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The Amazing Race recap: Cattle Call in Argentina

Shattered glass, solar energy and bovine division makes for a meaty episode

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Amazing Race
Robert Voets/CBS

The Amazing Race

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

If you watched The Amazing Race last night instead of watching the beginning of the Oscars, you apparently missed George Clooney smooching Billy Crystal and a Justin Bieber appearance. I can’t provide any further details because I was watching TAR in real time.

After coming in first place last week, Dave and Rachel (Team Army) got an early start on finding the chasqui (messenger) in the town square of Cafayate, Argentina, to get the next clue. Unfortunately, their 2 a.m. head start availed them nothing — the messenger didn’t arrive until sunrise, by which point the competition had more than caught up with them.

The first task was a choose-your-own challenge scenario: “Light My Fire” or “Boil My Water.” The former required a team to load firewood and clay on a donkey and transport it to a village, while the latter involved assembling a solar panel and using it to boil a kettle of water.

Every team except Team Border Patrol chose “Boil My Water,” which seemed the safer choice given the unpredictable donkey variable. Although Art and J.J. freaked and chewed each other out while they desperately tried to find their challenge (which was further along the road than “Light My Fire”), they actually ended up finishing second for that challenge.

The teams managed to put their solar panels together easily enough with the notable exception of the clowns, who somehow didn’t realize there was an instructive picture on the side of the box. I can only assume they don’t do much shopping at IKEA.

Team Cousins took pity on the struggling Team Jersey* and gave them a tip on assembling their panel, a decision they almost immediately seemed to regret. Rachel apologized to Brendon, blaming her ineptitude on her entire gender. “I’m sorry — I’m just a girl,” she ingratiatingly chirped. “Just a girl“? Oh, I’ve had it up to here.

Being professional humorists (…sort of), the clowns made a point to crack the “watched pot never boils” joke, although that bit of wisdom didn’t seem to make their kettle whistle any faster.

Say what you will about Team Kentucky — they’re missing a few teeth and can’t pronounce one in 10 words — but these Southern best friends are looking like real contenders. Thanks to what Bopper described as “teamship,” he and Mark were the first team to finish that challenge. Oh yeah, and there was a dog with a Mohawk. Rad.

The next leg of the trip seemed simple enough: Get on a bus to Buenos Aires. Three separate buses embarked on the 18 hour (ugh) trip at staggered times, so it seemed that the final bus — containing Team Cousins and Team Feds — were in big trouble. Speaking of Federal Agents Nary and Jamie, they’re telling the other teams they’re school teachers because they want to be underestimated. Given their performance thus far, I don’t think they have to worry about anyone expecting great things from them.

NEXT: A busted bus window and finding out where the beef has been all these years