This week on The Amazing Race, the teams head off to Asia where they nearly trigger my sympathetic vomiting reflex during a Road Block and where Nick takes a firm lead in the worst-boyfriend side race.
“Hello Asian people! Aren’t you the cutest?! I once was told I looked like I was Asian when I was trying to sell this kimono during the World’s Treasures segment, and let me tell YOU, now that was a riot! I mean, me, Asian! I couldn’t look less Asian if I tried! I could wrap myself inside a fortune cookie and I STILL wouldn’t look Asian! <Brays> Everybody with me now– Y-M-C-A! Now — C-L-A-I-R-E!”
Jill and Notre Douche are off first, learning that they’re heading to Hong Kong. They tell us that they still haven’t seen any teams since the start of the last leg, so they have no idea who got eliminated and what effect their u-turn of Team HSN had. Umm, it’ll have the effect of Brook honking in your face, I’m sure. Jill/ND go to a travel agency and get tickets departing more than 12 hours later. It’s an equalizer flight, so we kill some airtime with Vicki telling us that Nick is significantly calmer now than he used to be (which is a really alarming thought, given how we’ve seen him lose his shit countless times on this race) and Nick telling us that he’s super lucky to have her. No shit. Vicki’s awesome. Whoa, are those TEARS coming out of his eyes? I would have thought that’d only happen when his tattoo artist tells him that he hasn’t come up with any bitchin’ new tribal designs since Nick’s last visit.
The Hot Docs merrily make their way to the airport, Nat blithely spouting stereotypes in front of her Asian teammate as she wonders out loud if she’ll be taller than everyone in Hong Kong. As for Team HSN, they’re gleefully looking forward to seeing Notre Douche at the airport and making him uncomfortable, as they’re the only team in the history of this show to survive a u-turn (thanks to it being a double u-turn). I suggest compiling a list of everyone more successful than him who didn’t go to COLLEGE and then making him read it aloud to Jill.
At the airport, Jill/ND and HSN run into each other almost immediately, and HSN does an admirable job of sticking with their mantra to “stay classy” when they calmly ask why they got u-turned instead of the Hot Docs — a team that has come in first place multiple times. Notre Douche tries to explain that he views HSN as a bigger threat, and throws out the inevitable “you should take it as a compliment!” Brook keeps her squawking hole shut, but nearly throws her jaw out of alignment with an aggressive bitchface. Both HSN girls sarcastically thank ND for the “compliment” and he laughingly protests that he doesn’t know why he’s taking all the heat when Jill was part of the decision, too. HSN doesn’t believe that for a second and insists that they know that ND is the mastermind behind the u-turn.
“Me??? What about her??? It could have been her ide– Yeah, who am I kidding, no cosmetologist is coming up with that bit of strategic brilliance. You got me, girls.”
Once in Hong Kong, the teams have to take a bus to a ferry, and then the ferry to an island to get their next clue. Jill/ND snag the first bus leaving the airport, which gives them a bit of a lead over the other three teams, which are all stuck on the same bus. However, HSN and Hot Docs manage to catch the same ferry as Jill/ND, putting those three teams as even once again. As For Team Tats, Nick demonstrates that newly-acquired calmness we heard so much about as he screams at Vicki when she has to slow to a walk at the ferry landing due to her asthma, causing them to miss the ferry that everyone else took and settle on a ferry departing 30 minutes later. He even makes the poor girl cry, and then responds by snapping at her, “Quit crying!” Seriously, THIS is his improved behavior? What would he have done a few months before? Bashed her head into a railing? Held her head underwater until she grew weak? Assaulted her with a tattoo needle, Dragon Tattoo style (ahhh maybe that explains that horrific ink all over that pretty girl…)?
On the island, the teams run around looking for the cluebox, Claire struggling and cursing eating those last dozen ho-hos during the Pit Stop. The clue directs them to get on another ferry and then find a restaurant. If I were them, I’d start pooping my pants. As I mentioned during that whole sheep’s head <GAG> fast forward, LoLo doesn’t do food challenges. I am a ridiculously picky eater, and I hate many things that most people consider normal. For example — all condiments and salad dressings. Especially ketchup. The smell of it makes me ill. One time when I was waiting tables at TGI Fridays, some ketchup splatted on my face and I CRIED. Like, had to give my tables to another server because I was hyperventilating in the break room. Seriously, I have issues. So my point is, clues like this on the race are absolutely terrifying to me. Uggggggh, food challenges!
On their jog back to the ferry, Claire continues to struggle and she and Brook snip at each other a bit more than normal about whether Claire is really trying her hardest or not. My favorite part is when Claire protests that she has to run at her own pace and Brook clearly says, “Heaven forbid you do it anybody’s elses!” HAHA. But what makes this team so endearing to me is that once they barely make it onto the ferry with Jill/ND and Hot Docs, they decide to suck it out hug it out and make peace. Love them.
“Unless you replace those stuffed rabbits at the race track with a cheeseburger or something, you ain’t gonna be seeing my CLAIIIIIIIIRE moving any faster.”
As Nick continues to act like a giant asshole/baby about being stuck on the second ferry, blaming Vicki, blaming bad luck and whining that he wishes they had never come on the race, the three leading teams get back on dry land, hail cabs, and arrive at the restaurant, where some karaoke is in full swing. Baaaad karaoke. I need to be way more drunk to listen to that shit. Anyway, it’s a Road Block, and the team member who takes it has to search through a gigantic sushi buffet to find 1 of only 5 pieces of super-realistic looking fake food. This stuff’s so realistic that you can’t really tell if it’s fake unless you poke it with your chopstick. The catch is that they have to eat any real food they touch. So great. Bring on binging and purging! (No. Please don’t. Oh god.)
Nat and Notre Douche elect to take the Road Block for their teams, seeming to understand what they’re getting themselves in to. And then there’s poor, poor Claire, who thinks the challenge is a karaoke contest and excitedly volunteers — only to realize that it’s a food challenge when she’s a super picky eater just like me! HAHA oh man, you gotta appreciate the irony that the girl whom I’ve been mocking all season for wanting to eat everything in sight turns out to be a kindred picky eater soul mate, stuck with a food challenge. Still despite some wry comments, she resolutely begins the task. We’re reminded that Claire’s been stuck with the shitty Road Blocks all season, starting with the infamous watermelon slingshot. What a trooper, seriously, guys.
As Kat, Jill and Brook necessitate a lot of napkins being discretely placed in laps due to their sexy dancing on stage — with Brook taking a dancing break to work the crowd and convince spectators to join her chorus oh “Come on, CLAIIIIIRE!” — Nat finds the first piece of fake food and receives the next clue for the Hot Docs. It directs them to find a statue of Bruce Lee to get their next clue. It’s the Detour, and the choice is Ding Ding or Sampan. In Ding Ding, the teams ride a 100 year old tram system and look for three signs amongst the hundreds lining the streets that reveals the location of the Pit Stop. If the tram route finishes before they figure out where the Pit Stop is, they have to return to the beginning of the route and ride it again. In Sampan, the teams collects parakeets in a bird cage, and then rides a sampan (boat) into the harbor. They have to search, in the dark, amongst hundreds of boats to find one that’s marked with the same string of numbers and letters as on their birdcage. Well, both of these sound like a huge pain in the ass but I guess I’d pick Sampan, because I’d have no idea what to look for on Ding Ding.
I mean, really, that’s what they’re supposed to spot? I’d probably try to find the Pit Stop at Rice Dancing Girls, which wouldn’t work out so well.
The Hot Docs agree with me and pick Sampan, as we see that ND finds a fake shrimp just as Team Tats arrives back on land and starts making its way to the Road Block. Meanwhile, the Hot Docs have picked up their birdcage and start searching the boats in the dark. Claire’s starting to look a bit sweaty as she continues to guess wrong and eat her mistakes, and Team Tats arrives and elects Vicki to join in the uh, fun. Nick, it should be noted, is instantly cheered by the sight of HSN at the Road Block, and reverts back to calling Vicki “sweetheart” instead of “dumb asthmatic bitch!” Evidently the key to peace in that relationship is for Vicki to never, ever do anything that displeases him. Simple enough. As Brook giggles to us that Claire’s supposed to be on a diet for her wedding and has taken down several plates of food so far (so wrong, yet so Brook, that she’s enjoying that fact), the Hot Docs continue searching for their boat and Jill/ND pick Ding Ding and begin the route, missing every sign they pass, exactly as I feared.
Claire now is REALLY sweaty, and I’m starting to get scared. Please don’t puke. Please don’t puke. Please don’t pu— AGGGH and she’s puking! NOOOO! Did anyone else just dry heave a bit as we listened not once, but twice, to her projectile vomiting, “Exorcist style”? Ugh, I am a sympathetic puker. I’m sorry, but when my friends drink too much, I don’t hold their hair. I run for the door and buy them a latte later to make up for it. I am having no part of that. This episode is like LoLo torture. Anyway, Claire finally puts herself back together and reenters the dining room, the observers cheering wildly for the crazy American coming back for more. Claire, as always, remains a great sport and even pumps her arms triumphantly as she makes her way back to the buffet. Or maybe she’s just trying to shake off any remaining vomit particles. I really want to be this girl’s friend in real life. I promise even to keep the food jokes to a minimum, Claire. Call me!
As Vicki sweetly asks if Claire’s okay and Nick stops laughing at Claire long enough to yell at Vicki to STFU and get back to eating, Claire intensely studies a piece of food like it’s mashed potatoes in a back African alley. But wait — it’s not because she’s hungry, it’s because she thinks it’s fake. And it is! Just like with the watermelon slingshot, Claire recovers from a huge setback by completing the Road Black almost instantly.
“If I tell you that it’s fake, do you promise to stop blowing your vomit breath on me?”
Meanwhile, both the Hot Docs and Jill/ND are getting frustrated at their respective Detours, and not having any luck. Jill/ND give up and switch to Sampan, which possibly convinces the Hot Docs from flipping as well when the Hot Docs realize that the Ding Ding Detour is just as hard. As HSN arrives at the clue box and also picks Sampan, Jill/ND totally luck out as Jill spots their boat within mere minutes of beginning their search! That’s great for them but frustrating for me, since they’re the team I want eliminated the most of the remaining four. The Hot Docs find their boat immediately thereafter, but I barely notice because the girls could not be less enthusiastic if they tried. “Oh, look. It’s the boat. I guess we should give them the birdcage. Or not. Whatever.” What’s with that? Perk up, ladies!
Jill/ND are still in the vicinity due to cab-locating difficulties, and the Hot Docs manage to snag one first, creating what might be our first true race to the Pit Stop. But alas, it’s not that close, as the Hot Docs appear to arrive easily in first place (or perhaps it’s that eerie calmness of theirs again), winning a trip for 2 to Rio de Janeiro. Jill/ND arrive in second, with ND keeping his cool despite their obvious frustration from losing their lead from the Detour.
As Team HSN begins searching the harbor for their boat, Vicki is still back at the Road Block and has slowed down to a snail’s pace as many of the observers decide to leave after sitting there for god knows how many hours. Nick provides motivating — for him — commentary, but Vicki’s at her breaking point and she too goes and vomits in the bathroom. AGGH. And here come my dry heaves again. Nick follows her into the bathroom and kindly offers to accept the penalty for quitting the task, saying that it isn’t worth it if it’s going to make her sick, which surprises both me and Vicki. Evidently there are two ways to keep the peace in that relationship — 1) never do anything that displeases Nick and 2) vomit. A lot.
Something tells me that their relationship has given Vicki plenty of reasons to wipe her tongue over the years…
Back out in the restaurant, there’s no one but the cleaning staff left to cheer Vicki’s return to the buffet, showing us just how far behind they are at this point. Like Claire, or perhaps thanks to editing, Vicki is finally able to locate the fake food after only one or two more mistakes. They get their clue, and run off to the Detour and pick Shampan — just as HSN finally finds its boat and heads back to land.
As HSN hails a cab to take them to the Pit Stop, the vomit-induced peacefulness evaporates and Nick goes back to bitching and moaning about how the Detour is impossible, how he wants to choke someone and how he wants to throw the lovely little parakeets overboard. Murderer! Vicki does her best to ignore the temper tantrum, and wearily explains that she wants to finish the leg without quitting. Just when you feel like one poor girl can’t take enough, Nick realizes that his temper tantrum isn’t working and kicks it up a notch — by telling Vicki that he’s done and taking a NAP on the bottom of the boat! Oh. My. God. If I were there, I would step squarely on his nutsack right now. What a fucking ASSHOLE!
“Where’s a clown when I need one…?”
As Team HSN checks in as the third place team, Nick wakes back up, ridicules Vicki for still trying to complete the Detour on her own, and announces that he wants to quit the task completely. Physically and mentally exhausted and defeated, Vicki doesn’t put up too much of fight but instead sadly shuffles over to the man with the clues and officially announces that they will not be completing the Detour and that they will be taking the six (6!) hour penalty. It’s heartbreaking. This girl has worked SO HARD this entire race, and especially this leg, and her boyfriend respects her this little that he refuses to help her and then makes her take a six hour penalty?!? I hate him right now. More than Notre Douche. More than Mad Chad. Hell, even more than Kevin. This is just so disgustingly selfish of Nick that I can barely stand it.
At the Pit Stop, Phil announces what veteran viewers should have been expecting — this is a non-elimination leg, as usual at this late stage of the race. Phil reminds them that they’re absolutely screwed for the next leg — they’re hours behind the other teams, they have a six hour penalty to add to that, AND they have to do a speed bump. It’s going to take an epic equalizer flight to give them a fighting chance. In their post-Pit Stop interview, Vicki comments about Nick’s temper and Nick mutters that he is sorry and will try to be nicer to her. Vicki causes me to shout a very embarrassing “you go girl!” at my TV when she quietly but strongly responds that Nick needs to spend less time apologizing and more time changing. I know I’ve said this before — but how did an awesome girl like her wind up with an asshole like him?
So that’s it for this week! What did you guys think? Were you surprised that it was a non-elimination leg? Were you grossed out by all the barfing? Were you livid with Nick’s decision to nap and then take the penalty during the Detour? And are you glad that Team Tats survived again, or are you kind of like me wishing that Vicki could be put out of her misery before she has to suffer through what will likely be another painful leg with Nick the Dick? Sorry for the late recap — I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I’ll see you next time!