Was the first season all that long ago? I realize that it's season 11, but the show is often on twice a year. If memory serves, the first season was in 2000, but I didn't look it up. So I could be wrong.
What's my point? Well, I look at Team Guido and they look a bit older, but they're really quite the same as they were in the first season. The ChaChas (Oswald and Danny)? They haven't aged a heck of a lot. The Frat Boys? Well, one hasn't changed much (Kevin) while the other aged about 25 years since the first season. I adored them in their first run of the race, but this season it wasn't enjoyable to watch death-warmed-over Drew. Sigh. On the other hand, the ChaChas are a hoot! I think Oswaldo is cute, too.
Onto the show...
After a recap, Drew talked about having altitude sickness. That didn't seem to happen to anyone else. As an ex-skier who's been up there where the air is thin, I'd say it might have struck him so hard because he wasn't in good shape. I'm no doctor; I don't even play one on television. But I have seen altitude sickness hitting the very thin, the very heavy, and the not healthy. He also seemed to be an accident in motion for the whole first leg.
Led by Romber (Rob and Amber), the winners of the first leg, at 7:42am, teams left the Pit Stop to head for Santiago, Chile. The last team, Kevin and Drew, left at 9:44am, making for a two-hour gap betwixt first and last. That's more than we generally see, especially this early in the race. Dave and Mary were the team to leave before the Frats and they had almost an hour on them. David and Mary lost some time helping tow a stuck-in-the-mud Charla and Mirna. The Frats also got stuck in the mud, but Kevin was a human tow for them. (See, he hasn't changed.)
Okay, I have to say it. I never want to see Rob and Amber on Survivor again. I didn't care for her on the show and he's just been on it too much. But during their run of Amazing Race 7, I thought they were a strong and good team. They don't bicker a lot, don't belittle each other, and Rob usually has a trick or two up his sleeve to get ahead of the pack. He has creative thinking and although I still could take or leave Amber, I enjoy watching Rob on The Amazing Race.
I'm getting a bit tired of watching the inevitable airport scenes. Romber and the ChaChas managed to find a flight which should hit the connection to Santiago about 40 minutes before the most obvious flight. Of course, we all know that the best-laid plans of mice and Robs doesn't always make it to fruition. Due to a delay, the other teams all caught up.
Before I leave the airplane, I feel I should mention that Drew started throwing around David and Mary's bags as they put them in the first-class section and they weren't traveling first class. What's up with that? I thought it unduly harsh and it certainly turned Kentucky against the Frats. The other teams aboard seemed shocked, too. What has gone wrong with Drew, I ask? Yikes!
Once in Santiago, the teams had to drive to Codelco, a huge copper-mining company. Bingo, a Roadblock! That, of course, is a task only one member of each team can complete. This one called for attention to detail. The racers had to enter a boardroom which made me have Trump-shivers, but thankfully was different. There were alphabet letter clues all over the place and the racer had to find them, then unscramble them to spell out the clue. It was Dustin (or Kandice) who first tied in the letters with the pictures on the wall.
One such picture was labeled Chuquicamata Mine. One by one, teams got out of there, leaving Joyce and Ian getting more frustrated by the moment, not to even mention how Uchenna was twitching and Teri trembling. Surprisingly, the first thing Mary did when she entered was to memorize the pictures on the wall as she thought they held a clue. Finally Joyce got it, tipped off Ian, then ran to try to catch up with the other teams. Ian thought he must be losing his cop-touch.
The clue led the teams to the town of Calama to the location of the driest desert in the world. Rob acted out when Eric went to a newly opened counter from the end of the first line. Although Rob said he considered it a "plan to stir the pot," Amber was not too thrilled with his behavior. She thought his scene to create problems just made him look silly. Even though they had words, they weren't outright nasty to each other. For my sake, I'd prefer they stop the "babe" bit, though. It's a pet peeve of mine with couples on the show.
The teams were faced with a Detour, this one having to do with the local economy. They could go for By Hand or By Machine. In By Hand, they had to put on and tighten a zillion lug nuts on a huge piece of construction equipment. Okay, maybe not a zillion, but certainly not four! In By Machine, they had to use a front loader to scoop and dump sand. Rob, with a background in construction, eased his way through Machine It. I noticed that the By Hand task which the majority of teams chose seemed to be the most time-consuming.
Upon completing the Detour, teams then had to drive 71 miles to and through the Valley of the Moon - a very sandy terrain with a speed limit of 40 KPH. After they finished that, they had to head to the Pit Stop which was located in the Valley of Death. (Eep.) It all sounds simple enough, right? Some teams sure had problems with it.
For "all stars" who have raced this race before, you'd think they'd not freak out like Mirna did when a local let them down. She was throwing money and jumping up and down. She reminded me of one of those rubber dolls you squeeze and the eyes and ears pop out. Although Mirna and Charla had a point about Dustin and Kandice helping pay for the "tour guide," the Beauty Queens called the drama surrounding Mirna (and Charla to a lesser extent), perfectly spot on.
Drew totally screwed up, taking a wrong turn and then keeping to the 40 KPH even when the speed limit increased. He fussed and whined. Poor Kevin was all I could think. Most of the teams seemed to take that same wrong turn, but in the end the arrival order to the Pit Stop was:
- Amber and Rob - They each won an off-road motorcycle.
- Oswald and Danny
- Joe and Bill
- Eric and Danielle
- Uchenna and Joyce
- Dustin and Kandice
- Teri and Ian
- Charla and Mirna
- David and Mary
- Kevin and Drew -- Eliminated
Once again, the ChaChas provided fun lines for the night. "Who says gay men can't drive?" "I think I was a man in a previous life." You have to remember these are the two guys who went shopping in the middle of a leg because they just "had to shop." Yet, both stand up to the plate and try their hardest at the tasks.
Also, during this leg, hopefully David and Mary learned that this isn't a game of alliances. It never was. You help Charla and Mirna or the Beauty Queens, don't think they'll return the favor. Actually, I think the one most likely to return a favor to Kentucky at this point would be Rob. And, that's only because he knows he could blow away and leave them gasping in his dust.
They still haven't traveled much for two legs, but I enjoy seeing how the teams are interacting. How about you?