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The Amazing Race recap: A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts

As the teams head south, up is down, back is front, and a moody tortoise slowly changes everything

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Monty Brinton/CBS

The Amazing Race

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

The Race switched hemispheres last night, and the trip south turned the game upside-down. In the middle of the Indian Ocean, the last would become first. Black would turn into white. Pigs would fly. Hell would turn into a popular ski resort. And the phrase ”Currently in First Place” would float onscreen underneath the pouty faces of Brent and Caite.

The promos for last night’s episode made light fun of the teams’ various pronunciations of ”Seychelles.” My favorite was how Jet and Cord made it rhyme with ”Achilles,” though I also admired how Caite said it with a bizarro-Spanish inflection. (It sounded a bit like ”Say-HYELL-ays.”) All the racers were set to depart on the same airplane. We saw the Cowboys and the Detectives set off to find food at the airport, which seems like the first tactical error in a rough day. All the other teams managed to book themselves precise seats in the airplane. Team Dating Models were up in front in row 7, followed by Steve and Allie in row 15 and JorDaniel in Row 15.

That meant Brent and Caite were the first to find the clue waiting for them in the island of Mahe. It was a day of island-hopping. The six teams would be flying by helicopter to La Digue. The first three teams flew off immediately; the next three would have to wait an hour for the copters to return. That left Team Detective, Team Cowboy, and Team Adorable Squabbling way in back. ”The three strongest teams were in fourth, fifth, and sixth,” Carol said.

Now, that’s not quite fair. The Detectives are a proven quantity, but a winning streak doesn’t mean much in this game. The Cowboys are lovable but erratic. And Brandy and Carol didn’t exactly dominate Europe. Plus, Carol was discounting Steve, who might be the best all-around player this season.

But without a doubt, it was weird seeing Brent and Caite in first. They both rejoiced in their own particular ways: Brent started talking like an idiot savant from a Terrence Malick movie — ”The views are sick. It’s like something from a postcard” — and Caite ignored him and started making battle plans. ”I just wanna get the mean lesbians out,” she said.

The competition choice was between Turtle Toddle or Ox Trot. Given the amount of alcohol-related competitions this season, I was hoping ”Turtle Toddle” would involve getting a century-old tortoise drunk on rice wine. But unfortunately, the game was just luring a century-old tortoise across a marker, and then carrying a mountain of bananas to the fruit merchant. Ox Trot was, I think, the clear choice here: load a cart with coconuts and drive an ox cart to the harbor. Everyone knows that oxen are more obedient than tortoises! Snooty tortoises, they think their ability to outlive the rest of existence makes them sooo cooool.

NEXT: Why isn’t there a TAR drinking game?