Wade on Birmingham

Simply Amazing: Reversal of fortune


The “Back Pack” continued its alliance as contestants moved from the Far East to the Mideast in tonight’s installment of “The Amazing Race.” Team Birmingham — single moms Karlyn Harris and Lyn Turk — stuck it out with the Team Kentucky and the Cho bros.

Racers flew to Kuwait City to brave heights, heat, hauls and humps. Would an old twist create a new leaderboard?

amazing race

Hump start: Lyn, left, and Karlyn saddle up for the 21st century.

Highlights from the sixth leg of the series …

Route: Chennai, India, to Kuwait City.

That’s what airports are for: Despite a five-hour difference in start times between first-place Peter and Sarah and last-place David and Mary, all seven teams end up on the same connecting flight to Kuwait City.

On the way, the Cho brothers Erwin and Godwin hang back to visit the travel agent with Karlyn and Lyn. While there, both teams lend a hand to their old Kentucky homies, David and Mary, by arranging their flight. Looks like the Back Pack alliance hasn’t hurt (or necessarily helped) the teams.

Withering heights: At the Kuwait Towers, Team Kentucky takes advantage of the Fast Forward, the first of two this season. The pair goes for the shortcut (after the last-place Chos trick beauty queens Dustin and Kandice into skipping the task), driving to the desert to snag a clue next to a raging oil fire.

Meanwhile, the other six teams face a Roadblock, in which one member must climb outside the sphere at the top, grab a satchel of puzzle pieces, then take the elevator back to the bottom. That person then takes more puzzle pieces to put together into a destination written in Arabic. Despite some acrophobic apprehension from Erwin, he breezes through the tasks just like the other teams.

Oh, and the hyped “confrontation” between the Birminghamians and the blondies? After completing the puzzle, Karlyn and Lyn ask for help from two passersby. As Dustin and Kandice try to ask the same men, Karlyn and Lyn hustle them along, telling them not to help. No hair pulling, no scratching of eyes. Sigh. Dustin: “It’s tough when you have the sistahs being big pigs. … I’m gonna kick their ass.” Lyn: “That’s not fair. The blondes need to learn how to run their own race.”

They’d drive a mile for a camel: After hunting among shops for their next clue, the teams face a Detour, a choice between “manual” and “automatic.” Manual means filling and carrying ten 110-pound bags of camel feed, while automatic means strapping a voice-controlled robot jockey to a camel and racing them down a track.

Did we mention the robot camel jockeys even wear little checkered turbans? Sold!

Team Birmingham and the Chos pick automatic, but lose each other on the way there. The Chos head to the feed bags, while Karlyn and Lyn stick with the racetrack.

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Why so many jockeys are out of work; a day at the races.

Bag hags: The blondies screw up the feed bag task, letting bicker-sweet couple Rob and Kimberly jump ahead. They get back on track, while Erwin and Godwin close in.

Meanwhile, Karlyn and Lyn order their robot plus camel to hurry … and down the stretch they come! They later order the robocamel to destroy, DESTROY! The junkie models James and Tyler arrive later to race their camel, minus the megalomanic coda.

And in the best fakeout of the season, tripod team Peter and Sarah drive aimlessly looking for either Detour task. They spot a telltale arrow, but it turns out to be for the (already used) Fast Forward locale. Note to self: For next race, build prosthetic leg with GPS locator.

Pit check: Karlyn and Lyn finish fourth out of six teams remaining. Kentuckians David and Mary are first, after narrowly escaping elimination in the last leg.

And Peter and Sarah, who started this leg first, are last — arriving so late they’re spared the feed hauling task. “I’ve really gotten to see a lot of sides of Peter … and he’s not the person for me,” Sarah says. And like that, her handicap is gone.

“The Amazing Race” airs at 7 p.m. Sundays on CBS 42.

Next episode: More drama between Birmingham and the blondies. And then, Kandice krashes her kar. (Should’ve used the robot driver.)


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Pit stop: more “Amazing Race” coverage.

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