The Amazing Race All-Stars Epsiode Four
No Babies on the Race
By Reagen Sulewski
March 18, 2007

Worst episode ever. We'll miss you guys.

An unprecedented run of three straight leg wins has Rob & Amber riding high as they leave the Pit Stop for today's action in Chile. While Amber thinks they are peaking, Rob shows some humility and... okay, there's no way you'd believe me, so yeah, he goes over the top of her and says they're not even close to peaking. Do you hear me, people? No comeuppance! Immediately, they get on a plane to Punta Arenas, and are directed to find a famous shipwreck there.

Uchenna & Joyce remark on the fact that during their season, while Rob & Amber did beat them most of the way, they won when it counted. You know, when the producers reached in and held a plane for drama purposes. I wouldn't crow too loud about that "victory" there, guys.

Following behind are Eric & Eric's girlfriend's boobs (a.k.a. Danielle) – it's good to see that obsession still remains – along with Dustin and Kandice. They complain that their problems have related to overthinking the race, and while it's easy to come up with a blond joke there (oh, so easy), it's actually kind of true, and they remain one of the most solid teams out there. And, to their credit, don't seem to resent Rob & Amber's success to date, or seem to be rattled by them.

Danny & Oswald are next, and their biggest concern seems to revolve around who in the race is the biggest snorer (Kandice, apparently, if you're keeping score), with Teri & Ian and Joe & Bill just behind.

Meanwhile, the first three teams have reached the airport and booked a 9:40 a.m. flight, with rapidly diminishing seats and a departure time quickly approaching. They may be able to get some distance from the pack if the rest don't hurry.

Finally, Charla & Mirna get out of the gate, and some ugliness arises in this team (and it's so well known for being stable!). After a minor delay when Charla misplaces their purse, Mirna proceeds to give Charla a talking to like she's six-years-old. Then, off camera, she claims that she's had to do more physically and mentally than any other racer on the history of the show. I'd pay a lot of money to see Charla's reaction to this claim – just starting with the fact that she might be the most useless person on the show, prone to insane hysterics at the drop of a pin, and that Charla is actually a hell of a lot stronger than you, as evidenced by the infamous 50 pounds of meat task. So let's just hold off the canonization of Saint Mirna just a little while, huh?

We now reach our first bit of airline drama this morning, with Dustin & Kandice and Danny & Oswald getting tickets for the first flight, and Teri & Ian begging to be let on. In the end, seats are found for them, and we have a lead pack of six teams.

Joe & Bill arrive at the counter just as the plane is boarding, but are left out in the cold after a brief pleading session. Well, we sure know who the producers aren't cheering for now, don't we?

Cue Charla & Mirna arriving at the airport. Joe & Bill spot them, and after finding someone in the airport to help them find their next clue once they're on the ground, try to squeeze out Charla & Mirna from leeching on their resourcefulness. Which also has the added benefit of reducing your chances of having to talk to these two. For Charla & Mirna's part, they want none of Joe & Bill either, because of their tremendous ability to perceive anything as a slight. Apparently Joe & Bill had ditched them, or didn't talk to them in the hallway or something probably equally as silly.

On the ground in Punta Arenas, we're treated to a couple of different versions of the same story, as Rob describes how brilliant he was at getting Uchenna & Joyce's instructions away from them, apparently by the technique of being in the right place at the right time. Uchenna tells it like he stole them. Who's right? Who cares? Rob doesn't even use the directions and just asks his cab driver. It's this kind of pointless crap that gets you hated, Rob.

The teams make their way down to the beach to find the shipwreck, which contains the Detour, themed on Ferdinand Magellan. This show does get quite geeky at times. The choices for the teams here are either to find the town plaza and then find a business using a compass, or to build a signpost based on the ports of call during Magellan's trip around the world, and order and spelling counts.

Amber suggests that they try and navigate, but Rob overrules (ha! Like Amber ever gets to make a decision) because he thinks he'd be better at building things. Yes, because making a sign is like building a house. It's probably a bad sign if you're on a race that involves navigation if you deliberately avoid tasks that involve this.

The teams split up more or less evenly between the two tasks, with the teams at the sign task left to puzzle over the map of Magellan's journey. Rob comes in with the apparently arcane knowledge that he started in Spain and not in Guam (! Let's just stop and think about that for a second) which they hope will be their ace in the hole. Uchenna is thrown by this, and starts out in the middle of his journey. Meanwhile, Rob gets tripped up on the spelling of The Philippines on his sign. Admittedly, it's a difficult one, but you are essentially just copying stuff down here. It should not be that hard.

The navigation task proves to be quite a bit easier (direction: go south), and Eric & Danielle make their way to the location of the next clue quite quickly. They then must head back to the airport to get one of several charter planes, with a pretty significant three-hour gap between them. These will take them to Ushuaia, Argentina to find their next clue.

Back at the sign making task, Rob & Amber's first completed sign does not past muster, and Rob is oh so close at puzzling out his problem, though his general bullheadedness doesn't allow him the option of thinking things through. Meanwhile Uchenna & Joyce remain really wrong, and Dustin & Kandice don't have a handle on the task at all.

Danny & Oswald make it to the airport first, securing their spot on the first charter, along with Eric & Danielle. They're still a little bit too worried about Rob & Amber and their location, but being out in front is a comfortable spot to be in.

Back at the Detour, Amber vainly tries to convince Rob to give up on this task while they're still ahead of a few teams. Rob doesn't want to admit this task beat him, and he can't figure out a way to game the system, so he soldiers on, still without doublechecking his spelling (on freeze frame, he has also misspelled Celebes).

As Amber was pointing out, the second flight is just landing at this point, and these final two teams bolt out with a real sense of urgency. At the same time, Joyce figures out their team's problems, and she can spell, so bonus for them. They're the first team to successfully figure out this task, which just blows Rob's mind.

However, Uchenna & Joyce are only able to get onto the second charter flight, after Teri & Ian beat them there, proving just how superior the navigating detour was. Rob gives it one last try (he never did check his spelling) and he and Amber quit to try the other detour with Dustin & Kandice, hoping to stay enough ahead of the remaining two teams.

These two teams now reach the Detour, with Joe & Bill choosing the navigation task and the human train wreck team choosing to build the sign. I think we all know how this will turn out, but let's watch anyway. As Charla attempts to bring as much of the supplies to the sign building spot as she can, Mirna proceeds to scream at her that she's wasting time. Then she drops what she's doing and tries to do what Charla is doing, which leads Charla to go over and try and do the thing that Mirna was. And we repeat, but louder. This eventually ends up with Charla carrying the giant sign pole up a set of stairs (and doing quite well at it, frankly), and Mirna screaming at her to put it down. Hey, she's doing more than you are, you idiot, and if you would just do what you can and let her do what she can... then we'd have to watch these guys some more. So, uh... nevermind then.

Joe & Bill manage to pass Rob & Amber and Dustin & Kandice after Rob decides he doesn't need to read the clue (he's just circling the drain at this point), but it's basically immaterial at this point, as the last five teams are all on the second charter.

The charters don't take off until the next morning, so in theory these teams should be well rested and mentally alert. However, Teri & Ian immediately run off past the clue box after reaching Ushuaia, letting Danny & Oswald get to it first. This clue directs them a post office on Isla Redonda, the southernmost point of land in South America (sort of. The show is definitely cheating here, if you look at a map).

Danny & Oswald and Eric & Danielle reach the post office after a short ferry ride, where they find the Roadblock. It's the ever-enjoyable needle-in-a-haystack task, as one team member has to find a letter addressed to them by a team from their original season on the race, amongst a pile of over a thousand.

The second charter flight has now landed, and things continue to spiral downward for Rob & Amber, who are blown by leaving the airport. They're left to fight for a taxi with Charla & Mirna, who try out their brand of crazy on Rob & Amber, claiming they called for the taxi first. I can't think of a team that this is less likely to work on, and Rob & Amber speed away in second-to-last spot.

Oswald & Danny are the first to find their letter, and are treated to nice words of encouragement from the brother and sister duo of Blake & Paige from their season. They then have to trek around the island to find the pit stop. Eric & Danielle find their letter from their erstwhile teammates Jeremy & Dani, which has more than just a twinge of jealousy in it.

As the second wave of teams starts to arrive at the ferry to the island post office, Danny & Oswald find their way around to the pit stop, where they're greeted by a spiky-haired bomber-jacket wearing Phil, who gives them the news that they are first. Their bonus prize is a trip to Maui. They ask Phil to come along, and he fends off their advances with "that's a whole different reality show". C'mon, Phil, don't act like you're not curious. Eric & Danielle slid in for a close second.

When Rob & Amber reach the beach, Rob's bad instincts continue, as he decides to run down the path that Teri & Ian did, instead of spotting the flag for the clue right in front of them. Lucikly for them, Charla & Mirna follow them. Amber realizes their mistake quickly, and they turn around and throw Charla & Mirna off the trail by pretending to have the clue. Note, however, that Charla actually asks if they had it – what, mooching off their efforts, you guys? – and Amber never actually responds directly to them.

In a side interview, Mirna claims to know that Amber was being phony, and Charla says that her experience as a lawyer let her know that she was being lied to. That's all well and good, but... why did you keep running down the path, then?

At the post office detour, Teri & Ian find their letter from Flo and Zach. Or should I say FLLLLOOOOO! For those that weren't watching the show then, this was simultaneously the best and worst team in Amazing Race history, by virtue of Zach running the race almost by himself, carrying only a 150 pound anchor named Flo that constantly threatened to quit. It was rather outstanding. Teri & Ian then make it to the pitstop for third. It's a good showing, but they made several mistakes throughout the leg and got to this point by virtue of other teams making bigger ones.

All the remaining teams have now reached the ferry to the island, where they have to travel in groups of two. Rob & Amber continue to chuckle over the cleverness of their ruse in getting Charla & Mirna delayed, but really, does this even count as a challenge?

Charla asks them why they would do that, though Amber claims she was saying something else to them. Honestly, why not just say, "Because I was trying to get you lost"? It's a race. A competition. Have we not figured this out yet?

Joe & Bill and Dustin & Kandice are the first group to hit the Roadblock, with Joe & Bill finding their letter first. It's from Frank of Frank & Margherita, and is a Grandmaster Flash-esque rap, Frank's attempt to be as annoying to them as they were to him. Dustin & Kandice then find their letter, and it too is from only one team member of a team, Lyn from Lyn & Karlyn, the Alabama team who clashed continually with these two. It's like a Geraldo special here with all the antagonistic teams being reunited. Joe & Bill make it in for fourth, and Dustin & Kandice come in for fifth.

Uchenna & Joyce and Rob & Amber are the next group in the post office, though Charla & Mirna get there before either team can leave. That's not for long, though, with Uchenna & Joyce finding their letter, from the mother-son team of Susan & Patrick (who you might recall as the kid who could only relate to the world through being gay). They work their way around for sixth spot.

Tensions rise in the post office with our two remaining teams, and Mirna flips out after Rob tries to play rules lawyer on the Roadblock. She says something about him not knowing what it means to pray to deceased relative for help – which completely baffles me. Then again, trying to understand her thought process leads only to madness.

Apparently this works, though, as Mirna finds her letter and runs off with the oh-so-mature taunt of "see you, wouldn't want to be you". It's my understanding that she has a terminal case of cooties, so I wouldn't judge her too harshly. Their letter is from Lance & Marshall, which is another antagonistic letter. On the other hand, I'm surprised that they didn't just quit writing in the middle of their letter.

Rob finally finds their letter, which is also from Susan & Patrick, who share no love for them, either. It's now a footrace for the finish, which would be a foregone conclusion given how far back Rob & Amber must be, except for Charla's obvious disadvantage. With Mirna shouting insane words of encouragement, they hustle up the hill to the pit stop, beating a strangely dawdling Rob & Amber, who are eliminated. From three straight firsts all the way to last, it's a really stunning development. They take it quite well for their part. This leg seemed almost tailor-made to knock them out, putting obstacles right in the way of Rob's personality.