Feb 26, 2010, Ep 2: Oh My Gravy!

Amazing Race 16 Insider, Episode 2:  Oh My Gravy!

As the cowboys being the team to beat, there’s no denying their impact on everyone else, including Phil, who is starting to even talk like them.  As for recently eliminated Jody & Shannon, Jody admits she never expected to win the race, which is hard to hear for Dana & Adrian.  But a crazy “all-natural” spa will soon make them get over that!  Read on to for more on this and lots of extra moments from the race!

At the Pit Stop

Louie & Michael’s Brain Drain:  Phil notices that the detectives are fit and strong yet here they are at the tail end of the pack.  Louie & Michael admit they’ve been too detective-y and are over-thinking things out on the race.  Phil wonders if they are good partners so far during the competition.  Michael says that Louie is a good partner who just had a little trouble with directions at the end.  Phil asks if there’s anything Louie could improve on and Michael wishes Louie could learn Spanish right about now.

Phil brings up the fact that Joe has emerged as an adversary to many of the teams.  Michael agrees and tells Phil that they will find Joe’s weakness and take him down.  Michael is aware that Joe has problems with his knees so he’s hoping that there will be a challenge with running.  Phil asks if he’ll be eliminating them anytime soon and they assure him that’s not going to happen.  Michael is surprised how draining all the traveling has been, as he is used to multiple-day stakeouts.  This traveling is much worse.  Finally, Phil asks what the reason is why they are in the back of the pack.  They admit it has been due to their bad decisions and Phil reminds them that at the beginning, he told all the racers that good decisions will be rewarded.

Cowboys Riding High:  Phil cracks himself up as he tells the cowboys that he knows they wanted to be on the race “real bad.”  He realizes he’s starting to speak just like them!  Phil shakes it off and continues.  Will they make it all the way?  That’s what they’re hoping to do.  Phil remembers that in the first leg they were near the back of the pack and wonders how they turned it around.  Jet & Cord recall getting to the cable-cross Roadblock and realizing they were the last team.  Phil notices Jet’s plastic bag cowboy-hat protector and is amused that Cord’s hat protector served as an egg basket too.  Cord tells Phil that they had considered lightening their packs as they saw other teams doing so.  But they didn’t and are glad because they aren’t wet and miserable from all the rain.

Phil is impressed and asks if they’re going to continue this streak.  The cowboys promise to do their best.  Phil wonders if their competitive edge from the rodeo is helping out.  Cord knows that being able to keep calm has helped and refusing to give up has been essential as well.  Both recognize that lucky breaks have helped too.  Jet agrees that keeping calm is part of their edge but like Phil said, their competitive spirit was key to running up the hill and pushing through the pain.

What If:  Jody admits that the race wasn’t physically challenge, it was that she was slow and the mental part of the race was more than she expected.  Shannon observed that they managed to keep a positive emotional outlook the entire time.  Phil wonders if they had a second chance would they do a better job.  Both agree, and that’s when I just have to yell at the computer and ask why they didn’t do a better job the first time!?  Phil asks how they’d do better the next time.  Jody would study languages, do some more traveling, and try to get in better shape.  Shannon realizes they needed to be more aggressive early on as it is a race.  They didn’t start until it was too late.

Phil asks Jody what she’ll treasure from her time on the race.  Jody treasures her time with Shannon.  She got to watch her drive a stick shift on horrible roads, run up hills, and cross high wires.  Jody knew Shannon could do that but believes that Shannon didn’t realize she could.  Shannon was equally impressed with her grandma’s resilience and ability to still function as well as she did.  Shannon is happy to have a stronger connection to Jody.  They both look forward to their next adventure, which looks to be a 100-mile bicycling trip around Alaska, as that’s where Shannon’s mom just moved.

City Slickers on the Mat:  Phil jokes that he heard that while the cows were being milked, another bodily function was also taking place.  Heidi and Brandy laugh about it while Joe starts brushing off the front of Heidi’s jacket.  I wonder if he thinks there’s cow poop on it but it turns out it’s just flour that he’s brushing off.  Heidi elaborates that her cow seemed to have way too many bodily functions happening at the same time.  Carol & Brandy keep cracking up while Joe kind of just stands there with his arm around Heidi.

Phil asks if Carol & Brandy are excited to be here and Carol tells him that it’s the hardest thing she’s ever done but it’s also the most exciting.  She’s still winded from their first run during this leg.  Heidi is amazed at all the elements they faced today from cold and wet to the sun they now have while there at the Pit Stop.  Phil begins petting his llama (not a euphemism, I swear) which the Chilean greeter is holding.  Actually it’s a sheep he’s holding and he tells them that the greeter was delivering a calf just over an hour ago. Everyone collectively goes “awwww” as they look at the baby sheep in his arms.

The Brothers Blab:  Dan & Jordan are surprised that they aren’t in 9th place (they’re in 8th).  Phil wonders why they’re that shocked, and Jordan explains they thought it was a race for the last spot between them and the grandmas.  Dan laughs as he can’t believe they’re referring to them as the “Grandmas.”  Phil points out that they’re in the bottom of the standings and asks if they thought they’d be doing better.  Jordan agrees and explains that the race is a lot harder than they thought it would be from TV.  They are learning from their mistakes and are still in it so he’s still optimistic.

Phil asks about their first impressions of the other teams.  They like Louie & Michael as they are cops from Rhode Island, where they are also from.  Dan still has no love for Joe and considers him a tool.  They both find him extremely abrasive and the epitome of an “A-Type.”  Dan & Jordan are certain they’re not alone in their dislike of Joe amongst the other racers.  Dan doesn’t think Joe is really a stronger competitor but he wouldn’t think twice about U-Turning Joe & Heidi if the occasion arose.  Since the U-Turn come up, Phil admits he’s surprised how many teams say they won’t use it.  Jordan will use it gladly if it’s there, especially since they really have the need to improve their position.  If they were up top, perhaps they might consider not using it though.  Dan believes that because they’re down near the bottom, they don’t have a target on their backs and are under the radar, which is how he wants it to be.

Extra Race Footage

Brent & Caite Enjoy the View:  On the bus to Temuco, Brent & Caite inform us of their strategy to try to find earlier tickets for the next bus when they arrive at the terminal.  They both observe how mountainous the region is and Caite likes the area here a lot better than in Santiago.  She found Santiago to be a big dirty city just like every other big city.  Here in the countryside, it’s more rural and the foliage looks healthy and green.  Brent thinks it could be cooler temps here and as he mentions there’s a lot more farms and mountains here, the cameraman pans to looking out the window and there’s a used car lot.  Nice.

Brent & Caite’s New Friend:  Outside a bus terminal, Brent & Caite are interacting with a stray dog.  The dog is sitting up and obviously hoping for some kind of food.  Instead, Brent asks the dog if he’s cold.  Caite tells the dog it’s so pretty and reaches out to pet it.  The dog allows her to pet him, surprisingly.  I kept bracing for it to bite her.  Caite mentions the dog’s fur is soft.  Brent smartly notices that the dog just wants some food.  Caite baby-talks that they don’t have anything to give it as all she has is chocolate, which is bad for dogs.  Brent goes back to discussing the weather and asks if the dog just wants it to be sunny and warm.  The dog stands up and Brent asks if it wants to get on the bus with them.  They suggest he could become their mascot as none of the other teams want to partner up with them.  Wow, this video really just happened.

Michael Says H2-No:  While driving to the Detour, Michael tells us about an incident at the bus terminal.  Louie went to go buy a bottle of soda and ended up also buying two bottles of water, which he gave to other teams.  Michael was shocked as here they are trying to save money especially when it is costing them 200 pesos to use a restroom.   Louie asks Michael to pay attention to the road so they can avoid hitting bumps and getting a flat tire.  Michael recognizes Louie’s unsuccessfully trying to change the subject.  Louie is adamant that he doesn’t want them to get a flat and uses some bleeped out colorful language to say so to Michael as he really doesn’t want to have a change a tire in this weather.

Louie justifies that what he did will follow the “what goes around comes around” theory.  Michael doesn’t believe in that as bad things happen to good people all the time.  Louie says that you treat people the way you want to be treated, but Michael thinks that in a million-dollar race, there’s no time for that.  Louie says later on in the race they can get cutthroat and that it’s still early enough to try to figure people out.  Michael disagrees and thinks that all legs are the same and should be played the same.

Steve & Allie’s Helping Hand:  During their day-of-waiting until their bus departed Santiago, Steve & Allie went to the University.  Allie had introduced herself to a local, Rodrigo, who also spoke English.  He helped them and took them to the library where they were able to research their destination.  Then Rodrigo bought them dinner and brought them back to the bus stop.  Now they’re about to board their bus but Allie notices that she doesn’t see any of the other teams.  Steve explains a little later that Rodrigo missed a class to help them out.  He knows that his own son probably would do the same, maybe not to help someone else so much but to just miss a class.  Steve had asked Rodrigo if he had a senorita but Rodrigo told him he didn’t as he didn’t have the time outside of studying.  Steve hopes his son would also study all the time.

Monique’s Milestone:  Monique & Shawne are about to start their leg and Monique tells us that she is turning 40 years old today.  She thinks this is one of the best ways to spend her birthday, although she misses her family.  The Amazing Race is the experience of a lifetime, so she’s glad to be here.  Shawne agrees that their families are missed, but you can’t pass up a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  They are both wearing t-shirts that have photos of their kids on them which is their way to remind themselves that their kids are with them.

Jeff Keeps Positive:  Jeff tells us that you can’t point fingers and can’t think that you’re out until you’re actually on the Pit Stop mat in last place.  He won’t get discouraged and he’s just going to hope that the earlier teams will bust their neck on the challenge.  He laughs as he’s trying to get Jordan to laugh.  She just looks distant.  Jeff continues by telling us that he doesn’t know where the other teams are and it’s possible some of them may have missed their buses too.  Right now is like a test to see if you’re going to break down or not.  If you are going to break, then you might as well go home now.  Many more motivating metaphors follow.  Jordan remains silent.

Jet & Cord’s Perfect Day:  While standing in the parking lot while wearing their protected cowboy hats, Cord explains that they love the rainy weather as both of them aren’t fazed at all by it.  Growing up on a ranch taught them that cold rainy weather was the time when you definitely had to get out and protect your livestock.  It’s just another day in the life for them.

Cord Confesses:  Driving away from the Kuchen Roadblock, Cord can’t explain to Jet what it is.  Oh My Gravy!  He tells Jet that it looked good and then looks down to laugh.  Jet can immediately tell that Cord ate some of it and calls him out.  Jet laughs and can’t believe that Cord ate some of it.  Cord was so hungry and Jet laments that they haven’t eaten a solid meal in over two days.  Jet sees how it is now that Cord is eating pie without him while he’s standing out in the rain waiting.  Cord fibs that it was kind of a requirement to eat the kuchen, but Jet isn’t buying it.

Cord thought it actually was going to be an eating match so that’s why he immediately volunteered to do the Roadblock.  Jet admits that if it had been an eating challenge, gross or not, Cord was the better choice.  Jet is sure that his stomach thinks his throat’s been cut as he hasn’t eaten anything.  He’s hungry enough to eat a chicken-fried Shetland.  Cord takes a different tack and tells Jet that the kuchen tasted horrible.  During this whole conversation, they both have smiles plastered on their faces, which makes me really like this team.

Driving Miss Jody:  Jody is very impressed with Shannon’s driving skills.  Long after Jody’s “gone,” Shannon is going to remember the race.  If Shannon doesn’t have children, she has lots of cousins who will have kids, so that when Shannon is old, she can bore them to death with her tales from the Amazing Race.  Jody knows from experience because she tells lots of tales too, and she’s going to tell one now.  She tells Shannon about when she was learning how to drive a standard stick shift.  Her and her mother had met up with her English teacher for tea and when they were driving away, Jody drove the car up onto the curb.  Jody looked back at her English teacher and she had the biggest grin on her face.  Which all leads, theoretically, back to the fact that Shannon is doing a great job of driving.

Carol & Brandy’s Time Out:  Carol & Brandy exit the Santiago subway as they being to explore Santiago.  Brandy notices a pretty cafe they can’t eat at as they have no money.  They make their way to a park because they wanted to do something during their nine-hour wait until their bus departed.  Carol tells us that they traveled as cheaply as possible into the center of town to save money.  They’re sitting in a park right outside the Museum of Contemporary Art, but it’s tragically closed today.  Carol would gladly have peed fewer times at 200 pesos a pop so she could have paid the 400 peso admission.  They’re still happy with this time out and are looking forward to exploring some of the little shops in the area too.  It will definitely be window-shopping though.

Dan & Jordan’s Plan:  On the boat ride to the Detour, Jordan is planning to do the task mainly by himself.  Dan thinks he could help by holding the llama feed, but that’s all, as the problem is that Dan is allergic to basically all animals with hair and/or fur.  So he’s pretty sure he’s allergic to llamas too.  Jordan figures he owes it to Dan to do this Detour by himself after Dan has done the Roadblock and all the driving so far.  The weather is wet and cold now so they weren’t interested in doing the flying Detour and getting completely soaked.  They’d rather dress a llama which is likely going to be funny and they need a laugh.

Joe & Heidi’s Undisclosed Location:  Joe feels pretty good about having all the directions they’ll need to get around.  They’re at a hotel’s internet station and both Joe & Heidi are eyeing the hotel couches as neither of them have been able to sleep well at all over the last few days.  Joe is happy about their current location as they have it pretty good.  They don’t want to tell anybody else where they are for fear of the hotel kicking them out.  Apparently the hotel is right above the bus station so if they go down, they won’t be able to come back up plus the other teams will see them.  So this is a good hideaway.

After the Race

Jody & Shannon’s Farewell:  While Shannon would have probably gotten more out of the race if they had been in it longer, she is happy what she did get out of it.  She’s learned more about what she is capable of even when she’s utterly exhausted.  Plus she got to spend a lot of time with her grandma Jody in Chile, a place neither of them had been.  Jody thinks Shannon’s forgotten all the things they didn’t have like water, food, sleep, and coffee.  No, Shannon remembers that quite well and she won’t be forgetting it anytime soon.  Jody didn’t think it was the physical aspect that was the worst.  Yes, she had to rest when running up the hill.  But her recommendations to others her age are to try regardless, even if you fail.  That risk is part of life.

Cowboys’ Magic Hats:  Caite is sure that the cowboys’ hats are magical, as they show up everywhere.  Both Brent & Caite really like the hats and the cowboys.  They just feel that the hats/cowboys are a way to quickly identify who you’re talking about, whether it’s the Cowboys, the Models, the Lesbians, or Big Brother.  But to Brent, the cowboy hats are so different and odd to see, as you just don’t normally see people wearing cowboy hats in an adventure race.  Yet here they are popping up everywhere when you don’t expect.  Brent remembers a surreal moment when he & Caite were running through downtown Los Angeles and then looking over and seeing the two cowboys, with hats, running as well.  It was cool, but also funny.  Regardless, Brent & Caite love the cowboys and think they’re very smart and nice.

Elimination Station

Let’s rejoin Dana & Adrian in beautiful Puerto Vallarta!  Adrian asks for that elusive kiss that wasn’t happening last time from Dana.  She relents and tells him it’s going to be a quick kiss and not some long romantic one.  Dana is feeling better now as she admits that the first few days there, she didn’t want to look at Adrian.  They’re now waiting for the next eliminated team to show up.  Adrian speculates that it’s going to be Jody & Shannon, as Jody came across as too much of a little old lady.  Yet he recognizes that they got beat by a little old lady, which they both laugh about.

Later that afternoon, as they sit on the majestic balcony, Jody & Shannon arrive.   Greetings and introductions are made, as honestly, no one really got to know each other that first leg.  Jody & Shannon explain what happened the last leg, especially during the Roadblock.  It seems that Jody was also confused (in addition to Michael) about where the pantry was when looking for the kuchen ingredients.  Jody admits that if Shannon had done that Roadblock as well, they could still be in the race.  Dana can understand and tells Jody she can relate.

Shannon wishes that her grandma wouldn’t feel bad about her performance.  Jody believes that she let Shannon down but she also knows that she’s probably the oldest person to run the race.  She was hoping to stay longer in the race so she could inspire others her age to get in shape.  Out at the table, Jody surprisingly admits to Dana & Adrian that she never expected to win the race.  This takes Adrian back, as he came on the show to win the million dollars.  Privately, Shannon never thought it couldn’t happen as Jody is tough.

The four of them are now heading to an authentic Mexican spa.  The van drives them deep in to some forested hills and when they arrive, a shaman welcomes them and guides them into the outdoor spa.  There will be four parts to the spa, starting with fire, then earth, water, and finally air.  At the fire stage, the shaman crumbles some leaves into his nose, which they all do as well.  Then they toss the plant into a fire on the ground.  The smoke billows up but Adrian starts choking as he breathes in the smoke.  He tries his best to respect the ceremony and manages to get through.

Now is the time for the earth stage.  The shaman has them stand around a pot filled with mud, which he then begins to pour all over everyone.  All Dana can think about during the mud portion was what she was going to do about her hair.  She was trying to avoid getting mud on her face but then Adrian started rubbing the mud all over it.  As they’re observing each other covered in mud, Dana comments that this is definitely not the type of spa she is used to.  They then have to lie on the ground while still covered in mud.  No one is feeling relaxed.  Everyone is still trying to process what kind of spa this place is. As they’re lying on the ground, the shaman beings playing some sort of wind whistle very loudly.

Naturally the water stage is next and Adrian rushes over to the falling shower of water.  Yet he jumps back as he feels the ice-cold water.  Dana gets under the water but she’s doing the fast-breathing thing everyone does when confronted with having to deal with a cold water shower.  I feel cold just watching this!  Jody gets under the cold water and starts whooping and hollering, quickly getting out.  Yet the compulsion for all of them to get the mud off was motivation to suffer through the cold water.

Last but not least, they get to lie in a lounge chair covered by a towel for the air stage.  Grandma Jody just wants to be slapped on the rump once and given 14 towels to lie under, which sets Dana and Shannon off into a giggle fest.  Finally they’re done and grouped around a table, where the shaman leads them in a celebratory chant of completion.  Shannon realizes that it actually was a cleansing experience as it forced you out of your comfort zone.  Adrian also is realizing that the race is more than just the race for a million dollars as it an overall experience that is second to none.

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, learning the guitar, or getting lost on the subway. He can be reached at hobiewan76@gmail.com.


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