Mar 5, 2010, Ep 3: Mass Distraction

Amazing Race 16 Insider, Episode 3:  Mass Distraction

The teams are getting worn down and everyone is on edge.  Seemingly all the teams have Joe (pictured, with Heidi) in their sights as the jerk du jour, but these clips also show the building tension between Carol & Brandy and Jet & Cord, managing to even reveal that Jet definitely has a less-than-jovial side.  Read on to find out more and also to find out what is driving the Elimination Station residents to tequila!

At the Pit Stop

Looking Up:  Phil reminds Louie & Michael that they promised him that they’d always be in the top three of each leg.  What happened?  Michael explains that what you see on TV doesn’t convey the mental challenges the race puts you through.  He still loves both The Amazing Race and his job, and he’s not planning on leaving either of those.  Phil would like to see them prove it.  Louie says they’re idiots but Michael disagrees.  What idiots would they like to see gone?  Michael quickly answers that he’d like to see Joe gone.  Apparently Joe took Michael aside and promised not to hold spots in line again as it isn’t right.  Michael knows that it’s going to stop because he made it stop the last time too.  Basically, Michael isn’t here to make friends.

Cowboys Again:  Phil notices that Jet & Cord left in first place and arrived in first place.  Did anything happen in between?  Cord lets Phil know that it was a little bit more emotional as the first bus allowed the top three teams to even out.  They tried all the tricks they could to lose the other teams as they just didn’t want everybody following each other in a big group.  Phil speculates that perhaps the Cowboys played their hand too early and have made themselves a target.  Jet tells Phil that since the beginning of the race, none of the other teams really tried to warm up to them, so they’ve ended up racing by themselves.  Even after the win in the second leg, the other teams remained distant.

Regardless, Phil stresses that the cowboys have made themselves a target of the other teams.  Cord hopes so and believes there isn’t any reason to stumble as that can end up costing you the race.  The first race was a reality check for them.  They made the jump from last to first in one leg and they understand that can happen for any of the other teams too.  So it’s necessary to play hard all the time.

Dan & Jordan’s Complaint:  The brothers both want to know where the automatic-transmission Mercedes are.  Phil can’t believe what he’s hearing.  Jordan humorously asks if Phil has been watching the show.  Phil does watch, but he still has no idea what they are expecting.  Dan whines that the stick shifts are tough.  Phil orders them to harden up as his face continues clearly revealing what he thinks of these two.  Dan & Jordan admit they are getting better at the driving.  Dan even had a flawless stick-shift shift on the last hill into the parking lot here.  Only one, mocks Phil.

They are having a great time on the race and can’t believe how beautiful the countryside has been.  The drive along the water was especially nice.  Dan then starts to kvetch that the Patriots got murdered, and after a few plays of this video, I realize he’s talking football.  Phil reminds them to keep their focus.  They assure him that they only let themselves worry about the Patriots once they get to the Pit Stop.

Extra Race Footage

Brent & Caite’s Road to Recovery:   At the bus station waiting for Bus #2, Brent & Caite update Jeff & Jordan on their ordeal at the hospital.  Jordan has her wide-eyed concerned face (so cute) and Jeff is very supportive with some “ah, dude”s thrown in for good measure.  Caite explains that after the hospital she was completely drained and had to get help from Brent just to walk.  Jeff jokingly asks if this is an Amazing Race act?  They all laugh and assure him that they wish it was.  Brent tells them that they had to get IVs just to get re-hydrated and are feeling like a million bucks relative to how they were feeling before.

Line-Cutting Fallout:  Dan & Jordan and Louie & Michael are walking together from the hotel commiserating about the line cutting from the previous leg and the fact that Joe was apologizing for it.  As they’re talking, Joe & Heidi’s car is trying to get around them.  Michael feels like blocking the car so he starts walking in the middle of the lane.  They end up letting him pass, jokingly saying “no disrespect.”  I’m pretty sure Joe can’t hear them but he’s probably well aware of what they’re all upset about.  Dan is certain that is the case and that Joe is right now asking Heidi why everyone doesn’t like him.  As Dan and Louie & Michael get louder and louder about it, Jordan tries to cut the conversation short.  He’s sure that Joe & Heidi are very tight with Steve & Allie so they need to keep it quiet.  At this point the video spazzes out due to a technical issue but I bet the conversation continued on a variation of “so what?” from them and Jordan getting annoyed.

Mom’s Tipsy Angels:  It’s early dawn and Monique & Shawne tell us that shortly after their 1:30am start, they met some drunk Australian women in town.  They ended up being helpful by giving directions to the moms on where the terminal was.  On the way to verify for themselves, they found a casino which was amusing as their next challenge includes five-card poker. They then found a hotel and the manager let them use an internet terminal.  They then spent the next few hours learning how to play poker as well as brushing up on their Argentinian destination.  Now it’s 5:30am and they still have to kill time until 7am when the bus terminal opens.  And it’s chilly in Chile.

Jordan Floors It:  Big Brother Jordan is in the driver’s seat but it doesn’t look like she’s going anywhere.  She pushes hard on the gas pedal but still nothing.  Jet & Cord cheer her on from afar as Jeff grumbles a bit as he wonders what she’s doing wrong.  Jet wonders if they should give the car a push but Cord quickly responds that he doesn’t think so.  At this point, another CBS glitch as the video hangs up.

Evicted in Chile:  Carol & Brandy are walking along in Chile killing time until the bus station opens.  They had been in a great hotel for a little while in which the hotel manager let them use the internet.  Brandy is pretty sure that they have a good idea of their upcoming destination although they didn’t manage to find a detailed map.  They did find some comfortable couches and started napping, which is the point when they were told to leave as the hotel obviously is in the business of renting rooms.  That was Carol’s first time crashing a hotel.  She recalls that Brandy said two nights ago they were poor, now it seems that they are homeless.  They laugh at their circumstances and how different things are from their normal life.  Regardless, it’s 3am and they are on the hunt for another hotel to crash in because that’s what homeless people do.

The Enigmatic Cowboys:  After their interrogation of the cowboys, Carol & Brandy report that the cowboys are still as enigmatic as ever.  Brandy has figured out that the cowboys are determined to race apart from everyone else.  She’s also sure they’re playing dumb and ramping up the hick aspect of being a cowboy.  Jet & Cord are now on Carol & Brandy’s radar as serious competitors.  Brandy does notice that while Cord is friendly, Jet is much more serious and here to play the game.  Whenever Cord starts to chat with others, Jet starts raising one of his eyebrows as a warning to Cord.  He even changes his stance so that he appears to be herding Cord away.  Carol is skeptical of Brandy’s recognition of “shepherding” body language.

All About the Brothers:  Carol & Brandy are driving behind Dan & Jordan and providing us a running commentary on the brothers’ lack of driving skills.  Apparently they only learned to drive stick two days before the race.  Earlier in the day, there was a moment when Dan continually stalled the car trying to drive up a gravel lane.  Jordan ended up having to get out of the car and push.  A picture was taken and Jordan is convinced that it must be the butchest picture he’s ever taken.

Carol is surprised that Dan & Jordan have such a problem with driving stick.  Brandy actually has noticed that many young men nowadays don’t know how.  They both recognize that cars mostly come as automatics but it’s more fun to drive stick.  It would be more fun now if they were able to drive faster though.  Carol & Brandy are very impressed with Dan’s love and protection of his little brother.  They know that Jordan told Dan that doing the Amazing Race is a lifelong dream of his and that Dan immediately was in because he wanted to help out Jordan.  They think it’s very cool how Dan treats Jordan.

Dan & Jordan’s Long Day:  While driving to the Pit Stop, Jordan admits that while this leg’s set of challenges were tough, Dan’s successful lassoing was key to getting through the hardest part.  He finds it amusing that three other teams also ended up changing challenges and doing the polo challenge.  In addition, it’s late in the day, everyone’s tired and dehydrated…this leg has kicked their butts.  It’s been the hardest thing he’s done in his life and Jordan could only have made it through with the help of his brother.  Jordan is really hoping that this next stop is the Pit Stop as he just doesn’t have the juice in him to go further.

After the Race

Carol Offends Steve:    Joe recalls that at the Santiago bus station, he & Heidi, Carol & Brandy and Steve & Allie were hanging out and discussing where all the teams were.  When the discussion came to those teams that aren’t that strong, Carol noted that while Joe & Heidi were a strong team, but no offense, Steve & Allie really weren’t.  Steve walked away at the time but the next day came up to Joe and said he thought those ladies don’t know what they’re talking about.  Joe lets us know that Steve was really taken aback by that.  Joe tried to help Steve feel better by telling him that it doesn’t matter what they think, it matters what you do.  Heidi really doesn’t think Carol intended it to be a stinging attack and that it wasn’t meant to hurt Steve’s feelings.  Joe believes it just comes down to what is accomplished on the race, not what is said.  He’s still blown away by how much the cowboys are leading the pack.

Gone Too Soon:  Monique wishes they were still in the race, but it’s a lot harder than it looks.  The race is physically exhausting and mentally challenging.  They feel they did good and represented well.  Shawne thought it was way more physically challenging than it was mentally.  She is afraid that she’ll dream about those heavy polo horses.  It was a very hard task.  They’re both just utterly exhausted and when confronted with having to make the right choice of Detour, it can get tough.  You’re not thinking straight.  So when someone watching on TV comments that it was obvious they should have chosen the other Detour, that person isn’t suffering from having only slept one hour.  The race is both grueling and exhilarating and they are proud to have taken part in it.

Rubbed the Wrong Way:  Jet & Cord aren’t very fond of Carol & Brandy.  Cord recalls that in the morning he had asked them where the bathroom was and Carol had told him that he could take a leak on the top of the…what mountain range is this?  Jet helps him out with an Andes assist.  Cord was taken aback by the response.  Jet considers them smart-aleck, overbearing, derogenous [sic].  Cord jokes that Jet and Carol & Brandy didn’t have a good start.

The trouble began when Jet & Cord were trying to use their Brazilian money to pay for the Chilean bus.  Carol & Brandy were waiting behind them when Jet & Cord were trying to board, and when the driver told them in Spanish that they couldn’t, Carol (or Brandy, he doesn’t really say) rudely told them they need to get off the bus.  Jet recounts this with full snark which amuses Cord greatly.  That rubbed him wrong from the start.  He admits since then Carol & Brandy haven’t done anything to them, but every little thing does add up.  Jet admits that if there’s one team he doesn’t trust, it is Carol & Brandy.

Elimination Station

Another beautiful sunny day at Elimination Station in Puerto Vallarta, and Dana is laying out in the sun with cucumbers on her eyes.  She has been told that cucumbers relieve puffiness and tiredness under the eyes.  Jody is happy that she & Shannon recovered from the race quickly and lost any negativity they may have had.  She hopes the next team that arrives also gets over it quickly.  Dana just knows that the next team will be either the cops or the cowboys. Jody reasons that it will be either the cops or the brothers as those are the teams that were right ahead of them when they were eliminated.

The car arrives with the next team and everyone is shocked to see that it’s Monique & Shawne.  The mothers tell everyone about their exhausting leg.  Monique is very proud that Shawne managed to finish the lasso Roadblock as she must have tossed the rope at least 50 times.  They are still in shock that Shawne completed the Roadblock after they did that last prayer.  They’re just kicking themselves that they didn’t pray an hour earlier!

As they settle in their very nice room, Monique tells Shawne that there is no offense intended but she’d rather be sharing the room with her baby’s daddy.  As they start to unpack their bags, both get caught up in crying fits as they truly begin to miss their families.  Both are thinking about all the things they’re missing while now having to stay at Elimination Station.  I’m hoping this is not foreshadowing of them becoming Debbie Downers.

The next morning, the group is on a trip to a local tequila distillery.  The guide takes them first to a stack of agave fruit.  The agave looks very similar to a pineapple in that it has a hard scaly shell but it’s about three times bigger.  A worker begins to hack it into pieces as it needs to be in smaller bits in order to fit into the oven.  Adrian wants to try his hand at hacking up an agave.  While a trained expert can crack and portion up the agave in less than 60 seconds, the untrained Adrian takes just over six minutes to finally just crack the fruit open.  At the end of the tour, some fresh tequila samples are distributed.  It is 8:00am and all is well in Mexico!  They are led in a Mexican toast and everyone downs their shot.  Dana is ready for mas!  The factory obliges and another round is served.  Not surprisingly, Monique’s mind has been taken off the race!  Ah, tequila.

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


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