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Phil Keoghan blogs 'The Amazing Race': episode 8

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Philkeoghan1_l1One of the things the Race does is give you a good idea of whowould be useful on a desert island. And while Victor may be at the top of hisgame as a lawyer, he clearly isn’t blessed with some very practical skills.I’m always amazed at how many very capable people have no idea how to dopractical things.

For two guys who seem to know how to do just about everything, Mark andMichael really fell apart in this episode. Just when it looked likethey were going to break out and start leading the pack, they were hit witha four-hour penalty because they continued to break the rules. Who knowswhere those guys would be in this game if they played within theregulations. Two penalties last week and two penalties this week? That’sinsane. I believe they are the most penalized team in the history of theRace.

We all joked about Mark and Michael having doneeverything. No matter what anybody working on the production said they haddone, those two guys had done it or knew how to do it. There isno doubt they have a lot of life experience, but after a while it got quitehysterical.


On another point, one of the golden rules of traveling on the Race(or traveling, period) is that you never lose sight of theessentials — namely, your passport and a way to buy yourself out oftrouble. No matter where I go in the world, I never lose contactwith or sight of either. After seeing what happened to Toni and Dallasin season 13, you would have thought we would never see a repeat oftheir costly mistake.

I don’t think we really touched on it in the show, but thatboat ride after they finished assembling the propeller was about 45 minuteslong — and that’s in a boat. Jump in a taxi and add traffic, and that turnsinto a two-hour cab ride. It’s almost impossible to overcome that type ofplay.   

I love the Detour in this episode. Margie wasamazing. And as she said, being a nurse really helped her infinding the right piece for the perfect smile. I actually felt quite sickwhen I was on location. I definitely would have gone withthe karaoke. I don’t know how a dentist goes digging around inpeople’s mouths. This was definitely Margie’s leg. Obviously Lukewas right there with her, but she was driving the team this week. Fromthe propellers to the dentures, she had her A game on. By the way, all ofus on the show thought the dentures were going to take quite a while tocomplete, but Margie flew through that challenge. She was reaching intothe locals’ mouths without hesitation. I would say she probably finishedthat in about 5 minutes. They were on a mission this week.   

I was really impressed with the way she bounced back afterher collapse on the mat last week. A lot of you commented last week that itseemed like we dragged out that scene. Nothing could befarther from the truth. The safety of everyone is our No. 1 priority.If you really think otherwise, then you clearly don’t know theoutstanding safety record we’ve had for the past 14 seasons. Enoughsaid.   

One of the more odd occurrences from tonight’sepisode wasthe flooding of the streets. It was a little disconcerting, to behonest, for all of us in production. When we first started seeing therising water,we started to panic a little, but then we were informed by some of thelocalsthat this was a daily occurrence. The river rose above the banks andspilled over into the city. Pretty freaky. Favorite scene fromtonight’s episode was the party taxis … so fun. Classic Race moment –taking the racers completely out of their element and throwing them into an”out of this world” scenario. Without a doubt, Tammy and Victorwelcomed the karaoke with open arms. All of the teams seemed to havefun. I don’t think Mark and Michael knew that their backup singers weretransvestites. They made it all the way through the ride without knowing,and then I think one of the locals told them … reminds me of that scene in The Crying Game.

I’ve been teeing it up for weeks now, and we’re finallyhere: Next week is the most memorable mat meltdown of all time. Margieand Luke vs. Kisha and Jen. These two teams battle throughout the entireleg and end up with mere seconds separating them at the check in. I’ve neverseen two teams go at it like this before and have it carry all the way to themat.

Thank you to all of those who understand just how muchenergy this ride is taking out of me right now. I am veryfocused on raising money and awareness for MS. And riding 100 miles a dayin rain, sleet or snow is definitely taking a toll. Makes me wish Icould multiply myself like Michael Keaton didin Multiplicty. I’m 1,500 miles into my ride,doing open casting calls along the way, and the response hasbeen overwhelming. We’ll keep you updated on future castingcalls on www.philridesacrossamerica.com.

A huge thank you to Margie and Luke, who turned up in thepouring rain in Denver to support the start of one of my MS rides. Having you there meant a lot. 

More on The Amazing Race:
Read our recap of last night’s episode