Tears and Jeers in Ghana on 'The Amazing Race'
Tears and Jeers in Ghana on 'The Amazing Race'
Last week, Brook and Claire the home shopping hosts arrived first at the Pit Stop, and Andie and Jenna were eliminated. This week, teams will depart from the marketplace in Accra to Jamestown and find the Akotoku Boxing Academy. I'm perplexed to see Brook and Claire so excited to take another hit to the head at this boxing gym. For the Road Block, they will wrap their hands and hit the bag for 60 seconds, then jump rope for 60 seconds. This leaves me wondering "really?" But who am I to judge the Amazing Race Road Block designers? And now, each part of the episode will have a corresponding Britney Spears song title.

You Drive Me Crazy
It turns out Brook and Claire train at a boxing academy back home (of course they do!) so Brook is even more pumped than usual. Volleyball Mean Girls Katie and Rachel are having cab trouble, which seems to be the real road block in Ghana. Chad and Stephanie arrive at the boxing academy, and of course Chad will use this opportunity to work out his aggression. Katie and Rachel arrive third.

After they breeze through this challenge (two minutes of exercise), Brook and Claire get a clue sending them by taxi again, where a marked supply depot will hold the next clue. Meanwhile, Michael and Kevin, Connor and Jonathan, and Jill and Thomas are in their cabs. Connor and Jonathan are really working this singing angle, and true to their word, are singing to their cab drivers. I am all about it.

Nat and Kat, Nick and Vicki, and Gary and Mallory start this leg of the race, as Chad messes up the Road Block because he was trying to look cool. Kevin, Connor, and Thomas choose to execute the Road Block. Gary and Mallory arrive, followed by Nick and Vicki, while Nat and Kat are lost and ask the teams for directions. They ask their cab driver to turn around and he says, "No." How frustrating!

Hit Me Baby, One More Time
Gary and Vicki are destroying the challenge, as Thomas struggles. Hopefully Nat and Kat still have a shot. In first place, Brook and Claire run into a herd of cows crossing, and are passed by Connor and Jonathan, who have won their cab driver over with the power of song. Next the teams will fill wheelbarrows with construction supplies from a list and run them to the Asebi D/A School District to receive their next clue. It's a good thing they rested their muscles installing TV antennas last week because this is basically coffin transportation all over again. Connor and Jonathan are the first to run the wheelbarrows, followed by Brook and Claire.

Next, the teams will sit down in a village classroom and be tested on African Geography. Yes! This. challenge. is. delightful. Connor and Jonathan's Princeton educations are put to the test, and it's not exactly going well. Once they are finally able to locate Ghana on a map of Africa, the Gleeks recommend the children in the village attend Princeton for its available African Studies major. Ummm...

Detour time! The teams must choose "bicycle parts" or "language arts." For "bicycle parts" they have to use a stick to roll a bicycle rim across a soccer field. For "language arts" the teams will receive a proverb, translate it into symbols, then find the symbols in the correct order on a giant African "word search." Good job, Amazing Race Detour engineers, I'm back on board. Connor and Jonathan choose "language arts" to no surprise. Brook and Claire, and Michael and Kevin both make the devastating error of only bringing one wheelbarrow, forcing them to go back. Katie and Rachel brought two wheelbarrows, but were mean about it, and they forgot a trowel. So they had to take everything back, to get a trowel for the return trip. Ouch!

Gimme More
Connor and Jonathan complete the Detour, and are met with a reluctant hug from a student. Next they will travel to the Pit Stop at the home of Awusa Ntso and check in with Phil. Connor and Jonathan destroyed this leg of the Race! You go, Gleeks! They won $5,000 each, and promise to buy maps of Africa.

My Prerogative
Now it's time for the majority of the teams to struggle with wheelbarrows and geography. Nick and Vicki brought two bags of cement instead of one, which not only sucks but resulted in tension between the couple. Tension is putting it lightly, Nick was being super mean to Vicki, saying it was "fifth grade reading" and "you have no common sense in your whole body." Gary and Mallory blaze ahead (yesssss I love them), nailing Ghana on the map on their first try. For their Detour, Gary and Mallory choose "bicycle parts," which turns out to be a lot harder than those little schoolchildren make it look. Meanwhile, Brook is finally able to locate Ghana and Chad proves to not be a complete idiot.

Then a really dumb thing happened. Brook and Claire think that they're supposed to draw a circle around the children playing outside. It seemed like a dumb idea, but not to Chad and Stephanie or Katie and Rachel, who did the same thing. Then they all realized it had nothing to do with the Detour, and were embarrassed. Brook and Claire are growing on me, I like that they don't take themselves too seriously. Jill and Thomas struggle to find the decoder key, rifling through childrens' text books, as Katie and Rachel and Chad and Stephanie give up on "language arts," opting for "bicycle parts." To no one's surprise, Nick and Vicki struggle with the map, even after most of the other countries are identified with magnets.

Incredibly, Gary and Mallory check in with Phil second! I'm delighted. At the "bicycle parts" Detour, Nick has completely lost his temper, throwing the bicycle rim and telling Vicki to "shut up" and that "everything's not okay." Chad and Stephanie and third to check in, as Brook and Claire (followed by the other teams) walk right in front of the decoder key. Ohhhhh man. Eventually, the remaining teams give up on "language arts" and opt for "bicycle parts," and Nick becomes more and more furious and Vicki's asthma kicks in. 

Katie and Rachel check in fourth, and Nick calms down to encourage Vicki, landing them in fifth. They are followed by Brook and Claire in sixth. Phil tells them that tomorrow they will come back to the school and help with some remodeling, giving back to the community. Michael struggles with the physical challenge of "bicycle parts," and doesn't want to finish after his first pass. Michael receives medical attention and is near tears feeling that he disappointed his son. Jill and Thomas check in seventh and Michael decides to finish the challenge. Nat and Kat struggle to find the Pit Stop and Michael and Kevin finish the Detour, easily finding the marker. Nat and Kat finish eighth, and Michael and Kevin come in last place BUT ARE NOT ELIMINATED! I almost cried, did you?

What did you think of this leg of the Race? What Detour would you have chosen? Do you have a favorite team yet?

(image courtesy of CBS)