Been Wanting a Face-Lift for a Long Time
SOWETO OVERLOOK, SOUTH AFRICA
Not too far
from where Nelson Mandela called home, the Racers eat, sleep and
shmooze for 12 hours. And, remember, Meredith & Gretchen (Team
Socially Secure) have nothing! No cash, no backpacks, no
comforts... NOTHIN'! Well,... nuthin' except their passports and
what they wore coming into the PIT STOP...
including Gretchen's bandage.
local time, Ray & Deana (Team
On-Again-Off-Again), who came in
first thatnks to the FAST FORWARD, depart with this clue:
Drive yourselves in your marked car to the
Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve (about 30 miles away).
there, sign up for one of two shuttles into the lion reserve
(they depart at 8am and 9am). When on the shuttle, you will
be given a bucket of meat... and must feed the wild lions in
the reserve. Once the lions are fed, the keeper will give
you your next clue.
Six teams have $118
for this leg of the Race... while one team has $0!
team is not about to give up first place without a fight... even
if the fight is among THEMSELVES. Ray STILL thinks Deana could
do better... and tells Deana to stop panicking as she drives.
And there's decent reason NOT to panic. That's because the next
team - Ron & Kelly (Team American Beauties) - are almost two
hours behind! But they DO have an advantage in that they KNOW
where the reserve is. Of course, Team On-Again-Off-Again DOES
arrive first and signs for one of three spots on the 8am
shuttle. Team American Beauties are second.
After having fun with the clue, Brian & Greg (Team Barroom Bros)
depart in third, psyched at the prospect of feeding the lions...
though a little jumpy at Greg's driving skills (we call this
foreshadowing). Lynn & Alex (Team Fab Two) leave about 20
minutes behind them, enjoying that, though they know this is a
race, they're in places they never thought they'd be. As for Rob
& Amber (Team Survivor), they KNOW they're not getting Christmas
cards from any of the teams. And Uchenna & Joyce (Team Will Race
For Food) are hopeful, thanks to the orphanage visit the other
Finally, armed with only their passports and some clothes
graciously donated by Uchenna & Joyce, Meredith & Gretchen
depart. Gretchen feels like she got sandblasted... but she's
happy to be alive. One by one, the teams reach the park (though
Team Will Race For Food DOES get a little lost en route) and
sign up for the following shuttles:
8am: Ray & Deana, Ron & Kelly, Brian and Greg
9am: Lynn & Alex, Rob & Amber, Meredith & Gretchen and Uchenna &
OK, it's time for everybody's favorite reality-show side-quest:
BEGGING FOR DOLLARS! Team Socially Secure must now go around and
beg people for money to get them through this leg of the Race.
The PROBLEM this time is that nobody is at the reserve except...
well, the other teams. So they beg the other teams for a little
of their bread. Ones who DON'T give them money are Team
Survivor. After all, Meredith & Gretchen are, essentially,
trying to con con-men. Also, Ray & Deana tell them they'll help
out later... because they want the couple to be "sacrificial
Where can you see lions? Not ONLY in Kenya but in South Africa,
too. The 8am shuttle departs and each team member is given a
bucket with two hunks of raw meat inside. They get driven to
where the lions lick their chops as they smell fresh meat... and
also what's in the buckets. The six Americans sling their meat
at the lions and then drive back to the reserve where they
Fly to the city of Gaborone, Botswana (over
150 miles away).
Once there, you must travel over 440
miles by train and bus to the Giant Aardvark monument
outside the village of Gueda. There you will find your next
Team American Beauties,
Team Barroom Bros and Team On-Again-Off-Again take off for
Johannesburg (the nearest International airport) while the other
four teams wait for 9am to hit before feeding the big
After making sure the lions will eat the thrown
meat and not them, they head back, get their clue and start off
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
Ron & Kelly arrive at the airport first and look for flights.
The ticket agent at South Africa Airlines says that THEIR
earliest flight is 1:30pm... but Air Botswana has one taking off
at noon. Still an hour or so away but... it's better than
nothing. As they book their tickets, Brian & Greg and Ray &
Deana likewise arrive and get the same tickets.
Then comes the second group. Or, more specifically, Team Will
Race For Food. While the other teams look for the way to the
city, Uchenna & Joyce get to the airport and JUST make the noon
flight. As it takes off, the other teams start to file in. First
comes Team Socially Secure, who are the first to book the 1:35pm
flight on South Africa Airlines. Right behind is Team Survivor,
who likewise book it.
Team Fab Two, however, took a left when they should've gone
straight... and ends up right in the middle of rural
Johannesburg... or "jut-like-Compton", as Alex calls it (way to
set race relations back 50 years, dudes). After finding there
way out (in double-time because of their fear), they get back to
the airport and find out that they are on the same flight as Rob
& Amber and Meredith & Gretchen to...
After landing an hour after take-off, the four front
teams look for cabs. Team American Beauties and Team Barroom
Bros share a cab, while Team On-Again-Off-Again and Team Will
Race For Food take separate ones.
But who says that airports are the ONLY "equalizers" on this
Race? When the teams arrive at the Gabarone Train Station, they
find that the next train out to their destination doesn't
leave... until 9pm! So much the 95-minute lead.
The second plane lands at the airport and the other four teams
disembark. Lynn & Alex are first to get a cab... but, when Rob &
Amber try to stop them and get on board, Team Fab Two says, "Not
enough room," and the van hauls off. This pisses Rob off to no
end (I thought it was NEW YORKERS with the tempers, not
BOSTONIANS.) Lynn & Alex, however, cannot stop smiling!
Eventually, all get to the station... and Rob starts spouting at
Lynn & Alex. But he's cool with it, saying, "I'm through being a
nice guy." Uh,... that assumes that you were a nice guy at ALL
during the Race, Rob. Anyway, they all hang out until 9pm and
then it's alll abooooard to Francistown and then a bus to...
Let's skip the bus ride and get straight to the aardvark, shall
we? (We can do that; CBS has fancy editing equipment.) All
fourteen Racers get off the bus and run like Hell to that
humungous anteater... and the Route Marker in front of it. They
have to duck a low-flying biplane, but they keep running. As
such, all seven run like Hell right into a:
ROAD BLOCK (Who's
got good aim?)
member must complete a traditional hunting training exercise
created by bushmen: s/he must toss a spear approximately 20
feet to strike a moving target. Make your way to the group
of bushmen and choose one to go off with to do the task. The
spear MUST stay in the target to count. Once the task is
complete, see the bushman to obtain your next clue.
And the spear-chuckers
will be: Lynn, Rob, Brian, Meredith, Ron, Joyce and Ray. But,
uh,... Meredith has to FIND the bushmen first. And that's easier
said than done for the seniors. But he eventually finds them.
Now, you would think shoving a spear into a swinging bag would
be an easy thing to do. But everyone seems to struggle with it.
But Brian manages to stab the bag right through its corner. This
counts and, thus, he and Greg receive the next clue first:
Drive yourselves in the marked Humvees to the
cattle post in the middle of the Botswana bush called Xua
Xarra (about 35 miles away, following the markers).
There you will find your next clue. A safety guide will ride
with you in the car.
They run off to get their
Hummer... but Ron & Kelly are right behind them as Ron pokes the
parcel at last. Lynn & Alex are right behind THEM in third.
Ron, being a veteran of an Iraqi war, knows ALL ABOUT how
Humvees work, so they peel out in first, with Brian & Greg hot
on their bumper. As Lynn & Alex head out, Ray hits the target
and he and a more-patient Deana leave in fourth. It's Uchenna
who finishes fifth... but they have to find their bags first.
Meredith departs in sixth... and an impatient Rob FINALLY sticks
it. So all seven are on the road again.
Or, rather, OFF-road again. The trail is rather bumpy and filled
with hills. But that doesn't phase Team Survivor. Rob deftly
drives around Team Socially Secure (who slows to wave at a wood
cart driver) and Team On-Again-Off-Again. BOTH are mad as the
road race continues.
And, then... it happened.
Who knows HOW it happened... or WHY it happened. I'm sure some
people think that it happening is next-to-IMPOSSIBLE. All we
know is that Brian & Greg's Hummer hits a slick spot... and
rolls over! The brothers are all right... but their cameraman is
hurt. (Yeah, in case you missed it, they DO travel with a
cameraman and a soundman everywhere... though they digitally
delete them in most shots.) The Hummer is all but totaled.
Lynn & Alex, in third at the time, see the overturned Hummer
and, good gay Samaritans that they are, stop to check on Brian &
Greg and their passengers. Rob & Amber take this opportunity...
to drive right by them.
XUA XARRA, BOTSWANA
Team American Beauties - the only team unaware of Team
Barroom Bros misfortunes - arrive at the cattle post and find a:
DETOUR - Food or Water?
Take a traditional wooden bucket called a "kika" and two
wooden poles and proceed to grind corn into flour. A
bushwoman will then sift the flour and reject it if it is
not of the right consistency. Continue until you fill a
basket to the green line. Only then will you receive your
WATER - Use reed straws to suck water out of an underground
spring. Then, by tradition, you must put the water into
twelve empty ostrich eggs and bury them in the dirt (for
cool storage) before you can receive your next clue.
In a hurry, Ron & Kelly decide on FOOD.
But,...they're not very good at it; their strokes are short and
lack muscle behind it.
(Traffic on the Botswana I-94 is backed-up due to an
overturned car and an onlooker delay. You may want to take an
Back on the road, Team Fab Two are assured that medical help and
a replacement car is on the way for Team Barroom Bros so they
head off. As the bros wait, the other teams stop for a second to
see that they're OK... and then drive off. The Rules of the Race
say that, if a vehicle breaks down through no fault of the
team's, a replacement vehicle will be provided... but the time
lost is lost for good.
Rob & Amber arrive at the DETOUR in second and decide on WATER.
As they start to suck, Lynn & Alex arrive and choose FOOD. Team
Fab Two inform Team American Beauties about Team Barroom Bros...
and how Team Survivor just drove on by, which adds to the teams'
hatred for the Bostonian couple. But the laugh seems to be on
them because, though they think Rob sucks, Rob PROVES it in a
LITERAL sense. Before Ron & Kelly can pound out enough corn, Rob
& Amber have filled EIGHT eggs!
But it IS Team American Beauties who finish first and receive:
ROUTE INFO - PIT STOP:
yourselves (following the markers) to the next PIT STOP: the
edge of the Makgadikgadi Pans (about 7 miles away). It may
just look like six double-sized cots in the middle of
nowhere, but it IS the PIT STOP and you WILL be spending the
night here. WARNING: the last team to check-in may be
They are off... and Team Survivor is right behind them,
having buried their eggs and leaving them to hatch into turtles
that will instinctively find their way to the oc... oops...
wrong eggs. Anyway, they head out while Team Fab Two argue at
each other like husband and... husband, I guess. As, as they do,
three other teams arrive. Team On-Again-Off-Again, Team Socially
Secure and Team Will Race For Food all pick FOOD and run to
start their daily grind.
Meanwhile, Team Barroom Bros finally get another vehicle and,
after praying for the well-being of the hurt cameraman, take off
again... this time MUCH more cautiously.
Back at the flour-mashing contest, Uchenna seems to be doing
just fine all alone while the other teams have trouble.
MAKGADIKGADI PANS, BOTSWANA
It's a foot race to the mat where host Phil Keoghan and his
trusty military escort await the teams. But, after Rob & Amber
drop their clue (the Rules state that you must hang on to all
clues for a leg), it's Ron & Kelly who are named Team # 1! No
extra prize this time... friggin' cheapskates. Rob & Amber
arrive as Team # 2... and get mildly berated by Phil for just
passing by the car wreck.
Meanwhile, back at the village, the grinding continues. Meredith
& Gretchen get CLOSE... but still need to pound a bit more
flour. Ray & Deana are falling WAY behind because their flour
isn't pounded enough.
Through it all, Brian & Greg FINALLY get to the DETOUR at last
and choose WATER. But, before they can even START, Uchenna &
Joyce FINISH in third and head for the Pans. Team Fab Two finish
next... and that pisses off Ray and upsets Deana. Ray says that
they don't work as a team... and Deana decides to REALLY not
work as a team and bail on him.
Team Will Race For Food is Team # 3 and Team Fab Two is Team #
4. Lynn & Alex said they's be Team # 2 had they not stopped at
the wreck. They leer over Rob & Amber's way as they say that.
Meredith & Gretchen are pounding, Ray & Deana are b*tching,
Brian & Greg are sucking and belching. Who will leave next?
Sure enough, it's team Socially Secure who finishes and hauls
out in fifth place. Team On-Again-Off-Again are VERY close....
but not close enough. Team Barroom Bros continue to slurp the
water and fill the eggs... until they fill all twelve and start
to bury them.
As Meredith & Gretchen arrive as Team #5 (and Phil is
overly-impressed with these guys staying in the Race despite
being stripped of all possessions), the last two teams struggle.
And they both leave at just about the same time. So it's a road
race and a foot race to the PIT STOP.
And, by a few dozen feet, the winners are...
BRIAN & GREG! They are SO happy to have gone from such a
terrible accident and STILL be in the Race! Oh, and their
cameraman... is doing just fine.
At first, a VERY upset Ray & Deana do not wish to check-in...
but they eventually schlep to the mat and are given the bad
news: they're last... and they're out.
"We deserve to be," says Ray.
Needless to say, I think this relationship is "Off-Again"...
though they say they're going to TRY to get it "On-Again" as
best as they can.