Season 26: Episode 11 - In It To Win It
Posted on May 8, 2015 11:00pm

Racing in Peru, Hayley & Blair and Jelani & Jenny maintained hefty leads, and coasted into leg twelve. After Mike & Rochelle suffered through a broken-down taxi and two strenuous tasks, Phil surprised the last-place team with another chance at a million dollars.

In a flashback to the previous leg, Laura & Tyler watched as their potatoes spilled onto the ground at the Detour. Tyler shouted in frustration and Laura said, “Tyler had a temper tantrum. It was kind of scary.” He added, “I’m calm and collected ninety-nine percent of the time. But… we’re fighting for a million bucks. If I’ve got to be more aggressive, I’m going to be more aggressive.” Medics Hayley & Blair ripped the clue first at 6:39 a.m. It told them to leave the high-altitude air of the Andes and make their way back down to sea level. There, in the town of Trujillo, they’d find South America’s largest mosaic, which was made up of an estimated thirty million tiles. After retrieving magnifying glasses from a payaso (a clown), they had to search for their next clue within the artwork. The medics got into a taxi, Hayley saying it was an accomplishment to make it this far with someone you don’t know. She added that the pre-existing couples had an advantage, knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Lawyers Jelani & Jenny left the mat forty minutes later, Jelani saying that they’d started the Race hot, then slowed down a little bit, but were building up and peaking at the right time.

At the Universidad Nacional de Trujillo, Hayley & Blair arrived at the mural, which boasted scenes of Peruvian history and stretched out of sight. Hayley said, “This mural is not kidding.” They spotted the clown, who was adorned with a rainbow wig and playing cymbals and a drum. After goofing around with the magnifying glasses (prompting Blair to quip, “Oh, you’re funny!”), the clown handed them over. Looking at a postcard they’d been given to help them zero in on the correct part of the mural, the medics soon found a red and yellow decal stuck to the wall. They peeled it off and headed back to the clown. On the way they passed Phil, who announced that they’d found their next clue. The clown handed over the clue envelope, and the couple discovered a Detour: Shake Your Hips or Make Some Bricks. In Shake Your Hips, teams had to learn and perform the Marinera, a traditional Peruvian dance that represented a man’s courting of a woman. In Make Some Bricks, they had to help preserve 900-year-old archaeological ruins by making twelve bricks out of mud and sand. They then had to transport twelve dry bricks to a nearby worksite. Hayley & Blair chose Make Some Bricks, and took off in their taxi. Jelani & Jenny then arrived at the mural and began looking for the clue.

Mike & Rochelle left the mat in third place, nearly two hours after Hayley & Blair. They got into a taxi, but the car had trouble even getting started. As the engine struggled to turn over, Rochelle asked, “Is this car going to make it?” It finally kicked to life, but the couple felt dejected knowing Hayley & Blair and Jelani & Jenny were so far ahead. Rochelle said, “We’re just racing against Tyler and Laura. They’re pretty fast and good, so it’s going to be one hell of a leg.” Meanwhile, Laura & Tyler left in last place. But they were less than fifteen minutes behind Mike & Rochelle, and felt confident they could make the final three. At the mural, Jelani & Jenny found the decal and peeled it off. They took it to the clown, who led them through a series of jumping jacks and a shoulder shimmy before handing over the clue envelope. The lawyers chose Shake Your Hips, Jelani saying, “I can shimmy, but let’s see if I can shake.” Hayley & Blair arrived at the ancient ruins of Chan Chan. They donned hardhats and goggles, and watched as a worker rolled mud through sand and then threw the mixture into a brick mold. When he upended the mold, he’d created a perfect brick. The medics copied his actions, but their resulting brick was lumpy and sad.

Heading down the mountains to Trujillo, Mike & Rochelle’s taxi clanked and squealed as their driver veered around hairpin turns. Mike said, “I don’t know if he’s coasting on the brakes… or what’s going on.” Meanwhile, Jelani & Jenny arrived at Shake Your Hips, and changed into traditional Peruvian clothing. Jenny emerged barefoot in a pink and white dress with flowers in her hair, while Jelani wore a poncho and a straw hat. The dancers demonstrated the fancy footwork, while around them rode a man on a Peruvian Paso horse. The lawyers began rehearsing, their instructor saying it was important to keep your back straight and chin up. Jelani said, “I’m a confident guy – I’m not so confident in my Peruvian traditional dancing skills.” The instructor also said to always look at one another. “It’s flirting.” Mike & Rochelle continued to groan and squeak down the mountain. Rochelle kept her eyes closed, saying, “I’m scared.” And then the taxi gave out. The driver pulled off the road as smoke began wafting from beneath the tires. Laura & Tyler then passed by, their jaws dropping when they saw Mike & Rochelle on the side of the road. Laura said, “I was literally just praying that someone would get a flat tire.” The driver then got on the phone, and Mike said, “Our driver is trying to get us some help here. Hopefully his friends drive better than he does.” Continuing down the road, Tyler wished it were Hayley & Blair instead. Laura said, “They’re like Nimrod and Nimrod.” Tyler added, “To lose a million bucks to Blair and Hayley is not going to sit well.”

At Chan Chan, the medics continued making lumpy, crumbling bricks. Hayley said, “Ours are real yucky around the edges.” The judge then came to inspect their twelve bricks – and stepped on nine of them. Blair said, “You’re ruthless.” They watched the example again, and realized they weren’t throwing the mud hard enough into the mold to get solid edges. They tried again, and after slamming the mud down hard, came out with a much more respectable brick. Meanwhile, Jelani & Jenny continued rehearsing the dance. The instructor told Jenny to look at Jelani more, even manually wrenching her head around to stare at him. A second instructor added, “Try to kiss him,” which sent Jenny into a fit of giggles. They decided to try a performance. A second taxi finally arrived to rescue Mike & Rochelle. Meanwhile, Hayley & Blair worked on their last brick, and seemed to be in better spirits. Hayley said, “When we do the tasks we don’t have anything to argue about, because we’re on the same page.” They finished, and were approved. They then loaded up a wheelbarrow with twelve dry bricks, but as soon as Blair lifted it, it fell over sideways. They decided to make two trips of six, Hayley adding, “We probably took double the time we should’ve with this.”

Jelani & Jenny began their first dance performance. But halfway through, Jelani’s poncho flew up over his head. They were rejected, the judge saying they had to keep their chests out and maintain eye contact. Back at the mural, Laura & Tyler grabbed the magnifying glasses but began uncharacteristically arguing about how big the target area of the wall might be. Laura snapped, “You’re being a know-it-all. It’s really annoying me.” Meanwhile, Mike & Rochelle entered the town, hoping Laura & Tyler were getting delayed at the mural. At Make Some Bricks, the temperature had reached ninety-four degrees. Hayley & Blair pushed their first load of dry bricks along the path, Hayley taking over when Blair needed to rest. At the worksite, as archaeologists brushed at the walls and dug in the dirt, the medics lined up their bricks on the ground. Returning for the second half, Hayley said, “We may have made the wrong choice picking this.” Back at the mural, Laura & Tyler found the clue. Mike & Rochelle then arrived, and began looking for the payaso. They found a clown sitting on the side of the street, but when they asked him for magnifying glasses, he clearly had no idea what they were talking about. The couple walked off, Rochelle saying, “Obviously a payaso isn’t a clown.” Meanwhile, the real payaso goofed around with Laura & Tyler before giving them the clue. Tyler looked at his watch and grumbled, “Any time now,” but the clown waited for him to clap before handing over the envelope. The SoCal couple chose Make Some Bricks. In the taxi Laura said, “Tyler wasn’t very impressed by the clown. I think you hurt its feelings…. It might’ve been a boy.” Tyler said, “I’m not sure what it was.”

At Chan Chan, Hayley & Blair continued switching off with the wheelbarrow as they brought their second load to the judge. They laid out the bricks, were approved, and got the clue. It said to make their way to the corner of Avenida Ribera and Manco Capac in the town of Huanchaco to receive their next clue. At Shake Your Hips, Jelani & Jenny began their second performance. But once again, Jelani’s poncho flew over his head. The judge said he had to complete the movement as he spun around, so the poncho would stay in place. At the mural, Mike & Rochelle found the clown and grabbed magnifying glasses (accidentally knocking over a stand of balloons in the process.) Mike said, “A payaso is a clown! We were just at the wrong payaso.” They searched the wall and found the clue. Laura & Tyler arrived at Chan Chan and watched the brick demonstration. Tyler said, “We approached making the bricks like making a cake. Laura was prepping the pan and I was prepping the dough.” They upended their mold, but found only a mediocre brick. Meanwhile, in the small beach town of Huanchaco, Hayley & Blair ripped the clue and discovered a Roadblock: “Who wants to ride a sea horse?” Blair opted for it. Phil explained that teams had to paddle a reed boat called a Caballito de Totora (believed to be the world’s earliest form of a surfboard) out into the ocean, and retrieve a clue from a buoy. Hayley said, “This is exactly what you wanted.” They headed up the street to find the boats.

Mike & Rochelle arrived at Chan Chan to find Laura & Tyler working. The latter weren’t confident about their lumpy bricks, but Mike & Rochelle were hopeless. Mike pushed the mold down onto mud to fill it, rather than placing the mud inside. Then he began washing out the mold after Rochelle had already sanded it for him. They argued about who was doing which step, and finally, after making one subpar brick, decided to switch Detours. In the taxi to Shake Your Hips, Rochelle said, “We’re in a race with Tyler & Laura. At this point it’s our best decision to switch to the other Detour and hope it’ll go a little bit faster…. It was a gamble we had to take.” At the Roadblock, Hayley & Blair found a row of boats at a nearby house and began carrying one to the beach. At Shake Your Hips, Jelani & Jenny gave their third dance performance. Jelani said, “I’m going to bring that to the clubs in New York.” Jenny added, “He now has three dances he can show off.” They finished successfully, got the clue, and headed to Huanchaco. Meanwhile, as he and Hayley lugged the boat to the water, Blair said, “I’m so excited to do this.” He explained that he lives on a sailboat, and travels to and from it on a paddleboard every day. He added, “I wouldn’t say I was cocky, but I was confident going out there on the Caballito.” He pulled the boat into the surf and climbed on – and immediately slipped off. He said, “It’s completely different from a paddleboard. The base isn’t wide. It’s like, this little wooden burrito that just rotates in the water and is constantly rolling.” He repeatedly tried to sit on his knees as the locals did, but continued to fall off as Hayley cringed on shore.

Mike & Rochelle arrived at Shake Your Hips and got dressed. Watching the demonstration, Rochelle said, “Holy crap. That looks hard.” The couple said they were used to dances where you just memorized steps. Rochelle added, “This was more… emotion.” They began rehearsing, but she had trouble from the start. “I’m lost already.” At Make Some Bricks (where the temperature had risen to 95 degrees), Laura & Tyler struggled, Tyler saying, “These Peruvian guys are no joke.” They finished, but the judge stepped on four of their bricks. They got busy making replacements. At the Roadblock, Blair managed to stay on the boat by draping his legs over the sides. Hayley said, “The waves aren’t little by any means – it’s kind of a rough current.” Blair arrived at the buoy, grabbed the clue, and started back to shore as Hayley cheered. Jelani & Jenny then arrived at the clue box. Jelani chose the Roadblock, and they ran off in search of the boats. At Chan Chan, Laura & Tyler made the last of their bricks, and were approved. They then loaded all twelve dry bricks into a wheelbarrow. Tyler struggled mightily to push it, reminding himself that it was for a million dollars. Laura told him to breathe, calling him Hercules. They pushed the wheelbarrow about a hundred yards to a gap in the wall where they thought the brick drop was – and stopped in horror when they saw how far the path stretched on the other side. Tyler said, “We turned the corner, and then the door to Hell opened up.”

Mike & Rochelle finished rehearsing and began their first performance. But Rochelle said, “I don’t like being in front of a big audience and being judged.” They were rejected, the judge telling them to keep their chins up and to keep smiling. Rochelle said, “I can’t fake smile,” and Mike replied, “Then we’re going to be here a long time.” At the Roadblock, Jelani & Jenny began hauling the boat down to the beach, while Blair rode back to shore. He and Hayley ripped the clue in first place. It said to make their way on foot to the next Pit Stop at the church of Virgen del Socorro. At Chan Chan, Laura & Tyler approached the brick drop, Tyler saying, “This is the hardest physical challenge yet.” They laid the bricks on the ground, but Laura accidentally broke one in the process, and they hurried back for a replacement. Meanwhile, Mike & Rochelle’s third dance performance was lackluster. The judge said they had to keep their backs straight while spinning around. They reset, Rochelle saying, “This is taking forever.”

At the Roadblock, Jelani headed into the water, but the waves began pummeling him, not even allowing him time to get back on the boat. On shore Jenny said, “He’s getting his butt kicked by the sea right now.” At Chan Chan, Laura & Tyler grabbed a replacement brick and headed back to the brick drop on what Tyler called “a million-dollar run.” As Mike & Rochelle began yet another attempt at the dance, Laura & Tyler delivered their brick and got the clue in third place. They jumped back in their taxi, Tyler saying, “If dancing was easy, we’re screwed…. Worst case scenario, we’re neck in neck right now with them.” But Rochelle messed up her footwork, and as they headed off to practice again, she became visibly dejected. She sat down to compose herself, saying, “We’ve gotten this far, and I think it’d be absolutely heartbreaking to be sent home.” She finally got it together, and they went back out to try again. Meanwhile, Jelani found a way to stay on the boat by leaning straight back to disperse his weight. Jenny said, “He’s created his own Jelani way.” Jelani added, “I couldn’t really go fast… but at least I wasn’t capsizing.” He got the clue and headed back to shore, then he and Jenny left for the Pit Stop in second place. Hayley & Blair then arrived at the mat for their second win in a row. Phil awarded them with a trip to Goa, India, and said they were one of the teams that’d be racing to the finish line for one million dollars. Hayley said, “We started out at the bottom, we worked out our communication issues, and here we are.” Blair added, “I feel we’re the team to beat…. We finished first the last two legs. We’re as confident as we’ve ever been.”

Laura was required to do the Roadblock since Tyler had already done five. They picked up the boat and headed to the water. Meanwhile, Mike & Rochelle were approved on their fifth attempt at the dance, and got the clue in last place. Jelani & Jenny then arrived at the Pit Stop. Back at the Roadblock, Tyler lugged the boat down the beach. “This boat is really heavy. Heavier than the bricks.” As Laura prepared to head into the water, Tyler said, “What’s the number one thing?” Laura said, “Have fun.” “Number two?” “Be calm.” “Number three – which should be number one? Keep paddling.” Laura headed out, but despite Tyler yelling reminders to her, a large wave came and she flipped over. Tyler hoped Mike & Rochelle were still behind them. The truck stop couple arrived at the clue box. Like Laura, Rochelle had to do the Roadblock since Mike had already done five. They hurried to the boats as Laura continued paddling to the buoy. The truck stop couple grabbed a Caballito and started to the beach, Rochelle saying, “We can do this. We’re going to catch up.” But Laura got the clue, and she and Tyler headed to the Pit Stop. Rochelle then began the Roadblock, but she couldn’t balance. The boat even knocked her over when it washed up against her feet. Standing on the beach, Mike said it sucked not being able to do anything. “I feel like a helpless boyfriend.” Laura & Tyler then checked into the Pit Stop, and Phil told them that despite looking like a drowned rat, they’d be racing to the finish line.

Back at the Roadblock, Rochelle sat in the sand. She said, “There was points where I… wanted to give up. But bettering me and my son’s life was my main motivation for doing this Race, and letting him down would’ve been awful.” She finally managed to balance on the boat, and headed out to the buoy. After getting the clue, she and Mike jogged to the Pit Stop. Phil said they were the last team to arrive – but added, “However, your race is not over.” Rochelle broke down crying as he said they were one of the teams racing to the finish line. He then said the final leg started right then, and pulled out their next clue. It told them to fly to Dallas, Texas. As the couple ran off the mat, Phil also warned them that he’d be eliminating a team before the finish line. Rochelle said, “We’ve struggled quite a bit during this Race, and I feel like when other teams have that struggle, they might break. So anything is possible next leg.”

2611 ROUTE MARKERS Detour: This Detour was a choice between Make Some Bricks and Shake Your Hips. In Make Some Bricks, teams had to help archaeologists by building twelve bricks from mud and sand. They then had to transport twelve dry bricks to a nearby worksite. In Shake Your Hips, teams had to learn a traditional Peruvian dance called the Marinera. When they performed it correctly, they’d receive their next clue. Make Some Bricks: Hayley/Blair, Laura/Tyler Shake Your Hips: Jelani/Jenny, Mike/Rochelle Roadblock: In this Roadblock, teams had to paddle a reed boat called a Caballito out to a buoy, retrieve their clue, and paddle back. Performed Roadblock: Blair, Jelani, Laura, Rochelle

Order of Finish: 1. Hayley & Blair 2. Jelani & Jenny 3. Laura & Tyler 4. Mike & Rochelle