Season 24: Episode 3 - Welcome to the Jungle
Posted on Mar 10, 2014 11:05am


In the jungles of Malaysian Borneo, father and son Dave & Connor set the pace winning the leg while the Brenchels crashed their raft in roaring rapids but in the end it was YouTube hosts Joey & Meghan who were eliminated.

Newlyweds Brendon & Rachel departed the Pit Stop on Shamian Island in first place at 6:22pm after reading their clue instructing them to fly to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah in Malaysian Borneo and travel through the Borneo rainforests to Kionsom waterfall. With only enough seats for six teams on the first flight scheduled to land three hours ahead of the remaining three teams on the second flight, the Brenchels knew getting to the airport would be critical. Adding to the stress, the next six teams departed the promenade on Shamian Island within 14 minutes of the Brenchels, so one of those teams would not get on the coveted first flight. Sitting in near gridlock traffic, Rachel began to worry that her and Brendon’s chance of making the first flight was slipping away, but he tried to calm her fears, rationalizing, “Everybody’s gotta go through the same traffic.” Brendon was wrong. Unbeknownst to the Brenchels, father and son Dave & Connor and mother and son Margie & Luke had already run into the airport and took the first two spots on the flight. As Brendon, again with misplaced confidence, assured Rachel that no teams would beat them to the airport, cowboys Jet & Cord, Harlem Globetrotters Flight Time & Big Easy, and country singers Caroline & Jennifer also got seats on the first flight leaving room for only one more team. By the time Brendon & Rachel finally reached the airport and ran inside, cousins Leo & Jamal had already beat them to the Air Asia counter to take the last seats on the first flight. Initially, Brendon & Rachel didn’t believe Caroline when she told the stunned newlyweds they were the seventh team to arrive. Now joining YouTube hosts Joey & Meghan and engaged couple Jessica & John on the second flight three hours behind, a glum Brendon noted, “Unfortunately we’re going to be racing not to be last right now, so it sucks.” However, as the three teams waited for their flight, they tried to lighten the mood and ended up bonding in the process. Joey later commented, “We just all wanted to work together and fight together to catch up with the six teams.” Meghan even made a prediction that these three teams would comprise the final three racing for a million dollars and led them in a cheer.

Landing in Kota Kinabalu, father and son Dave & Connor took the lead out of the airport over the other five teams as they raced in taxis through the lush Malaysian rain forests to Kionsom Waterfall. Keeping a lead just ahead of the Afghanimals and the cowboys at the waterfall, Dave & Connor ripped open their clue to find a Roadblock. In it, one team member had to join the Travelocity Roaming Gnome at the top of Kionsom Waterfall and pick up their clue rappelling ten stories as they braved the cascading waters to the bottom. After attaching his new friend, the Travelocity Roaming Gnome, to a carabineer on the rope behind him, Dave, the older person in the race, traversed across the dense canopies of the lush green trees overlooking the falls. Then, with the Travelocity Roaming Gnome on his back, Dave began descending down Kionsom Waterfall using a rope for support as he carefully navigated the rocks and rushing water. Watching below, a worried Connor shouted to his dad, “Be careful, Dad! It’s slippery!” Just as Dave grabbed a clue halfway down the falls partially obscured by the rocks, Connor noted, “Last time…leg three we were in a wheelchair and now my dad is rappelling down waterfalls.” Once Dave splashed into the refreshing pool of water at the base of the falls, Connor helped his dad back onto dry land where they ripped open the clue instructing them to travel to Kampung Tompinahaton and follow the marked path to the river.

After Jamal successfully plunged down the roaring waterfall in second place, cowboy Cord began his descent in third place as brother Jet giggled, “Those cotton jeans are gonna weigh 50 pounds by the time he gets done with this.” As Cord looked down at his right hand giving slack to the guide rope, he failed to notice the set of bright yellow clued directly over his left shoulder. By the time he reached the pool at the bottom, Cord didn’t have a clue in his hand and had to return to the top of the waterfall and rappel again. This mistake allowed fourth place Luke move into third with his mother Margie after he grabbed a clue on his first attempt. However, levelheaded as always, Jet didn’t sweat his brother’s mistake, predicting, “We’ll make it up somewhere.” As Flight Time and Jennifer rappelled for their teams in fifth and sixth place, the last three teams boarded their Air Asia flight in Guangzhou, China. Facing a three-hour deficit, John noted, “We all had a common understanding that we would all start from the same starting point. All three teams are working together. We’ll just all battle each other out on the course itself.”

Arriving at Kampung Tompinahaton on the banks of the river, Dave & Connor discovered a Detour having the choice of River Delivery or Run Through the Jungle. First, teams had to build a bamboo raft and brave the treacherous rapids downriver to the Detour of their choice. River Delivery required teams to transport goods to the village of Kampung Tombung. Once there, they had to deliver the goods to the village chief and then continue downriver. Run Through the Jungle required teams to join a Marut hunting safari. Each team member had to successfully hit a fake bird target using a blowpipe and then return to their raft to continue downriver. After deciding to deliver supplies to the village, the father and son set work building their raft. Dragging eight long bamboo poles to the edge of the river, Dave & Connor disagreed on the best approach to constructing a sturdy vessel to hold them and their cargo of goods. Seeing the Afghanimals and Margie & Luke directly behind them only increased their anxiety as they slowly knotted twine that bound together their bamboo poles. Connor insisted that his method for the raft would keep them afloat and Dave hesitantly deferred to his son. Once they completed construction, Dave & Connor put a bag of potatoes, a bunch of bananas, a sack of onions, and ten apples into a wooden crate that they placed onto the raft along with their Travelocity Roaming Gnome who manned the front of the vessel.

After pushing their raft into the river for its maiden voyage, Dave & Connor carefully hopped aboard and began moving downstream with the help of bamboo poles they used for paddles and steering. Greeting locals they encountered swimming, Dave later commented, “To be in Borneo, to have that beautiful river, to be healthy and to be able to do this again with my son was great.” When they father and son hit faster moving rapids, they simply let the current take them as they deftly kept their balance and cargo safely intact. However, their difficulties began when they spotted a marked sign for Kampung Tombung, but, because Connor had the clue in his pocket, they didn’t double check and incorrectly believed this to be the hunting side of the Detour, not the village to drop off their supplies. Thus, they kept on paddling downriver past the village.

In second place, cousins Leo & Jamal, looking at their clue, correctly identified Kampung Tombung and paddled ashore to deliver their goods. Knowing Dave & Connor weren’t far ahead of them and not seeing their raft docked, the Afghanimals surmised that the father and son missed the drop-off point. Picking up their wooden box of food and supplies, Leo & Jamal walked across a vibrant green field into the village and found the chief sitting in a shelter overlooking a serene pond. After dropping off the goods, the Afghanimals returned to the banks of the river where they spotted the third place cowboys Jet & Cord who had passed the struggling Margie & Luke at the top of the river. The hesitant, unsure cowboys shouted to the Afghanimals, asking if this was the village to deliver their food. Leo & Jamal later admitted that if this was the previous season they would have lied to the cowboys, but the Afghanimals didn’t want to be U-Turned again, so they told the truth and helped Jet & Cord.

After navigating through some rough rapids, Dave & Connor passed the sixth bridge and expected to see the village for delivery, but instead they saw Marut hunters waiting with blowpipes. The father and son immediately knew they screwed up majorly. With no other option, they paddled downstream to the end point of the Detour, grabbed their box of goods, and began the slow walk along the shore back upstream to find the village. An incredulous Connor asked, “How did we miss it?” As they carried the nearly 70-pound box, Dave accepted responsibility for misreading the clue hoping his mistake wouldn’t cost them too seriously. Unaware of how far behind the Afghanimals and cowboys were, Dave & Connor managed to deliver their goods to the village and run back downstream to the end of the Detour still in first place where they opened their clue instructing them to find the Pit Stop at Tanjun Aru Water Village.

Continuing downriver after delivering supplies, Leo & Jamal felt very comfortable, jokingly calling the experience “lazy water rafting.” Then things changed. Turning around a bend, the Afghanimals started picking up speed as they entered a turbulent part of the river. Soon, the strong current led their raft directly into low hanging trees and branches where it got stuck. After dislodging the raft, the Afghanimals now had to avoid being swept away by the current as they struggled to keep their raft together. Once they returned to calm waters, the Afghanimals did their best to repair their damaged raft as they enviously watched the cowboys paddle past them atop their still perfect vessel. The cowboys reached the shore in second place not far behind Dave & Connor with the Afghanimals also close in third place. While Margie & Luke struggled to keep their raft together in fourth place, an incredibly close taxi race to Tanjun Aru Water Village between the top three teams ended with father and son, Dave & Connor, triumphantly stepping on the mat first. For their victory, they won a trip for two from Travelocity to Budapest, Hungary. Dave reminded Phil, “Last time we were in first, we were on crutches!” Cowboys Jet & Cord settled for second place while cousins Leo & Jamal took third. After surviving their raft splitting apart, an exhausted Margie & Luke gladly settled for fourth place.

Although Jennifer nearly lost a finger during her and Caroline’s rocky trip down the rough waters, the country singers arrived at the banks of the river in fifth place just ahead of the Globetrotters where festive dancers and Marut hunters greeted the two teams. The country singers noticed “a beautiful badass girl warrior” who they selected to lead them in their run through the jungle on the hunt for bird targets to shoot with their blowpipes. Spotting a colorful red “bird” in a tree, Jennifer took aim with her blowpipe and exhaled a deep breath, sending the rubber ammunition directly into her target that toppled to the ground. While Jennifer evoked comparisons to her grandfather, John Wayne, with her sharpshooting, Caroline struggled to hit her target. By the time Caroline finally hit her bird, the Globetrotters (who had a fun celebratory party with the locals on the shore before returning to their raft) had both brought down their targets in fifth place as Big Easy joked, “We’re gonna put it in the gumbo, baby!”

Hours behind, the last three teams arrived at Kionsom Waterfall where Jessica, Rachel, and Joey all rappelled down the falls with the Travelocity Roaming Gnome. Jessica cleared the waterfall first followed closely by Rachel who rappelled in her underwear to prevent her green sequined shorts from getting wet. Joey descended the waterfall in last place, but he wasn’t very far behind the other two teams. However, the YouTube hosts made the critical mistake of letting their taxi go when they arrived at the Roadblock. Finding another one in this remote area was not going to be easy! After a local told them that no taxi services were nearby, the YouTube hosts began walking along the roadside in search of one. The pair started losing hope, even comparing the situation to Switzerland in Season 22 when they walked miles to the Pit Stop. Sensing time slip away, the YouTube hosts eventually stumbled upon a residence where a helpful local called for a taxi. The normally perky YouTube hosts looked glum as they sat waiting, but once the bright red taxi arrived, the team immediately brightened up, still believing they had a shot to catch up.

At Kampung Tompinahaton, it was a tale of two rafts as Jessica & John and Brendon & Rachel both built vessels to transport them to Marut hunters. The raft built by Jessica & John looked so shoddy and unstable that even Jessica didn’t believe it would hold together in the water. Meanwhile, Brendon & Rachel constructed a beautiful raft held together tightly by rope that the newlyweds felt confident would survive the rapids. However, things changed on the river. Minnesota natives Jessica & John, who mentioned their first date included a canoe ride, navigated the rapids with ease as their raft survived the rough waters. Meanwhile, as soon as the Brenchels hit some turbulence, they flipped over and their raft completely unraveled. A worried Rachel said, “I don’t want to go home. I’m not ready.” After Brendon took a moment to repair the raft, the newlyweds continued coasting downriver hoping the worst was behind them. It wasn’t. Approaching the second and even faster moving set of rapids, the Brenchels clung to their fraying raft as Rachel shouted, “I’m scared! This is dangerous!” Brendon became separated from the raft and floated downriver while Rachel screamed when the raft smashed against the rocks leaving her stranded in the water. Brendon swam upstream and they both pulled the broken raft to shore where they used a stick Brendon found to put their raft back together. Proud of her husband’s quick thinking, Rachel told Brendon, “You’re my hero.”

Joining the Marut hunting safari, engaged couple Jessica & John became a modern day Pocahontas and John Smith. Taking John’s advice of setting the blowpipe on his shoulder for support, Jessica aimed, exhaled, and knocked the white bird target out of the tree on her first try. Meanwhile, John joked that he assumed the role of John Smith, unable to hit targets using a blowpipe because he was used to using a gun. With Pocahontas (Jessica) offering John continued support and encouragement, John finally hit a pink bird much to his relief. Running back to the raft, John joked, “I’m going to gather berries next time. John Smith is supposed to have a gun.” For the day, the engaged couple finished in seventh place.

While Joey & Meghan finished building their raft and began paddling, Brendon & Rachel arrived at the Marut hunters and began walking through the jungle looking for their fake bird targets. Realizing that Joey & Meghan could have chosen to deliver goods or be might be right behind them, the Brenchels were nervous about being eliminated. With rain pouring on them, Brendon missed his target several times as he told Rachel, “It’s okay. We’ve done harder things.” Then, trying one more time, he hit his bird and yelled out a celebratory shout. Now Brendon’s job turned to keeping Rachel positive and motivated as she continually missed the target. Brendon told her, “Just relax. You are your greatest enemy.” With a deep breath, Rachel blew into her blowpipe and struck a bird on her next shot. On the mat, an emotional Rachel hugged and kissed Brendon when Phil told them they were in eighth place, still in the Race. After their raft fell apart and they hit two bird targets, YouTube hosts Joey & Meghan arrived at the Pit Stop in Tanjun Aru Water Village in last place where Phil eliminated them. On the experience, Meghan said, “We thought we were a pretty tough team. Up against these teams who are veterans, it’s just insane, but it was awesome. People got so excited the last time around. They went on The Amazing Race with us. I wanted to be able to give our fans that experience again. It’s slightly embarrassing we’re out so soon but what can you do?”

Roadblock: A Roadblock is a task that only one person may perform. In this Roadblock, that person had to join the Travelocity Roaming Gnome at the top of Kionsom Waterfall and pick up their clue rappelling ten stories as they braved the cascading waters to the bottom.

Performed Roadblock: Dave, Jamal, Cord, Luke, Flight Time, Jennifer, Jessica, Rachel, Joey

Detour: A Detour is a choice between two tasks. In this Detour, teams had to choose between River Delivery and Run Through the Jungle. First, teams had to build a bamboo raft and brave the treacherous rapids downriver to the Detour of their choice. River Delivery required teams to transport goods to the village of Kampung Tombung. Once there, they had to deliver the goods to the village chief and then continue downriver. Run Through the Jungle required teams to join a Marut hunting safari. Each team member had to successfully hit a fake bird target using a blowpipe and then return to their raft to continue downriver.

River Delivery: Dave/Connor, Leo/Jamal, Jet/Cord, Margie/Luke

Run Through the Jungle: Caroline/Jennifer, Flight Time/Big Easy, Jessica/John, Brendon/Rachel, Joey/Meghan

Order of Finish: 1. Dave & Connor 2. Jet & Cord 3. Leo & Jamal 4. Margie & Luke 5. Flight Time & Big Easy 6. Caroline & Jennifer 7. Jessica & John 8. Brendon & Rachel 9. Joey & Meghan