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The Amazing Race
Season 20
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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 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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This Is Wicked Strange
March 25

PREVIOUSLY ON THE AMAZING RACE...the wacky Racers headed by train and auto into Bavaria, the largest state in Germany. Once there, they grabbed a Roaming Gnome(TM) and carried it around while they reenacted Hansel & Gretel, styled long beards, finding Sleeping Beauty's castle and playing curling with said Gnomes. At a dairy farm, Art & JJ (Team Border Watch) won their THIRD STRAIGHT LEG...while Kerri & Stacy (Team Double Trouble) were sent home. Seven teams continue their circumnavigation for the million...who will be going bye-bye NEXT?!?



Well, this is getting monon...moneto...monont...repetitious, ain't it? Art & JJ at the PIT STOP, prepping to start another Leg ahead of the pack after winning another Travelocity(TM) trip. They rip 'n' read to begin Leg 6:



Travel by plane more than 2000 miles to Baku, the capital of the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan (which we are going to for the first time ever on this Race). It is rich in oil and natural gas, giving it the nickname "The Land of Fire". Once you land, make your way to Temple Ateshgah (the Temple of Fire) and find your next clue.

You have $167 for this Leg of the Race.

Yeah, they're feeling a bit cocky as they drive to nearby Munich airport...but they know that ONE slip-up is all that's needed to be sent home. They seem most worried about Joey "Fitness" & Danny (Team Clubbers), as they seem to get better with every Leg. Speaking of, that team and the others leave at the following times (local zone):
Joey "Fitness" & Danny: 0917
Vanessa & Ralph (Team It's Complicated!): 0919
Rachel & Dave (Team Yellow Ribbon): 1057
Brendon & Rachel (Team Oh, Brother!): 1117
Bopper & Mark (Sons of Anar-KY): 1141
Nary & Jamie (Party In the CIA): 1142

Who'd've thunk that the allegedly-dumbest team would be the smart ones to go to a travel agency instead of straight to the airport? Brendon & Rachel slip into a nearby agency and look for flights from Munich to Baku. The earliest flight is on Turkish Airlines that leaves at 6:20pm. They decide to book it...and then see if an earlier one can be found at the airport. Bopper & Mark think Azerbaijan is in Africa. And Nary & Jamie are still keeping a lid on their actual professions (they say they're teachers) and are happy to be seen as non-threats.


Team Border Watch arrives and looks for flights. They stop at Turkish Airlines and get the same news as Team Oh, Brother!: the earliest flight splits in just under five hours and will arrive at 4:10am. Well, THIS sucks; the "Great Equalizer" strikes again! In the parking lot, Team Clubbers and Team It's Complicated! run into each other...and Danny berates Joey "Fitness" for hanging around to say "hello" to the divorcees. Eventually, all the teams show up...and all the teams learn they'll be on the same flight, via Istanbul (not Constantinople), to...


On the banks of the Caspian Sea, the beautiful capital of the maily-Islamic country (hence the Star-and-Cresent on their country's flag) welcomes the fourteen wacky Racers in the wee hours of the morning. Though they can't see the sights, many are excited to be here as they load into taxis for...:


The temple is more of a Hindi and Zoroastrian landmark than an Islamic one and receives about 15,000 visitors a year. But NONE of them are like the dozen-plus-two that show up now! Team Yellow Ribbon are the first to arrive to hear the pounding drums and tooting pipes. They look around and look around...and finally find a door leading to the clue...that says: "OPEN AT SUNRISE". DOH! Still, they get the chance to dance with the locals as other teams arrive and join the fun.

As it must, the ever-ruling Daystar peaks over the horizon and, after a full early-morning of partying, the teams get down to business. The door is unlocked and the teams charge in to grab the clue. And, guess what? We have another...:



To win this FAST FORWARD, teams must travel to local hay-bale market named Saman Ot Bazary. There, you must unload 150 bales of hay and arranged them neatly in a stack 10 bales long by 3 bales wide plus 5 bales high. Once the bales are arranged properly, the market manager will hand you the clue to the PIT STOP for this Leg of the Race.

NOTE: As many as three teams can compete in this event until somebody wins!

Rachel & Dave and Joey "Fitness" & Danny both decide to try the FAST FORWARD...but Nary & Jamie decide emphatically against it. They are SO not hauling hay; they'd rather just go on to this clue:



Travel by taxi to Occupational Training International and search the grounds for a box with your next clue in it.

All the other teams decide to follow the "teachers'" lead and head for for the training center. (Well, Art & JJ CAN'T do the FAST FORWARD because they've already COMPLETED one two Legs ago).


The FF clue actually didn't TELL the teams what the task was. When Team Yellow Ribbon and Team Clubbers arrive, they see the 10x3x5 super bale and learn what they must do. The Army man climbs up to the top of the huge truck and starts tossing them down to near his wife for her to stack...and Danny starts tossing insults and "hustle, man"s at Joey "Fitness". Team Yellow Ribbon is methodical...Team Clubbers are haphazard (Danny claims to "never read the instructions"). Once the boys from Joisey get what they're supposed to do, they get into a better rythym. Meanwhile, Dave keeps tossing the bales on top of the stack, making Rachel rather upset at the whole thing. The hay in Rachel's eyes aren't helping matters any. She begs for help from Dave...but Dave just keeps shoving bales down. Still, the fact that Team Clubbers were making severe headway motivated Rachel to kick it into high.


...or, rather, en route to it for now. It's like a NASCAR race with the way the cabbies are driving. And, while it is exciting, Mark can only take so much...and heaves in a barf bag. Team Border Watch laughs at this as they drive by.

A little while (and a pint or so of Mark's stomach contents) later, the teams start arriving at the center. Disturbingly, it's full of aircraft wreckage, which the Americans look around for the (quite literal, in the case) clue box. But it's the Sons of Anar-KY that find the big box first...and are the first to hit the:



Oil is the number one industry in this country, especially out in the Caspian Sea. To work on the offshore rigs, workers who travel by helicopter must undergo helicopter crash training. One member of each team must go through one such exercise. You will be strapped into a mock-helicopter rig, submerged and deal with a spinning "crash". Afterwards, you must escape and swim to the life raft, where your next clue awaits. Do not open the clue until you have returned to your teammate.

The simulator can seat three at a time; first come, first serve.

Well, Mark has already HAD what went down coming back up so...Bopper decides to take the plunge. As he goes inside to suit up, the other teams start to locate the box. Jamie will take the ROADBLOCK for Party In the CIA, JJ for Team Border Watch and Brendon for Team Oh, Brother!. Once Team It's Complicated! finds the box, Vanessa opts to do the deal.

Back at the market, the two teams heave and ho the bales into place, knowing that the one who finishes last will be FAR behind. As the uber-bales began to form, Dave found he could just drop more bales right on top and Rachel could just slide them into place more-or-less. Joey "Fitness" seems to be balking, not wanting to fall off the huge truck. But the battle is PRETTY close as the final bales are dropped and placed.

One team asks for a ruling...the manager comes over...looks it over...

...and Team Yellow Ribbon gets the thumbs-up! They are handed this important clue:



You are now free to bypass all other tasks on this Leg and proceed directly to the PIT STOP for this Leg of the Race: Boulevard Esplanade Estakada.

WARNING! The last team to check-in MAY BE ELIMINATED!

Needless to say, Team Clubbers are cheesed at being beaten by a girl! They run back to their cab and haul for the OTI as the husband and wife are so happy that their teamwork put them back in the lead.

As two men's hopes start to sink, so do Bopper, Jamie and JJ. As they get strapped into the simulator, Mark tells Nary that Bopper has a crush on Jamie...which she finds a little hard to believe. The simulation starts and the "copter" starts to submerge. The players hold their breath...and the "copter" turns over. JJ couldn't find the window when the lights in the tank went out and swallowed some water, panicking a little. Still, all three manage to get out and to the raft (Bopper helping Jamie in before getting hauled in himself) to collect their clue.

They get out, get dry, get to their partners and get to open this clue:



Travel by taxi into Baku's Old Town district and find the Toghrul Karabakh Carpet Shop. Once there, you'll find your next clue amid the rolled-up carpets.

As the first group give their cabbies the next destination, Teams Oh, Brother! and It's Complicated! suit up.


"I can smell Phil's colonge," says Dave to Rachel as they see Phil and a greeter standing on a wide beachside road. Team Yellow Ribbon gets out of the cab and runs to the mat where Phil welcomes them back to Team #1 status (TIED FOR BEST IMPROVEMENT OF THE LEG)! And the prize for each of them for winning the Leg? [George Gray]IT'S A NEW CAR!!![/GG]. Yes, it's a 2013 Ford Taurus SHO(TM) redesigned to look as well as it performs. Not a bad haul for stacking 150 hay bales, eh? Rachel & Dave are CONFIDENT they will stay on top!

Back at dunk tank, it's Brendon's turn to take a dive. Since it took a while for Vanessa to get suited up, she'll have to wait with Rachel as Brendon goes under and over. He finishes the task sans hassle and heads off...leaving Vanessa to look at them reset the tank...and fear. She fears closed-in spaces and being trapped underwater. Ralph knows this and worries as she gets into the simulator. She goes down...she goes over...but she's not coming up. Ut-oh. The safety divers start swim into the simulator...but, eventually, she gets the window open and gets out. She & Ralph leave in 6th...as soon as her hair is dried.

And just as they leave, Joey "Fitness" & Dave show up and start searching for the clue box. Joey "Fitness" opts to do it...and Danny hopes he can do it QUICK so they can pass SOMEBODY at the DETOUR later. Hey, no worries; "Fitness" was a lifegaurd for a while. No panic at all; just get out, get dry and get ot the DETOUR.


The four front-runner teams (Team Oh, Brother! caught up to them somehow) seem to travel back in time as they enter the walled Old City, parts of which were built as far back as the 12th Century. When they get to the carpet shop, Art & JJ, Nary & Jamie, Brendon & Rachel and Bopper & Mark exit their cabs, run into the shop and grab the clues from the rolled-up carpets on the wall. And it's another:



APPLES: Travel to a nearby apple mart. Many old Soviet-made cars are there, which are used to bring apples from the countryside to the city. Inside each car is almost one ton of apples...and ONE with the Race Flag as leaves on the stem. Find that apple and exchange it to the vendor for your next clue.

OIL: Oil is so plentiful to Azerbaijanis, they literally SOAK in it for its healing properties! Make your way to Naftalan Health Spa and clean up someone who has finished an oil therapy treatment. You are to use metal shoehorns to scrape the oil back into the tub and then sponge the patient down. Once the spa attendant feels the patient is oil-free, they will hand you your next clue.

All but Party In the CIA decide to do OIL; the two feddie girls do NOT want to clean off some oily man. As they leave (and Team Clubbers finishes the ROADBLOCK), Vanessa & Ralph arrive at Old Town. They go into the carpet store...and they TOTALLY MISS THE CLUES! They are RIGHT ON TOP PF THE ROLLED-UP CARPETS...and they look through the OTHER carpets 'cause they DON'T SEE THEM!! Major-league DOH!!!


OK, I'm gonna TRY to get through this without "pulling a Mark"...but no gaurentees. Art & JJ are the first to the spa and they meet this tall, hairy local man with gold teeth. this is the man they must "scrub a homey down", as they put it. Oil pours out of the faucet and the man lies down in it, to the mild disgust of the two Americans. The man then stands up, looking (as Art says) like a "Nutella-covered man". They grab their shoehorns and get to scraping the petrol off him. And I must agree with JJ: "This is wicked strange!"

After getting MOST of the oil scraped off, Bopper & Mark show up (and Bopper tells the other men to "clean good"). They watch THEIR guy soak and stand and start to scraping, careful of the cornicopia of hair on his chest. Team Border Watch is JUST about ready for the sponging when Brendon & Rachel arrive. "This is real oil," says Rachel as she watches the gunk come out of the faucet.


Nary & Jamie arrive at the mart and see the old cars with trunks and back seats full of apples. They figure they can't just toss the apples aside; people DO need to eat them, y'know. So they grab some nearby cardboard boxes and start to fill them with the pomaceous fruit. They take them out through the window and out of the trunk, touting that teachers (like they're pretending to be) LOVE this stuff. A crowd gathers around the girls, one or two men yelling, "Quick, quick, quick" at them. Yeah, NOT helping, Hasad! (That's a common name in Azerbaijan, before you ask.)

Team It's Complicated! just about smack themselves upside the head when they FINALLY see the clues. They decide to do APPLES.

Laughter emerges from the stalls in the spa as Art & JJ HAVE to laugh at just what the hell they're doing! Art actually yells at JJ for not focusing on the task at hand, to which JJ replies, "I'm in his thighs, Art! What do you WANT from me?!?"


As the Sons of Anar-KY get to soaping their guy's armpits and Team Oh, Brother! are hosing THEIR guy down, Art & JJ ask for a ruling. They get the thumbs-up, leave the DETOUR in 2nd and get this clue:



Travel to Boulevard Esplanade Estakada and search for the PIT STOP for this Leg of the Race.

WARNING! The last team to check-in MAY BE ELIMINATED!

As they head off (feeling a little violated), Bopper & Mark get the thumbs-up and leave in 3rd. But Brendon & Rachel aren't too far behind, getting the good-to-go after spritzing out their guy's toes.

Back at the mart, Party In the CIA continue their rummaging as Vanessa & Ralph arrive. Vanessa actually climbs INTO the trunk to pick the apples out. Vanesaa hopes this is the LAST time she's in the trunk of a car.

Art & JJ get some news they're NOT really used to: they're Team # 2 instead of # 1. But they'll take it, considering it a win in a Leg with a FAST FORWARD in play.

Team Clubbers find the carpet shop and choose APPLE...while at APPLE, Nary & Jamie and Vanessa & Ralph still dig for that special one. They both empty the trunks and concentrate on the back seat. One guy yells at the teams to go faster in Azerbaijani...and Ralph thinks the guy might be talking of Vanessa's "melons". Suddenly, Nary stands up with a Granny Smith with red-and-yellow-striped leaves on it. they cheer, they get the clue, they cheer, they open the clue and they cheer some more as they depart in 5th. The divorcees are getting flustered; Vanessa is actually having flashbacks of when the watermelon pyramid tumble from earlier in the Race.

The Sons of Anar-KY have completed the comeback from their near-Philimination two Legs ago; they are Team #3 (TIED FOR BEST IMPROVEMENT OF THE LEG). And right behind them is Team Oh, Brother! as Team # 4. As Team Clubbers approach their DETOUR, Party In the CIA are checked-in as Team # 5.

So now it's down to two teams searching for apples in cars. Or,...actually, just one. Before Joey "Fitness" & Danny can even ARRIVE, Ralph finds the right apple...and takes a bite out of a DIFFERENT apple in celebration of leaving in 6th. As Team Clubbers both look in the trunk first, however, Team It's Complicated!'s cabbie stops for directions to the Boulevard. In FACT, the cabbie seemingly disappears on them! Ut-oh. As as this happens, Joey "Fitness" & Danny FIND their apple. They may leave the DETOUR in last...but they may not FINISH that way!

Vanessa & Ralph's cabbie returns with instructions...

Joey "Fitness" & Danny's moves fast through the streets of Baku...

One team arrives at the mat...and Phil says...

"Vanessa & Ralph...you are still in the Race but you are Team # 6!"

For the tenth time in the last hour, the couple mutters, "Cheese and crackers!!" They're glad to still be in the Race...but knows improvement is needed.

They travelled halfway around the world from their humble pads in Jersey...but, for Team Clubbers, the trip ends here. They are last to arrive (BIGGEST DROP OF THE LEG) and they are Philiminated. Their ONE mistake of trying for the FAST FORWARD cost them the Race. It was a good run, though...and, once they get home, they're gonna "tear up" the clubs in celebration of their accomplishment!



1) Rachel & Dave (+3) - Express Pass (USED), Grenada, Ford Taurus
2) Art & JJ (-1) - Bahamas, $2500, Thailand
3) Bopper & Mark (+3) - $2500 [gifted by Art & JJ]
4) Brendon & Rachel (+1)
5) Nary & Jamie (+2)
6) Vanessa & Ralph (-3)
ELIMINATED) Joey "Fitness" & Danny (-5) (7th)
ELIMINATED) Kerri & Stacy (8th)
ELIMINATED) Elliot & Andrew (9th)
ELIMINATED) Dave & Cherie (10th)
ELIMINATED) Misa & Maiya (11th)

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