The Amazing Race recap: A Chance For Redemption

Teams put on their thinking caps and dance belts and got a chance to strut their stuff
Ep. 08 | Aired Nov 18, 2012

JAYMES FOR PRESIDENT! Jaymes and James drew upon brain and brawn (i.e. Chippendales dance training) to eke out a first place finish.

Cliff Lipson/CBS

My favorite moments from this challenge:

• The Twins in their soldier uniforms, just generally, because they looked so ding dang ludicrous - and Natalie ripping her pants and giggling "My ass is out!" (Girlfriend would later end up taking a digger later at the Pit Stop, too.). I know many of you will have my head in a pirozhki for saying this, but thieves though they are, I can't quit these two. Their laughter and joy in the race is contagious and it's hard for me to stay mad.

• Abbie's "coffee-grinder" skills and that gorgeous pointed foot through the boot. Way to work it, girl.

• Ryan's exuberant, full-on embrace of the (semi-scared) dance instructor.

• Yet another reminder of the way the Chips just travel the globe bringing smiles to girls' faces everywhere. Oh, girls.

Unsurprisingly, it was the Beekmans who chose the cocktail party challenge and it was such a pleasure to watch them. For one thing, it was the completely right match for their strengths, and after seeing them struggle so in weeks past, it was nice to see them in their smartypants element tonight -- in both challenges. Also, as I mentioned before, I'm always fascinated by historical characters for the way they totally stay in character no matter what you throw at them. Because I'm from New England, I grew up around a several historical spots brimming with costumed actor-historians, and even as a kid I was deeply fascinated every time we had a field trip to one of these places. Here's something: Recently I was at a princess-themed toddler birthday party, and the friend of mine who was hosting it told me that the Cinderella she'd hired for the party remained in character the entire time they were discussing the logistics for the event prior to it, including over the phone when they were doing the credit card transaction and everything. Yes.

Anyway, Josh and Brent were on fire here and at their Beekman best: schmoozing, bantering and whooping it up. Josh danced with Catherine the Great. Brent sparred (and I don't mean spa) with Peter the Great. The best moment was when when an armed and dangerous Lenin warned Josh "Be careful with vodka and Russian women," and our gay goat farmer replied "I will try."

The Beeks got the da right away, but they weren't done yet. Brent, being Brent, wanted to go back and say thank you to everybody, so back to the drawing room it was for some waving and toasting and general merry-making. "Lively for a dead crowd," Josh quipped as they finally departed. Sigh. These guys won't win. But I love their spirit and their embrace of the experience -- and a few of this season's teams share this quality. It's such a breath of fresh air.

The Pit Stop at Sokolniki park was, for the most part, a happy place for our grateful teams tonight. The Chips got their first first-place finish, which was particularly welcome in light of James' bum ankle. For the Rockers, though, the finish was bittersweet. They seemed to have spent much of the leg looking for their stuff (at least based on what was televised), to no avail. As we've known all along, Long Hairs Do Care and they hate to go. But these BFFs clearly have a really solid friendship, so there's that. And great hair, of course. And they will rock on.

What did you think of tonight's episode?

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