by Lyn Jensen
Leg two of The Amazing Race almost always means one team down, ten to go, and that’s the situation on Season 29. The ten remaining teams leave the pit stop in Panama City with their next clue telling them to fly to Sao Paulo, Brazil. The teams are scattered between six flights:
- 1st–Vanck/Ashton, Matt/Redmond
- 2nd–Brooke/Scott, Seth/Olive, Sara/Shamir
- 4th–London/Logan (Team LoLo)
- 5th–Tara/Joey, Becca/Floyd (Team Fun)
Once teams get to Sao Paulo, teams are to take taxis to a heliport and sign up for helicopter rides to (theoretically) avoid traffic congestion. Front-runners Matt/Redmond and Vanck/Ashton make a deal–when they get to the heliport, they’ll flip a coin to see who gets the first helicopter ride. Matt/Redmond are the 1st to arrive by a considerable margin, however, so they go ahead and sign up. When Ashton/Vanck show up, they’re not happy to find the guys didn’t wait. (Watch and see if this’ll be a factor when a U-turn comes up.)
When teams take their helicopter ride, they’re dropped off at a rooftop helipad near the plaza where the next clue box is. The top nine teams take the ride in the following order: Matt/Redmond, Vanck/Ashton, Shamir/Sara, Seth/Olive, Brooke/Scott, Liz/Mike, Team LoLo, Becca/Floyd, and Tara/Joey. The final team, Jessie/Francesca, are stuck in traffic trying to get to the heliport.
Matt/Redmond are first to the plaza, and find the clue is for this leg’s detour. The choices are “Keep the Beat” or “Work Your Feet.” Despite Redmond’s one leg, they choose “Work Your Feet.”
Since “Keep the Beat” is about playing samba music, it would make sense if “Work Your Feet” were about dancing, but it’s not. Teams that choose this detour must go to a street gym and assemble gym equipment out of junk.
Sara/Shamir are 2nd to arrive at the detour clue box, and choose to play the samba. One person plays a drum for a street band, the other plays some other kind of percussion instrument.
Ashton/Vanck, in 3rd place, and Olive/Seth, in 4th place, choose to go to the gym. Matt/Redmond are delayed because they didn’t get everything right on the 1st try, but they’re still first to finish either detour. Their next clue instructs them to make their way to Avenida Paulista to where a bike path intersects with a plaza (Plaza de Bicyclista, I think), and find a woman who’s wearing red and yellow race colors and riding a bicycle.
Back at the clue box for the detour, Liz/Mike are 5th and, since they’re both former band geeks, choose to play the samba. Brooke/Scott, in 6th place, go to the gym. On the way Brooke falls and injures her elbow. It’s not serious but it’s painful enough to affect what happens on the rest of the leg.
Matt/Redmond have trouble finding the bike path and plaza, so Vanck/Ashton, who finished 2nd at the gym, get there 1st. The clue they get from the bicyclist is for this leg’s roadblock. It’s window washing. One team member must strap into a harness, rappel down the side of a skyscraper, and clean a window that’s been marked with yellow-and-red race colors. Once the window is clean, someone (who looks like a maintenance worker) will hand over the next clue envelope. However, if the window isn’t properly cleaned, the racer has to rappel clear down the building and then take the elevator back to the roof and start again. Ashton starts.
Several trailing teams are starting or finishing the detour. Team Lolo is the seventh team to start the detour, and they chose the music. Becca/Floyd are eighth, and they pick the music, too. Floyd played drums in high school and is now his college’s drum major.
Four teams finish playing the samba: Sara/Shamir (4th), Liz/Mike (5th), Team LoLo (6th), and Becca/Floyd (7th). Brooke/Scott complete the gym detour, making them eighth.
Liz/Mike must’ve had a fast taxi, because they were 5th to complete the detour but are 2nd to get to the RB. Liz starts the window-washing. Matt/Redmond finally find the plaza, so they’re third to pick up their RB clue. Redmond’s one leg isn’t a problem on this task, so he starts the RB. Olive/Seth are 4th, and Seth has experience rappelling, so he does the window-washing.
Shamir/Sara are 5th to reach the RB. Shamir starts the task but he’s having a very, very bad day. First he bloodied his hands playing the drum for the samba band. Then he finds the window-washing is busting–something else. He complains his harness is too tight, and the crew adjusts it, but he’s still in so much pain he breaks a window trying to get down and see a medic. The medical crew examines him behind closed ambulance doors and ensure him there’s nothing wrong and he can continue the task.
“Every male that had to get into a harness was gonna hurt,” says one of other guys. Shamir can’t get a window washed properly, either. He has to start over several times, prolonging his agony.
Brooke/Scott reach the RB in 6th place. Her arm still hurts, so he does the RB even though he’s afraid of heights. He’s never rappelled either, not even when he was in the Boy Scouts. Becca/Floyd, arriving in 7th place, have no such problems. She’s a rock climber, after all, so she does the RB.
About the time Tara/Joey are completing the gym detour (in 9th place), Jessie/Francesca finally reach the clue box for the detour. They pick the music.
Liz is 1st to finish the RB. She and Mike get their pit stop clue, to Trianon Park, an eleven-acre urban rainforest. It’s close enough to the RB that teams may either take a taxi or travel on foot. Liz/Mike take a taxi. Ashton/Vanck are right behind but make their way on foot. Liz/Mike, who barely got tenth place last leg, win leg two. They win a trip to Barbados. They’re still on the pit stop mat when Ashton/Vanck arrive and take 2nd place. Vanck says he’s with his teammate 120% even though that’s a mathematical impossibility.
Redmond had to start over, but he and Matt still finish the RB and reach the mat in 3rd place. Seth/Olive are 4th, and Seth notes they’ve been 4th since the helicopter ride that started the visit to Sao Paulo.
Tara/Joey are 8th to start the RB, Team LoLo, 9th. Four teams finish the RB in a cluster and reach the pit stop in the following order: Brooke/Scott, 5th, Becca/Floyd 6th, Tara/Joey, 8th, and LoLo 9th. (Lolo gained a slot on Tara/Joey at the RB but lost it on the way to the pit stop.)
Last-place Jessie/Francesca finally reach the RB where Shamir is still having problems and Sara isn’t offering much sympathy. The female team complains they can’t find the bicyclist. We can see they keep missing her as she’s riding by–they’re just not seeing her, their backs are turned or they’re looking elsewhere. Sara misdirects them down the block (“she’s around and around”) and yells at Shamir to hurry up.
The women finally do find the bicyclist, and Francesca starts the RB. Shamir finally catches a break when he’s able to finish a window ahead of her.
Shamir/Sara arrive at the pit stop, and Phil’s so busy offering sympathy for Shamir, we never do hear, “You are team number nine!” (He probably said it but this episode’s editing is confusing.) He does explain that even men who have much experience with a window-washing harness can have –problems.
Francesca finishes the RB, and she and Jessie are the tenth and last team to reach the pit stop. This season’s only female team was promising, but they’re eliminated.