The Amazing Race 24: All Stars - Episode 3
By Kim Hollis & David Mumpower
March 10, 2014

Winning teams get to fist bump instead.

Previously on the Amazing Race, every team except one finished within moments of each other. Apparently the producers decided to bunch everyone at the beginning fo the race instead of later. The team that did not was obviously eliminated, and so we said goodbye to Mark and Mallory aka Team Kentucky. That duo had been joined together in a shotgun marriage after Mark’s teammate/friend Bopper had pancreatitis and was unable to be medically cleared to race. Suffice to say that Mallory and Mark didn’t get along as well as they did with their original partners, and their lack of familiarity led to the disagreements that would eventually see their elimination. We’re guessing they don’t follow each other on Instagram, either.

Brendon & Rachel, who barely won the previous leg, are receiving the next clue at 6:22 p.m. They are instructed to go to Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Once there, they will go to the Kionsom Waterfall. There are two flights, and only six teams are allowed to be on the first plane. This is significant because there is a three-hour time difference in the flights. Brendon & Rachel, so far not irritating this season, note that their goal is just to finish in the top three every leg, which is a solid strategy.

Next out of the gate are Margie & Luke, Caroline & Jennifer, Dave & Connor, Flight Time & Big Easy and Jet & Cord. There is a grand total of six minutes separating the first place team and the sixth place team. Dave & Connor and Margie & Luke arrive at the airport first.

Then we have Leo & Jamal leaving just eight minutes after Jet & Cord, while Jessica and John are 13 minutes behind the Afghanimals. Barring something unforeseen, tonight’s elimination (like there will be an actual elimination when we’re recapping) will come done to Leo & Jamal, Jessica & John or Team YouTube, who leave one minute behind the engaged couple. Someone from grouping of the first six teams will have to mess up pretty badly in order for that to change.

Jet & Cord have joined the parent/child teams at the airport, followed by the Globetrotters and the country singers. Brendon and Rachel are stuck in traffic, and we see footage of both them and the Afghanimals arriving at the airport at theoretically the same time. It’s just a question of whether the tension is real or manufactured.

And…it’s real. Leo & Jamal beat Team Big Brother by mere seconds, meaning that the first place team from the last leg is looking at a fight to stay out of last place. While we would ordinarily enjoy taking this opportunity to pick on Rachel, the reality is that there was only a 14-minute difference between them and the boys, and they seemed to hit worse traffic than anyone else. That’s just bad luck.

Besides which, it seems like they take it in stride and with a positive attitude. The teams on the second flight agree to do everything they can to take out one of the teams at the front of the pack.

Dave & Connor and the Afghanimals arrive first at the Waterfall, and the Road Block asks them “Who will take the fall?” One of them will have to rappel the cascading waters to the bottom. Papa Dave takes the task for Team Murphy’s Law, while Jamal grabs a Travelocity gnome for the trip to the bottom. Dave finishes the task quickly and appears to have a solid lead ahead of all other teams except Jamal & Leo, which is pretty impressive given that they had no real advantage at the airport other than sprinting out and finding a taxi. Oh, and by the way, the last time Dave & Connor were racing, Dave was in a wheelchair by this time.

The next clue sends them to Kampung Tominhaton, where they will follow a river whose name we are unable to spell. Just as Jamal finishes the task, Jet & Cord arrive and Cord takes the task. He goes down too far and misses the clue, so they have to do it again. That means that Margie & Luke, who showed up at practically the same time as the cowboys, will have a chance to pass them.

A comical moment ensues when Big Easy is stuck in their cab due to his size. Obviously, cars in Malaysia are not meant for guys who are 6’9” and 250 pounds. The anti-heightism continues when Big Easy isn’t allowed to take the Road Block task because of his size.

Luke gets through the task with ease, which allows him and his mother to pass Jet & Cord. Cord’s not far behind, though. Flight Time & Jennifer are right there with them.

The show takes a moment to remind us that there are three people who haven’t even left China yet, but they’re finally getting on their plane.

Dave & Connor arrive at the next location, where they must build a bamboo raft and ride the choppy rapids down to the Detour of their choice. We suggest that Flight Time just get on Big Easy’s back. That should totally count.

The Detour options are River Delivery or Jungle Run. River Delivery requires the teams to take goods to a village chieftain, and then continue riding the rapids. The Jungle Run involves a blowgun and fake birds as targets. Initially, the blowgun task seems faster and easier, but Dave & Connor choose River Delivery.

They’re putting their raft together when Jamal & Leo show up, followed by Margie & Luke. Dave & Connor take time to appreciate the beauty of the scenery and the people enjoying the water.

Jet & Cord are also now building their raft, so our first group of six is every bit as bunched as they had been during the last episode...until Margie & Luke’s raft falls apart as they are taking it to the water. Margie says it’s because “We don’t know how to tie knots.” We expect to see her on Survivor next season. Hopefully she doesn’t know how to make fire, either.

Meanwhile, the cowboys must have paid a lot of attention in Boy Scouts, because their raft is beautiful. Margie & Luke eventually get into the water, but because they can’t really communicate, their craft is headed backwards.

The country singers are getting goofy music as their build their raft, so hilarity must be about to ensue. Of course, the Globetrotters actually have their own built-in theme music, and like the fun-loving guys they are, they dance with the locals when they arrive.

Dave & Connor pole past a sign that looks suspiciously like the one that should direct them to the village chieftain, but they don’t think it’s the right spot because they haven’t passed enough bridges yet. They keep going. Leo & Jamal are initially confused since they saw the father/son team pass the location by, but confident that they’re in the right spot, they disembark and take their supplies to the proper delivery spot.

Moments later, Jet & Cord nearly make the same mistake Dave & Connor did, but Jamal & Leo instruct them that they’re in the right place. You can tell that the Afghanimals consider lying to the cowboys for a fraction of a second, but they learned from their experience on the last edition of the Amazing Race that lying just to lie is not really a strategy, per se. Not wishing to be victims of any U-Turn, they say that they will be as helpful with other teams as they possibly can.

We go back to Dave & Connor, who have arrived at another sign, presumably the one for the Jungle Run. The waters are pretty rough at this point, and we wonder if they’ll just switch tasks, but at the same time worry whether there are people who actually need the supplies they were supposed to deliver. We just assume that the Amazing Race folks will provide, though of course we’re going to have to watch some commercials before we see how things play out for Team Murphy’s Law.

Instead of getting off and switching tasks, Dave & Connor decide to walk the supplies back to the correct location. Even with this big mistake, it seems highly unlikely that the teams back on the second plane would have any kind of real chance to catch up.

Right on cue, that group is finally deplaning. We’re impressed that Rachel is actually considering the amount of gas in the tanks of the taxis they consider.

Remember how we mentioned that the rapids get pretty rough? Well, Leo & Jamal are happily thinking about how easygoing this portion of the leg is when they suddenly hit that violent patch. Their raft is pushed over into some branches and rocks near the shore and it begins to come apart. It’s tough to get shipwrecked on a river, but here they are.

Meanwhile, Jet & Cord easily glide by. The Afghanimals were hopeful that they might combine their raft with the cowboys, but no such luck.

Jennifer & Caroline have their own problems with the rapids as their raft gets lodged in some rocks. When they try to move it, one of the blondes (sorry, we can’t tell them apart) has her finger get stuck and she squeaks as the other one keeps on squishing it. Eventually, she’s able to get her hand free and says that her finger almost got cut off.

The Globetrotters hit the rough patch as well and appear to get caught in the same spot as the Afghanimals, but they ride it out a little bit better.

Back at the back of pack, they’re all arriving at essentially the same time, but there is one noteworthy item: Team YouTube allows their cab to leave. Daron put them at the bottom of his power rankings for a reason, folks.

Finally, Dave & Connor have delivered their supplies and are headed back to where they dropped off their raft. We do wonder if it might not have been easier to just do the other task. The country singers get to the Jungle Run task and they’re working with a tiny warrior girl who seems like a real badass. Jen hits her first target easily, and Flight Time gets his as well.

Back at the place where they docked their boat, Dave & Connor have gotten back, amazingly before either Jet & Cord or the Afghanimals, who may just be looking for a rescue boat at this point. The father/son team gets a clue directing them to the Pit Stop at Tanjun Aru Water Village, which looks like a lovely little area.

Jet & Cord are next to the Pit Stop clue, followed by Leo & Jamal, who groan when they realize that they have to pole down the river some more.

Back at the waterfall, the two couples are through pretty easily, though Rachel chooses to do it in her underwear, leading to a comical bit of blurring from the camera. Team YouTube finishes not long after, but soon realize their mistake of letting the taxi go. They’re not able to get a taxi where they are, and instead have to walk and seek one out.

Margie & Luke hit the rapids hard and their boat comes apart. They actually use Margie’s shirt to tie it back together.

The show’s producers try to create some faux drama about who will be first (since it’s looking pretty clear who will be last), but Dave & Connor have overcome their error to take that top spot. They are shocked and thrilled, and a formidable team as long as no terrible health misfortunes strike them. They are awarded a vacation in Budapest. Since the last time they finished first Dave was on crutches, this is a thrilling moment for the guys.

The cowboys are in second place, followed by the Afghanimals. Both teams are all smiles.

Joey & Meghan are still wandering around in the hope that they might find a taxi somehow. Eventually they land at the home of a kind villager who calls a taxi for them. If any team loses to them, they should feel really bad about themselves.

Back over at the Jungle Run challenge, Flight Time & Big Easy have completed the task, which means that they take a moment to do a celebratory dance with some villagers. Jen & Caroline are not terribly far behind.

It feels like this episode has been going on forever, but Jessica & John and Brendon & Rachel arrive at the rafting building area and go to work at putting together their watercraft. Brendon & Rachel’s looks good, but for some reason John has decided that they need to put the wood in some notches, leading to a really “janky” looking raft, as Jessica calls it. John wants to test its seaworthiness, but since it’s basically just a bunch of unconnected sticks at this point, we have no idea why. Even Rachel can tell that there’s something seriously wrong with their boat.

Over at the Pit Stop, Margie & Luke have checked in as Team #4.

Oddly enough, Jessica & John’s boat is fine. They are getting through the river with little issue. It’s not so good for Rachel & Brendon, which means that we’re about to see our first Rachel meltdown of the season. Their boat is falling apart and she’s crying.

Team YouTube is confident about the raft challenge because both of their parents are carpenters. We highly doubt if this means they can catch up to Team Big Brother, but surely the editors will do all they can to convince us otherwise.

Flight Time & Big Easy and the country singers are next in at the Pit Stop, while John & Jessica breeze through the Jungle Run challenge with little difficulty other than John’s ineptitude at the task. They have enough of a lead over the other two teams that it’s not a problem, though.

Team YouTube looks like they could have trouble at the rapids, but power through. Remember how we said the editors would do all they could to convince us that Brendon & Rachel might finish in last? Well, they hit the crazy part of the rapids and lose some pieces of the raft. Rachel tries to convince him to just give it up, but he refuses, finding some new pieces of stick and some vine to tie the boat back together. Impressively enough, Rachel takes it all in stride and although they have one more rough spot, they make it through and start the Jungle Run challenge, which John & Jessica finished just a little while before.

There’s more faux drama as Rachel worries that Team YouTube might just be doing the other task, which is why they haven’t seen them. After Rachel misses several birds with her blowgun, they run to the end expecting to be told that they are the last team to arrive, but Team YouTube’s screw up with the taxis was always too much to overcome. There’s the requisite brightsiding of how much they’ve enjoyed the adventure, which we hope means that this leg might be a real elimination…

…And it is! We shocked the world, baby! Now that we’ve had two seasons in a row where we did not recap non-eliminations, we feel confident in saying that the streak is over. We’re no longer Non-Elimination Kim & David. Sorry that it had to be at your expense, Joey & Meghan, but let’s be fair. You were just happy to be there. The taxi mistake is representative of the kind of stuff that set them back in the race in previous legs, and it was frankly just a matter of time until they were sent home. They were too scatterbrained and not detail-oriented enough to be competitors in this sort of competition at this stage in their lives.

Next week, Daron returns for the recap, where the preview shows us that Jessica may be dealing with injury, while Luke appears to be reverting to his past self-destructive, pouty behavior.