The Amazing Race All-Stars Episode 12
The Teletubbies Go To War
By Reagen Sulewski
May 4, 2007

Maybe if they hadn't slept they might have won.

Surprise back-to-back non-elimination legs have given us one more shot with four teams left in the race, and with the circumnavigation of the globe approaching quickly.

Dustin & Kandice leave from the Pit Stop in Macau, leaving at 2:15 a.m. and directed to Guam, that mostly ignored relic of the Spanish-American War of 1898. They'll then have to proceed to the air force base there, and be escorted to the air control tower, which they need to climb to get their next clue.

Charla & Mirna are about 35 minutes behind leaving the gate, and are in hot pursuit of Dustin & Kandice to get on the first ferry of the day to Hong Kong. They're caught in a lineup (at 3 a.m.!) and don't make it, giving Dustin & Kandice a nice amount of breathing room.

Eric & Danielle leave 16 minutes back of Charla & Mirna, but meet up with them at the ferry terminal. The mystery of the morning for these two teams is where Dustin & Kandice are. Suprisingly, and this may just be due to the hour of the morning, the idea that they've already caught a ferry does not occur to them. Eric suggests that they're researching flights, to which Mirna responds that they don't know how to use the Internet. Charla, who clearly seems to close to her fill of her, says that no, she's just never seen them use it. Mirna might want to be careful with the dumb blonde jokes anyway.

Oswald & Danny are last out, two hours and 22 minutes back (how did they shed so much time last leg?), and are carrying that 30-minute penalty for finishing last (which they blame on the karma of the Yield. Which is why Dustin & Kandice were struck by lightning, right? Oh). They're also still a little cash-poor. This is not the happiest and most positive team.

In the category of Future Adventures With Accents, Mirna tries out some mystery Eastern European conglomeration on their Chinese cab driver (why? Why would she think this would resonate?) and learning that the way they say "airport" is "airport". It's a fascinating language. Later we learn that Mirna chooses these accents on purpose – and worldwide, language teachers weep.

At the Hong Kong airport, Dustin & Kandice are busy working on their connection to Guam, which takes them through Tokyo and to Guam that evening. The next two trailing teams arrive while they're booking, which would indicate that they made up a lot of time somehow. Charla & Mirna walk over to another agent to book the same flight while Eric asks for just "the same thing they got," referring to Dustin & Kandice. This mildly peeves Kandice, but c'mon. Like they wouldn't have thought to ask for the fastest tickets to Guam. If they couldn't manage that, they would deserve to be taken aside and put down. Actual time saved for them? Zero.

Meanwhile, Danny & Oswald's day could be over before it starts, if they don't hurry. A full two hours behind in getting to the airport, they need to hustle to make the same flight to Tokyo as the other teams. They're not in time, but obviously there's a ton of Hong Kong-Tokyo flights and they catch one a half hour behind that theoretically could make the same connection to Guam. Of course, as we've seen in this season, tight connections are by no means assured anymore, and you're just as likely to end up an entire day behind.

The first three teams have now boarded, and it's left to Oswald & Danny to race across their second straight airport to make their flight. They're in luck this time, getting on just in the nick of time. Eric is his petulant little self, shooting laser beams at them for the Yield last leg (does no one understand the rules of this race?), but... deal.

With all the teams now on the same flight, this morning's drama was mostly for naught. It's completely wiped out when they arrive at the air force base and see that the actual events will be taking place at seven the next morning. Hooray for bunching?

The next day, seven out of eight of the racers are a little hot and bothered for meeting their military escort (Charla, I understand, is not that turned on by uniforms), and they're driven to the air traffic control tower, which is a not-insignificant climb. Dustin & Kandice reach the top first, and get the Detour. The choice here is between building a care package and then accompanying it on an airdrop training exercise, or scrubbing down a portion of a B-52 bomber, or essentially, time consuming but easy and quick but hard. Although cleaning is about as unattractive a task as there is on the race, speed is the important factor. All the teams except for Charla & Mirna choose to wash the bomber, and even then Charla & Mirna have a good excuse not to.

They pretty quickly make up for this smart decision by being annoying and saying that the reason they chose this is because they like to help people. What part of "training exercise" don't you get? The task requires them to load 500 pounds of supplies into a couple of boxes, which Mirna attempts to achieve by basically heaving it into the box. The military representative there is noticeably peeved by this and asks them "to load it with some degree of love, OK?" Personally, I think he shows a great deal of restraint not to strike them. She also decides that she needs to explain the importance of all the supplies she's loading in. I mean, just shut up! Who is it that you think you're talking to?

The planes are absolutely filthy and present a pretty tough scrub for all the teams, which mixed with the supreme attention to detail that the air force personnel are demanding, makes this task fun for no one.

As Charla & Mirna board the plane, Mirna declares that "this is the best thing I've ever done in my life!" Now, I'll be generous here and grant her that she still doesn't realize that this is just an exercise. But even then, this is still stupid. She's not actually providing the supplies, and it's not as if the Air Force was just holding back supplies from people in the hopes that someone would help them pack it. It's the military. They've got a pretty big labor pool. She then says, "I feel like Top Gun!" OK, first thing: this is a cargo plane, not a fighter. Do you feel like Top Gun on Continental Airlines? And second thing: Top Gun sat in the front of the plane. I couldn't dislike her more.

The supplies exercise actually gets the coolest moment of the day, as they send the plane into an extended nose dive to the point of "zero-g". I suspect that's not really part of a normal drop exercise. They level off, drop the supplies and start to head back to base. Already, Mirna develops some impatience, hoping that they can get back faster. "we're kind of in a rush." Oh! We didn't know! Um, you're a plane. It's going to go as fast as it goes. The only way you're getting off faster is if they drop you with the supplies. Hmmm....

Finally, the teams start to finish washing the planes. Dustin & Kandice are first and get their clue that sends them across the island to the U.S. Naval Base that's also there. Again, they'll need to be escorted once they get there. Eric & Danielle are second out, with Oswald & Danny getting out in third place. Meanwhile, Charla & Mirna have finally landed (I guess they skipped the side trip to Samoa), putting them in fourth place out of the Detour. I think washing the plane would have gone even worse for them, though.

Another peeve here; describing the race as a matter of "life and death". It's a matter of money, you self-absorbed twits! And I'm sure that that sentiment goes over so well on an island full of military personnel and their families!

Dustin & Kandice, meanwhile, are kicking butt this leg, and are first to the Naval Base. The clue is the Roadblock, which has one team member take part in a search and rescue mission using a GPS unit. Dustin goes out into the brush for her team, and proves pretty adept at this, although it is basically just following an arrow. Danielle is forced into taking the Roadblock for her team because Eric has apparently used up all of his. This is the first confirmation that the Chip rule is still in effect, which gave each racer a maximum of seven Roadblocks.

Oswald & Danny have had some miserable luck with navigation in the last couple of episodes, and are passed by Charla & Mirna to the Roadblock. Charla gets the call for her team, and then proceeds to start babbling to her handler about how walking around in hot weather is the reason military people get store discounts. Yes, I'm sure a 10% discount at JC Penny is the reason people join up.

Dustin has a pretty easy time with finding her missing pilot, and is then sent on to a landing zone where she'll have to call in a chopper rescue. Charla and Danielle, on the other hand, are entirely useless at this, and Charla keeps resetting her GPS unit, much to the consternation of her Navy handler, who pleads with her not to touch any buttons. Danielle, meanwhile, has to fight the Guamanian spider menace, but finally finds her lost pilot.

Oswald & Danny have finally reached the Naval Base after getting terribly lost, and Oswald heads out for the Roadblock. Around this time, Dustin is completing hers, and calls down for the chopper ride, complete with that colored smoke. Jealous.

After landing back at the starting point, she receives her next clue, which sends her and Kandice to Fort Soledad, a Spanish colonial fort, and the Pit Stop. No more ambiguity from Phil on the voiceover, the last team to get there is going to be gone.

They cruise towards the fort, and arrive in first place at the Pit Stop. In addition to being on the last leg, they each win an ATV. It's now the fourth total leg that they've won, and one of the more dominant late stage performances in the history of the race.

Whatever the polar opposite of that is, it's what the other teams are showing at the Roadblock. Danielle is bursting into tears, Charla keeps breaking her unit and Oswald keeps stumbling around without finding his pilot. Dustin & Kandice might actually win by a day.

Danielle wins this battle of futility, finishing second at the Roadblock. Oswald has caught up to Charla, but there's still that half hour penalty to deal with, so it's going to be very hard for them to make it through. Charla gets an airlift out first, and her flight suits getup prompts the line of the night from Oswald, "The Teletubbies Go To War". He may be circling the drain, but he's still having fun at least.

It's now a race between the final three teams to find the fort, who appear to all be running around in random directions. Eric & Danielle manage to find their way in for second, with Charla & Mirna sliding in for third.

This makes Oswald & Danny's penalty moot, and eliminates them. It's been a couple of pretty bad legs for them, and although the penalty didn't come into play, their fatigue affected their decision making. It wasn't a spectacular flameout, but rather a slow burn.