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Kim and Penn Holderness, part of the Raleigh family known for “Christmas Jammies” and other viral videos, are competing on this season of CBS’s “The Amazing Race,” and The News & Observer is following their journey on the show each week.
After an impressive showing during last week’s Episode 2, which saw Kim and Penn finish the Scotland leg of the race in 1st place, the race was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
That episode and the previous week’s episodes were filmed in early 2020, just as COVID was beginning to spread around the world.
After an almost 20-month pause in the race — dubbed by CBS as “the longest pit stop in the show’s history” — filming resumed in fall 2021 in Switzerland. That’s where we see the race pick back up, with COVID safety protocols in place, in this week’s episode.
Due to the long pause in the race, some teams were unable to make it back for the remainder of the race. That means some teams that had previously been eliminated rejoined the race and were back in the running for the $1 million prize.
So, who’s still in the race? How did Kim and Penn do in their first week back to the race? And who was eliminated this week?
Here’s a recap of this week’s episode with answers to those questions and many more.
How did the Holderness team place this week?
With another impressive showing this week, Kim and Penn finished in 2nd place on this episode.
Which teams are competing after the race pause?
Because of the long pause in the game, some teams who were still in the race at the end of the Scotland leg were unable to rejoin the race.
▪ Caro and Ray, who were dating when the season started filming, did not rejoin the race. The pair originally met on the U.S. version of the reality show “Love Island,” but Caro confirmed in a July 2020 YouTube video that the couple had parted ways, effectively ending a possible return to the race.
▪ Connie and Sam Greiner, a married couple from Charlotte, also did not rejoin the race, as Connie was pregnant when the show started filming again this fall. The couple welcomed their new baby in December 2021, according to Sam’s Instagram.
▪ Childhood friends Anthony and Spencer, who were known for stopping a terrorist attack on a train en route to Paris, also did not return to the race. In a YouTube video with fellow competitors Lulu and Lala, the duo said the timing just wasn’t right for them to return.
Two teams that had previously been eliminated rejoined the race to fill out some of the empty spots left in the roster.
▪ Singing police officers Michael and Moe, along with father-daughter duo Arun and Natalia, met up with the other teams in Switzerland and prepared to race again.
What challenges did teams complete this week?
After 19 months away from the race, the teams met back up in Switzerland, where host Phil Keoghan told the group that the world was waiting for them — again.
The teams restarted the race by running to find their first clue on buses. The clue instructed them to go to a mountain in Switzerland and take chair lifts up 8,000 feet above sea level.
At the top of the mountain, teams found a clue for a roadblock challenge.
One member from each team suited up in safety gear, then started climbing around the mountain.
Since Kim took on the last roadblock challenge back in Scotland, Penn took on this roadblock for the Holderness duo. The duo said on their podcast last week that the team’s game plan was to alternate which person completed the roadblocks, since only one person from each team can complete those challenges.
After descending the mountain, the climbers found another clue box.
Penn found the clue, then kicked it into high gear, passing multiple teams on his way back up. He even had enough time to offer encouragement to Sheridan, who was “terrified” of heights and struggled during this challenge.
The clue told racers to travel by car to Gasthaus Sonne, an inn in Switzerland.
At the inn, teams found a clue for a detour challenge. The teams could choose between making traditional Swiss belts or learning and performing a flag tossing routine.
Kim and Penn, who arrived at the clue in 2nd place, chose the flag tossing challenge.
The duo made three attempts at the flag routine, falling behind Ryan and Dusty, who completed it on their first try. The Holdernesses left the detour in 2nd place.
At the belt-making detour, Arun and Natalia finished first, leaving the detour in 5th place. Michael and Moe made two attempts at the challenge, leaving in last place.
After the detour, teams raced to this leg’s pit stop at Altstatten, a small town in Switzerland.
Episode highlight from the Holderness duo
Kim and Penn have been open from the start of their “Amazing Race” journey that their kids are a huge reason behind their decision to enter the race.
At the beginning of this week’s episode, the duo reiterated that point, saying they wanted to come back to the race after the pause in filming to show their kids that they could finish what they started.
But that doesn’t mean it was easy.
Kim said the Holderness family “loved quarantine” because they got to spend so much time together, with Penn adding that they were already missing their kids at the restart of the race.
While struggling through the flag challenge, Kim mentioned in an interview that winning the race could pay for their kids’ college, again showing that the duo’s family was a key motivation throughout the race.
We thought these moments were heartwarming, and we’re glad they were included.
How did the other teams do this week?
▪ Ryan and Dusty, best friends who have been fierce competitors throughout the race, again had an impressive showing, finishing at Altstatten in 1st place.
▪ Flight attendants Raquel and Cayla, who said at the beginning of the episode that they lost their jobs during the pandemic, finished this week in 3rd place.
▪ Twin sisters and radio hosts Lulu and Lala finished this week in 4th place.
▪ Married educators Akbar and Sheridan struggled from the start this week, but made up for lost ground and finished 5th.
▪ Father and daughter Arun and Natalia, who were previously eliminated in Scotland but got a second chance when the race restarted, finished 6th.
Which team was eliminated this week?
Singing police officers Michael and Moe, who also rejoined the race this week after being eliminated, struggled at the belt-making detour and left in last place. They weren’t able to catch up, and were eliminated once again.
Looking forward to next week
The preview of next week’s episode shows that after making it to the pit stop in Switzerland, the teams travel and complete some challenges involving heights.
We’re down to six teams now, and the race is heating up.
Will Kim and Penn continue to do well? Who will be eliminated?
We’ll see you back here next week.
More about Kim & Penn Holderness
Most people recognize Kim and Penn from their online videos posted on “The Holderness Family” accounts — most notably “Christmas Jammies,” which went viral in 2013 and has more than 18 million views to-date.
Prior to making the switch to full-time content creation, Kim and Penn both worked in TV news. They have a combined 25 years of experience in the industry, including Penn’s six years as an evening anchor at WNCN/CBS 17 in Raleigh.
Following the success of “Jammies,” the Raleigh couple, along with their two children, now “chronicle their marriage and their family with funny music videos, vlogs, skits and a podcast.” The couple also released a book in March 2021.
Previous ‘Amazing Race’ recaps
Catch up on our previous coverage of Kim and Penn and their journey on “The Amazing Race” with these stories:
How to watch ‘The Amazing Race’
New episodes of “The Amazing Race” air Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on CBS.
You can also stream episodes after they air at cbs.com/shows/amazing_race.