat initially put on a brave face, but even she has crumbled.

CONNOR: Our taxi driver and the next driver ahead of us have just invented a third lane-

ghana connor jonathan 11

Oh, stop being so dramatic, guys. Connor’s jaw is going to hurt in the morning.
ghana car

!!!!

CONNOR: I want my mom.

There were so many more responses Connor could have used to reply to what just happened, and he chooses THAT?!

ghana nat kat 8

NAT: I think I’m having a religious experience.

See. Something that is a bit more clever, and does not guarantee that you will go another two years without a date.

CONNOR: I’m just so proud I haven’t soiled myself.
JONATHAN: Yeah, I think I might have.

ghana connor jonathan 12

Make that four years. At least Michael Wu is already married. He has the luxury of soiling himself without consequence.

SIXTH PLACE: CONNOR & JONATHAN

CONNOR: I love the fish.

ghana pit stop 5

Oh, so that is what’s on top of her head. Why does she need one hand to hold onto it? Weak.

– Phil has such a disinterest in Connor & Jonathan that he asks them to move aside for Nat & Kat.

ghana pit stop 6

Get them off the mat before they start singing may be the reason.

SEVENTH PLACE; NAT & KAT

ghana pit stop 7

For the second round in a row, Jonathan sets it up to ensure he is standing in the middle next to an all-female team. Everything is coming up Milhouse.

EIGHTH PLACE: NICK & VICKI

MALLORY: We’ve got to catch a break here.

As opposed to a brake, I presume?

JENNA: We’ve got to put it all out on the line here. If we pass out on that mat, that’s okay. We’re going to do it.

ghana andie jenna 13

They share the same frizzy hair, the same double-jointed fingers, and the same. . .mean game face?

ghana gary mallory ervin 8

“Pwease pwease pwease pwease pwease. . .”

– Just show us who is last already.

– Gary & Mallory make it to the mat.

GARY: I’ve had a bad day. Give us some good news, Phil.
MALLORY: Or any news before I have a heart attack and die on this mat. Has that happened before?

ghana gary mallory ervin 9

It did on the Bulgarian version of The Amazing Race, Mallory.

– We get a long awkward pause.

MALLORY: OH JESUS GOD!

ghana gary mallory ervin 10
Mallory does not do well under pressure.

ghana phil keoghan 9

He can do this all day.

– Phil ends the suspense.

NINTH PLACE: GARY & MALLORY
ghana gary mallory ervin 11

Gary doesn’t express emotion the same way as Mallory does, eh?

– Let’s get to it.

LAST PLACE AND ELIMINATED: ANDIE & JENNA
ghana andie jenna 14

They even wipe their tears away the same way.

– Usually I could not care less about what teams say at the end as they depart from the race, but for obvious circumstances, this is a bit more important.

JENNA: My whole life I’ve wondered who my birth mother was, and just like, it’s a treasure to have it be Andie.
ANDIE: For me I’ve gotten a piece after twenty-one years of, just knowing this beautiful person I brought into the world.

– They talk about how Andie chose what she thought would be a good family for Jenna. Lots of crying involved. This is heavy to watch for any viewer.

ghana andie jenna 15

The aforementioned crying.

ghana andie jenna 16

One more thing: They also share the ability to have a sub-par performance on The Amazing Race. Genetics ftw!

– We bid farewell to Andie & Jenna. This is a team of strangers done right on The Amazing Race. It’s not an injury replacement teaming up with a guy who lost his backpack, nor is it a series of blind date pairings who are playing for the cameras attempting to seek love that does not exist in the first place.

Major props to casting for allowing Andie & Jenna to be on the race. Yeah, I gave them a hard time, but I give everyone a hard time except for Ken & Gerard, Ida & Tania, Lance Layne, or Michael & Kathy. That is to be expected of me.

Next Time on TAR: Under the African sun, Nick loses his cool. And Michael heats up.

NUMBER OF EPISODES A TEAM HAS BEEN MENTIONED IN THE ‘NEXT TIME ON’ SEGMENT

NICK & VICKI 1
KEVIN & MICHAEL 1

CONFESSIONAL COUNT

BROOK ROBERTS.CLAIRE CHAMPLIN 7.3
CHAD WALTRIP.STEPHANIE SMITH 4.0
KATIE SEAMON.RACHEL JOHNSTON 0.1
CONNOR DIEMAND-YAUMAN.JONATHAN SCHWARTZ 0.1
NAT STRAND.KAT CHANG 2.4
KEVIN WU.MICHAEL WU 3.2
NICK DECARLO.VICKI CASCIOLA 1.1
JILL HANEY.THOMAS WOLFARD 4.4
GARY ERWIN.MALLORY ERWIN 0.1
ANDIE DEKROON.JENNA SYKES 6.7

Team Averages

Below is a list of all teams from seasons I have blogged to date, ranked by racing average.

e.g. Don & Mary Jean finished 9th, 8th, 8th, 8th, and 8th. Add up the numbers and divide it by the number of legs they have played.

Therefore their average is 8.2.

10th Yani & Nadine 10.0 Would have survived round two, but were marked for elimination and thus officially finished in last both rounds TAR Asia 4
10th Jody & Shannon 10.0 TAR Adventure 16
10th Lisa & Joni 10.0 TAR 9
10th Kevin & Drew All Stars 10.0 TAR 11
10th Neena & Amit 10.0 TAR Asia 3
10th A Black Family 10.0 TAR 8
— F +–
10th Andie & Jenna 9.5 TAR 17
10th Steve & Linda 9.5 TAR 14
10th Anthony & Stephanie 9.5 (Why them?????) TAR 13
10th Megan & Heidi 9.5 (Wow. They sucked.) TAR 7
11th Garrett & Jessica 9.5 TAR 15
10th Kate & Pat 9.0 TAR 12
9th David & Mary All Stars 9.0 TAR 11
9th Peggy & Claire 9.0 May or may not be gutsy. TAR 2
10th Meredith & Maria 9.0 TAR 6
10th Dennis & Andrew 9.0 FF TAR 3
9th Marianna & Julia 8.33 TAR 12
10th Russell & Cindy 8.33 TAR 4
8th Don & Mary Jean 8.2 Saved by NEL once TAR 6
10th Kellie & Jamie 8.0 TAR 10
10th Kim & Leslie 8.0 TAR 1
8th Danielle & Dani 7.8 Yielded TAR 9

Rank the Teams

1) Andie & Jenna

This was probably the most emotional pairing in TAR history. TAR 17 was the first time that Andie & Jenna truly had the opportunity to spend time with each other. They re-connected for the first time Andie put Jenna up for adoption. It was neat to see them learn about each other during their short time on the race, and see a family relationship build from square one on the race.

I cannot emphasize this enough: This is acceptable while the stupid romance blind date twist on TAR 26 is not (I wish Phil would reveal at the end of TAR 26 that the blind date couples are actually siblings separated at birth).

Did Andie & Jenna have a chance to go further than three legs in the race? Absolutely not. Andie sucked at driving, they were too passive with directions, gave up their own money easily, and had a far more important goal.

Does that mean they are bad people or undeserving for being cast on TAR? No.

That’s a balance you always need to have in every cast. You need at least eight teams who are truly competitive, but also two or three teams who are going to be entertaining television or grateful for the experience of being on TAR.

In other words, the exact opposite of how TAR 15 was cast.

I like that this casting was not too gimmicky. Perhaps they would have survived the second round if there was a Billiards Roadblock for Andie.

Not much else to say about Andie & Jenna. I liked them overall, and glad to see they enjoyed the experience more than most teams do. Yeah, they are terrible racers but that is fine by me.

2) Ron & Tony

Oh, Ron & Tony. Ron could run fast out of the gate, and they had the advantage of landing in the country of London more than twenty minutes before everyone else.

They could have been three hours ahead of everyone and still be in last. This may be one of the worst opening round performances I have seen by any team. Perhaps Meredith & Maria being lost for more than three hours on a single road in Iceland is the only other feat that out-stinks this one.

This team appeared to be ideal to go far into the race. They are alpha males with a good education. Especially when they made it to the airport faster than nearly everyone else.

Unlike Meredith & Maria, Ron & Tony did not have the luxury of being saved by a mid-leg equalizer in London. In fact, this might be the start of the trend where TAR opts to not have the “first 3 teams check out early next morning, next 3 teams depart 30 minutes later, and the last 5 teams depart one hour later”.

Ron & Tony were shown stopping a ridiculous number of times, and they probably sensed how far behind they were because they had not seen a team all day long. The freakin’ guy at the Stonehenge outright told them “lots and lots and lots of teams have come through”. Heck, I think TAR 25’s cast came into London before Ron & Tony found their way.

Ron did in fact complete the watermelon challenge (he did it in three shots), but was not shown on TV. Their total time spent in the car was eight hours. It is unclear whether they did in fact skip traveling by boat to the Roadblock.

I am curious how Ron & Tony’s edit would have played out if they made a deeper run. Personally I think they would have had a one-dimensional fan favourite edit, but alas, they instead must suffer the embarrassment of losing to a team who thinks London is a country after spending a full day there.

I am waiting for Tony to release a video game called Tony Fu, and play the role of a genie in a children’s film.

P.S. Sorry Ron. You are going to be the only player in this whole season who does not receive a direct comparison to a celebrity. Even Tony received a celebrity counterpart. Sorry.

Rank the Legs

1) Gloucester, Massachusetts, USA -> England, United Kingdom, London (according to Nick Decarlo)

What a great premiere. Rarely a dull moment and perhaps a contender for one of the funniest openers ever.

This is perhaps the most famous episode in TAR history simply because of Claire being hit in the face with a watermelon.

Let me correct that statement: It is the episode that holds the most recognizable clip in TAR history.

I can back this up. You see, I recently finished spending 17 years going through school. Elementary school, high school, and university. While in elementary school, nearly everyone I knew watched Survivor and/or TAR.

High school in 2004-2009? The popularity dropped significantly. Teachers participated in a fantasy pool, and classmates Anita and Jordan spoke to me about Survivor: Gabon at the time.

University in 2009-2013? Yeah. I heard one woman talk about it on the bus in 2011, and my linguistics professor brought up Soo Hawk during my final year. Lastly, my friend Jake said “look, they are going to Nicaragua. Too bad it is all staged inside of a studio” when Nicaragua was announced.

There was one other exception in the past five years.

When the watermelon clip was pushed to being viral, my friend Jered posted it online. I know Jered well from high school–I can assure you he could not care less about competitive reality TV.

Well, two more years went by and he re-posted the clip. He, Doug, and Clint talked about it and thought it was one of the funniest things they have ever seen. Again, NONE of them watch this genre of television. My jaw dropped to see them engaging in a conversation that related to Survivor or TAR.

I can guarantee you they have not seen any other clips in the past six or seven years. Thus, I can safely conclude that Claire getting hit in the face with a watermelon is TAR’s only true viral claim to fame. TAR 26 starts airing next week, and with the current numbers of only five million Americans following the series, it is fair to state that TAR has not achieved recognition anywhere remotely close to the watermelon incident since then.

For those who bothered to watch the full episode, we got to see sinking boats, the start of robotic Jill, a creative starting line that is not Los Angeles or New York, and a self-drive leg to open up the season.

Watching teams struggle with a stick shift or basic geography is a favourite past time of mine.

This opening round leaves almost nothing to be desired.

2) London, England -> Accra, Ghana

The second round has a tendency to be forgettable in TAR.

That is not the case here. An amazing premiere was met by a near equally amazing second round.

Selling sunglasses and interacting with locals is a type of task I always love. The task is what TAR is all about. You do something culturally that people would not normally associate with a given city, but be forced to interact with the locals as well. So many hilarious moments. How many deals did I individually show you that made you laugh out loud? Quite a few, right? Chad’s lengthy deal-making, the dancing lady, the man buying two hundred sunglasses, and the lady who was knocked down by cardboard.

The Detour was unique. Seventeen seasons and we get ideas that are not only fresh, but also very suitable for the race. Transporting coffins that resemble an individual’s personality? Being forced to set up a television with an antenna until you get a clear picture? This was fantastic.

Let’s add in the fact that this leg was in West Africa. Correct me if I am wrong, but this is the final season to feature a West African nation (I am currently tweeting Elise and Bertram to see if ebola has prevented the possibility of a return in the near future).

I always love it when TAR travels to West Africa nations, and Ghana has been no exception. The culture shock of congested streets and markets, third world poverty, but also its beauty, is what makes it fun to see Americans try to navigate through this region of the world.

Oh, and this round deserves some points for Brook & Claire winning this leg, and for making Connor & Jonathan scared for the whole day. Two of my favourite past times.

P.S. Can’t forget the taxi driver who was K-G’ing It!

***

I co-host a weekly podcast which covers the current season of The Amazing Race. Care to listen?

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