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The Amazing Race: Classic Episode, Africa, Season 11

July 17th, 2014 · 1 Comment

When the first all-star season of The Amazing Race was routed through Africa, the leg obviously didn’t go the way the course designer(s) anticipated.  On the sixth leg, the seven remaining teams had to book flights during the Ramadan season, which is like trying to book flights around Christmas in the USA.  As a result teams were spaced apart by days.

The seven teams on this leg depart the pit stop in the following order:  Charla/Mirna (a dwarf woman and her cousin, Season 5), Dustin/Kandice (the beauty queens from Season 10),  Teri/Ian (married couple, Season 3),  Oswald/Danny (one of two gay teams, Season 2), Joe/Bill (Team Guido, Season 1), Eric/Danielle (combined team, Season 9) and Uchenna/Joyce (winners of Season 7).  The married African-American couple came in last on the fifth leg but that was a non-elimination round.

Charla/Mirna and Dustin/Kandice get to the airport in the middle of the night and find out they can’t buy tickets until the counter opens the next morning.  Both female teams decide to go to a hotel for the night. When Teri/Ian arrive, he wants to stay at the airport, and she wants to go back to the hotel, but he wins the argument.

Morning finds all seven teams lined up at the same ticket counter. Everybody’s on standby for an 8:30 a.m. flight to Dar Es Salaam. There’s an alternate flight that leaves at 7, but it connects through Johannesburg and the connection’s full. Charla/Mirna take the risk and get on the flight to Johannesburg.

Nobody gets on the 8:30 a.m. flight.  One of Team Guido says, “Now Mirna and Smirna [the dwarf Charla] look like geniuses.” The remaining six teams try to get on a later flight to Johannesburg. While Teri/Ian and Joe/Bill wait at the ticket counter, Uchenna/Joyce, the beauty queens, Oswald/Danny, and Eric/Danielle ask at an airline office about booking the flight.  The office man puts the four teams on the flight to Johannesburg but once again the connecting flight’s full.  The other two teams get the same story at the ticket counter–they can get to Johannesburg but they’ll have to be on standby for the connection to Tanzania.

In Johannesburg the leading team Charla/Mirna persuade an airline employee to pray with them that they’ll get on the connecting flight. They do. They’re in the city of Dar Es Salaam almost before any other team gets aboard an airplane. They find the ferry terminal, where four African sailboats called dhow are waiting. A man tells the team they can’t sail today because of a storm.  Were it not for that, the teams would have been spaced apart even further.

When the six trailing teams reach Johannesburg, the airline says four teams can get on the connecting flight:  the beauty queens, Oswald/Danny, Uchenna/Joyce, and Eric/Danielle.  Then an airline employee comes on the plane and tells Eric/Danielle, sorry, there’s been a mistake, they have to get off. Eric offers $50 for two seats but there are no takers.

The airline assures Eric/Danielle they’ll be on priority standby for the next available flight–at 9:55 the next day. Now three teams are stuck overnight at the Johannesburg airport:  Eric/Danielle, Teri/Ian, and Team Guido.

That night three more teams reach the ferry dock. Danny/Oswald are 2nd so they get paired on a boat with Charla/Mirna, and they depart at 5 the next morning. Uchenna/Joyce and the beauty queens are on the next boat, which leaves at 8:30. The boat trip lasts several hours.

While the four front teams are sailing to the island of Zanzibar, Eric/Danielle make the 9:55 a.m. flight out of Johannesburg.  Team Guido and Teri/Ian don’t. They’re still stuck at the airport. An airline employee advises them to try to get on an Air Malawi flight that leaves at noon. They do.

About the time the final two teams catch their flight, Charla/Mirna and Danny/Oswald get to Zanzibar. They find clues for this leg’s detour. They can tax their minds with a puzzle (“solve it”) or tax their muscles by hauling logs for a boatyard (“schlep it”). Both choose the puzzle. Teams work on their large wooden puzzles in the lobby of a local hotel. Each puzzle has 62 pieces, all of them shaped like fish, recreating a piece of African artwork. When teams finish, the next clue directs them to take taxis about 15 miles to a Masai tribal village.

Oswald/Danny finish their puzzle first but they’re feeling hungry and dehydrated from their long boat ride. They stop at a roadside fruit stand. That allows Charla/Mirna to pass them.

At the Masai village, a roadblock is waiting. One person must throw a Masai hunting club (a rungu) at a clay target on a stick. Once the target breaks, the team gets the next clue–for this leg’s pit stop, an old stone fort.

Mirna hits the target. Danny and Oswald tell each other that she must have been “praying to her grandmother, grandfather, and eternal lineage.” To get to the pit stop, teams have to take their taxis another 15 miles. Charla/Mirna are first to the mat. Phil tells them they’ve each won a catamaran. Neither one of them knows what that is.

Danny/Oswald complete the RB and place 2nd. About this time Uchenna/Joyce and the beauty queens are reaching the detour. Uchenna/Joyce choose the puzzle. The beauty queens choose to tax their muscles with the other detour. (Insert dumb joke here about the beauty queens not wanting to tax their pretty little heads.) They have to travel about a mile to a lumber yard, and load a handcart with two irregular-shaped logs that weigh about 50 lb. each. They then wheel the handcart through the streets for about a mile to a boatyard. The logs are used to make the dhow sailboats. Once the girls unload the logs, they get the clue for the Masai village and the RB.

Around this time Eric/Danielle are finding the ferry boat dock. Eric guesses Teri/Ian and Team Guido are about 2 1/2 hrs. behind. Eric/Danielle are the only team sailing on the third boat.

Uchenna/Joyce finish their puzzle quickly and get to the Masai village about sunset. Uchenna breaks the target, and he and his wife get to the pit stop in 3rd place after dark. They have to serve a 30-min. penalty because they were spared elimination on the previous leg.  Even so, they’re comfortably ahead of the beauty queens, who complete the RB and arrive at the pit stop in 4th place.

In the middle of the night Eric/Danielle arrive in Zanzibar and work the puzzle. At the RB she throws the club several times, and finally hits the stick.  The target falls and breaks, so the young couple get their pit stop clue. They finish 5th.

At last Teri/Ian and Team Guido reach the detour.  Joe/Bill complete their puzzle in about half the time it takes Teri/Ian.  That’s all the separation that’s needed. The sun’s rising when  Joe/Bill get to the RB and full daylight when they reach the pit stop, taking 6th place.

On the way to the RB, Teri and Ian would like to hope someone’s having trouble, but they know that “someone” can only be Team Guido. Ian does the RB. The married couple arrive at the pit stop last and are eliminated, a day and night after first-place Charla/Mirna checked in.


Tags: Amazing Race

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 lynjensen // Jul 19, 2014 at 12:59 am

    Not sure how it happened but the top of the 3rd paragraph was cut off. I explained the two female teams were 1st/2nd @ the airport but decided to sleep at a hotel instead of the airport. Teri/Ian were 3rd @ the airport. They argued about whether to sleep @ the airport or go to a hotel. He won, and they stayed @ the airport.

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