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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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I Need Hair to Be Pretty
April 29

PREVIOUSLY ON THE AMAZING RACE...ten Americans flew from the heat of Tanzania...to the HOTTER heat of Cochin, India. They danced a Bollywood number, played cricket and drove auto-rickshaws before ending up at a beautiful 18th-Century palace. Rachel & Dave (Team Yellow Ribbon) won their fifth Leg...while Bopper & Mark (Sons of Anar-KY) took TWELVE attempts to finish the ROADBLOCK and, thus, finished last. But, for the second time, they were saved by an N.E.L., meaning they must finish a SPEED BUMP like before but they're still Racing. Five teams are STILL running around this blue-green planet of ours...who will drop out NEXT?!?



Five times before, the soldier and his wife have started a Leg off in front. They can taste the million already as they start Leg 10 with this clue:



Travel by taxi to Daiva Vili Bhagvathi Kshetram Temple in the town of Chandiroor. There, you will receive a greeting from the head priest...as well as your next clue. As a sign of respect, before approaching the priest, you MUST remove your shoes.

You have $25 for this Leg of the Race.

They believe that the only team that can beat Team Yellow Ribbon...is Team Yellow Ribbon. And they vow to keep the communication together non-hostile and supportive. The other teams departure times (local zone) are:
Brendon & Rachel (Team Oh, Brother!): 0720
Art & JJ (Team Border Watch): 0728
Vanessa & Ralph (Team It's Complicated!): 0732
Bopper & Mark: 1038

As the first four teams depart and get auto-rickshaws to the temple, Bopper & Mark have more time to recuperate. Mark has suffered from heatstroke since the previous day's Bollywood bomb-out. He's on an IV drip, getting rehydrated. He's has three hours to rest before he and Bopper must continue their Race to...


Rachel & Dave arrive at the temple, remove their footwear and approach the elderly head priest. He hands each of them a leaf with various herbs and beans on it...followed by their next clue. Inside is a FAST FORWARD...but, considering they've already DONE one, they can't do THIS one...so they're stuck with this:



Make your way to Pattanacaud Coir Mats and Matting. Search the grounds for the next clue.

As they head off in their auto-rickshaw, Brendon & Rachel arrive. They're honored to be in this temple...but they seem overjoyed when they see this:



To win this FAST FORWARD, one team must engage in a traditional Indian good fortune ritual! Make your way to Mutharaman Devastan and search for a priest who will perform this ritual. Once the ritual is complete, he will give you the FAST FORWARD clue to the next PIT STOP! First come, first serve.

Despite not what the ritual is, Team Oh, Brother! are keen to beat everyone who hates them (which is pretty much everyone) so they head off. And, just then, Vanessa & Ralph arrive (Art & JJ had a hard time finding a rickshaw). They decide to play it safe and skip the FAST FORWARD. As they head off, several big-bellied tiger-looking dancers arrive on the scene. Hmmm...curious. Anyway, Team Border Watch arrives, takes the gift and - since they, ALSO, have already done a FAST FORWARD - head for the matting shop.


Brendon & Rachel arrive at the temple and jog inside to find the priests. On the floor mat between them, there is a placard that reads as follows:

It is a custom in India to
express gratitude for good
fortune. Those who are
willing to express their
gratitude by sacrificing their
beauty are given blessings in
proportion to their sacrifice.

To win the Fast Forward,
each of you must have your
head shaved.

(For the record, the LAST team to do this particular FAST FORWARD - Uchenna & Joyce [Team Will Race For Food] from AR7 - ended up WINNING the Race.)

Well,...uh,...maybe Team Oh, Brother! should've done their homework...seems every FAST FORWARD in India ends up like this. Brendon seems OK with it; he's gone the Lex Luthor route a time or two. But Rachel? She had paid $500 for "extensions" before this Race...and it ain't worth a million to lose them. Brendon understands and the couple re-join the rickshaw and head for...


Team It's Complicated! arrive and the clue awaits them outside amid a mess of twine. And it is the next:



This southern state of India is known as the "Land of Coconut Trees" since 70% of the country's supply comes from here. One team member must enter this 50-year-old facility and use the husks of coconuts to spin 40 feet of rope. Then you must spin four large bundles of made rope onto one spindle. Once the worker deems your work done, they will hand you your next clue.

(The reason that Brendon and Bopper MUST do this is because the last Leg will have two ROADBLOCKs and each team member must take part in one. Since the "six Roadblocks per member" rule is still in effect and since Rachel R. and Mark have each already completed five, Bopper and Brendon must now complete all Roadblocks leading up to the last Leg. The other teams have each completed four apiece, so they can choose who does THIS one while the other member does the one in the NEXT Leg.)

The team decides that Ralph should do this task, so he heads inside, picks a worker and gets dressed up in a sarong before getting to work. There is a LOT of coconut hair around. The worker gets Ralph to grab a bunch, attach it to a spinning wheel and start to make the rope. He gets about three feet before the rope breaks from the group. As he starts again, Team Yellow Ribbon arrives and Dave is chosen to spin the rope. Right behind them is Team Border Watch, who picks Art. The three men don't do so well, but they're getting the gist.

Back at the PIT STOP, it's one hour before Sons of Anar-KY begin and Mark is feeling MUCH better. According to him, he's "taken enough water to float a battleship" and he's confident that he and Bopper can win this Race.

Dave asks the important question to Ralph: "Why the hell are we doing this?" Ralph has no answer. In comparing HIS rope to the rope the WORKER is making, it's obvious to Dave he's making a mess. Of course, the clue didn't say it had to be GOOD rope, did it? Ah, and here come the FAST FORWARD rejecters. And since they still HAVE hair on their noggins, Brendon MUST do this ROADBLOCK (turning the rope factory into a sausage-fest). Everyone is wondering why the team is even THERE and why they aren't en route to the PIT STOP instead? They're both mum about it. JJ is the most upset; if Bopper & Mark do the FAST FORWARD, one of the teams here is most likely history. He wonders if anyone in this game is thinking strategy!

The spinning continues as the four men's ropes get longer and longer...even though they snap from time to time. Dave is the first to make it to 40 feet and, thus, grabs four bunches of pre-made rope in preparation of making a spool. He places them on a rotary tripod of sorts and starts spinning the spool, using a small tool to guide it. As he starts, both Art and Ralph finish THEIR ropes and gather more. Brendon is a bit flustered...but whether it's because the task is hard or because they shouldn't have had to DO it is still questionable.

The spools go round and round...and Dave's hand starts to bleed as the "handle" is just a nail. As they approach completion, Brendon finishes HIS rope and tries to catch up. But it's Ralph who finishes his spool, places it on a rack and gets the thumbs-up from the worker. He and Vanessa get handed this clue:



Make your way to Fort Kochi, once there, search the are for a temple barber working under an ancient tree. The barber will give you your next clue.

Down the alley the divorcees go...and down goes Vanessa! She moans loudly that her ankle is hurt as Ralph runs back to look at her. Sadly for them, the Race continues and Dave finishes his spool and he & Rachel leave the ROADBLOCK in second. Vanessa is able to stand and believes all she did was twist it. A little stretching and she seems to be able to walk. The ankle still hurts as they get to the rickshaw, but she'll persevere.

As their ride leaves and Team Yellow Ribbon's follows, the other two men work the remainder of their spools. JJ then asks Rachel about the FAST FORWARD...and when Rachel said what it was, JJ understood how difficult that would've been for Rachel. Still, he tries to convince Rachel to change her mind and get BACK to it...since that task would not be hard at all for Bopper & Mark. He even tells Rachel she'd look GOOD bald. In truth, JJ knows Rachel is very gullible and that a little praise will go a LONG way. As Art finishes (and he argues with JJ about their position in the Race), Rachel is left thinking about JJ's words and feels it's HER fault they're in "last" right now. The team leaves in fourth...

...and only NOW do Bopper & Mark leave the PIT STOP. They board a standard car taxi and look for advantages.


Two rickshaws arrive on this narrow street and the two couples exit them. Rachel & Dave are the first to find the barber, shaving a man outside under an ancient tree. He hands the clue to them...as well as for Vanessa & Ralph right behind them...and they find out it's another:



PACHYDERM: Head to a nearby field where pachyderms (elephants) await. Following an example, you must properly decorate an elephant with a headdress and decorative golden ornaments. After the master of ceremonies gives your decoration the thumbs-up, you must then fill and transport 15 wheelbarrows full of elephant manure to a nearby truck. Once the delivery is complete, the MC will hand you your next clue.

PACK A BOX: Almost half the spices in the world come from India. Head to the Ginger Palace, a ginger processing center, pick up ten empty wooden crates and fill them all with dry ginger. You must sift the ginger so that they are the correct weight. Once the boxes are full, you must seal and stencil each box for shipping and then deliver them to a nearby depot. Once all ten boxes are signed, sealed and delivered, the shipping manager will hand you your next clue.

Both teams choose PACHYDERM and speed off. Team Oh, Brother!'s rickshaw then arrives followed by Team Border Watch. As they find the barber, the couple chooses PACHYDERM...while the men decide they can win this Leg on manual labor and go for PACK A BOX.

As Sons of Anar-KY arrive at the temple, they clearly see what they've been dreading. And not just the stout tiger-painted dancers that were there before. I'm referring to their second...



Having been spared elimination in the last Leg, you have now incurred a Speed Bump which must be completed before continuing on the Leg.

For this task, you must paint the tiger on the belly of a Pulikali Tiger Dance (just like the other dancers around him) and prepare him for the dance. When the other dancers are satisfied with your work and have performed a dance for you, you may continue in hopes of making up for lost time.

Well,...shouldn't take THAT long, right? They grab the black paint and start to draw outlines of the eyes on the dancer's...uh...man-boobs. Bopper's confident, having painted rocks with his daughter back home quick often.

Over at the park of pachyderms, three teams arrive and pick out elephants to decorate while a rather loud native band plays. Vanessa LOVES this since her house is LOADED with elephant- and monkey-based trinkets. Vanessa and the Rachels mount the necks of this massive land mammals and get to putting on the headdress and neck decorations while the guys direct from below. Team Yellow Ribbon finishes their elephant first and gets the OK from the MC. Now comes the NASTY part; the pachy-dung. But the couple's midwestern roots help them; Rachel sorts the manure from the straw (with gloved hands, natch) and Dave shovels and hauls. As Dave dumps the first wheelbarrow-full, Team It's Complicated! gets the thumbs-up and get to shovelling...followed closely by Team Oh, Brother!. It's a battle to see who can, literally, get their s@#t together first!

Meanwhile, at the Ginger Palace, Art & JJ arrive and decide to stencil the boxes FIRST to save time. As far as can be told, there's no rule against that...but we'll see at the Leg's end. As they stencil, they argue how Brendon & Rachel weren't brave enough to have what could've been a million-dollar haircut...and hopes Bopper & Mark aren't as brave. Once stenciled, they bring the boxes inside and watch the process of how the ginger is sifted. Art makes sure he & JJ are doing it exactly the right way...which makes JJ mumble a bit as to the tedium. This might take some time...

Team Yellow Ribbon dumps their 12th load when Brendon hauls over their ninth...though Vanessa takes note that Brendon & Rachel think it's their TENTH. They're both hoping the FAST FORWARD hasn't been taken by Bopper & Mark.

Well, not YET; Sons of Anar-KY are still painting the tiger. The dancers take a look at the finished product and dance around as they like what they see! The SPEED BUMP being complete, the boys head to the priest, get their gift and their clue. They're not sure what the FAST FORWARD "ritual" (which Bopper pronounces "roulette") is...but, hell, they might as well take a chance.

As expected, Rachel & Dave are the first to complete the DETOUR, dumping the 15th and final load of manure into the truck (as Team It's Complicated! dumps #14). They go back to the MC, who hands them this clue:



Travel by ferry to the famous Chenna Vala Fishing Nets in Vypin. They are a Chinese method of catching fish brought to India centuries ago and are now the PIT STOP for this Leg of the Race!

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

(As there've been the usual three N.E.L.s in the Race already, I don't think there's any "may be" about it this time!)

The couple take off for the ferry just as Ralph dumps the last hunk of dung into the truck and he & Vanessa depart the DETOUR in second. It's not much longer before Team Oh, Brother! finishes the task and leaves in third.

Rachel & Dave arrive at the ferry to the nets...but it seems they're one of the first ones there. It becomes a "hurry up and wait" game as they hop the other teams don't make it in time and make it a foot race to the PIT STOP. As the others dash to it, Dave tries to bribe the captain to close the gates and get going...and it seems to work, as the captain is preparing to go. And just as Brendon & Rachel arrive, the ferry departs! DOH!

As Bopper & Mark continue their way to Muthraraman Devastan and what they hope is their life-saver for the Race, Art & JJ are starting to wonder if they didn't take the wrong DETOUR. It's grueling work and they're not even half-way done at this point. But they vow to keep going since they're so entrenched. They pass the time by pretending to be Team Yellow Ribbon and arguing with each other like they do.

If only they knew where they were now...which is...


It's a bit of a jog from the ferry to the nets, but Rachel & Dave take it in stride. They find Phil and the fisherman greeter and are declared, for the SIXTH time, Team # 1 for the Leg. And, for winning THIS time, they receive...not FIVE thousand US dollars each...but TEN thousand each!! Now, the record for most Legs won in one Race is seven (done by both Nick & Starr from AR13 and Meghan & Cheyne from AR15)...and you better believe Team Yellow Ribbon are aiming for that and SURPASSING that to win the million!

Either the ferries run every few minutes...or the other two teams on the Leg haven't done anything...because the next we see is Team Oh, Brother! running to the mat followed closely by Team It's Complicated! They are checked-in as Teams #2 and #3 respectively. Vanessa's ankle seems all right to her. But then...Phil asks if any Rules of the Race had been broken that he doesn't know about (I'm sure he was being facetious; he's a reality show host and, thus, knows EVERYHTING going on). Vanessa talks about how she was counting the loads of crap others were shoveling and wasn't sure who came up one short. This starts a yelling match between Vanessa and Rachel. Phil then tries to be like DR. Phil and figure out where they antipathy between them comes from. Seems it started all the way back at the first Leg. But the men decide enough is enough; they have already been checked-in so there are NO penalties and NO need for bickering. The girls apologize to each other - somewhat - and all seems, if not well, then at least stable.

Team Border Watch have finished their ginger packaging and are putting them on the cart to bring them to the shipping area...when JJ cuts his pinky on the sheet metal uses to keep the lid on a crate. It's bleeding pretty badly, but he musters through it...though he DOES argue with Art as they cart it out.

Sons of Anar-KY finally arrive at the FAST FORWARD...and they are THRILLED at the prospect! After all, Mark's already Nick Fury-smooth...and Bopper has no problem mimicking it. They laugh that there was no way Team Oh, Brother! was going to do this. Bopper says they could amputate his LEG if it meant winning a million dollars for his kids.

As the locks are clipped, the ginger is shipped and Art & JJ receive the PIT STOP clue. They get the rickshaw as the shearing of Bopper's locks is complete. Sons of Anar-KY get this clue:



You are now free to bypass all other tasks on this Leg and take a ferry to the PIT STOP for this Leg of the Race: the famous Chenna Vala Fishing Nets in Vypin.

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

So...two all-male teams are heading to the ferry to the PIT STOP...but it seems likely that only ONE of them will continue Racing after it's said and done. While Bopper & Mark's car speeds down the road, Art & JJ's rickshaw gets stuck in traffic as a bus has jammed a car in front of them against the wall. It's cleared away...but do they have enough time?

The sun starts to sink low...the nets are being hauled up for drying after a long day...and Phil and the fisherman see two American men running up to the mat. When they hit, Phil states:

"Art & JJ...things just haven't gone your way today. Guys,...you are Team # 4."

It takes a few seconds for this message to seep into the tired minds of Team Border Watch before they hug each other...and Phil SWEARS he saw a tear in JJ's eye! They both deny it...but there's NO denying that they are CONFIDENT that they'll win this Race!

The only other time a team had won the FAST FORWARD in the American version of the Race and STILL was eliminated was WAY back in AR3 when Dennis & Andrew sauntered their way to the PIT STOP and ended up going home on Leg 3. Bopper & Mark made it MUCH further, but they join that father/son team in Race infamy. They hit the mat...and, though Bopper gets complimented on the do, Phil sadly tells them that they're going home. But...they figured as much at the start. They are happy to have come this far against serious competition. And if Kentucky ain't proud of their kin,...SHAME on them!



1) Rachel & Dave (EVEN) - Express Pass (USED), Grenada, Ford Taurus, Costa Rica, St. Lucia, $10G
2) Brendon & Rachel (EVEN)
3) Vanessa & Ralph (+1)
4) Art & JJ (-1) - Bahamas, $2500, Thailand
ELIMINATED) Bopper & Mark (EVEN) (5th) - $2500 [gifted by Art & JJ], Hawai'i
ELIMINATED) Nary & Jamie (6th)
ELIMINATED) Joey "Fitness" & Danny (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