The theme for “The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business” might be more than giving teams a second chance.
It might be about extending one leg of the race directly into another and bringing fans along for the ride. For the second time in the four episodes, the CBS-TV reality series is “To Be Continued,” and there was no rest for the nine remaining teams in the race for $1 million because the “pit stop” was more of a yield sign.
“You are still racing,” host Phil Keoghan told the teams, which began the fifth leg of the race before the fourth episode came to a close.
Cowboy brothers Jet and Cord McCoy began the Sunday night show in sixth place as the teams left Japan for China and raced to second place Sunday night. Most of the teams had about 12 hours to get to the Tokyo airport for their mandatory flight to Kunming, China, where they would book their own travel to the city of Li Jiang. Once there, they boarded a bus that took the teams to Jade Dragon Mountain.
“There is a yak with a saddle on it,” Jet said. “That is awesome.”
Each team had to saddle the longhaired bovine, then ride it over a precarious area of the river.
“We weren’t yaking around,” said Cord, who then hat-whipped the animal as he crossed the waterway.
Once that challenge was complete, the teams took a gondola ride to a spot three miles above sea level, where they faced a “road block” at Spruce Meadow. There one team member searched among tens of thousands of hanging charms to find the 12 animals used in the Chinese zodiac. Cord handled the duties for the cowboys and had to put the charms in the correct order. As he tried to find the rooster, he asked for help from locals by clucking like a chicken.
The next clue directed teams to get on a marked bus that would take them to Old Town Li Jiang, where they found a monument with signs of the Chinese zodiac. Teams had to write a wish on a piece of paper, then slip the paper in the slot near the zodiac sign that correlates with their birth years.
“Cord wished for world happiness,” Jet said.
That’s where they learned of the detour, where teams could either hammer pulverize hot, molten candy or make their way to a certain part of Li Jiang carrying a horn and leading a long processional. The cowboys hammered the candy, then learned they needed to make their way to the Eternal Tower on the top of Lion Hill for the fourth leg’s “pit stop.”
Mother-son team of Margie and Luke Adams won the leg. Best friends Zev Glassenberg and Justin Kanew and Goth couple Kent Kaliber and Vyxsin Fiala were still running the fourth leg of the race when the hour-long program was continued. The friends struggled getting the charms together in order, while Kaliber and Fiala got lost in Japan early in the show and didn’t make it to the Tokyo airport in time to make the mandatory flight.
Fans of the reality series will have to wait until next week to see which team comes in last and whether that team is eliminated from the competition. The same scenario happened on the Feb. 20 season premiere, with the McCoys finishing well behind the field. But it was a non-elimination leg of the race, which kept the cowboys in the running.