Competing on The Amazing Race is serious business. Contestants have to know directions. They have to be able to communicate in obscure ways with locals — or their partners, for that matter. They have to work well together and have a keen sense of time management.
And the dudes have to be willing to submit certain parts of their bodies so they can dangle from a harness.
To quote Phil, “It happens.”
Ten teams scramble to a local travel agency to book flights from Panama to São Paulo, Brazil. Six different flights will take our contestants to Brazil, where they will locate a helipad, fly over the bustling city, and pick up their next clue in the Praça da Sé, the city’s central point.
Vanck, Ashton, Matt, and Redmond are on the first flight and all agree to use the honor system when they land. Each will take a cab and wait for the other team at the helipad. They will flip a coin to see who gets to take off first.
Bless Ashton’s heart. She actually believed that the Army vet and snowboarder were going to honor their handshake. Even though they seem to be legitimately nice guys, Ashton forgets the cardinal rule and dismisses the “race” part of The Amazing Race. She considers this a slap in the face. Redmond and Matt can’t hear her because they are taking off in the first helicopter. Once on the ground, Matt and Redmond read the first DETOUR:
Keep the Beat: Keep the rhythm with a local samba group
Work Your Feet: Build a workout station using rudimentary equipment
Redmond suggests they work their feet, or foot in his case, and giggles at his own joke. The giggling stops when he and Matt find a makeshift outdoor gym with a highway for a roof. Phil’s voiceover makes the detour sound like a piece of cake. Simply grab that refrigerator, one giant truck tire over there, a few tin cans, and some spare auto parts and recreate a workout station to the exact specifications of the example. No problem.
In this particular case, that statement is true. They literally do not have a single problem. Other than forgetting to pour some water into a barrel, they dominate the task and work well as a team. Guess who else makes it work? Vanck and Ashton. If looks could kill, Matt and Redmond would be toes up by now.
Sara and Shamir decide to keep the beat, which, on paper, seems extremely easy. Unfortunately, both Sara and Shamir have difficulty stopping with the beat. As for Michael and Liz? Those band nerds get it right on their first attempt. So do fellow band nerds Floyd and Becca. As far as Sara and Shamir, well, Gloria Estefan was right. Eventually, the rhythm is going to get you. They succeed on their third try.
Meanwhile, Brooke and Scott are lost in Brazil and appear to be having extreme difficulty crossing the street. Brooke somehow falls on her elbow and tries to shrug off the pain. It’s temporary. Elimination is forever. Someone call Phil. I have the perfect Instagram post for him!
• Matt and Redmond — The first to make their way to Avenida Paulista to try and find a woman riding around on bicycle.
• Vanck and Ashton — Right behind Matt and Redmond.
• Seth and Olive — Having a little trouble in the patience department at the makeshift gym, but quickly tighten up their attitudes.
• Liz and Michael — Geeking out that they are no longer in last place.
• Logan and London — Finding the beat after three tries.
• Brooke and Scott — Scott does all of the heavy lifting at the gym, while Brooke insists that her arm hurts, but then insists it doesn’t.
• Tara and Joey — We barely see these two for the entire episode, but they kick it at the gym.
• Becca and Floyd — The fun meter is at an all-time high right now.
• Sara and Shamir — Shamir complains about his sore, raw hand and I wonder if the investment banker’s skin is the consistency of veal.
• Francesca and Jessie — How is it that these two are just now flying in the helicopter?
Matt and Redmond somehow get confused, or take a wrong turn, and are unable to find the lady riding the bike. Vanck and Ashton discover her immediately, to which Ashton probably thinks, “Suck it.” I had other thoughts, like, Why is that woman wearing a Gryffindor scarf?