'The Amazing Race' Recap: An Underwater Picnic and Stilts Soccer
'The Amazing Race' Recap: An Underwater Picnic and Stilts Soccer
Emily E. Steck
Emily E. Steck
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Tonight's The Amazing Race tests the waters of communication in Bora Bora and a competition not about a movie award show a la the Oscars.

After last week's penalty parade and early Express alliance, we come back with the teams introducing themselves with the bit of down time they've developed. That penalty two teams took last leg? Nearly non-existent because they are only an hour and a half behind because boats depart four hours after the first team arrives. 

Sometimes, I get annoyed with such contrivances because those leads the teams think they have might not exist. Traveling in general is one of the more unpredictable aspects of the race, but it bothers me nonetheless. 

Jessica and John, now dubbed Team JJ (by the YouTubers, I believe), were the winners of not one but two Express Passes last week. This week, they would rather have people vying for the Express Pass than uphold the alliance. It's the beginning of the unraveling of an alliance, and as John says, "Loose lips sink ships." They are playing the Express Passes very close to the chest to yield power over others. We'll see where this alliance will go in coming weeks. 

The alliance takes more of a backseat this week to some very physical challenges. We start with a Detour, either Pick a Pearl or Take a Trunk. With Pick a Pearl, teams must dive underwater for oysters and then harvest pearls. Two red pearls will give them the next clue. In Take a Trunk, teams will wear an astronaut-like helmet and basically conduct an underwater picnic.

After gaining their next clues, teams jet ski to Motu Tapu, the most photographed island in the South Pacific. I'll trust the Amazing Race on this. The excitement over jet skiing is really amusing to me. I guess most of these peeps don't live near an ocean or a great body of water. It's like they've never seen a jet ski before. 

Teams arrive to a Roadblock in which one team member must balance on stilts to kick a coconut 35 yards away. It's a challenge that relies on athleticism to do well, so the hockey player, cheerleader and cyclist do really well. This week feels especially physical. Where are the mental challenges? They are what make The Amazing Race so great to watch because all of us at home can feel good about ourselves. Oh! Well, I'd never make that mistake! Sigh. Maybe next week.

All teams arrive to check in. And now, it's this week's segment of literally...

Checking In with the Teams

Anthony & Bates (Pro Hockey Players): Team Numero Uno after racing with Dave and Connor. The hockey players have fake teeth. I don't know why this surprises me, since they are hockey players, but I just dyed my hair blonde, okay? I guess the other noteworthy thing is that they read the directions carefully unlike... 

David & Connor: who make a silly and big mistake and forget to grab snorkeling gear. There's always a team who never reads the clues very well in some leg. Unfortunately, after racing with the hockey players for first this leg, David may have ruptured his Achilles. So we'll see where this will go.

Jessica & John (Team JJ): A little smug and confident about their win from last week, they finish higher up than others. John is clearly the talker of these two, but we'll see who the brains are in coming weeks.

Joey & Megan: The semi-annoying YouTubers come up with a good strategy for their oyster and pearl detour, jumping ahead of other teams until the balancing act. Not much to say about them this week otherwise. 

Chuck & Wynona: These two may be my favorite. Wynona is so clearly the weakest link in this team and possibly even this season, but Chuck is supportive and sweet. They are outrun, but still are sort of sweet. I'm rooting for these two based on how they work with each other honestly. 

Mona & Beth (Roller Derby Moms): They go for the trunk mission for a little underwater picnic and are sort of charming during it. Also, they refuse to sweeten up to Team JJ about the Express Pass, even if they don't know about the alliance.

Caroline & Jennifer (Country Singers): I can't tell the difference between these two yet; it's almost as difficult as telling apart the twins. But I appreciate their competitive drive and perky nature. They finish the leg as Lucky Seven.

Max & Katie (Newlyweds): I'm not sure if these two qualify as villains yet, but they are definitely vying for strong competitors who will do anything to win. Last week, they organized the 'penalty parade' and benefited by eliminating another team. This week, they want a faux friendship with the Blondes to keep their enemies closer. I sort of want them to either go full on Machiavellian figure or outright villain in the later legs. 

Pam & Winnie: Am I wrong in thinking they are kind of boring? They mention some Chinese-American heritage, but we don't learn much else. And I'm not intrigued enough to know much else either. After some bad direction and balancing skills, they finish in second to last. Saved for another week.

Idries & Jamil: I don't understand how you can go on this show with really great fears. Yes, it is inspiring when they conquer them on the show. But if you have a major fear of either heights or water, this is not the competition for you. Theirs is water. They debate whether or not to go for their challenge and take a penalty -- which would have made me really mad -- but, alas, they go through all the challenges with dignity. They are eliminated. 

So that's week two. As always, I'd love to hear your comments. What did you think of the challenges? Too physical and not enough puzzles? What are your thoughts about the teams? Are there any good nicknames for the teams? And admit it: you enjoyed this more than the Oscars!

Compete in Fantasy TV: Make your picks on who you think will be going home. Hurry, you have until March 3 at 12pm PST to cast your vote!

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(Image courtesy of CBS)