Season 23: Episode 2 - Zip It, Bingo
Posted on Oct 6, 2013 11:00pm


Former NFL teammates Chester & Ephraim capitalize on yet another mistake by Leo & Jamal to win the leg while a gamble by theater performers Rowan & Shane led to their elimination.


Departing the Pit Stop in first place at 2:52am, exes Tim & Marie headed to the Museo Corbeta de Esmeralda where the officer of the day would post their next clue. Running through the desolate streets of Iquique, the exes arrived at the dock next to the replica of the historic Chilean ship, the Esmeralda, where they had to wait until 7:15am for it to open. With an Express Pass to hand over to another team before the end of the fifth leg, Marie happily began accepting offers and solicitations from other teams as well as wielding the power over everyone’s head. As they waited with Tim & Marie for the dock to open, married ER doctors Nicole & Travis joked that the Express Pass would be a perfect birthday gift for Nicole who celebrated turning 40. Once all the teams arrived, Marie made it very clear she started a line of order for entry onto the Esmeralda with her and Tim’s backpacks that everyone needed to follow. Ephraim half-jokingly challenged Marie’s stern order, asking, “What if I want to use my own system? You don’t make the rules.” Afghanimal Jamal added, “Someone made Pinky and No Brain the captains of the line. What are we, in freaking middle school?”


At 7:15am, when a worker removed the rope blocking entry to the Esmeralda, Tim & Marie led the charge of the ten teams who ran down the wooden dock and onto the ship. After a quick scan of the deck, childhood friends Brandon & Adam spotted a placard first and soon all the teams gathered around, reading: During the battle of Iquique in the War of the Pacific Chilean national hero Arturo Prat uttered a famous phrase before the sinking of his ship, the Esmeralda. Repeat the phrase to the officer in Spanish to receive your next clue. Initially, the ten teams scoured above deck and below, searching everywhere on the Esmeralda for the famous phrase. NHL ice crew members Ally & Ashley and childhood friends Brandon & Adam were the first teams to realize the answer they needed wasn’t on board. They ran off the dock to the street and asked a local man who told them Arturo Prat famously said, “Charge the ship, men!” When Brandon & Adam and Ally & Ashley received their clue from the officer after repeating the phrase in Spanish, the other teams noticed and followed suit by asking the same local man for help. Eventually, all ten teams jumped into taxis and headed towards the Irlanda Salt Mines where they would find their next clue near the Irlanda 3 road sign.


Arriving at the Irlanda 3 road sign together, Brandon & Adam and Ally & Ashley ripped open their clues to find a Detour. This Detour required teams to first ride bikes into the Tarapaca Salt Flat that has the world’s largest supply of salt. Then, they had the choice of either Brining or Mining. Brining required teams to add enough salt to a pool of water until they could comfortably float and read a local newspaper. Mining required teams to break open boulders of salt until they found one with a clue. With both teams deciding to break open salt boulders, they hopped onto bikes and began riding through the sprawling, barren salt flats. While outdoorsmen Brandon & Adam cruised on the sandy and occasionally rocky terrain, city dwellers Ally & Ashley moved significantly slower on their bikes. The NHL ice crew members rode at a pace slow enough that their alliance members and friends, Jamal & Leo caught up to them. Leo joked, “I’m going to catch you, wifey!” Equally excited to see the Afghanimals, they shouted, “Our husbands! We missed you!” Reaching the salt mine in first place, Brandon & Adam ran down the steep slope into the massive pit surrounding them on all sides with sodium chloride. After putting on a pair of red hardhats, gloves and protective eyewear, the childhood friends each wielded a small hammer and spike and walked up to the large salt boulder they chose based on the many cracks already formed in its surface. As soon as they began hammering their spike into the boulder to create a crevice, Adam & Brandon knew this would be difficult, physical work. Seeing Leo & Jamal and Ally & Ashley put on their helmets, Brandon said, “This is gonna wear us out.”


Starting the bike ride in fourth place, birthday girl Nicole didn’t get much of a gift as she struggled to find her balance while husband Travis’ words changed from supportive to critical. When Nicole couldn’t find the right gear to help her gain speed, Chester & Ephraim passed by her with ease, but the former NFL teammates did offer her quick advice on how to change gears. However, having stopped while biking uphill, Nicole now faced trying to pick up the pace while reaching the top of the hill. With Travis shouting at her to move, Nicole lost her balance and toppled onto the dusty ground just as dating couple Jason & Amy passed by them. Now in sixth place, Travis barked at Nicole to switch bikes with him as he needled her, “Just because you turned 40 today doesn’t mean you’re supposed to be an old lady.”


Inside the mine, Adam & Brandon and the Afghanimals continued hammering away at their massive salt boulder while Ally & Ashley decided to switch tasks when former NFL teammates Chester & Ephraim put on their safety goggles and helmets too. Brandon joked to his much larger competitors, “That guy’s gonna just bite it in half!” Brandon & Adam watched in awe as Chester & Ephraim lifted the boulder over their heads and smashed it to the ground scattering into smaller rocks that they also smashed apart. Even though the former NFL teammates gained ground, Adam & Brandon used their spikes to hammer a specific growing crack that blasted apart to reveal their next clue sending them back to Iquique where they needed to take a 1,000-mile bus ride along the coast to the capital of Chile, Santiago. Once there, they had to make their way to the Plaza de Armas for their next clue. As Adam & Brandon jumped on their bikes celebrating their jump from tenth place to first, cousins Leo & Jamal and former NFL teammates Chester & Ephraim unearthed their clues as well.


Running past backhoes that hauled away the newly mined salt boulders, Jason & Amy, Ally & Ashley, and Nicole & Travis all stripped down to their skivvies to start the Brining challenge. In bare feet and bathing suits, the teams hauled 60-pound bags of salt across the uneven, rocky ground to the large tubs where they ripped the bags open and poured the crystallized contents into the cold water. In a fluorescent pink bikini, Ally complained, “It’s really stinking heavy especially when you’re walking on rocks.” After pouring a few bags, Amy winced when she stepped into the tub and lowered herself into the chilly water to begin mixing the salt while Jason ran to get more bags. While the three teams continued hauling salt bags to their tubs, late arrivers to the Detour (exes Tim & Marie, Oklahomans Tim & Danny, and baseball wives Nicki & Kim) all opted to float in water as well. Seeing the other women only carrying one bag at a time, Marie instantly knew she’d help her team gain ground by taking two per trip matching Tim’s pace. However, unknown to Marie, she had another weapon at her disposal: her voice to annoy other teams. Listening to Marie yell at Tim, Ally & Ashley tried to tune her out, but found it difficult. When Tim & Marie finally floated after Jason & Amy and Travis & Nicole finished, Ally said, “I’m just glad they’re gone. I don’t want to have to listen to them anymore.” As Ally & Ashley and Tim & Danny floated to earn their clue, last place Rowan & Shane, significantly slowed by a lost taxi driver, finally huffed and puffed on their bikes to arrive at the salt mines. While disappointed, the theater actors’ hopes were buoyed when they noticed baseball wives Nicki & Kim struggling to carry the heavy bags of salt to their bath. As Rowan & Shane chipped away at their salt boulder to find a clue, Nicki & Kim grew more exhausted and emotionally spent, eventually stepping out of the tub to hug both for support and warmth. After refocusing, the baseball wives still suffered as they carried the bags that cut up their arms, but they refused to give up and finally floated in the water. Although they left the mine in last place behind Rowan & Shane, Nicki & Kim let out a cheer of excitement and accomplishment when they earned their clue.


In Iquique, five teams got seats on the bus departing for Santiago at 1:30pm: Adam & Brandon, Leo & Jamal, Chester & Ephraim, Jason & Amy, and Travis & Nicole. That left the remaining five teams on a bus departing at 2:00pm that wouldn’t arrive until 6pm the following day, more than four hours behind the first bus. Doing some investigating at the terminal, Rowan & Shane thought they uncovered a better option that would arrive in Santiago at 4pm instead. Trying to be sneaky, the theater actors told Tim & Danny they couldn’t find anything better than the 2pm bus and even encouraged that bus driver to leave with the other four teams. As the 2pm bus pulled away with the other teams, Rowan & Shane returned to the counter to double check their new ticket purchase only to discover a communication breakdown. The 4:00pm time given to them meant when the bus departed Iquique, not when it arrived in Santiago. Now scheduled to arrive at 10:00pm, Rowan lamented, “Oh, we just screwed ourselves.” All was not lost however for the theater performers though. The ticket agent found a bus that would get them into Santiago between 7:00pm and 8:00pm still giving them a chance to catch up. On the second bus to Santiago that made more stops than expected, two teams formed an unlikely bond. Nicky & Kim discovered that Tim (Marie’s ex) played baseball at Rutgers University with David DeJesus, Kim’s husband. Tim later commented, “It’s a good connection for us.” Marie told the baseball wives that she and Tim really liked them and wanted to give them the Express Pass. She added, “Help us out. Stick with us and we’ll keep you around as long as we possibly can.”


Arriving in Santiago the next day at 1:30pm, the front five teams ran off the bus to the colorful and cultural Plaza de Armas where they found a Roadblock. In it, one team member had to become a Chilean shoe shiner. First, they had to polish the shoes of a waiting customer. Then, after figuring out the puzzle of how to put together the complicated kit and stand they had to push it six blocks to the central depot storage area. Amy, Chester, Adam, Leo, and Nicole all chose a marked shoeshine station (marked by yellow and red laced shoes hanging over the handle) and quickly made a customer’s shoes sparkle like brand new. Then, after packing up everything in their stations including polish, brushes, a chair, a stool, and carpeting, the racers asked locals for directions to the depot at Merced 738. While Nicole and Adam spilled their fully packed stands along the journey to the depot putting them behind, Leo reached the manager at the depot first. However, he didn’t pack the stool in the proper position on his cart and had to step outside to repack. This allowed Chester to push his cart to the manager who inventoried and accepted Chester’s stand on the first try while Leo got his clue moments later on his second attempt. Chester and Leo reunited with their partners and ripped open their clue sending them to the Pit Stop at Cascada de Las Animas nature reserve.


Arriving at Cascada de Las Animas, cousins Leo & Jamal could taste the victory in their grasp. Getting their bags from the truck, Jamal urged Leo to quickly pay the driver using American money if he needed. When the Afghanimals ran to the Pit Stop, the driver asked of Leo’s payment, “This is all?” On the mat, Phil informed the cousins that their driver didn’t feel fully compensated so they had to settle their bill before being checked in. Running off the mat, Jamal sniped, “We lost because you couldn’t count the money!” Having properly paid their taxi driver, former NFL teammates Chester & Ephraim stepped onto the mat in first place and celebrated after winning a trip for two from Travelocity to Turks and Caicos. After squaring up with their driver, cousins Leo & Jamal returned to the mat to take second place. When Leo blamed Jamal shouting in his ear for the money mistake, a frustrated Jamal countered, “Take some responsibility. You’re a man.” When Leo asked if Jamal was his enemy, Jamal replied, “Right now I’m your enemy.” While the two continued to bicker and hurl insults at one another, Jamal ended by telling Phil, “Hopefully we can learn from this.” Rounding out the top five, Brandon & Adam, Nicole & Travis, and Jason & Amy took third, fourth, and fifth place respectively.


After the sun set over Santiago, the second bus carrying four teams pulled in at 6:45pm, slightly behind schedule. Just as Marie, Danny, Ashley, and Nicki began shining shoes, Rowan & Shane’s bus pulled into the station at 7:00, slightly ahead of schedule. When Rowan ran into the square at Plaza de Armas, Marie and Ashley couldn’t believe it and began to worry. Marie especially appeared concerned because her customer initially didn’t appear pleased with the shine she provided. However, Rowan made a huge mistake right off the bat by not finding a marked shoeshine station. Instead, he found a local (and slightly confused) shoeshine man and asked him to stop working at his station right in the middle of shining a customer’s shoes. As the other four racers all finished their shines and packed up their stations, Rowan sat down and received a tutorial from the local shoe shiner. After shining a customer’s shoes, Rowan tried to communicate that he needed to pack up the man’s shoe shining kit and take it to the depot. Oklahoman Danny led the pack of racers pushing his station to the central depot storage area. However, when the manager rejected his kit for not being packed properly, Danny started repacking near the depot entrance. As he did this, Marie tried to squeeze past with her cart, but she collided with an unobservant Nicki causing all of their items to crash on the floor. In the process of separating all of their belongings, Tim noticed that Nicki didn’t take her carpet from the plaza. Amid all of the confusion at the depot entrance, Ashley entered with her fully organized cart and earned her clue. Having repacked his cart, Danny returned to the manager and got his clue as well.


Just as Marie and Nicki stood in front of the manager, Rowan entered the depot with an incorrect (and noticeably different lime green) shoeshine station and the now irritated owner of the borrowed station. The baffled owner said in Spanish, “I was working. I’m wasting my time here.” When the owner tried to leave with his station, Rowan begged him to stay and referred to Marie as el Diablo (the devil) when she tried to interfere. After Marie got her clue, a now frantic Nicki begged Marie to give her the Express Pass, but Marie refused because Nicki had nothing to offer her in the moment of any use. Instead, Marie coached Nicki to return to the plaza and retrieve her rug knowing that Rowan didn’t have the correct shoeshine kit. As Tim & Danny and Ally & Ashley took sixth and seventh place respectively, Nicki returned to the plaza to find her rug while Rowan finally spotted a marked station and began to shine a customer’s shoes. Just as Rowan finished packing his station, Nicki spotted her rug, grabbed it and ran back to the central depot storage area with Rowan close behind. However, outside of the depot where Nicki took her clue from the manager, Rowan spilled all of his brushes and polishes forcing him to pick them up and reorganize. With Tim & Marie taking eighth place, Nicki & Kim worried the entire taxi ride to Cascada de Las Animas that they would be eliminated as they raced against Rowan & Shane to the Pit Stop. Equally as nervous, Rowan sighed, “Hopefully it’s not the end.” Unfortunately it was the end for theater performers Rowan & Shane who stepped on the mat in last place eliminating them from the Race. On their gamble at the bus station that cost them dearly, Shane said, “You can’t have great success without great failure.” Getting emotional, Rowan added about his teammate, “After 27 years, I finally learned to appreciate Shane more.”


Detour: This Detour required teams to first ride bikes into the Tarapaca Salt Flat that has the world’s largest supply of salt. Then, they had the choice of either Brining or Mining. Brining required teams to add enough salt to a pool of water until they could comfortably float and read a local newspaper. Mining required teams to break open boulders of salt until they found one with a clue.

Brining: Jason/Amy, Nicole/Travis, Ally/Ashley, Tim/Marie, Tim/Danny, Nicki/Kim

Mining: Adam/Brandon, Leo/Jamal, Chester/Ephraim, Rowan/Shane

Roadblock: A Roadblock is a task that only one person can perform. In this Roadblock, that person had to become a Chilean shoe shiner. First, they had to polish the shoes of a waiting customer. Then, after figuring out the puzzle of how to put together the complicated kit and stand they had to push it six blocks to the central depot storage area.

Performed Roadblock: Amy, Chester, Adam, Leo, Nicole, Danny, Marie, Nicki, Ashley, Rowan

Order of Finish: 1. Chester & Ephraim 2. Leo & Jamal 3. Brandon & Adam 4. Nicole & Travis 5. Jason & Amy 6. Tim & Danny 7. Ally & Ashley 8. Tim & Marie 9. Nicki & Kim 10. Rowan & Shane