Oct 22, 2010, Ep 4: Connor & Jonathan’s Last Song…er, Stand

The Amazing Race 17 Secret Scenes, Episode 4:  Connor & Jonathan’s Last Song…er, Stand

Who knew that Connor & Jonathan actually tried to get everyone to U-Turn Jill & Thomas?  Apparently Jill & Thomas did!  Also, Brook & Claire learn how to decode the Ghana symbol wall while Katie & Rachel suffer some criticism and Chad apologizes for being Chad.  And if you knew that there was a fourth-runner up for Miss America in the race, did you know there was also a Miss Fitness 2001?  You’ll never guess who! And will Connor & Jonathan continue the song in their heart at Elimination Station?  Read on to find out that and more!

At the Pit Stop

Featured Team:  Nick & Vicki (sixth place)

The Tough Guy:  Phil is curious what is keeping Nick & Vicki in the race.  At the last Detour, Vicki was completely nervous after seeing the other teams have problems with the ski slope but she hid her fear from Nick.  She doesn’t want anyone to see her fear.  Nick confirms that Vicki always is gung ho about any kind of thrill.  Nick bets that Vicki is tougher than all the other females out on the race, even the two volleyball players.  She’s now even more confident after handling the ski slope so well.  Phil notices that Vicki has some serious guns and Vicki explains that she trains and exercises every day.  She just finished a triathlon and was even Miss Fitness 2001!  She not only competes against others but is always competing against herself.

Featured Team:  Michael & Kevin (fourth place)

Michael Hangs Tough:  Phil is certain that Kevin must be proud of his dad especially considering how bad Michael looked at the end of the previous leg in Ghana.  Kevin told his dad at the beginning of this leg that they had to give it their all.  Phil asks Michael what he’s thinking and feeling as it’s really Kevin who wants to do this.  Michael only promises what he promised yesterday, which is that he’ll do his best.  Even though he is limited physically, Michael is proud that Kevin could gain an advantage mentally, as evidenced by their early flight on the way to Sweden.

Featured Team:  Chad & Stephanie (seventh place)

Relationship Repaired on the Mat:  Stephanie thinks she disappointed Chad today as while Chad likes to ski and snowboard, the experience just scared the bleep out of her and she couldn’t go down the slope a second time.  Phil asks Chad if he was disappointed but he actually admits to being angry at his own selfishness.  He knew that the tent option at the Detour would have been the smarter option to get through faster but he chose the slope option because he wanted to have some fun.  When they had to go to the tent option, they mistakenly figured they were at the back of the pack.  Then when they saw the other two teams show up at the challenge, it gave them hope that they were still in it.  Chad still regrets having made the choice to go down the slope and the way he treated Stephanie during the experience.

Featured Teams:  Gary & Mallory, Brook & Claire (second & third place)

Gary, the Father Figure:  A big group hug finishes up between Gary & Mallory and Brook & Claire and everyone tells Phil how much they love Gary.  Claire tells Phil that Gary is always looking out for the girls so he’s become a father figure.  Everyone is just so nice.  There’s plenty of time to talk at the airports to talk with people but today was great as there was lots of open road and plenty of time to take in the view.  Phil asks Mallory why she is so happy right now.  She tells Phil that she just loves being here with her dad and can’t imagine doing this with anybody else.   Phil then follows up with them about the community service they performed at the Ghana school.  Claire loved having that opportunity and will remember the kids and the experience forever.

Featured Team:  Connor & Jonathan (last place, eliminated)

Graduation Ceremony:  Jonathan admits he needs some sledding lessons immediately, but they’ve been too busy studying to get outside.  They did manage to get on The Amazing Race for a little bit right after school, speaking of which their friends are probably graduating at this very moment.  Jonathan is thankful for having this entire experience.  Phil tells Connor & Jonathan that he does have some good news for them as they’re on this location on the border of Norway:  they’ve graduated!  They then throw their caps in the air which we saw on the show.  Phil notices that Jonathan’s hair was definitely being contained by his hat as it’s a giant mess.  Jonathan asks how Phil’s hair would look if he just spent five hours sledding and pitching tents.  Phil wishes that Jonathan would stop talking about pitching tents, and everyone has a good laugh at double entendres.

Featured Team:  Jill & Thomas (fifth place)

No Regrets for Jill & Thomas:  Phil asks Jill & Thomas if they have any regrets about using the Express Pass especially since there are still four teams out there behind them.  Thomas bets there will be time later in the race to ponder that and that it was the right decision to make and to try to immediately improve their ranking.  Both of them are blown away by how beautiful the area is they’re in now and still can’t believe they went from the Equator to basically the North Pole.   It’s been basically a complete environmental change within the span of a few hours.  That excitement and surprise is exactly why they used the Express Pass as they just want to ensure they keep racing.

Featured Team:  Katie & Rachel (eighth place)

Ready to Fight Back:  Rachel is near tears as both Katie and her tell Phil how much they want to be in the race and that they hate losing.  They’re sure that the other teams recognize that they hate losing as Katie & Rachel never do anything without 100% effort and drive.  If they’re in the airport, they’re running, not walking.  Phil was worried that they might be eliminated today as they had told him they wanted to be the first all-female team to win.  It looked like it was almost over today.  They promise not to make the same mistakes again.

Extra Race Footage

Featured Team: Brook & Claire

Brook & Claire Did Their Homework:  Brook & Claire are at the Stockholm airport and tell us that they made calls to the Ice Hotel while in Ghana as well as here when someone let them borrow a cell phone.  They now have directions to the storage facility and they’re ready for smooth sailing to there.  Brook is just relieved to really know exactly where they have to go.  They also have an unspoken alliance with Nat & Kat.  It’s not explicit but they like to help each other out especially as they’d like to see an all-woman team win.

Featured Team:  Brook & Claire

Keeping Quiet:  Brook tells us how mad she would be if the roles were reversed and she was one of the teams that was on the later flight.  During the race so far there have been no teams that have been able to get on a flight really far ahead of another, so she knows there must be some stewing anger now.   Claire admits that no one ever directly asked them if they had tickets for an earlier flight as the discussion was always about how it’ll be nice not to have to rush to the next flight. Claire just bit her tongue at that point.  If someone had asked, she figures they probably would have told them.  If they play it “New Zealand” they can fly under the radar and not incur or cause any drama.

Featured Team:  Nick & Vicki

Nick, the Dog Whisperer:  Vicki is proud of Nick for doing so well on the dog sled challenge but isn’t surprised as Nick is really good with dogs.  They have two dogs, Capone & Stella, that are like their kids and never leave Nick’s side.  She knows it is hard for him to have to leave them for 30 days.  So with all that dog love Vicki just knew that Nick was going to be perfect for the challenge.

Featured Team:  Chad & Stephanie

A Bad First Impression:  Chad & Stephanie had a bad run-in with Katie & Rachel at the very beginning of the race.  Because Chad & Stephanie got on that first flight with Ron & Tony, they were sad that they had been eliminated. When they mentioned that to Katie & Rachel, the volleyball players shook their heads and told Chad & Stephanie that they weren’t sorry about it, they didn’t even know them, and it’s just one less team for them to have to compete against.  Stephanie thinks that was a bad way to get to know someone but recalls that when the girls said that, she merely remarked that “it was too bad you didn’t get to know them.”  Stephanie can respect that that’s how Katie & Rachel want to race, but it doesn’t mean she wants to race with them.  Both predict that karma will come back to haunt Katie & Rachel and furthermore predict that Katie & Rachel will be eliminated shortly.

Featured Team:  Nat & Kat

Nat Takes in the View:  Nat loves that Kat is such a good driver as it allows her to take in the majestic snow-capped mountain views.  It’s extremely gorgeous, serene, and peaceful.  It’s hard to believe that it’s June and so cold.  They just came from Ghana so the transition from hot savannah to ice fields is staggering.  Their The Amazing Race audition video was taken while they were skiing in Sun Valley so they look forward to any type of snow activity that may be in their future.

Featured Teams:  Connor & Jonathan, Jill & Thomas

Connor & Jonathan’s Failed Plan:  At the airport (Frankfurt perhaps?) Connor tells us straight up that if there is a U-Turn ahead they will definitely use it on Purple (Jill & Thomas).  Purple’s possession of the Express Pass is a definite reason to use the U-Turn on them.  It’s not personal and they have no qualms about telling anyone, including Jill & Thomas, that is their intent.  Cut to Jill & Thomas who were told by Kevin about Connor’s plan and the fact that he’s telling everyone about it.  Thomas tells us that from Jump Street (huh?) Connor has been selling everyone on this plan just because they have the Express Pass.  Thomas views Connor & Jonathan’s actions as an attempt to make an alliance with everyone but no one is buying it.

Back with Connor, he admits that this could very well backfire as Purple may just end up U-Turning them.  He justifies that it’s merely a strategic move, but I beg to differ.  A strategic move would have been much more subtle and less blatant with the key being Jill & Thomas not knowing about it.  Jonathan tells us that they are now done with U-Turn talk as it’s now all about survival.  The U-Turn was first and foremost on their mind but that’s in the past as it’s important just not to lose.  Well, we all know how that turned out.

Featured Team:  Katie & Rachel

Rachel’s Change of Heart:  Katie’s thrilled to be in the cold even though it’s really not all that cold.  She is glad to be out of the Ghanan heat.  Rachel is the exact opposite as she admits that in her application, she wrote that she wanted to not go to places like Antarctica and the Arctic Circle.  She’s surprised how much she likes Sweden though and the fact she really didn’t like how hot it was in Africa.  She’ll have a better answer for how much she likes it once the leg is done. Rachel did expect for the region to look more desolate and dead so it’s surprising to see all the trees and greenery.

Featured Teams: Connor & Jonathan, Brook & Claire

Connor & Jonathan Reveal the Code: While the racers are painting the exterior of the Ghanan schoolhouse, Brook suddenly realizes that only Connor & Jonathan solved the word-search Detour.  Brook wants to know where the decoder ring was.  Connor & Jonathan let them know that the group is currently painting the wall where the decoder ring had been.  Both Brook & Claire can only laugh as they realize they’re painting over the wall that they were looking for for over an hour.  Connor describes how easy and clear the decoding ring was and that all you had to do was match the sentences from your poem to symbols.  Brook bets that must have been real nice.  Claire wonders if they ever circled any small African children while doing the challenge. Brook & Claire are laughing, at themselves, as they hear how easy the challenge could have been.  They admit to Jonathan the ridiculous, clueless attempts they were making at circling symbols on that giant board.

After the Race

Featured Team: Katie & Rachel

Katie & Rachel Are Too Helpful: Katie tells us that she & Rachel would continually help Connor & Jonathan by sharing information with them.  There was a strong connection between the two teams and they each trusted each other.  They’re sad that they ended up having to compete against them at the end.  One last thing they did to help Connor & Jonathan was that they let them see their Detour instructions as the boys had lost their copy.  Katie admits she wanted to lie about having that information and Rachel wishes that she had known that was Katie’s intent.  Rachel wonders why Katie didn’t let her know that in their made-up language (see the week one videos).  Katie fears that Rachel’s willingness could sabotage their own self-preservation but luckily it didn’t backfire today.  Neither are worried about it happening in the future though as they’re not close to any of the other teams.

Featured Team: Gary & Mallory

A Tall Order for Mallory: Mallory’s short stature was the reason she ended up missing a flag in the dogsled Roadblock so she ended up having to do a penalty lap.  Gary & Mallory had noticed the flags on the track before starting the challenge so Gary advised Mallory that she might want to get a stick in order to be able to reach the flags.  Of course Mallory jokes that she better start listening to her dad.  Mallory tells us that she is probably the shortest-ever Miss Kentucky and she was definitely the shortest out of everyone at the Miss America pageant.  Two more inches of height would definitely have helped not only in the Roadblock but also Miss America too.  But she’s not too bitter as she figures her shortness can be an inspiration to others who want to be Miss America, as she made it to fourth runner-up.

Featured Team: Connor & Jonathan

Closer than Ever:   Jonathan is happy that the race has brought him & Connor even closer together and that’s impressive as they’re already the best of friends.  Even with college now being over, Jonathan knows that their friendship will be just as close as it is now.  Connor admits that he thought that Jonathan was going to annoy the hell out of him on the race, but even with the stress, they never yelled at each other and their friendship is even stronger.

Featured Team: Jill & Thomas

Thomas Takes Over:  Thomas declares that Jill is terrible at directions and maps.  Jill begs to differ and wants to make it clear that she’s bad with maps, not directions.  She didn’t own a car for seven years, but Thomas doesn’t think that fact is relevant.  They finally will agree that Jill is bad with maps.  Thomas is proud of his ability to get around foreign places with a semblance of confidence, despite the crazy Nordic city and street names.  He’s good at visual information processing and can’t even imagine what it would be like if Jill was trying to not only read the Nordic names on the map but then try to tell them to him.  It would be a disaster.  Jill says it’s just easier for everyone as Thomas wants absolute control while navigating and he’s always going to second-guess anything she’d say.

Featured Team: Michael & Kevin

Slow and Steady Works for Dad: Michael is concerned that Kevin will focus on trying to finish first at the expense of worrying about the immediate challenges coming up.  He’s proud of Kevin though as he’s getting better about thinking of things in the long view as initially Kevin was excited about doing the ski sled challenge and tried to pump Michael up and convince him he could do it.  But when Kevin actually saw the course, he knew that the tent challenge was going to be better for both of them.  Kevin agrees that he does initially get excited to do things that realistically his dad won’t be able to do.  He’s learning to see the big picture and work on doing things that they both can actually succeed at.

Elimination Station

Will this Elimination Station be the last song we hear from Connor & Jonathan?  Doubtful.  Anyway, the group of Ron & Tony and Andie & Jenna are heading off to the dock to go whale shark hunting.  Nobody’s quite sure what a whale shark is but it doesn’t sound reassuring either way.  They zoom out in a little skiff that ends up being quite a rough ride as the waves in the Gulf are pretty brutal.  Andie & Jenna both end up getting seasick, another thing they seem to share between the two of them.  The adventure was unfortunately unsuccessful in terms of spotting a mysterious whale shark.

Back at the best Elimination Station house ever, the gang wonders who’s going to be joining them next.  Tony wonders if it will be someone they don’t expect.  Andie & Jenna are excited to have another pair show up, but Jenna just hopes it’s someone fun.  Everyone admits they’ll be bummed for whoever shows up next, but still happy to have new fun faces amongst them.

Cue the arrival of the speedboat!  Connor & Jonathan round the corner and everyone screams in surprise and happiness.  Jenna looks noticeably shocked to see them.  Connor & Jonathan are excited because even though each of them have had a chance to have the race “experience,” it’s time to party!  They admit they had a song for their approach to the Pit Stop when they lost so of course everyone wants to hear it.  After a pretty good rendition of it, everyone cheers and claps with glee.  Jenna is thrilled who she gets to share Elimination Station with.

At the recap of the last leg’s events, Connor & Jonathan tell them that at the Ghana airport, the mood definitely took a change to the tense side.  Everyone was on edge and the teams became super competitive.  The race stopped being fun.  Privately, Andie & Jenna are both relieved to not have to deal with that and are actually glad that they are out of it.  Ron & Tony admit to us that they bet as more of the teams arrive, especially those who’ve been having to survive in a highly tense environment, that Elimination Station’s mood will also change.  For now though, everyone is happy.

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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