MAX & KATIE'S MIRACULOUS COMEBACK
As the race continued in Botswana, Bates & Anthony braved crocodile-filled waters to win the leg while Max & Katie overcame a Speed Bump and a speeding ticket to overtake eliminated best friends Pam & Winnie.
DANGER CROCODILESDeparting the Pit Stop in first place at 5:39am, hockey brothers Bates & Anthony ripped open their clue instructing them to drive to Boro Village. Without having their friends, country singers Caroline & Jennifer, to "cheat off of and follow" the hockey brothers initially struggled to find Boro Village. Eventually, they stopped at a local motel for directions. Turning down a rough, dirt road, Bates & Anthony reached a tiny village where people sang and danced at the river's edge. Bypassing the Roadblock clue, the hockey brothers instead chose to attempt the Fast Forward, which instructed them to have some fun on the Okavango Delta. To compete this challenge, the pair had to stay up on waterskis together for over a mile. Between a "Danger Crocodiles" sign and a past failure at waterskiing, Bates initially balked at the challenge, questioning whether he could complete it. Anthony tried to keep his brother positive, and Bates agreed to get in the water.
BALANCING ACTAfter putting on life jackets and skis, Bates & Anthony jumped onto a boat that headed into the middle of the river. The hockey brothers gingerly slipped into the cold water as they wondered whether any crocs were near. As Bates & Anthony grabbed hold of the tow rope, the engine roared to life, propelling the speedboat through the water and pulling the brothers behind. While Anthony stood up and balanced with ease, Bates struggled to steady himself, nearly falling. However, after a few more seconds, Bates finally found a position that allowed him to balance himself. He didn't move a muscle for the remaining mile of the ride. After passing the one mile marker, the brothers dropped their ropes and fell back into the river, having won the Fast Forward award. Getting back into the boat as crocodiles appeared in the near distance, Bates & Anthony ripped open their clue sending them by safari taxi to the Pit Stop on the grounds at the Royal Tree Lodge. Spotting gazelles, ostriches, and monkeys as they entered the grounds of the Royal Tree Lodge, Bates & Anthony stepped on the mat in first place once again and won $7,500 each. Even though they won another leg, Bates commented, "We're not taking anything for granted. There's some strong teams out there. They're coming for us, I know."
DRIFT AWAYArriving at Boro Village in second place, best friends Pam & Winnie ripped open their clue to find a Roadblock. In it, one team member had to use a makoro, a traditional dugout canoe made from a single tree, to transport two goats upstream to a nearby goat pen. Then, they had to travel back down the river on the makoro to receive their next clue. After rounding up two goats from the pen, Winnie stood in the back of the makoro and used a long pole to begin steering upstream while Pam held the goats on her lap in the front of the boat. Taking Pam's advice, Winnie used a wide stance to maintain her balance on the narrow boat to prevent it from capsizing as she tried to navigate through the reed-filled waters. Needing strength as well as finesse and balance, Winnie said, "This is really hard." In third place, Wynona began her second consecutive Roadblock as she tried to catch up to the five that Chuck already performed. She got off to a rocky start when she let one of her goats escape from the makoro, forcing her to run after it. From there, Wynona had difficulty steering the boat sending it around in circles. With Chuck only able to watch in frustration, Wynona snapped at him, "What are you going to do? Get out and do it for me? You think this is easy." As the makoro continued to drift and spin in circles, Chuck curtly responded to his wife, "Figure it out."
TOTAL LIFESAVERLeaving the Pit Stop in fifth place, country singers Caroline & Jennifer felt blessed for everything they'd experienced so far in the Race. Jennifer remarked, "Our faith is the most important part of who we are. We have God at the center of everything – our relationship, our life, the Race." Enjoying the incredible surroundings of Botswana on the drive back to Maun, a happy Jennifer failed to notice both the speed limit and a police officer holding a radar gun. When the officer signaled for the country singers to pull over, he informed them they were going 96kph in a 60kph zone. The country singers tried their best to talk their way out of the fine, but the officer wouldn't budge. As Jennifer gave him her driver's license information, she watched as roller derby moms Mona & Beth passed them on the road. The officer then told her the ticket would cost 820 Pula (about $100 US) that she would need to pay at the police station in Maun. When the country singers arrived at the police station, they discovered that the officers wouldn't accept US currency, and the duo didn't have enough Pula to cover the fine. With a limited number of options, Jennifer walked out of the station and found a local man she hoped could help. Caroline had to remain inside the station by order of the police. Jennifer handed the stranger $100US that he promised to exchange for Pula and quickly return to the station. As she stood outside, a worried Jennifer said, "This is such a nightmare. The first speeding ticket in my life cost us the Race." However, after a few minutes, the helpful local returned in his truck and handed a grateful Jennifer the Pula. After settling with the police, Jennifer hugged the man who helped them, calling him a "total lifesaver."
ROLLING ON THE RIVEREven after all of the time they spent taking care of their ticket, country singers Caroline & Jennifer arrived in Boro Village in fifth place. At the same time, Winnie finished the Roadblock and began a ride with Pam on a water taxi down the Thamalakane River to a safari vehicle that would take them to the Royal Tree Lodge Game Preserve. Wynona and Beth both frustrated their partners and almost collided with one another steering their makoros. Caroline drew from her childhood as a tomboy, guiding her makoro upstream to the goat pen. Because she had a head start, Wynona finished the Roadblock in third place, but Caroline managed to overtake Beth for fourth place as Jennifer said, "Caro, I cannot even tell you how proud I am of you." Meanwhile, watching Caroline & Jennifer pass by, Mona fumed, "I'm going to lose my mind."
THE LONG DRIVEDeparting the Pit Stop in last place, newlyweds Max & Katie got off to a tough start when Max couldn't remember where he parked the car. After wasting time running around, Max finally spotted the car and warned an irritated Katie, "Don't get on me about it. You can do it from now on if you think it's that easy." Next, Max got caught in the same speed trap that Jennifer did earlier after ignoring Katie's warning to slow down. An incredulous Katie said, "He's supposed to be the man. He can't find the parked car. Now he gets a speeding ticket. He's just digging himself his own grave." Fortunately, Max & Katie had enough Pula to cover the ticket, but they still had to spend time driving to the Maun police station to pay their fine. Once they settled, Max added insult to injury when he backed his vehicle into a telephone pole as Katie laughed, "Maybe I should drive." Max didn't enjoy the laughter and snapped back, "You are more than welcome to drive...it's so stressful driving."
A FIGHTING CHANCEWhen Max & Katie finally reached Boro Village, they were relieved to see YouTube hosts Joey & Meghan, who lost time driving through Maun, only just arriving as well. For their part, the lost Youtube hosts were also relieved to see the newlyweds. As Joey began steering his makoro upriver, Max & Katie started their Speed Bump, a task only they had to perform as a penalty for coming in last place in the previous leg. In this Speed Bump, the newlyweds had to finish beading a skirt and then take part in a ceremonial seduction dance. While Joey was spinning around the river in circles, Max & Katie quickly finished beading their skirts. Then, they dressed themselves in the finished creation before they each went into a small hut and had their faces painted bright red. When they emerged from the hut, the newlyweds began dancing in earnest with the locals. By the time Max & Katie had danced to the local's approval, they still had Joey & Meghan in their sights. With the stakes high, Max decided to steer the makoro, continuing to gain ground on Joey using speed at the expense of balance. By the time Joey delivered his two goats, Max was only moments behind. After a close makoro race back downriver, the Youtube hosts maintained about a five minute lead over the newlyweds as both teams jumped into water taxis bound for the Royal Tree Lodge Game Preserve. Katie explained the situation, saying, "Either we beat Meghan and Joey or we're out."
UNDER PRESSUREArriving at the Royal Tree Lodge Game Preserve in second place, best friends Pam & Winnie ripped open their clue to find a Detour having the choice between Brains and Brawn. Brains required teams to go on a horseback safari in search of ten animal cutouts. After the ride, using their memory, they had to then choose tiles with representations of the animals seen and place them in the order they appeared. Once they placed them in the correct order, they would receive their next clue. Brawn required teams to stack firewood onto a traditional sand sled and with a carrot dangling from a stick, convince a team of donkeys to haul it half a mile to a camp. Once they delivered the allotted amount of wood, they would receive their next clue. Thinking Brawn would be faster and easier, Pam & Winnie began lugging the large, cumbersome pieces of wood to fill up their sand sled. Once they had a full sled, the best friends dangled a carrot in front of their donkeys, but their animals wouldn't budge an inch. When Caroline & Jennifer and Mona & Beth showed up and began quickly filling their sleds, Pam & Winnie became flustered and reconsidered their Detour choice. Winnie later commented, "We heavily prepared for this Race, but what you can't prepare for is that feeling on anxiety and that pressure." Succumbing to the pressure of seeing other teams, the best friends dropped the carrot and ran off to try Brains instead.
ANIMAL KINGDOMArriving in third place, married couple Chuck & Wynona mounted horses, put on safari hats, and began a slow ride through the preserve keeping their eyes open for animal cutouts. Because they couldn't write down the names, Wynona kept singing them aloud in order – "zebra, buffalo, kudu, giraffe, groundhog" – so she wouldn't forget. Wynona joked, "I don't sing like the country girls, but I'm singing." Afterwards, Chuck spotted the next five animals, including a snake, cheetah, hog, ostrich, and a potentially confusing hippo with a bird on top of it. Dismounting their horses near camp, the married couple sifted through the wood tiles with representations of animals on them. Wynona quickly put her five in the correct order, but Chuck took a little extra time when he got to his last animal, the hippo with a bird on top. Chuck couldn't find a hippo tile, but he noticed a rhino and a separate bird tile. Because there was no hippo to choose from, Chuck decided on the bird as the tenth tile as a nervous Wynona reminded him if they were wrong, they would have to ride through the safari all over again. However, Chuck's reasoning proved correct, and the safari guide handed them their next clue sending them on a short run to the Pit Stop, where the married couple took fourth place behind Mona & Beth and Caroline & Jennifer.
SAFARI SHOWDOWNWith Joey & Meghan and Max & Katie approaching the preserve, Pam & Winnie began their horseback safari, spotting the first five animals with little difficulty. However, on the back half, they failed to spot the ostrich, so they assumed the hippo and the bird counted for two animals. As Joey & Meghan and Max & Katie began stacking wood in their sleds, Pam & Winnie stood over the wood tiles and began sorting the animals they saw along their safari. For the last two animals, the best friends incorrectly chose the rhino and the bird, believing that they represented the hippo with the bird on top of it. When the safari guide rejected their guess, the stunned best friends had to start all over, saying, "This is not good." As Pam & Winnie started their second horseback safari, Joey & Meghan and Max & Katie, believing they were battling by themselves for last place, finished piling wood in their sleds within seconds of each other and began a race with their donkeys. Max & Katie took an early lead when Joey couldn't coax his donkeys to move. However, once the Youtube Hosts finally got their donkeys going, the animals bolted ahead gaining ground on the newlyweds and nearly overtaking them until their sled got tangled in a bush. Once the teams reached a clearing with the camp in sight, Joey & Meghan again almost overtook the newlyweds again until their donkeys veered off the path. The two teams reached the camp and began unloading the wood from their sleds only seconds apart.
PRETTY PRICELESSAs the two teams continued their heated race, Pam & Winnie took their second guess with the tiles and again, they selected the rhino with the bird. Discouraged, they decided to switch back to the Braun Detour. Meanwhile, Joey & Meghan delivered all their wood from the sled just moments ahead of Max & Katie and ran to the mat to claim fifth place while Max & Katie finished in sixth place, stunned to realize one team was behind them. After finally finishing the Brawn Detour with their donkeys, best friends Pam & Winnie stepped on the mat in last place and accepted their elimination with smiles. The pair joked, "There's not going to be any tearful ending for us. Crying is for bitches." Being more introspective, Winnie added, "We might be eliminated, but it can't feel bad after doing this much cool stuff and going to this many cool places." Pam added, "May as well take the positive side of things and think of all the awesome things we did get to do. At least we got to see Africa. Pretty priceless."
2207 ROUTE MARKERSRoadblock: A Roadblock is a task that only one person can perform. In this Roadblock, that person had to use a makoro, a traditional dugout canoe made from a single tree, to transport two goats upstream to a nearby goat pen. Then, they had to travel back down the river on the makoro to receive their next clue.
Performed Roadblock: Winnie, Wynona, Max, Joey, Beth, Caroline
Detour: A Detour is a choice between two tasks. In this Detour, teams had the choice of Brains or Brawn. Brains required teams to go on a horseback safari in search of ten animal cutouts. After the ride, using their memory, they had to then choose tiles with representations of the animals seen and place them in the order they appeared. Once they placed them in the correct order, they would receive their next clue. Brawn required teams to stack firewood onto a traditional sand sled and with a carrot dangling from a stick, convince a team of donkeys to haul it half a mile to a camp. Once they delivered the allotted amount of wood, they would receive their next clue.
Brains: Chuck/Wynona Brawn: Mona/Beth, Caroline/Jennifer, Joey/Meghan, Max/Katie, Pam/Winnie
Fast Forward: A Fast Forward allows teams to skip all tasks and proceed to the Pit Stop. In this Fast Forward, teams had to stay up on waterskis together for over a mile on the Okavango Delta.
Bates/Anthony won Fast ForwardSpeed Bump: A Speed Bump is a task only Max & Katie had to perform for coming in last place on the previous leg. In this Speed Bump, the newlyweds had to finish beading a skirt and then take part in a ceremonial seduction dance.
Order of Finish: 1. Bates & Anthony 2. Mona & Beth 3. Caroline & Jennifer 4. Chuck & Wynona 5. Joey & Meghan 6. Max & Katie 7. Pam & Winnie