The Amazing Race 12 Episode 4
Let's Name Our Chicken Phil
By Reagen Sulewski
November 28, 2007
Finally, our last team of the day, Lorena & Jason, leaves the starting gate, about two hours behind. They're working on one or less mental breakdowns for this leg.
Nathan & Jennifer give it the old cheerleader try at the dance, after being taught by what looks like a Wookiee with sticks, but are dinged for just copying the moves and not showing anything new. This incurs them a ten-minute penalty, and seeing this, TK & Rachel bail out and decide to go mining. There, they join Nicolas & Donald, who have just arrived.
Azaria & Hendekea regain their lead with a dance that, even to my untrained eye, looks pretty good. They're sent to a nearby market for the clue, and are warned of a new race feature, the U-Turn. This is a pretty diabolical twist, where a team can force another team to go back and complete the other Detour option that they didn't go for, which has the potential to just break a team if it's a physical task. Like the Yield or Fast Forward, teams can only use it once, and there are only two on the race.
The U-Turn is the sole reason for the next clue box, after Azaria & Hendekea decline it, they're directed to take a taxi to a goat market outside Ouagadougou.
Did I say TK & Rachel were joining Nicolas & Donald at the gold mining Detour? What I mean was they decided to walk off into the bush in search of the other Detour, and are rapidly shedding time. Nathan & Jennifer have served out their penalty and are making their way to the next clue box, and Nicolas & Donald make short work of their task, moving into third place.
More penalties abound in dancing, as Ronald & Christina are dinged for an awkward looking attempt. Ultimately I think this is probably a much faster task, considering you're looking at a maximum 15 minutes to complete it, even if you do it badly, but the psychic penalty for bad dancing is always one to consider. Kynt & Vyxsin wow the judges with a fairly kinetic performance that makes me wonder if Kynt was into baton twirling at some point, and they jump into fourth.
This turns into third as Nicolas & Donald get a little lost, and are passed by Ronald & Christina after their penalty is over. Finally TK & Rachel get the hang of the gold mining Detour and complete it, just as Shana & Jennifer are finishing up their dance routine, which appears to borrow heavily from Madonna's Vogue phase.
The U-Turn finally gets utilized as Shana & Jennifer panic about their position, and mistake TK & Rachel for Lorena & Jason, the latter of which get targeted. Jennifer is actually quite reluctant to use it, worrying about the karma of the play, but really, it's part of the game, and I'm really quite sick of racers complaining about rules that they agreed to. Shana, at least, appears to understand the purpose of these kinds of things.
Meanwhile, the teams are arriving at the goat market, which features the expected Roadblock. The slightly misleading clue makes reference to a juggling act, but actually asks the chosen team member to ride a bike laden with supplies, including a live goat, to a nearby merchant, who will have their clue. Azaria and Jennifer draw the assignment for their teams and start to load up their bikes.