Karma seems to be a recurring theme this season. Abuse a donkey, get the boot. Be a jerk, come down with a sudden illness. Case in point: before we get going on this leg of the race, we learn that Ronald, candidate for Father of the Year, suffered a hernia trying to pedal the bike at the end of last week’s show. Poor Christina will never live that one down, I’m sure. The “you need to lose weight” comment comes to mind. Anyhow, a local doc shoved Ron’s innards back into place and sent him on his merry way. Ouch.
Leaving first at 4:19am are Jason and Lorena, who open their clue to find that they must fly 3000 miles to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Not only can they not say it, they have no clue where it is, either. Jason does give a funny quickie confessional as they head out, comparing Lorena to the head-spinning possessed girl on The Exorcist. She just cuts him a look. Hee! These confessionals are hilarious. Jennifer claims that yeah, she tends to be lippy with Nate, but she’s working on it. Can’t you tell? Shana and Jennifer bemoan the fact that they just don’t have the time to look as fab as they’d like. No kidding. Jen looks like ten miles of bad road. Kynt admits that Vyxsin tends to take on the more masculine roles sometimes, opening doors and whatnot for him. And grandpa Don says that he doesn’t consider 69 to be old, and that’s why he’s letting it all hang out on the Race. Yeah, we saw you hanging out last week, bub. Thanks for that.
Once Jason and Lorena arrive at the airport with Nate and Jennifer and the blondes, they do some internet research to find out where the heck they’re going (West Africa) and the best flight to get there. As they line up to get tickets on the 8am Paris flight, Nate and Jen discover that there is an earlier, but booked, flight. They ask to be put on standby but keep mum about the better flight. The other teams straggle into the airport, all nabbing seats on the 8 am flight. Ronald admits sheepishly that he’s not been the bestest daddy, and must be more “uplifting,” while TK, looking like he just took a long hit off his bong, is stoked to be going to Africa. While the others sit and wait for the 8 am flight, the agent calls Nate and Jen over - they have seats available on the earlier flight! They slink off to the waiting plane, grinning from ear to ear over their 40 minute head start. As the others sit on the second flight, an announcement is made that there is some trouble with the plane, and takeoff will be delayed. They might not make their connecting flight in Paris now. Eyes roll.
No worries, though. The second flight finally makes it to Paris, and the teams all rush to make the connecting flight. Nate and Jen have already boarded and are quite pleased with themselves, until they see the other teams begin to filter in. An evil glint appears in Jen’s eyes as she watches the others take their seats, sarcastically telling teams “glad you made it.” Yeah, right. She shrugs at Nate, disappointed over the loss of their lead.
All teams land in Ouagadougou in spite of Jen’s wishes, and they immediately begin the great taxi search to get to the train station. There seems to be plenty of taxis to go around, though, with the blondes negotiating a price of 3000 francs for the ride. They give the driver 5000 and he pockets it all with a grin. No, no, hollers Shana - we need 2000 change! He keeps on grinning and continues driving. The blondes look around nervously at the rundown streets, and Jennifer makes a comment about being sold to people for money. I don't think she'd garner much on the black market, myself. Nate and Jen make it to the clue box first, ripping one open to find that they must travel by train to the middle of the African savannah and find a town by the name of Bingo. They will then have to search for the next clue.
The teams all get to the train station only to discover that it doesn’t open until the next morning, at 6 am. Shana and Jennifer only get 1000 back in change as the cabbie chuckles at them. I laugh, too, as they begin complaining about the smell in the station. The teams all enjoy an evening of local entertainment - drumming, dancing, and drinking. Donald expresses his admiration of the Latina sisters: “They’re hot, there’s no doubt about it. They’re a little bitchy, but not bad. A guy could learn to live with it.”
The next morning, everyone boards the train, and the blondes immediately begin snarking on the smell. “Is that a new perfume you’re wearing?” Shana sarcastically asks Jen if that is a new outfit, and Jen replies “It’s Salon d’Afrique!” Most of the teams try to enjoy the experience, but the blondes keep complaining of the smell and the trash on the side of the tracks. Oh, and the flies. “These people just bring flies!” exclaims Jen. “I just couldn’t live like this,” says Shana. Azaria and Hendekea notice how uncomfortable the blondes are, while Nate proclaims his good fortune at being able to live where he does.
And Bingo Was His Name-o
The conductor calls out Bingo (ha), and the teams hop off the train. Actually, it’s more of a leap - it’s a decent drop to the ground. Kynt whines when Vyxsin runs off without helping him down, and she returns to help his highness off the train. Sheesh. TK and Rachel hit the cluebox first, opening it to reveal a Roadblock. Time for more animal goodness: they have to milk a camel. And then drink the bowl of milk. Oh, this will be good. If a team’s camel runs dry, they must wait til the other teams are done, then try one of those camels.
TK, Nathan, Azaria, Jennifer, Vyxsin, Lorena, Donald, Christina, and Julia (I think, I can’t tell these two apart) decide to perform the task. I guess Kynt prefers the sheep from last week. TK, Christina, Vyxsin and Don start off with no problems, talking soothingly to their critters. Lorena is visibly afraid of the camel, and the animal knows it, bumping her away as she squeals. Azaria thinks it weird to be “grabbing a camel’s breast” and tells Hendekea to quit yelling at him. Nate’s camel kicks him away, too, and Jen yells at him to be gentle, “you’re handling nipples!” I’ll bet good money she barks like that at him in other situations, too. “Not there, Nate!” “Slow down, Nate!” “What are you doing down there, Nate?!”
Julia gets freaked out by her camel, too, and gets nowhere fast. Jennifer whines once again about the smell, and the bugs, and anything else she can think of. TK the camel whisperer finishes first, and chugs down the “grainy” milk with only one gag. He receives the next clue: lead four camels down a path to find the next clue. And off they go, as Lorena keeps getting bumped by her camel and she starts to have one of her meltdowns. Don and Christina soon follow, and they get behind TK on the path to follow his lead. Too bad TK is lost again, and nowhere near the path they should all be on.
Vyxsin finishes next, and Kynt encourages her to “swallow every drop, Vyxsin, swallow!” I’m not even going near that one. This is a PG13 site. Nate finally treats his nipples right and finishes, just in time to see the perpetually lost TK figure out that he was going the wrong way, and the camel caravan has backtracked. They join in as Ronald belts out “It’s a Long Road to Tipperary,” and Christina shushes him. This leaves a wailing Lorena, Azaria, a frustrated Hoolia, and Jennifer, who is jerking obscenely on her dried-up camel. It’s a female, you dingbat, and you’re not on a date. Lorena bellows “Baby there’s no more miiiillllk!” at Jason as he stands by, looking bemused. He’s got the patience of a saint, that man. They all smarten up, switch camels, and Azaria, Julia and Jen finally finish, leaving Lorena bawling. Julia gives Lorena a tip before she leaves: try the ones that have babies with them! Lorena stops whining long enough to try it, and quickly fills her bowl as Marianna and Julia casually stroll down the path with their camels. Because when you know you’re the next to the last team and you just stupidly gave them a tip to help catch up to you, why hurry? I wonder about people sometimes.
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
Meanwhile, TK has found the end of the road and his next clue, a Detour: Teach It or Learn It. Teams must either teach a local child ten words in English, or learn ten words in Möre, the local language, from a child. Both Nicolas and Ronald realize that the kids have probably gotten more sleep than they have, and choose to teach while others choose to learn. Of course, our intrepid group of Racers gets lost on the way to the school. I'm shocked. Once they finally get there, it’s pretty cute to watch them interact with the kids. Kynt and Vyxsin stand out like a sore thumb. Once they complete the task, it’s off to the Pit Stop.
Except that a wicked storm has blown in suddenly, sending leaves and dirt flying and camels running for cover. Team members take shelter under trees and blankets as it begins pouring rain. Azaria and Hendekea are way ahead of the others, who yes, once again, are wandering aimlessly in the mud, searching for the trail to the Pit Stop. I’d like to blame the rain for causing them to lose their way, but...nah. I think they all have an innate ability to go the wrong way. They finally see Phil in the distance, and a footrace ensues. Teams come flying at our poor host in a heap, and when the dust settles, they finish in this order:
1st – Azaria and Hendekea, again. They nab a five day trip to Bermuda and a trip to the “spar,” as Phil puts it with his cute accent.
2nd – TK and Rachel, barely beating the next two teams.
3rd – Nathan and Jennifer
4th – Kynt and Vyxsin
5th – Ron and Christina. Ron looks thoroughly winded. And in pain.
6th – Nicolas and Donald, seconds behind the others.
7th – Shana and Jennifer, greeting a now rain-soaked Phil.
8th – Lorena and Jason, who only made it because they ran their camels.
Philiminated – Marianna and Julia
So that’s what happens when you help another team and you’re second to last. You get sent to Elimination Station. The sisters are happy that they came on the Race, but say there was a black cloud hanging over them the whole time, and that they never caught a break. You had a break, girls, but you blew it. And being slower than a herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter down that camel path didn’t help one bit.
Next week: there’s some kind of dance contest, complete with the African version of Paula, Simon, and Randy, and the blondes screw over Jason and Lorena in a big way. Good times.
I think there should be an animal-related task in every show....waywyrd@fansofrealitytv