The Amazing Race

Episode 17.03 : In Phil We Trust

  • The Amazing Race
    • Episode Premiere : October 10, 2010
    • Distributor : CBS
    • Genre : Game-Show, Adventure
    • Seasons : 17
    • Show Period : 2001 - now
    • Production Company: Jerry Bruckheimer Television
    • Official Site :

Cast and Crew

  • Main Cast
    • Phil Keoghan

The Story


As the race moved to rural Ghana, Ivy League a cappella singers Connor & Jonathan jumped into first place while Michael succumbed to the intense African heat causing him and his son Kevin to finish in last place.


Departing in first place at 7:34am, home shopping hosts Brook & Claire opened their clue instructing them to travel across the city of Accra to the neighborhood of Jamestown and find the Akotoku Boxing Academy. When the home shopping hosts' taxi driver informed them that they were headed to a place where people box, an elated Brook squealed, "Yes!"

Running into the Akotoku Boxing Academy still in first place, Brook & Claire noticed the many young fighters beginning their day of training, prompting Brook to exclaim, "Oh my gosh, we got a bunch of burly men!" The home shopping hosts eagerly ripped open their clue to find a Roadblock. In it, one team member had to properly wrap their hands before suiting up in training gear. Then, they had to work on a speed bag for sixty seconds before jumping rope for sixty seconds. When they mastered both exercises, the trainer would give them their next clue.

Having trained before in a boxing facility, Brook excitedly volunteered to take this task while Claire joked, "If Brook gets in the ring with those other guys, I'm scared for the other guy." Watching a boxer wrap his hands, Brook patiently followed his lead, intricately weaving the cloth over and under her fingers and around her palms and wrists. After successfully wrapping her hands, Brook donned a sparring helmet and boxing gloves before running over to the speed bag. With her coach providing motivation, Brook attacked the bag with gusto, displaying a mean 1-2 combo.

As newly dating Chad & Stephanie and beach volleyball partners Katie & Rachel arrived at the academy, Brook finished hitting the speed bag for sixty seconds and moved on to jumping rope. As Brook started jumping she complimented her coach on his hat prompting Claire to warn, "Focus!" As Brook finished her minute of jump roping, she told her coach, "Maybe someday we can box in the ring." Opening their next clue, the home shopping discovered they had to travel by taxi to the Dodowa District and find a marked supply depot.


Departing the Pit Stop in seventh place, doctors Nat & Kat hoped to keep the slim lead they held over eighth place Nick & Vicki and last place Gary & Mallory. From the start, Kat wisely noted, "You can only make up time with a good cab driver, but with a bad one you can lose the game." Kat's statement proved prophetic when the doctors' taxi driver became lost, landing them in last place. After driving past the academy, the doctors noticed Chad & Stephanie and Katie & Rachel, who both completed the boxing training, in taxis behind them. Because the doctors' taxi was blocking the road, the other two teams told the doctors they had overshot the academy and needed to turn around so the two teams could keep moving ahead to the Dodowa district. However, instead of listening to the doctors' pleas to turn around, their driver kept going in the same direction insisting he was correct. Finally, Nat & Kat convinced the driver to turn around and arrived at the academy just as the last two teams, Jill & Thomas and Nick & Vicki, were leaving. When Nat completed her boxing training, Kat said, "Let's get a good cab this time."


Traveling out of Accra to a more rural area of Ghana, home shopping hosts Brook & Claire got held up by a herd of cattle slowly crossing the road. This impediment allowed Ivy League a cappella singers Connor & Jonathan, with the help of their driver Samson, to catch up and overtake Brook & Claire. Arriving at the supply depot in first place, Connor & Jonathan opened their clue instructing them to choose a pair of wheelbarrows and load them with construction supplies. Then, they had to take the supplies to the Asebi D/A Primary School and deliver them to the foreman. If they delivered all the right supplies, the foreman would hand them their next clue.

Picking up a bag of concrete, two large cinder bricks, two shovels, two brooms, two trowels and two scrapers, Connor & Jonathan loaded their two wheelbarrows with the supplies and began to walk them down to the primary school. While Connor nearly ran with his wheelbarrow, a slower Jonathan said, "This is really hard. It's hot." Avoiding the pot holes in the road, the a cappella singers delivered all the supplies to the foreman and opened their next clue instructing them to enter a village classroom at the school to be tested on their knowledge of African geography. When they came up with the correct answers, the class monitor would hand them their next clue.


Walking across the schoolyard to an outdoor classroom where children dressed in uniforms, Connor & Jonathan took seats at their desks and waited to be called on by the teacher. One smart pupil walked up to the chalkboard and correctly placed the name of Ethiopia on the empty map of Africa on the board. When asked to find Ghana on the map, Connor went to the chalkboard and promptly failed as the students in the classroom laughed. Later Connor remarked, "African geography is neither of our strong points." After a parade of wrong guesses behind them, Jonathan added, "It's pretty embarrassing that we're in a country that we can't even pick out on a map." Finally, after several more incorrect guesses, the Ivy League educated team correctly located Ghana on a map. Connor told the class, "Princeton is a good school, I swear. You should go if you can." Jonathan added, "There's an African studies major."


Opening their clue, Connor & Jonathan discovered a Detour having the choice of Bicycle Parts or Language Arts. In Bicycle Parts, teams had to learn how to play a children's game seen throughout Africa. Using a stick, teams had to roll a bicycle rim across the uneven terrain of a soccer field, both down and back, without letting the rim fall. In Language Arts, teams chose a proverb containing eight highlighted phrases. Each phrase had a corresponding symbol in the native visual alphabet known as Adinkra. Then, like a word search game, teams had to find all eight symbols in the correct sequence on a large decorative cloth containing hundreds of symbols.

With the other teams starting to arrive at the supply depot, Connor & Jonathan picked a proverb and walked over to the wall to match the English phrases to their Adinkra symbol counterparts. Writing down the eight symbols, the Ivy Leaguer a cappella singers began to search the massive decorative cloth for the matching sequence. To help in the daunting task, they decided to focus their search on the second symbol, a ladder, because it would be easier to spot. When Jonathan found a ladder, it led him to the full eight-symbol sequence to earn the next clue instructing them to travel on foot to the next Pit Stop at the home of Awusa Ntso, a local villager. Stepping onto the mat in first place, the Ivy League a cappella singers won $5,000 each for their victory. The pair joked they would buy maps of Africa with the money.


With Brook & Claire, father and son Michael & Kevin, beach volleyball partners Katie & Rachel, and tattooed dating couple Nick & Vicki all making mistakes in delivering supplies, the race between the eight teams tightened considerably with the arrival of last place doctors Nat & Kat. Nick railed on Vicki for misreading the clue causing them to deliver two bags of concrete instead of one, scolding, "It's fifth grade reading. You have no common sense in your whole body."

As father and daughter Gary & Mallory attempted to run the bicycle rims across the soccer field under the blazing sun, dating couples Chad & Stephanie and Jill & Thomas along with Brook & Claire and Katie & Rachel all opted to search for the Adinkra symbols. After reading their proverbs however, none of the teams noticed the giant decoder wall needed to translate the English phrases into the symbols. Leading the charge, Brook & Claire keenly noticed that eight school children danced together in a circle so the home shopping hosts drew a circle on the ground around the kids. Then with no better ideas, other teams followed suit and began to circle around children on the dirt.

Eventually Brook & Claire noticed the giant decorative cloth containing the hundreds of Adinkra symbols, but without the decoder key, they and the other teams still couldn't find their eight-symbol sequence. Thomas began to look through students' homework and folders for the decoder key oblivious where it stood on a sidewall of the schoolhouse. Seeing no solution to the puzzling problem, beach volleyball partners Katie & Rachel switched to Bicycle Parts just as Gary & Mallory ran past the goal line with their bicycle rims to finish the day in second place.


With father and son Michael & Kevin and doctors Nat & Kat joining the befuddled teams at the Adinkra wall, Chad & Stephanie decided they had their fill of word puzzles and ran onto the soccer field with Katie & Rachel and tattooed dating couple Nick & Vicki who finally escaped the classroom after many failed attempts to locate Ghana on the map. Nick & Vicki's troubles in the classroom continued on the soccer field. When Nick's rim fell over halfway across the field, he griped, "You gotta be kidding me. Something so stupid like this." When Vicki tried to calm Nick down, he lashed out, saying, "Shut up. Why don't you hurry up?" Serving as a contrast to Nick, Chad cheered and supported Stephanie as she crossed the goal line allowing the newly dating couple to claim third place.

As Katie & Rachel finished in fourth place, Brook & Claire, Nat & Kat, Jill & Thomas, and the last holdout Michael & Kevin all switched one by one from Language Arts to Bicycle Parts. Nick sat in the shade as he waited for Vicki to complete her two passes with the bicycle rim, muttering, "This is ridiculous." However, his tone softened when Vicki suddenly had problems breathing due to her asthma. Nick constructively coached Vicki through her asthma attack giving her water and calming her down. When Vicki felt well enough to try another run across the field with the rim, Nick offered words of encouragement and ran alongside cheering all the way. When Vicki completed the first pass, Nick said, "That's my girl!" After Vicki finished the second pass Nick commented, "I felt kind of crappy for treating her the way I did. She didn't deserve it." The dating couple finished the day in fifth place just ahead of home shopping hosts Brook & Claire.


With Jill & Thomas completing Bicycle Parts in seventh place, only two teams remained on the soccer field under the sweltering sun, doctors Nat & Kat and father and son Michael & Kevin. The young, athletic Kevin ran up and down the field hitting the bicycle rim with no problems to finish quickly. However, his father had more problems keeping his rim upright. Michael inched along the field, but it was clear the heat was taking its toll on him. As Nat & Kat finished and ran off in search of the Pit Stop, Michael walked across the first goal line with his rim, but now faced having to go all the way back. A weary Michael held onto the tattered net around the goal and simply said, "I can't." Kevin pressed his father to keep trying, but Michael had no more energy inside him. To momentarily escape the brutally hot conditions Kevin took Michael over to a shaded area where a medic checked the vital signs of the visibly exhausted and overheated Michael. Breaking down in tears and feeling like he let his son down, Michael cried, "I didn't do it. I'm sorry Kevin. I feel so bad."


When Michael cooled off enough, he stood up and returned to the soccer field, saying, "I want to show my son that we are a team. I think this race is really about that. No matter how difficult, you should finish what you start." With Kevin offering moral support, Michael slowly guided the bicycle rim across the field and over the goal line to earn the clue to the Pit Stop. Michael joked, "I'm ready to be eliminated."

While Nat & Kat had troubles in locating the home of Awusa Ntso, the doctors still managed to squeak by in eighth place. Stepping onto the mat in last place, Michael & Kevin waited for the bad news. However, Phil informed the tired but incredibly relieved pair that this was a non-elimination leg. Kevin told his dad, "See? That's why you don't give up." Kevin later added, "I'm very proud of my dad…We're going to work even harder. I'm motivated even more now because I feel like we shouldn't have lost this leg and there's still a lot of room for us to grow."






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