Oct 8, 2010, Ep 2: Woo Boys Stuck in a Beauty Sandwich?

The Amazing Race 17 Secret Scenes, Episode 2:  Woo Boys Stuck in a Beauty Sandwich?

So just who are the Woo Boys?  Who’s been mistaken for a cheerleader?  Which team has established a secret code of hand signals and songs?   And while this season seems relatively free of villains, which team strategically insists on keeping their distance from the others (hint: they’re pictured)?  Finally, guess who has ten kids?  Read on to find out the answers to these and more pressing mysteries!

At the Pit Stop

Featured Team: Michael & Kevin (third place)

Michael & Kevin’s Team Sign:  Phil puts his hands together in a W shape mimicking what he’s seen Michael & Kevin do.  I immediately think of “whatever” from the movie Clueless but it’s actually a little bit more than that.  Michael makes the W and then thrusts in the air three times, chanting “woooh-woooh-woooh.”  That’s their team’s sign.  Phil is interested what they think about being so far away from the United States.  Kevin found today to be full of very nice people.  They even left their stuff in a taxi at the roadblock and when they came back, everything was still there.  He loves how nice everyone is, gesturing at the mass that has gathered to see the Americans doing their crazy race.  Kevin asks Phil what he thinks of his “glasses” (BCGs, if you ask me), which he picked up during the television detour.  Phil approves.

Featured Team: Chad & Stephanie (fourth place)

A Happy Couple:  Phil asks Chad & Stephanie to look around and take in where they are.  It’s not Kansas!  He wonders if this is the kind of experience they were after when signing up to play The Amazing Race? Stephanie is especially excited to be in Africa.  Everyone has been very nice too, particularly their taxi driver, John.  John was a dream taxi driver for the race, finding the side streets and aggressively getting them to their destinations.

Phil wonders if everyone’s happy still within the team.  Are there any sparks, good or bad?  Stephanie is very proud of Chad’s performance in the sunglasses challenge as he did it very fast.  In the television challenge, it was a bit slower going, but Chad was very understanding and cooperative.  Phil is impressed and praises him as an inspiration for men everywhere. Stephanie laughs as they’ve both now been mistaken for cheerleaders!  Chad doesn’t even mind.

Featured Team: Andie & Jenna (last place)

Saying Goodbye:  Now that they’ve completed two legs of the race, Phil is curious what’s next for them.  Jenna tells him that she & Andie plan on staying friends for now as they live in different places and have existing families.  Andie is just glad to have had a chance to spend time with this woman she brought into the world.  It was a gift because she was in a bad place 21 years ago but she chose life and now Jenna’s here.   They’ll always know each other and Andie got to have a small piece of life with her.

Phil asks what Jenna thinks of her mother.  Andie corrects him in that she’s not Jenna’s mother, so he corrects himself and states “birth mother.”  For her whole life, Jenna wanted to know her birth mother so to find that she’s this nice woman that she gets along with has been wonderful.  Both consider the other a kind soul and that leads into hugs.  Jenna is happy to have done the race with Andie and neither regret their performance this leg.  They’re both proud of each other.

Extra Race Footage

Featured Team: Brook & Claire

Brook & Claire Soak It In:  Brook has been to Africa before (Tangiers, Morocco) but Claire hasn’t so she is soaking it all in.  Claire is in awe of where they are.  Brook admits that this part of Africa is much different than Morocco though.  She loves the people and how they carry themselves here.  It’s all quite different than life in the United States, like when you’re driving down the streets and everyone is trying to sell you something.  You don’t see that in the U.S.  Another noticeable difference is how “environmentally aware” the people in Ghana are compared to in the U.S., as there’s lots of trash in the streets.  They both notice all the people carrying items on their head which prompts Brook to consider taking classes in balancing.

Featured Team: Kevin & Michael

Kevin & Michael Running on Empty:  Kevin & Michael nervously update us on their precariously low fuel status as they head to the airport. The fuel warning light has been on for the last ten minutes but they’re only three miles from the airport.  Unfortunately the gauge is firmly in the red, and both are hoping that there are no wrong turns in their future.  If all else fails, Kevin hopes that they’ll just be able to push the car into the garage.

Featured Team: Chad & Stephanie

Chad & Stephanie Take a Timeout:  While waiting at the airport, Chad & Stephanie take swigs from their plastic cups of beer.  They then cut into their pizza which leads Stephanie to comment on how she doesn’t think any of the other teams are having as much fun as them.  She hopes that they are, but even more, she hopes the other teams are wondering where they are.  They’re purposefully keeping themselves separate from the other teams.  They know how to get to the memorial park in Ghana and they have seats up in the front of the plane, so they’re justifiably calm.  Chad agrees that it’s the “knowing” that allows him to relax.  They can finally eat a decent meal and relax a little, at least until it’s time to start up again.

Featured Team: Connor & Jonathan

Stuck in a Beauty Sandwich:  While driving to Heathrow, Connor tells us that they’re stuck between Katie & Rachel in front and Brook & Claire behind.  They’re all beautiful women, so they’re stuck in a beauty sandwich.  So he & Jonathan have composed a song to commemorate the occasion:

    Stuck in a beauty sandwich,
    We don’t know where to go,
    Stuck in a beauty sandwich,
    Do you know the way to Heathrow?  No!

Jonathan thinks the song is begging for another verse, but Connor thinks all their songs beg for that.  Suddenly he tries to get the car moving forward without much luck and he snickers that he figures he should focus on the driving instead of the singing for now.

Featured Team: Connor & Jonathan

Slow Tractors in England:  On the way to Heathrow, Connor comments that they are driving behind the slowest truck in England.  A granny on a bicycle even passed them!  The truck starts to speed up but at this point, they join in the caravan of cars that begin to pass the truck on the right.  This prompts a song (notice a theme to the Connor & Jonathan videos yet?):  Slow Tractors in England, a bluesy little number with the catchy hook of “why do you slow us down?”  They realize they’re starting to sing about every event and they decide to embrace that strategy, even if the song doesn’t rhyme.

After the Race

Featured Team: Nick & Vicki

England vs. Ghana: Nick explains that coming to Ghana after England was quite a shock.  The weather was nicer in England and a lot less humid than in Ghana.  Ghana is also a third-world country, so you see a lot more beggars than you did in London.  England is a lot more green while even though near the Ghana coast it’s tropical, further inland it’s not like that at all.  In Ghana there is a lifestyle much more concerned with survival.  Vicki has loved meeting the people of Ghana as everyone has been so nice.  A few have been interested in their tattoos, with some trying to rub them off.  She was sure that people would react negatively to their tattoos but that hasn’t been the case at all.

Featured Team: Gary & Mallory

Gary & Mallory on Ghana:  Gary tells us that they saw a lot today, including what for all intents and purposes looked like an execution by firing squad.  At least that’s what their cab driver told them.  The cab driver also told them he wanted to go to America as there is freedom and justice there all the time.  Mallory sees that in other parts of the world, those ideas aren’t part of the way things are.  She’s also aware that what they had to do during the Detour for 30 minutes is something that these people have to do 12 to 14 hours a day, just to survive.  It’s not fair.  Earlier in the day, a young child came up to their cab begging for food, and while they reached in their bag to get a Powerbar, the light changed and the cab drove away before they could hand it off.  Gary’s heart goes out to these people’s plight and it makes him appreciate what he has even more.

Featured Team: Andie & Jenna

A Positive Experience:  While Jenna was growing up, Andie tells us that she would get constant updates from Jenna’s parents.  Even though she saw pictures of Jenna, it’s not the same as knowing someone so Jenna ended up becoming this mythical creature of sorts. Jenna understands as that’s how she felt about Andie as it seemed she was more of an idea than a real person.  This experience on The Amazing Race has made them much more real to the other.

Andie is most excited that she knows for sure that she did the right thing and that Jenna grew up okay.  She is proud of her selfless decision to give Jenna up for adoption and it’s one of the things she’s most proud of in her life.  Any doubts that she did the right thing are resolved now that she knows her.  For Jenna, she’s grown up in a fairytale family and she’s extremely thankful to Andie for having given her that gift.  It’s hard to even say thank you enough.  They both lapse into tears thinking of how much the adoption has meant to them.  Even though Andie has felt a lot of pain over the years since giving Jenna up, she knows it was all for the best.  They both have a lot more peace having had this experience together.

Featured Team: Brook & Claire

Brook & Claire on The Nerds:  Brook & Claire love the Nerds.  One of the things that cracked them up was during the drive to Heathrow.  As they were all heading off, Connor stopped everyone as he had something to say.  Brook figured it had to be critical intel that he wanted to share.  But no, Connor just wanted to set up some hand signals for bathroom, stopping, and saying hello!    Brook couldn’t believe it.  Then as they were about to board the plane, Connor proposed they all get in a circle and sing kumbaya.  This quirkiness makes Brook & Claire just want to put Connor & Jonathan in their pockets and take them home.  Claire expected the Nerds to be super serious but has happily discovered they’re a lot more laid back.

Elimination Station

Viva Mexico!  Last time on the Real World…okay, just kidding.  But this house is still ridiculous.  We catch up with Ron & Tony who are sitting on the couch wondering who is going to be showing up shortly.  They admit they’re at a disadvantage because they didn’t get to know any of the other teams so it’s hard to speculate who is at the bottom of the pack.  Cue the arrival of a motorboat at the dock!

Andie & Jenna peer around a corner and then excitedly greet Ron & Tony.  Andie immediately notices the awesomeness of the house’s incredible view.  They all sit down in the sunken sofa and talk about the fact that Ron & Tony must be happy to have company.  Ron & Tony admit that’s the case as well as the fact that they are excited about to getting to know the other teams.  Andie & Jenna tell them about their relationship which brings Tony close to tears.  Ron is stunned but admires them for having done this.

Are you ready for a shocker?  Andie starts talking about her other kids and how they were excited about her doing this.  She then tells them that she has TEN children.  Ten!?  Jenna also admits it was a tad overwhelming to meet not only her birth mother, but also ten half-siblings and then go on The Amazing Race.  Even though they’re eliminated from the race, they’re happy that they’re not just going home and that there is still some time to spend together.

The next morning the group heads to the local shops.  Jenna wants a sun hat so she can look like Samantha from Sex and the City.  Privately, Ron is curious how this whole experience has been for Andie & Jenna.  Tony can’t imagine how it must feel considering the emotional weight of Andie & Jenna’s relationship coupled with the emotional stress of the race.  After shopping they dine out on a table on the beach and this instantly triggers in me a need to go to Mexico.

While dining, both Andie & Jenna confess that this will probably be the only true time they have to spend together and get to know each other.  After this is over, they’ll each go back to their own lives so they’re planning to make the most of this experience.  Ron found Jenna very brave to have this experience with her birth mother and that there was absolutely no sense of trying to force Andie into a mother role.  Privately, Andie tells us that she was 21 and in college when she gave up Jenna for adoption.  She just wanted Jenna to have the house with the white picket fence.

Back at dinner, Jenna tells Andie she understands the hell she must have gone through to give her up.  Andie says it was very difficult and felt the agony of being separated from her own daughter many times over the years.  But even though times did get tough as she was at one point a single mother of five with one child having been adopted, ten years later everything is good again.  Later that night, Jenna tells us how much fun the day was and how they bonded so well with Ron & Tony.  At the dinner table, Andie leads everyone in a toast to Jenna’s family and to the great job they did raising her.

Hobie Barnes works in NYC at 30 Rock (the building, not the show). While not conquering Midtown, he might be found watching DVR’d reality TV, mastering intermediate guitar (is that you F chord?  get ready to be rocked), or getting lost on the subway. He can be reached at hobiewan76@gmail.com.


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