The Amazing Race 17 episode three rankings

Third episode

“You Thought I Was a Ghana Geography Major, but NOPE!”



Previously on TAR: Ten teams raced from England to Accra, Ghana. The crowded marketplace, teams tried to make the deal.


At the Detour, Brook & Claire hammered home their lead and finished in first

Thankfully Phil was not instructed to say “Brook & Claire nailed their way to the lead”. That was close.

While birth mom and daughter Andie & Jenna bid a tearful goodbye.

timbaland elevator

The whole world was stunned when Andie & Jenna suffered from an early elimination, and were the second team ousted on The Amazing Race 17.

Nine teams remain; who will be eliminated next?


– Intro time.

– Phil introduces us to Accra, Ghana. Inside of Accra’s heart, Kaneshie Market.

– Brook & Claire, who were the first to arrive at an unspecified time, will depart at 7:34am. They read that they must travel across the city to the neighbourhood of Jamestown (yay colonization!) and find the Akotoku Boxing Academy where they will find their next clue.

accra boxing academy

Carpentry contractors are not in the annual budget, I assume.

accra brook claire

rocky balboa adrian

Good thing Brook chose to wear her Rocky Balboa hat in preparation for today. Now all Brook has to do is explain the origins of the term southpaw, speak in an incomprehensible Italian accent, and she’d be all set.

seychelles tortoise 8

Oh, and steal the turtles from the Seychelles in TAR 16 and claim them as her pet turtles. That is key.

– Brook & Claire hail a taxi. They ask where they are going, and the driver informs them it is a place for boxing.

accra brook claire 2

They’re excited at the prospect of throwing a right Accrass in Ghana.

It should be noted that this is the quickest orgasm to ever occur in a round of The Amazing Race.

samantha jones 3

This is the exact opposite problem that Brook will have later on in the season.


Once their boxing task is over, they can start tackling the great mysteries of North America.

– Whatever boxing task they may have to do there, I hope it is done with legitimacy.

snoop dogg signs

snoop dogg signs 2

As long as this task does not include the involvement of Snoop Dogg or Justin Timberlake, we should be fine.

Oh right. Or Charlie Wilson. Like anybody ever remembers Charlie Wilson on any of Snoop Dogg’s hip hop tracks. They only remember him for his war.

– Katie & Rachel depart second at 7:35am. KevJumba & Michael start third at 7:45am.

KEVJUMBA: Physically it’s hard for us to match up with these other teams that are in their 20s or in their 30s. And HE is fifty-nine.

accra kevjumba michael wu

“Thanks for pointing that out, son.”

While Michael may not be the greatest physically, he did ace the Roadblock, and did most of the work during the Detour.

Not only that, but KevJumba is perhaps one of the most boring racers to ever be cast, and thus Michael has to double his son’s entertainment value to even things out.

In short, Michael is far more valuable on the race than KevJumba.

ghana kevjumba 2

Lastly, KevJumba’s remarks about physical strength is pointless because he himself cannot jump more than two inches off the ground.

accra kevjumba michael wu 2


– Kev goes on to ramble about how this race is worth more than a million dollars (the budget is probably around ten to twenty million, I assume) and how it is all about experiencing these different countries.

– Brook & Claire are first to the boxing academy.

accra boxing

Outdoor boxing? What is this? Caesar’s Palace?

accra boxing 2

He really needs a coach to channel his anger, and some financial backing to improve the equipment on hand.

dennis wise

avon barksdale

Too bad they couldn’t hire these guys from Baltimore.

BROOK: Ohhh! It’s BOXING Claire, it’s BOXING! Oh my god, we’ve got a bunch of burly men!

I wouldn’t get too excited, Brook. Remember the last time a woman stepped into a boxing ring?

million dollar baby

This happened.

– Brook reads the clue. It’s a Roadblock.

BROOK: You’ve got a Rocky road ahead.

Wow. They, uh, didn’t even try to mask the Rocky reference, eh?

– Phil explains that boxing is the most popular sport after football. Boxing gyms appear in neighbourhoods throughout the country, and have produced numerous world champions.

Like. . .like. . .yeah, I can’t name one.

– In this Roadblock, teams must properly wrap up their hands before suiting up in training gear.

accra yellow

I bet Gary & Mallory will have dibs on those hand wraps.

accra boxing 3

The Nelly band-aid is also the second most popular band-aid style in Ghana right behind Hello Kitty band-aids.

– Next they must work on the speed bag for sixty seconds and then jump rope for sixty seconds. Once they master both exercises, the trainer will give them their next clue.

TRAINER: It’s good.

accra boxing 4

Not great, but good. He’s a brutally honest trainer.

There was also a sixty second bike routine that was edited out of this Roadblock. For shame.

mike tyson punch out

Except some jackass tourist from New York took Brook’s pink outfit beforehand, and left the boxing academy without returning the outfit. His accomplice took the bike. Both of them have been banned from ever boxing in Ghana again.

– Brook asks if she can do the Roadblock (again). Claire gives her permission to do so. Brook explains that she and Claire train at a boxing facility back home.


A flirtatious female boxer on a competitive reality show? Who does she think she is? Parvati Shallow?

– Brook chooses the trainer she thinks “looks the meanest” out of a lineup.

accra brook roberts

Oddly enough, this is the same reasoning that somebody is picked out of any lineup when it comes to human psychology.

CLAIRE: If Brook gets into the ring with one of those guys, I am scared for the other guy.

Of course. Brook will give them the kiss of death.

accra brook roberts 2

For once, Brook can refer to somebody as a “wrapper” aloud and not sound offensive.

accra brook roberts 3

Brook becomes the first White female wrapper in Ghana’s history.

– Katie & Rachel pull over to ask for directions, and continue on their way. They refer to their taxi driver as a son of a bitch for not admitting he was lost.

– Chad & Stephanie begin in fourth at 7:52am. They have 146 dollars for this leg of the race.

accra chad stephanie

Chad holds the money just out of Stephanie’s reach. Jump higher, Tinkerbell! You’ll eventually get there!

– Jill & Thomas start in fifth at 7:58am.

THOMAS: Dude. . .let’s get out of here!

Isn’t that pretty much the whole point of the race? To move from one point to the other?

– Connor & Jonathan depart sixth at 8:01am.

accra connor jonathan

They have one eager fan who is desperate to see them leave the pit stop.

ghana jonathan schwartz 2

That kid may actually high five you, Jonathan.

– Connor & Jonathan introduce themselves to the taxi driver known as Samson.

accra samson

Samson, eh? There is only one person I have seen on TV with the name Samson.

samson half baked

Yeah. It’s a while before TAR reaches the same levels of ridiculousness as the movie Half Baked.

– Claire coaches Brook to watch her fingers. Brook’s wraps are approved.

accra brook roberts 4

Never before has a person been this excited over properly wrapping their fingers. She proceeds to kiss the man on the cheek.

accra brook roberts 5

Brook Roberts–The three-time Golden Lips champion!

CLAIRE: That’s a good luck kiss.

Yes, Claire knows Brook’s kisses so well that she can categorize each type of kiss.

BROOK: Gotta sweet talk these boxers.

We now get one of the more random cuts in recent memory.

accra boxing academy 2

This guy has absolutely nothing to do with this scene, but yet:

a) A camera operator zoomed in on him at some point during the task
b) Editors felt that it was necessary to include him grinning and laughing right after Brook kisses some other guy on the cheek.

What the heck, TAR?

– Brook moves over to sixty seconds of punching.

accra brook roberts 6

Brook is demonstrating good technique.

BROOK: Thank you, coach. I like you.

accra brook roberts 7

I would hate to be on the receiving end of that punch.

– Chad & Stephanie are second to the academy, but not before we see a motivational poster.

accra poster

bimmy and jimmy

This is our Bimmy and Jimmy moment of the week!

– STEPHANIE: I want you to box.

ghana chad stephanie 2

For the second round in a row, Stephanie has zero desire to perform the Roadblock. At this rate, Chad will be maxing out his Roadblocks in no time. This is already his third.

– Katie & Rachel show up in third. Rachel is going to do it.

RACHEL: Trainer? Trainer?!

misty may-treanor

This is also the same thing Rachel yells when chasing down Misty’s autograph during the Summer Olympics. Run, Misty May-Treanor, run! Rachel will never give up her dream! Do not shake her hand as Rachel will never wash it again!

– Brook is done boxing and moves onto the final skip-rope stage.

BROOK: The hat looks really good on you, by the way.

accra brook roberts 8

She is really trying to flatter the judge in case she does not have proper jump-rope skills.

Is it skip-rope or jump-rope? Is one the English usage and the other is the American usage? Please let me know in the comments below.

BROOK: Maybe some day we can box in the ring.

There is an obvious reason why that cannot happen, Brook.
accra brook roberts 9

It would break the bond between sensei and student! C’mon now. Don’t be silly.

– TAR inserts a boxing bell sound effect along with the Cowboys’ celebratory horn, and the task is complete.

I do have one question, though.

accra brook roberts 10

What the heck is Brook wearing around her stomach?

– Brook & Claire read that they must travel by taxi to the marked supply depot in the Dodowa district. They re-enter the cab, and Brook informs them they are in a big hurry.

CLAIRE: You just knocked that one out no pun intended!
BROOK: Bee-yoo!

accra claire champlin

I. . .I am pretty sure the pun was intended.

– Chad’s wraps are approved.

accra chad waltrip

Chad is aware he does not get to physically box against an opponent, right?

– Rachel’s wraps are also good. Jill & Thomas’ driver gets directions from a local on the street. When he eventually returns, Jill & Thomas have the decency to refrain from calling him a son of a bitch.

accra 51

Last week we had Kevin Garnett jerseys. This round we have Bernie Williams. Accra is an interesting place.

– Connor & Jonathan see the Jumbas’ cab in front of them.

CONNOR: Can you please pass these people in front of us?
(Cue the a-capella hit.)
CONNOR: Please drive faster–
JONATHAN: Please drive faster.

accra connor jonathan 2

What the hell guys?

CONNOR: Please drive fasterrr!
JONATHAN: Please drive fasterrr!

accra connor jonathan 3


And it’s the same damn song as yesterday! As far as the nation of Ghana is concerned, these guys are one-hit wonders.

the wonders

The Wonders would be a more welcoming presence in Ghana than Connor & Jonathan.

– It should be noted that the driver complies with Connor & Jonathan’s request purely out of his hopes and prayers that the singing will stop once they are ahead.

accra kevjumba

“Wu messed with the wrong dwude!”

– The singing is not over.


accra connor jonathan 4

Wow. They found the one guy in all of Accra who loves Amreican a-capella music. You lucked out, guys.

– Nat & Kat depart in seventh at 8:02am. Nat knows she would be at the bottom at times, but that the main strategy is to never give up. When you’re at the bottom, you are supposed to work harder.

Or just hope for an equalizer.

accra nat kat

Forget selfie cams, TAR 17 had a rearview cam!

Although editors showing the words “I hope we don’t get lost” probably means they are already lost.

– Kat adds that you can catch up with a good driver.

accra nat kat 2

DAMMIT! I just lost the game! And so did every single person reading this blog.

the game

Now all of you readers out there can play along!

– Rock music plays as Nick & Vicki embark in 8th at 8:04am. Their goal for this leg is to communicate well. Nick adds without communication you cannot race.

VICKI: How far away is it, you think?

accra nick vicki

Plan B, guys. Plan B.

– Gary & Mallory start the leg in last at 8:06am. I am surprised it is less than an hour from first to last. Mallory attempts to read the clue.

MALLORY: A Kotaku?

accra gary mallory ervin

I didn’t know Mallory was into Japanese gaming websites!

MALLORY: We’re starting out in last place today, but we said we’re going to move up! We’ve had all of our bad luck out of our system we think with the flat tire and the broken down cab so we’re going to have a good leg.

accra gary mallory ervin 2

Now you just need to get the bad hair out of your system.
lol, just noticed Gary’s bandana. He is like a retired NBA player from the 80s who has yet to make the transition into present-day fashion off of the court.

accra good luck

There is a flag inside of the Ervin’s cab that says ‘good luck’. However, that luck may or may not come with a steep sacrifice.

– We cut back to Chad at the Roadblock. He is bouncing around at the jump-rope stage. Guess what? Chad is a pretty fit guy. We saw this evidence in the premiere where he is shown bench-pressing Stephanie, and using low bars to do tricep push-ups.

Well, he claims to be a guy who is good at jump-roping, and decides to flash some neat tricks.

accra chad waltrip 2

Oscar De La Hoya would be jealous of that footwork.

accra chad waltrip 3

It’s time to double jump.

accra chad waltrip 4


accra chad waltrip 5

He is as embarrassed as the producers of TAR 24. Chad has nobody to blame but himself.

accra chad stephanie 2

If Stephanie would finally step up to do a Roadblock, Chad wouldn’t have embarrassed himself. It’s all your fault, Steph. Because of Chad’s error, he has to start over.

accra katie seamon

Which of course leads to Katie passing Chad and completing the task before him. She possesses all of the tools to not be a show-off.

accra chad waltrip 6

Maybe next time, Chad. Maybe next time.

– CHAD: I did get clubbed by the girls, but she didn’t look as good as I did getting clubbed.

accra chad stephanie 3


accra chad stephanie 4

STEPHANIE: That’s all he cares about!

Chad knew he nailed that soundbyte the second it came out of his mouth. Not only does he talk about his own Roadblock experience, but he also sums up Katie & Rachel’s too. Katie & Rachel will not get a single confessional about beating Chad & Stephanie at that task.

– Chad finishes. Both teams exit the academy.

– Jumbas and Connor & Jonathan see Katie & Rachel on the street.

CONNOR: Rachel, what’s going on?!
RACHEL: Nothing. Over there.

Yes, Connor. Katie & Rachel are getting away from you. They are already on their way to the next route marker without you. Will you step up and catch up or be a Chumpajumba and stay behind? Connor is doing the Roadblock. He is pumped. Two all-female teams are ahead of him, and it is his job to catch up and ensure he will receive some pity for the third pit stop in a row.

accra connor diemand-yauman

Let’s rock.

It’s rising up
He’s back on the street
Was a virgin who took his chances

survivor eye of the tiger

He won’t go the distance
Cause he passed out while on his feet
Just a man and his will to feel Rachel’s hand

survivor eye of the tiger 2

So many times
He comes too fast

accra jonathan schwartz

He has a passion for glory–
Holes where she gives up the grip
When he lives the dream of being half mast
He must fight just to keep it alive

survivor eye of the tiger 3

It’s the eye of the Connor

accra connor diemand-yauman 3

Looking for the thrill for the right price

accra connor diemand-yauman 2

It’s rising up to the challenge of his rivals
And the last known racer strokes his head in the night
And he keeps it up with all the females with the eye

survivor eye of the tiger 4

of the Connor.

– During this time KevJumba does the Roadblock because his father will be unable to handle 98 degree Fahrenheit heat.

accra kevjumba 2

Unfortunately he can’t wrap it up. He must start over. Perhaps KevJumba will eventually concede that his father is better at every single aspect of TAR compared to him.

– Jill & Thomas show up next. Thomas wants to do the Roadblock as we hear a chicken make its voice heard in the background like the beginning to Lon Lon Ranch’s song. Connor tries to Double Dutch during the jump-rope phase.

JONATHAN: Just do it normally.
CONNOR: I thought I’d do the Double Dutch, Jonny!

accra connor diemand-yauman 4

That does not look like a guy who can Double Dutch.

I understand why Connor and Chad both tried to show off, though. If you are somebody like me who -knows- when they are excelling at a physical or mental challenge, you want to show just how good you really are.

Any idiot can do jump-rope for a minute, but guess how many idiots can do it while Double Dutching? That’s the count we wish to increase.

accra jill haney

She is LAUGHING at him.

– KevJumba’s wraps are approved, and begins punching the bag. Here he is desperate for a Cassius Clay reference.

KEVJUMBA: Muhammad. You know Muhammad?
TRAINOR: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

accra kevjumba 3

“Yes, he’s a friend who trains at the academy. Wait, you didn’t just ask if I knew who Muhammad Ali was in general, did you?”


“Muhammad is the most commonly used name on Earth, read a f–king book for once, KevJumba!”

accra kevjumba 4

KevJumbAli’s motto for when viewers watch his videos:

Bloat them with father’s appearances
Sting with my poor comedic timing to make their ears bleed

– Gary, Vicki (at Nick’s insistence), and Thomas are all working on their hands.

accra gary ervin thomas wolfard

Thomas looks like he is unravelling a scroll.

– Connor completes the jump-rope task.

accra connor diemand-yauman 5

I love how the trainer is over-the-top with stopping Connor as if he wants nothing more than to stop watching Connor do this Roadblock.

– Jonathan commends Connor on a job well done. Nat & Kat have driven by the academy and are lost. Suddenly Katie & Rachel and Chad & Stephanie are directly behind them.

Yeah, Nat & Kat are trailing by a significant margin now.

accra taxi

Stephanie is doing Kat’s facepalm on her behalf.
And Katie looks sweaty per usual.

– Nat & Kat stop in the middle of the road. Chad & Stephanie and Katie & Rachel’s vehicles are stuck because Nat & Kat’s cab is blocking the way. Nat exits the cab, and runs to Chad & Stephanie to ask where to go.

accra nat strand

Chad & Stephanie have no choice but to help Nat. The only other option is to hold up traffic and force an equalizer upon all of the teams except Brook & Claire.

Not that that scenario would have been a bad thing, mind you.

accra katie rachel

Katie is mentally executing Nat, and Rachel is flipping off Nat. Hilarious.

KATIE: You dumb doctor.

accra katie seamon 2

Coming up next: Katie will call Kat a “stupid poo-poo head”.

– Nat repeatedly taps her driver on the shoulder to turn around.

DRIVER: Sit down. I will drive.
NAT: Can you turn around?
NAT: Can you please turn around?
DRIVER: This way.
NAT: Can you please turn around right now?

accra nat kat 3

She won’t stop tapping your shoulder until you name ten chocolate bars, sir.

NAT: No–no–no–stop!
KAT: Sir!

accra nat kat 4

I think we’re all amazed by the driver’s refusal to believe that he is going in the wrong direction, and ignoring the wishes of his passengers.

– Commercial. We resume. Their driver miraculously decides to follow their command.

– KevJumba finishes the Roadblock. He is exhausted. Michael congratulates him. Gary receives high praise for his wraps.

accra gary ervin

accra man

It may be sarcasm, but we’ll take it.

I need to forgive Gary’s choice of bandana. You know it is sad when a 20-something year old chooses a bandana less fashionable than an old guy in his 50s.

– Thomas and Vicki’s wraps are done too.

– Nat & Kat’s driver confirms the directions with a local, and finally turns around.

Something tells me he does not listen to women very well.

– Gary approaches the end of the jump-rope section. The trainer announces he is done.

accra gary ervin 2

Way to go, Gary!

accra gary ervin 3

Gary! A boxing academy is not the type of place you want to whip somebody in the face with a jump-rope!!! You’re now going to have to settle the dispute inside of the ring. This is not one of your brightest ideas, Mr. Ervin.

accra mallory ervin

Now Mallory is egging him on! What the heck is wrong with the Ervin family today? They want to be startin’ somethin’ like Michael Jackson!

– In all seriousness, Mallory cheers on her dad as he finishes the task. She is happy, and begins hugging her best friend on the sidelines.

accra mallory ervin 2

Pictured: Mallory and Mallorina Ervin. Only Mallory can see Mallorina.

– Vicki is seventh to finish the task. Jill & Thomas are done in eighth, and assume they are last. Nat & Kat are last to the Roadblock. Nat is going to do it.

– Brook & Claire see a herd of what they describe as “large beasts”.

Or rather, the Yaks of Akkra.

– Connor & Jonathan correctly refer to them as yaks as their taxi absolutely flies by Brook & Claire’s.

CLAIRE: That just made my heart drop.
JONATHAN: That’s music to our ears.

Music? To his ears? Oh. I get it.

-Nat is done. My gut tells me the Roadblock took somewhere around three minutes to complete on a smooth run. Kat believes their “bad cab mojo” is done for the day as they hail a new one.

– Connor & Jonathan are first to the supply depot and find the clue box.

Teams must choose a pair of wheelbarrows and load them with construction supplies. Then they will take it to the Asebi D/A Primary School and deliver it to the foreman. If they deliver all of the right supplies, the foreman will give them their next clue.

Sadly, it is not George Foreman to keep up the boxing theme for this episode.

accra foreman

A foreman who is not obsessed with Millennium Falcons or calling people dumbasses.

accra school

Just like TAR’s previous trip to West Africa in TAR 12, schools are a “primary” location for tasks.

accra wheelbarrow

bobby the mole 5

A wheelbarrow? Finally a way to transport Bobby from The Mole 5!

cleve dean

The task would have taken a while if Cleve Dean was on this season.

accra broom

Since when is a broom a construction supply?

– The list of items is as follows:
– 2 bricks
– 2 shovels
– 1 bag of concrete
– 2 brooms
– 2 scrapers
– 2 of something else

– Brook & Claire complain about the slow driver.

accra brook claire 3

Which is the perfect time for Claire’s newfound condition of chronic migraines to kick in.

– Connor & Jonathan are out of breath as they push the wheelbarrows.

accra pothole

Good luck going around the Africa-shaped pothole.

– It must be a short distance because Connor & Jonathan are already at the school. I refuse to believe that they have built a huge lead.

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Their shirts blend in with the trees.

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Connor & Jonathan are truly in first? I guess that explains why the foreman s–t a bunch of bricks.

– Connor & Jonathan receive their clue. It’s time for a pop quiz.

PHIL: Covering more than eleven million square miles, Africa is the second largest continent on Earth.

accra lion


accra geography


accra desert

Deserts, oh my!

– PHIL: In a place this big, teams’ greatest challenge could be figuring out exactly where they are.

accra map

Are you serious? Teams just flew on a plane to this country, and have been looking at numerous maps. How the heck can you not figure out which country you are located?

Sure, you are tired and may mix up Ghana with Cote D’Ivoire or Togo, but this is a task that should take two seconds.

Surely Phil and the producers are not implying that Americans are truly that awful with geography lessons, are they?

accra phil keoghan

Oh. They are.

– Entering a village classroom, teams will be tested on their knowledge of African geography.

london nick vicki 8

Hold on. We’re still trying to figure out the United Kingdom here!

– When they come up with the correct answers, they will receive their next clue from the class monitor.

accra student

I have never seen somebody try to touch as little of the clue as possible when holding it up for the camera.

– Connor & Jonathan enter the classroom.

JONATHAN: Hi guys, sorry we’re late.

Fun fact: None of your peers even noticed because THEY DON’T CARE!

JONATHAN: Oh gosh, geography!

accra map 2

Is Western Sahara -really- a country, guys?

– One student is called upon to show where Ethiopia is.

CONNOR: Ethiopia is tough.

accra connor jonathan 7

“Science? Social Studies? This is going to be tough.”

accra teacher

Miss Veronica will have a long road ahead of her.

accra ethiopia

It would have been better if the kid got it wrong, but who can forget Ethiopia?

kendra horn

“It’s the land that chooses to be poor!” according to Kendra.

jonathan victoria

Or successfully evicted Jonathan & Victoria from The Amazing Race forever.

accra connor diemand-yauman 6

“Ghana? This is easy! It is Connor Diemand-Yauman’s time to shine!”

accra connor diemand-yauman 7

Connor even looks like Billy Madison as he labels Ghana within Nigeria’s boundaries.

EDITOR’S NOTE: One of our sister cities where I live is with a small town in Nigeria. This is an appropriate time for a shoutout to Petra and DJ!

accra connor diemand-yauman 8

“Oops! Did I do thaaat?”


You know you are getting no love when you are a mix of Billy Madison and Steve Urkel.

– Connor & Jonathan claim geography is not their strong suit because it was not their major.

It wasn’t anywhere near my major either, and on top of that I am not A FREAKIN IVY LEAGUE STUDENT!

Ivy Leaguers cannot point to the country they are visiting. If you are an American in the New England area, please re-evaluate the value of a top university.

accra connor diemand-yauman 9

It’s not Cameroon either.

accra jonathan schwartz 2

What makes it more embarrassing is that Burkina Faso, Senegal, and Sierra Leone are all labelled. Again, this should not take more than two attempts even if you did not look at a map while on the plane.

accra connor jonathan 8

At least they find the sense of humour in their idiocy.

CONNOR: Our friends at Princeton are going to grill us for that one.

I think people in general are going to grill you for this.

accra connor diemand-yauman 10

It’s not the Congo either.

JONATHAN: It’s south of the border.

I never thought a tourist would mix up Angola with Ghana.

shola doyin sierra

We are once again approaching Shola & Doyin levels of mixing up two countries.

– Because Connor & Jonathan are now guessing countries in Asia as being Ghana, Brook & Claire are now at the wheelbarrows.

BROOK: Let’s do the wheelbarrow!

accra brook claire 4

This is the wheelbarrow in TAR 17.


This is the wheelbarrow in TAR 18: Unfinished Business.
Yes, a reference to a new Vince Vaughn film. I have hit a new low.

– We resume the geography lesson. The teacher asks for somebody to label Ghana.

CONNOR: Jonny, raise your hand.

accra connor jonathan 9

I have a feeling the teacher will pick Jonathan. Nick nor Vicki will raise their hands when they show up to this task. They will sit as far back as possible and keep their heads low to the desk.

CONNOR: Process of elimination.

That’s right, Connor. This isn’t even a challenge anymore. They have guessed at least six countries, and one more wrong guess means they have zero grasp of African geography.

accra jonathan schwartz 3

*slow clap*

accra connor jonathan 10

That moment is NOT worthy of a fist pump, Jonathan.

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I should point out that Connor nearly trips over the chair during the excitement.

accra connor diemand-yauman 12

As if Connor’s performance in this task was not embarrassing enough.

– Connor & Jonathan receive their clue from the teacher.

CONNOR: Princeton is a good school, I swear. You should go.
JONATHAN: There’s an African Studies major.

Now’s not the time to plug your university, Connor. They are recovering from this PR mess.

accra connor jonathan 11

An outdoor elementary classroom in the middle of a third world country has a greater geography program than a multi-billion dollar university in New England.

– Connor opens the clue and it is an insta-Detour TAR Asia style.

Bicycle Parts or Language Arts?

PHIL: After a long day of school and work, villagers take part in the past times passed down by their elders.

accra phil keoghan 2

Is Phil playing dice?

PHIL: Teams must educate themselves on one of two things. Bicycle Parts or Language Arts.

accra bicycle

accra language

Considering what we saw transpire with the geography task, both may be impossible for our teams.

– In Bicycle Parts, teams must learn to play a children’s game seen throughout Africa. They must use a stick to roll a bicycle rim on the uneven terrain. If they can roll their rims down the soccer field and back without letting it fall, the school children will give them their next clue.

canada rim

Canada’s version of rolling up the rim to win.

accra bicycle 2

Accra’s version of rolling up the rim to win.

– In Language Arts, teams choose a scroll containing a proverb with eight highlighted phrases.

accra scroll

I don’t get it.

– Each phrase has a corresponding symbol in a Native visual alphabet known as. . .known as. . .I can’t believe I am saying it, but it is called Adinkra.

accra adinkra

I took a lot of linguistic courses in university and am all for preserving languages, but I think a language called ‘adinkra’ is one that I would not oppose to seeing it faded out.

Right after the Vietnamese currency Dong.

– Teams must then go to a large decorative cloth. Like a word search game they must circle the eight symbols appearing in the correct sequence to receive their next clue.

accra cloth

Uhhh. . .

accra cloth 2

Bicycle Parts it is!

– Connor & Jonathan choose Language Arts. They pick a scroll.

CONNOR: In Phil we trust.

Kiwi Jesus.

– They decide to search for the second symbol on the word search. Methodical time.

– Brook & Claire transport the wheelbarrow, but are rejected because they failed to transport two wheelbarrows instead of one.

BROOK: Oh hell. This is really going to suck.

– The Jumbas are third to the task, and also choose only one wheelbarrow. Katie & Rachel show up there next.

RACHEL: Choose a PAIR of wheelbarrows.
KATIE: Rachel, I don’t think we need two.
RACHEL: Yeah, it says a PAIR.
KATIE: But they only have one. They have one.
RACHEL: Well, they’re idiots.

accra kevjumba michael wu 3

Calling the Jumbas idiots? That’s harsh, Rachel. Real harsh.

miss south carolina

Although it wouldn’t be the first time a YouTube celebrity on The Amazing Race was viewed as an idiot.

And by TAR 22, we’ll be three-for-three.

– Brook & Claire notice the Jumbas have one wheelbarrow. They refuse to say anything to them.

KEVJUMBA: You guys alright?
BROOK: Yeah.
MICHAEL: What happened?
KEVJUMBA: You forgot something?
BROOK: Yeah.

Thanks to KevJumba for providing them with an out.

accra brook claire 4

Claire looks ridiculous.

– RACHEL: There you go, bammer.

Who the heck is bammer?

– Katie tells Rachel that Brook & Claire messed up as well.

– Nat & Kat have yet another cab issue.

accra overheat

A good driver, but a bad vehicle. It’s overheating. The driver has a solution, and it works. I wonder what the solution could have been?

accra nat kat 5


If Excitebike has taught us anything, you just stare at your vehicle for thirty seconds and you are all good to go.

KAT: It’s been an eventful taxi day.

accra kat chang

My reaction if she had said “it’s been an eventful and TAXIng day.”

– Gary sees Katie & Rachel on the road with wheelbarrows. Chad tells the driver to run over them. Nick says Vicki is much stronger than the others. Every team is there except Nat & Kat.

– The Jumbas are rejected. They need two trowels. The instructor does not even tell them about the second wheelbarrow. Whose fault was it for not reading the clue correctly, anyway?

accra kevjumba michael wu 4

You fumba’d yet another task, Kevin.

– Katie & Rachel are told of the same error even though they have two wheelbarrows. KevJumba realizes that Brook & Claire lied to them.

– Katie orders Rachel to be mentally tough, and prompts them to run. We now get our first confessional from the team now known as “#JerseyGirls” according to Gary Ervin.

I guess that would have been less offensive than #VolleyballChicks if they were picked for TAR 25.

– Rachel elaborates how they know how to talk to each other in stressful situations because they are volleyball teammates. They are not afraid to yell “move” because they know it is not an attack on one another. It is merely what they need to do to motivate to get ahead.

accra katie rachel 2

Do you know how I made Brook an honourary Samantha Jones based on her appearance?

carrie bradshaw

Katie might be the honourary Carrie Bradshaw.

accra katie seamon 3

You see it too, don’t you?

– We cut back to Connor & Jonathan at the Detour.

JONATHAN: Connor, I think I have it!
CONNOR: You do?
JONATHAN: Kidney bean, ladder, crazy Chinese, here.

Crazy Chinese? If I were creating an Arnold Schwarzenegger-like prank phone call machine for Jonathan, I would take those two words out of context.

accra jonathan schwartz 4

Good thing the racer from Taiwan this season did not see Jonathan rudely point at “crazy Chinese”.

accra jonathan schwartz 5

How in the world did he get “crazy Chinese” from that? I think Jonathan just wanted an excuse to say “crazy Chinese”.

– Connor & Jonathan get approval from the child, and receive their next clue.

CONNOR: Can I have a hug?
CHILD: . . . .

accra connor jonathan 12

I have taken part in several awkward hugs myself, but this may take the cake. That child would prefer to be hugged by an ogre rather than Connor & Jonathan.

– Connor & Jonathan read that they must head to the next pit stop: The house of Awusa Ntso.

Now that’s a much more West African sounding name than Samson or George.

– Teams will search on foot for Awusa Ntso’s home. It is the homestead of a local villager, and the pit stop for this round.

accra pit stop

Something tells me he may or may not be the richest man in the area.

accra phil keoghan 3

The budget has decreased for this round because producers decided to have the pit stop just outside some guy’s house.

accra chicken

The twist is that this is Awusa Ntso. I bet you didn’t see that one coming! He was turned into a chicken when he cheated on his ex-wife before their divorce.

– Connor & Jonathan follow an easy marked path to the pit stop.

accra phil keoghan 4

Phil dreads the idea of having a mat chat with Connor & Jonathan. Better hope they don’t hit on the greeter, Phil!

accra pit stop 2

How quick was this leg? Five minute boxing Roadblock, drive to the outskirts of Accra, wheelbarrow transport, two minute geography lesson, and a Detour that they completed before anyone else showed up?

Ladies and gentlemen, I think this leg took under two to three hours for teams to complete. This rivals Nick & Starr’s ninety minute leg in TAR 13.

accra greeter

What is with the pattern that the greeter is wearing?

accra flag

It is like the colours of the Kenyan flag was converted into a dress and headdress.

accra connor jonathan 13

“You wanna be our friend?”

– Phil gives them the good news.


accra connor jonathan 15

Connor would fit right in with the Maasai.

accra connor jonathan 16

Jonathan is a human toga!

– Phil informs them they have won a prize for this leg of the race.

accra connor jonathan 14

“Please don’t let the prize be breakfast in bed.”

– They have won five thousand dollars each.

accra phil keoghan 6

“Which will cover one semester of tuition at Princeton. . .excluding textbooks.”

accra connor jonathan 17

I think a few more bricks were just produced.

– Connor & Jonathan intend to use the money to buy maps of Africa.

– Brook wants to hurry as teams are closing in. KevJumba passes by them once more.

KEVJUMBA: Thanks for telling us.

You receive no special treatment for being a YouTube celebrity, Kev.

– Brook & Claire enter the classroom.

CLAIRE: I like sitting with the kids. . . .
BROOK: In the States we are just given the opportunity to go to a beautiful school.

Beautiful schools in the US? Like, just the exterior of the building you mean?

And of course Claire loves spending time with kids in a classroom.

accra brook claire 5

kyla 2

She used to be a school teacher after all.

– We get more of the traditional “they have so little but we have so much at home” speech from Brook before she is called upon to demonstrate her geographical knowledge.

accra brook roberts 11

I love how focused Brook is on the lesson.

I would also love if Brook’s response is “We are all Ghana. This town is made of Ghana. The walls of this school are made of Ghana. That chicken over there is Ghana. Ghana, the proud.”

BROOK: Oh man, Ghana is down below.

accra brook roberts 12

That’s right. Namibia, the location for TAR 26 in a few weeks, is Brook’s first choice.

accra claire champlin 2

Take notes, Claire. You’re up next.

– Nat & Kat hope teams will still be at the next route marker. Their taxi ride continues.

– We cut to Nick & Vicki with wheelbarrows. He urges Vicki to hurry. They drop off the wheelbarrows.

NICK: Two bags of cement.

accra nick vicki 2

See? Two bags.

accra man 2

Nope. They were only supposed to bring one. How will Nick react?

accra nick decarlo

accra nick vicki 3

“F–k this scraper.”

NICK: Good job reading it.
VICKI: I’m sorry, babe.
NICK: It’s fifth grade reading.

I should note Nick is an expert on the American school curriculum for each grade.

jeff foxworthy

Or maybe it’s because it is the first number that came into his head due to his fandom of Jeff Foxworthy.

VICKI: Here, I’ll take one.

– Gary & Mallory casually stroll with their wheelbarrows and receive the clue.

– Nick is still cursing at Vicki.

VICKI: I’m sorry, babe.
NICK: I don’t give a F–K about your sorrys right now to be totally honest with ya.

accra nick vicki 4

Well at least he was honest. Gotta give him that.

VICKI: Wait, babe.
NICK: Nope! We had it in the bag!

-Bags- Nick. Plural. Bags. That’s the reason why you are heading back.

VICKI: I’m sorry, babe.
NICK: You have no f–king common sense in your whole f–king body.

I have a feeling Claire and Michael did not have these respective blow-ups in the unedited footage. Something tells me Nick is the only one to have this, uh, compassionate reaction.

– Commercial. We resume.

VICKI: Babe, I’m trying.
NICK: I’m pissed.
VICKI: I know you are. Get over it.
NICK: No, I ain’t getting over it until we see Phil and says we’re not last.

Hurry! Last team to check in will not be forgiven.

VICKI: Babe, I’m sorry!
NICK: Is that going to keep us from losing now? NOPE!

accra vicki casciola

Note to self: Make Nick read each clue from now on.

What is hilarious about this is the way Nick says ‘NOPE!’ multiple times. His partner clearly feels bad about the error and trying her best to make up time, but he is shutting her down.

Imagine if Nick was partnered with Flo?

flo on a cliff

Nick would push her off the damn cliff. Nobody gets in the way of Nick Motherf–king DeCarlo!

– Gary & Mallory are sent to the outdoor classroom. Gary tears up because of the smiles on the faces of the school kids.

accra gary mallory ervin 3

Cartoon tears.

– Okay. I know this is supposed to be an emotional moment for Gary & Mallory. But one of the school kids does something so funny that I have to share right this very second.

accra school 2

coach poem

The one student would like to share a poem with everyone.

– The teacher asks if anybody knows where Egypt is located. The Ervins want to volunteer for that one, but their request is declined.

accra gary mallory ervin 4

The teacher is biased against Kentuckians.

– Gary & Mallory keep going with their emotional piece.

MALLORY: You see all these people and I feel so bad for ’em. Then you think to yourself ‘this is their way of life and they do not know any different’.  And it makes you appreciate your way of life and we don’t know anything different except freedom, and luxury, and justice.

The confessional was going well until the end. Then Mallory was reciting her winning answer for the winning question in the Miss Kentucky pageant.

accra gary mallory ervin 5

See? She is already practicing her speech right off the card!

– Gary is picked. They have it down between Cote D’Ivoire and the correct location. Can they do the unthinkable and have a couple of Kentuckians beat out TV personalities and Ivy Leaguers?

accra gary mallory ervin 6

Raise the roof! Kentucky Strong, bitches!

– They choose to do the Bicycle Parts task.

– Jumbas are done with the wheelbarrow. So are Jill & Thomas. Then Chad & Stephanie. This is going by fast.

– Gary & Mallory begin rolling the bicycle part with a stick.

MALLORY: Keep it up, Dad! Keep it up! Keep it up! C’mon dad, keep it up!

This is a phrase Gary has heard all too often in his life since he turned fifty.

– Mallory is also practicing.

accra mallory ervin 3

Kentuckians get first priority, one should note. Start with Kentucky, and move your way eastward. This effectively puts Wyoming to the back of the line.

– Gary is already at the halfway point.

accra gary ervin 4

I was not expecting this graphic.

– Gary tries to coach Mallory. This is much more amusing.

accra gary mallory ervin 7

She is treating the rim like it is the opponent in a fencing duel from The Three Musketeers. So funny. You can even hear the clanking of metal on the audio.

accra gary mallory ervin 8

I don’t know how you win a duel with a bicycle rim, but I am sure Mallory will find a way with her own antics.

– Mallory comments on how it was 100 degrees outside, and the school kids were completing the task effortlessly. She makes it halfway.

– Katie & Rachel are done transporting the wheelbarrows.

accra katie rachel 3

Nobody messes with Jersey.

– Nat & Kat are last to the route marker. They fill up their wheelbarrows.

NAT: Does this look easy? Cause it’s really easy.

The producers feel insulted, Nat.

– We get our first ever four-way split screen. This series really is becoming more and more like 24.

accra chad stephanie 5

Well, not before Chad nearly hops over two rows of desks to show off his geographic knowledge.

accra task

For some reason, the Jumbas are not being shown in this split screen. Only Nick & Vicki and Nat & Kat have yet to make it to this task.

accra chad waltrip 7

This guy is good.

– Thomas also gets it right with very little of the map labelled. So does Katie. As for Brook?

accra brook roberts 13

Well, she needed all of the countries named except Ghana to get it right. I think Mauritania and The Gambia are the only two excluded.

accra brook roberts 14

Not even the teacher can hide her displeasure with Brook. Just “fine”.

By the way, Claire’s nickname for Brook is Bammer. Mystery solved.

– Nick & Vicki are eighth to the geography task.

– Brook & Claire are at the Language Arts Detour with Katie & Rachel, Chad & Stephanie, and Jill & Thomas. This is a downright ridiculous scene because absolutely nobody is paying attention to what they need to do.

accra goats

And I am not referring to the goats who are getting in the way of B-roll footage.

– Claire pulls Brook away from Jill & Thomas to help herself concentrate.

accra brook claire 6

Brook reads the proverb. Claire calls it a poem. Get your terminology right, woman.

accra scroll 2

At least they didn’t pick out one of the other proverbs on the table.

mike tyson

“Man, that’s a lot of words!”

– Anyways, Brook & Claire see the eight phrases. But what could be the symbols?

accra school 3

Claire sees a group of eight African children playing together. Nice observation.

accra brook claire 7

Brook is already holding back laughter. Clearly there is more to this story.

– Claire announces that she has the task all figured out.

accra brook claire 8

Why, circle the eight African children with the chalk provided of course! Usually only detectives outline people with chalk, but not here on The Amazing Race.

Claire thought that the eight symbols they needed corresponded to the eight African children she saw playing together.

The story doesn’t end here, though. Oh no. This gets increasingly absurd.

accra chad stephanie 6

Because Brook & Claire have been frontrunners for all three rounds, Chad follows suit and circles a different group of African children. I count nine in this photo.

accra rachel johnston

Rachel circles a kid and a tree shaped like a fork.

accra brook roberts 15

Brook wonders why everyone followed the advice of a woman who was hit in the head with a watermelon. Maybe choose somebody whose mind is a bit clearer and is not experiencing a great deal of swelling next time?

CLAIRE: They looked at us like ‘why are you circling us with the chalk?’

accra brook claire 9

“C’mon. One of you has the clue right?”

Much like Brook’s We Are Ghana speech, Claire has her own with We Are All Symbols.

accra school 4

I would be feeling suspicious as well.

BROOK: We look to our right and see a HUGE symbol map!
CLAIRE: Then we realized ‘oh, maybe the small African children don’t have anything to do with this’.

accra brook claire 10

I love how long it took for the task to connect in their minds. Finding the symbol board wasn’t even meant to be part of the challenge. They created their own obstacle with that.

– The other three teams have yet to catch on. Thomas is all frantic as he knows they must find the not-so-giant decoder key.

THOMAS: Did you guys find the decoder key?
JILL: They’re not going to tell you. They’re against us.

Unlike KevJumba, Jill has zero faith in their competitors telling her the truth.

– Thomas asks a local if he knows what a decoder key is. He says no. The search for the elusive decoder key continues.

THOMAS: I looked everywhere. I was picking up children’s textbooks. One was somebody’s homework.

accra jill thomas

I bet there is a student who is seeing this and says “yes, please do everything in that binder except the geography section. Do you have the piece of paper with the name ‘Samson Junior’ on it? If you score one hundred percent on that paper, the decoder key will magically appear.”

– Thomas starts picking up random maps laying around.

accra jill thomas 2

At this rate Thomas will pick up used condoms thinking it is a decoder key.

– Katie & Rachel have yet to find it either as they search for it with Jill & Thomas.

accra building

Apparently that big building in front of them is too obscure.

– Katie & Rachel decide to switch Detours and run off into the field.

accra katie rachel 4

Thinking an African child and a fork-shaped tree made more sense as eight symbols than the enormous wall of symbols did.

Wasn’t the last pit stop nearly twenty-four hours?

– The Jumbas are in the classroom. KevJumba gets it right on the first try because he has a few fans of his videos from Ghana.

accra teacher 2

They happened to have the only male teacher on the school staff.

– KevJumba reads the clue and wants to do the Language Arts task. Something that Connor & Jonathan mastered when alone, but now a task nobody can do with others around them.

KEVJUMBA: Yeah, let’s do that one.
MICHAEL: Are you sure?

accra michael wu

In all fairness to Michael, I doubt he would be able to run across a field balancing a bicycle rim.

– Gary & Mallory are second to complete the Detour. Katie & Rachel were temporarily with them, but the Ervins are on their way to the pit stop.

– Nat & Kat finish transporting the wheelbarrows. Nat is out of breath.

accra nat kat 6

accra nat kat 7

And in need of water.

– Brook & Claire pick a random cluster of symbols. Obviously, they are wrong.

CHAD: This is the dumbest freakin’ crap ever. We have no clue what we’re looking for or what to even circle with our chalk.

accra school 5

accra school 6

But who cares? It’s Spinning Time!

– Chad & Stephanie also switch to the Bicycle Parts task.

accra stephanie smith

She is not happy with herself at the moment.

– Okay. You’ve been waiting for this, right? Nick & Vicki are at the geography challenge. Can they pinpoint where Ghana is on a map of Africa?

It should be noted they are halfway through the task. What do I mean by halfway through?

accra map 3

Because more than half of the countries in all of Africa have already been labelled. Heck, they had to start using arrows for Equatorial Guinea and Burundi because of how crowded the map was getting!

NICK: C’mon, baby. Think before you put that thing down. It’s on the western. On the left.
(VICKI misses.)
NICK: How do we not know where Ghana is? Are we that stupid?

accra nick decarlo 3

It is much tougher when you have to figure out where the city of Ghana is inside of Accra.

accra vicki casciola 2

She put it on Cote D’Ivoire. It is the only country in the western half of Africa not displayed other than Mali.

NICK: We couldn’t locate Ghana on a map with a magnet.

accra nick vicki 5

It’s official. We are experiencing a season of The Amazing Race where Connor & Jonathan are embarrassed, but yet displayed the greatest level of intelligence.

accra vicki casciola 3

Maybe Western Cote D’Ivoire?

accra vicki casciola 4

Overlapped with Mauritania?

accra vicki casciola 5

The ‘X’ from Family Feud has been brought out to play.

NICK: We’re the dumbest people known to Earth. Literally.

Not literally, but because you said literally. . .

accra nick decarlo 4

charlie murphy


– After choosing an invisible island off the coast of Togo, they really need to get this on the next try.

accra school 7

The kids have no issues with skipping recess today. They could watch this all day.

NICK: The kids are all laughin’ at us.
KIDS: No–no-no–no. Hahahaha.

Man. Nick & Vicki are getting trolled hard.

VICKI: I always felt like so stupid.
NICK: We can’t be this stupid.

accra map 4

Gee, I wonder where it could be?

– Yes. Vicki gets it right.

accra teacher 3

This teacher is well-educated when it comes to sarcasm.

– Nick & Vicki are done. Nat & Kat are still in last, but finally begin the geography lesson. Nat is called upon by the teacher to pinpoint Ghana.

accra nat strand 2

So far only Chad, Sudan, Botswana, and South Africa are displayed. Nothing in the western half of Africa.

accra nat strand 3


accra nat strand 4

Any more brain busters?

accra nat strand 5

If only it were the same teacher who dealt with Nick & Vicki.

– Nat & Kat receive their clue. They succeeded at the wheelbarrow and the geography lesson on their first try, and have made up plenty of time. The question is how much did Accra’s taxi service mess them up at the start of the round?

accra school 8

What the heck is with the kid in the window? I bet you didn’t notice THAT when you watched TAR 17!

– Nat & Kat go with Language Arts while Nick goes with Bicycle Parts because he loves bikes.


GARY: Yay! No breakdown! Nothing broke down today!

From last to second all because they did everything right this round. Impressive.

– Katie & Rachel keep working on rolling the rim (to win). Nick & Vicki have another moment.

NICK: Take it like this and run it that way. I don’t care what that says.

So he yelled at Vicki for not reading the clue correctly, but he yells at her an hour later for reading the clue correctly?

accra nick vicki 6

And per Nick Motherf–king DeCarlo tradition, he ditches Vicki before she has a chance to react.

– Chad watches a demonstration of how to roll a rim from a kid.

CHAD: Being around those kids and watching them play, it’s comforting to have that. I mean children are just amazing. Regardless of where you are. Children are children. They are so pure and see the world in such an honest way and that nothing is bad out there.

accra chad stephanie 7

I know this is Chad’s roundabout way of telling Stephanie he wants to have kids, but a quick search on Wikipedia would indicate that children of West Africa probably know there are bad things out there.

accra school 9

Yeah, I don’t get what Chad meant either.

accra chad waltrip 8

As long as he does not try to show off by doing the second half blindfolded, Chad should be good to go.

– Chad is halfway. Stephanie is about to start, but Chad yells at her to get a bigger stick. Vicki passes on this information to Nick. His response for this helpful piece of advice?

NICK: You can’t even do it. Why are you giving me direction? Just do it.

– Stephanie encourages Chad some more as he completes the lap before anybody else is halfway.

accra chad waltrip 9

And he knows Katie & Rachel didn’t look as good as him during this task.

– You thought Mallory’s technique of sword fighting with the rim was the worst? Look at Nick’s.

accra nick decarlo 5

accra nick decarlo 6

He lacks such finesse and coordination.

accra nick decarlo 7

Nick picks it up before the rim has fallen. Something is wrong.

accra nick decarlo 8

Time to play Ultimate Frisbee with the bicycle rim! Look out, Jersey.

accra nick decarlo 9

And away it goes.

NICK: You’ve got to be kidding me. Something so stupid like this.
VICKI: Babe, don’t throw.
NICK: Shut up.

You thought he would be respectful or not diss a favourite game of schoolchildren, but NOPE!

NICK: Why don’t you hurry up?
VICKI: Why are you being so rude?
NICK: You need to do it. Go!
VICKI: Don’t discourage me.

accra school 10

Don’t worry, kids. Nick is as weird to American locals as he is to Ghanaians.

– Chad keeps screaming positive words at Stephanie.

accra chad waltrip 10

That vein is ready to pop.

– Nick is still ranting.

VICKI: Urrrrgh. It’s okay.
NICK: What’s okay about this? I know it’s okay to you, but it’s not okay to me, and that makes it not okay.

Can you stop going out of your way to be annoying Nick, okay?

– Stephanie completes the lap. The Detour is done. Chad runs over and picks her up.

accra chad stephanie 8

Well he is certainly excited.

– Oh, and Katie is halfway done. Nat & Kat decide to look at other teams. They see them all stumped.

accra man 3

He is not impressed.

– Brook & Claire opt to switch.

BROOK: Let’s not panic, Claire. Let’s be really calm. Let’s figure this out.

accra brook roberts 16

Why is everyone’s neck so stiff?


– Katie finishes the full lap. Nick is halfway there. Brook decides to watch and learn from the kids.

– Jill & Thomas keep examining the wall. Nat & Kat stare at the wall too, but switch as well.

– KevJumba sees them switching. He tells his dad that they have to stay with Language Arts and figure it out.

– Nat & Kat are receiving direct lessons from the kids too.

NAT: The kids are awesome. They’re the best part of the day.

accra nat kat 8

“So I roll the rim with this stick? Anything else?”

– Katie & Rachel complete the Detour in fourth place.

– Nick has done his lap as he watches Vicki repeatedly fail.
NICK: This is riDICulous.

Odd emphasis, I know.

His tattoos are going to wrinkle if this goes on much longer.

NICK: Hurry up.
VICKI: Babe, I can’t breathe.

accra vicki casciola 6

accra nick decarlo 10

Breathing is for chumps.

– Vicki reveals she has asthma. The combination of adrenalin, exercise, and frustration triggered it.

NICK: It’s fine, sweetie. Take a break. You’re okay. Arms above your head. Open up your lungs.
NICK: Once I saw that, I tried to calm myself down so I could keep her calm.

What a team player, Nick.

accra vicki casciola 7

Even though he was partially responsible for triggering asthma in the first place.

– Jill & Thomas switch to Bicycle Parts too.

accra thomas wolfard

How is nobody noticing the decoder?!

– We see a random goat’s private parts as KevJumba watches another team switch Detour options. He and Michael are the only ones left at Language Arts.

MICHAEL: You want to give up this one, it’s fine.
KEVJUMBA: I know I can do that, but I don’t know if you can.
MICHAEL: I don’t know. We can try.
KEVJUMBA: Dad, you have to think you can do this if you want to do this.

KevJumba is not the most encouraging partner either.

– Katie & Rachel step onto the mat.

accra katie rachel 5

“Tell us, Phil. We beat the other all-female teams, yes?”


– Vicki resumes the task.

accra nick vicki 7

NICK: You’ve got this, honey. You’ve got this. Pace yourself. You’ve got this.

matt ashley

Since when did he channel Matt from TAR 26?

– All remaining teams are now in a Bicycle Rim Showdown.

Vicki makes it to the halfway point. Nat’s rim falls.

THOMAS: I think the key is to really move fast.

It’s like this is a race or something.

– Brook & Claire are halfway. Vicki is done.

accra vicki casciola 8

A little bit of encouragement goes a long way.

– Nick does a really weird stoner laugh after Vicki asks if she made it.

– The Jumbas are starting to learn how to roll rims.

accra kevjumba 5

KevJumba learns his lesson and reads the clue over a few times.

– Nick admits he feels bad for treating Vicki so poorly for most of this leg, and considers her a good partner.

accra nick vicki 8

Oh, his tune changes as soon as they are about to have some down time? I think you might be in your own room for the night, Nick.

– Brook completes a lap. Bammer bam.

accra brook roberts 17

Bammer Bam is a maestro.

– Claire is done as she tosses the rim aside. It is the Accra way of dropping the mic.

– Thomas is halfway done. Jill is still stuck.

– Nick & Vicki and Brook & Claire land on the mat seconds apart.

accra brook roberts 18

Brook loves dramatic entrances.


accra nick vicki 9

Happy to be ahead of the bottom-feeders for the first time all season.


accra brook claire 11

Unhappy to be trailing after always being in the lead.

This dichotomy between the two teams is great. It shows whose glass is half full and whose glass is half empty based on previous finishes.

– Phil informs them that they will return tomorrow during the day with the other teams and help remodel the classrooms in the school, and give back to the community.

PHIL: Are you alright with that?

accra phil keoghan 7

“And just to be clear Nick, there is only one right answer to this question.”

– Claire is honoured to do this.

– Nat has completed a lap. So has Thomas. Now has Jill. Thomas likes their sweaty hug. They run off. KevJumba is at the halfway point.

accra kevjumba 7

Not an ideal camera angle.

– He strikes the stick as he finishes the lap.

accra kevjumba 6

He is really off on his own.

– What is amusing about KevJumba doing the Detour is we hear Michael cheering him on the audio, but do not see his face. The audio is very low so it seems like it is an elderly voice in KevJumba’s head that is talking.

– Only Kat and Michael are left at the Detour.

accra kat michael

It is not as exciting when both players are moving slower than a tortoise. It is like that fight between the creepy old men in Family Guy.

accra michael wu 2

Michael has a hallucination of Invisible Silas Gaither from Survivor: Africa, and decides to take a knee.

– Meanwhile, Kat very carefully crosses the finish line.

accra kat chang 2

Congratulations, you beat Michael Wu at a physical task in an uncomfortable position.

– Is Michael going to close it out?

accra michael wu 3

Oh no. I know what needs to be said. Ready?

– Nat & Kat search for the marked “footpath”. KevJumba tells Michael not to give up, and at least finish it.

– Michael is halfway.

accra michael wu 4

And we might need the bullpen or Steve Kerr for the second half.

– KevJumba wants his dad to take it slow. It does not matter if it takes thirty minutes. Michael says he can’t.

accra michael wu 5

I don’t. . .

accra michael wu 6

Think he can. . .

accra michael wu 7

Do this.

– Commercial. We fade back in. Michael is still refusing. KevJumba says it was painful to watch this unfold. And boy, do things escalate quickly.

accra michael wu 8

This is not looking good.

accra michael wu 9

He might be the first racer to receive an official medical evacuation from The Amazing Race.

accra michael wu 10

Michael’s dizzy spells are what prompts the medical attention.

accra michael wu 11

An emotional moment, no doubt.

accra michael wu 12

If it makes you feel any better, I laughed much harder when Margie fainted during TAR 14.

– We transition to triumphant music as Jill & Thomas check in.

PHIL: Complete my sentence.
JILL: We’re team seven?
PHIL: You are team number seven.

Thomas does not mind their position.


– Kat sees a bicycle, but yet no pit stop. No marked path yet.

accra school 11

This was unaired, but one of the teams used the chalk to draw circles ON the actual locals. For shame.

– Michael decides to head back to the bicycle rim. His goal, in broken English that amuses me more than it should, is to finish what you start no matter how difficult it is.

– Nat & Kat receive directions from locals. Michael makes progress with the rim.

accra michael wu 13

“I have asthma.”
“I’m too dizzy.”
“I need medical attention.”

And now “the sand is too slippery”? Everyone is full of excuses today.

accra michael wu 14

If you tilt your head, the stick and the rim form the letter ‘P’.

– Nat & Kat run into a goat on the path.

accra goat

See, this is the proper angle to film a goat.

accra goat 2

Not like earlier when they did the extreme close-up of this goat.

– Nat & Kat joke that the goat is what marks the path. I hate they are trying to create suspense with this.

– Michael is done both with this task and physically. He does not want to be eliminated.

– Nat & Kat see the path and realize they wasted a lot of time. The Jumbas see the route marker too.


They barely survive once again. Phil re-explains to them that the school will be renovated. Is it because they have a big reaction?

NAT: That would be awesome.


– Jumbas are on the mat.


accra phil keoghan 8

It pains Phil to see them go.

accra kevjumba michael wu 5

Oh well. The Jumbas can go back home and create videos that will consistently have more views than episodes of The Amazing Race 26.

– Michael explains that he wanted to visit as many countries as he could with his son.

accra phil keoghan 9

Are they eliminated or not? Just say it Phil.

PHIL: There is actually some good news with coming in last.
KEVJUMBA: No way. Don’t say it–

accra kevjumba michael wu 6

Oh yes. Yes he is.

accra phil keoghan 10

Gotcha, bitches. It’s a non-elimination leg.

accra kevjumba michael wu 7

Heh, suckers fell for it.

KEVJUMBA: That’s why you don’t give up.


– KevJumba says being last on a non-elimination leg was perfect for him and his dad. It will motivate them because he feels they should not have lost this leg, and there will be lots of room for him to grow.

Next Time on TAR: Teams move from Africa to the Arctic where they experience thrills and spills.





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!

3) Accra, Ghana -> Accra, Ghana

The end of this round concluded with the news that teams would not be racing on the following day. Instead, they would stay at the pit stop and help renovate the rural elementary school.

This makes perfect sense given that this leg took about two to five hours for most teams to complete. I assume the charitable day for production meant they had to condense one of the rounds, and this must have been the leg where they did that.

Sure, teams traveled an awfully short distance (a boxing academy and the local school were the only two locations for this leg), but at least they crammed in a ton of tasks.

The boxing Roadblock, the geography lesson, the Bicycle Parts Detour, the wheelbarrows, and finding the pit stop were all quick tasks, but hey, at least producers did not try to get away with just two tasks this round. They had enough footage to create a one hour episode.

It’s too bad that teams were not forced to take a public form of transportation in West Africa. This typically leads to great local interactions, and old American grandpas dancing with Latin American sisters.

After seventeen US seasons and four Asian seasons, we get tired of the typical “they have so little yet we have so much, omg aren’t we so lucky” confessional to the point it is a cliche. I feel conflicted because it is probably a very honest reaction from the racers, but editors are practically on auto-pilot when they edit that scene.

I wish the boxing Roadblock was more intense. The only person who lost time for reasons other than showing off was KevJumba with his hand wraps. We really needed a tougher task here. Combat athletes are never supposed to have it that easy.

If there was any leg that deserved to be a non-elimination round, it was this leg. Not that I wanted the Jumbas to be saved, but because of how short the round was. It just didn’t have enough to be considered a well-rounded leg.

The cast all played their part to make up for the round’s shortcomings. Drawing chalk around children, missing a HUGE decoder staring them in the face, Eye of the Connor, Brook & Claire being Brook & Claire, Nick & Vicki’s geography class experience, and Nick’s supportive attitude being shown once his girlfriend nearly died on the field.

You thought I would rank this round near the top, but NOPE!

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