The Amazing Race Season 30: Episode 5 Recap

By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower

January 30, 2018

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With Cedric Ceballos & Shawn Marion sadly eliminated from the Race, we move on to our second hour (The Amazing Race has to rush through this season as they’ll be moving to 9 p.m. when Survivor returns in February.)

Alex & Conor are now headed off from the coast of France so that they can drive to… the middle of France! They’ll proceed to Les Baux, a quiet village with beautiful landscapes that inspired such artists as Picasso and Van Gogh. For once, departure times actually matter!

Cody & Jessica are just ten minutes behind them, and Kristi & Jen another few minutes after that. Next up are Joey & Tim, who likely complete the first grouping as they’re within a half hour of the Indy drivers.

Then, we have Trevor & Chris, Henry & Evan (complete with repaired tooth and new nose ring – or had we just not noticed it before?), and then finally the firefighters and the last current last place Lucas & Brittany, who are out at about 4:30 a.m., two and a half hours behind the first-place team. This is the point where we realize that these departures make for REALLY boring recapping, so it’s nice that The Amazing Race has more or less eliminated them so far this season.

Lucas acknowledges that the last leg was very frustrating for him, and he’s got to work on being better at communicating with Brittany. Sappy music plays in the background as they tell each other, “I love you.”

The Indy drivers arrive at the Chateau des Baux to discover that it opens at 8:30. Remember what we said about boring departure recapping? Yeah, that. Disregard everything we said. It doesn’t matter. All of the teams will be on site by the time the castle opens. Alex & Conor are rightfully annoyed. “We’re first. Yay.” (Please do read in the sarcasm.)

Once inside, the teams see medieval fighters and trebuchets. Fun!

The clue indicates that it’s time for a Roadblock and asks, “Who wants to go medieval?” One team member must build one of those trebuchets and then transport it to the location where their partner is being held in a stockade. Phil tells us that lots and lots of battles took place in Les Baux, so there’s a lot of history in this challenge.

Joey worries that Tim isn’t great at building things, while Brittany brags on Lucas’s ability to create things with his hands. Likewise, Cody has built houses, so Jessica figures he’s probably in good shape. Kristi is the only girl building a trebuchet, and Jen thinks that her attention to detail will benefit her here.

Lucas calls for a check, but he’s not quite there. Same applies to Cody. It’s just one minor detail for each of them, so Lucas is able to adapt quickly and complete the challenge. That’s a huge turnaround for the team that had been in last place.

Next up, teams will go to Café de la Fontaine, where they’ll ask a man enjoying a glass of red wine for their next clue. I guess dudes don’t drink red wine in France, so this guy will be a rarity, perhaps?

Cody has also recognized his error, and he and Jessica are headed to the wino. Kristi has also rocked the challenge, followed by one of the firefighter twins and Henry.

So, that means that Eater X, the cellist and the Indy driver are all still struggling through the Roadblock. Lucas & Brittany have arrived at the café, and their next clue is a Detour that demands they choose between Full of Bull or Colorful. For Full of Bull, teams will go to a bullfighting ring and search some bull statues scattered around the location to find one each of a red, a white, and a blue ribbon. For Colorful, the challenge is based on a Van Gogh painting of a bridge, and teams will have to unlock a puzzle with elements from the painting to obtain their next clue.

Travis has finally finished the Roadblock, while Conor and Eater X remain frustrated by their inability to get it done. Eventually, Tim is given the all clear, leaving Conor the only Racer remaining. He soon sees his mistake and corrects it, which means he and Alex are not far behind the competitive eaters.

Teams choosing Full of Bull include the skiers (who arrive first), the lifeguards, the firefighters, Team Yale, Big Brother, and the Indy car drivers. Even though there’s a lot of ground to cover and some climbing involved, this challenge is pretty simple. It’s just a matter of finding the needle in the haystack, with the haystack technically being pretty small.


Jessica is a little frustrated with Cody because he keeps guessing about where to go and how to get there, and he guesses wrong a lot.

Lucas & Brittany are the first ones to find all three of their red flags, but the skiers aren’t far behind. We’re only a half hour into the second episode, but these teams are already headed to the Pit Stop at Hotel Benvengudo. It’ll basically come down to whomever navigates the streets the best.

The firefighters complete the bull challenge easily, and Joey & Tim drive past, noticing that teams are leaving that challenge. “We could still do the bulls if you wanted,” Joey says. They really should. But they don’t. We don’t like their chances on the puzzle challenge since it does require some attention to detail.

The bull challenge sort of does as well, since the blue ribbons are up high. Still, once contestants figure that out, they’re perfectly fine. All of them get it done easily.

Meanwhile, we haven’t even seen the cellists or the eaters at their painting puzzle yet.

It’s a race to the Pit Stop between the lifeguards and the skiers. And… the lifeguards do arrive first. They’ve gone from last to first – and good for them. They win a trip to Bali, which is a very romantic location where they REALLY want to go. Phil talks about how they’ve worked so well together, and Brittany is always crying (even when happy), and Lucas puts his hand in his pocket.

The skiers arrive, so any hope of a sweet, private moment is over. Not that they were really alone anyway, with Phil and their French host present.

“Phil, can you give me a minute?” Lucas asks.

He waxes poetic about their long, nine-year relationship, and acknowledges that he behaved badly on the previous leg. He says that Brittany always brings him back to himself, though. He kneels and proposes right as the firefighters run in.

Brittany cries some more. “We’re running through castles. She’s a princess. We’re going to Bali where we always wanted to be,” says Lucas.

Hugs are exchanged all around, and Evan & Henry arrive to discover Lucas & Brittany’s big announcement. They’re genuinely happy for the couple. Alex & Conor are perhaps a bit less impressed, as they’re more interested to find out who won the leg.

Van Gogh is SUPER unfriendly to Eater X and Joey Chestnut, but they get started on their task. Cody & Jessica get checked in as team number six, and the cellists are lost.

Joey & Tim figure out that the puzzle pieces slide around, and that they must be moved around in a specific order. They’re having a LOT of trouble, though. Van Gogh (en Français) says that they guys have not understood how to open the painting. They’ve got it solved (we think) but don’t understand that they have to release it at the top.

Trevor & Chris are asking for directions, but they’re still dreadfully lost. It looks like they’re headed to the bullfighting arena, so if they can hustle through the challenge, they still have hope. The competitive eaters are still puzzled.

Eventually, the musicians do find the bullfighting ring, and they navigate the finding of the ribbons pretty quickly. They even find the blue ribbon before the white.

Tim & Joey have figured out how to open the painting, but just need to solve the puzzle properly to get it there. They finally do, and we get the glorious false editing to the finish line. Our suspicion is that Trevor & Chris have been ahead for a while and that Joey & Tim are WAY behind, but who knows, right? It’s daylight for both teams, anyway.

Indeed, Trevor & Chris are checked in next, and they’re thrilled to realize that they are still in the race. They had presumed they were done.

That means that Joey Chestnut and Eater X have been eliminated from the Race. They’re extraordinarily sad, more so than most teams at the end. The good news is that they seem to have really grown their friendship to a great place. “I guess we aren’t wieners today,” says Joey. Sigh. See you guys on the Fourth of July!



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