First off I need to issue an apology for missing the Day 7 recap and being late on the Day 8 recap. Life threw an unexpected curve ball at me and I’m still scrambling to keep up. But enough about me, the show, or in this case the race, must go on. Here’s a quick recap of some of the major highlights of Day 7, leading into Day 8.
At the end of Day 7, a very hesitant Elizabeth finally met her birth father. He goes by the name Hap, short for Happy Hands. She was reluctant to meet him because she wasn’t sure how the meeting would go. She had heard stories of his early struggles in life. After a few awkward moments however, the two were quickly working those kinks out and getting to know each other. Heading away New City, New York and heading toward Chestertown, Maryland, the sisters have the longest leg of Day 8 at 3 hours and 56 minutes.
On Day 7 Demetrius continued his journey to find his father by meeting another cousin. Each step is bringing him closer to answers on the Heffner side of his line. We are still crossing our fingers that at some point, someone will have a picture of a link to his father. Buzzing out of Chicago, Team Blue heads towards Lafayette, Indiana, with an allotted time of 2 hours and 53 minutes. In the car we get to see Demetrius’ singing skills as he belts out the lyrics to “The heat is on.” Those of you who’ve never seen the movie Beverly Hills Cop, or were born before 1984, may not be as familiar with the song. I’ve included it below for your listening pleasure. Your welcome. And good luck getting that out of your head now. (Bonus points for anyone old enough or a big enough music lover to tell me which band Glenn Frey is a founding member of.)
Marcus was surprised to meet his big brother, and both he and Keith were given the opportunity to ride slingshots (a three wheeled car) through the canyons of St. George. These brothers appear to have been doing more vacationing than competing, and the other teams are taking notice. From slingshots, to wake boarding, to camping, Marcus and Keith are getting to experience a wide variety of things while on the race. Leaving the beauty that is southern Utah, the brothers head to Las Vegas, Nevada with a time of 2 hours and 20 minutes. I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that their driver, Marcus’ dad, was late picking them up, but it only appeared to by maybe a few minutes at best, and it didn’t seem to faze the brothers for very long.
While technically out of the race, the sisters were able to meet their aunt Pam (their Dad’s sister), whom they haven’t seen since they were too small to remember. It was an emotional reunion, and if you’re going to end your run in the competition, it was a good way to end.
Challenge: Don’t Lose Your Marbles
In this challenge the teams had to successfully guide 5 marbles down a track and into a bucket by placing pieces in the appropriate spots on the track to keep the ball rolling. Some of the teams started by trying to match the track and pieces first, while Team Blue just started rolling from the beginning. I’m not entirely sure which strategy worked better, but the results of Day 8, might be the best predictor of that. All in all, it not only reminded me, but also the contestants of the board game Mouse Trap.
Even with Marcus’ dad showing up late, and being teased about being on vacation, the brothers of Team Green come flying in to first place at 11 minutes over their allotted time. In Las Vegas, Marcus gets to meet his cousin Daniel on his father’s side, and low and behold, it is time for more fun and games. Not having drivers licenses wont keep these brothers off of the go-kart tracks, but lack of driving experience is definitely not working in Marcus’ favor, as he is lapped multiple times by his relative, and even his brother Keith.
After a very frustrating search, the sisters of Team Red eventually learned their relative lived in a suburb of their destination city. In what looks to be a very beautiful place, Elizabeth meets her grandfather Gerald on her mom’s side. We also learn about Elizabeth meeting her mom, Michelle for the first time right before coming on to the show. And as an added surprise, her mom just happens to show up and give a little mom love when the sisters need it the most.
After a series of bad directions and a frustrating challenge, Team Blue comes in last place and picks up their second strike. However their journey continues as Demetrius meets his second cousin Kyle on his dad’s side. We get to see another crucial link in Demetrius’ search for answers about his father, and together with their new cousin, Team Blue engages in some recreational painting, which leads to Demetrius gaining some new war paint for the evening call with Dan.