Yes, the cowboys on “The Amazing Race” are back in the saddle again.
In the eighth episode of the CBS-TV reality show, Jet and Cord McCoy became the first team in the 16-season history of the series to go from being penalized with a special challenge for being last to finishing first in back-to-back legs. It also marked the third time in eight tries the professional cowboys from Tupelo, Okla., finished first in an episode.
“The only time we’ve ever failed is when we quit,” Jet said early in the one-hour show.
Said Cord, “We’ve had plenty of opportunity to give up, but that’s not part of our character.”
The teams left Sheychelles off the eastern coast of Africa for the city of Penang, Malaysia, where they ran the eighth leg of the race.
Each of the remaining six teams on the show took the same 21-hour flight to the Asian country, where the first detour was for teams to choose between “Buddhist Tradition” or “Chinese Custom.”
While most teams took decorative posts up a Buddhist temple, the brothers opted for balancing giant flagpoles on their foreheads and walking a distance with the items still attached.
“Once you get it figured out and get it leaning the right way, you can just trot with it,” Cord explained on the show. Once he completed his portion of the detour, Cord then coached his older brother through the process. “Play the wind, Jet.”
In quick order, the cowboys completed their detours, then proceeded to the next step in the leg.
“This gives you that inkling of hope that we can finish this in some place other than last,” Jet said.
The next step for the McCoys, though, was a speed bump, an extra task only the cowboys had to compete as a penalty for finishing last on the seventh episode.
The brothers – who were aided with animal and rural tasks in the legs they won – were dispatched to a spice garden, where they had to sniff a pot of crushed spice, then determine the pot of tea that contained that spice.
They then took the tea to a guru sitting in a swing for his approval. It took the McCoys two trips, but they made it through in quick fashion.
“From here on out, we’re doing the same tasks as everyone else,” Jet told Cord. “If we can just stay solid, we’ll even this thing up.”
They were in first place when they reached the road block, where Jet began smashing coconuts to find one with bright colors inside. Then he had to put together a decoration, wrapping together the two pieces of Hindu rituals.
“There ain’t anybody on this Pangang island that could break coconuts faster than Jet,” Cord said.
The McCoys then took that momentum to the finish line. For reaching it ahead of the other teams, the brothers earned a trip for two to Maui.
The father-daughter tandem of Steve and Allie Smith were the last to reach the pit stop and were eliminated. In a polar opposite of the McCoys’ finish, the Smiths finished first in the seventh leg of the race, only to finish sixth on Sunday night.
But five teams remain, and the cowboys continue to fight for the $1 million first-place prize.
“Quittin’s not for me,” said Cord, who also placed first at a Professional Bull Riders Touring Pro event in Stephenville, Texas, on Friday night.