Big Brother 13′s resident metalhead and reality show addict Adam Poch is recapping The Amazing Race for Metal Insider – specifically Team Headbangers, consisting of former White Lion/Megadeth/Black Label Society bassist James LoMenzo and entertainment lawyer Mark “Abba” Abbattista. You can follow Adam on Twitter at @heavymetalteddy.
Welcome to the latest edition of the Amazing Race 21 recap – focusing on TEAM HEADBANGERS – James LoMenzo & Mark ‘Abba’ Abbattista. I will be recapping the last 2 weeks – sorry I missed it last week, a little storm hit the east coast – you may have heard about it.
After the 4th leg – James & Abba were in first place and looking to continue the success they have been having. They were staying in Bangladesh for this leg – and before starting James received word from home that his father’s cancer was now at Stage 4. (personal note – I have read online there were people wondering why they were continuing to run – this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and if they win, James can help take care of his family, there was nothing he could do, and this was probably very therapeutic for him to continue).
With about a 2 hour lead on the other teams, Team Headbangers received their first clue and had to make their way to a specific taxi stand – grab a taxi – and go to Jatrabari Market. Once there – they had to find a specific vendor – who would give them their next clue. This clue would tell then how to get to their Roadblock challenge for this leg. Speaking of legs – if you remember week 4, Abba hurt his knee when falling into the sewer – so James would do this Roadblock. The challenge was to build a scale – and balance it with wood & rocks. There was a sample scale for them to replicate. James was getting frustrated because he could not find one part of the scale that was crucial to keeping it together. He eventually found it – and made a joke to the locals that they were hiding it from him.
Once he finished – they got their next clue for the detour challenge and had to choose from Straw Dogs or Bamboo Jungle. In Straw Dogs they would have to beat a pile of straw so that it can be used to make a bag. In Bamboo Jungle – they would have to transport 40 pieces of bamboo of various sizes across town. The rockers decided to do Bamboo Jungle. This was kinda funny watching them try and carry the longer pieces – since they had to turn corners. James is probably used to having roadies do all the heavy lifting – but the good thing about these guys is their ability to communicate & work together. Before you knew it – they had their cart loaded and with help from some locals – pushed it through town to the destination – where they recieved a piece of bamboo with a picture of a house on it. That was their next clue – as they had to find that house and check in. The locals that were helping them through town directed them where to go – and once again, they were the first team to check in – winning their 2nd leg in a row. Last time was a trip to Antigua, this time it was a trip to Malaysia. TAR host Phil spoke to James about the decision to keep going despite getting the bad news from home. He got very emotional and explained that his family wanted him to continue.
Other teams were having the same issues that the rockers had – and at the end, the Beekman Boys (aka Goat Farmers) were the last team to check in. Luckily for them, this was a non-elimination challenge. On the next leg – the Beekman Boys would have to do an extra challenge called a Speed Bump before continuing.
This takes us to leg 6 of the 21st season of The Amazing Race. Once again, TEAM HEADBANGERS had about a 2 hour lead on the other teams, but this would be all but gone as the first clue they received was to travel to Istanbul Turkey. When they got to the travel agency, they learned that there was only one flight – and all of the teams would be on the same flight (I HATE THAT!!!). While in the travel agency – Abba accidentally left their money for this leg on a counter and the Twin sisters Natalie & Nadiya found it and pocketed it. (personal note2 – more outrage online as people thought they should give it back – morally I think they should – but this is a race for a million dollars, all’s fair in love and war!) Once Abba realized they lost the money – they had to go outside in Bangladesh – a very poor country to start with – and beg for money. Lucky for them, they found some generous people on the street who gave them the funds they would need to continue on in the race. How’s that for karma? They have been nothing but nice to every local they have encountered along the way. So now when they needed something – the locals gave back.Once all the teams arrived in Turkey, they had to go to a ferry station to look for their next clue. There were 2 ways teams could go – taxi or train. Since it was early in the morning, the taxi was the better option, and all the teams took the taxis except for the Chippendale guys & the Monster Truck couple. James & Abba got to the ferry station first – and found the clue that they had to take a boat across a river to the Asia side of Turkey (did you know that Turkey was half in Asia & half in Europe? me neither!). Once they got back to Asia – they got their next clue to travel by taxi to a market and look for a specific vendor to get their next clue. Once they found Shop # 14 (a spice shop) – they got their detour challenge and had to decide between Simit or Scrub It. Simit – they would have to stack up a tray of bagels on their head and transport it to 3 stores around town. Scrub It – they would have to go to a bath house and get scrubbed & rubbed down. I think this is an OBVIOUS choice – and the rockers decided to do Scrub It. Since all the teams were pretty bunched up at this point, they got to the bath house about the same time as three other teams and picked out the people who would first bath them, then massage them. This was no soothing rub down – they pretty much got smacked, slapped, and scrubbed for a while. Not the usual rock star pampering – but at least they were squeaky clean. Once they were done, it was time to get their next clue. Off to another market, where one of the team members would have to do a Roadblock task. Despite Abba’s knees still in a lot of pain, he decided to do this challenge. He had to dress up like a monkey with a fez hat & sell a drink in a market. They had to sell 40 drinks before getting their next clue. This was very funny to see Abba trying to make the sales – and eventually he sold all 40 drinks and they were able to get the clue on where the next check in point was.Sadly – they could not string 3 straight wins in a row – but still managed to come in 3rd place in this leg. Team Monster Truck ended up finishing last and were eliminated. At the halfway point, they have finished in 6th, 6th, 4th, 1st, 1st, and now 3rd. It’s good to see them still near the top. But moving into the 2nd half – lets see if Abba’s legs can hold up & will he be able to hold onto the money – I sure hope so!!!!!