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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



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"It Always Comes Down to the Details - Leg 9 " - January 25

THE FOLLOWING EPISODE OF THE AMAZING RACE WAS FILMED IN SRI LANKA SEVERAL WEEKS BEFORE A DEADLY TSUMANI STRUCK THE COUNTRY.

CBS DEDICATES THIS EPISODE TO THE MEMORY OF THE THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WHO LOST THEIR LIVES IN THIS TERRIBLE TRAGEDY, AND TO THEIR COURAGEOUS FRIENDS AND CO-WORKERS IN THE REGION WHO ARE COPING WITH ITS AFTERMATH.

PIT STOP: LALIBELA LOOKOUT, ETHIOPIA

The Racers went from Corsica to Nice to Ethiopia. They built mud hut walls, put roofs on them and went idol-searching in a sunken church. Adam & Rebecca (Team Shrek) used the YIELD on Freddy & Kendra (Team Engaged Models), but Adam goofed on the ROAD BLOCK so it didn't really matter. In the end, Hayden & Aaron (Team 'Dating' Actors) took the top spot, Team Shrek went from first to worst... and the most explosive team in Amazing Race history, Jonathan & Victoria (Team Dom-Sub), messed up a task and ended up last and were eliminated.

At 1:16am local time, Team 'Dating' Actors finish their 12-hour respite and start off Leg 9 of this Race from the remote lookout. They tear open their envelope and receive this clue:

ROUTE INFO:
Take a marked taxi van to Lalibela airport and take a charter flight back to the capital of Addis Ababa. There are two charter flights, one at 8am and one at 8:30am. Only three teams can be in a plabe at a time. Once you are in Addis Ababa, find the Sports Stadium and go in and towards the field to find your next clue. You have $171 for this leg of the Race.
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The actors are glad to have gone from worst to first and are sure that they can maintain it. But, 15 minutes later, Lori & Bolo (Team Rasslers) are in hot pursuit of them... and, right behind them is Kris & Jon (Team Restauranteurs). One by one, they arrive at the airport and they have no trouble all signing up for the first charter out.

About an hour behind the leaders, Team Engaged Models depart, angry at being YIELDed in the last leg and determined to get ahead of everyone. Finally, 74 minutes behind the leaders, Team Shrek leave...and Rebecca needs Adam to believe in himself more in order to win this Race. Those two teams end up on the second charter. But Kendra ends up in the bathroom to hork up some of that Ethiopian food (and, no, that's NOT a contradiction!) and recover before the flight to...

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA

Six Americans clamour out of the plane and find cabs to the stadium. The road race is short but sweet as Team Rasslers reach this clue first:

ROUTE INFO:
Make your way onto the track and choose a pair of Ethiopian runners and, working as a team, complete a 4x400 relay to receive your next clue from the track coach. (African runners are well known for being long-distance and relay experts.)

They choose two, with Lori running the second leg while Bolo takes the anchor leg. As Lori starts her leg (and hopes she can control her bladder), Hayden & Aaron arrive. Hayden's excited at the prospect of running as it's her strength. Kris & Jon arrive as well and, as Bolo runs the last lap, the other two teams' first runners start off. Bolo was able to fend off the Ethiopian runners (even with only a half-a-track lead) and thus received this clue:

ROUTE INFO:
Fly to the city of Colombo on the island naton of Sri Lanka (over 3600 miles away). Once there, travel by train to the city of Galle. Then hire a "tuk-tuk" driver (a "tuk-tuk" being a small three-wheeled motorized vehicle) to the nearby fort to obtain your next clue.

Meanwhile, Aaron beats Jon in the battle of the male anchors and he and Hayden depart in second. Kris & Jon are on their tails in third.

As they head back TO the airport, the second charter flight arrives AT it and Team Shrek and Team Engaged Models get out. Kendra is having a case of "Montezuma's Revenge" or whatever the equivalent is in Ethiopia, but TRIES to hold on until they get to the stadium. As such, Adam & Rebecca get almost all the way through their relay before Freddy & Kendra even ARRIVE at the stadium. And, of course, the LAST thing Kendra wants to be doing is RUNNING today... but she does.

Lori & Bolo book the so-called ONLY flight to Colombo through Dubai on the Ethiopian national airline. Kris & Jon pass Hayden & Aaron en route to the airport and get on the same flight. Team Restauranteurs get on it likewise. It leaves at 2:30pm and arrives in Colombo the following morning... so the other teams have till 2:30 to get on the flight and HOPE it's not booked.

As Team Engaged Models get lost, Team Shrek - still winded from the run - arrives and books the flight... at around 2:20. The four teams start to board the plane... and Freddy & Kendra stop at the airport to haggle with the cabbie about the price. This ALMOST proves to be their downfall... as they wasted JUST ENOUGH time. They are able to get boarding passes, but they have to RUN to catch the flight! But they make it. So the "Great Equalizer" attacks again and all five teams are in a tie as they connect through Dubai to...

COLOMBO, SRI LANKA


A tropical isle on the Indian Ocean (which, sadly, was raped by that underwater earthquake some weeks after the Racers left) is where the teams get off and look for cabs to the train station. The drivers obviously don't go to the same driving schools as Americans do because they drive almost DIRECTLY into traffic when asked to hurry. Some are nervous about this, some are freaked...but other are STOKED and treat it like an amusment park ride.

At the station, the first four teams arrive and get tickets on the #5 train to Galle. The problem is they'll all have to stand in the smelly car... something Kendra is NOT liking very much. The train pulls out...just as Adam & Rebecca arrive. They find out that the next train out... is 90 minutes away! (Secretly, I'm sure Freddy & Kendra are laughing their asses off right now.) And, apparently, Jonathan's attitude has been channeled by Adam because he blames Rebecca for costing them them Race! He wants to leave the station at all costs, not wanting to stay there in the interum. Rebecca asks a cabbie, "We want to go to the airport because he wants to go home! That's a GREAT idea!" Adam is NOT amused.

GALLE, SRI LANKA

On one of the southernmost cities on the island, the front four teams arrive. There are many, many tuk-tuks for their use. Team Rasslers leave first, Team Engaged Models on their tail. Team 'Dating' Actors and Team Restauranteurs are in close pursuit as well. The drivers are as crazy in Sri Lanka as in Ethiopia, but they sall arrive at the fort safely. Once again, Lori & Bolo are first to the:

DETOUR: Tree Trunks or Elephant Trunks? (Two common activities in Sri Lanka)
TREE TRUNKS: Take a tuk-tuk two miles to a local coconut plantation. Put on a saftey harness and climb a marked tree 50 feet to a rope bridge. When you traverse the bridge, you will pick up a bottle of sap (used to make liqour) and descend. When both of you pour the sap into a nearby cask, your next clue will be given.
ELEPHANT TRUNKS: Take a tuk-tuk 2 1/2 miles to an elephant polo field. Each team member, one at a time, must mount an elephant and steer it while whacking a polo ball down the field, around the opposite goal post and back to the goal. Once both team members score a goal, you'll receive your next clue.

TREE TRUNKS: Team Rasslers, Team 'Dating' Actors & Team Restauranteurs.
ELEPHANT TRUNKS: Team Engaged Models

As Adam & Rebecca get on the second train (and Adam goes on and on and on about how they're going to lose), Lori starts to climb the tree... and Freddy gets on the elephant and matriculates the ball down the field. At the plantation, Hayden & Aaron and Kris & Jon arrive... and Hayden confesses she's acrophobic (where do they FIND these people?!) but will do it anyway. She and Jon climb after Lori.. and, when Lori gets the safety line caught in her legs, that gives Jon the chance to catch-up. Hayden... not so much. She's freaking and stumbling as Jon gets down and Kris starts HER climb. Lori has to slide her butt across the bottom rope to get back to the tree and climb down.

Meanwhile, Freddy's having a BLAST on the elephant and has next to no trouble getting his goal. Kendra is next up and whoops it up!

Kris actually BEATS Lori down and puts his team into first again. And their reward? Only this:

ROUTE INFO:
Travel by bus to the city of Kandy (about 70 miles away). Then head for the Kandian Art Association. Purchase an offering of a bowl of rice, take it to the monk in the Temple of the Tooth across the street and he will hand you your next clue.

As they leave, Hayden freaks some more, giving Lori the time needed to get down the tree and get Bolo up there. The wrestler is swift across the ropes as Hayden is slow going down the tree. As they work on that... and Kendra starts her whacking...

Team Shrek finally arrives in Galle, a very apologetic Adam being lead by a very apathetic Rebecca to the tuk-tuks. They make it to the fort and decide to ride the TREE TRUNKS.

Meanwhile, Aaron picks up the slack and catches up to Bolo... somewhat. Bolo is still the first down, now in second place by a hair over Team 'Dating' Actors. Their Model Alliance teammates, Team Engaged Models, finally finish their pachyderm polo match and head for the station in fourth.

At the bus station, Kris & Jon stand on the queue for the bus to Kandy. But Team Rasslers and Team 'Dating' Actors get on the same queue, making it a three-way tie on Bus #1. As they head off, Adam looks skeptical about being able to climb that tree (and THIS from a fitness instructor... go fig). Rebecca climbs it without a problem, though. As Adam climbs it (with a kiss from Rebecca for luck), Freddy & Kendra depart on the second bus to Kandy. This leaves Team Shrek to finish the task solo and catch the third bus out of town... still in last.

KANDY, SRI LANKA

The first bus arrives... and the Kandian Art Association is within walking distance of the bus station. But... there's a problem:

HOURS OF OPERATION: 8:30am to 4:00pm.

The current time: just after 4:30.

Well, well, well... it's a whole new Race yet again! Lori & Bolo, Kris & Jon and Hayden & Aaron get to rest a while and explore the city. When Freddy & Kendra arrive, they learn the same. And, when Adam & Rebecca arrive as well at 7:30pm,... they're ECSTATIC!! They're not out of it at all!

As it must, the sun rises. And ten Americans get into track-running formation in front of the gates to the Association. The gates open... annnnnnnd there's off! Each team pays their 729 Rupee price for the rice and jogs to the Temple of the Tooth. Once again, it's the wrestlers who arrive first, present their offering to the monk and receive the next clue:

ROUTE INFO:
Travel by bus to the city of Dambulla (about 50 miles away). Then take a tuk-tuk to the ancient city of Sigiriya. and locate the large peak known as Lion Rock. At the foot of the peak, you'll find your next clue.

Every team gets the same blessing: Team Engaged Models, Team Shrek, Team 'Dating' Actors and Team Restauranteurs. They all take tuk-tuks back to the bus station... except for Hayden & Aaron, who walk. They head into two buses to...

DAMBULLA, SRI LANKA

The tuk-tuk race is harrowing ride to Sigiriya. And Team Shrek hits MORE bad luck as their driver needs to stop for gas. It takes just a minute or two to fill this small vehicle... but it's a few minutes too late for their comfort.

SIGIRIYA, SRI LANKA

Kris & Jon are the first to buy their ticket into the park and run smack into a:

ROAD BLOCK: ("Who's got strong legs and keen eyes?")
One team member must climb over 100 steps to the top of this 600-foot rock. Be sure to take your admission ticket to the top, as this is the ONLY way to get access to it. The member must then take binoculars and look around for a red-and-yellow flag. Once you come down and state you found the flag, you will get your next clue.

Kris insists Jon do this as she is too winded. Meanwhile, the other teams are lost and follow each other, with Team Shrek in the back once the other three pass them. They all arrive and buy tickets at about the same time. They all find the ROAD BLOCK and elect Lori, Aaron, Freddy and Adam to climb and view. Freddy forgets his ticket and has to climb back down. And that's when Bolo finds out that Lori doesn't have HER ticket! (Brains + Brawn = Oil + Water, folks.)

Jon uses his ticket to gain access to the top of the rock, grabs the binoculars and scans the countryside. It's a VAST countryside, though, and his tired eyes are weary. As such, while Lori tries to bargain with the ticket-taker and then angrily heads back down to cuss Bolo out, Adam, Aaron and Freddy continues their ascent and gets THEIR spyglasses out to look for the flag. Jon does manage to find the flag (which is actually a tent in the backyard of a nearby house next to a pool) and climbs down. Aaron is next to spot it... and Adam struggles.

When Jon comes down, they follow the rest of the ROAD BLOCK clue:

ROUTE INFO - PIT STOP:
Guess what? Where that flag is... THAT'S the PIT STOP. Travel to that backyard and swim the length of the pool before arriving at the PIT STOP. WARNING: the last team to check-in MAY be eliminated!

As they leave, Lori does indeed cuss Bolo out... and Bolo feels down. The other guys find the clue and head down the step to take their ladies to the...

PIT STOP:
A LODGE SOMEWHERE NEAR SIGIRIYA, SRI LANKA

The long-distance daters arrive at the pool, seeing Phi Keoghan and a local lady on the other side. They dump their pack and dive in, swimming the length and dragging their drenched bodies to the mat. Phil then says , "Kris & Jon, you guys are Team Number One!" Team Restauranteurs get a romantic European vacation (that Chevy Chase has nothing to do with) thanks to AA.com.

The other men climb down the step and get their partners... leaving Bolo to convalesce at his blunder. Lori finally arrives... and Bolo prays for a fast tuk-tuk or she'll give him a Stone Cold Stunner he'll NEVER wake up from!

One by one, the teams get to the PIT STOP. A few teams are confused when they head towards the mat and Phil tells them to swim the length of the pool before checking in. It ends up a swimming race between the three teams... but it's Hayden & Aaron who wind up Team #2. Freddy & Kendra are Team #3 and Adam & Rebecca are Team #4.

A few minutes later, Team Rasslers (my pick to win this from the start) arrive. They leap half-way across the pool and swim the rest. But Phil tells them, "Lori & Bolo, you are the last team to arrive." After a pause, he adds, "I'm sorry to tell you that you've been eliminated from the Race." (Damn!) Lori is angry about the screw up at the ROAD BLOCK... but, all-in-all, they say they've run a good Race and they love each other more now than before. I guess wrestling with differences helped them pin down their similarities and made them submit to each others' love. (Corny, I know, but true.)

TO HELP IN THE TSUNAMI RELIEF EFFORTS THAT HAVE BEEN GOING ON SINCE DECEMBER, GO TO CBS.COM OR THE AMERICAN RED CROSS SITE FOR MORE INFORMATION.

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