The Amazing Race

Season 7 Episode 5

I've Been Wanting a Face-Lift for a Long Time

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Mar 29, 2005 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
38 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

In a two-hour episode, the teams travel from the Pit Stop at a polo club called The Martina to Johannesburg, South Africa. Once there, they take part in a Detour that involves either rappelling into and then searching an underground cavern or collecting five items and giving them to the appropriate tribes. Later, the teams do a Roadblock that requires them to search a market for five items and then deliver them to a local orphanage. As the teams race to complete these tasks, one pulls ahead with a Fast Forward, while one team-member suffers a nasty injury. It ends up being a tight finish, but all teams continue onwards for the next leg. This leg sees the teams traveling to a nature reserve, where they one of two scheduled shuttles and feed lions. Later, the Roadblock involves throwing spears. Afterwards, the teams ride Humvees and choose between a Detour task of grinding corn or filling ostrich eggs with water. One team crashes their vehicle and falls behind, but the race to the Pit Stop is very close, culminating in a tense foot-race.moreless

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  • romber = full of horse fecal matter.

    typical bully/asshole deals it out bribing the bus driver to not open the back door, fools other teams in to being wimps and quitting..

    and as soon as it's him with egg on his face with lynn and alex not sharing a taxi, he pouts like a little sooooooo hope romber gets yielded with two more looming i hope they ain't first to reach them..

    wow the brothers flipped the car ? guess the 'safety driver' needs to be sacked.. glad he was ok !

    and team meat head/submissive ray and whats her they went out... but seriously what is it with the jerry springer moments of airing your dirty laundry on tv ? ray is a n arrogant ass hole and she must be ***ed to go back to him but i reckon he plays on her emotions...

  • This episode presented the audience with a 2-hour special... And in it was great

    It's been a long time since we had a 2-hour episode that wasn't a premiere or a finale. This episode on the other hand, was very impressive. The teams finally left South America and made their way to South Africa where two consecutvie legs were spent, Botswana was visited after the teams fed the lions.

    The tasks were great in both legs. I'm always probably saying the same old boring stuff over and over but it's true. No episode is bad, they are all good, great or magnificent. Out of the two legs featured tonight, the second was more exciting. Now for reviewing the fifth leg.

    Leg 5

    Phew, I was glad to notice the change in destinations. Four straight legs were spent in the southern area of America and it's about time something completely different came along.

    Meredith and Gretchen managed to hang in there long enough to make it into the final seven. All seven teams caught the same flight to Johannesburg, South Africa which was a heads up. Everyone was equal again. A fascinating Fast Forward challenge really tested Deana to face her fear of heights. The task itself was a good choice, mainly because it pissed off Rob and Amber when they lost. I was vowing on Romber to get eliminated on this leg but somewhere I felt this to be a non-elimination leg. One of those stiff feelings that came along out of the blue. About Ray, he's too hard on Deana and I thought he needed to get a grip or they'll loose the race or worse, he'll loose her.

    Rob and Amber only care about themselves which puts them as a hated team. The Detour was okay. It was just another Detour. Though I felt for Gretchen when she had the mysterious fall and cut her head. The older couple never gave up, even to the end. Ray and Deana won the Fast Forward and were awarded TWO cars, one each. The teams soon encountered a nice Roadblock that involved shopping and then delievering the goods to an orphanage. The orphanage scene was brilliant, and it was Uchenna and Joyce who were really inspired by it. The race to the finish was a close one, Rob and Amber were pushed down to fourth while Uchenna and Joyce narrowly escaped their doom.

    In the end, fan favorites Meredith and Gretchen checked in last. It was suspenseful, but I would've been upset to see them go. HOWEVER, this was the first of three pre-determined non-elimination legs, and they were STILL in the race.

    Though, I wasn't so much delighted to hear that they were stripped of everything and I mean everything.

    As far as them staying in the race was concerned, I guessed they would be the next team to go, the same way as how Don and Mary Jean were eliminated on Season 6. Overall, competitive leg, but I've seen better. It was just another regular episode.

    Leg 6

    This one was a lot more tense. The seven remaining teams started out from where they left off in Soweto, and were instructed to drive themselves to a special park where two shuttles would take teams through the wildlife park to feed the lions. Rob and Amber were even more disturbing because of how Brian and Greg's car rolled over and seriously injured a camera-man. They received a taste of their dishonorable actions when they arrived at the sixth Pit Stop.

    Onto the next task, I loved the incredible task of teams feeding the lions, it was a chance to see another side of this race. The teams then made their way to Botswana where the problems began. Teams faced a challenging Roadblock in the outback of Africa and it felt like a more peaceful leg if you know what I mean. No traffic, none of that high pressure, except from the tasks.

    Soon, Brian and Greg crashed their car that seriously injured one of the shows crew. Lynn and Alex along with the old couple stopped to give them assistance but Romber continued without giving a S**t. I was even more pissed. Ron and Kelly did extremely well. Not only did they remain in first but their team work was good.

    I liked the Detour, the Food choice was better and quicker but all in all, you could get through both quick. I was upset and off the edge of the seat when it was very possible that Brian and Greg would get eliminated. They were far behind but surprisingly, they beat Ray and Deana in a foot-race to the Pit Stop. Yay...

    Last of all, knowing teams spending the night in the desert was not a very comforting thought, especially considering the cold temperatures at night.

    Mredith and Gretchen actually came in fifth, amazing and a great comeback. Brian and Greg stuck in, but Ray and Deana checked in last in a shocking elimination. Their choice of words about one another were disappointing, making me glad that they're out of it. This leaves six teams...

    Overall, again, a very great couple of episodes but the sixth leg was more entertaining.moreless
  • Meredeth & Gretchen Fan Favorites

    I think next to Kim & Chip & the Bowling Moms of TAR5, I like not just Uchenna & Joyce.

    But also Meredeth & Gretchen. Had not Romber been in it, I think that M&G would have had a shot at third place.

    But this proves to show you that they didn\'t have a never give up attitude.

    As for Ray & Deanna, I think Ray\'s attitude stinked.

    But not as bad as Jonathan & Victoria from AR6.

    Glad that they are out!moreless
  • This is what the show is all about.

    This is simply one of the best episodes in TAR history. It's executed flawlessly and manages to be dramatic and suspenseful.

    The very beginning evens things out before the episode is in full swing - all the teams make it on the plane to Africa. Then, when the plane touches the ground, it's do or die. Ray and Deana and Rob and Amber (my two least favorite teams) go for the Fast Forward. I was hoping R&D would get it so R&A would fall behind and possibly get eliminated. :-) Not so. Rob and Amber manage to get back in the game while R&D make the terrifying walk across the bridge. We then see them on the mat for 1st place.

    I found the Detour for the first hour pretty fun - Tunnels or Tribes? At least it wasn't at the same location. The funniest part of this episode was watching that guy in the village nearly stab Lynn (or was it Alex?) with a spear! I wonder why he did that...but it was still rather hilarious.

    Meanwhile, everyone else except Rob and Amber goes for Tunnels, the rappelling challenge. As usual, Meredith and Gretchen fall behind. Ron and Kelly and Brian and Greg finish and reach the Roadblock, where a team member has to shop for items to take to an orphanage. This wasn't much of an interesting challenge, but hey, it's the Amazing Race! It's still cool.

    At this point, Meredith and Gretchen have gotten lost in the caves and even manage to make it out without the clue. Unfortunately, when they go back inside, Gretchen falls and we see a lot of blood on her face. :-( Ugggghhhh. Good thing she was alright! I love how M&G handled that situation - they were still determined not to give up. This is the type of team I love on the show!

    Anyway, everyone eventually makes it to the market and buys the items. I love the scenes in the orphanage, especially when Brian and Greg go in there. Those two guys are so fun to have on the show; I just wish they didn't get eliminated later on. :-/ The other memorable moment was Uchenna and Joyce's trip to the orphanage, where Joyce begins to consider adoption.

    But just when things start to look positive, Amber receives help on the Roadblock from yet *another* local who recognized her from Survivor.


    Sometimes I wish the other teams were as smart as R&A to get help. But anyway, everyone eventually finishes the roadblock, and Uchenna and Joyce reach the mat before Meredith and Gretchen. You can hear the "music of doom" as M&G approach the mat. It's definitely setting up for a non-elim leg. But this time - they get *everything* taken away from them!


    Will Meredith and Gretchen survive? We have to stay tuned and find out in the next leg. :-) I'm glad this one is two hours, or I would have died.

    The next day begins with a rather unusual challenge - feeding lions! This is one element of TAR I absolutely love - tasks which allow the teams to really "experience" the other countries. :-) It looks like everyone has fun with this one. During this time, many teams donate money to M&G, and U&J even give some clothes. Unfortunately, Rob and Amber refuse to help, as usual. We see Rob's true colors when he assumes Meredith pushed Gretchen down the cave. Oh, brother.

    Anyway, the teams must fly to Botswana. This part of the leg is pretty funny, especially when everyone arrives there. The scene where Lynn and Alex refuse to share a taxi with Rob and Amber is simply hilarious! "I like my air conditioning and I don't wanna be crowded!" Classic. Of course, Rob is pretty ticked off.

    The Roadblock for this leg was just throwing a spear at a moving target. Sound easy? Even Rob from Survivor couldn't do it. Fortunately, Brian and Greg, my favorite team, finish it first and leave for the next destination. But just when things are going well, their car flips over and the windshield shatters. :-( Uh-oh.

    A few minutes later, Lynn and Alex arrive to help out, while Rob and Amber just pass on by. “It’s so typical of their game," Lynn remarks. I totally agree. What if it was really a matter of life and death? *sigh*

    Ron and Kelly reach the Detour - "Food or Water." They (and most everyone else) choose Food, which involves grinding corn and letting someone see if it's the right consistency. Bad idea. Never choose a task on a Detour where someone else has to judge your work. Rob and Amber, on the other hand, choose wisely and go for Water, where you sip water out of the ground and fill up 12 ostrich eggs. Ostrich eggs! Remember the eating task from Season 5? :-)

    Lynn and Alex are finally convinced by Brian and Greg to leave and continue the Race. When L&A reach the Detour, they choose Food, probably to get away from Rob and Amber. We even hear them telling Ron and Kelly about Rob's indifference to Brian and Greg's situation. Fortunately, Lynn's words drive Kelly to finish the task, and both R&K and R&A reach the pit stop around the same time. And guess what - Ron and Kelly win!! :-D Yes!

    Around this time, everyone else except Brian and Greg makes it to the Detour and chooses Food. Ray and Deana easily get frustrated. How typical. But M&G and U&J keep pounding, never giving up, and their hard work pays off! Meanwhile, Brian and Greg finally get a replacement vehicle and head for the Detour, praying that everything will be okay and that their cameraman won't be seriously hurt. I love these guys and their attitudes - I never heard one of them say "Oh no! We're gonna get eliminated!" Instead, we hear "Let's hope this Detour is super-duper physical!"

    When B&G arrive at the Detour, they choose the smart choice, Water, which no one else is doing. Good idea. While they're filling up the eggs, Ray and Deana finally finish pounding corn. Oh no! Brian and Greg are gonna get eliminated!! Or are they? As soon as R&D complete their task, B&G finish theirs, and the two teams leave in their Humvees just a minute apart. The brothers seem pretty confident they can beat R&D in a footrace to the mat. It's pretty amazing how they catch up with them even before they make it to the Pit Stop area!

    As soon as both teams park their cars, they jump out and sprint for the mat. Brian and Greg clearly are the winners. Ray and Deana even give up several yards away. I love B&G's reaction on the mat when Phil tells them they're team #6 and that their cameraman will be fine! What a finish.

    I'm so happy Ray and Deana are out. This episode is awesome.

    (10 out of 10)moreless
Phil Keoghan

Phil Keoghan


Rob Mariano

Rob Mariano

Runner Up with Amber (Season Seven)

Amber Brkich

Amber Brkich

Runner Up with Rob (Season Seven)

Ray Housteau

Ray Housteau

Eliminated 5th with Deana (Season Seven)

Deana Shane

Deana Shane

Eliminated 5th with Ray (Season Seven)

Lynn Warren

Lynn Warren

Eliminated 7th with Alex (Season Seven)

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (12)

    • The teams finished in the following order in the first leg of this episode:

      #1. Ray and Deana. (Fast Forward, Prize: Two 2005 Toyota RAV4s)
      #2. Ron and Kelly.
      #3. Brian and Greg.
      #4. Lynn and Alex.
      #5. Rob and Amber.
      #6. Uchenna and Joyce.
      #7. Meredith and Gretchen. (Stripped of possessions, receive no money for next leg)

      The teams finished in the following order in the second leg of this episode:

      #1. Ron and Kelly.
      #2. Rob and Amber.
      #3. Uchenna and Joyce.
      #4. Lynn and Alex.
      #5. Meredith and Gretchen.
      #6. Brian and Greg.
      #7. Ray and Deana. (ELIMINATED)

    • This is the first episode in which cars were awarded as a prize for finishing first in a leg. This episode also introduced a new penalty for finishing in last on a non-elimination leg --- complete stripping of everything except passports and the clothes the team is currently wearing, plus no money received for the next leg.

    • There was no Yield in this leg of the race. One had already been aired in the third leg but it was not used.

    • As some have noted, Phil makes a point of telling Meredith and Gretchen that they must start the leg with no money, which means that they can't beg for funds during their allotted twelve hour Pit Stop time.

    • Roadblock: (Leg 6) In this Roadblock, one member of each team had to perform a bushman hunting training exercise of throwing a spear through a moving target 20 feet away in order to receive their next clue. The following people completed the task for their respective teams: Lynn, Rob, Brian, Meredith, Ron, Joyce and Ray

    • Fast Forward: (Leg 5) This was the first of only two Fast Forwards hidden on the race.
      In this Fast Forward, teams had to drive 26 miles to Soweto and go to the top of a cooling tower, where they then had to cross a suspension bridge. Ray and Deana beat Rob and Amber to claim the Fast Forward.

    • Roadblock: (Leg 5) In this Roadblock that took place in Seweto, South Africa, one team member had to search a marketplace and purchase five items for a local orphanage to receive their next clue. Kelly, Greg, Lynn, Amber, Uchenna and Gretchen completed this task for their respective teams. Ray and Deana bypassed the Roadblock via the Fast Forward.

    • Balance Sheet 2: Ron and Kelly move up from second to first. Rob and Amber move up from fifth to second. Uchenna and Joyce move up from sixth to third. Lynn and Alex remain in fourth. Meredith and Gretchen move up from seventh to fifth. Brian and Greg move down from third to sixth. Ray and Deana move down from first to last and are eliminated.

    • Balance Sheet 1: Ray and Deana move up from sixth to first. Ron and Kelly move up from fourth to second. Brian and Greg move down from second to third. Lynn and Alex move up from fifth to fourth. Rob and Amber move down from first to fifth. Uchenna and Joyce move down from third to sixth. Meredith and Gretchen remain in last but are not eliminated.

    • Detour (Botswana):
      Ron/Kelly, Lynn/Alex, Ray/Deana, Uchenna/Joyce, and Meredith/Gretchen chose "Food", where they had to grind enough corn in a large mortar and pestle to fill a basket.
      Rob/Amber and Brian/Greg chose "Water", where they had to fill a dozen ostrich eggs by sucking water from an underground spring, then bury the eggs for cool storage.

    • Detour (South Africa):
      Ron/Kelly, Brian/Greg, Meredith/Gretchen, and Uchenna/Joyce chose "Tunnels", where they had to rappel into caverns and search for their clue.
      Lynn/Alex and Rob/Amber chose "Tribes", where they had to deliver five traditional objects to their correct tribes.
      Ray/Deana bypassed the Detour via the Fast Forward

    • The camera footage inside the Brian and Greg's car right before crashing is clearly reenacted or different footage of them driving with the camera purposely swerving around. When the camera starts to swerve around as the car loses control, if one uses slow-motion, one can see that the driver is wearing different clothing (a white wifebeater) than what the driving brother was wearing in the actual crash.

  • QUOTES (30)

  • NOTES (6)

    • In New Zealand this two-hour episode was split up into two separate episodes, Leg's 5 and 6 individually.

      The same practice was used for all two-hour episodes in Latin America.

    • From Associated Press:

      "Uchenna (Agu) and Kelly (McCorkle) were the two people who came to our room in the middle of the night and gave us clothes," said Meredith. "We had no clothes other than those on our back, as you saw. As an interesting side note, Gretchen was wearing Uchenna's underwear."

      "Yes, 'cause I didn't have any others," said Gretchen.

    • Phil told USA Today about taking everything of Meredith and Gretchen's possesions after her accident, "That was the meanest thing I've ever done on TV," Keoghan says. "She's got this huge cut on her head, and I take everything."

    • This is the first time previews are shown of the next two episodes, as Phil describes the next week's normal episode and special Wednesday recap/unseen footage episode (using the standard "On the next episode of The Amazing Race..." for the standard episode and using "And on a special episode, one week from tomorrow night..." for the recap episode's description).

    • According to The New York Times, this episode scored the highest ratings for the series in three years.

    • This special episode of The Amazing Race was two hours long and covered Legs 5 and 6.


    • As Brian and Greg come from the caves, they comment that the black on their faces reminds them of Braveheart. Braveheart is a 1995 movie starring Mel Gibson. It was the story of a heroic Scottish fighter.