The Amazing Race Season 9: Episode 1 Part 2

By Reagen Sulewski

March 7, 2006

Our losing sucked, but Brokeback Mountain losing Best Picture was even worse.

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We rejoin the first leg of the Amazing Race with John & Scott still wandering the streets of Sao Paolo aimlessly – isn't it always fun when teams know they're making a mistake and continue on regardless? It's such a fun combination of frustration and arrogance. Culture shock is hitting the Glamazons hard too, although they stop themselves just short of excusing the locals for not knowing any better.

Back in the air, Eric & Jeremy have landed on their target building, with BJ & Tyler just behind them, and forced to wait a bit until the other helicopter leaves. Eric finds the clue tucked under a set of stairs, and they're off again. The next clue box is located in a neighborhood five miles away, where they'll have to witness a religious ceremony that may or may not turn them into voodoo slaves. There's a large boa constrictor involved somehow, so I can't be totally sure at this point. BJ & Tyler are also too smart for the producers' tricks and are very close behind for second.

Dave & Lori are stunned into temporary silence by their helicopter ride, but find their clue at the second closest building quite quickly. The clues are apparently just strewn around the buildings now, as we see with Wanda & Desiree. When they arrive at a hotel, the clue is stuck to the floor in a random room. These could get difficult for later teams.


Joseph & Monica run into some trouble with a timid and tentative cab driver, who after they spot their turn off and tell him about it, proceeds to sit and wait until absolutely no cars are visible until turning around and then disregards their frantic pointing. At least they're in better shape than Danielle and Dani, who have not attracted any boys to do their dirty work for them, and are still struggling with their first piece of the motorcycle. They cry uncle and leave, just as Fran and Barry arrive at the mechanic's shop. Although they hold out hope that they can show them how it's done, a couple of minutes of not-quite-bickering between Fran and Barry means that Danielle and Dani have made the (belated) right decision. "I'm never putting a motorcycle together ever again," says one of them, though you'd have to have put one together period in order to earn the word "again".

Lake & Michelle now arrive at the motorcycle shop, where Lake appears to believe he can put it together with the sheer force of his machismo. While he get's β€˜er done, Barry comes over to bask in his glory, or perhaps get some tips. Ray & Yolanda arrive now, which causes Lake to proclaim, "He'll never put it together faster than I did." Oh, just whip it out and get a ruler already. A bit of the ugly side of Brazil comes out here, with several of the locals opening ogling and hooting at Yolanda, though she and Ray are blissfully unaware for the moment.

Finally able to get some help from a local, John & Scott get to the bridge and find the clue box with the Detour, putting them second to last over Lisa & Joni. Both teams choose the helicopter task, which is the first smart thing either team has done all day.

Joseph and Monica finally arrive at the heliport, where they pass on the timid cab driver to BJ & Tyler, just arriving back at the heliport. Team Mo-Jo then goes after the second to closest building, in the belief that the closest building will be picked over. Some team is going to get a rude or pleasant surprise with one of these moves down the road. Lori & Dave and Wanda & Desiree are also just getting back, so picking the further buildings doesn't really seem to have hurt any team to this point.

The scene over at the mechanic shop is one of utter chaos, with Lake furiously wrenching away at his motorcycle and progressing, but clearly not fast enough for his liking. Maybe he should have added a few more nicotine patches before he left. Fran & Barry seem to be hoping that their motorcycle assembles itself in a freak quantum accident, and Yolanda continues to get catcalls. Lake finally finishes his motorcycle and shows a bit of graciousness in trying to help Fran & Barry, but after three big hints and a response of "I don't know what the engine is," he's on his way. Perhaps they should have been more insistent on the clue about knowing what the hell you're doing, or being familiar with the concept of motor vehicles. I pity this poor shop – they're wrecking their motorcycle! Eventually they give up and head over to the heliport, but not before shedding hours of time, for the second time today.

Luckily for them, they're far the only team to do so. Danielle and Dani are just now reaching the heliport, and John & Scott have overshot the entrance, a common mistake this episode. This gets Fran & Barry in behind Lisa & Joni, who have apparently found a stash of amphetamines somewhere for all the screaming that they do. Seriously, do they react this way to everything? "Oh my God, the mail is here! WAAAHOOOOAHHH!" Then they... urinate on themselves. I wish I were kidding. I'd call for tranquilizer darts, but that would probably just buzz them at this point. Whoa, do I pity their pilot.

John & Scott's teamwork is deteriorating rapidly, as John starts snapping at his partner for his own failure to be able to remember three words. They're the first to be denied a trip due to the clues running out at that location, which puts them even further back and under further stress.

Eric & Jeremy are the first to reach the religious ceremony spot, escaping with only a hug. They receive their next clue, which finally is the Pit Stop, thus continuing the trend of Roadblock-less first episodes. It's located at a nearby soccer stadium, through a maze of streets. The order from the heliport holds here for the next three teams.

The last team at the motorcycle Detour, Ray & Yolanda, are now done, no doubt glad to be out of there for several reasons. This gives them a bit of an edge on the first team to quit that Detour, Danielle and Dani. Fran & Barry get the gift of this Detour by getting to go to the closest building, though they are still in ninth place. This leaves Lisa & Joni and John & Scott fighting it out for the last spot.

Taxi battles become crucial at this point, with Lisa & Joni shedding valuable seconds in hunting for one after landing. With the way they're yelling, I think cabbies in New York are stopping for them. One eventually comes by, keeping them ahead of John & Scott.

Eric & Jeremy carry their lead into the Pit Stop, where they are rewarded with a visit from Phil, I think Pele, and $10,000 apiece. I think they might be ready to quit right now with that haul.

BJ & Tyler mix their sports metaphor by sliding into the mat and calling it a touchdown, but their crimes against English go unpunished and they hold onto second place. Wanda & Desiree capitalize on a mistake by Dave & Lori to grab third place, with the latter entering through the wrong gate of the stadium. Lake & Michelle are the most excited fifth place finishers in a leg ever, and are followed shortly behind by Joseph & Monica.

Traffic and bad navigational skills continue to plague the latter teams in this leg, though John & Scott attempt to call on some intervention. Er, from the Bewitched Genie. Again, I only wish I was making this up. I guess you have to keep yourself entertained somehow after Will & Grace is cancelled.

The order after the Detour continues to hold up, with Ray & Yolanda coming in for seventh, and Fran & Barry managing to keep 8th even after two major mistakes. It's a real crop of winners in this group. Danielle and Dani are ninth, offering up a satisfying hug with thoughtful slow motion from the editors, leaving it down to the screaming Lisa & Joni, and the whining John & Scott. Isn't there a way we can eliminate both?

The producers do a good of pretending there's some suspense about who's going eliminated, but the way things have been going the entire leg, I think you can fill in the answer for yourself. Lisa & Joni arrive for tenth spot, meaning John & Scott are last, and the first team eliminated from this season of The Amazing Race. Although they do acknowledge their mistakes through the leg, they really should make sure the people that join this show actually like travel.



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