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'The Amazing Race' recap: Did you see those bunny rabbits?

November 14, 2011 |  9:40 am


"The Amazing Race" has gotten down to few enough teams that the pack shifts a lot during the course of a single leg. Deciding which task to do can make a huge difference, and if one team doesn't quite understand a clue, it might slip behind when it retraces the 400-plus steps up the side of a grand old church to try to figure out what it got wrong.

Pictured above, Andy & Tommy climb that church, in Copenhagen. The snowboarders got the clues right, but Jeremy & Sandy weren't so lucky. After misinterpreting the clue and bumbling around the city, they went back and climbed all those stairs again. Their return was so late that they bumped into Marcus & Amani. The former NFL star and his wife were hours behind all the other teams in traveling from Malawi to Denmark. We saw several shots of them snoozing in the airport as Laurence & Zac flew to London and then Copenhagen, landing first, and the other teams traveled through Amsterdam. As the other contestants raced through airports and streets, Marcus & Amani slept; they only realized they were behind when there were no other contestants on their plane.

Marcus & Amani would be toast if Jeremy & Sandy weren't so inclined to getting lost. When they do well, they do very well -- and then they go way off track. Marcus & Amani have a chance.

The teams must find a palace and have one team member dress in a Renaissance costume and learn how to do a period dance. Laurence & Zac and Ernie & Cindy are the first two teams. "Normally I don’t wear tights," Ernie says, as Cindy jumps up and down with glee about his dancing. "I had to get shown how to dance by a weird-looking man in tights," Zac says. "Not one of my proud moments." What's the problem here, Zac? The wierd-looking part? The dancing? Dancing with a man? A man in tights?

Bill & Cathi arrive; she dances. Of the snowboarders, Andy dances, and he's such a quick study his teacher thinks he's done this before.

As the dancers are learning their steps, the other halves of their teams chat. Cindy asks Bill how he and Cathi met. He tells her they met in middle school when he was 13 and Cathi was 12, and they stayed together for eight years and married when she graduated from college. So sweet! Cindy tells him that she and Ernie met in a bar. Overachiever Cindy is starting to look more human.

Ernie finishes dancing first. "You killed it," Cindy tells him. "Cathi was right on your tail, though." Ernie asks, "What about Zac?" We'd seen Zac fail in his first dancing attempt. "No, Zac has zero dancing skills," Cindy says confidently.

Jeremy & Sandy arrive as the snowboarders are leaving, and ask if they're last. Nope, Zac is still trying to get the dancing done. Zac finishes while Sandy learns the steps. After getting lost in remote-looking fields, Marcus & Amani show up. Sandy leaves, and in last place, Amani dances with the most style -- she makes it look like fun.

Ernie & Cindy arrive first at the next challenge, and must choose whether to churn butter or race bunnies through a steeplechase course. Spooked by their problems with sheep, they choose the butter. If only they could see how cute the racing bunnies are! They're the first to finish the task, and find upon finishing that there's a double U-Turn. Ernie & Cindy, the first to arrive, decide they'll U-Turn one of the other teams.

"I want to win a freaking leg," Cindy says. "I’m sorry Bill & Cathi, but it’s freaking a million dollars." She doesn't sound sorry; so much for amiable chit-chat. Later in their car, Ernie says: “I really didn’t want to U-turn anybody. I didn’t want to play the game like that.” Cindy replies, “Sorry, I'm the mean one.” She doesn't sound very sorry then, either. They're the first to check in.

Bill & Cathi finish churning and then discover they've been U-Turned, so they head over to the bunnies. Don't worry, Bill & Cathi, the bunnies are really cute! You'll see!

Andy & Tommy choose the butter churning.

“May we have our cute little rabbit?” asks Cathi. They switch rabbits from Hopper (“he got winded”) to Speckles, a white bunny with black spots that may be the CUTEST THING EVER. He has to do the route with each of them, and he zips through like a champion. When they get back to the U-Turn after completing their second detour, they decide they have to U-Turn another team: They detour Laurence & Zac, who had been ahead of them at the dancing.

After leaving the dance, Sandy says: “We can’t get lost.” Cue ominous music.

Laurence & Zac get to the detour, and decide to churn butter. The snowboarders are partway done.

Marcus & Amani get to the farm while Laurence & Zac are finishing the butter task. Marcus & Amani are the only team to choose the bunnies first. “I need you to come on with it,” Marcus shouts as the bunny goes over one obstacle and the next with Amani. Go bunny!

Jeremy & Sandy are not at the farm yet. They are lost. Seriously lost.

Laurence discovers he and Zac have been U-Turned by Bill & Cathi. “This is bloody ridiculous,” he huffs. Um, no, it’s the game. 

Marcus & Amani finish their bunny run as Laurence & Zac get started. They know they're not last anymore.

Bill & Cathi and Andy & Tommy arrive in tandem to the check-in point, next to an antique sailing ship, checking in second and third. Andy & Tommy say they’re happy Ernie & Cindy have won a leg, because they've been right behind them recently. After being U-Turned, Cathi disagrees, and Bill's with her. “It’s like kicking your mother and father to the curb,” he says.

So now three teams have checked in. Laurence & Zac finish bunny racing as Jeremy & Sandy show up at the farm, finally, and begin churning butter.

Marcus & Amani have made a comeback! They are the fourth team to check in.

Laurence & Zac are caught in bad traffic -- and they're going the wrong direction.

Can Jeremy & Sandy get their bearings after leaving the farm to reach the check-in point? They do! They are the fifth team to check in. They seem happy, but they don't seem affectionate toward each other, like happy couples are. Poor Jeremy & Sandy.

Laurence & Zac are sixth to check in ... and are ELIMINATED. “We got lost like two hours back there,” says Zac. “Next time I’ll take it a bit more slow," Laurence says, looking at the nearby boats. "Maybe on a yacht. Heh heh.” Oh, Laurence, you charmer.


"The Amazing Race" recap: Tippy canoe

"The Amazing Race" recap: Africa, tobacco and a smile

"The Amazing Race" recap: God's will

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Andy & Tommy in Copenhagen. Credit: CBS