The Amazing Race 12: Donkeys Have Souls, Too

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

Heeeeeeere we go! We're in Los Angeles, California, "the home of Hollywood." Oookay. Thanks, Phil. (HI PHIL!!!!) Starting line? The Playboy Mansion. Well, of course. Let's meet our 11 teams, shall we?

(First, a disclaimer: This first recap is a little long because we're meeting all new people and I'm trying to establish personalities and relationships for you. I promise the subsequent ones will be more concise. You know, probably.)

Marianna & Julia (like Hulia), sisters (young ones) from Florida. They will be utilizing their good looks and also their competitiveness and aggressiveness. In case you were wondering.

Ronald & Christina, father and daughter from Washington State. Ronald traveled a lot when Christina was growing up, so she's excited to get to know him, and also to cherish every moment she has left with him because he's almost 60 years old. Well... that's nice, if terribly morbid.

Kynt & Vyxsin, dating couple – sorry, dating GOTH couple – from Kentucky. I'm just going to call them Lipstick Boy and Lipstick Girl for the duration of their tenure on this show, because I sure as hell am not going to learn how to spell vixen any other way than how it's spelled. All Lipstick Girl has to say in their entire opening is "Kynt's hawwwt!" Wow, enlightened.

Nicolas & Donald, grandson and grandfather, from... nowhere, apparently. Donald is not your typical grandfather, Nicolas tells us.

Nathan & Jennifer, dating, from California. They have trust issues because he cheated on her. He's trying to prove his love to her... by going on this show. Great!

Azaria & Hendekea, brother and sister from New Orleans. They're way smarter and awesomer than everyone else on this show, they tell us, and that's going to give them the advantage. Naturally.

Lorena & Jason, dating couple, from L.A. I hate this guy already. Listen to this: she's been waiting three years for him to make more of a commitment to her, and he says, I SWEAR, "I don't know if marriage is the route for me to go; I feel I'll always have a foot out the door." That is gross. If you don't want to be with her, then leave her. Just be prepared for a little bias against him on my part is all I'm saying.

Kate & Pat, married ministers, also from nowhere. They are both women. And they are married. And they are ministers. I am interested in which denomination this is. They would like us to know that they are not wimps for Jesus.

Ari & Staella, best friends and coworkers, from nowhere. Ari is very, very gay and has very, very tall hair. They work in a restaurant together. Ari says he's a bigger bitch than karma. We'll see, Ari; we'll see.

Shana & Jennifer, friends and our token generic blonde hotties, from L.A. "Aspiring actresses," I'm guessing. They are fully okay with flirting their way through the race, and if they win, they're going on a million dollar shopping spree. Great. WHERE ARE YOU, DUSTIN & KANDICE?? I miss you.

TK & Rachel, newly dating couple from California. Everyone's from California. I bet the people that are from nowhere are all from California. TK & Rachel are maybe a little TOO cute.

Aaaaaand here's Phil with the eyebrow and the "Good luck. Travel safe." and me with my shivers, and GO!

The teams will be flying to Shannon, Ireland. There are credits and then there is driving to the airport. Lorena & Jason get to the airport first, of course, followed closely by Shana & Jennifer.

Five teams get on the first flight, and the rest are 45 minutes behind. The first flight has to connect through Heathrow, so you know they're getting delayed. The second connects through Dublin and does not get delayed. The Dublin flight lands, and Ari & Staella promptly steal a taxi. Their adorable Irish driver sees through their tricks, but it doesn't seem that his sense of decency and morality is particularly offended.

Teams are heading by ferry to Inis Mor Island, where they'll be looking for Teampall Bheanain, a 10th century ruin that is supposedly considered the smallest church in the world. There they will sign up for three different ferries the next morning.

The Heathrow flight lands, and some people from the Dublin flight, namely TK & Rachel (now being referred to as "the hippies," like, again??), are still lingering at the airport trying to find a cab. I'm not certain why finding a cab at any airport ever is such a challenge. Anyway, there is driving to the ferry. There is arriving at the ferry. There is some Ronald unhappiness as he confronts Ari about stealing his taxi. Oh, get over it, old man. You all got there, didn't you? I cannot abide a whiny racer.

The teams land on the island and hunt down directions to the church. Shana & Jennifer find a KEE-YUTE Irish boy to direct them. Damn, I gotta get me to Ireland. Nathan is generally horrible to his Jennifer, and Jason is nice to Lorena, so I guess he gets two points for that. Bringing him to -98. They're first to the ruins, of course.

So, first ferry: Lorena & Jason, TK & Rachel, and the Lipsticks. Second ferry: Ari & Staella, Nathan & Jennifer and Azaria & Hendekea (hereafter known as A&H; I am not typing those names out every time). Last ferry: Shana & Jennifer, Kate & Pat, Marianna & Julia, Nicolas & Donald, and Ronald & Christina. There are a lot of leggings in this race. Gross.

Teams land, teams find cars, teams read clues. They are to drive to Cleggan Farm, where they will drive a tandem bike to their next clue. Lorena & Jason fight over directions. It's just lovely.

First to the bikes are TK & Rachel and the Lipsticks. There is biking, there is yelling, there is mud. TK & Rachel find the clue, which is a Roadblock. TK takes it, and the challenge is to ride a high-wire bicycle (a high-wire bicycle!) 200 feet above the ocean across a ravine. Their partner will be sitting on a sort of t-bar harness type thing suspended from the bicycle. It is wild and I want to try it. TK & Rachel seem to enjoy it a lot, even though TK says it's a little terrifying. I sort of like them.

They smooch as they open their next clue, which tells them to choose a donkey from a nearby hitching post and fill its two baskets with peat, then walk the donkey back to the entrance of the farm to get their next clue. Mmm, animal tasks. My favourite.

Everyone else does the roadblock and nothing remarkable happens. Over at the donkey task, donkeys bray, teams fight, and I want to adopt one of those donkeys and pet it and make it feel all better. These stupid people are being so mean. Nathan & Jennifer, especially, are melting down already.

TK & Rachel receive the clue telling them to drive 13 miles to the pit stop at the Connemara Heritage Centre. H of A&H has dubbed her donkey Eeyore, which instantly endears her to me. Eeyore is my favourite of all time. He is just so gloooooomy and grey. How can you not love him?

There is more melting down and donkey braying where Nathan & Jennifer are. I seriously love this donkey and I want him for my very own. In a moment that earns Jason another point, as he and Lorena pass the struggling Nathan & Jennifer and Nathan expresses his frustration at his donkey's stubbornness, Jason very lackadaisically replies, "That's crazy, man," and keeps walking without missing a beat. Ha! Jason: -97.

So, pit stop, and A&H are the first to arrive. They are understandably excited. They win a trip to Banff! Hahahaha. Phil calls it "one of the most stunning places in the world." Naw, Phil, you're just saying that. You're making Alberta blush. They get five nights at the Banff Springs Hotel, and I will tell you that I am a little jealous. I may have seen the thing approximately fifty million times, but I've never slept in it, and I would love to. A says nice things about his sister, because they are winning. I'm sure he will be just as nice when they're losing, of course.

The Lipsticks arrive second. TK & Rachel arrive third. Ari & Staella are still fighting with their donkey, and Christina provides us with the episode title as she tells us she was astonished at how they were treating him, because "donkeys have souls, too." Well. If that's what helps you sleep at night, Christina.

Over at the pit stop, Lorena & Jason arrive in fourth. Back to the donkeys, where we are learning the important life lesson that being nice to living things gets them to do what you want, and being mean to them makes them resist. You know, it seems so obvious.

Nicolas & Donald are fifth. Shana & Jennifer are sixth, and shocked about it. Ronald & Christina are seventh. Kate & Pat are eighth. Marianna & Julia are ninth. Nathan & Jennifer are right behind them in tenth (they totally thought they were last). Actually last? Ari & Staella. I am so glad I won't have to deal with them for the rest of the season. Bye!

Tags: amazing race

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