The Amazing Race Season 22 Recap: Episode 5
The Amazing Race Season 22 Recap: Episode 5
By Daron Aldridge
March 18, 2013

Well, there go the nicest people on the Race.

Oy Vey, indeed, Phil. Oy vey, indeed. Last week, the team I pegged to win it all with unparalleled dominance crashed and burned in glorious fashion. John was a one-man wrecking crew hell-bent on ruining their chances of winning a million dollars, probably because as he said, “I don’t need a million dollars anyway.”

With this flameout in the Race and likeability, I’m stuck with only three teams that I like (Hockey brothers Bates & Anthony, Sock’er Moms Mona & Beth and misfortune magnets Dave & Connor) and a gaggle of teams that I either don’t care about or actively dislike…looking at you Team Cape Fear Max & Katie.

Before we head out of Bali and on to Vietnam, I say “thanks” to Kim and David for filling in for me last week and “you’re welcome” for finally having my vacation coincide with an actual elimination leg for them to recap.

Enough of that…on with the Race. Despite the dark cloud that apparently follows around our father/son team, Dave & Connor are once again leaving in the enviable pole position. Leaving the mat at 5:01 a.m., they are heading to Hanoi, Vietnam, and the Rap Cong Nhan Theater, but there is still the looming threat that pop’s injury will prove to be their Achilles’ heel (yeah, I went there). The doctor recommended getting Dave’s injury into surgery in seven days, so they have made the decision to just travel to Vietnam and allow themselves to be eliminated. Hey, let’s put another stamp in the passport on The Amazing Race’s dime.

Team Chameleon Pam & Winnie are number two off the mat 20 minutes later. They have slowly begun to create an Amazing Race identity for themselves but still easily and often fade into the background. Unbeknownst to them, the girls’ wish for the alliance of John & Jessica, Team YouTube and Sock’er Moms to be broken up has been fulfilled with John & Jessica’s epic failure last leg.

Cape Fear leaves next a few minutes later and the likelihood of this team not grating on my or each others’ nerves two legs in a row is slim to none. When discussing the pending U-Turn on this leg, Max strategizes using it on John & Jessica to “smoke out” the Express Pass. Their obliviousness to the dating couple’s fate illustrates how pathetically John truly performed last week.

The travel agency powwow with Cape Fear and Pam & Winnie is telling in that both sides view the aligned teams as the prime targets of U-Turning. We’ll see if that comes to pass but Max seems pretty undeterred in that plan for him and Katie.

Cowboy Royalty Jen & Caroline leave at 7:20 a.m. and isn’t it cute that the girls think they will be targeted for the U-Turn. Now if it was their relatives John Wayne and Daniel Boone on the Race, I could see people viewing that team as a threat but Jen & Caroline…no so much. Forty-six minutes later, Team YouTube Joey & Meghan depart the Pit Stop a few minutes before Sock-er Moms Mona & Beth and Team Slapshot Bates & Anthony.

Finally, Mr. and Mrs. Mullet leave the Pit Stop in last but only 11 minutes after the hockey brothers. This puts all the teams on two flights with the first one carrying Max & Katie, Pam & Winnie and Dave & Connor to arrive about three hours ahead of the others. That type of a gap has got to be tempting for the father/son team to at least attempt the tasks and not just throw in the towel yet. Well, I spoke too soon but if it was tempting, it would be foolish because the theater they arrive at is closed until 9 a.m. the next morning. So, all the teams will invade Hanoi together.

When the remaining teams arrive, they let Pam & Winnie and Max & Katie know that John & Jessica were indeed eliminated holding the Express Pass. While he is slightly obnoxious in his vocal disbelief, I agree with Max that this error was a case of overconfidence on John’s part. Meanwhile, Joey & Meghan and Mona & Beth are silent about their displeasure of Max’s joyful analysis of their fallen alliance mate.

Before reveling in John’s folly, Teams Chameleon and Cape Fear sneakily tell the others that Dave & Connor are only at the doctor and they are still racing. It’s a sneaky move but just may prove effective, if the others think that Dave & Connor are only delayed. This could also potentially be a wasted U-Turn by a team thinking that a U-Turned Dave & Connor will prevent their own elimination.

And at the 15-minute mark of this episode, the father/son tandem check in with Phil and officially disqualify themselves. With tears, they walk off the show and we lose one of the very few teams worth rooting for. Depending upon how this leg shapes up, this could be a long season. My gut says that they won’t eliminate anyone this leg because that would put them down five teams in five episodes. Or they could knock out another team and just insert a bonus non-elimination at some point. We know they love some non-elimination legs.

As the teams gather on the steps of the Rap Cong Nhan Theater, there is an anti-John & Jessica conspiracy under way with all the teams agreeing to U-Turn Team YouTube or Sock’er Moms solely because of the alliance. It seems short-sighted since one of these two teams isn’t physically threatening and the other one has mastered the art of picking the more time-intensive task on EVERY Detour.

Inside the theater, the teams get their Roadblock clue, which requires the person to watch a performance, with the finale being a display of five umbrellas with a phrase written on it. They will then go into another area to find a political poster with the phrase on it. The performances will continue with only five-minute intermissions between them. Oh yeah, they aren’t allowed to take any notes at all.

It looks like we have Caroline (maybe), Chuck (again…I don’t think that Wynona has done a single Roadblock), Anthony, Pam, Katie, Meghan, and Beth. After watching The Amazing Race’s special tribute to socialism and the Vietnam Communist Party, the racers sprint in and out with posters they think are correct. The biggest hiccup is that even if one letter is off, then it is wrong. After several failed attempts by others, Pam uses her keen eye to locate the right phrase.

The girls are now heading a place where locals are performing a traditional bamboo dance.

After sitting through the next performance, Chuck, Katie and Caroline (?) all get it right and the strategy of Meghan YouTube and roller mom Beth working together almost pays off but ultimately, Meghan’s sweet nature to not leave Beth high and dry without her own correct poster bites her in the end. They are unable to find a second one before the next performance. So back in their seats they go. Alas, they are not alone because Anthony is still toiling away at the task too.

As Pam & Winnie search for the bamboo dance, the three aforementioned last place teams are finally with clues in their hands and no longer subjected to Vietnamese propaganda.

The girls (Pam & Winnie, that is…since the other all-girl teams aren’t there yet) have the Detour clue and must choose between Make Your Move and Make Your Meal. Move has the teams assemble human “chess pieces” on a giant chess board with the correct color and name according to the example. For Meal, they have to make a traditional soup by gathering supplies and ingredients at two different points and then cooking it at a third place. My vote would be for the one that has all the pieces in one location. So, Make Your Move for me, but let’s see what these guys pick.

Pam & Winnie wisely go my way and choose Move. Hopefully, it was a wise choice.

At the bamboo dance, the Mullets and Cape Fear are denied their clue because they didn’t hold hands as they completed the dance. Max & Katie recognize their error but Chuck & Wynona do not. So one-by-one the teams pass the business in the front/party in back team, with Joey & Meghan and Bates & Anthony heading to the Detour. Cape Fear opts for Meal; while the other two go with Move.

Make Your Move is about to get really crowded because nearly all the teams are heading there now. Except Max & Katie and Chuck & Wynona, who will be playing the role of Mona & Beth this week as the only teams to select a certain task. Pam & Winnie are struggling right off because they disregard the need to make the symbol and the color for it to be cleared. A swing and a miss for them.

Team Chameleon corrects their error and stays ahead of the pack but as they are leaving the Make Your Move task, Joey & Meghan are arriving. Pam & Winnie are now heading to the B-52 Memorial, which is home to this leg’s U-Turn. But no fear, ladies, Max & Katie are having only a semi-productive outing in the market. They are a couple ingredients short, which prevents them from even starting to prep their soup.

Chuck & Wynona stumble on Meal before they really start by not being able to find the market AND Mr. Mullet leaving his chickens at the starting point.

Wait, kiddos…it’s not just a U-Turn…it’s a Double U-Turn. Wait…it’s a Blind Double U-Turn. So you can remain anonymous in your sneakiness. Pam & Winnie gleefully levy the penalty against Joey & Meghan before heading off to their next clue, which points them to the Pit Stop at the Vietnam National Museum of History. Short a John-esque error, Pam & Winnie will be the first place team this leg.

I am thinking that I liked Pam & Winnie more when they didn’t display any personality because the side they are showing now is kinda jerky. It’s cool with me to use the U-Turn because it is a tool of the game but being snotty and mocking the team you U-Turn is just ugly on any person.

Chuck & Wynona really are living up to John & Jessica’s legacy of flubbed tasks by asking a clueless driver to take them to a market for Meal supplies and he goes way off course. Cape Fear is finally done with rounding out their recipe list and heading back for approval to start cooking.

Bates & Anthony are the second team done with the Detour, followed by Joey & Meghan, but those of us sitting comfortably at home and not in the Vietnam sun know that Team YouTube’s Detour is far from over. Thanks, U-Turn. Max & Katie are right behind these two teams as they make a satisfactory bowl of soup. Or more than likely, a bowl of soup decent enough to get the obnoxious Americans off the street of Hanoi sooner.

No disaster occurs and Pam & Winnie are checked in as team number one. Blah blah blah, they won a trip to somewhere from some company that clearly owns a portion of The Amazing Race. Despite being done this leg, their presence lingers with the pained, U-Turned look on the faces of Joey & Meghan upon seeing they have to tackle Make Your Meal.

Left with no option other than self-preservation, Team YouTube slaps a U-Turn onto the Mullets. Meghan got it wrong about her and Joey not being able to catch a break this leg…the real Eeyores of this leg are Chuck & Wynona, who have yet to really start the Make Your Meal task.

You know who we haven’t heard from in a while? Mona & Beth and Caroline & Jen. Checking in with them, they are losing the mental chess game with the Detour. Neither team has figured about they are replicating a part of the chess board, which I think is blatantly stated in the clue, since no one else had an issue with it. The moms figure it out and head out but the blondes aren’t doing stereotypes any favors with this mental display. Cowboy Royalty frustratingly stares off in the distance and are no closer to completing this task than Chuck is to realizing that his achy breaky hairstyle is as outdated as acid-washed jeans and Hypercolor shirts.

Bates & Anthony are in disbelief that their pact held about U-Turning the alliance. It appears that they are only a part of that pact to deflect attention to their own physical ability on the race. If that’s the case, then these brothers are more strategic racers than anyone will give them credit for.

At long last, the blondes have deduced what the challenge actually is and have shuffled the players/pieces into the right spot to get the clue. At the memorial where they are headed, Cape Fear and Sock’er Moms are just happy to not be on the receiving end of a U-Turn and off to Phil they go.

On the heels of the Mullets, who are just now getting their ingredients (yet I still don’t think they have their chickens with them), Team YouTube is being mocked by locals for how they are carrying their chickens but get all their ingredients in a one-stop shop.

Somehow, Team Cape Fear and the Sock’er Moms have leapt ahead of the hockey bros. with Max & Katie as number two and Mona & Beth as number three. Humorously, Bates is in faux disgust when he and Anthony are checked in as number four. My suspicion is that they were once again victims of crappy cabbies.

That one-stop shop is not all it’s cracked up to be because Joey & Meghan either don’t have enough of an ingredient or have stuff they don’t need. The upside is that Chuck & Wynona are still working on the same task and are ignorant to the U-Turn awaiting them.

Caroline & Jen are on the mat as number five as the Mullets’ chicken deficiency sets in. They are now heading back to the starting point of this Detour task. So, that’s at least good news for Joey & Meghan. But this drama and jockeying for position could all be for naught if they don’t eliminate anyone, since Dave & Connor quit the Race earlier in the leg.

With a very enthusiastic thumbs up from the chef/judge, Joey & Meghan are heading back to the scene of the U-Turn to get their final clue of the leg. They are easily in the lead over Chuck & Wynona. Speaking of Chuck, he seems to think he is in Mexico or Spain, because when the judge approves of their soup, multi-cultural Chuck replies, “Muchos gracias.”

Joey & Meghan fall for Phil’s elimination psych-out about them being in the back of the pack but still in the Race as number six.

Chuck & Wynona’s chess adventure is void of interesting TV filler because we don’t see more than two seconds of that task for them. Now the moment of truth: elimination or non-elimination? The Mullets are…

NOT eliminated. Dave & Connor’s withdrawal from the Race did indeed make this leg moot. This turn of events is usually reserved for Kim and David’s recap, so I guess they should actually thank my kids’ school for going on Spring Break a week earlier than normal.

Next week: We might get an elimination leg but we will definitely get drama with a Roadblock that involves scorpions and Max and Joey’s pained reactions.

Have a good one.