'The Amazing Race: All Stars' Recap: White Men Can't Jump, Scratch or Mix
'The Amazing Race: All Stars' Recap: White Men Can't Jump, Scratch or Mix
Justin Sedgwick
Justin Sedgwick
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Reality TV tends to bring out the worst in people. With the pressure of an ever-lingering camera monitoring their most intimate moments, it's hard not to lose your cool. Rather, it's encouraged. And when the Master Mix option of this leg's Detour is displayed, obviously the challenge is engineered to stir up these teams' delicate emotional cocktails, much to club goers' and audiences' delight.

Teams don't succeed on The Amazing Race: All Stars because of their physical strength or mental superiority. It's the much more difficult task of keeping one's burning emotions and frustrations in place that enables teams to leap ahead. Internal team communication can only prove to be so helpful when teammates aren't even able to communicate with themselves. And as Luke's parade of broken glasses falls to the ground like so many countless teams' shattered dreams, his emotional explosion is heard by all on the dance floor and at home. And boy is it fun to watch.

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Leaps and Bounds

Daid and Connor kick off this leg of The Amazing Race with the task of heading to Prince and Phillip Park and leaping to reach their next clue with the assistance of classic bamboo trampolines.

But Jet and Cord luckily lasso themselves ahead and go to the challenge first. Jet apparently doesn't take after his name as he is having a lot of difficulty getting his hops in place to nab the flag. But when Dave and Connor finally arrive, the younger Mormon impressively grabs it on his very first try and they get a valuable seat on the first flight. Clearly, the man upstairs is helping Dave and Connor reach new heights.

Leo and Jamal follow up Dave and Connor, and after a few missed attempts, Leo grabs his flag and the Afghanimals are understandably ecstatic for that precious first flight seat. But Jet and Cord can't seem to get with the program after 47 failed jumps. Oklahoma is a relatively flat place, so it's understandable why Jet isn't the most vertically gifted cowpoke. Yet Jet is finally able to propel himself and get the flag, ensuring his team the final spot on the first flight out of town. 

Margie and Luke start in fourth followed by Flight Time and Big Easy. Luke is at a natural disadvantage without being able to hear the rhythm from the booming drums. But Big Easy's size does him no favors as he nearly collapses the trampoline. With some encouragement from their teammates, Luke and Big Easy overcome their own particular ailments to earn the flag and the only two spots on the second flight.

Remaining teams Caroline and Jennifer, Jessica and John and Brenchel shoot for vertical glory with Jessica scraping up her foot really badly. Brief medical attention is needed, as Jessica's bloodied toes bring her to tears. As Caroline and Jennifer proceed, Jessica finally finds the spring back in her step and ascends to reach the flag. Rachel clumsily falls over before being able to jump and, after she takes off her itching pantyhose, is finally able to reach for race glory. Every team has finished, and they are all in the same exact place that they started in.

Dreaded Delays

Dave and Connor, Jet and Cord and Leo and Jamal's flight departs first with an immensely valuable 90-minute lead. As Margie and Luke and Flight Time and Big Easy wait for the second flight, the dreaded news comes in that their flight is now delayed. So the second flight, originally scheduled to land 25 minutes ahead of the third, is now the true third flight scheduled to land 25 minutes after.

Their accomplishments are now moot, with nothing they can do but hope the air traffic gods are more favorable to them in the future. Margie and Luke are feeling a bit of deja vu, trailing the Globetrotters once again like they were when they were previously eliminated. Yet with the Globetrotters loving to waste time chatting and dancing up with locals, Margie and Luke shouldn't have much to worry about.

The flights land in bustling Kuala Lumpur, and nearly everyone on the second and third flight is neck and neck again, desperately searching for lost cabs. Clearly, this episode wants us to think that it's going to be a transportation issue that holds teams back with the extended focus on delayed flights and missing taxis.

And the constant struggle that so many cab passengers face everyday between sedan and van is eloquently displayed on screen by the racers, as they sprint through passenger pickup seeking any sort of officially sanctioned transport vehicle. If this isn't the perfect show for an advertisement from Uber, I don't know what is.


"We're Like Butter, We're on a Roll"

Leo and Jamal arrive first at their Detour in the Sky Bar, followed by Jet and Cord and Dave and Connor. Instantly, the Afghanimals feel just at home amidst dozens of drunken dancers, caught in their ritual nighttime prayer with the piercing lights and booming bass hailing above. But for the Mormon, Salt Lake City natives, Dave and Connor, this exotic nightclub couldn't feel more unholy. The likable father/son duo is forced to face their toughest foe yet: the immoral pleasures of alcohol.

The Detour has teams choose between taking a DJ lesson and performing their skills while nearby dance floor patrons judge, or mixing a difficult concoction of pyramid cocktails without spilling ingredients. All three leading teams take the drink challenge but instantly regret their decision as the difficulty in pouring glasses proves too difficult to bear. Glasses shatter everywhere as the overseeing bartender watches as nearly his entire supply of cranberry and orange juice evaporates before his eyes. Hopefully, it's comped by CBS.

Leo and Jamal's alcohol pouring tolerance proves to be too low as they quit pouring and head to give the DJ challenge a spin as the other teams begin to arrive. The Afghanimals' eager attitude proves to be useless when their lack of rhythm incites mighty boos from the audience. The Globetrotters try out their DJ skills too but are instantly given fouls and banished to the isolated prison of disc jockey school. Clearly, no teams have skills in da club as their mixtapes and mix dreams prove to be flat.

But a miracle happens, as Jet and Cord finally pour the drinks correctly to an uproar of applause from nearby bar patrons. Dave and Connor are dismayed but not defeated, as the father/son duo finally pours the correct concoction after nearly two hours of failed attempts. And Leo and Jamal step into the DJ booth again, with more hope, confidence and proper disc grip training to succeed in their challenge. The first three teams to start the race are the first three teams to finish, with Jet and Cord, Dave and Connor and Leo and Jamal dancing their way to the front of the line.

"I was a cocktail Waitress, I Can Do This Detour, No Problem"

Minutes have faded away into hours as the remaining teams frantically try to mix the drinks and spin the beats to the dancers' fading delight. Caroline and Jennifer's musical background proves immensely valuable as they knock out the DJ challenge in their first try to end up in fourth place. But the Globetrotters still have learned no musical lessons, continuing to fail at the DJ's way of life. Jessica and John rebound ahead of the Globetrotters for a finish in fifth place. And finally, the Globetrotters' extended timeout gives them enough basic musical rhythm to hold remaining teams off the court for a solid finish in sixth place. 

Now we're left with Margie and Luke and Brenchel at the bar, still hopelessly attempting to make the drinks as the club nears closing time. Rachel previously boasted on her cocktail waitressing experience as being an advantage for this Detour, but she is forced to drink down her own words as their team keeps screwing up. Luke too is losing it, with Margie attempting to calm him down and cool his emotions before he breaks.

But after another failed attempt, Luke takes a page out of the Lonely Island's book and throws his glasses on the ground, completely shattering them to the shock and awe of patrons nearby. Margie beckons Luke if he wants to quit as he runs to the nearby restroom to calm his tears, while Brenchel watch from afar, empathetic with Luke's burning resentment for the demonic bar glasses that have completely taken over his life.

These teams have had enough of the cursed cocktails, and Margie proposes the notion of taking the time penalty together. But Rachel puts on her motivational speaker makeup, urging Margie and Luke to not give up and keep it together and prove themselves tougher than the proofs of their cocktails. Rachel's plan backfires, though, as the empowering speech gives Margie and Luke near superhuman cocktail pouring strength, with the mother/son team ecstatically completing the Detour and securing the seventh spot.

Rachel is sobbing, moaning on how "this is so not fair" and clearly regretting her decision to be a nice person. Brenchel doesn't quit, though, as the onscreen Twitter hashtag #NeverGiveUp and act of prayer prove to help as they finally complete the challenge and rush to eighth place.

And as host Phil Keoghan carefully says that this leg may be an elimination round, Brenchel are still alive but not by much. The teams continue onward with their new skills of disc-jockeying and complex-drink pouring in hand, ready to face any challenge that comes their way. It won't be their physical strength that allows teams to pull through, but equal emotional maturity in not losing their personal cool and good fortune hoping that the other teams do. 


The Amazing Race airs Sundays at 8pm on CBS.  

(Image courtesy of CBS)



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