The Amazing Race recap: Naked Ambition

One team strips, another is foiled and Franked (again)
Ep. 09 | Aired Nov 25, 2012

FISHY BUSINESS Natalie and Nadiya finish strong (smelling) in tonight's game-changer.

Cliff Lipson/CBS

Have Jaymes do this one! I immediately thought, remembering how frustrating and underwhelming James was at the tea challenge. Thankfully Jaymes did take the reins, and halfway through the task realized that hopping around asking for tips was not as effective as hopping around asking for tips without a shirt on would be. So the boys did away with their tops and opened their sterilized packages of (Chippendales-issued?) collars and watched the Euros roll in, mostly from dudes and one particularly generous Grandma.

Meanwhile, having completed the Fast Forward in no time at all, the Twins were off to the Pit Stop before most of the teams were even racing in earnest. They shimmied with glee at their first place finish, which got a SHIMMY FROM PHIL in reply, and then the Twins called it a day. Oh, and $5k each. Clothes shopping!

The Chippendales moved on to Museum Geelvinck, whose peaceful, lush garden housed the next clue and the ominous U-Turn board. Poor Jaymes was visibly distraught at the idea of setting any of his fellow racers back; he'd  been dreading this moment throughout the whole leg and had actually hoped and assumed one of the other teams would have arrived there first, relieving him of any duty. The arrangement discussed previously with the Twins and Texas was that the first team to get there would U-Turn Abbie and Ryan, and the next team to arrive would waste the second U-Turn by slapping it on whichever team issued the first U-Turn. Stop typing the word U-Turn! I can't!

"Why lose a friend if you don't have to," Jaymes-with-a-furrowed-brow reasoned, while James contributed by stroking his chin in a demonstration of "thinking." My answer to Jaymes would be "Why run a race if you don't want to win?" Poor, sweet Jaymes. So much heartache. But he's got his sick Dad to think of. BAM! He did it! In the end, I thought he went for it less because of any pact and more because did saw Abbie and Ryan as the biggest threat of any team. Team Texas was the next team to hit the kiosk and they sealed Abbie and Ryan's fate by adhering to the plan and U-Turning the Chips.

Meanwhile A&R and Team Beekman had again made a pact to race together. I didn't exactly trust the agreement last time and I still didn't tonight. I do trust the teams' affection for one another, but I can't decide if the union is pure solidarity or more of a "keep your competition close" thing. Obviously Abbie and Ryan would save themselves when it came time - whether in a footrace to the mat or via a U-Turn, if they'd had the chance. In any case, the group opted for the Rembrandt Detour, and while I'd been initially enthralled at the prospect of more historical re-enactors/background thespians, this challenge required our local players to stay mute and just get moved around like props. More antics, please! Abbie was right at home, though, scooting the various characters into position like she was blocking dancers onstage for a piece. I also really enjoyed the way her voice was muffled through all that facial hair.

NEXT: Dancing through her tears

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