COWBOYS IN TROUBLE
Eleven teams returned to The Amazing Race for a chance to settle some unfinished business, but two got off to shaky starts. Engaged couple Amanda & Kris received an automatic U-Turn at the starting line and cowboys Jet & Cord couldn't decode a puzzle in Sydney.
A SECOND CHANCE
Just outside of windy Palm Springs, California, eleven teams who fell short on their first try returned to the starting line of The Amazing Race for a chance to settle some unfinished business. After greeting the excited teams, host Phil Keoghan delivered the good news that the winner of the first leg would receive the Express Pass allowing them to skip one challenge they don't want to complete.
Phil then warned that this race would be very different for the teams, because "second chances don't come free." To earn their first clue, teams had to run into a desert search field filled with hundreds of small labeled airplanes and find what Phil asked for. The first eight teams to do this would be on the first flight while the other three teams would be on the second flight landing ninety minutes later. In addition, the last team to complete the challenge would receive an automatic U-Turn forcing them to complete both sides of the first Detour they encounter.
THE RACE BEGINS
As the stunned teams anxiously waited, Phil told them he wanted teams to run into the field and find an airplane labeled "Queensland and Northern Territories Aerial Services." When Phil said go, the eleven teams raced furiously across the desert sand and brush into the sprawling field of countless airplanes. Mallory saw a plane labeled Queensland Pacific, but her father Gary said that wasn't what they wanted. When Ron picked up an incorrect Pan Am airplane, daughter Christina told him, "If this does not work, it's Qantas." Moments later, Mike and Zev reached the same conclusion as Christina, realizing that Qantas was the acronym for Queensland and Northern Territories Aerial Services. Finding the Qantas airplanes in the massive field, father and son Mel & Mike, best friends Zev & Justin, cowboys Jet & Cord, dating goths Kent & Vyxsin, father and daughter Ron & Christina, and Harlem Globetrotters Flight Time & Big Easy all secured seats on the first flight to Sydney, Australia. Mother and son Margie & Luke and former NFL cheerleaders Jaime & Cara took the final two spots on the first flight as Jaime joked, "The redheads are back."
A BAD START
Now guaranteed a spot on the second flight ninety minutes behind, sisters Kisha & Jen, newly engaged Amanda & Kris, and father and daughter Gary & Mallory continued their frantic search in the field trying to avoid an automatic U-Turn. A relieved Kisha & Jen spotted a Qantas plane first, saying, "It's alright, we're not last." Gary & Mallory and Amanda & Kris continued to flounder, presenting Phil with a wide variety of wrong guesses from Air Alliance to Queens Express. Eventually, both teams realized that they needed a Qantas plane and father and daughter Gary & Mallory proved slightly faster as they edged out the dating couple. When Amanda & Kris presented Phil with their Qantas plane, he informed the unhappy couple that they now would have an automatic U-Turn at the first Detour they encounter. Referencing the fact that Margie & Luke U-Turned them the first time they ran the race, the couple said "U-Turned again. It's our own fault."
TURN OF EVENTS
In the middle of the night over the Pacific Ocean, a flight attendant came over the lead airplane's intercom, announcing, "Ladies and gentlemen, it is a medical emergency." A sick passenger, potentially a heart attack victim, forced the plane to touch down in Honolulu allowing the passenger to deplane and receive proper medical attention. With the unexpected landing and needed refueling, the eight teams realized that their ninety-minute lead on the other plane had evaporated entirely. Justin added, "We went from racing for first to racing for last. It sucks."
UNDER THE SEA
Landing in sunny Sydney, Australia, Kisha & Jen, Amanda & Kris, and Gary & Mallory all hopped on a train to Sydney Harbor and celebrated after learning that they now had a lead on the other teams. Faced with the automatic U-Turn, an excited Amanda said, "We could win the Express Pass and even us out." Arriving at the harbor, the three teams boarded a ferry heading to Manly where they needed to find Ocean World.
As the delayed Qantas flight with eight teams finally landed in Sydney, the lead three teams arrived at Ocean World to find a Roadblock. In it, one team member had to search for a compass hidden somewhere on the floor of a 1.5 million gallon tank containing 16-foot sharks and stingrays the size of a queen size mattress. Then, teams had to decipher a sentence written out in nautical flags by matching each flag to the corresponding letter or number on the compass. Once teams decoded that they had to go to the Manly 16 Ft Skiff Sailing Club, find the commodore, and tell him "I am between the devil and the deep blue sea", they would receive their next clue.
Mallory, Amanda, and Kisha, who didn't fare very well in water her first time racing, all donned scuba gear and descended into the massive tank swarming with large sea creatures. Gary looked at his daughter through a glass wall, joking, "These sharks look hungry." Watching her sister walk along the floor of the tank, Jen said, "Thank God I'm not in there." After getting nudged on the leg by a shark, Amanda put any fears out of her head and focused on her search for the compass. Mallory and Amanda both spotted the large compasses nestled in the rocky terrain and headed back to dry land while Kisha continued her search.
At Sydney Harbor, a ferry with Margie & Luke, Jaime & Cara, the Globetrotters, Kent & Vyxsin, and Zev & Justin set sail to Manly just before Ron & Christina, Mel & Mike, and Jet & Cord arrived at the harbor after missing the first train out of the airport. Deciding to break off from the other two teams, cowboys Jet & Cord wasted precious time and missed the 12:20 ferry that Ron & Christina and Mel & Mike jumped on. Now alone in last place, Jet & Cord took the next ferry, saying, "We got a little catching up to do today."
As Kisha found her compass and Mallory and Amanda began to decipher the sentence written in nautical flags, the five teams from the second flight arrived at Ocean World. Justin, Cara, Margie, Flight Time, and Vyxsin all put aside any fears and began their search in the shark tank as Ron & Christina and Mel & Mike ripped open their clues outside Ocean World with Christina and Mel volunteering to "swim with sharks." When last place cowboys Jet & Cord arrived, Jet opted to dive for his team, but later joked, "I'm from Oklahoma. I don't do water. I don't even take baths."
One by one, racers exited the shark tank with their compasses until only Vyxsin remained. Although she already had her compass, the pink-haired Vyxsin became disoriented and couldn't find her way out. She later described the experience as "terrifying…like how you'd feel if you were being buried alive." As a worried Kent looked on, Vyxsin calmed herself down by thinking about a big reason she and Kent returned to run the race a second time. Kent suddenly lost his father in the past year, so Vyxsin told herself, "If it's for dad, I can do it." Thinking about the importance of family allowed Vyxsin to reach the surface of the water and rejoin her partner and catch up to the other teams.
After sitting on the ground and staring at the rows and rows of flags flapping in the wind, Mallory slowly pieced together what she believed was the message the flags spelled out. Then, she and her father ran to the Manly 16Ft Skiff Sailing Club where she told the waiting commodore, "I am between the devil and the deep blue sea." Opening their next clue, Gary & Mallory discovered they would tackle the intricacies of sailing a 16-foot skiff as they raced across the waters of Manly Bay. Upon the firing of the seaman's gun, teams had to sail their skiff along a water course and locate a buoy where they would find their next clue.
With Amanda & Kris and Kisha & Jen in close pursuit, Gary & Mallory took to the water on their skiff after receiving instructions on how to operate and maneuver the sleek boats. Gliding across the pristine blue water, Mallory shouted, "Please don't flip! We're going so fast!" Spotting the yellow buoy, Gary reached out, extended his arm, and grabbed a clue. Returning to shore, the father and daughter ripped open the clue instructing them to find the Pit Stop at Shelly Beach, one of the hottest surfing spots in Sydney.
After battling in a close footrace with engaged couple Amanda & Kris, Gary & Mallory emerged victorious when ran onto the sands of Shelly Beach where Phil stood waiting. After Phil awarded the excited father and daughter with the coveted Express Pass, he then shocked them by handing them their next clue. They were still racing. A flustered Mallory didn't know what to say, but Phil told her, "Stop talking and go." Settling for second place, Amanda & Kris received the reminder from Phil that they still had the automatic U-Turn to complete when they encountered a Detour.
LENDING A HAND
As sisters Jen & Kisha claimed third place, Zev & Justin told the secret phrase to the commodore to earn their clue. Right on the best friends' heels, the familiar alliance of Margie & Luke and Jaime & Cara both missed the word "between " when they told the phrase to the commodore and were denied their clue. Following behind those two teams, Flight Time & Big Easy never solved the flag puzzle because they feared falling too far behind. The Globetrotters spotted their pals Zev & Justin who bonded together the first time they ran the race. Justin gave them the answer, later saying, "They're the Globetrotters. They're our boys. We helped them out and now they owe us." However, Justin turned down the pleas for help from Margie & Luke and Jaime & Cara, later saying, "We don't know them from a hole in the wall. It was pretty easy to say no." The frustrated foursome of Margie & Luke and Jaime & Cara eventually got help from a benevolent Ron & Christina and Mel & Mike who told them the word they were missing.
With nine teams either solving or getting help to solve the puzzle, only Jet and Vyxsin remained at Ocean World with their compasses trying to decipher the many flags. Jet believed he figured the message out and took off with his brother to the skiff sailing club. Somewhat frazzled, Vyxsin knew she only partially solved the puzzle but left with Kent anyway right behind the cowboys. Arriving in front of the commodore, Jet simply asked for his clue, prompting the commodore to reply, "Have you got the other part of it?" Realizing they made a mistake, the cowboys returned to Ocean World while dating Goths Kent & Vyxsin spotted Margie & Luke who offered up the answer as they prepared their skiff for the water. Margie later explained, "It just makes sense to maybe have a team that we feel we might be able to beat at the finish line."
Now ten teams arrived at the mat on Shelly Beach and got their clue to keep racing as Jet continued to struggle at Ocean World unable to make sense of what he needed to tell the commodore. Looking on, Cord said, "I have no idea what we're missing." After another failed attempt at the skiff sailing club, a frustrated Jet said, "You gotta be kidding me." Returning for a third time to Ocean World, Jet told his brother, "I don't understand this. I don't get it. We're gonna be screwed." The question now became whether Jet would be able to solve the puzzle so the cowboys could continue on in the race?