The Amazing Race 2020 Recap
Episode 4: Ole, Ole
By Kim Hollis & David Mumpower
November 11, 2020
Previously on The Amazing Race, Will & James started feuding with Leo & Alana (unbeknownst to the latter pair). After U-Turning their nemeses, Will & James are in for an unpleasant surprise when they see that the perceived threats are still in the game.
Also, revenge is a dish best served something something. Leo & Alana have no intention of asking the guys about their reasoning for the U-Turn, which I admire. Skip the drama and move forward. Get them when the opportunity strikes.
Jerry & Frank were the last team to the Pitstop, meaning they had to head home. We have eight teams remaining, and it feels like it’s time for a non-elimination leg.
And right off the bat, Leo & Alana immediately forget about their vow to not acknowledge the U-Turn. Sigh. Ah, well. At least the scenery on the Amazon is beautiful.
As winners of the previous leg, Will & James are first to leave, as their initial clue sends them to Asuncion, Paraguay. Once they arrive, they’ll need to head to the Orquesta de Reciclados de Cateura for further instructions. They hope that their alliance from the previous leg will carry over, though you have to wonder if the other members will worry about their potential treachery.
Sisters Michelle & Victoria wonder if Paraguay is in Africa. They’re certain Uruguay is in Africa, so Paraguay probably is as well. Their mother must be so disappointed in their geography skills.
All Racers are on the same flight, so there is no advantage to arriving first. Will & James do use some available computers to print off maps of Paraguay for the members of their alliance. They love being mean to Kaylynn & Haley and Leo & Alana. Who knows why, other than the fact that the two teams helped each other briefly on a previous leg.
Everyone races for a taxi, but when Michelle & Victoria ask if their driver knows how to get to the Orquesta, he has no idea where it is. He tells them to get another cab. Will & James have a similar issue.
Maddison & Riley and Eswar & Aparna get to the clue box first. The instructions ask, “Who is feeling instrumental?” Apparently, the Landfill Harmonic of Cateura makes musical instruments out of garbage. Literal garbage. One person from each team will have to figure out how to repurpose several pieces of garbage to build a cello.
Players will refer to pictures on a board to indicate which pieces they need. Also, since Maddison & Riley and Eswar & Aparna are in an alliance, they can presumably help each other.
When Leo arrives, he feels confident he can build the cello, because his mother teaches stringed instruments to students. DeAngelo says his claim to fame is putting IKEA furniture together with no instructions, and also thinks that using recycled materials is pretty “dope.”
Kaylynn & Haley’s driver has taken them a TERRIBLE direction and says they will have to turn around. Michell & Victoria are lost, too, but the blonde sisters are primarily worried that their driver has had to get out of the car and approach a house for assistance.
All of the allied teams work together during the Roadblock, while the players who remained behind with the orchestra group get emotional.
DeAngelo was NOT joking about his building skills, as he assembles his cello on the first try and gets the thumbs up. DeAngelo beams as the group performs a song with the instrument he just created.
Teams must next head to the Terere Vendor at Mercado 4. There is a Yield ahead. (Honestly, though, the Yields seem fairly unimportant since they’re just 20-30 minutes. They only matter in a fairly close race.)
Kaylynn & Haley FINALLY arrive.
At the next clue box, DeAngelo & Gary choose not to Yield any competitors. Next tasks require teams to prepare a drink called terere and then fill up a “termos,” which they will carry as a refreshment for the rest of the leg. When Gary drinks, he gives a thumbs up.
With that assignment complete, Phil informs us that the upcoming Detour will feature the first ever “Switchback.” It involves balancing bottles and stacking watermelons. Apparently, “Switchback” means that we’re bringing back some challenges from Season 20. For the watermelon challenge, teams have to put the melons in a pyramid - a task that proved quite difficult in the first iteration. For bottles, teams have to dance with bottles balanced on their heads. Ridiculous, but at least no one is having to slingshot a watermelon, we suppose.
Chee gets the thumbs down on his first cello effort, but James (thanks to the assistance of all the other competitors) pulls it off.
Despite believing it falls into their wheelhouse, when DeAngelo tosses a watermelon to former TIGHT END Gary, he drops it. This seems like a bad omen.
On the other hand, when James & Will see that bottle balancing is an option, they freak out because they just watched the Season 20 episode that featured this challenge, and they practiced balancing bottles on their own heads afterward.
After his second attempt, Chee gets his cello approved. Leo pulls it off on his first try. Riley is struggling with his strings, slowing him down.
Eswar struggles with stringing the cello, putting him and Aparna at risk of being in last along with Kaylynn & Haley.
While practicing, Will mentions that he is a dancer for about the thousandth time. Leo & Alana realize that Will & James are ahead of them, so there’s no use for their Yield. Hung is unable to balance her bottle on her head, so she and Chee decide to swap out for watermelons.
Kaylynn & Eswar continue to struggle through the cello building. Kaylynn cries a little, and hopes that another team either gets stuck or for something like… a non-elimination leg.
Amusingly, when teams botch the bottle challenge, a man literally plays his sad trombone for them. Will & James only hear it a couple of times before finding success. They’re off to the Pitstop at Plaza Italia.
As winners of this leg (sigh), they win $5,000 each.
For the watermelon challenge, Riley has a strategy to build the pyramid one side at a time, rather than trying to pile it up the way DeAngelo & Gary are.
Michelle & Victoria finish the bottle dance, allowing them to come from a rough position of being lost early in the leg to a second place finish. Leo & Alana follow close behind.
While DeAngelo & Gary struggle, Maddison & Riley finish their Detour pretty easily. They don’t give their allies any clues on how to fix their watermelon stack.
It might be editing, but Eswar and Aparna seem to have no issue with the bottle dance. Hung & Chee get approval on their watermelon stack, which means that it’s now down to DeAngelo & Gary and Kaylynn & Haley.
Finally, the retired football players find a way to stack their melons, while the editors create some false drama by making it seem like Kaylynn & Haley are close or tied.
Obviously, DeAngelo & Gary arrive first, though they think they are last to arrive. Even if they had been, it wouldn’t have mattered, because Phil informs Kaylynn & Haley that this leg is a non-elimination. They will need to complete a speed bump in the next leg.
All in all, this episode was pretty boring, though DeAngelo’s killing the cello task was fun. Hopefully things will pick up in the coming weeks.