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The Amazing Race recap: 'We Are Charlie Chaplin (Panama City)'

<p><p><p><p><p>This week’s challenges involved cartoons, tattoos, and dancing ladies. Don’t get your hopes up, though. The show hasn’t been renamed ‘The Amazing Rave'</p></p></p></p></p>

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Amazing Race Finch Czeschin
Sonja Flemming/CBS

The Amazing Race

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

Today’s goal for everyone but the Olympians (Andy and Tommy) was basically, “Not last!” That alone spoke volumes of how the Race was the Olympians’ to lose. Which segues to the SPOILERS, so stop reading if you don’t want to know what happened just yet. So… it was theirs to lose, indeed. Can you believe it? In the end, it was their tremendous lead, I would argue, that did them in. Teams OCD (Cindy and Ernie) and NFL (Amani and Marcus) made the same mistake as the Olympians did in misidentifying the clue leading to the final Pit Stop, only they were in the cluster with the rest of the teams and were, thus, able to benefit from the weird cabbie cadre that developed. And what about Jeremy and Sandy’s sudden surge to the front? It’s tenuous at best, but in a season marked by turnovers, they have as good a chance as any to win the whole thing. But would you want them to?

The 11th leg of the Race began at Belgium’s Atomium, where all the teams were lucky enough (read: uncomfortable enough) to sleep in the Atoms while Andy and Tommy customized the Ford Mustangs they won on the last leg. The next morning, they took off at 3:46 a.m., with the other teams anywhere from 34 to 54 minutes behind them. All were to head into town for Comic Book Caper, a challenge based on a little comic-turned-movie you may have heard of call Tintin. Each team was given a picture of a guy (dressed as Tintin) and a pair of costumes (suits, Chaplin mustaches, and canes). They had to walk around town and seek help from locals to determine who the boy in the picture was meant to represent, his location, and what their costumes were (they could name any one of three name variations on the same pair of  bumbling detectives from the comics —  Thomson and Thompson, Jonson and Johnson, or Dupont and Dupond).

As you can guess, since it was four in the morning, the type of folks who were out and about weren’t exactly comic-book aficionados. Add to that, the Olympians themselves are definitely not comic-book nerds — at least not Belgian comic-book nerds. As they headed to an Internet café to figure out what was going on, the Divorcees (Jeremy and Sandy), OCD, and NFL all took off within 20 minutes of one another. Even the almighty Internet couldn’t help the Olympians, who learned that one of the late-night revelers had correctly identified Tintin, but that didn’t help them at all with the fact that they were wearing mustachioed costumes. Tommy brazenly declared, “We’re Charlie Chaplin,” admitting that it clearly had nothing to do with Tintin. Sloppy work, guys. Sloppy.

NEXT: Harold Lloyd? Really?