When it comes to reality TV competitions, you never really know what it is that’s going to set people off. In the case of tonight’s episode of The Amazing Race, it was a sports bra. I’m filling in for Matt Norris, who’s on vacation. While Norris is off enjoying food and wine in the happiest place on earth, we got to see the remaining Amazing-racers trek through Bolivia, leading marching bands, riding wooden bikes and wrestling with women but before we get to all of that, let’s talk about this ridiculous sports bra drama.

Christy and Kelly were pissed off because one of them was drying their sports bra on a ledge at the last pit stop and apparently the bra fell and they think Starr pushed it off. Starr’s response to this was to say that she stands nothing to gain from pushing the sports bra out the window. She makes a good point, though it’s entirely possible that she did push the bra off the ledge just to be spiteful. All the same, while Christy seems to think it unlikely that the bra magically “hurled itself” off the ledge, it’s possible that the thing did fall on its own. Is this the first time these girls have left undergarments out to dry? They’ve never once found their garment lying on the floor the next day? Seems hard to believe. No, I suspect that regardless of what really happened with the bra, Christy and Kelly were already looking for a reason to dislike Starr. A good lesson for the future might be not to leave ones underwear out to dry in a public area. That’s just poor manners anyway.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the race. I’ve been rooting for geeks Mark and Bill to do well in this game so I was pretty much cringing through this entire episode as we saw them misread a clue early on in the race that would inevitably cost them the game. Ok, that’s not entirely true. I think even if they hadn’t incurred a 30 minute penalty for taking a taxi to their mission rather than going on foot as the clue had instructed, they still would have been eliminated this week. Any of the time they accrued from the taxi ride, they more than lost when it came time to fight the Cholitas. We’ll get back to that in a minute though.

Tonight’s leg of the race involved the contestants flying to Bolivia. There were two flights that went there and as they both arrived around the same time, everyone caught up to one another at the first checkpoint. They had to sleep there overnight and in the morning, find their clue in the morning paper. The clue told them to go to a store and buy a hat, which all of them did. Then they had to decide whether they wanted to do “Marching Band” or “Bumpy Road.”

The Bumpy Road task involved the contestants riding wooden bikes down a cobblestone road. I can’t imagine that this was enjoyable, especially for the men. For the Marching Band task, the contestants had to make their way to the two drummers and lead them to the next checkpoint, collecting other band members along the way. While Frat guys Dan and Andrew begrudgingly lead their band members slowly down the road, Marisa and Brooke were cheerful in the task and this proved helpful as they believed it made their band members pick up the pace. They did manage to catch up with Dan and Andrew, who didn’t understand why their own band wasn’t walking as fast.

Ty/Aja, Kelly/Christy and Starr/Nick were all neck and neck during the Bumpy Road task. When Starr and Nick passed Kelly and Christy and caught up to Ty and Aja, they begged Ty and Aja not to use the U-Turn on them and instead, to use it on Kelly and Christy. As a U-Turn can only be used by each team once in the entire race, Ty and Aja both realized that Starr was trying to use them and weren’t buying it. What did they really stand to gain by setting Christy and Kelly back other than a marginal advantage in this leg of the race? They opted not to use the U-Turn and instead, use what Starr tried to do to their advantage. Meanwhile, Christy and Kelly got stuck when one of them (Christy?) wiped out on the bike but they eventually made their way to the Fighting Cholitas Road Block where Aja informed them that Starr tried to get them to use the Road Block on them. I have to give Aja credit, using that info to their advantage can only help them as she probably secured a bit of Christy and Kelly’s trust while at the same time, dumped some more fuel on the fire between Christy/Kelly and Starr/Nick. Good strategy there.

Terence and Sarah lost time on this portion of the mission because, like Mark and Bill, they too started off by taking a cab rather than finding the bands or the bikes on foot. But Sarah realized their mistake and ordered the driver to take them back to the hat place so they could re-trace the route on foot. Unfortunately for Mark and Bill, they marched on, heading off to the Road Block not realizing their error. They were ahead for a while but were passed by two other teams, including Ken and Tina, who are really starting to make this game look easy.

For the Fighting Cholitas road block, one member of each team had to learn a bunch of different wrestling moves and then use them against one of the Bolivian wrestlers (all of whom were female). Ken did his training and competed first, blowing through each move with ease and securing first place for himself and Tina as the two headed off to the pit stop. Mark had difficulties with the moves and after two re-training sessions and a brief oxygen break (due to the altitude), he finally finished. The problem was, by the time Mark and Bill were headed off to the pit stop, all but one team had completed the Road Block. Even Mother/Son Toni and Dallas, who were in last place earlier on had passed them.

When Bill and Mark made it to the pit stop, they were informed that because they cabbed their way through a part of the race that had to be done on foot, they had received a 30 minute penalty. As it turned out, Kelly and Christy weren’t so far behind and they managed to make it to the pit stop before the penalty ran out, securing themselves second to last place and pushing Mark and Bill into last. So really, even without the penalty, had Mark and Bill not taken a cab early on in the race, they probably still would have fallen behind Christy and Kelly during the Fighting Cholitas Road Block. It still had to hurt to sit there at the pit stop and see the final team show up and take the last spot in the race.

So Mark and Bill head home and the rest of the teams move forward. I’m sure Nick and Starr will be disappointed to learn that Kelly and Christy are still in the game.

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