“Detail-oriented” might be one of the most overused phrases on a resume. And for team Brenchel, their professional incompetence with the Pump It Up road block almost got them terminated from the race. Rachel mistook her assigned green card as instruction to fill up green tuk-tuk vehicles, thrusting Brenchel into last position and almost surefire candidates to finish last. 

But alas, the green team’s luck came through again, as their cutesy power of love paved way to a last minute ticket onboard with the other teams. Maybe being around sacred Sri Lankan elephants brought Brenchel good fortune. Regardless, this downtrodden team’s uncanny ability to sprint ahead from behind might just land them a sweet spot in the final three.

Fueling Their Frustration

This leg kicked off with Dave and Connor leading the pack towards the Dutch Museum. Unfortunately the museum opened up at 8:30 am, making it so that teams would all catch up together and be equally matched. It’s interesting to see now that if the teams start off early in the morning, it’s likely a method to get them all stuck in the same spot. 

But the teams get their clue and head by train to Alawwa, Sri Lanka, home of the incredibly crowded Ceypetco Fuel Station. Here, teams need to navigate the endless lines of small Tuk Tuk cars, and get their color coded vehicles refilled for gas. The task of directing these gas guzziling mini cars is exceedingly difficult, as the the massive swarths of cars cutting off and honking at each other makes it almost impossible to direct them. Los Angeles, your traffic ain’t got sh*t on Alawwa’s.

Each team breaks up and puts on their best Traffic Control Officer getup while trying to park their lingering frustrations. Rachel though, in classic omg wtf Rachel fashion, didn’t understand the clue correctly. She picked the green colored card in honor of her team’s natural greenness. But she was supposed to fuel cars that had a green card on their windshield, not actual green cars themselves. So Rachel went through the entire challenge fueling up cars that didn’t need to be fueled up. Like an annoying girl in high school who was walking around unknowingly with her pants fly down, everybody was enjoying Rachel’s mistake too much to bother to tell her what she was doing wrong.

Perennial nice guys Dave and John even got into each other’s faces as they battled over the sacred right to the gas pump in the midst of all the commotion. But all other teams besides Brenchel were able to get tickets to the same train in ample time, only with John telling Rachel her grave mistake. And as we so desperately wanted to see Brenchel get eliminated, they end up foiling our desires again, getting onto the train a few seconds before it departs. Maybe it’s that green luck of the Irish keeping them alive. Regardless, they’re definitely getting other teams’ ire. 

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Look At That Pile Of Sheet

With the teams all caught up (again), they had to choose between one of two detour options, Trunks or Sheets. Trunks requires teams to chain logs together so an elephant may carry them, while sheets requires teams to collect a pile of elephant poop and use transform it into environmentally friendly paper. Naturally poo-phobic, everyone chooses Trunks, but there’s only four sets of chains, so the Singers, Globetrotters and Brenchel are forced to complete the sheetier option. 

The Trunks option proves to be significantly easier than sheets, more of a physical labor and endurance task rather than anything that difficult or complicated. And the elephants are so cute too! Jet and Cord are obviously naturals at Trunks, with all that handiwork they’ve done on their ranches down south. Jessica and John and Dave and Connor have some trouble too, but the Cowboys and Afghanimals finish up first and head to the pit stop. 

Over at sheets, the Singers, Globetrotters and Brenchel pick up their barrels full of dung and wheel it over to be pressed into paper. Nobody is having a fun time with this, as teams sweat up a storm turning their poo into paper. Flight Time and Big Easy figure out the proper method first finish the task, with Brenchel and the Singers immediately behind.

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“It’s Cowboys vs. Indians and the Indians are winning”

Battling for first place, Cowboys and Afghanimals jump into their cabs and speed to the Ambepussa rest house. The Afghanimals coax their cab driver to slingshot ahead of the Cowboys like something out of a NASCAR race. Afghanimals arrive first but Cowboys get to the mystical flute playing dweller at the house. They listen to the man’s enchanting tunes, before heading back in their cabs to the final destination of the Mount Lavinia Beach Hotel.

It’s neck and neck, and when the cabbies arrive, Cowboys and Afghanimals desperately try to find the best route to the beach pit stop. Afghanimals dangerously cross the tracks while the Cowboys take the high road, a strange but appropriate representation of their teams’ nature. And as they break out into full blown “Chariots of Fire” mode, running step and step towards their beloved idol Phil at the end, the Afghanimals pull ahead and nab first place. Standing behind them, the Cowboys are upset with getting number two, that finishing second in some way is worst than finishing last. This may just be a sign of their competitive nature. Or perhaps the lone rangers are bitter that they lost out on a romantic trip to Berlin. We’ll never really know, as the Afghanimals will jet ski across Berlin lakes built on the Cowboys’ endless tears. 

Jessica and John arrive third and Dave and Connor in fourth. Jessica is happy to place in the top three, and even says to the father/son team: “This is the first time we beat you, I’m so happy!” And while Dave and Connor were certainly thinking, “shut the hell up,” their good hearted nature stopped them from saying any displeasing phrases.

For a brief Flight Time and Big Easy were tied with the Mormons, but their cab took a foul turn off in the wrong direction, giving Caroline and Jennifer the opportunity to catch up. This was probably bad karma over Flight Time’s awkward dance while the flute guy performed. And as Brenchel snuck into fifth place, it was a final buzzer finish for the Globetrotters and Singers. Alas, Globetrotters got the final point and the sixth spot, while the Singers finished in last.

But as Phil clearly said at the beginning of the episode, this MAY “wink-wink nudge-nudge” be a non-elimination leg. The Singers don’t have to give their elimination encore yet, with their safety still tuk-tucked away for another leg. 

Again, Cowboys, Afghanimals and Dave and Connor still appear to be the teams to beat, with Jessica and John getting an undeserved third place spot. But Brenchel’s miraculous climb from behind suggests that they are still tough competitors. Like a thorn in the mightier teams’ paw, Brenchel is a painful nuisance that isn’t going anywhere.

Watch next week’s episode of The Amazing Race on Sunday at 8pm on CBS

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(Image courtesy of CBS)


Contributing Writer, BuddyTV