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The Amazing Race recap: Hot Water Slide

Mika freaks out on a water slide, and the Globetrotters help her freak out just a little bit more

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Amazing Race Mika Canaan
Monty Brinton/CBS

The Amazing Race

TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Phil Keoghan
Jerry Bruckheimer
Current Status:
In Season

You know the old cartoon strip, Love is…, with the two naked toddlers who creepily profess their devotion through bromides like ”Love is…remembering to replace the toothpaste cap” and ”Love is…helping her peel the potatoes”? I would like to see one that says, ”Love is…trying to pry your terrified girlfriend’s hands off of a water slide rail so she won’t lose your ass a million bucks.” Though that one may be tough to draw, as you’d really need a crack artist to capture the look of blinding panic and skyrocketing resentment on the boy moppet’s face, but also to make it adorable.

Oh, Amazing Race, I had counted you out last week, but you sure raised your game this time. Sorry to take such joy in one woman’s fear, but that conclusion was one of the most ridiculously mesmerizing moments I’ve ever seen on the show. But much in the same way that Mika and Canaan’s meltdown was teased last week but saved until the end of the show, I’ll wait to delve into it until the end of this recap. Where Bertram Van Munster goes, I follow.

We may get to that moment more quickly than the show did, however, as the first three-quarters of the show wasn’t that striking. It started with a Roadblock, in which one teammate had to paddle a small rubber dinghy out to a yacht to fetch a watch from a rich Arab. The whole thing looked like a low-budget reenactment of a million old Miami Vice drug deals. I kept expecting to see Crockett and Tubbs pull up in a pedal boat to bust itwide open.

Some players were better at rowing than others. Big Easy (whose tiny boat fit him like a hemorrhoid donut) had no idea what to do because, as he said, ”I’m from the projects of New Orleans.” Was that also his excuse for being so stymied by the briefcase code? When the teammates returned with the watch, they had to use it to guess the three-digit combination lock on a briefcase, inside of which was their next clue. The solution was simple: The combination was just the time on the watch, 8:35. But Big Easy overthought it, and kept trying to work the date in there somehow, and every team eventually passed him. As Flight Time said, ”We stay here long enough, Lance and Keri may show up.” Hell, it was taking him so long, I was concerned that Team Guido was going to round the corner.

The episode’s first segment was chock full of foreshadowing. First, Mika commented on how Canaan was the bigger competitor, since she never played team sports. (If she had, she would have known that there is no ”Y” in team, as in ”Whyyyyyyyyy?”, her plaintive wail on the top of the water slide.) Also, we had a merry Ericka talking about how she starts every day ”with makeup and good hair. By the end of the day, it’s all melted off, and it’s a mess, but you gotta start off fresh and clean.” Sure enough, by the time she was despondently freaking out during the hookah challenge, she looked like she’d just finished the Miss America Tilt-a-Whirl competition.

NEXT: The unhappy hookahs