In the fifth episode of The Amazing Race 17 and a somewhat simple leg of the race, team positions barely changed and beach volleyball partners Katie and Rachel both started and ended in last place.
Shown on last week, four teams were able to make an earlier flight from Ghana to Sweden, securing them the top spots. That advantage carried over to this stage since there wasn’t much travel involved, making it near impossible for the other teams to pick up any ground.
“If we had gotten on that first plane, we would have been positioned great” says Rachel. “This leg was a straightforward race.”
Starting in first place, Nat and Kat were able to use the season’s first Fast Forward, allowing them to do a special challenge and after completion could go straight to the pit-stop. The challenge had the doctors eating a cooked sheep’s head, a Norwegian Christmas tradition, which by finishing, won the stage before anyone else had even really started.
“I wish we could have eaten it,” says Rachel. “We would have done great with a food challenge!”
But Katie and Rachel, like the other teams, were forced to complete the roadblock challenge, where one teammate repealed down to the water off a bridge to retrieve a clue and then hoist themselves back up. Katie stepped up to the plate as the adventurous one.
“I was trying to keep my cool and breathe,” says Katie. “Going down was fun but pulling myself back up was so hard. I still have scars from the rope burn.”
Although Katie completed the challenge without any hiccup, their starting position from the previous stage kept them trailing the other teams into the detour challenge. Teams had to choose between “Bike”- riding mountain bikes and memorizing a combination or “Boat”-navigating a boat and carrying fish uphill to an old man’s house. Katie and Rachel opted for “Boat” which was ultimately the slower but safer option.
“The clue made the bike challenge sound really complicated,” says Rachel. “We chose ‘boat’ because there seemed less room for error.”
Thinking Chad and Stephanie were behind them, the girls had a false sense of hope that they would be saved from elimination.
“We ran up to the pit-stop smiling like idiots,” says Rachel. “We didn’t think we were last.”
Although Katie and Rachel raced this leg without fault, they were simply were too far behind. They were the last team to check in and therefore eliminated.
“We knew it was a possibility and we just hoped someone else had fallen behind, “ says Katie. “But we had watched the show a lot and knew anything can happen and the game can change in a second.”