The Amazing Race Season 29: Episode 3
Bucket List Type Stuff
By David Mumpower and Kim Hollis
April 17, 2017

The final teams are going to be everyone we hate. We know it.

Previously on The Amazing Race, a dude hurt his testicle. That’s a real thing that happened. Strangely, it almost flipped the outcome of the leg, too. One of the teams, the Swole Sisters, was waaaaaaay behind. Then, Shamir played “Oww My Balls”…and lost. He had to request medical attention from an ambulance.

As Shamir suffered, Jessie & Francesca reached the same spot in the challenge but ultimately weren’t able to overcome their massive disadvantage. That leaves Sara stuck with Shamir for at least one more leg, which makes her the loser this leg independent of what happens next.

Predictably, tonight’s episode starts with Sara complaining at Shamir. Why? After a 12-hour break, he immediately starts the next leg by “talking about his junk again.” Shamir has decided that no woman can understand his pain. So, he’s commiserating with some dudes. Her look of disgust is priceless. All the other teams want to talk about is how well they’re getting along.

Except Scott and Brooke.

Those two would be up for wife swapping with Shamir & Sara, and we say that while acknowledging Scott is gay. He’d have full-on sex with Sara right here right now if it got him away from Brooke, who doesn’t like him and also is dealing with an arm injury from the prior leg. And for what it’s worth, we think Sara would be down, too. What would be the most interesting development for the show is if Sara and Brooke could join forces while Shamir and Scott were shot out of a cannon.

Today’s race begins with the surprise winners of the last leg, Liz & Michael, departing at 8:47 a.m. They went from worst in the opening heat to first place in the most recent one, which we meant to look to see has ever happened before. Let’s just assume that it’s rare.

There’s going to be bunching tonight unless the producers want little drama. The flight in this episode is more than 6,000 miles from Sao Paulo, Brazil to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. The destination is Askari Monument, a statue dedicated to the African soldiers who fought in World War I. Also, tonight’s leg will include a blind Double U-Turn at some point. The contestants will have many, many hours to contemplate their options, as it’s a long flight plus the wait-time at the airport.

As other teams think about the game, Scott focuses on what really matters. He’s wearing a hat that says Keesh on it, and he needs his partner plus the viewing audience to know what it means. Otherwise, they wouldn’t appreciate how cool and with it he is. Nice try, Scott. Okay, not even that.

The clue is easy to find at the monument. It’s a newspaper ad. Newspapers are things people used to read in the days before the internet. Also, Kim works at one. Anyway, there’s a race to the front of the line, and The Boys irritate several opponents. They skip to the front of the line rather than wait in the queue with everyone else.

Ashton bristles at their behavior and notes to Scott that this is the second mark against Matt & Redmond. The Boys think it’s hysterical. They’re the only ones playing to win rather than playing fair. Let’s see if their brash nature comes back to bite them.

With the clue located, the race is on to the U-Turn board at a beach in Zanzibar. Tara & Joey are the first team to arrive, and they choose to use the U-Turn on a pair that had said earlier that they expected it: Seth & Olive aka Team America. There’s no animus here. It’s because other teams think Seth & Olive are a huge threat. Vanck & Ashton arrive second, and they breathlessly call out the names of Matt & Redmond. So yes, the brash nature did come to bite them. In like 90 seconds of show time.

The episode’s first Detour is Build It Or Weave It. Build It requires players to build school desks for students. Once they’re finished, they must get approval from a local carpenter and then take a class in Swahili. Weave It asks teams to weave a pair of baskets, which sounds laborious. Build It is the obvious choice, but the teams facing a U-Turn must do both. Seth & Olive and Matt & Redmond are currently the most likely teams to be eliminated tonight.

Amusingly, the Boys chase Vanck & Ashton down the beach, offering joking (we think) threats about how they’ll regret this choice. Ashton curtly states the truth. This wouldn’t have happened if Matt & Redmond had just followed the rules. If you’re going to take shortcuts on The Amazing Race, either do it when nobody’s paying attention or wait until the later rounds when grudges have a natural time limit.

Also amusingly, Tara & Joey aka Team Mom and Dad realize that the other teams think so little of the Boys that they can frame Matt & Redmond. They challenge the Boys about who U-Turned Olive & Seth, pretending like they didn’t do it. The Boys swear their innocence, and both teams know that’s true. It’s smart of Tara & Joey, though. The only people who know the truth are Vanck & Ashton, and it’s not like those two are going to defend Matt & Redmond’s honor.

The only team that willingly picks Weave It is Team LoLo. London & Logan want to do it because London is an artist who does a lot of crochet. Like, that’s her job. She does large scale crochet designs for major firms across the country. They even show her doing crochet blindfolded during her pitch to be on The Amazing Race. And EVEN SHE can’t do Weave It satisfactorily. Both players agree to switch to Build It.

The Boys also start Weave It first, ostensibly to get the worst part over with. Seth & Olive, their primary competitors at the moment, go the other way and start with Build It. They absolutely crush the challenge and are somehow the first team to finish despite being the one of the last duos to arrive. Liz & Michael are right behind them and thereby in first place after the Detour.

The downside with Seth & Olive’s situation is that when they arrive in the classroom, they’re too goal-oriented to appreciate the wonderful opportunity they have. They tear through the Swahili lessons, barely acknowledging the happy children cheering them on. This wasn’t a good leg for The Amazing Race to do U-Turns. It should have been an uplifting experience rather than a pressure-packed leg for two of the teams.

Other teams like Liz & Michael and Tara & Joey relish the moment a bit more. Their Swahili lessons are livelier. Even Brooke & Scott, who have been at each other’s throats since day one, unite to relish their classroom studies. Both of them are, dare we say it, smiling as they exit the building.

Tara & Joey are first to arrive at the Road Block, called What’s For Dinner? It requires players to head to a Zanzibar marketplace and purchase all the items on a grocery list. Then, they must take the ingredients to “the family chef,” which seems to be three women sitting beside empty baskets. This challenge sounds easy, so there must be a trick to it.

A-ha! The ingredients are foods like Nyanya Chungu, Pomelo, and Mchiciha (we swear we’re spelling it correctly), and Mkonowatembo. Readers of this site know that we also recap Top Chef, and we’ve still never heard of any of these ingredients. We presume the contestants will have to ask the locals for help.

We can’t quite tell how much separation exists between the teams. What we know for sure is that Vanck & Ashton are in fourth place, Team Fun is in fifth, and London & Logan are in sixth. The Boys have also finished the harder side of the Detour and have arrived at Build It. Our perception is that Olive & Seth are ahead, but that’s just a guess right now.

The one team whose struggles are noteworthy is Sara & Shamir. They don’t fight or anything. It’s just not a challenge they can do well. Interestingly, it causes them to work better together than they ever have before. Whoops, spoke too soon. The easy part of Build It, something we didn’t even feel was worth mentioning, is that the players have to carry the new desk to the school. Sara follows every instruction that Shamir has, and he STILL gets angry with her.

In his defense, he can’t see that she’s trying. All he knows is that he’s carrying a heavy wood desk, and she’s nowhere in sight. Also, he has a broken testicle. It makes him feel a bit…testy. (Sorry.)

To speed up the grocery spree, the players start to work together. Tara pays for everyone’s Mchicha. Several of the players point one another to the proper ingredients. Meanwhile, the merchants of Zanzibar grow industrious. They start price-gouging as they see all the American television show cash getting flashed around. Vanck gets charged $45 for something and for some reason draws a line in the sand. He won’t make the deal unless the person gives back a dollar. Hey, it’s a 2% discount!

The bad news for Olive & Seth is that the Boys show up at the marketplace. They’re in seventh place. They’ve actually passed Sara & Shamir! Olive & Seth’s best bet at this point is for Shamir to blow up. The good news for them is that the odds of this happening are about nine in ten.

The Pit Stop is at Emerson on Hurumzi, and we wouldn’t be mentioning it unless a team were about to finish this leg. Sure enough, Liz & Michael finish in first place for the second straight leg. They win a trip for two to Amsterdam, where BOP’s Reagen Sulewski was last week. Hopefully, they dig it more than he did. Or we did when we visited. That Red Light district isn’t as sexy as you might imagine. Actually, it’s pretty creepy and kind of depressing. But we digress.

Not a lot of suspense occurs with the next few teams, although we should mention that the Boys once again tear through a challenge. As Scott aptly summarizes, “Two Detours and a Roadblock before ALL of us did one each.” It was an extremely impressive performance. Apparently, Matt & Redmond respond well to a challenge. Anyway, Tara & Joey finish second, with Vanck & Ashton are third, and then the Boys show up right behind them in fourth.

The Boys have a lot of gloat in their voice when they realize how close they came to beating the team that U-Turned them. Redmond also gets to take this shot: “I like Vanck. I just don’t like Ashton.” Her rejoinder is, “I have plenty of other friends.” Judging by the reaction the two get out of one another, we’re pretty sure we’re in act one of a romantic comedy. They’ll be a couple by episode five, break up in episode nine, and then reunite to cross the finish line together in the season finale. Seriously, Ashton haaaaaaaates Redmond. It’s unhealthy.

While this news is less exciting, London & Logan wind up in fifth, and Brooke & Scott finish sixth. The suspense is in the bottom third of the teams, starting with a bit of drama involving Brooke. She was a bit too generous on some of her purchases and ran out of money (!) before finishing her grocery list. She asks for some money back from one of the vendors, who is understandably…reluctant. Eventually, she finds a manager who gives her $10 back, enough to finish the leg. So, only two teams are in danger now.

Finally, Olive & Seth show up, but they’re still in a world of hurt, as Becca & Floyd are almost ready to depart. The lead must be at least half an hour. Olive will have to crush this Road Block for her team to have any hope. We’re so dubious that we start debating whether this is a non-elimination leg.

While Sara does have enough money to finish her grocery shopping, she has another problem. She’s spent every dollar that her team has for this leg. They have to ask their cab driver if he’ll take them to the Pit Stop anyway. He kindly consents.

Olive & Seth just can’t catch any breaks. The team didn’t perform a money exchange when they arrived in Tanzania. So, they still have some Brazilian money. While it has a lot of value (three Brazilian dollars is roughly the equivalent of one American dollar), a vendor expresses confusion when she tries to pay with it. He asks for help and is eventually told that it’s not worth anything in Tanzania. Olive pleads her case, pointing out that they can perform a money exchange at a bank on the corner, and they eventually relent.

Assuming that the producers aren’t doing an editing trick, we have a good idea about the timeline here. Sara & Shamir drove off about five minutes ago according to Seth. He thinks it’s faster to run, and they have no money to pay a driver anyway. So, Olive & Seth sprint to the Pit Stop.


Moments ago, Team Fun was joking with Phil about the Excitement Meter that Becca has on her button. Now, the mood has changed, and they’ve realized something. They have suffered a catastrophe. They’ve LOST THEIR PASSPORTS! Phil cannot check them in without their passports.

Becca isn’t having fun right now. We’ll quote her. “You are an absolute idiot, dude! Zip your ** fanny pack. Are you kidding me?” She even fakes a punch to the face, which scares him so much that he flinches. This is a disappointing turn of events.

Team NotFun heads to the office of the taxi service they had used. They ask if anyone has found a passport. The man behind the counter hands them a phone. As they start to call their driver, they head outside…where their driver is waiting with their passports. HAPPY ENDING!!!

Meanwhile, Sara & Shamir check in. It’s down to Team Fun vs. Team America. Only seconds after the seventh team arrives, Becca & Floyd show up with their passports. Alas, that means that Olive & Seth are the last team at the Pit Stop. They are eliminated from the race, making Tara & Joey’s use of the U-Turn an extremely smart play. This was clearly a dangerous team.