The Amazing Race 2020 Recap
Episode 6: I'm Not Even Walking, I'm Falling
By David Mumpower and Kim Hollis
November 22, 2020
Previously on The Amazing Race, we dropped to seven teams, as the angry pair of sisters, Michelle & Victoria, got so lost that they drove aimlessly for seven (!) hours. This miscue enabled the unlikely survival of Kaylynn & Haley, the sisters who suck at everything… but are incredibly nice people.
This week, CBS will air a two-part episode, as they’ve tried to do for the previous two weeks. Unfortunately, election night fallout that lingered for another ten days prevented it from happening.
Airing The Amazing Race would have caused a drop in CBS ratings, and they can’t have that. So, we’re finally getting two episodes, one of which is almost certain to drive us nuts by being a non-elimination leg. You watch. The sisters will finish last in that one.
WE’RE GOING TO BERLIN!!!
Okay, historically, people who have said that feared for their lives, but it’s supposedly good news for the teams… as long as they haven’t watched Atomic Blonde.
First out of the gate are Riley & Maddison, the professional volleyball players who oddly explained recently that they haven’t won anything since childhood. How did they get to the pros that way?
The show filters through the rest of the teams, paying the most attention to former NFL players DeAngelo & Gary, the people's champions this year. Alas, this season's shameless villains, Will & James, also get some facetime to spew more bile. CBS went all-in on casting stereotypes this time, and we're frustrated by watching how much these two lean into their cliché.
At the train station, everyone happily realizes that Kaylynn & Haley have survived the chopping block once again. Everyone clearly likes them, although nobody’s spent much time with the duo since they’re always so far behind.
The destination today is the obvious one, the Berlin Wall. The teams arrive at virtually the same time and learn their next task. They'll drive a Trabant, a tiny car that's not easy to operate. As a reminder, we have professional volleyball and football players this season. These dudes look ridiculous in these vehicles. Even the smallest women look uncomfortable in these cars. How did these things become popular?
The destination is Teledisko, a tiny destination location in "the greatest party town in Europe." You enter a glorified photo booth, where a disco ball and smoke create a disco effect. The teams must dance for three straight minutes, which is more challenging than you might think. DeAngelo Williams, once an NFL Combine superstar, is gassed afterward.
Some teams do it together, which is claustrophobic but smart. There’s only one booth. So, slower teams must wait when they don’t share. That only happens to Will & James, though. Meanwhile, their nemeses, Leo & Alana, get lost on the streets of Berlin, which used to be a fatal mistake until 1989.
Oh, hey! Remember how Will & James cannot work a clutch? Yeah, the Trabant comes with a stick shift, which they promptly melt. They decide to abandon their car and run to the destination, which strikes me as a violation of the rules. They don't get punished for it, though.
The clue box is waiting for teams at Andel’s Hotel, and this Roadblock queries, “Who wants to feel the wind in their hair?” Teams must climb down the side of a building, staring at the ground below as they walk. It’s basically that trick Fred Astaire did in Royal Wedding, only there’s a twist!
Teams must unscramble a word puzzle beneath them. So, while unnaturally walking on the side of a building, teams must order a series of letters correctly to decipher the clue. The word is sauerkraut. Did I mention there's a lot of stereotyping this season?
DeAngelo & Gary reach the Roadblock first. Both of them want to do this, but it’s DeAngelo’s turn. He realizes he must walk 15 flights of stairs before he can begin. Even someone in peak shape like him resents this.
At the bottom, Hung interprets the clue to mean that it’ll involve heights. Apparently, Chee and she had agreed before the race that she would do all such challenges. BIG mistake. Hung melts down during the Roadblock.
Meanwhile, DeAngelo faces a different problem. It goes too fast for him! He’s too in the moment to notice the letters beneath. When he reaches the bottom, a woman asks him whether he unscrambled the letters. He honestly replies, “Unscramble the letters???” Dude had no idea. So, he’s going again.
Leo & Alana aren’t the only team struggling. Eswar & Aparna aren’t having any luck in Berlin, as they get lost, too. Meanwhile, DeAngelo and Hung agree that they won’t leave without one another. They’d like to bring Maddison into the agreement, but he’s at the top.
Once the volleyball player reaches the bottom, we learn that he missed the letters, too. Hung’s smarter than everyone else. She notices and deciphers the clue before she even starts her descent. Then, she spends the next five minutes screaming, wailing, and crying. However, she does get the word right, making her the first one to complete the task!
I Wish I Were a Chicken! No, I’m not randomly saying that. It’s apparently the name of a song teams must cluck for one half of the Detour. It’s that or Beer Yoga, which requires teams to learn and then teach a series of poses involving, well, beer yoga.
To her credit, Hung could leave, but she stays and provides DeAngelo with the answer as promised. Both of them decide to wait for Maddison. This alliance is paying dividends for everyone, but we'll be down to six teams by the end of the night. A five-team partnership seems doomed to collapse soon.
Maddison gets his answer right, thanks to outside assistance, and then agrees to wait for Will. So, the NFL players and the married couple are the first to depart, only something regrettable happens. DeAngelo & Gary notice a taxi and grab it.
Hung notes that they’d waited to help the football players. Then, the guys took the only taxi. So, Hung & Chee, who finished first, depart second. Meanwhile, the slower players finally arrive. The brother/sister tandem of Eswar & Aparna get there first, followed by Leo & Alana.
The couple indicates that they knew they could Yield Kaylynn & Haley at this point, but they chose not to do so since the sisters had aided them in a prior leg, which is commendable. Will & James may be doing better in the race, but Leo & Alana are MUCH better people.
Meanwhile, the two teams on the side of the building debate the word. They aspire to solve the puzzle before the blondes get there… but guess what! The sisters arrive, which oddly motivates the others. Leo deduces that it’s sauerkraut and informs Aparna.
The sisters ask about the word, and Leo disappoints us a bit. He hedges rather than answers. One of these three teams will finish last, and he knows it. By his count, he already helped them by skipping the Yield option. The sisters evaluate the situation differently and say that they won’t help the couple again.
All the top teams pick Beer Yoga, which is much harder than it sounds. The poses involve multiple steps each. Meanwhile, the first team to select the chicken side is Will & James. Their facial expressions while learning the song are hysterical, but the challenge is simple. This side of the Detour is undoubtedly the way to go.
Still, DeAngelo & Gary finish their task first. Moments later, they meet Phil and a super-duper stereotypical rainbow-mohawk punk dude on the mat. I guess it was that or the cast from Gotcha. The two highly successful NFL players win $7,500 each, which feels like the time C. Montgomery Burns won a new car.
Riley & Maddison arrive a few moments later, followed by Chee & Hung. At this point, Phil rubs salt in the wound by asking about her about helping the NFL players. These two could probably use $15,000 more than a former NFL first-round pick. She clearly regrets the decision, which could have long-term ramifications for the multi-team alliance.
Speaking of which, Will & James arrive next. Only three teams remain, and it's the ones we'd figured were most likely to get eliminated.
On the wall, Haley does better than most. She notices the letters but fails to realize that she must order them. So, she has to go again. And again. None of the players recognize that you can stand there and take as long as you need. The adrenaline rush prevents them from thinking clearly.
The sisters take the time to hug, with Kaylynn supporting her teammate. It’s a positive, uplifting moment that’s refreshing for a CBS reality series, where the money’s in the negativity.
After another walk down the building, Haley decides to ask for help. She walks into the hotel and asks strangers to decipher the puzzle for her. A worker there figures it out and tells her the word is sauerkraut! That’s got to be a first on The Amazing Race!
Once again, the sisters are in last but not out of it yet. They decide to sing, which saves their bacon. At the chicken dance, the brother/sister team receives a very generous positive assessment of their performance. Then, Leo & Alana finish it minutes later. Finally, the sisters finish on the first try. Did we mention this Detour’s easy?
Eswar & Aparna walk to the finish line, joined by Leo & Alana. The two teams have worked together since the wall, thereby assuring the survival of each. Later, the sisters greet Phil and learn that they’ve finished last again. Guess what! It’s another non-elimination leg! Coincidentally or not, CBS seems to be protecting the sisters.
Of course, that's okay with us. The sisters are terrible at the race, but they're extremely nice people.