The Amazing Race – Season 12, Episode 3

“Please, Lord, Give Me Milk”

November 18th, 2007

You know, the title of this episode really doesn’t evoke the level of insanity which Lorena poured into it. It was much more desperate, pleading even, than you could possibly imagine. In short, Lorena went into full-on emotional breakdown mode in this episode. And while I know that this characterization is perhaps a bit quick, she really is an equivalent to the ill-remembered Flo of Season Three (Fulfilling, further, Erin’s belief the season might head in this direction).

As for the remainder of the teams, this wasn’t an episode for personal triumphs or anything of that sort. Rather, a number of teams quite literally broke down at the roadblock, and the tightness of the leg kept any team from coming back from any sort of deficit. That said, the episode did end up with two teams fairly darn close to one another at the detour, although methinks there was some tricky editing afoot.

And yes, Lorena eventually got her milk; but, as Kate and Pat said last week, I don’t think the Lord had anything to do with it.

From Netherlands to No Man’s Land

The leg saw the teams traveling from Amsterdam to Burkina Faso, where they quickly took a train quite literally into the middle of the Sahara Desert. As in, they got off the train in the desert, as opposed to a station. This was neat, sure, but it meant that the teams had no taxi rides or navigation to help them catch up. And, this would play an important factor late in the episode.

The roadblock was indeed the episode’s turning point, although it really was a bit too early to bring temperamental mammals back into the mix. The task was to milk a camel up to a certain line in a bowl, and then drink it. The drinking was really irrelevant to the task, because these people were willing to do anything once they finally finished the task.

Lorena was not the only one to have problems related to a lack of milk, or camels with violent tendencies. Jennifer and Marianna were in much the same boat, although they did a fair amount less screaming about it. The task seemed oddly imbalanced: some camels seemed to have their legs tied back in order to allow their babies to milk, which obviously made it easier for the teams to do the same. I didn’t get a really good look at it, but it certainly seemed like this was a big difference between who had issues and who didn’t.

The Detour, meanwhile, really didn’t do much to move the teams around. Teams chose between teaching a young student 10 English words, or learning 10 words themselves. The smart teams divided up the words into two halves, each learning five, and finished the task fairly quickly. Those who chose to Teach didn’t do too poorly, and seemed to finish the task fairly easily, but it was not the speediest option. The Detour really wasn’t an opportunity for a team to catch up: it was really just another step before running to the nearby Pit Stop in a small village.

The Teams

Azaria and Hendekea: However, the Detour was an opportunity for the Ethiopian twins to emerge from the pack and secure their second first place finish. They easily divided up the 10 words, and were able to recover from a fairly middling Roadblock performance to rise to the head of the pack. Their narcissism, however, was a bit out of place: I believe Azaria’s exact quote spoke that the initial target on their backs hadn’t been even greater. I’m not sure people see them as a threat this early, but they really need to make sure they don’t let it get to their heads.

Ron and Christina: While I would wish a hernia on no one, it did appear to help Ronald get a grip on his badgering and get down to racing again this week.Christina performed well at the roadblock, and he powered through the hernia to place them in a very good position nearly tied with the 2nd place team heading into the next leg. It was a more positive portrait of the team, although I have to wonder when his condition will slow them down in a leg that involves more physical exertion. I did, however, love him using King Kong as a way to teach a girl about a Skyscraper – dude, you’re in Burkina Faso.

Lorena and Jason: I’m sorry, Lorena, but you’re definitely Flo in this scenario. While I think that she seems capable of making some decent decisions, her complete and utter emotional breakdown is not her first moment of insanity. When she flipped out at Jason making a mistake in the first leg, you could tell that she was too emotional to handle the race. Jason ran the show last week, and they finished first. And, this week, the burden was placed on Lorena and the team was in a dead heat at the detour for last place. The fact of the matter is that Jason is going to be dragging her along, and that’s kind of unfair considering that other teams are working better than she is. Unfortunately, that dead heat fell in their favour, which means that…

The Eliminated Team

Julia and Marianna: No, I can’t tell them apart either, but you’ve got to give them credit – they ran a solid race and just got screwed over by a crappy roadblock and (unfortunately for us) off-camera shenanigans at the detour. As far as I can tell, as much as editing misled us, they failed to find the school within any amount of time. I’m guessing there was some poor directions, as they were likely not all that close to Lorena and Jason. Which is unfortunate: they were brash, but I felt they could have been contenders. Especially over a team like Lorena and Jason that isn’t working in tandem, nor providing the least bit of true entertainment.

The rest of the teams: Donald and Nicholas didn’t do much as a team, but Grandpa talked about how foxy the sisters were and redeemed himself from last week’s roadblock with a strong performance; Shana and Jennifer struggled with the roadblock and got the “we’re not sensitive to other cultures” edit; Nathan and Jennifer switched places, with Jennifer in the shrill yelling/immediate turnaround when things go her way role during the roadblock; TK and Rachel continue to be wholly personality-less; Kynt and Vyksin performed admirably (With Vyksin being the chivalrous one, to mild hilarity) and didn’t say “Oh my Goth!” so things are looking up.

Next Week on The Amazing Race…

It appears that Shana and Jennifer steal a taxi from Lorena and Jason (Which is never, ever a good idea considering it is unlikely to make or break the race), and people do funny dances.

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