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Monday November 5, 2007 8:34 pm

The Amazing Race: Season 12: “Donkeys Have Souls, Too”

Amazing Race

For no particular reason (there wasn’t a Hef or bunny in sight), Season 12 of kicked off from the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, CA.  The minute Phil yelled ‘Go’, the eleven teams (you can get a refresher on their backgrounds here) raced to the parked vehicles.  Unfortunately, getting out of the circular driveway meant waiting for the team in front to exit.  Realizing they controlled the fates of the other contestants, Grandpa Donald took his sweet time to count the money and read the instructions.  He and his grandson, Nicolas, eventually hit the road and kicked off the journey toward LAX.  First destination:  Shannon, Ireland.

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The Amazing Race

Of course finding the closest airport – even in countries where people speak English – always seems to be a difficult task.  Half the teams took a left when departing the mansion; the other half took a right.  The first six teams to finally arrive at the airport scored tickets on the first plane out.  Not able to get on this British Airways flight, Azaria/Hendekea (the brother-sister team you’d swear were dating) and Ronald/Christina (the father/daughter duo) teamed up and borrowed a cell phone and a laptop.  If nothing else, they figured they could at least map their next route and have taxis ready. 

As we have all learned by now, getting on a plane first doesn’t necessarily mean you will arrive first.  Flight #1 (which had a stop in London) was delayed getting into Ireland due to Heathrow tarmac issues.  This gave Flight #2 (an Aer Lingus flight into Dublin) a slight lead.  When Flight #2 arrived at the destination, Ari (’I’ll backstab you in a hundred different ways’) and Staella stole one of the two cabs Hendekea had called ahead for.  (The dirty tricks started early.)  Fortunately, Ronald and Christina were able to snag another one without too much of a delay.  All six couples from Flight #2 were on their merry way by the time the British Airways teams had arrived. 

From the airport, the competitors travelled by ferry to a nearby island where they had to locate the ‘smallest church in the world.’  Once there, they would sign-up for ferries departing the next morning.  Unfortunately, getting to the church was no breeze; the teams had to contend with rain, bad directions and a fairly steep climb.  Slowpoke Jennifer also had to deal with Nathan (the boyfriend who cheated on her) telling her she was ‘the worst person at this’ he’d ever met.  (Compared to the Goth ‘Energizer Bunnies’ duo – he did kind of have a point.)  Despite an almost disastrous spill by Grandpa Donald, all teams eventually made it to the church.  Since they weren’t leaving until the next morning, the teams then found a local Bed and Breakfast to keep them warm for the night.

The next morning Lorena/Jason (Dating), Kynt/Vyxsin (the Goths) and Rachel/TK (the Hippies) were on the first ferry off the island.  Their goal was to now find a farm where they would navigate a tandem bike along a muddy trail.  At a scheduled Road Block, one team member then have to ride a high-wire bike over a ravine while being suspended almost 200’ above the North Atlantic; his/her teammate would sit on a pole extended 8’ below the bike.  Although they had made a pact to follow each other to the next stop, Jason stubbornly drove off despite lacking the proper directions.  (Now visualize any scene where the male driver won’t listen to the female navigator.)  Because Jason refused to wait, the Hippies and the Goths reached the farm first.  (Other teams would soon surpass Jason and Lorena as well.)


Once the high-wire leg of the stop was completed, the couples chose a donkey from a group hitched up on the other side.  The duos then had to load their donkey’s baskets with peat before leading the animal to another hitching post.  Although Nathan/Jennifer and Ari/Staella were in 2nd and 5th (respectively) when they started this leg, both teams saw their leads dwindle thanks to their immobile donkeys.  At one point Ari even threatened to ‘cut up and eat’ his four-legged foe.

Meanwhile, Hendekea was experiencing a whole different type of trouble; her donkey was moving so fast she had trouble keeping up with it.  (She should be so unlucky.)  Thanks to the help of their quick friend, the brother/sister duo were the second team to finish that leg of the race.  Their next task was to simply jump in a car and drive to final pit stop.  Although the Hippies had a slight lead hitting the road, they didn’t start off in the right direction.  This misstep was enough to give Azaria and Hendekea the first win of the race.  (The Hippies actually ended up coming in third because they were also passed up by the Goths.)

Unfortunately, the two couples with the troublesome donkeys still lagged far, far behind.  After realizing crying and cursing wouldn’t work, the teams finally resorted to pushing the animals by their rears.  In the end, Nathan and Jennifer managed to put in just enough oomph to rack up 10th place.  LOSERS: Ari and Staella.  As Ari said, it looks like ‘karma came back and bit them in the ass.’

(You can read next week’s episode here.)



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