The Amazing Race: All-Stars, Episode Two Recap
Originally aired on Sunday, 02/25/2007

Episode Rating:  **** (4 stars out of 5)

Episode Overview: Tempers are flaring as intra- and inter-team tensions grow on the second leg of the All-Star Race.

Episode Highlights:
  • Rob and Amber continue their dominance in this next leg of the race, but Ozwald and Danny are proving to be solid, level-headed competitors.
  • Charla and Mirna are proving to be anything but level-headed as this leg seems to create a lot of emotional havoc for the fiery duo.
  • Kevin and Drew struggle to keep their bodies and head in the game.

Recap:  With ten teams still in the running on The Amazing Race: All-Stars, it can be hectic trying to keep track of all the competitors.  Rob and Amber Mariano are happy to have the attention of their rivals as they think any extra focus on them will make the other teams more prone to errors.  Kevin O’Connor and Drew Feinberg are one of the few teams probably not fixated on Romber; Drew had a nasty fall last week and spent his rest time being treated for altitude sickness.

The teams depart in the order of last week’s arrival at the mat, with Rob/Amber first to head out.  The teams all have to drive the muddy, rutted road of the Quito nature preserve.  Charla Baklayan Faddoul and Mirna Hindoyan get stuck and Mary and David Conley, their newfound friends, stop to pull them out.  Kevin and Drew also get stuck, but as they are in last place, they are on their own, so Kevin straps himself into a tow rope and pulls out the vehicle, and ends up almost getting killed as Drew sort of forgets to stop once he gets out of the mud.

The teams are all headed to the airport to catch a flight to Santiago, Chile.  Rob/Amber and Ozwald Mendez and Danny Jimenez use their head starts to their advantage, and find the first series of flights to get them into Santiago, arriving at 1:50 AM.  All of the other teams wind up on a flight that will have them landing at 2:30 AM. 

Unfortunately, a delay with one of their connecting flights puts the first place teams at the back of the pack, and both Rob/Amber and Ozwald/Danny find themselves just missing the final flight all the other teams are on.

Luckily for them, the challenge waiting for them in Santiago gives all the teams a chance to catch up or drastically change position.  It’s a Roadblock – a challenge that only one teammate can complete.  The clue says it requires attention to detail, so Uchenna and Joyce Agu decide that Joyce should complete it, and Eric Sanchez and Danielle Turner select Eric.  They are the first two teams to arrive and they hope this will give them a solid lead.

But it’s not as easy as it looks: they have to find a series of letters disguised in a boardroom full of businessmen.  The letters are engraved on pens, monogrammed on pocket squares and sleeves, or doodled on pads of paper.  Once they have collected all the letters, they have to figure out what the letters spell.  Unbeknownst to them, the letters spell out the name of a local copper mine pictured on a wall, with its long name listed underneath it on a plaque.  It is one of several pictures.

Although the two teams have a head start, it is actually the Beauty Queens, Dustin-Leigh Seltzer and Kandice Pelletier, that solve the clue first and are given their next clue.  Team after team arrives, figures it out, and departs, while the two first to begin – Eric and Joyce – continue to struggle to piece it together.  Uchenna grows increasingly frustrated waiting for her to emerge.

Mary is able to figure it out quickly by astutely writing down all the names on the plaques before beginning to collect the letters.  She not only works it out, but gives Charla a hint too before leaving the room.  She unwittingly helps out Kevin, who appears to eavesdrop on her correct answer waiting in line to deliver his incorrect one.

Even with Amber’s help (rather unexpected assistance from a Romber, I might add), Eric is still unable to solve the puzzle very quickly, but he actually does manage to put it together before Joyce.  She and Ian Pollack are the two last to work it out, and finally all of the teams have left. 

They are all heading to another flight to another town in Chile to go to the same location pictured in the boardroom.  Once there, they have a Detour, a choice between By Hand – hand tightening a series of bolts on the large wheel of a bulldozer – or By Machine – moving a pile of dirt by same kind of bulldozer.

Rob/Amber and Team Guido (Joe Baldassare and Bill Bartek) both choose By Machine.  Rob and Amber work together well and finish first.  Team Guido struggles a little but manage to get their task done rather quickly too.  Over with the rest of the teams doing By Hand, Ozwald/Danny and Uchenna/Joyce finish relatively speedily, but the other teams struggle to get their work finished at the necessary quality level.  Charla/Mirna seem to get a little hysterical (although the Beauty Queens point out that this is just kind of how they operate), while David and Mary don’t work carefully and have to redo most of their work.  This puts them in last place to leave the mine.

Charla/Mirna had hoped to follow a cab driver to their next destination, but the Beauty Queens’ attempt to draft behind them throws a wrench in their plans.  They stop and demand the Queens pay half of the fee they are paying the driver.  When the Queens refuse and take off, Mirna seems to have some sort of mini-breakdown, shoving her purse at the driver and telling him to take her money and take food out of her mouth.  It’s all a little over-the-top.

The teams have to drive through a twisty landscape at low speed, and this gives the teams a chance to somewhat bunch up again.  The vehicles stop at the entry to the road and each hears a lecture on the maximum speed allowed on this section of road.  For some reason, the Beauty Queens are allowed to drive right past this lecture and get a little head start.  They lose some of their head start, however, when taking a wrong turn on the way to the Pit Stop.

Meanwhile, Rob/Amber, Ozwald/Danny, Team Guido, Eric/Danielle, and Uchenna/Joyce arrive in respective order on the mat.  Rob and Amber again win a prize for being first.

Back on the road, the remaining teams are bunched up with Kevin/Drew in the lead.  Unfortunately, Kevin/Drew didn’t listen carefully to the driving instructions, or else they missed the sign indicating higher speeds were acceptable, and their pokey pace allows the other teams to pass.  Mary/David see Charla/Mirna pass and feel betrayed.  They then pass Charla/Mirna, who also seem to feel a little betrayed.  Apparently, in The Amazing Race: All-Stars, everything is personal, unnecessarily and unrealistically personal. 

All of the remaining teams make the same wrong turn as the Beauty Queens, who have realized their error and are already turning back around and get to the mat next.  So, then, eventually does everyone else.  Teri/Ian catch their mistake first, and get to the mat in seventh.  Charla/Mirna get there eighth, with Mary/David right behind them and barely able to hold their tongues about their disappointment. 

So Kevin and Drew are last due to their misunderstanding of the speed limitations and are eliminated.  Drew is very disappointed and can barely bring himself to remain on the mat for the final consultation with Phil.   He says he is in a lot of physical pain, and so it seems like possibly not continuing might actually be the best thing for him at this point.

Tensions are growing between the teams, so it should be interesting to see how this affects the game play moving forward!

- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist