The Amazing Race: Another One Bites the Dust
By Kim Hollis & David Mumpower
April 26, 2017

Let's see, 14 down: A whiny, insufferable team

Previously on The Amazing Race, two people who don’t like each other found a pair of people they dislike even more. Vanck & Ashton used a U-Turn on Matt & Redmond (#TheBoys). In a hilarious turn of events, #TheBoys still finished only two minutes behind their opponents. Matt & Redmond have made no secret of the fact that they’re out for blood now.

The episode starts exactly as we’d expect. Vanck & Ashton are sitting down when #TheBoys come over for a chat. Before they can start their smack talk, Ashton is dismissive of them, which causes Redmond to look surprised. He’d apparently decided to come over and apologize for a couple of previous shady tactics. Once he realizes Ashton is not the forgiving type, he chooses war.

The only thing that would surprise us about The Amazing Race is that by the airdate of this episode, Redmond and Ashton hadn’t hooked up yet. They’re in the first act of every romantic comedy ever made.

Liz & Michael depart first at 8:17 a.m. Their clue sends them to Stone Town, where the teams must find the home of the location’s most famous resident ever. Freddie Mercury, born Farrokh Bulsara, was born in Zanzibar, where his family resided for many years until they fled during the Zanzibar Revolution.

The trick is that the teams are only told his birth name, though the clue does give them a hint with the inclusion of the words “Another One Bites the Dust.”

When Liz & Michael ask some residents about Farrokh’s home, they are told that it was demolished many years ago and sent off in another direction. Tara & Joey’s cab driver isn’t any more helpful, and Joey says they should just get out of the cab and find someone else to help them.

Liz & Michael get to the “demolished” house, where bags of dust are sitting on the ground. They presume this is what “Another One Bites the Dust” refers to and start searching the bags for clues. Somehow, Tara & Joey’s cab driver gets them to the right place after all and they enter Freddie Mercury’s house for their next clue.

The Detour gives teams the options to “Lock” or “Knock.” Phil tells us that the houses in Stone Town are connected via a set of confusing alleyways. Teams must navigate them to complete either side of the Detour.

For “Lock”, teams must search some Zanzibar chests to search for a clue. They all have secret compartments, and if teams can figure out that aspect of the puzzle, they’ll find a key to open a tricky lock and release their next clue.

There are 500 one-of-a-kind doors throughout Zanzibar that were designed in such a way that they displayed the social standing of the family who lived there. There are only three doors in Stone Town that have lions on them – these doors designated the fact that royalty lived in those homes. Teams have to go door to door and knock on the royal doors to pick up three different royal carvings.

Vanck & Ashton and Matt & Redmond both have the bright idea to head to a travel agent to research the Freddie Mercury clue, which sends them in the right direction pretty quickly.

Liz & Michael are still kicking around in the dirt. They go into a building to ask someone for help, and hanging on the wall just happens to be a photo of Freddie Mercury that notes his birth name. It’s kind of a stroke of blind luck, but at least Liz & Michael are on track now.

Other teams are going the cab driver route. London & Logan ask their driver to take them to Farrokh’s house, and Brooke & Scott ask if they can follow.

Even with their wasted time at the dust bags, Liz & Michael are still in second place. They choose “Lock” instead of “Knock.”

Let’s just say that “Knock” is inordinately difficult and teams struggle to discover the trick. Tara & Joey start with “Knock,” but after knocking on every single door and not understanding the trick of it (Tara does get a sculpture, but doesn’t understand what makes her door different), they decide to swap tasks when they come upon the “Lock” location.

Vanck & Ashton as for help with the location of the royal doors, while #TheBoys head over to “Lock.”

Michael finds the secret drawer pretty quickly, while Tara & Joey struggle as mightily with this task as the other.

Shamir & Sara still hate each other, but at least they’ve settled down a little bit after his issues with his testicles in the previous leg.

Having discovered the trick to the chests, Liz & Michael find their key and even though it’s difficult, they unlock it. Next, they are headed back to the mainland of Tanzania and a town known as Dar Es Salaam. They’ll need to locate a metal shop there, where they’ll find their next clue.

It’s back to the “Knock” challenge for Tara & Joey, but at least they’re near doors. Vanck & Ashton have somehow wound up in the shopping area. He wants to switch to the other task, but Ashton puts her foot down. Eventually, they find a nice gentleman who tells them where the doors are located.

Similarly, Shamir & Sara are given pretty explicit directions about where to find the royal doors. #TeamFun decides on “Lock” instead. “We can find the House of Wonders easy,” says Shamir, in what seems like it could be bad foreshadowing.

They do get their first carving, though, and so do Vanck & Ashton.

Finally, Brooke figures out that the chests have secret compartments. The other teams catch on pretty quickly, though Brooke & Scott locate their key first. Even so, they have a hard time unlocking their chest, so Matt & Redmond pass them buy.

Now having found their third door, Vanck & Ashton are ready to move on to the next clue. Shamir & Sara find door number two, and then a gentleman directs them to go to Harumzi to find the third one.

Even though they’re struggling, Tara & Joey are getting along in a weird way. Basically, they’re so well suited to each other that a dustup that would be significant for another team is minor for them. AND Joey can admit when he’s wrong.

Because their key doesn’t work, Brooke & Scott find a second key. Eventually, they’re able to unlock a chest and find their next clue. Scott gives the extra key to #TeamFun, which sends Brooke off on a rant, even though she says she’s not mad.

Sara isn’t going to take any chances. She has basically decided that she is in charge and that there will be no arguments from Shamir. She wants to make sure they’re going to the right place. For his part, Shamir says he’ll do whatever she wants, even if it means “going around in a million circles.”

Teams are starting to converge on the ferry to Zanzibar, where Brooke tells #TeamFun to remember how she and Scott helped them if she is ever in trouble.

Defeated by “Lock,” Logan & London swap Detour tasks and start searching for royal doors. A woman tells them where every single door is.

Now Shamir & Sara are being sent to the Sultan Palace for their third door, which is WAY out of the way from where they’re supposed to be. Logan & London have already found Door #3 and are off and on their way to the ferry, which is getting close to departure time.

In fact, #TeamLolo does arrive in time for the ferry, which means that Shamir & Sara are the only team not boarding. The two of them decide to switch to the “Lock” Detour, and the ferry leaves without them.

Now that teams are in Dar Es Salaam, their next task is a Road Block that asks one member of each team to manufacture a ladle from aluminum. It’s no easy task, as they have to cut the aluminum, bend it and punch holes in it. Brooke & Scott make the mistake of giving the task to her. She cries and insists that she’s not going to be able to complete the task. To be fair, the task does seem to require brute strength, and she definitely doesn’t have it.

Shamir & Sara have finally found their key and are making their way to the ferry, albeit much later than the rest of the teams. They’ll need to hope for someone like Brooke to lose her nerve for the challenge.

Realizing that #TeamFun owes her a favor, Brooke approaches Becca and asks if there’s a trick to the challenge. Becca readily agrees to help, realizing that this will clear their slate with their competitors.

Joey is the first to finish the ladle challenge, but he’s sent back to do a little more work. At least this judge tells him what needs fixing. Next up is Redmond, who stops to help Brooke some more. He tells her to calm down.

Matt: I heard she doesn’t like being told to calm down.
Redmond: That’s why I kept saying it.

#TheBoys are so great. They sort of get under people’s skin, but they’re so charming while they’re doing it that you just forgive them and laugh. Redmond’s first ladle isn’t approved, though.

On the other hand, Joey’s second effort gets full approval, and he and Tara are off to Coco Beach for the Pit Stop. Becca isn’t far behind.

Look, it’s pretty obviously a foregone conclusion at this point. Other than some continued tears and sobbing by Brooke, the main things of note are that Tara & Joey finish in first and win $5,000 each. Lots of people stop to help Brooke, for what it’s worth.

The producers try to convince us that Brooke might be terrible enough that Shamir & Sara could pull ahead, but they don’t. In fact, they’re so far behind that Phil comes to see them at the challenge and gives them the merciful news that the other teams have all checked in, and they are mercifully out of the race.

Even though Shamir was terrible in the last leg, Sara was really responsible for causing their loss this time around. Still, we like her enough that we hope she might be given a second chance on a future edition of the show, assuming CBS continues airing it.