"Desert Storm"
Version United States
Season Season 1
Episode Number 5/13 (005)
First Broadcast October 10, 2001
Viewership (in millions) 8.30[1]
Ratings/Share (18-49) 3.7/9
CBS Summary Link (archived)
Episode Chronology
Previous "Colossal Showdown"
Next "Whatever It Takes to Win"

Desert Storm is the fifth episode of The Amazing Race 1.


At Amphitheater of Thysdrus, in Tunis, Tunisia, Joe & Bill are the first to depart at 4:02 am. Opening their clue, they find a picture of the Globe monument in Tataouine. Outside of the coliseum, Joe & Bill hail a cab, asking the driver if he knows where Tatouine and the Globe monument are. The driver replies that he knows where it is, and Team Guido sets out. At 4:31, Kevin & Drew are the second to depart. Kevin notes that Tataouine's name is similar to Tatooine from Star Wars. At 4:36, Nancy & Emily are the third to depart.

In their taxi, Joe notes how resourceful the fraternity brothers are and that they love Nancy & Emily, but they're not very fast.

Nancy trips outside of the amphitheater, prompting Emily to ask if she's okay. After, Nancy asks where they are going. Emily replies they are going to Tataouine. The two hop in a cab for Tataouine's Globe monument.

Nancy: Emily and I are opposite. I mean, we are opposite-.
Emily: Completely
Nancy:-characters and I think we're doing great.
Nancy & Emily

Nancy & Emily have a minor scrape with their driver after the cab is physically moved back on them. Nancy attempts to find another cab driver, but Emily convinces her to get back in the cab. Nancy says they're making fun of them, while Emily says they can go screw themselves.

At 4:49 am, Paul & Amie depart fourth, due to production difficulties in the previous leg bumping them from fifth to fourth. After reading the clue and butchering Tataouine's pronunciation, Paul decides they should ask somebody where the Globe monument is. Ultimately, they get into a taxi to head to the monument.

It's nervous when you get up, and you're not quite sure where your journey's gonna take you next. So the stomach is a little upset, trying to hold food down, you know trying to get your nerves calm, figure out what to do next.Amie

At 5:03 am, Frank & Margarita are the fifth to depart.

Frank: We've been separated almost eleven months now. We had the dreaded relationship talk last night.
Margarita: I'm the one who always starts wanting to talk about relationship stuff. Frank feels like-.
Frank: I'm thinking strategy.
Margarita: Well he's thinking race. Here we are in the race and so that's kinda frustrating at times 'cause I want to sit and talk about relationship stuff, but right now, we don't know what's gonna happen in the long run.
Frank & Margarita

Frank & Margarita get a taxi cab and head for the monument in Tataouine.

At 5:22 am, Rob & Brennan are the sixth to depart. The two race out from the amphitheater to a cab.

We headed out in sixth place, which of course at this point is second-to-last and Lenny & Karyn were behind us, but we're a little nervous that there's not going to be any plane flights or train rides or anything where there's an equalizing spot, like there has been in the other legs, when we've been ahead, they've managed to catch up to us. We'll find out what happens when we get to Tataouine.Brennan

At 5:43 am, Lenny & Karyn are the last to depart. Lenny & Karyn are able to get a cab and head toward Tataouine.

I don't make any apologies for the person I am. I'm bossy, I like things done a certain way, preferably my way.Karyn
Lenny: When we first starting dating, her mom and I will say this verbatim-.
Karyn: Make sure you say it right.
Lenny: She said, "You have a lot of work in front of you. It's not going to be easy." It's not going to be easy.
Lenny & Karyn

In their taxi cab, Amie is excited because she believes that they will win the million. Paul hopes to get married after they win the money.

She wants a specific wedding. She wants it by the sunset and the beach and hopefully to be able to afford the wedding that she wants and hopefully, you know, have a great wedding be able to invite everybody and really-, but that all comes back to the million dollars. Nothing better than winning that $1 million for me.Paul

Joe & Bill are the first team to find the Globe monument. Kevin & Drew pull up in their taxi cab shortly after, spotting Team Guido at the monument. Joe & Bill see Kevin & Drew and get in one of the trucks, where they can hire a driver for DT50 or drive themselves, they containing their next clue. Joe & Bill opt to drive themselves. Kevin & Drew enter one of the trucks, and open their next clue, a Detour. Their choices are Listening or Puzzling. In Listening, teams must drive themselves to Ksar Hadada and use a provided walkie-talkie to locate its partner unit located somewhere in the labyrinth of stone caves to find their next clue. In Puzzling, teams have to find their way to Ksar Ouled Soltane. There, they will need to solve a ancient die game to receive their next clue. Kevin & Drew decide to hire a drive, not knowing where they are going. Kevin & Drew decide to perform the Listening task.

Nancy & Emily arrive at the Globe monument, with Paul & Amie arriving shorting before them. Both teams take one of the trucks, and open their clue. They consult the map inside the envelope to find where the Detour tasks are located.

We had a Detour to do a puzzle or do a listening task.Amie

Amie says to Paul she's thinking that they should do Listening.

In their cab, Frank & Margarita see Nancy & Emily and Paul & Amie as they arrive at the Globe monument. Nancy & Emily decide to hire a driver, while Paul & Amie decide to drive themselves. Both teams agree to do Listening, since neither can find the Puzzling location on their maps. Nancy & Emily head out, with Paul & Amie tailing them.

Frank & Margarita enter their truck, with Frank behind the wheel. He asks for directions from Margarita, who is trying to read the map. Frank states that they're already lost.

Joe & Bill navigate themselves to Ksar Hadada to do the Listening task.

Kevin & Drew arrive at Ksar Hadada, grabbing a walkie-takie at the entrance. Drew begins speaking into the walkie-talkie to find its partner.

Drew is a cop, so he thinks he's an expert with walkie-talkies, so we figured we'd get done with it really quick.Kevin

Drew speaks into the walkie-talkie as Kevin listens for its partner as the fraternity brother walk around the ruins.

We showed up at Ksar Hadada. Apparently we were the first ones there and we were opening each door, trying to find the other walkie-talkie by talking into the one we had.Drew

After searching one of the buildings, Kevin thinks he hears the other walkie-talkie and ask Drew to stay where he is and continue speaking into it, so her can find it.

Kevin thought he heard the other walkie-talkie as I was blowing into it, so he ran ahead, I kept blowing into it.Drew

Kevin spots the other walkie-talkie, then shouting for Drew to get over to him.

And then I heard the interference, and being used to using walkie-talkies, I know when they're very close to one another, you gt that inference, that squelching.Drew

They grab the clue out of the nearby pot. They leave the ruins, and hear Joe & Bill arrive. They head for the opposite direction, and climb on top of the ruins.

We heard Bert and Ernie yapping it up outside the gate.Kevin
We climbed over the rooftops to make them think to make them think the walkie-talkie might be somewhere on some rooftop.Drew

Kevin & Drew climb down from the rooftops, dashing for their car as Team Guido figure out how to turn on their walkie-talkie. Joe & Bill begin searching the ruins to find the other walkie-talkie, climbing the roofs after seeing Kevin & Drew on them. Figuring out they were unlikely to be on the rooftop, Joe & Bill climb down, continuing the search for the other walkie-talkie.

Rob & Brennan are still in their taxi cab on the way to the Globe Monument.

This is an amazingly difficult game to play. It's about taking the next task at hand and getting it done as best you can, like any competition. Just get it done.Rob

Lenny & Karyn have stopped at a gas station, as their cab driver needs gas. They prompt the attendant to hurry filling the car so they can continue. After they taxi is filled up, they continue toward the Globe Monument, asking their driver to go faster.

When it's time to prepare for the next leg of the race, you're so focused on the problems that you have between the two of you as a team that sometimes it's difficult to concentrate on what's ahead, and to be honest, he's [Lenny's] dozing most of the time.Karyn

Joe & Bill continue searching for the walkie-talkie. Eventually, Joe find it as he's speaking into the one he has. He takes the clue from the pot, and reunites with Bill. He hands the walkie-talkie over to Bill and proceeds to open the clue. The clue reveals that teams will need to navigate themselves to a route marker to Gremsa, in the Sahara Desert, which will then point them to Ksar Ghilane. There are yellow-painted rocks along the correct route to the route marker.

Kevin & Drew continue driving, worried they are lost as they nave not seen any yellow rocks.

Nancy & Emily and Paul & Amie are still caravanning to Ksar Hadada. Nancy & Emily stop at an intersection, unsure if their driver should go straight or turn left. Emily exits the car to talk to Paul & Amie on which way they should go. Amie, who is just getting over some car sickness, pulls out the map. They decide the direction toward Ksar Hadada, looking for a yellow flag marker on the way. Emily informs her mother of Amie's car sickness. Nancy says a little prayer for Amie to get better.

Phil recaps were the teams are. Kevin & Drew are in the lead, with Joe & Bill close behind. Emily & Nancy, Paul & Amie, and Frank & Margarita are in the middle of the pack. Rob & Brennan and Lenny & Karyn are currently in the back.

Rob & Brennan arrive at the Globe Monument, noticing there are only two trucks left. Lenny & Karyn pull up right behind them. Rob & Brennan see Lenny & Karyn. They hire a driver so they can talk in the back. Lenny & Karyn hire a driver. Both teams decide to head toward Ksar Hadada for the Listening Detour.

At Ksar Hadada, Nancy & Emily and Paul & Amie spot the yellow flag. Nancy & Emily are first to take a walki-talkie and begin searching for its partner. Paul & Amie follow, grabbing a walkie-talkie and begin searching. Frank & Margarita arrive, talking a walkie-talkie and begin searching.

On their way to Gremsa, Kevin & Drew buckle up for safety over the bumpy roads.

Back at Ksar Hadada, Emily find the walkie-talkie's partner, shouting she's found it. Nancy runs over to her ecstatic Emily found the clue. Paul & Amie continue searching for the walkie-talkie's partner, having not luck. Emily & Nancy return to their truck and head toward Ksar Ghilane. Paul finds the walkie-talkie, yelling to Amie to come to him. They hop into their truck and begin driving. Amie consults the map to find where Ksar Ghilane is.

We were so adamant about getting out there and hurrying up that we just started driving.Amie

Frank find the walkie-talkie, shouting for Margarita to meet with him. The two open the clue and run to their car. As they exit, Lenny & Karyn arrive. Lenny & Karyn begin to search for their walkie-talkie's partner. Karyn tells Lenny they have to use the walkie-talkie. He attempts to give it to her, but Karyn states Lenny should use it.

As they are driving to Gremsa, Joe & Bill say they are fine being in second. They also wonder what happened to Rob & Brennan.

Rob & Brennan are the last to find Ksar Hadada. They quickly grab a walkie-talkie and begin searching. Lenny & Karyn are still searching for their walkie-talkie's pair. Karyn finds the walkie-talkie, shouting for Lenny to come find her. The dating couple quickly leave to their truck, as Rob & Brennan continue searching.

Nancy & Emily have a brief spat over the information, as Emily wants to see it, thinking her mother has it, but her mother wants to find the information herself, as Nancy is looking for yellow stones.

Kevin & Drew stop at a cafe, thinking it has their next route marker. Drew looks into the cafe, finding nothing. The fraternity brothers continue on, trying to find the next route marker.

Margarita shows Frank, who is not really listening to her, what roads they need to go on to get to Gremsa.

In this race, it;s not about one person, it's about two people cooperating together in every aspect.Frank
It's really clear to me that we've been learning to appreciate each other and learning how to be teammates instead of, you know, rivals, 'cause it really easy to become rivals in a relationship.Margarita

In their truck, Bill worries about Joe going too fast, as the truck is their only means of transportation. Joe tells him that he'll go as fast as he wants. Bill retorts that he thinks Joe isn't being safe on the unpaved roads in the desert.

Brennan finally finds their walkie-talkie.

Well we ended coming up like forty minutes behind everyone else. We were the last team in, and it took us way too long to do. We were running around like a couple of idiots. We got out of there in seventh place.Brennan

Rob & Brennan head back to their truck, telling their driver to head toward Gremsa.

Kevin & Drew find the yellow route marker. They exit the truck, and spot another marker. They realize they have to get the truck and run back.

After seeing a yellow rock, they have their drive turn around. Meanwhile, Frank has Margarita point out the compass, so they know they are going north. Lenny & Karyn and Frank & Margarita pass each other. Karyn wonders what Frank & Margarita are doing.

There was a long period of time where we had no idea whether we were going the right direction or not and it's a little bit scary.Brennan

Rob & Brennan come across the same cafe Kevin & Drew found earlier. Similarly to the fraternity brother, the attorneys find no route marker there either. They continue on driving.

Paul has Amie, who is still car sick, to hold the compass so Paul knows they are going north.

Nancy & Emily are anxious, thinking they are lost, as they haven't seen a yellow rock in miles. Nancy notes they see a car in front of them.

Joe & Bill notice that Nancy & Emily are following them.

Kevin & Drew's driver follows the yellow markers out into the desert. Kevin notices the final yellow marker has their clue, telling the driver to stop. The fraternity brothers exit the vehicle, and grab the next clue, finding it's a Roadblock. For the Roadblock, one team member must walk alongside and guide a camel, following a set of coordinates, continue using the compass and locate a designated point where their next clue waits. The non-participating member would ride on the camel throughout the Roadblock. Teams may hire a camel handler for DT50. Kevin decides to perform the Roadblock. Kevin gets on top of the camel. The two head out. Kevin notices the flag, but has trouble controlling the camel.

In the desert, Karyn as their driver stop and turn left. Lenny notices that they never saw Frank & Margarita after they passed them earlier. Lenny has the driver go back to where they just came, upsetting Karyn.

My concern is that we stay in a positive frame of mind, communicate, and if something goes wrong, we can probably make it work out. She [Karyn] doesn't see it that way.Lenny

Frank & Margarita happen to come across a small structure. They ask the man nearby where Ksar Ghilane. He gives Margarita, in French, directions to where it is. He informs the two they are south of where they need to be.

Paul notices the people living out in the desert, thinking they're crazy. The pull over to ask for directions from a local to at least point them in the direction they need to go.

At the Roadblock, Drew says how he gets screwed with the Roadblocks. Kevin wonders how he'll get down from the camel. The fraternity brother reach the flag opening their next clue. Teams are instructed to follow the compass 270° until they find the flag flying across the oasis campground, which is their next Pit Stop.

Rob & Brennan still have trouble finding Ksar Ghilane.

We knew we were in last place, and we knew we were in trouble, but finally we just said, look the compass is in the car for some reason. Let's take a look at this. We know generally the direction we have to go. At this point, we're either going to make up time, or we're out, so we just gotta go.Rob

Paul & Amie have a fight over where they are going, as Amie thinks the map and the compass are useless, as they've been driving in circles.

Joe & Bill find the yellow marker. They exit the truck and begin walking on the marked path.

On the way to the Pit Stop, Drew complains about sand being in his eyes.

In their truck, Paul asks Amie if she's looking for a yellow route marker, saying he keeps seeing her head down in the rear-view mirror. Amie defends herself saying that she's holding her barf bag in her hand if she needs to vomit again.

Kevin & Drew finally find the oasis. They step onto the map, informed they are team number one. They congratulate themselves for winning their second leg.

Frank spots another yellow rock, excited they are on the right track. With three hours driving, Margarita hopes someone screwed up worse than them today.

Joe & Bill find the camel outpost. Joe decides to perform the Roadblock.

Nancy & Emily ride to the outpost, thanking their driver for his time. Emily decides to perform the Roadblock for her team.

Lenny & Karyn are still trying to find the next route marker.

Paul stops the truck, and decides to look at the maps so he knows where they are.

Joe & Bill find the flag, and head toward the Pit Stop. Nancy & Emily arrive shortly after Team Guido left, opening their clue. Nancy is worried she has to continue walking out in the desert.

Rob & Brennan find the camel outpost, opening their next clue. Rob decides to perform the Roadblock. The two head for the flag.

Paul is still driving, and is getting sick himself of hearing Amie's continuous vomiting.

Joe & Bill arrive at the Pit Stop, placing second. Nancy & Emily arrive moments later, placing third. Kevin & Drew congratulate on Nancy & Emily's third place.

Lenny & Karyn find the route marker. Frank & Margarita are following close behind them. Karyn decides to ride the camel. Margarita gets the next clue. She decides to perform the Roadblock. Both teams head out toward the flag.

Rob & Brennan arrive at the Pit Stop, placing fourth.

After opening the next clue, Lenny & Karyn head out. Margarita thinks there's only one clue left at the site of the flag, but Frank informs her there is actually two left. Frank & Margarita head out. Both teams eventually find the oasis at the same time. Frank & Margarita get ahead of Lenny & Karyn, allowing them to check-in in fifth place. Lenny & Karyn check-in in sixth place. Karyn proceeds to give Margarita a hand shake telling Margarita she did a good job on the camel ride.

Paul & Amie are still lost and driving in the desert.

The other teams at the Pit Stop wonder where Paul & Amie are. Nancy says that Paul's likely the one freaking out, while Rob rebuts that Amie is more likely to do so, calling Amie "loud".

As Paul & Amie are driving, Amie begins to cry, thinking that Paul is quitting on her. Paul says that she's been nothing but sick all day, and her health is more important that the race. Amie eventually sees a bunch of trucks, prompting Paul to turn to where the trucks are. It is revealed they are driving toward the Pit Stop. Emily cheers that they arrived. Drew asks if Paul & Amie are okay. Paul replies they're fine and asks the others if they're last. The teams break the bad news to Paul & Amie they are the last team. Paul & Amie walk with Phil over to the Pit Stop.

It's unfortunate. Every time we hear that there's a team in last place, like when Paul and Amie were lost in the desert, everybody was bummed, you know? Nobody wanted them to lose and it's tough, but it still is a game and unfortunately, someone's got to lose.Rob

Phil informs Paul & Amie are the last team to arrive, and they've been eliminated from the race. Paul, despite his frustrations, said it was fun. Amie says the fun part was traveling and it sucks they won't be doing so anymore.

She really feels that it's fault that we're eliminated and we're out of the race now, because he was sick. We're a team. It's a team effort and it's not her fault. It's...we both lost. It's not your fault, baby. Don't worry about it, we'll prevail in something else.Paul

Route Markers

The order of departure from the Amphitheater of Thysdrus are as follows:

  1. Joe & Bill (4:02 am)
  2. Kevin & Drew (4:31 am)
  3. Nancy & Emily (4:36 am)
  4. Paul & Amie (4:49 am)
  5. Frank & Margarita (5:03 am)
  6. Rob & Brennan (5:22 am)
  7. Lenny & Karyn (5:43 am)

Though checked in at 5th place, Paul & Amie were given a time credit due to production difficulties, allowing them to depart 4th.

Teams are given a photograph of a large globe. They have to realize the said photo is their next destination: The Globe Monument located in Tataouine, at least 270 miles away. Once there, they will have to pick one flagged car that they will ride on for the rest of the leg (their next clue is hanging on the cars' rear view mirror). They may drive themselves to their next destination or pay $50 for a driver. If they choose to hire a driver, teams may not ask him for directions.

Choice A: Listening
Teams must proceed to Ksar Hadada and use a provided walkie talkie to locate its partner unit located somewhere in the labyrinth of stone caves.

All of the teams chose this task.

Choice B: Puzzling
Teams have to find their way to Ksar Ouled Soltane. There, they need to solve a ancient die game.

None of the teams chose to this task.

To win the Fast Forward, the Fast Forward are to use a map that has an arrow pointing to a location to find a cave and take a picture of something inside. The Fast Forward is unused in this leg.

Teams must go to Gremsa, use a compass to find their next destination, a camel outpost in Ksar Ghilane. There, their next clue awaits.

Following a set of coordinates, one team member must walk alongside and guide a camel, continue using the compass and locate a designated point where their next clue waits. The non-participating member would ride on the camel throughout the Roadblock. Teams may hire a camel handler for $50.

The Roadblock performers are underlined:

Paul & Amie accidentally arrived at the Pit Stop while they were on their way to the Roadblock. But given they were already in last place, performing the Roadblock would be inconsequential.

Teams must use the compass one final time with a bearing sign of 270° to the next Pit Stop.


     First Place •      Eliminated     Last placer in Non-Elimination Leg     Saved from elimination by the Salvage Pass or The Save     Season winner •      Season 2nd place •      Season 3rd place • Used the Fast Forward

 1st place 
Kevin & Drew
Fraternity brothers
 2nd place 
Joe & Bill
Life partners
 3th place 
Nancy & Emily
 4th place 
Rob & Brennan
Best friends/lawyers
 5th place 
Frank & Margarita
Separated couple
 6th place 
Lenny & Karyn
Paul & Amie


  • Tataouine is the inspiration of Tatooine, a fictional planet in the Star Wars film series.[2] The Ksar Hadada, the location of the Listening Detour option used to be a Star Wars movie set.
  • This episode marks the first instance where a team bypasses the remaining tasks for being so behind. Paul & Amie finds the Pit Stop entirely by accident en route to the Roadblock when all other teams have already checked in. To not prolong their burden, Phil eliminates them right there because performing the Roadblock or receiving the 4-hour customary time penalty for not doing it is already inconsequential.


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