The Amazing Race 2020 Recap
Episode 7: Give Me a Beard Bump
By David Mumpower and Kim Hollis
November 22, 2020
Previously on The Amazing Race, we had a non-elimination leg. And the sisters finished last. Stop us if you’ve heard any of this before. Over the last three legs, Kaylynn & Haley have finished last, second to last, and last. Somehow, they’re still alive, which highlights the core structural flaw with non-elimination legs. Bad teams can skirt by.
At the start of this round, the other teams are huddling when the sisters enter the room. Moments before, someone had stated, "Finally, the blondes' luck ran out." Except it didn't. The other teams gaze in awe as they become aware of their opponents' remarkable survival skills (well, luck).
DeAngelo & Gary start the leg. They remark that the overall plan involves the five-team alliance all reaching the final five. The only non-alliance teams remaining are the sisters and Leo & Alana.
So, we like their odds and wonder whether this decision will have lasting Amazing Race implications. When this many teams work together, the game certainly seems more manageable. Of course, the NFL players may have alienated Hung & Chee last round. We'll watch whether that gets addressed or not.
The teams will leave Berlin, Germany, and journey to Almaty, Kazakhstan. Interestingly, the evil team this season, Will & James, states that the real alliance involves them, the volleyball players, and the husband/wife team.
The dating couple, Leo & Alana, shares their advantage. He speaks some Kazakh. But we forget that the moment we watch a flaming dude on a horse ride by the contestants. Yes, his back is literally on fire. He drops it off, where the flame dissipates and reveals a Detour.
One challenge is called Great Khan's Spy. Teams will watch fight sequences from a film studio and answer questions about the bizarre events they just witnessed. In Knockout Guy, teams actively participate in a staged fight.
As the teams choose, the sisters must perform a Speed Bump. It involves giving each other beards. You heard me. It only takes about 20 minutes, but they’re worried that they’re falling far behind the other teams.
Most teams choose to participate in the fight, which is totally what we would do. The only teams who watch and take the quiz are Leo & Alana and Hung & Chee. The test involves a series of four questions.
The two teams meet with the Great Khan separately. So, they cannot help one another during the questioning, and they don’t learn how many questions they answer correctly. The spouses only get one right, while the daters miss them all. So, they must watch the scene unfold yet again.
Some friction occurs between the football players when an overly excited Gary learns the steps quickly. He starts helping others, while a frustrated DeAngelo tries to get him to focus on them. The team fears it's in last.
Soon afterward, Chee & Hung become the first duo to finish the quiz challenge. They answer all four questions correctly. Leo & Alana aren’t as fortunate and must try again. Around this time, the sisters arrive and immediately impress. They start counting everything they watch, a terrific approach. They didn’t get the answers right the first time, but they’re optimistic about the future.
Leo & Alana’s struggles come down to an odd issue. They don’t know the difference between a sword and a spear, counting them as synonymous weapons. So, they’re way high with each guess. On the other side, Gary’s having the time of his life pretend-fighting and will probably try to get an agent after this. He was born for fight scenes.
After the spouses, the next four teams to complete this Detour are Maddison & Riley (who apparently are in first), Will & James, DeAngelo & Gary, and Aparna & Eswar. The race for last appears to be down to the sisters and the daters, with the sisters finishing the quiz first.
The Roadblock for this leg comes immediately after a Yield, which will prove crucial. People doing the challenge can watch other teams approach the Yield and identify whether they Yield someone or not. It's much more transparent than usual.
To complete the Roadblock, teams must decorate a yurt, but it’s more challenging than that. First, they must lure a supply-carrying camel to the yurt. Then, they must decorate the yurt’s interior just like one in an example.
The first teams choose not to Yield because they're not bad people – the volleyball duo's description – and because it's unnecessary. The first four teams know they're way ahead. The brother/sister team yells to ask whether the sisters have arrived. When someone tells them no, they choose not to Yield as well.
On the 10th try, Leo & Alana finally finish the performance, much to the relief of some fatigued stunt workers. Shortly afterward, the sisters reach the Yield. For no apparent reason, Will & James interfere and start yelling that the women must Yield.
Surprisingly, the volleyball players confirm, moments after stating that they’re not bad people who would Yield someone. Then, Aparna joins in. Apparently, the yurts take a long time to decorate, and everyone’s starting to stress. They can leave the treachery at the feet of the sisters.
Right on cue, the episode cuts to Leo & Alana in the cab, stating that Kaylynn & Haley, their friends, would never Yield them. Alas, the evil people, Will & James, bully their way into the outcome they covet. The sisters give in and Yield the couple.
The yurt challenge comes with one gross part. You must find a lamb’s head for your home. I didn’t invent the rules on this, but there they are. The vile team figures this out first and receives directions to Phil. They win this leg and appear likely to get their perceived enemies eliminated from the game, too. Evil has triumphed this round.
Afterward, several other teams finish quickly. The volleyball players complete it second, followed by Hung & Chee. Something hilarious happens next, as Hung reflexively helps the football players finish the leg, only to regret it instantly. Her husband sits in grim silence during the next taxi ride.
Leo & Alana arrive and take a Zen approach to their friends’ decision. “We only hate you a little,” is the charming reply when the sisters apologize. Both teams accept that they’re at the bottom, and it’s every team for itself.
The order of finish involves no surprises from here. The teams must find Phil at a meat market – insert your own joke here – and reach the Pit Stop. After the petulant couple wins, the volleyball players finish second, followed by the married couple and the football team.
Then, the situation grows interesting. The sisters prove better at yurt decoration than everyone else. They somehow tear through the challenge and finish fifth! The race for the final spot comes down to Eswar & Aparna vs. Leo & Alana. More amusingly, the sisters see more than one clue in the box for the first time in four (!) episodes. They’ve been in last more than the Florida Marlins.
The editing attempts to make the race to the finish exciting. Still, it's fairly obvious that the daters are well behind. When the brother/sister tandem reaches the Pit Stop, it confirms the obvious. Leo & Alana finish last and get eliminated from the competition. However, they win in life, as they married after the show ended! In your face, super-bitchy James!
Next week, Phil promises a Mega Leg, with twice as many Detours and Roadblocks. Yes, that means another two-episode night on CBS.