'The Amazing Race 16' Recap: It's An Easy Race For Those Lucky Gauchos
'The Amazing Race 16' Recap: It's An Easy Race For Those Lucky Gauchos
An obvious first thought as I write this recap for The Amazing Race: the folks a Chile. A magnitude-8.8 earthquake, of course, struck the country yesterday, and I can't help but think about the beautiful sights we've seen in the country in the first two legs of the race. I have no doubt the country can get back up on their feet: after all, fifty years ago, a magnitude-9 earthquake hit the country.

What did the show do? A quick CBS Cares promo. For now, at least.

The third leg of the race sends everybody just across the border, to the city of Bariloche in Argentina. The tasks this time around, involving primitive compasses, lassos and practice horses, were a struggle for everyone--except, of course, for our favorite cowboys.

The cowboys are ahead again: Jet and Cord are fast becoming my favorite team. While I thought they wouldn't last in urban settings (read: Los Angeles), they've proving to become quite good with tasks, and very cunning, while keeping down-to-earth. That, or they're just extremely lucky with the tasks in the first three legs, being cowboys and all.

Anyway, being first, they took the earliest bus from Puerto Varas to Bariloche. After the six-hour trip, they head to El Boliche Viejo. The cowboys knew where to go and, sensing that both Joe and Heidi, and Carol and Brandy, were tailing them, they pretended to get lost and pull over.

They catch up anyway, but they get slowed down after a game of poker with the Travelocity gnome ("the gnome has a poker face"). A couple of draws later, they head to the Roadblock, which they easily finish: throw a lasso to a target 18 feet away to get their next clue. Words of wisdom from tangled-up Carol: "This is, like, ridiculous." Then again, the cowboys didn't nail the target on their first try.

Next stop: Puente Nirihuau, also known as this very precarious cliff near a river. It's a Detour. Choose Horse Sense, and you find a loot of money using an ancient compass and your coordinates. They choose Horse Power, where they play polo, alternately hitting the ball in nine strokes or less. After some disappointment when they realize they're not riding an actual horse, they finish early, and arrive first at the Estancia Fortin Chacabuco, winning a trip to Patagonia. A race for cowboys, indeed.

Weak to the core: Brent and Caite aren't so lucky, though. Despite finishing fourth, they left the pit stop last, thanks to terribly bum tummies! Caite starts throwing up and Brent isn't feeling good either, so they head to a hospital and had themselves confined for three hours or so. As they're hooked up to IVs, all the other teams read their clues and head for their buses to Bariloche... although it doesn't really slow the models down. They end up meeting Louie and Michael, and realize that the first bus out (the same one the cowboys were on) leaves at 8:30am. They're four hours early.

But the illness is dragging them down: they're racing without the quirky intensity they had in the first two legs. "Brent isn't good with directions," an exasperated Caite said as they fumbled their way to El Boliche Viejo. "But he isn't good with driving stick either." It took them a while to find their destination, but it smooth sailing from them on: Brent lassoed the target quickly, and they finish the polo Detour quickly, too. They finish seventh, which isn't bad at the moment... but bad considering that their previous seventh place finish was become of a time penalty.

I did say the other teams struggled, right? Carol and Brandy were the first to argue. Their excuse: "we've only been dating for five months, and we haven't learned a lot about each other." They've had problems with determining who follows who, something that bites them hard at the compass Detour. The compass amounts to arrows pointing north-east-west-south, and the coordinates are actually the number of steps you take to your patch of land.

But the dating couple lose track after Carol finds a shovel along the way--they're supposed to dig for the loot bag, after all--and then they start arguing. Easiest resolution: take the other Detour, which they finish quickly. They end in third.

Joe chalks up another case of overconfidence. "I have a compass in my watch," he beamed, not realizing that they're using those arrows in the middle of the plot. They find the loot anyway, but upon reaching the train station--they have to give the bag to the lead bandit--they realize they got the wrong bag. One try down, they do the polo Detour, where Joe falls twice from the wooden horse, potentially hitting him in the balls. He needs that.

The funniest, perhaps, was Jordan and Jeff. In true Big Brother quality, they struggle with finding the train station after looking for the loot bag. They got the gunslinger (guy who gives them the coordinates) and the bandit (guy who gives them the next clue) mixed up, and it took them a while before realizing their mistake. To their credit, they were the first to finish that task. Jeff's quotable: "We're so stupid! Bet we shouldn't reproduce." They finish fifth.

And the mothers are off: But perhaps the unluckiest team are Monique and Shawne, who had a pretty good grip on the race... until they faced the Roadblock. They got there early, but Shawne struggled extra hard with the lasso. Every other team passed them--yes, even still sick Brent and Caite. She caught the horns at one point but her lasso didn't have much of a grip. The power of prayer got them through, though: as Monique started pleading to the Lord, Shawne finally finishes the task.

They breezed after that, but it was too late for them to catch up. With Louie and Michael arriving in eighth--still making them the last team to leave next week--as night falls, the mompreneurs' elimination was inevitable... and it was. Still, the editors decided to give them a positive spin, as they talked about being a role model to their children.

Next week on the race, the teams head to Hamburg, where the cowboys get drunk, and the Intersection rears its ugly head.

(Image courtesy of CBS)