The Amazing Race Season 27 - Episode 5 Recap
King of the Jungle
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
October 26, 2015

So long, team that isn't The Green Team or Team Texas.

Previously on The Amazing Race, nobody got eliminated, but in a shocking twist, the leg didn’t suck like a typical non-elimination or continuation leg does. When our first two teams arrived at the finish line, they learned that they would continue racing, which is hilarious because…

Tanner & Josh blew their Express Pass in order to satisfy Tanner’s desperate and obsessive need to U-Turn Justin & Diana. The problem with their plan was that in order to U-Turn someone, you have to finish ahead of them. Since #TeamTexas had a case of premature Express Pass expenditure, they wound up competing side by side against #TheGreenTeam on the Detour – and losing to them. If you start a leg in first place with an Express Pass in your pocket and don’t finish in first place when you use it, you have failed completely. All of their wounds were self-inflicted in this leg, and it’s purely because Tanner has a weird fixation with Justin.

Of course, we now know that the leg didn’t end after the U-Turn stop, so teams are still racing. What this means is that even a U-Turned team is going to have a chance to claw their way back into this thing. Amusingly, Phil takes this moment to rub salt in Tanner & Josh’s wounds by telling them that they have to decide which team to award the Express Pass to right this minute. After a short discussion, they decide to go with #TeamAlabama because “they’re not a threat.” It feels like Denise & James Earl are going to find a way to make them regret those words.

So, with the Race moving forward, our teams are instructed to head to a spot called “Lookout Café” to search for their next clue.

“Never give us an Express Pass again,” says Josh.

“We don’t even deserve one,” Tanner agrees.

Their rationale in giving the pass to #TeamAlabama was that both teams of women are at the back of the pack, so they didn’t want to give either one of them the opportunity to move ahead of the other one. O…..kay? If you want to keep a weaker team around, you’d give it to the cheerleaders, right? Tanner & Josh are proving to be really bad at strategy.

Meanwhile, Justin & Diana are reflecting on what just happened, noting that they stayed true to their word by not U-Turning Tanner & Josh. Hopefully, #TeamTexas will realize that #TheGreenTeam is trustworthy. “[Tanner & Josh] are really nice guys,” says Diana, and Justin agrees. They must be so confused watching these episodes now.

We cut to a Josh confessional where he gives props and respect to Justin & Diana, but of course Tanner can’t let it go. He agrees that it was sportsmanlike of #TheGreenTeam to honor their word, but he’s still going to U-Turn Justin at the first opportunity. Dude. You must chill. He’s so focused on beating them down the line that they seem almost guaranteed to do something to knock themselves out of contention sometime very soon. But then again, the only teams we’ve seen this season are #TheGreenTeam and #TeamTexas, so we’re not sure why we’d think they don’t duke it out in the final three eventually.

But there are some other teams, apparently, and we head back to the giraffe painting area from last week to meet up with the groups that are still working there. Cindy & Rick receive their clue and are now headed to the Pit Stop, followed by Logan & Chris and Jazmine & Danielle. Last week, we knew that Kelsey & Joey and Denise & James Earl were already on their way, so we’re left with the cheerleaders bringing up the rear as per usual.

Speaking of #TeamAlabama, they check in with Phil as Team #3 and are thrilled when they learn that the Express Pass has been bequeathed to them. Denise has a “We Got the Express Pass” dance, which is about as horrifying as you might expect.

Justin & Diana have arrived at the next clue box, which announces a Roadblock by asking “Who wants to gorge themselves?” Justin is up to the challenge. They’re at the Zambisi River, where they’ll repeat the very first Amazing Race challenge ever – swinging out over the gorge (get it? Ha ha!). When Tanner & Josh show up, the challenge goes to Josh since he’s not afraid of heights. Amusingly, they check their heart rate monitors before Josh goes. Josh’s is beating at 110, but Tanner’s is 120.

Naturally, Justin loves every moment and comes out of it with a big smile on his face. The moment he finishes, Josh walks up to him to shake his hand in appreciation of Justin and Diana staying true to their word. (Tanner is annoyed by this, of course.) There’s not a moment to waste, because #TheGreenTeam receives their next clue for a Detour – Crocs or Canoes.

Phil describes “Crocs” for us from an underwater cage where he’s hanging out with reptiles. Teams will have to feed three crocs a meal. If they get out alive, they’ll receive their next clue. For Canoe, teams will have to paddle down the Zambisi River, a place populated with some intimidating wildlife. Eventually, they’ll reach a buzzard’s nest, and one team member will have to hoist the other one up to retrieve the next clue.

It seems like Crocs is faster though perhaps not easier, but Justin & Diana choose to canoe.

#TeamAlabama and #TheReporters have both arrived at the Gorge, and James Earl and Kelsey will be taking on the challenge for their teams. Josh hopes that he won’t scream like a girl when he jumps, but he sort of does. He comments that he feels like his heart stopped twice while he was hurtling through the air, but it was an amazing experience. We should note here that Tanner says if he had taken this challenge, they’d probably be going home because there’s no way he could do it.

#TeamTexas chooses to canoe. We suppose we’re missing something in the nuance of the Detour. Or perhaps people are afraid of crocodiles.

Back at the Pit Stop, Cindy & Rick are checked in as team#5. When #ThePaparazzi arrive at the U-Turn, Logan panics and says, “I can’t think about this now!” Neither team chooses to U-Turn anyone.

When Logan & Chris arrive at the orphanage donation box at the Pit Stop, Chris sticks some cash in and says, “A big donation for you guys.” Phil asks him how much he donated. Chris replies that he gave $20. There are several disgusted looks all around, especially as he notes that he still has $155 left.

Phil takes this opportunity to let Chris know that all of the teams ahead of them gave every last dime of their money. Keoghan doesn’t even bother hiding his contempt. Logan yells, “Give them all the money!” but Chris still isn’t even sure about it now. “I guess we don’t need it,” he says. This isn’t going to go down as their finest moment, but then again, they’re paparazzi. We guess they’re not that interested in playing nice with others.

With Jazmine & Danielle’s arrival at the U-Turn, their decision not to U-Turn anyone effectively means that the opportunity will go unused for this leg. Considering how much chatter there was about the damn thing, this feels pretty anticlimactic.

But wait! Someone does use the U-Turn after all! While Jazmine & Danielle are regretting not using the U-Turn for the cheerleaders since the Pit Stop was only virtual, Tiffany & Krista are… U-Turning #TheGreenTeam. “We said we would!” Seriously. They seriously think there’s a possibility that they could be ahead of Justin & Diana. The cheerleaders continue to get a brutal edit, but it’s one of their own making.

Over at the gorge, Kelsey and James Earl have successfully completed the Roadblock with whoops and hollers. #TheReporters are #TeamAlabama will both be doing the crocodile challenge.

It’s time for Justin & Diana to canoe, but since there are elephants in the area, Diana is a little distracted. Eventually, they get their boat in the water and get started, only to realize that there are crocodiles swimming around here, and hippos, too. Tanner & Josh figure that they’ll just “paddle over” the creatures, and they also assume that they’ll easily pass up #TheGreenTeam because they are manly alpha males, while Justin & Diana are not.

What they don’t realize is that Justin used to teach small boat canoeing and Diana used to row in high school, so they’re really confident on the water. “They don’t have very good technique,” Diana says of the jocks. Meanwhile, Tanner & Josh are clearly showing their frustration as they watch #TheGreenTeam outperform them once again. They bicker at each other about how to paddle. How is it that these guys keep getting hoist by their own petard?

Speaking of bickering, #TheCheapskates are sniping back and forth at each other. “We’re only beating cheerleaders and track stars,” says Logan in an irritated tone. Then, as they run to the clue box, she causes Chris to trip. “You almost knocked me down!” he whines.

After #ChacAttack and #TheCheapskates get their clue, they all jump into their taxis for some reason, even though the sign clearly points to the gorge as being within walking distance. Both taxi drivers look at them like they’re nuts, but the players are convinced they must need to go somewhere else.

This allows the track stars to get to the gorge ahead of them. Eventually, #ChacAttack figures out they screwed up, and they turn around. #TheCheapskates also realize how stupid they were for blindly following them. I mean, seriously. Even the cheerleaders didn’t make this mistake.

Although Cindy & Rick are able to laugh at themselves, #TheCheapskates are pitching a fit. They’re furious to be in last place and say, “We’re done.” Well, you’re moments behind the cheerleaders, so that seems unlikely, but it certainly hasn’t been your best day. In fact, it’s been a bad 20 minutes.

It’s an easy, breezy canoe trip to the clue for Justin & Diana, which is just aggravating Tanner & Josh completely. It’s also easier for Justin to hoist Diana to the buzzard’s nest for her clue since she’s lighter. “I guess I should have gone on that diet,” says Tanner.

“Yeah,” says Josh, breathlessly.

Now it’s back to the canoes, which is bad news for the guys. In fact, Tanner smacks Josh right in the face with his paddle. Hilarious.

While Kelsey & Joey are preparing to go into the crocodile cage, Denise & James Earl walk up and say, “We’d like to use our Express Pass.” To say that Kelsey & Joey are annoyed is underselling it.

“Giving it to Denise & James Earl, we’re fine with that. I mean, we would have liked it,” says Joey, all sour-grapesy. Even so, Croc is an easy challenge as predicted. They’ve fed the reptiles in a matter of minutes. Really, changing into the gear and getting into the water is the most time consuming part of the challenge.

Cindy has a blast jumping into the gorge, while Chris of #TeamCheapskate continues his bitching. After he jumps, Logan leans in and says, “Oh, good. He didn’t die.” We’re not actually certain she’s sincere.

Justin & Diana have arrived at the next clue, which tells them they’ll be walking with lions. This looks absolutely magnificent. They’ll be walking along a path with big cats that are being cared for in order to help them get acclimated back into the wild. As they walk, they’ll need to find their next clue hidden somewhere along the way.

Note that Denise & James Earl have just arrived behind Justin & Diana even with the Express Pass. Because these two leading teams are out on the walk, #TheReporters and #TeamTexas are forced to wait their turn to go out.

All of the remaining teams are now at the crocodile challenge, which makes Chris freak out because they’re in last place. He suggests that they need to switch to the other challenge, which is stupid because the croc challenge is much faster than canoeing (Kelsey & Joey were able to get ahead of #TeamTexas, after all). Eventually, Logan tells Chris to stop griping about it, but he complains until he convinces her to change clothes to go canoe. When they realize how quickly the crocodile challenge goes, though, they stay and feed to reptiles.

We’re back over at the lion walk, and both #TheGreenTeam and #TeamAlabama have no trouble realizing that their clue is hidden in an elephant skull along the trail. This clue – at last! – directs them to the Masuwe Private Game Reserve for the Pit Stop. Teams must bring two baskets of fruit to the mat in order to be checked in – by balancing them on their head. Justin doesn’t have good balance, so he’s freaked out about this. In fact, the two lead teams are participating in what James Earl calls the slowest foot race ever. Either way, first and second place are pretty obvious – it’s just a matter of which one gets a prize.

In the end, the prize goes to #TeamAlabama, who is awarded a trip to Slovakia. We’re not sure that Slovakia is Denise’s kind of place. Anyway, the Express Pass was good enough to get them the win. Thankfully, that nonsense is out of the way now and we can watch the good teams (Green, Texas, Reporters) run strong legs and the rest of them… well, we’ll watch them all be terrible.

Justin agrees with that sentiment, although he is annoyed that they lost first place because of a fruit-balancing contest.

It looks like a bad mistake is in the offing for Jazmine & Danielle, who arrive for the next portion of the challenge but go to the Masuwe Lodge and balance fruit on their head rather than doing the lion walk. They’re killing themselves time-wise, because they’re going to have to wait for all of the teams ahead of them to do the lion walk. This is probably the break #TheCheapskates need, even if they don’t deserve it.

When Jazmine & Danielle see Phil, they realize their mistake, which puts them back at the lions with Tiffany & Krista and Cindy & Rick. Looks like #TheCheapskates are still in trouble today.

It’s a comedy of errors watching the fruit balancing of #TeamTexas and #TheReporters, who are checked in as teams three and four. Josh says that they’ll be able to be more strategic now, but we should remind him that he’s still saddled with Tanner as a teammate, so that’s not likely.

Just as Jazmine & Danielle are saying that they have to do a better job of paying attention, they walk right past the skull that contains their next clue. It would be a mercy killing if one of the lions turned toward them and ate them at this point. Actually, the lions could pretty much eat any of #ChacAttack, #TheCheerleaders and #TheCheapskates at this point and the Race would be better for it.

#TheTrackStars return to base camp and are asked for their clue, but since they don’t have it, they’ll have to lion walk again. Now they have to wait for Cindy & Rick and Logan & Chris to walk. Crippling mistakes all over the place tonight.

Tiffany & Krista are checked in as Team #5, so they’ve held on for yet another leg. They might have sucked today, but at least they didn’t make any awful mistakes.

The bulk of the fruit portion of the leg consists of Logan & Chris telling each other to shut up. We’re not joking. Nonetheless, they’re Team #6, so they are still in the Race.

That means #TheTrackStars are the last team to arrive, and have been eliminated from the Race. Honestly, this was a painful leg to watch. It’s not fun watching bad teams perform poorly, which is probably why the show has focused so much on #TheGreenTeam and #TeamTexas thus far.

Next week promises more blowups from Logan & Chris. Hooray?