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The Amazing Race
Season 17
8p ET Sundays

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September 26
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Bonds will be forged, tested, and strained, as eleven teams of two, joined by family or relationship, follow a path of twists and turns in a frenetic race around the world for $1 million.

Who will be the first to cross the finish line?

Recaps by Chico Alexander & Chris Wolvie, GSNN

Host Phil Keoghan
Creator Bertram van Munster
Elise Doganieri
EP Jerry Bruckheimer
Bertram van Munster
Jonathan Littman
Elise Doganieri
Mark Vertullo
Packager Jerry Bruckheimer TV
Worldrace Productions
Amazing Race Productions
CBS Television Studios
ABC Studios
Web www.cbs.com/amazingrace
Airs 8p Sun, CBS

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We Should Have Brought Gloves and Butt Pads
October 17

There wasn't long to travel in the last leg; down the way to the neighborhood of Jamestown and over to the Dodowa district of the Ghanaian capital. After boxing, wheelbarreling, decoding and bike-rim-rolling Conner & Jonathan (Team Glee) pocketed $5K each for hitting the PIT STOP mat first. Michael & Kevin (WuTubers) arrived in last...but, FORTUNATELY, were not Philiminated as this was one of three N.E.L.s in the Race. The bad news: a SPEED BUMP awaits them somewhere along the way.

Before they leave for the next leg, though, the eighteen Americans do some charity renovation work around the schoolhouses where their last DETOUR took place. Panting walls, building brick steps, singing and smiling at the school children...it was certainly a unique experience for the teams.


OK, work time's over. Time to get to work...on Leg 4. Team Glee start off with this clue...which probably made them feel like a Katy Perry song: "Hot 'n' Cold"...



Fly more than 4500 miles to the city of Kiruna, Sweden, about 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle in the Swedish Lapland. All teams will be given tickets for the same flight (as flights out of Accra to Sweden are limited)...but you are under NO OBLIGATION to use the given tickets. Once in Kiruna, drive yourselves to the nearby city of Jukkasjärvi and go to the famous "Icehotel". Since it is summer, the ice that makes up the hotel is stored in a warehouse. Find this warehouse and a local will point you to your next clue.

You have $184 for this Leg of the Race.

(Get it? See, 'cause they go from "hot" Africa to the "cold" Sweden...heh-heh...)

Fun fact: Conner & Jonathan are missing their graduation from Princeton during this leg of the Race. Way to have priorities, guys. Anyhow, the other teams depart at...(all times local)

- Gary & Mallory (Miss KY & Dad): 1119
- Chad & Stephanie (Team Almost-Engaged): 1129
- Katie & Rachel (Jersey Shore Spikers): 1212
- Nick & Vicki (Team Ick): 1223
- Brook & Claire (Team HSN): 1224
- Jill & Thomas (Team I'M Right!): 1229
- Nat & Kat (Rhyming Docs): 1312
- Michael & Kevin: 1326

Team HSN has ditched comfort for "fabulous" style to get them out of their 1st-to-6th drop doldrums. Stripes and hot pink DO stand out in the African sun.

At the Accra airport, Team Glee find that the Lufthansa office for checking-in and getting boarding passes won't open for a few hours. En route to the airport, the WuTubers find a flight that arrives two hours ahead of the already-given flight. When they get there, nobody else bothered to check for an earlier flight...and Michael & Kevin decide to let Gary & Mallory (a fellow father/child team) in on the scam. Mallory gets sneaky and gets a worker to get their tickets for them so as not to arouse suspicion from the other teams. Conner & Jonathan stake-out the teams and learn of their plan.

Little do they know that Nat & Kat are using the internet to find a faster flight. They find the same flight and give THEIR info to Brook & Claire. The connecting flight out of Frankfurt is now booked, meaning that the other teams have to go to stand-by in order to make it an even Race again.


All the teams were on the same flight into the German airport...but four teams had to hoof it to make the connection, which leaves a mere hour after the first flight lands. The Docs make the connection with a few minutes to spare, with HSN and KY & Dad right behind them. The WuTubers take a "short cut" with an elevator...and it ends up being a LONG cut. Still, they make it JUST before the doors close, meaning that they have an extra two hours to finish that SPEED BUMP before having to worry about elimination. The other teams...not so lucky, they have the later flight to...


Out of the plane and into their cars (most likely Saabs) the four front-runners go. Gary & Mallory are out in first...but they take a wrong turn on the way to the Icehotel and get Kevin & Michael to follow. So it's Nat & Kat and Brook & Claire who arrive first. The local in the deep freeze storage points them to slabs of ice with words etched in them: PIETARASJÄRVIVÄGEN FJELLBORGS VID VÄKKÄRÄJÄRVI.

(The TRICK is to figure out that this Swedish stuff is directing them to Fjellborg's Lodge, where their next clue awaits.)

Team KY & Dad arrive with the WuTubers. But, BEFORE the dad and son can get their hunk of ice, the local directs them to the clue box behind her. Ayup, it's time for their...



As you have arrived last in the previous leg, you must now do this task before continuing. All you have to do is sit on some furniture for ten minutes straight. Oh, by the way, the furniture is made of ICE!

Well, not exactly the most GRUELING of SPEED BUMPs, but they'll take it. They reach the furniture and relax, wishing they had these ice chairs when Michael nearly passed out in the heat of Ghana. After a few minutes, Kevin's butt starts to numb and it hurts...but Michael's fine, switching between cheeks. The "ice princess" local then tells them the ten minutes are up and they are free to grab their ice and go.

Meanwhile, the Docs ask a local outside to translate the words in the ice to English. The local tells them about a "camp by the lake" and maybe got more that was edited out. Team HSN likewise get the idea...while Gary & Mallory decide to just tail the others. Michael & Kevin get exact DIRECTIONS from a different local and head on their way.


While the others get lost in the woods on a wrong turn, the WuTubers actually arrive at the lodge first. And, after sailing over the SPEED BUMP, they run smack into a....



The Lapland have snow on the ground eight months out of the year, making dog-sledding an important transport. It's the "off season" now and the dogs can't get flabby! One of you will take a "summer training sled" with dogs attached and have them "mush" through a long forest trail. Along the way, five different-colored flags will apear above the trail. As you ride by, grab one of each flag and trade them to the hunter at the end of the trail for a shipment of fur pelts. You must do a "penalty lap" around the hunter's camp for each flag you miss along the way. Then head back down the trail back to the kennel and trade the pelts for your next clue..

Kevin decides this task is fine for Michael and Dad agrees. They head down the trail, hitch up the huskies and AWAY he GOES! He grabs the first flag with ease...but his dogs almost get spooked by an animatronic bear (and, no, he's not playing the banjo; that'd be REALLY scary). Part of the training, I guess.

The others get unlost and find the lodge. Kat, Mallory and Claire decide to mush behind Michael's cheering behind. Meanwhile, Michael reaches the end of the trail and hands the five flags to the hunter, who gives him the pelts.

Wow, two hours already? How time flies...and the other five teams finally fly into Kiruna. Team Glee leads the convoy with Team Almost-Engaged being the caboose. Back at the canine camp, Mallory passes Kat...but MISSES a flag. Claire passes Kat as Kat's dogs take a latrine break. When Mallory arrives at the hunter's camp, she pulls the flags out of her bodice...and is told to take a lap. Claire has no such issues; she grabs the pelts and heads back (after collecting kiss #6 on her World Smooching Tour). As Mallory finishes her lap and leaves with the furs, Kat arrives and trades flags for pelts, back of the front pack.

The REAR pack arrive at the Icehotel...and they do the SMART thing and write DOWN the clue instead of lugging the ice block around...except for Jill & Thomas. Team I'M Right have a hard time with the hunk of frozen water and they leave the Icehotel in dead last.

Michael arrives back at the kennel to the applause of all the non-ROADBLOCKers, including his son. The WuTubers snug their next clue:



Drive yourselves to the Vassijaure Train Station. Your next clue is by the railroad tracks.

As they split (and Michael keeps saying how much fun the ROADBLOCK was), Claire arrives in second. Mallory and Kat depart third and fourth. After THEY leave, the front four of the rear pack arrive at the ROADBLOCK. Conner, Stephanie, Katie and Nick will be the sledders. Jill & Thomas arrive in last and Jill offers to "mush"...except that...they're going down the WRONG PATH! While the other teams are running their dogs ragged, Team I'M Right is DEAD wrong...and dead LAST! Of course, they DO go the RIGHT way and Jill gets her dogs and goes.


Michael & Kevin find the station and the clue box. Their reward?



SLEDS: Take a ski lift to the top of a nearby mountain. Then head down the marked course using the "techsleds" provided. Both team members MUST finish the course beating the time of 1:58 in order for you to receive your next clue; if you don't, you BOTH must go back to the top and try again.

BEDS: Head for the nearby encampment of Sami people (descendants of the original Scandinavian nomads). Using traditional materials, you must erect a goahti, a tent-like dwelling, and make the interior comfortable for sleeping. Once the goahti is approved by one of the tribesmen, he will hand you your next clue.

Scared that Michael can't hack extreme sports, the WuTubers select BEDS. They find the camp...but their tent-building skills leave a LITTLE to be desired. The Rhyming Docs arrive second and choose SLEDS. Miss KY & Dad and Team HSN likewise choose SLEDS when they arrive at the station

Back at the kennel, Connor & Jonathan are fifth to leave the ROADBLOCK, with Team Ick right behind them. The Jersey Spikers leave in seventh, Chad & Stephanie in eighth...and, bringing up the dog-leg (so to speak) is Team I'M Right! Ah, but, if you recall, Jill & Thomas DO still have the EXPRESS PASS...which means they could very well go from last to first by bypassing the DETOUR approaching.

While WuTubers improve their tent-making skills and they get the bedding furs to put inside, Nat & Kat have an exciting run down the mountain...until Kat took a turn too fast and hit the protective netting. That's one blown attempt (though Nat made it with time to spare). Gary & Mallory head down the slopes next...and Mallory (riding the brakes a fair bit I'm sure) makes it RIGHT AT 1:58! Uh,...but the clue said to BEAT that time, not TIE it. So...back up the mountain ya go.

Nat & Kat try again...and they finish in 1:55. They are the first to receive the good news:



Follow the instructions and drive through the Swedish landscape to a Sami campsite at the Norwegian border. It is the next PIT STOP for the Leg of the Race.

WARNING: The last team to check-in MAY be eliminated!

As they drive off, Brook & Claire finish in a speedy 1:43 and head to the Norway border in second. But Miss KY & Dad beat THAT time with 1:24 and are right on their tailpipe!

Back at the train station, Team Glee, and Team Almost-Engaged choose the SLED it. Stephanie is NOT too thrilled about it, though.


Team Rhyming Docs, Nat & Kat...from the depths of 8th place...you are now Team #1! And the Roaming Gnome at Travelocity has a 5-day trip to Belize for them as a prize!

Train station, Team Spikers and Team Ick...both doing the sledding. Only Michael & Kevin are pitching a tent...and they do it well enough to depart the DETOUR in fourth.

Border. Gary & Mallory are Team #1 and Brook & Claire are Team #3. Hug all around.

Train station...Team I'M Right...last clue in box. They decide with BEDS at first...but Thomas is thinking EXPRESS PASS.

Team Glee is first down the mountain...and crash this way and that en route. Needless to say, they DON'T beat the mark. Chad & Stephanie are next...and Steph is making yellow snow for certain. She nearly rams INTO Chad going down...and ends up crashing instead. And again...and AGAIN...and Chad is NOT helping with his yelling. Especially when the other two teams reach the lift. Stephanie just cannot do it...and she cries as Chad all but drags her sobbing from the course.

Which sucks because, upon seeing the work needed to build the tent, Jill & Thomas decide to use it:


The Express Pass allows you to bypass ANY task. If you cannot or will not perform a task, simply hand the presiding local your Express Pass, and he or she will give you the next clue, no questions asked!

You may only use the Express Pass ONCE, and only up to (and including) Leg 8, so you must determine when it is in your best interests to use it.

Michael & Kevin have survived the SPEED BUMP and hit the mat in front of Phil as Team #4.

Back on the mountain, Connor keeps rocking the sled...and Jonathan keeps crashing. He keeps trying, though. Team I'M Right gets to work on the goahti..with Chad telling Steph to hustle every minute. Nick & Vicki are born techsledders, it seems, since they finish the course in 1:46 and depart the DETOUR in 6th. Katie & Rachael aren't doing as well, crashing all over the place. Katie even watches her techsled "ghost-ride" into the rocks. They decide to switch to BEDS...as do Team Glee.

Jill & Mallory, thanks to the EXPRESS PASS, arrive as Team #5...and they don't regret doing it.

The greatest thing Chad & Stephanie have seen all Leg is Team Jersey Spikers heading towards the campsite. They had already got the tent up and they KNOW they won't be the last team out of the DETOUR! Team Ick checks-in as Team #6. Team Glee are still optimistic as THEY start building. Team I'M Right get the nod from the Sami and head off in 7th. The Spikers' get a ruling...but it's not quite habitable yet. Chad & Stephanie, thankfully, are Team #7...and Chad apologizes for the yelling.

Katie & Rachael get the idea and work to get the tent habitable. As Connor & Jonathan get the fire going in their abode...the Spikers FINALLY get the nod from the Sami and leave in 8th. Team Glee are on their tail...but is it too little too late?

The cars run...the temperature drops...Phil waits...and two Americans hit the mat. Phil says,

"Katie & Rachael...by the skin of your teeth, you are still in this Race! You are Team #8!"

The singing Ivy Leaguers who missed out on the cap-and-gown-fest sing "Pomp and Circumstance" as they approach the mat...and they get the bad news from Phil. They went from first to worst...and they are out. No mortarboards...but they DO toss their caps in the air in commemoration of "graduating" from The Amazing Race. One last song, to the tune of "Amazing Grace" (appropriately):

Through many DETOURs, ROADBLOCKs and Legs
We are the last team to arrive

And Phil will send us home...good-bye!



1) Nat & Kat (+7) - Belize
2) Gary & Mallory (EVEN)
3) Brook & Claire (+3) - Hawai'i
4) Michael & Kevin (+5)
5) Jill & Thomas (+2) - Express Pass [USED]
6) Nick & Vicki (-1)
7) Chad & Stephanie (-4)
8) Katie & Rachel (-4)
ELIMINATED) Connor & Jonathan (-8) - $5000

To see this episode in its entirety, or to apply to be a contestant on "The Amazing Race", visit the official website at www.cbs.com/amazingrace