This week on The Amazing Race, we have one of, if not the, least suspenseful episodes in the history of the show. Awesome!
Could one of you do me a favor by at least getting a concussion or something to spice this thing up? …? Bueller? Bitches.
The Hot Docs are off first, and learn that they have to fly to South Korea and then drive north to the demilitarized zone. Anyone else hoping that Nick the Dick accidentally wanders over the border? Or better yet, Vicki shoves his ass over it? The Hot Docs and Jill/Notre Douche head off for the airport while HSN chats up a travel agent at a hotel and worries me with lots of big talk about making it to the final three and winning the whole thing. Extreme confidence sometimes equals elimination on these shows, and I’m praying that’s not the case here.
At the airport, the Hot Docs and Jill/ND learn that the first flight isn’t departing for 8 hours after the Hot Docs started the leg. From my estimate from the last episode, I think this flight will be impossible for Team Tats to catch, for they were at least a couple hours of behind the Hot Docs, and then have that 6 hour penalty from Dick’s nap/temper tantrum. If they do wind up missing it, I will be really annoyed, since it will guarantee their elimination within the first 10 minutes of the episode. Talk about unsuspenseful, so hopefully I’m wrong. As Team Tats tries to race to the airport that evening, Dick tells us that he treated Vicki like scum and promised that he’ll never blow up at her like that again. Umm, isn’t that exactly what this asshole said the first time he was saved from elimination? Not falling for that one again.
Team HSN is now at the airport after a relaxing cup of tea at the hotel and insisting they don’t dress like a walking Pepto Bismol ad in real life, and they’re boarding the plane with Hot Docs and Jill/ND as Team Tats is still driving to the airport. Will they make it? Annnnd no! They do not! In fact, their plane departs NINE hours later! Goddammit. And Team Tats is clearly going home within the first 10 minutes of the episode. If you guys want to stop reading this recap right here, I totally understand.
In South Korea, the teams sprint out of the airport and jump in cars to drive close to the border. Everyone’s a bit nervous, what with the political ramifications and potential danger. Well, everyone that is but Jill, who has no idea what the big deal is.
“Wait, what’s the problem with the Koreans? But they do nails so well…”
As Team Tats’ flight takes off, the leading teams find their cluebox on a bridge near the border. It informs them that they have to take a whitewater rafting trip down the nearby river, then hop in some Humvees and travel to a nearby US Army base to get their next clue. I’ve gone skydiving and done some other “extreme” things, but I’ve never gone whitewater rafting so this idea is completely awesome to me. It, however, does not make awesome TV, as we’re forced to sit and watch the three teams shriek, gasp, and make dated “40 Year Old Virgin” references (seriously, stuff a hoagie in it, Claire) for the next 5-10 minutes. No one falls out of the raft or even struggles thanks to the four guides in each boat, so this is pointless for us viewers. Yeesh.
At the base, the teams find the next Road Block, which requires one team member to select a headband and then search through a large group of US soldiers to find the one dude wearing the matching headband. The catch is that the soldiers are all practicing Tae Kwon Do, and therefore aggressively punching and kicking in unison. Therefore, the team member has to weave through the crowd of soldiers without getting hit. Notre Douche, Brook and Kat all decide to take it. Man would I have loved to see Claire take this one. With her luck, you KNOW she’d have a black eye by the end of it. Even though I’m sure these dudes are instructed to not ACTUALLY punch one of the contestants in the face, if anyone could manage to make that happen, it’s Claire.
ND finds his very quickly and learns that the teams now need to go to a World Cup Stadium via subway for their next clue. Brook isn’t as observant — too busy yakking it up with the soldiers, whose reactions vary from amusement to annoyance — and gives her headband to the wrong dude. She therefore has to go select a new headband and start over. During this she makes a “they all look the same!” comment and earns the ugly American sound effect, which makes no sense because these soldiers are American, not Asian.
Racism Implication FAIL.
Brook gets her right dude on her second try, and Kat on her first, but neither team is able to catch the same subway train as Jill/ND, giving that team a bit of a head start. Jill/ND arrive at the Stadium, and see that the clue is the Detour with the choice of Full Throttle or Full Bottle. In Full Throttle, the teams travel by foot or subway to an ice rink, where they have to change into speed skating suits (thank GOD Mad Chad is not here to subject us to that) and skate 24 laps, relay style. In Full Bottle, the teams travel by foot or subway to a shop where they must change into delivery outfits and then deliver 6 glass jars full of roots to a pharmacist. and drink some shit. We’re clearly continuing the theme of being super boring this episode! Well I’m a sucky ass skater, so this is an easy choice for me. Jill/ND pick Throttle after ND declares that they suck at delivering things (Jill confusedly parrots that back at him, and I must agree that I don’t really recall them being any worse at that than any other team). Shortly thereafter, Hot Docs and HSN arrive, the former picking Throttle and the latter picking Throttle as well — after Claire informs Brook that she does not know how to skate and Brook successfully using passive aggressiveness to bully Claire into doing it anyway. Ruh roh. This might not end well. And by that, I mean that it will likely end with Claire on her hands and knees, trying to gather ice shavings to make a snow cone rather than skating.
NOOO even worse — HSN GETS IN A GODDAMN CAB! Too busy squabbling over which Detour to complete, the girls completely ignore the clue’s explicit instructions to travel only by foot or subway. Meanwhile, Team Tats’ flight has finally landed, and we’re supposed to believe that they’re now back in it. No way in hell is that accurate, but still HSN’s stupidity here has me wailing at the TV. Ladies, READ!
As the Hot Docs just miss a subway, Jill/ND congratulate each on maintaining their lead. Or more accurately, Notre Douche congratulates himself by saying “All right, Tom!” As I reel from the arrogance of that statement, Jill doesn’t blink an eye and parrots back at him “All right, Tom!” Does Jill have ANY self-identity, or is she going to start trying to pee standing up and behaving like an elitist boar at the next Pit Stop? At least Vicki is aware that Dick is awful to her. Although which one’s worse — Jill’s embarrassing cluelessness or Vicki’s awareness yet acceptance of the situation?
“Aww, Tom, you’re so awesome!”
“Aww, Jill, I’m dumping your ass the second you gain 5 pounds!”
At the ice rink, HSN squeezes into its speed skating outfits, Claire easing the way with the stick of butter she keeps in her pocket for light snacking. Jill/ND are shocked to see HSN there first, and begin freaking out, not knowing that HSN has a penalty coming. In the back of the pack, Team Tats has found a friendly dude to lead them to the first cluebox on the bridge, and they clearly know that they have no chance as they jovially take bathroom breaks on the way and discuss the merits of various Korean gas station delicacies. If you’re going to lose, this is probably the best way — knowing it from the beginning, so you can just take your time and enjoy the last leg, instead of running around fruitlessly panicked.
The Hot Docs still have not shown up at the ice rink as Jill/ND and HSN get down to their last couple of laps. As they’re skating, each of the girls bites it a few times and they all look like foals with a new set of legs. It’s amusing at first, but like the whitewater rafting earlier, the visual gets old quickly. This Detour is just way too simple and not very dynamic. Other than the potential for falling, we’re basically watching the teams run laps. Turns out I hate watching that nearly as much as I hate doing that. Jill/ND finish with HSN having only one lap left, and they both see that the clue directs them to an airplane in a park.
Meanwhile, the Hot Docs have now finally arrived at the ice rink, and they begin making fast work of the Detour as Jill/ND and HSN arrive at the park. Claire’s cabbie hit on her the entire way, and she gives him a kiss on the cheek as she’s in the middle of chewing something (the aforementioned butter stick?), bringing the kiss count up to 9. Looks like those two slowed down in that whole Middle East portion of the race. Jill/ND snipe at each other when Jill tries to ask a local for directions and ND responds by snapping that she shouldn’t ask the old people. I’m pretty sure age will not matter when it comes to asking if someone can lead you to an airplane in a park. As ND finds someone more age appropriate and begins miming an airplane, HSN finds the airplane and sees that the next clue is the Pit Stop.
“Come on! Airplane! Why can’t you understand what I’m saying! This trick always works with Jill!”
Jill/Notre Douche find the airplane right after that, but it will be HSN at the mat first — with a 30 minute penalty. The music dramatically swells and we cut to commercial, but COME ON. Team Tats’ flight left NINE hours later than the flight HSN was on. It’s almost insulting how the producers are trying to find ways to convince us this is an interesting episode. They might as well mime it out, Notre Douche style.
As the Hot Docs finish the Detour, Jill/ND jump in a cab and have the poor luck of getting a driver who has no idea where the destination of the Pit Stop is. He gets on his phone and starts loudly talking to someone in Korean, prompting Jill/ND to get out of his cab and flag down another one. “Oh, good, this one’s young,” says Jill, demonstrating yet another absorption of the Notre Douche mantra — old Korean people bad. Young Korean people good. Cosmetology school bad. College good. Despite the cab shenanigans, they arrive before the 30 minute penalty elapses for HSN, and therefore Jill/ND check in as the first place team and win a trip for 2 to Argentina. Zzzz.
HSN is allowed to check in second after waiting out the penalty, and the Hot Docs check in as the third place team, hours and hours before Team Tats. We then go back to Team Tats, where we rapidly watch them complete some of the leg’s tasks, including a Speed Bump where they had to hose off a couple of tanks at the military base. Glad to see that those Speed Bumps didn’t get any more interesting than when we had to listen to Kevin bitch about his frozen ass. They tell us that they’ve both grown and changed, and Dick yet again pledges to treat Vicki better, but all I have to say is this: Run, girl, run!!!
So that’s it — our final three is Jill/ND, HSN and Hot Docs. Are you at all surprised to see Team Tats eliminated? How frustrating was it for you to have this episode determined in the first 10 minutes like that? Would you rather had Team Tats in the final three, and if so, in whose place? Who are you rooting for to win it all? I’m on Team HSN, but I’m completely okay with the Hot Docs taking the title. Girl power! See you next week for the finale!