The Amazing Race recap: Welcome to the Jungle

A taxi snafu spells disaster for one team; Brendon and Rachel nearly drown; gnomes rule us all
Ep. 03 | Aired Mar 9, 2014

Robert Voets/CBS

Everyone's now struggling in unique and often hilarious ways at various traps within the whitewater cesspool of gnomes. Jen almost loses a finger (according to Jen) as they try to fix their raft mid-trip -- which seems painful, but luckily Caroline's there to tell her "don't freak out" and compress the complete sentence "Jen I'm so glad you're okay" into one syllable. The Globetrotters are just skeptically floating under trees, hangin' out. And Leo and Jamal endure the best action sequence of any of the teams -- at one point they're about to tip over but they're moving really fast and getting smacked in the face by low-hanging branches. And they do it all while smiling! They'd be perfect as live-in animatronic cast members in an Amazing Race-esque Splash Mountain ride. Gnome River? Sign me up. I'll take a five-night stay at the nearest resort and don't skimp on the couples massages.

Caroline and Jen follow "this beautiful bad ass girl warrior" into the jungle so she can show them how to hunt with a stick. Jen's like John Wayne! Wayne is her last name. That's cute. Update: She is the granddaughter of John Wayne! Flight Time and Big Easy also make quick work of the blow darts and resume their all-day dance party with the locals. Of course the Travelocity Rapids are equipped with surround-sound speakers to offer up the Globetrotters' theme song at every bend and clearing.

Jessica/John and Brendon/Rachel make it to the river so they can build/destroy their rafts, as Joey and Meghan fall behind -- their taxi didn't wait for them back at Gnome's Falls so they have to hoof it back to… town? A yellow van is not a taxi. Anyway, they're running. They're screwed. It's too bad; if they'd had their taxi, these two carpenters' offspring would almost surely have sailed right past the nearly-drowning Rachel and Brendon. Well, at first, anyway. Team YouTube's raft comes apart eventually, too. But the taxi thing did them in.

"I just wanna not die," pleads Rachel as Brendon must trudge upstream to find their missing stick and some vines to reconstruct their raft. She especially didn't wanna die just then because she wasn't wearing her sequined Rachel shorts, which would pretty much speak for themselves as her epitaph. But they had their gnome! What's important is the gnome's safety here. We could give or take a Rachel. We must protect the gnomes.

Dave and Connor win the leg! Plus a gnome-sanctioned trip to Budapest. Awesome. They're adorable!

2nd place: Jet and Cord. Good effort on that Southern accent, Phil!

3rd: Leo and Jamal

4th: Margie and Luke

5th: Flight Time and Big Easy, who are like the definition of easy listening

6th: Caroline and Jennifer, who arrived on the mat just after Rachel was heard in the throes of near-death muttering "I would like to know how the country girls did this." Ha!

7th: Pocahontas and John Smith a.k.a. Jessica and John

8th: Brendon and Rachel

Be sure to check out Phil Keoghan's personal photos from Leg 3 over on's Inside TV!

What'd you think of the episode? Were the gnomes really running the show? Discuss!

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