The Amazing Race Recap
Cathy Drone
By Daron Aldridge
March 23, 2010

I bet they have so much to talk about.

Cathy Drone? – Brothers Dan and Jordan inept interpretation of a friendly French woman saying "cathedral"

Last week we got the intended payoff from a U-Turn that actually eliminated Joe and Heidi. This week will Team Super Fuzz continue their winning ways or will the bottom dwellers from Big Brother or South Carolina change their last place scenery? Let's see.

After back-to-back first place finishes, Team Super Fuzz of Michael and Louie has become the unlikely heir apparent to last season's winners/dominating team Meghan and Cheyne. The cops have run a very smart last couple of legs and get to leave at 7:47 a.m. to drive themselves to the town of Reims. In Reims, they must find the only outdoor statue of Joan of Arc and a woman playing a sword. This is not euphemistic (since we are no longer in the Hamburg red light district) but a lady actually playing a sword like a cello.

Louie reveals his enjoyment at the sight of the others floundering in the race and Michael declares, "We're gonna win this continent." Hubris is typically not a good sign on the Race, so Super Fuzz might want to get that in check.

About 20 minutes later, Coach Steve and daughter Allie leave with the cowboys Jet and Cord less than ten minutes in their wake and brothers Dan and Jordan only four minutes behind them. The producers do a great job of editing this show because it seemed there was a significant time gap between second, third and fourth place when they got to the pitstop.

Dating ladies Carol and Brandy aren't too far behind, leaving at 8:39 a.m. Given that we haven't seen Super Fuzz make it to Reims, the ladies are still in decent shape.

The first three teams arrive at the statue with coach/daughter first, then the cowboys, and the cops. They receive their clue in the form of a champagne cork. Here is where people take different strategies in the game. A friendly local tells Steve and Allie that the cork is from a winery in the town of Epernay. This elicits a gleeful, "I would love a little bubbly," from Steve. Coupled with his conquering the beer boot solo, me thinks that Coach might have a problem similar to Barney Gumble and Mayberry's Otis.

Upon getting the cork, the cowboys impulsively decide to head to the town of Champagne instead of performing any real due diligence. Given the confidence level of Steve and Allie's local advice giver, we know the ‘boys are going the wrong way. Super Fuzz wisely uses the local tourism office to find the statue and the same intel that the cork is from Epernay.

The brothers are trailing a bit and ask a local woman for the statue's location and she literally points them to a "CA-THE-DRAL" but the brothers somehow hear "Cathy Drone." For some reason, producers latched onto this soundbite for the title, which I think is lame. So I will play another edition of "Better Titles for this Episode." After they get their clue, the brothers run into Michael and Louie at the tourism office and leave with the same guidance, which they use to follow one another.

At Joan's statue, Brandy is giddy about being in champagne country when they get their clue cork next.

Team South Carolina, Brent and Caite, has now left two full hours after the first team, which seems to be an unfortunate pattern for them. Finally, Big Brother leaves 40 minutes later than the team directly in front of them but hey, they didn't get eliminated last time. Unknowingly, Jordan channels her inner Bill and Ted by confusing Joan of Arc with Noah (the guy who built the ark). I missed their Big Brother season but is she really this flighty? If so, Jeff, you are a saint.

The actual brothers and the brothers in blue arrive at the Epernay winery first and face this leg's Roadblock. A teammate must rappel 100 feet down into the champagne cellar and search the bottles for a tiny Race flag about half the size of a postage stamp.

Jordan assumes the Roadblock because Dan has already performed three of them. Louie steps up for his team. As they wait, Steve and Allie arrive, which makes Dan say, "Steve, this is your kind of place." This statement just gives credence to my Barney/Otis theory. With the prospect of drinking champagne, Steve takes on this Roadblock.

While they work the Roadblock, we catch up with Jet and Cord getting into the town of Champagne. They soon get their eyes opened to their mistake and accept that they could have easily slipped from third to last place.

As easily as we see the teams start and finish the Roadblock, it becomes clear that this will not be the task that causes a team to stumble. The brothers are out of the task first and get the clue from the bottle that merely says "Taittinger La Marquetterie." Once again, teams must rely upon the locals to point them in the right direction to go.

As expected, Caite pulls a similar mental error to Big Brother's Jordan by pointing out a statue in Reims with a bunch of animals and a guy, to which she says, "Joan of Arc is a guy." "Joan of Arc is a girl. Why do you think her name is Joan?" Brent corrects her. She sheepishly mutters, "Oh, I was thinking of someone else." I wonder who she could possibly be thinking of. These ladies are Bill and Ted's soul mates. How disastrously awesome would it be to have one team with the unparalleled intellect of Caite and Jordan? I marvel at the potential ineptitude that would ensue.

Louie and Michael leave the Roadblock next. As Louie tries to fish the clue from its tube, Michael notes, "Your big sausage fingers aren't getting it." (Better episode title option #1...It's as equally irrelevant as the actual title but at least it's humorous.)

The tension, bickering and whining between Brent and Caite flare up again as they stare at the wrong statue and Caite doesn't want to ask the people nearby for help. Frustrated, Brent tells her to decide what they should do, then. She says he's acting like a jerk...blah blah blah...It's the same story each episode with them and frankly, it bores me. Fighting teams are amusing only so long and I guess six episodes in is past that point for me. Anyway, they finally ask for help because Brent insisted and run to the correct statue.

Steve and Allie are leaving the Roadblock in third and Carol and Brandy show up. Once again, Brandy the acrophobic is chosen as the Roadblock doer in a task that deals with heights, which cause a mini hissy fit on her part. Refer to the above assessment of whining and bickering for how I feel about Carol and Brandy. Carol speaks for me when she says that she hopes that Brandy isn't in a "piss-ass mood when she gets back up here." No kidding, Carol.

The brothers stop by a business and the lady points them back to Reims where Taittinger is based. Then they cut to Louie and Michael getting a completely different destination from a hotel clerk. The cops follow a person from the hotel to the town of Pierry. This is where the field can get blown wide open in this leg.

Carol and Brandy leave the Roadblock in fourth place and the cowboys are nowhere to be seen. I am inclined to make a lame riding off into the sunset reference but I will refrain...somewhat.

I'm not exactly sure of his direction-giving credentials, but Steve and Allie ask a painter for help and he tells them to go to Reims. As many times as we are shown the name "Taittinger," this episode feels like a commercial for the bubbly. While they return to Reims, Carol and Brandy are pointed to Pierry.

Fresh from their countryside drive, Jet and Cord get to the Roadblock and they are out of there quickly. A local tells them to go to Reims. So, here is the breakdown so far for the teams actually in contention this leg (sorry, Big Brother and South Carolina): Super Fuzz and Carol and Brandy are heading to the town of Pierry and the brothers, the cowboys and coach/daughter are going back to Reims. All right; back to the race.

Speaking of Big Brother, they finally get to Joan of Arc and head to the Roadblock.

The mystery is solved about who is on the right path when we see Michael and Louie arrive in Pierry at the Detour. That means that depending on tasks, we are looking at the cops and the dating ladies finishing first. This Detour's options are Tower or Terra. For Tower, they have to build a champagne glass tower out of 680 glasses and 15 levels high. THEN, fill the glasses with champagne. Terra has the teams search a square kilometer of grape vines for a bunch marked with a tiny race flag. Super Fuzz goes with Terra and I am 100% on board with that decision. Tower looks frighteningly difficult to darn near impossible.

The brothers are the first of trio of navigationally challenged teams to have the wind let out of their sails when the woman at the Taittinger headquarters breaks it to them that they need to go to Pierry and not Reims. Jordan informs Dan, "The lesson from this leg is never trust a pretty girl." (Better episode title #2...It's accurate, appropriate and ironic coming from the gay brother on the team.)

South Carolina shows up at the Roadblock and finishes before Big Brother gets there, which they do shortly thereafter. Jordan explains that even though they haven't seen any teams, someone could have gotten lost. She is totally correct but in order for them to catch up, they also have to avoid the temptation of getting lost.

Steve and Allie tear into the town of Reims and as Steve spots the Taittinger HQ (you know, the wrong place), he runs over something that does significant damage to their Race-provided Mercedes. According the footage we have seen, Steve is fortunately sober, so this is just bad luck on their part. The luck gets worse when they learn they have to head to another town. As they leave, Steve's custom body work is rubbing against the wheel and will not make it the distance to the town. With all the insight of the gay brothers last season bringing a calculator along, Steve's wife made him pack a small role of duct tape. Anyone who is familiar with MacGyver knows that this will fix the issue and they are on the road again.

Jeff and Jordan finish the Roadblock and join the misguided teams by following the advice to go back the Reims. Brent and Caite apparently have just been driving around asking random pedestrians for the location of Taittinger to no avail.

Back at the Terra Detour, Michael's self proclaimed eagle eye finds their grapes. This leads to the best line of the night and what really should have been the title of this episode. The following speaks for itself:

Michael: "If I could find crack in someone's rear end, I can find grapes in a vineyard."

It would've made me laugh so hard if my DVR program details listed the title as "If I can find crack in someone's rear end..." I am giggling just typing and yes, I am a 12-year-old at heart.

Super Fuzz gets the clue to head to the pitstop at a mansion in the town called L'Orrica.

Jet and Cord learn of their second driving mishap in a matter of hours and head to the correct town of Pierry. The non-cowboy brothers are the second ones at the Detour and opt for Tower. Jordan rationalizes that if given the choice between a luck or skill challenge they will pick the skill. Good for them for having a strategy that will blow up in their faces.

Carol and Brandy are now at the Detour and go with Terra. To drive home that Terra is the better way to go; the ladies find their marked grapes and leave for the pitstop while the brothers still have more than half their tower to go.

With no mystery at all, other than who thought it was a good idea to have a ridiculous mime welcoming teams, Super Fuzz is in first again. Admittedly, I am surprised at how well they are doing and working together and they really are the only team I can say that about for the last couple of legs, which have been littered with boneheaded moves.

As Carol and Brandy are asking a policeman how to get to L'Orrica, Brent and Caite have stumbled upon them and choose to just follow the ladies. So, to recap: Brent and Caite didn't find a single person that pointed them to Pierry (yet no one else had a problem with that even if it was bad advice) but they wandered around long enough they ended up there. They enthusiastically think they are racing the ladies to the Detour until they see Phil and his mime buddy. Once again, please see above to the previous bonehead comment.

Carol and Brandy are shocked they are number two and declare they will win the race. I don't see it but at least they don't lack confidence.

While Dan and Jordan continue showing off their "skill," Steve and Allie have come and gone from the Terra Detour. Big Brother is put on the right path and heading to the Detour but it is not looking good for them as we see South Carolina arrive. Brent wants to do Terra and Caite wants to do Tower, she concedes and they start looking for the grapes but she is muttering under her breath the entire time about how "looking for something over two acres is stupid." This is one unbelievably negative girl.

Jet and Cord show up and go with Terra and prove that it can be done with the right amount of speed and team work, which clearly Brent and Caite don't have. They jog up and down the rows and find the grapes while Brent and Caite essentially stand in the field slack-jawed watching the cowboys. Maybe they thought watching them find grapes would somehow help them. Good for the cowboys, because this adds the self-destruction of Team South Carolina. These two are toxic to one another on this race and the passive-aggressive, childish way that Caite deals with Brent and vice versa is frustrating to watch. So I will move on. Let's just say, they spend more time complaining about the Detour than actually performing the Detour.

Dan and Jordan successfully empty their champagne tower but have gone from second place at the Detour to fifth place. As they finish, Brent has caved to Caite's huffing and puffing and they switch to the Tower task, which is never a good idea. My advice is to take a minute before to assess which one to do before just making a knee-jerk decision.

Jet and Cord officially recover from their errors this leg and only slip one stop to number four and the other brothers Dan and Jordan are number five. Brent and Caite fail to duplicate Dan and Jordan's success and their tower crashes down as they pouring the champagne. Big Brother, who has been a nonfactor this leg or every leg after the first one, gets to the Detour to see Brent and Caite back in the field and mistakenly think they have been struggling through the same task this entire time. This is the silver lining on a crappy cloud for Brent and Caite as Jeff and Jordan try the much more difficult Tower.

Caite stops complaining long enough to spy the grapes. Justifiably, Brent points out they should have stuck with that one which earns a soft "I'm sorry" from his girlfriend.

So, the toxic twosome from South Carolina finishes in sixth place despite several attempts to sabotage themselves. That means that after playing champagne glass Jenga, Jeff and Jordan are left in the dark field to find the grapes. At the mat, Phil only has bad news for them this time and they are eliminated. I am disappointed not in their elimination but in the fact that they couldn't sustain that fun-loving nature they displayed in the earlier legs. The stress of the race and being at that back of the pack wore them down.

Based upon the previews, I am dreading next week, which has a surplus of Brent and Caite temper tantrums. Alas, I won't quit on the Amazing Race like the previews tease that Brent does.