THE AMAZING RACE:
Season 5
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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 $1,000,000.

Who will be the first to cross the finish line? 

For more information and current standings, visit GSNN's Race Passport.

Recaps by Chris Wolvie, GSNN


FACT FILE:
Host:
Phil Keoghan
Creator: Bertram van Munster, Elise Doganieri
EP: Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman, Bertram van Munster
Packager: Jerry Bruckheimer TV, Worldrace Productions, Amazing Race Productions, Touchstone TV
Airs: Tuesdays at 10:00pm ET on CBS


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Web design by Jason Elliott. Logo by Chico Alexander. 

"Clearly I'm More Intelligent Than You" - July 6

STARTING LINE: SANTA MONICA, CA, USA

Eleven lifeguard transports ride on the beach towards the famous Santa
Monica Pier, each carrying a team of two people in an existing
relationship. The teams are preparing for a race around the world!
Hmmm... must be the fifth edition of THE AMAZING RACE! The teams are:

BRANDON & NICOLE - a Christian model and a former Miss Texas USA who
just move to Los Angeles after long-distance dating for a year.

KAMI & KARLI - identical twins from Eugene, OR who are ready to
manipulate.

LINDA & KAREN - best friends, mothers and amateur bowlers from
Palmdale, CA who are competitive not only with other teams but with
each other.

MARSHALL & LANCE - brothers and pizza store owners from Dallas, TX who are very abrasive and loud... and might kill each other before the end
of the Race.

CHARLA & MIRNA - cousins from Baltimore, MD; Charla is "vertically
challenged" but determined to bust the stereotypes in this Race.

DENNIS & ERIKA - a formerly-engaged couple from NYC trying to get back
together through this "ultimate love test".

BOB & JOYCE - widowers who found each other on the internet and became friends and now live in New Jersey, the oldest team in the Race.

COLIN & CHRISTIE - daters from Corpus Christi, TX who are so "type A"
they just might clash with each other for control.

CHIP & KIM - married parents who started a computer company in Orange
County, CA who "spend 23 hours a day with each other" (we'll see if the
extra hour snaps them).

JIM & MARSHA - ex-military father and his daughter from Florida hoping
for a closer relationship...and for him to stop thinking of her as a "little girl".

ALISON & DONNY - off-and-on daters from Pennsylvania who fight and
quarrel a lot but still stick together.

(Over time, I gave nicknames to the teams to cut down on all the ampersands)

Now you know the players, let's get to the rules:

Each leg of the Race starts with a ROUTE INFO, telling the players where to go and giving them some money to start with (the teams carry none of their own money and must pay for everything but air transportation with the money given). Arriving at the destination (marked by red-and-yellow flags) will lead the teams to the next ROUTE INFO, which will lead to the next location, and so forth until one team crosses the FINISH LINE and wins $1 million! Along the way, there are three other things put in the teams' ways:

DETOUR: Both teammates have to complete one of two tasks, each with its
own pros and cons.

ROAD BLOCK: One teammate has to complete a task, but they won't know
the EXACT task until one of them is chosen to do it.

FAST FORWARD: On each leg is a special task. The first team to complete the task advances to the leg's PIT STOP automatically. However, each team can only use FAST FORWARD once during the entire Race.

At the end of each leg of the Race, the teams arrive at a PIT STOP for a mandatory 12-hour rest period to eat, sleep and mingle. On most of legs, the last team to arrive at the PIT STOP is eliminated from the Race.

Your host Phil Keoghan greets the teams at the end of the pier, telling them the rules. Then he springs a surprise. For this Race, if you arrive last at a PIT STOP when it's not an elimination leg, it will make the Race "very, very difficult". As to what that is... he doesn't say. The first ROUTE INFO is in their bags at the start of the pier, which they will read before hopping into new cars to head off for the airport. With that, Phil starts them off in the traditional way: "The world is waiting for you. Good luck... Travel safe... GO!!"

And the AMAZING RACE is on!

The foot race starts with some tripping but everyone makes it with Marshall & Lance way out in front... and Charla & Mirna bringing up the rear.

ROUTE INFO: Find the Hand in the Sand in the country of Uruguay. You may only travel on one of two flights. First come, first serve. You have $97.23 for this leg of the Race.

Into the cars and off to LAX they go, facing their first obstacle: Los Angeles traffic. Christie used to live in L.A., so she knows a quicker way to the airport for her and Colin than the 405. There's talk about the tripping being deliberate, but all it harbors is thoughts of knocking them out. Only Jim seems to be truly injured, having possibly fallen on a nail. The knees of his pants-leg is torn and red in blood... but he'll persevere (he's ex-military, y'know).

But, wait... not ALL the teams are away from the pier. Bob & Joyce and
Jim & Marsha are having trouble finding the trunk release switch on the
cars and are starting to panic. The third team is Charla & Mirna... who
were behind for obvious reasons. At least THEY find the trunk latch
and leave first... er, ninth, followed quickly by the other teams.

The early American Airlines flight to Uruguay can only hold four teams. The rest will have to leave on a United flight later. HOWEVER, the United flight is actually FASTER, since its layover in Miami is SHORTER. The teams have to choose a flight and stick with it; they can't return the tickets they got.

Colin & Christie are the first to arrive at the airport easily and get to the American counter. Marshall & Lance are second and they get the shuttle driver to pass by the twins and Alison & Donny. Dennis & Erika join them for the next shuttle and decide with them to split up and find out which line is faster. The brothers meet the lovers... and find out that they're at the wrong counter (there's no flag). Dennis & Erika get to the correct American counter and order tickets for them and the other two teams... not realizing it's the SLOWER flight. Alison & Donny do the SMART thing: they ask the United counter girl to check American's flight and, finding out they arrive about a half-hour sooner on United, become the first team on the United flight. The twins follow suit... not knowing their tickets for the other flight are already waiting for them.

Colin & Christie and the brothers find the right American counter, where they meet Dennis & Erika. D & E are holding the line for the other teams... but the twins are on their way to say they're on the United flight. While this happens, the dating models, the married parents (the best kind, in my mind) and the net-widowers arrive. When they find out what's going on, the shouting match begins... all pointed at D & E. The twins show up, tell what's going on... and D & E are POed. Unbeknownst about this, "Team Type A", the brothers and the parents book the last seats on the American flight.

Meanwhile, Charla & Mirna are the last to arrive after getting lost on the way. Little do they know how lucky they are? One by one, the other teams filter to United... and are happy to find out they're going to get there AHEAD of the other four teams.

AMERICAN (slower) FLIGHT: Chip & Kim, Dennis & Erika, Colin & Christie,
Marshall & Lance
UNITED (faster) FLIGHT: Everyone else

However, the Race may be over sooner than expected for one team. An LAX paramedic observes Jim's bloody knee and says that he may not be able to fly. They pull him and Marsha aside and send them to the emergency medical clinic there. However, the shuttle hits traffic on the way. They have to get in, out and to the gate in 45 minutes or they're screwed. Boarding starts at 2:05 and the other six teams get on the flight, wondering where the others are. At 2:10, Jim comes out after getting 25 stitches, gets on the same shuttle and motors back to LAX. They arrive back at the terminal at 2:30... and make the flight with three minutes to spare.

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY

The United flight touches down the next day at 12:35pm local time and the seven teams exit. Their task is to take a 75-mile bus trip to Porta del Este and find "The Hand", a monument of stone fingers in the sand next to the roughest waters in South America that is supposed to represent that last thing you see of a drowning man (nice image, ain't it?).

Charla & Mirna leave the terminal first and find the bus terminal... followed by everyone else. A half-hour later, the American flight lands and the final four teams depart and, likewise, get on a bus towards The Hand. The first bus drives right by the monument and make a mad sprint towards the flag behind the "fingers" (Charla falling behind, though Mirna runs ahead to get the clue).

ROUTE INFO: Get to Gorriti Island and look for the clue box at the end
of the pier.

They have to hop a ferry to this former Spanish pirate hideaway. The teams look for taxis to the ferry... and Charla tries the use of a whistle to slow down a taxi for them. Brandon, however, wants to save money, trusts in the Lord to get them where they're going and decides to try WALKING to the ferry.

The widowers arrive first, with the off-and-on daters and the twins right behind. They TRY to leave the twins behind, but the boat wasn't moving. Charla & Mirna (whom I'll call Team Hi-Lo) and Jim & Marsha (Team Wounded Knee) get on a second boat. Behind them are the bowling moms and the models. Meanwhile, the second group arrives at The Hand and gets the clue. Chip & Kim, the married parents, are in last at this point.

ISLA GORITTI, URUGUAY

Alison & Donny are the first to arrive at the next clue, with Twins Team and the Net-Widowers on their heels:

ROUTE INFO: Search the trees in the area for tickets to the Charity Ferry. There are three different ferries and each leaves at a different time tomorrow. Once a ticket is taken, you cannot change your mind.

The teams scour the forest, shouting out the times... and trying to keep quiet about shouting out the times. The times are 8am, 8:30am and 9am. Kami & Karli look at two tickets... then go to the earlier one they found: 8:30am. Bob & Joyce make the 8am one...and so do Alison & Donny.

The second group then arrives at the Isla and gets the clues. Mirna tries to ask Team Wounded Knee to work together... but Marsha wants none of it. She even tricks Team Hi-Lo intro thinking they didn't find one when they did. They eventually take one for 8:30. The cousins likewise find the last one for 8:30. The third ferry group - the bowling moms and models - then arrive. Linda & Karen find an 8am one right off the mark and take it, the last one to make it on that ferry.

Meanwhile, the Models argue about taking a 9am one.

Then the United group starts to show up. Team Type A, Team Once Engaged, Team Pizza Brothers and the Married Parents start to comb the trees. Upon seeing Brandon & Nicole, they ask if they've seen anything later than 9am. When they say they haven't, Marshall & Lane and Colin & Christie take 9am tickets. After much waffling, the Models take the 9am one they were ogling. Dennis & Erika likewise take one for the last ferry, as do Chip & Kim.

8am: Bob & Joyce, Alison & Donny and Linda & Karen
8:30am: Jim & Marsha, Kami & Karli and Charla & Mirna
9am: Dennis & Erika, Brandon & Nicole, Chip & Kim, Marshall & Lance and
Colin & Christie

Now that all the teams are stuck together until morning, they have a chance to eat a little, relax...and strategize. Some teams are optimistic as the sun rises...while others had insomnia from the bugs flying around. When the first ferry arrived back at Porta del Este, Team Net-Widowers, Team Bowling Moms and the Off-and-On Daters find their next clue:

ROUTE INFO: Make your way to the city of Maldonado and find the Jose
Francisci Gonzalez Meat Warehouse

The three teams find a bus to take them to the suburb. The second ferry group arrives a half hour later. Team Hi-Lo finds the clue... and tricks Team Wounded Knee into thinking it's not there as retribution for yesterday as they ask a stranger to take them there. And Team Twins... they walked right by it... TWICE! While those two teams keep looking, Charla & Mirna catch up to those on the bus. Alison & Donny find the clue first, with Team Hi-Lo right behind.

ROUTE INFO: Carry a 55-pound side of beef to La Rosada Caniceria a half-mile away (beef is a big industry in Uruguay). Upon delivery, the butcher will give you your next clue.

Bob & Joyce and Linda & Karen find the clue shortly afterwards and all four teams don their coats and gloves. Bob doesn't think he'll make it, Charla REALLY wants to help Mirna carry... and Alison & Donny are racing like the wind.

But, wait... there's ANOTHER twist to this Race: YIELD! There's only one in each leg and the first one to use it can force another team to stop for a predetermined amount of time. The team that must YIELD must turn an "hourglass" over and must stay until the sand runs out. Like FAST FORWARD, YIELD can only be utilized once by a team for the entire Race... though any team can be YIELDed more than once. The YIELD for THIS leg is en route to the butcher shop. But Alison & Donny by-pass it, not wanting to waste it now that they're in the lead. (In fact, NO one uses the YIELD in this leg.)

Meanwhile, back at the pier, Team Twins and Team Wounded Knee are STILL looking for the clue to the meat warehouse. They finally find it... just as the final ferry arrives. The five teams on said ferry find the route marker without a problem and look for transportation to Maldonado.

Donny is getting tired of hauling his beef... but the slow and steady Bob & Joyce are right behind them. Charla & Mirna are lagging behind... but THIS time it's because Mirna is DISGUSTED about handling the heavy, smelly meat. She finally drops the meat, exhausted from carrying it. Charla cheers her on into carrying it for a little longer. The Off-and-On Daters deliver their meat and get the next clue:

ROUTE INFO: Your next clue is waiting across the street from the blue &
white hotel in Porta del Este.

As they get a stranger to help them back to town, Team Bowling Moms arrive at the butcher shop in second, followed closely by Bob & Joyce. They each get cabs and take off. Team Hi-Lo asks a stranger to carry their bags while they carry the meat (the clue said THEY are the only ones that could carry the meat). Charla hefts the meat over her shoulders and hauls it down the road... but they PASS the butcher they were to deliver it to. Four streets later, they find out they missed... and the two STRUGGLE to get the meat back... while REFUSING help from the guy carrying the bags. They finally arrive at the shop in fourth, with Kami & Karli and (a hurting) Jim & Marsha close on their heels. While they struggle to find a taxi, the teams from the 9am ferry start to filter in: Team Type A, Team Pizza Brothers, Team Once Engaged and the Models. Marshall & Lance aren't stupid; they ask the butcher to call a taxi for them while the others wait at a taxi station. The last team to the butcher is Chip & Kim... still not out of it, though.

As Team Pizza Brothers and Team Married Parents get taxis at the shop, Team Twins get first dips on a taxi at the station. One-by-one, the teams grab cabs... but Erika argues with Dennis for him giving what she thought was THEIR taxi to Colin & Christie. They are the last to find a cab back to...

PORTA DEL ESTE, URUGUAY

The Off-and-On Daters are the first to the blue-and-white hotel... but they miss the clue entirely. As such, Team Bowling Moms reach it first, followed closely by Alison & Donny and Team Net-Widowers.

DETOUR - ZIPS OR CHIPS?

ZIPS: Go across a horizontal zip-line at the top of the hotel (210' high), then down a SECOND zip-line to the pool 18 stories below CHIPS: Go to the casino and play roulette with 20 chips. If you don't hit your number and run out of chips, you MUST do the ZIPS.

The three teams choose ZIPS (after Linda convinces Karen that the odds of hitting a single number in roulette are quite big). Karen went first, with Linda watching carefully to get the gist. Donny goes across another line and, as those two get to the second zip line, they are dead even. Donny splashes down first, with Alison right behind, despite her fear of heights. Bob & Joyce are close behind, though.

ROUTE INFO - PIT STOP: Travel by taxi to the Casa Pueblo in Punta Ballena. Last one to the PIT STOP is ELIMINATED!

Meanwhile, Kami & Karli totally miss the clue AGAIN (they forgot the "across the street" part)! But they DO find the casino and automatically play CHIPS. Turns out they can play up to five numbers at one time. Chip & Kim likewise initially miss the clue as Team Bowling Moms descend. Team Twins manages to get the #5 on their second spin and get the clue, pushing them into third. The Married Parents hold a taxi for themselves while THEY find the casino and play CHIPS (passing the twins).

Team Pizza Brothers actually FINDS the clue and decide on CHIPS since Marshall LOVES playing roulette. They meet up with Chip & Kim... and, on their very first spin, they get the right number and move into fourth, leaving Chip & Kim behind. As the others look for taxis, Team Married Parents try again...and they luck out on their last chips. All five grab cabs at about the same time, followed closely by Bob & Joyce zipping down.

The Models and Team Wounded Knee both decide on ZIPS as well. Team
Hi-Lo gets convinced into playing CHIPS (Mirna calls it a "sign" since they're in casinos all the time), while Team Type A goes for ZIPS. As Jim & Marsha get lost, Brandon & Nicole zip across with Colin & Christie not too far behind. Charla & Mirna get their number and head out to the PIT STOP.

PIT STOP: PUNTA BALLERNA, URUGUAY

Chip & Kim get out of the taxi in front of the Casa Pueblo, followed closely by Team Twins. Team Married Parents hit the pad in front of Phil, who announces, "Chip & Kim, you are the first team to arrive!"

This, of course, sets the team SCREAMING that they went from worst to first! That euphoria is short-lived, though, when Phil says they must go BACK to the hotel and get that route marker they missed. He tells the same thing to Kami & Karli, who are likewise bummed and backtrack.

So there are two teams fighting for... tenth? Or maybe not. Brandon & Nicole are splashing down with Colin & Christie close behind... and Jim & Marsha are still lost... and Dennis & Erika had yet to even ARRIVE at the hotel...so there's still a chance.

"Alison & Donny," says Phil as the Off-and-On Daters hit the pad, "you're team number one!" They also get a vacation to Hawaii courtesy of AA.com, which can be enjoyed after the Race. They led themselves to the finish and now they're leading others... and Alison hopes this is the first step towards a non-fighting relationship.

FINALLY, Team Once Engaged arrives at the hotel and chooses ZIPS, joining Team Wounded Knee at the hotel top. As the teams filter into the PIT STOP one-by-one, Jim & Marsha zip down (Jim wincing as the stitches hit the water). While that's happening, Chip & Kim reach the route marker and then head back to the PIT STOP. As Dennis & Erika zip down, Team Twins arrive at the route marker. It's a four-team race to see which team gets in last.

Seven teams made it in already... and Chip & Kim run in next. Phil says, "You are NOW team number eight." They're ultra-relieved that they're not last and know they'll get better once they run on all cylinders. Next in... is Team Twins, who are equally relieved. Will Team Wounded Knee or Team Once Engaged who will be eliminated? Team number ten......

...is Jim & Marsha! They are NOT eliminated! They played through the pain and now get 12 hours to rest Jim's knee.

Unfortunately, Dennis & Erika are the last team to arrive... which means
the 6800 miles they've traveled from Santa Monica to Uruguay was the most travel they would see in this Race. Erika knew it was Dennis'
"niceness" that cost them the Race... but she's content with that now. Plus, it truly brought them closer together as they hoped it would; they can't imagine being with anyone except each other (Awwwwwwwww-barf, as Gordon and Chico would say.)

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