The Amazing Race 12 Episode 1
Donkeys Have Souls, Too
By Reagen Sulewski
November 7, 2007
Team after team now passes by them, including Lorena and Jason, who had fallen to sixth after their driving misadventure. The race is ticking away for both of these groups.
In contrast, TK and Rachel are just blazing through this first leg, and are the first to receive the location of the first Pit Stop, at the Connemara Heritage Centre. Azaria and Hendekea are hot on their tail and take advantage when TK takes a wrong turn driving to the Pit Stop. Hendekea was apparently on the ball and spotted the centre on the way in, which is a habit that could serve this team well. Kynt and Vyxsen also pass TK and Rachel, who've run a great race until this mishap.
Azaria and Hendekea land on the Pit Stop mat in first spot where they're greeted by an extra from Braveheart (yes, I know that was Scotland – there were Irish people in that movie too), and amusingly, whiff on the celebratory high-five. Their bonus prize for this leg is a trip to Banff and a stay at a swanky hotel. Hey, that's my stomping grounds! It really is a great hotel. Kynt and Vyxsen come in for second spot, with TK and Rachel recovering for third spot.
Back on the path, Nathan and Jennifer and Ari and Staella are still stuck, and have seem to be hoping to move the donkeys simply through the power of staring and yelling.
Ronald crosses the canyon singing the most god-awful tone-deaf variation on Danny Boy you've ever heard, and it's surprising that a thousand Irish people don't descend on him immediately to pummel him. If I'd been hanging below the bike here, I might have jumped off. At this point, every other team has caught up to the two stalled teams, and panic is starting to set in. Christina rightly notes that these are animals that don't take kind to being yanked around, but this is ultimately a very revealing task.
Lorena and Jason finish up the leg in fourth spot, taking advantage of the animal troubles to make up for their own navigational issues through the leg. Nicolas and Donald come in for fifth, but look like the most worn out fifth place team of all time. Shana and Jennifer motor through the last portion of the leg for sixth. Ronald and Christina and Kate and Pat slide in for seventh and eighth, who seem far too happy to be below the middle of the pack.
Finally, Nathan and Jennifer hit upon the idea of pushing the donkey – just like every other team did – and we have ourselves a race, with Ari and Staella and Marianna and Julia representing the other incompetents.
Ultimately, Ari and Staella fall too far behind and are eliminated, behind Marianna and Julia and Nathan and Jennifer in ninth and tenth, respectively. Rarely has taxi karma kicked in so quickly and so thoroughly on this show, and it's saved us from a team that might have ended up as one of the most annoying of all time on the show. This season is looking up already!