USA Volleyball Features The Amazing Race Rec...

The Amazing Race Recap: Taxi Turmoil

By Communications Manager B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | Oct. 27, 2020, 12:22 p.m. (ET)

The Amazing Race

Welcome to our second recap of The Amazing Race.

We are following USA Volleyball beach and snow volleyball players Maddison and Riley McKibbin as they compete in the 2020 edition, which was filmed in 2018.

The name of Episode 2 is “Red Lipstick is Not My Color” but it could just as easily be “Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Taxis” or “Maybe Just Read the Instructions.”

We open at the goat racing facility in Tobago (don’t call us Tobaggans) where Team Catfish (best friends Nathan and Cody) lost and was eliminated at the end of Episode 1.

Team Married Parents, Hung & Chee, won the opening leg of the race and are headed to their next destination, Bogota, Colombia (AKA, the Colombia without a “u”). We learn that they have three daughters and haven’t had much time to themselves. I would think a weekend trip to a bed & breakfast might be a nice way to reconnect, but they have chosen this.

All the teams catch up with each other at the airport.

“Two tickets for Bogota please, on the double!” Riley tells the ticketing agent, who is nice enough to laugh.

Host Phil Keoghan tells us that Bogota is the capital of Colombia and is 8,660 in elevation. Colorado Springs, where I live, is 6,035 feet, so yeah, Bogota has us beat.

Quote: “The thin air here could push some teams to the breaking point.” (Phil says this hopefully)

The teams all land together in Bogota. Maddison and Riley grab their clue first from a box and hop in a taxi for the Nemocon Salt Mine: “home to the largest deposits of rock salt… in the world.”

The teams must search the mine for hourglasses that say 10 or 20 minutes, which means they are not really hourglasses are they? These can be used later to force another team to delay racing for that amount of time. Then they have to sign up for a time to leave the next morning, either 6 a.m. or 6:30 a.m.

“This is going to put a strain on a lot of these relationships and start the alliances earlier on in the race,” Maddison says in the taxi.

The teams descend into the mine wearing hard hats and head lamps.

Team NFL finds a 10-minute hourglass but decides to leave it and keep looking.

Team Married Parents find a 10-minute glass and take it so they can sign up for the earlier flight.

Team Boyfriends grabs a 20-minute glass just before Smart Siblings Aparna and Eswar can grab it. It’s getting hot in here!

Team NFL finds a 20-minute glass and so do our Beard Bros.

Teams that sign up for the 6 a.m. departure are:
Married Parents (Hung & Chee)
Team Boyfriends (dating partners Will & James)
Team NFL (former Carolina Panthers Gary & DeAngelo AKA Sugar & Cinnamon)
The Beard Bros. (Maddison & Riley)
Smart Siblings (Berkeley grads Aparna & Eswar)

Teams leaving at 6:30 are
Team Nerds (dating couple Alana & Leo who wear glasses and have masters degrees)
Team Olympics (hurdlers Kellie & LaVonne)
Team Pink (street-smart sisters Kaylynn & Haley)
Cajun Asians (New Orleans sisters Michelle & Victoria)
Team Basketball (father/son team of Jerry & Frank)

The teams all bed down for the night in sleeping bags on the floor of the mine. I bet a bed & breakfast is sounding pretty good right about now!

The next morning, Phil informs us that the teams will race by foot to Templo Parroquial San Francisco de Asis, where they must climb to the top of the belltower to recover either a piece of “pre-Colombian art,” which looks like a mini Lego scene made of gold, or “an emerald,” which looks like a hunk of rock with some greenish rocks embedded.

Teams take taxis back to a plaza and university Bogota. Teams with an emerald must give it to an emerald street broker and teams with a gold scene must give it to an archaeology professor.

James of Team Boyfriends tells us that they are trying to form an alliance with the other four teams in the first group.

The Beard Bros. are the first into the bell tower and grab their taxi. They say they have a “golden raft,” which they have to give to a “white-bearded man.”

“Basically, we have to find our dad,” Riley jokes.

Team Married Couple gets to the plaza but can’t figure out who the emerald brokers are.

The Beard Bros. find the white-bearded man first. They hand him their raft. “This is a fake,” he announces, which freaks them out. “I almost grabbed his beard and just ripped it,” Riley says, demonstrating on Maddison. Luckily, bearded man hands them their next clue before there is violence.

They are being sent to Escuela Nacional Circo Para Todos and even my eighth-grade Spanish (plus I saw the previews) lets me know that it is a circus school.

The Beard Bros. are in first place and go to find their taxi. They told the driver to wait, but they are not sure where. According to a social media post, Riley says this was “25 minutes of pure panic.”

Other teams are arriving in taxis to turn over their treasures for clues and “The Beards,” as they are now known, share with some that they are on the right track. Others just recognize them and figure they must be in the right place.

Team Olympians and Team Pink are both dealing with lost taxi drivers.

Quote: “Taxi drivers are the luck of the draw, but this was a curveball we did not see coming.” No comment on the mixed poker/baseball metaphors.

The driver for Team Olympians has had his phone go dead and does not have a power cord. The teams do not have cell phones, so they cannot help, nor can they call an Uber.

Team NFL gets to the circus school first. There is an opportunity to yield someone else with their hourglass, but they choose not to. In fact, none of the teams uses their hourglass.

Phil tells us that one racer from each team will have to attempt the “wheel of death” and then “walking on a tightrope, high above the ground, with a tray of fragile glasses.” There is a lot of hyperbole in these statements.

DeAngelo of Team NFL decides he will take the challenge. We see him next in a makeup chair, wearing a clown costume and getting red paint applied to his cheeks and lips.

Quote: “This is really happening. Gary, you owe me big time because red lipstick is not my color.”

Chee, the wife of Team Married Couple, decides to clown around for her team.

A band plays circus music and people suddenly appear in seats to cheer with balloons. It definitely reminds me of the 2008 Beijing Olympics when there were big groups of empty seats at the volleyball venue and groups of Chinese people in matching T-shirts would show up with a leader to fill the spaces and do organized cheers.

Also, remember when you could sit next to strangers and not worry?

DeAngelo does the deadly wheel, which is just holding on while someone rolls him into the arena. Not sure how anyone would die doing this. He is closely followed by Chee.

Holding a parasol and a tray with a wine bottle DeAngelo makes it back and forth on the tightrope. There is no chance to fall far. A heavy rope is attached to the belt the racers are wearing.

Chee makes it back and forth on a different tightrope being very slow and steady.

The Beards arrive in third place.

Team Pink and Team Olympians finally arrive at the plaza and hand over their treasures.

Riley walks the tightrope for The Beards with no problem that we see.

James of Team Boyfriends convinces his partner Will that Will should do the challenge because he is a dancer. Will also had to do the kettle drum playing in the last episode and obviously would like James to step up.

While other teams walk the tightrope, Team NFL makes it to the next challenge, where they are supposed to decorate work trucks (about the size of a dump truck) with streamers and toys. Most importantly, some plastic horns under the bumper need to be hooked up. This is discussed in the clue, but most teams do not read the clue fully. This is a problem.

Phil tells us that “Colombians love to trick out their rides,” but are dump trucks the “rides” they are talking about?

DeAngelo of Team NFL is still wearing his red makeup. But when Team Married Couple arrives, CHEE IS STILL WEARING HER FULL CLOWN COSTUME, and no one says anything. I gotta think the school is missing that, Chee.

Back at the circus school, Alana of Team Nerds is the first racer we see dropping the wine off her tray. It does not break and is clearly made of plastic. So much for fragility. She starts over again and drops the wine again. Leo yells “I love you” supportively. Aw.

Team Pink arrives at the circus school and Team Olympians finally makes it despite more taxi troubles.

All the teams are still struggling to decorate their trucks. This is where things get kind of weird. Team NFL knew about the horns from the beginning. Team Married Couple finally figures it out when Chee read the clue again. They both call for the judge to come check their work. At this point, Chee is STILL WEARING HER STOLEN CLOWN COSTUME. But when the judge comes over and checks, she is no longer wearing the costume. That was fast.

Phil tells us their next stop is Parque Nacional. “One of the oldest parks in Bogota.” The teams have to find him in the park and the last team “may be eliminated.” Why “may”? He doesn’t say.

Team NFL gets approved next.

Team Married Parents find Phil first with a random young man playing with a soccer ball, whom we are never introduced to. Nice manners, Phil.

Phil informs Hung and Chee that they have won a Switzerland vacation, so maybe they will get to relax together.

Team NFL is informed that the are team No. 2. DeAngelo and random soccer player show they can both do backflips. But soccer player can do it while holding the ball between his legs.

Back at the truck depot, The Beards are trying to figure out why their truck isn’t approved. Team Boyfriends is also trying to figure it out. James wants to re-read the clue, but Will tells him it won’t be in there. Wonder if he will ever live that down?

Riley of The Beards finally reads the part of the clue about the horn. He gives Maddison a look and Maddison immediately starts apologizing. They are a little chippy but seem to get over it quickly.

Anyway, The Beards get approved and make it to the park in third. The Smart Siblings finish fourth and the Asian Cajuns take fifth. Team Boyfriends finish in sixth.

Four teams keep struggling with the trucks. Team Nerds has actually figured out the horn, but forgot a row of streamers. They get them on and move out. On their way, they tell Team Pink about the horn.

Quote: “We helped Kaylynn and Haley because I like having the around. They’re nice, and fun.”

The final three teams seem to finish at about the same time. It is all up to their taxi drivers now.

Team Pink find Phil and random soccer player first, ahead of Team Basketball.

Team Olympians finish last and are eliminated. They are very sad and so am I.

Quote: “I’ve never went to a track meet and not made it to the final.”

So that’s it for another episode. The previews tell us that next week the racers will be in the Amazon.

Hey also, in real life, Maddison got engaged to Chelsea Hayes this week, so congratulations to them!