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'The Amazing Race': Horsing around in Argentina

98759_D6276  And that's why it pays to read the clues.

This week's episode of "The Amazing Race" took the contestants from Chile to Argentina, where they searched the Andes for gunslingers, Travelocity gnomes, stolen money, fake horses and bandits. 

What was missing for several teams was the ability to read the directions that they were given, whether that was to count the appropriate steps while searching for buried cash or where they had to go next.

But one team--models Caite and Brent--were nearly out of the race before the leg even began as they succumbed to something resembling food poisoning... and promptly checked themselves into a Chilean emergency room for three hours of IV drips before heading back out on the road. Very luckily, they weren't due to depart Chile for several hours and managed to get back in the race with little issue. (Darn.)

I felt bad for Caite and Brent on the one hand. The race is a brutal master, and there's no place for illness when you're competing for a $1-million prize and getting little R&R. But really, the emergency room? I understand if you're unable to keep fluids down and are extremely dehydrated, but I can't help but wonder what was in those IV drips that suddenly made them feel better after just three hours of lying in a stark hospital room.

The cowboys--brothers Jet and Cord--once again managed to pull off a stunning performance this week... and made girlfriends Carol and Brandy extremely curious about just how they got into first place last week. I thought that Carol and Brandy's inquisition of the cowboys was outright rude and they're clearly more consumed with bickering between each other and competing with the other teams than concentrating on running the best possible race. 

Jet and Cord, meanwhile, sailed smoothly into another first place finish, aided by the fact that they're naturally adept with lassoing (which Brandy said was an unfair advantage), smart players, good with directions, and are only thinking about their own performance and not falling into catty behavior or second-guessing themselves. I thought it was brilliant that they faked being lost so that the other teams could pass them on the road to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid's legendary hideout... where they had to play five-card stud with a Travelocity gnome.

Kudos go to father-daughter team Steve and Allie for coming out of nowhere to pull off a second place spot this week. They really stepped it up this week and managed not to get side-tracked or enmeshed in any inter-team rivalries. The second best line of the episode, in fact, may just go to Steve, who uttered the immortal line, "I'm 57 years old, what isn't hurting?" when they quickly made their way through the Horse Power detour challenge. (They certainly did better than detectives Louie and Michael who proved unable to find anything during the Horse Sense detour.)

But several teams failed to read the instructions and lost some serious time this week. Joe and Heidi opted to rely on the compass on Joe's watch rather than the marked signpost and headed out in some unknown direction in search of... I don't know what, really. (Yes, there's a reason why you are meant to count your steps in a particular direction.) 

Meanwhile, Jeff and Jordan--who are slowly growing on me, strangely (at least for comic relief)--failed to understand that there was a difference between the "gunslinger" and the "head bandit" and failed to read the clue in full to see that they were meant to take the bag they unearthed to the train station, instead repeatedly attempting to give it to the gunslinger. Again. And again.

Still, at least the "Big Brother" duo had a sense of humor about the whole thing. Jordan said of Jeff, "He is not a natural cowboy" at the lassoing Road Block (though he did get it in the end), while Jeff had the single best line of the night: "We definitely shouldn't reproduce."

I'm keeping my mouth shut on that one.

For mothers/attorneys Monique and Shawne, it was the end of the line after difficulties from both the lasso Road Block and the polo mallet-wielding Detour pushed them all the way to the back of the pack. But they were able to at least unearth their bag, present it to the head bandit, and finish the leg without giving up, bickering or bad-mouthing each other or other competitors.

Which is more than I can say for a lot of these players.

What did you think of this week's episode? Are the cowboys the team to beat? Are you slowly warming to Jeff and Jordan? (Or were you cheering them on since the beginning?) Will Brandy and Carol's relationship continue to implode? Head to the comments section to discuss.

-- Jace Lacob (Follow my musings on television, food and more television on Twitter at @televisionary)

Photo: Cowboy Jet McCoy attempts to ride an unfamiliar kind of horse on "The Amazing Race." Credit: CBS/Monty Brinton.

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Comments () | Archives (14)

"We definitely shouldn't reproduce!" No truer words were ever spoken from a TV couple. That was hilarious, and they both seemed to laugh at the absurdity so that made it even funnier. Regarding the opening with Caite and Brent being sick, I probably would have done the same thing as they did. You don't have anytime to take a sick day from the race, so emergency room is the way to go. I was surprised they did so well. Cowboys are rolling, just having a good time. They are like Season 9's BJ and Tyler with Cowboy hats. It's still early, but every team is watching them, which could either be an advantage or a drawback. I like the brothers, too. Why amazing racers don't practice driving stick-shifts before the race is beyond me.

You are correct,the best line was "We shouldn,t reproduce"As for the father and daughter,I wish they would get more camera time,I barely know what they look like.

"We definitely shouldn't reproduce" was hilarious! Though I came into the season rooting for them (How can I not?! They are adorably hilarious!) I honestly wasn't expecting much from them. They've proved me wrong. Aside from the gunslinger/bandit mix up they played a marvelous leg... and they actually enjoy themselves and poke fun at themselves while doing racing. Team Jordan and Jeff, FTW!

I'm enjoying the season so far. The "dont' reproduce" line was great; another good one - from a logical standpoint - was when one of the cowboys responded to someone saying that the lasso challenge was unfair, by saying, "Well, they speak Spanish, and we don't, and we aren't complaining about that".

I don't think I've seen a challenge as messed up as that 'dig up the bags' one in a long time. I thought the cops had the right approach, by mapping it first, and seeing where the end point should be, but it didn't work out for them.

Gotta love the cowboys - the best and most entertaining team in years. I was hoping either the completely unlikeable 'models' or the bickering girlfriends would come in last and be sent packing, but it was not to be. Jeff and Jordan are a crack up.

A great 'Amazing Race' season.

Love how Jet and Cord settle things without name-calling or put-downs, look at all the challenges with humor and survived the bitchy Carol/Brandy snark attack like gentlemen-go Team Cowboy!

I love the cowboys....my favorite team of this season. Their only mistake has been the brazilian money....but after that they have become a winner team .
! Que vivan los vaqueros!.

The way the "shouldn't reproduce" line came out of Jeff's mouth had me laughing out loud. I agree it was the best line of the night and could end up being the funniest line of the season. The cowboys are great because they work together and don't argue and snap at each other. It's still early in the game, but I hope they continue this way, win or lose. As for the gay female couple, that dark-haired one needs to be a little nicer. If they got kicked off soon it wouldn't bother me just because I don't like her attitude. The Amazing Race is one of the best shows on tv! Love it.

The cowboys did it again, excellent job. Yes, I too was impressed with Steve and Allie. Agreed, there is not enough footage of them.

I'm sure the producers are the ones who decide WHERE the contestants go for medical care – not the players – can’t have players dropping dead during the game due to lack of medical attention. An IV is simply the quickest way to get blood sugars, electrolytes, etc., back to normal levels after dehydration or even food poisoning. Brent should learn to drive a stick, geez. Poor Caite.

The competitions seemed pretty tame on this leg of the race – so I was surprised to see so many having trouble with them. Tossing a looped rope 18 feet, didn’t seem terribly challenging. :-{

Initially, many people wouldn’t pair Jeff and Jordan up romantically, but they really do work well together. Jordan is what I call a ‘pure heart’ – but she’s streetwise – a rare combination. And Jeff, well…what’s not to love about him?

Couples who bicker are annoying – but to listen to two women doing it??? Yeesch…like nails on a chalkboard.

Good recap, thanks.

I've known people who have gotten serious dehydration because of "Montezuma's Revenge" type symptoms and after a while you cant even keep water in your stomach. You just throw it back up. An hour or two with an IV full of saline solution can do a world of good.

I must have missed the part of not reproducing, but I certainly LOL when Jeff said if he had a gun he would shoot himself for being stupid, when he kept taking the loot to the gun slinger. Love the Cowboys, what can I say. They had me from their cowboy hats. Jet is the calm one and Cord is the dare-devil. They work well together. The detectives? Well, let's just say should you lose your child, let's hope they are not the ones who assigned to the case. They can't find anything. If their head is not already attached to their bodies, they probably couldn't find them either. Sad!!!

Please excuse my spelling and grammar. IF THEIR HEADS ARE not already attached to their bodies..that's what I meant to say. TAR is my favorite show of all time. Once my boyfriend came to dinner, I told him not to talk, move, or breathe, until I'm finish watching the show. Yep, I'm a fan, a fanatic fan of the show since season 1. No matter where I go, or what I do, I'd always come home in time to watch the show. Still can't figure out how to tape it, LOL, I'm a high tech challenge person.

Put me on Team Cowboy, although Team Big Brother is very likable (good to see a woman with curves).

I even like Caite.

Can't stand the dark-haired lesbian.

The gay brother/straight brother are absurdly funny.

No feelings on the rest.

I'm SO glad the lawyers are gone. I can't stand when a team is Jesu-fying all the time--Jesus is NOT watching THE AMAZING RACE. Please stop with the Jesus-loving teams!


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