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The Amazing Race

By Tiff Wells.

The Amazing Race. A 33,000-mile trek around the world for a $1-millon grand prize starts in Los Angeles at The Hollywood Bowl. One of the eleven teams for Season 32 is comprised of a pair of Punahou School alums, brothers Riley (’07) and Maddison (’09) McKibbin. The professional volleyball players on the AVP (Association of Volleyball Professionals), more commonly known as “The Beard Brothers,” are also easily spotted throughout this season by the yellow shirts they wear. We’ve gone to Trinidad & Tobago. We’ve gone to Colombia. We’ve gone to Brazil. We’ve gone to Paraguay. Now we’re headed to France. Eight teams remain.

Season 32 of The Amazing Race airs each Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. on KGMB. ***SPOILER ALERT – Tonight is a two-hour, two-episode showing.*** We here at ESPN Honolulu will follow their journey throughout the race with a Wednesday recap that looks back at the previous episode and previews what to expect for the upcoming episode.

Episode 5 (“You Don’t Strike Me as a Renaissance Man!”) into previews of episodes 6 and 7 – We left off with Riley and Maddison at the Plaza Italia in Paraguay, fourth out of eight teams. They’ve proven to be consistent (two third-place finishes, followed by two fourth-place finishes) so far throughout the race. But can they take that next step?

What’s also consistent? They work together. They have a plan in place as to whom will perform a certain task. They have yet to argue or get frustrated with one another. Shout out to mom and dad for raising two fine men! Teams are spending more time together and for those that are family members, it could be more time spent together than ever before.

Expect the unexpected, right? That happens here as upon landing in France, teams must drive themselves to the Domaine de Chantilly and perform the Roadblock. Riley lived in Europe for five years playing professional indoor volleyball and had a car with a stick shift the whole time. He is “basically fluent in stick shift at this point.” This helps as Riley easily drives out of the garage, into the lead. But for others, driving stick is not easy. And if that team struggling to get out of the garage while blocking the only exit out happens to be right in front of you, how long do you wait? What does the alliance do? It also helps to know which gear to start with, right?

Throughout the race, most teams have been able to step back for a second and take it all in. This is evident once again for The Brothers as they both say “incredible,” while jogging down the lane to find their next clue. They’ve also said that for tasks requiring attention to detail, Riley is the better of the two. While at the Musée Condé, he makes the matching of a character of a painting to one of the partygoers look easy, doing it on the first try. His secret? Find someone that stands out and oh yeah, a character that has facial hair. As teams make their way inside, they take it all in again. Especially Alana (holds a master’s degree in fine arts) who feels incredibly lucky to be here. But as much as you’d want to take it all in and look at all the paintings, remember it’s a race and this task needs to be completed quickly.

We know they are athletic, but how good are their cooking skills? France seems like an amazing country to visit, with amazing food. So, I can only imagine the smells when the boys walk into the restaurant, Le Vertugadin. Using the whisk comes natural to them. After all their dad is one of the general partners of The Cookie Corner. Dad must be proud watching his boys whip up enough cream to fill pies. If you listen closely, the brothers even give the store a shoutout! Even though they have never made cream, they just hope they are doing it right. Whisking can get tiresome and the brothers joke with the chef, asking to see how large his forearm is, even saying they’d charge $60 per pie due to how labor intensive this is. Here’s where it gets a little stressful.

Athleticism plays key here as they deliver the pies while having chefs hurl pies at them. Riley and Maddison keep the alliance together as they head towards the Married Parents (Hung and Chee) and tell them to be prepared for the pie throwing. Watch out, be careful. Those words seem to also be a theme of the show. Watch out for the other teams, be careful of whom to trust and ally yourselves with.

I wonder if the boys have any Punahou Carnival flashbacks as they enter the Musée des Arts Forains. Maddison showcases his carnival skills as he’s able to win three 19thcentury carnival games. Using beach volleyball as his analogy, he links tossing the ball into the hole like “serving to one speck of sand.” Anyone else notice when Maddison rolled the ball during the horse race, that the colors of the holes resembled where they went to both high school (Punahou: Buff and Blu) and college (USC: Cardinal and Gold)? Yes they are quite laid back during the show, but they are athletes. They are competitive and know they have a chance to win a leg of the race. Is there pressure on Maddison to successfully complete the carnival games quickly? 3 games done, Maddison heads to the shooting gallery for the next clue. No stuffed animal for hitting the target, just the clue on where to go. They are still in first, there’s a chance to win the leg!

There are jokes (Will and James want to play more carnival games; host Phil Keoghan says France is temporarily revoking Will and James’ licenses after their “driving in the airport parking garage), anxiety (Kaylynn and Haley, Michelle and Victoria have difficulties in finding the location of the carnival games, doubt (it’s difficult to be in the back because you don’t know where you are in the race and euphoria (Kaylynn and Haley find out they are still in the race, even after having to perform their speed bump before they could continue racing).

They’ve been in the top four this entire season. FINALLY, Riley and Maddison get to the pit stop (the fifth pit stop is the Pont des Arts) first. It means a lot. Not only does it prove they can do well in this race, but they also receive a trip for two to Vietnam (will they go together? How will they split this trip?). In the end, the Sisters team of Michelle and Victoria (who finished second last week) are the last team to arrive and are eliminated. They are very thankful for the race as it’s brought them closer together than ever before. Remember the episode title? One member from the team of former NFL stars (DeAngelo) said, “You Don’t Strike Me as a Renaissance Man!”

Episode 6 is titled “I’m Not Even Walking, I’m Falling.” In episode six, Riley and Maddison will make their way from Paris, France to Berlin, Germany. Are you scared of heights? Teams must walk face-first down the exterior of a building for nearly 200 feet. We’ve already teased that tonight is a two-episode night. In an elimination leg of the race, will the brothers make it out of France so we can see them in hour two? ***SPOILER ALERT – If you’ve been watching, you’ll have noticed that the brothers are the only male team with beards…so when then title of Episode seven is “Give Me a Beard Bump,” one can only figure out the brothers are still alive in the race.*** They’ll go from Berlin, Germany to Almaty, Kazakhstan. How does athleticism and rhythm translate when having to perfect a fight scene? And just how good are their decorating skills? They must decorate a yurt in this part of the race. Find out who says the quotes for these episodes TONIGHT at 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. For more of a video preview, click here:

To follow along via social media, visit @AmazingRaceCBS and @TheMcKibbinBros on Twitter or you can head to Instagram to visit @theamazingrace or @themckibbinbros. You can also subscribe to their YouTube page by searching for The McKibbin Brothers.  

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