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TV Review: The Amazing Race 11: All Stars – Episode 5

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Each week I'm reminded why I like Oswald and Danny so much. Even when they bicker a bit (like they did tonight), they can be a hoot and deliver some of the best lines in the show.

On the other hand, every week I'm reminded more and more why Charla and Mirna irk me so. In my book, Mirna is more irksome than Charla. I honestly think I'd take to Charla much better if she had a different partner.

Seven teams remain. Who will be eliminated next?

The teams started out from their last Pit Stop at the "End of the World." This is the closest we've seen the race actually get to Antartica, which is kind of cool in and of itself. Heck, not cool… outright cold! Teri and Ian were shocked that Romber was eliminated while Mirna seemed to take credit for the elimination. Oswald and Danny, the first team to arrive, left first at 12:02 AM. In last place, Charla and Mirna left at 2:41 AM, almost a three-hour gap betwixt first and last. Will it matter? Of course not. It's the Amazing Race!

While Team Guido (Joe and Bill) promised they were going to show a "kinder and gentler Guido," we see them provoked later on in the leg. The teams had to travel to a glacier where they received one avalanche beacon and were directed to follow the signal to find a buried beacon with their next clue. It all started out with an 8 AM opening, thus a bunching point.

The more I see Eric, the more he irks me, too. Perhaps he should team up with Mirna. He deliberately tried to annoy the Guidos and seems to have some problems with both gay and older folks on the whole. The Guidos walked away refusing to let him instigate problems which may make them look bad.
Oswald and Danny Rule
Once the gates to the glacier were opened, some teams zoomed right through the task. Others had issues. For example, once again Dustin and Kandice blew by a clue. But they caught themselves this time and went back before losing too much time. Charla/Mirna took a long time, but Danny and Oswald took forever. The ChaChas also took turns being cranky about it.

After completing the glacier task, teams had to fly 7,000 miles to the town of Maputo in Mozambique. Any plane tickets have to be purchased through travel agents as the airport can't sell them. The show has back-up tickets which would get them in at 3 PM if teams cannot obtain earlier flights. But all the teams, including the lagging ChaChas, managed to get on the same flight and their arrival time was 9:40 AM.
Amazing Race Roadblock: Trained Rat
Once in Maputo, the teams had to get in marked cars with drivers and head to APOPO Training Field. Again, there was a bunching point and Eric called the Guidos "freaks." It was there that they faced a Roadblock (a task only one member of a team can do) and one of the coolest ones I've ever seen. Rats! Oh, I'm not talking the rats running around KFC/Taco Bell in the Village. I'm talking working rats. These rats have been trained to detect explosive landmines and work with trainers. It's fascinating to read about and gives us a whole new insight into a much-detested animal. Well, I never detested them. I just don't want them in my abode… or where I eat. Pet rats have always been okay with me.

Not only did I think the challenge was fun and really interesting, but Charla's rat was more interested in grooming for the cameras than finding the landmine/clue. The name of the Roadblock was "Who Smells a Rat?" I couldn't help but compare Mirna to them each time they showed her. During the task, one of the ChaChas promised their rat, Nelson, that if he finds the clue, "We'll take you to a nice lab where they'll apply make-up on you." Ian gave his Cagney impersonation, "You dirty rat."
Maputo Confusion
Once the rats did their thing for the teams, they had to travel 50 miles back into Maputo, but it wasn't as easy to get to the location as they thought. The road sign must have loved the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz. "Some people go this way, and others go this way." The road sign indicated Maputo was either to the left or straight ahead. The teams going straight ended up lost. Or, was it the teams who went left who got lost? All I can say was one way was better than the other and shifted the dynamics of who was leading the pack.

Once they finally got to the next clue, it was a Detour. Both choices were ways folks make a living in the area. In Pamper It, the teams had to go to a market stall where they had to sell nail-painting to locals. Men in the area both do the painting and have their nails painted. Once they earned a certain amount, they would receive their next clue. In Porter It, teams had to load ten bags with coal, sew them shut, then lug a single bag by foot to a location in town.
Free Nails to a Cute Girl
The Guidos were running in first place at the time and chose Porter. Hey, Eric can say what he may, but there are two male gay teams in the race. Both chose the physical task of Porter It. Alas, they should have chosen Pamper It. Mirna and Charla, way behind the other teams, finished that one in short order. So did the Beauty Queens (Dustin and Kandice), who even took the time to paint a young girl's nails even though she had no money. Geez, Ian and Teri were headed to Porter, but accidentally ended up in Pamper and they nailed the task, too! (Get it? Nailed the nail task. I kill myself sometimes.)

Ahem.

But all the teams faced with the Porter task found it dirty, time-consuming, and probably the wrong choice. Uchenna and Joyce fell way behind as they got lost while lugging the bag of coal around.

Here's the order at the Pit Stop in Fortaleza, Maputo:

  1. Charla and Mirna – Their first time (and hopefully last time) in first place ever on the show. They won a trip to Aruba.
  2. Dustin and Kandice
  3. Teri and Ian (who were shocked they did so well)
  4. Oswald and Danny – Oswald promptly chased Phil around wanting to hug him with his coal-covered hands. That was a hoot! When Phil commented about them taking the coal task, one of them said, "Hey, we didn't come here to sissyfoot!" (Ah, but I bet they will shop again sometime!)
  5. Joe and Bill – They beat Eric and Danielle in a close footrace which prompted Eric to blame Danielle and later fuss that they were "beat by a bunch of queens." You go, Queens!
  6. Eric and Danielle
  7. Uchenna and Joyce

As it was one of the three planned non-elimination legs, Uchenna and Joyce are still in the race. However, they are marked for elimination. They must come in first place on the next leg or suffer a thirty-minute penalty which theoretically could make them lose the race.

I still hold with wanting Charla and Mirna gone, but Eric is about on par with them. Danielle, I have nothing against. Well, other than the fact that she's running the race with Eric. I'm liking the Guidos and ChaChas more each week and have to say the same for Teri and Ian. Dustin and Kandice are a strong team in many ways, but this is the second time they've gone by a clue. They have to pay more attention. I liked Uchenna and Joyce in their season, but they are dragging a bit this season. I did smile at Joyce's reaction to the rat… "Oh, he's cute!"

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