'Amazing Race' recap, Crazy challenges in Christchurch

You guys know Phil Keoghan is from Christchurch, New Zealand, right? Well, this week's episode takes place in his hometown, and no one is more excited about it than him.

The tasks are all Things People Do in New Zealand Because They're Outnumbered by Sheep. Phil's friends are handing out clues. His tweets are hilarious. Let's jump right in to this hour of Phil.

But first, business. Remember Father/Son racing to the Pit Stop last week, and Father cried out that he ruptured his Achilles? The most scenic, romantic island in Bali doesn't have a hospital to give him a sonogram, but when they stop in Tahiti he gets it examined. There's a tear in his tendon and muscle, so Father straps on a boot, grabs some crutches, and hobbles on as best he can.

Team J&J, owners of the second Express Pass, stick to their alliance and hand the Pass to Fa/Son at the airport, so they can race for another leg, hopefully.

Alliances of love and hate

While spending the night in an airport, Team Hockey and Team Singers get cozy on some cardboard-box beds. They don't talk about it too much, so let's just assume there's lots of mushy love talk going on.

Hockey, by the way, thinks J&J are the shadiest team, and they do a fine impression of John by smiling with lots of teeth.

J&J aren't too fond of Hockey, either, so they form an alliance with YouTube and the Roller Moms. The main objective of this alliance is to take out Hockey, so we'll see how that goes.

Chuck: airport strategist

Team Mullet has never been out of the country, unless you count Niagara Falls. Just like that, they've offended Canada.

Chuck's first big move is to work a counter agent, requesting the same flight as the other teams. Good work! 

His next move, in the Auckland airport, is to stand in a long line and ask people if they'll let him cut because he's on a race. They don't. Oh well, they wait in the long line. When they get to the front, they find out that it's not a ticket-buying line. Oops.

Chuck tries to recover. He's directed to buy tickets over an airport phone, which he does! He and Wynona congratulate themselves for skipping another line. Then they realize that there are no other teams in the airport and they've bought tickets for the last flight. Aw, Chuck. 

Phil's hometown! Phil's hometown!

"Ah, when I see the braided rivers of Christchurch, the wonder of green patchwork fields... #homesick."

The teams must drive to the Rakaia River gorge and pull a number off a sign to reserve a jetboat to drive them upriver. Jetboats are a Kiwi invention to deal with the shallow rivers. The wonderful thing is that the boats leave the following morning, so everyone gets to camp on the beach. 

Father has his boot wrapped in a plastic bag and he executes a deft hop/run over the river rocks. They pull the first number. Not too shabby for a team with only three legs.

As the day goes on, J&J, YouTube, Newlyweds, Fearless Friends, and the Roller Moms all arrive. The Singers and Hockey, in their Alliance of Love, have meandered the wrong way down a scenic highway so they arrive when it's nearly dark. Then the singers walk past the sign with numbers, almost letting their beloved Hockey playmates get ahead, but they catch their mistake just in time. Mullet rolls in late, but they made it!

New Zealand mud, part 1

One half of the Detour is to race a "modified vintage car" through a set of cones in a combined time under 83 seconds. Cars in New Zealand have steering wheels on the wrong side, and these vintage cars are stick shifts, so it's not easy for anyone.