The Amazing Race Season 26 Recap - Episode 2
I Got the Smartest Dude
By David Mumpower and Kim Hollis
March 2, 2015
We do get some relationship updates during this travel period. Laura announces that she and Tyler will be focusing on the race, which means she realized she came on waaaaaay too strong at first. Bergen & Kurt aren’t feeling it for a simple reason. They look too much alike, which is pretty high on the creepy scale. Mike has impressed Rochelle enough that she is calling their Amazing Race experience a Fast Forward for their relationship. Maybe he’ll get to meet her son in another year or so! Finally, Libby is still annoyed that CJ has yet to put a ring on it. He’ll have plenty of time to do so while they’re traveling in the back of the pack. We don’t even give them a 20 percent chance of advancing past this leg of the competition.
Jackie and Jeffrey are the first to arrive at tonight’s Road Block, which is called Think Outside the Box. People must open a trick box by performing a series of moves in a precise order. Once they open the box, a clue is hidden inside. It contains a message that must be relayed precisely to a nearby guard to gain the next clue. As further proof that this season will be a bit experimental, a random clue will also contain an invitation to Date Night, where a couple will enjoy a visit to Japanese hot springs during the next Pit Stop.
Something that was not emphasized in the clue is that loud drums are played during the puzzle attempts. It’s a challenge that should be sponsored by Tylenol. Then again, the biggest headache involves Libby and CJ. They spend too long discussing their experiences with the cameraman, emphasizing the fact that they plan to win this leg of the race. As they take a selfie to capture the moment, their train departs in the background. They get to spend another 15 minutes thinking about their stupidity. Did we say 20 percent? We meant 10.
A mathematically improbable series of events leads to three of the dudes on blind dates all competing to solve the puzzle first while their “girlfriends” look on. Jackie plays this up by adorably adding, “I’ve got the smartest dude.” Laura repeats the line, and then Jenny realizes she’s a jerk on national television if she doesn’t chime in as well. At least the first two seemed sincere. It turns out that Laura is right, as Tyler solves the puzzle first. Jenny knew it!
The next clue is located at Nishi-Guchi Zenko-Ji, which we think translates as “baby’s first gibberish sounds.” Back at the puzzle/Little Drummer Boy performance, the gong sounds, indicating that Jelani is finished. By this time, the Olympians have joined them, so the Smartest Dudes have all struggled for a while.
Laura and Tyler are well positioned to win this leg. Think of them as the anti-Libby & CJ. They reach the Detour before half the teams exit their bullet trains. Their options are Hitting the Ice or Noodling with a Favorite Dish. Of course, they don’t get such specific details, though. The ground includes the words Share and Chair. They pick Share, which is the Noodling response. Jelani makes the same choice, and then we cut to see that Aly has already finished her puzzle. Jackie overestimated her new beau’s abilities. He does finish moments later, though. There is an absolute chasm between the top four teams and the other six.