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The Amazing Race has taken over my subconscious. Evidence: I dreamed about it the other night. I dreamed that I was accepted to race on the next season of the Race. This was thrilling, and my first thought was “I have to go shopping for some Race clothes! And a headlight to wear at night! Or does the Race provide headlights?” But then I found out that I was going to be racing in a team with Dani. Which is weird enough, but then I found out we were going to be racing against Team Kentucky. I guess it’s a dream, so it doesn’t have to be realistic, but my point is: I love The Amazing Race!
OK, now that that’s covered, let’s find out what happened on the Non-Dream Edition of TAR:
Our first place teams from last week, Cha Cha Cha and Joyce and Uchenna are the first to leave at 9:48pm. They open their clues and learn that on this leg teams must travel more than 5,500 miles to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Is it bad that I have mixed feelings about this leg so early in the show? Here’s my thought process: I’m still mad at The Amazing Race that we spent the first five episodes in Spanish speaking countries. That’s way too long given how many of our teams speak Spanish. We finally moved on to Africa, which seemed exciting, but getting flights turned into such a major issue that the show was less about Africa and more about airports. We finally hopped up to Europe, but apparently only for a five second tour.
It seems wrong that we finally got our teams traveling only to strand them in the airports. And I’m also mad that the Detours and Road Blocks haven’t been very challenging. The only one that any teams had any real trouble with is the coal challenge. My point is: These are All-Stars so let’s step it up, yo.
My other point: Why aren’t I in charge of The Amazing Race?
While we all think about that, let’s watch as Joyce and Uchenna go to their hotel concierge to get help booking their tickets. They book a flight to Kuala Lumpur through Frankfurt that will get them into Kuala Lumpur at 6:40am the next day. But the trick is that they only have an hour layover in Frankfurt.
And I immediately got a bad feeling. Remember how, just one short episode ago, they had a tight connection in Frankfurt and didn’t make it so got stranded? Or, in my mind this has become: Remember how Frankfurt Airport is prejudiced against Joyce and Uchenna? They should not go back to an airport that is prejudiced against them. But then I try to console myself by remembering that chances of getting stuck in the exact same airport for the exact same reason within days is practically non-existent. Right? Right. OK, good.
Cha Cha Cha goes up to their room to make some phone calls. And it strikes me that we rarely see where our Racers sleep. And when we do see them sleep, it’s in an airport or something, so I always picture them sleeping in youth hostels or something. But their digs are acutally quite nice:
Anyway, Cha Cha Cha makes some phone calls. I hope that they’re calling Fake Chopin, or at least one of the piano players from last week. But they just call the airlines. They think the connection through Frankfurt is too tight, and manage to get tickets on a flight through Paris that will get them into Kuala Lumpur at 7:25am.
The BQ’s are the third team, and they get their clue at 2:52am. But even though there’s a four hour time difference between the BQ’s and the first two teams, it doesn’t really matter because the flights to Kuala Lumpur aren’t leaving for a few hours anyway.
Team CrazyPants leaves at 3:16am. And Mirna has some things to say. Again. And as always, it’s classic Mirna. “When you’re with all the other teams, they’re all trying to copy, look over each other’s shoulders, and we don’t resort to dirty game play like that, we resort to our own skills to get us through.”
And you know what that means? That means we’re going to be on alert this episode for any instances of Crazy peaking over shoulders or not doing things on their own. We’ll even start the counter from here. I’ll forget about how Shmirna has tried in almost every single episode to sneak under the airline counter to eavesdrop on other Teams. Or how their “own skills” left them stuck in a ditch until Dave and Mary saved them. Or how their “own skills” left Shmirna sitting uselessly in the boardroom in Chile until Mary solved the clue with the name of the mine and gave her the answer.
OK, I can’t think about it any more, because I’m actually getting mad at my computer. And I know it’s not my computer’s fault, and yelling at it won’t help any more than yelling at the TV did when she said it. So please don’t even let me think about how anyone can consider finding out what flights the other teams are on as “dirty game play” when it’s just part of the Race.
I’ll remind myself that this is the same woman who spends hours talking about how good she is with interacting with the locals and use that to remind myself that self-awareness is not one of Mirna’s many blessings (like being skinny). Honestly, if Team CrazyPants makes it to the Final Three, I’m going to have to spend a lot of time praying to my dead grandmother and everyone else’s dead grandmothers to give me patience to get myself through it. Feel free to leave your grandmother’s name in the comments section, and I’ll pray to her too.
Eric and Danielle leave at 3:22am. Eric informs us that “When you’re with somebody and you spend a lot of time with them, that’s the person you pick on. That’s the person you argue with. In good relationships you can get past those things.” Dani agrees with him. What does Dr. Phil have to say about this? Well, good thing Dr. Phil is my therapist and friend! I asked him, and Phil says: “Every good relationship involves picking on your partner. That’s a sign that you should get married and have 15 babies together.” Yay for blessings from Dr. Phil!
Eric and Dani go to use the interweb in the hotel to book their flight. Their hotel has two computers, and Shmirna is on one and Mirna is on the other and they’re not budging.
Now, as I’ve said, I’m not entirely sure of the definition of “dirty game play”. I think using two computers when another team is waiting is kind of on the line behavior – not totally dirty, but not totally clean, either. But if you’re a team who starts pointing the fingers at other teams on playing dirty, I think that you should be as clean as Mr. Clean. And believe you me, that’s Mighty Clean.
Eric and Dani take a cab to the airport. Eric does a Mirna impression, where he scrunches up his face and says “I don’t know why people don’t like us.”
Dani helpfully jumps in with: “Because you’re rude!”
Other rhetorical questions Dani can answer: What’s up, Doc? Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf? Where have all the flowers gone? Do I look fat in this?
Team CrazyPants uses their “own skills” at the interweb to find a flight that gets them in at 4:45am. I can’t figure out how they can find a flight that other teams and travel agents can’t find, but I’ll give them respect where respect is due, because they found the best flight.
Eric and Dani arrive at the airport and meet up with the BQ’s. Eric announces that he has bad news: “Charla and Mirna are not nice.” He tells them what the Crazies did with the computers. But instead of the sympathy that Eric expects, though, the BQ’s laugh and Kandace says “Smart little girls.”
And that’s why I love the BQ’s. They are racing a race. They don’t expect other people to be nice. They don’t expect other people to help. They just do their thing and move on. I think Mirna and Shmirna actually think that they play the same way, but they do not.
Evidence of that in the next scene:
Team CrazyPants arrives at the airport and walk up to the counter where the BQ’s and Eric and Dani are booking their flight. Where they proceed to look over their shoulder and find out what flight they’re on. And then gloat that they’re on a better flight.
And I get mad all over again, because just minutes before, they made a huge point about how things like that are “playing dirty”. And there is nothing more annoying than self-righteous hypocrites. Well, the one thing more annoying is self-righteous hypocrites who speak in fake accents.
Mirna then tries to butt in line and ask the agent a question. You know, because jumping in line is the fair and honest thing to do. Eric says that they should wait, because they made him wait when he wanted to use the interweb. It amazes me that Mirna has a complete inability realize that she is doing exactly what she criticizes others for doing.
And you guys are enjoying the fact that I’m turning this entire recap into a list of reasons that Mirna annoys me, right?
Team CrazyPants decides to leave to check in. As soon as they do, someone in the room says: “They’re so annoying. I can’t stand them.” And I can’t tell who it said it, which is very frustrating. I feel like the comment was a very Dani thing to say, but it sounded like Dustin to me. And that comment is so very un-BQ – they normally seem to follow my mom’s advice: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I never could stick to that, but that’s why I’m a better blogger than a beauty queen (That’s the only reason of course – if there was a bathing suit competition for bloggers, I would win it. Guaranteed)
Anyway, Joyce and Uchenna show up, and tell the other teams about their flight (What dirty tricksters! Everyone knows that flight information is top secret!) Eric thinks their short connection time is risky. He gets very specific, explaining to them that for international flights you need to be there 45 minutes to check in, so they’ll be in trouble if their flight is delayed even by 15 minutes. Joyce and Uchenna were really thrilled with Eric’s helpfulness, as they had never even been in airport before this episode.
Before we know it, everyone’s in the air. This week The Amazing Race didn’t give us any diagrams to show us the routes the teams took. Naturally, we all know our geography, and we are all smarter than a fifth grader, so we don’t need their help. Quick, go point to Kuala Lumpur on a map! (Hint: It’s near the Philippeans, Phillippines, Fillapeens)
Joyce and Uchenna land 10 minutes late in Frankfurt, and thus miss their flight. There is begging and there are phone calls but the flight is closed. They investigate, only to discover that the next flight isn’t leaving until the next day. This happens about 15 minutes into the show. Let’s take a look at Joyce and Uchenna now, because we won’t see them again for a while…
Team CrazyPants lands in Kuala Lumpur. They have to travel to the Batu Caves by train and bus. Crazy talked to some locals on the plane and got directions, so quickly hop on a train and then a bus.
The Crazies make it to the caves, and find the clue box at the top of a giant staircase. They now have to travel 10 miles to a mosque and search the streets nearby for a clue and a Yield – our first Yield of the season (although Phil promises us two, so there must be another one coming soon?). But, Amazing Race, I have another beef with you: Why bring our teams to a cave and not even show us the cave. Wouldn’t you like to see Mirna swimming through a bat cave, covered in leaches with bats attacking her? Or is that just me, Show?
But there are no bat shenanigans (or in this case bat Mirnanigans) in the Batu Caves, CrazyPants just grabs the clue and gets into a cab. Mirna tells us that they’re not going to use the Yield because “We want to win this race playing it clean and playing it with our own efforts.” And while it sucks to be Yielded, using a part of the Race that is built into the Race by the people who made up the rules is not playing dirty. It’s just playing. Using Mirna’s logic, anyone who takes part in a Roadblock or Detour is playing dirty.
They get the Dirty Detour Clue and have to decide between Artistic Expression or Cookie Confection. In Artistic Expression, teams have to use batik to dye a pattern onto a cloth. In Cookie Confection, teams must search through 600 boxes of cookies to find the one that has a black licorice center.
Mirna chooses the cookie challenge and starts to go on and on about how much she likes cookies. “Cookies with licorice, you can’t get better than this… You know how much I like my licorice.” “We’re going to eat a cookie. Cookie, Cookie Monster.” “Cookie! Cookie! Cookie!” It was like listening to Rain Man. A skinny Rain Man with a fake accent and a little person sidekick. Which is actually a movie I would see. Please hold while I call my agent to pitch it.
Done! Look for “Rain Mirnanigans” in theaters, Spring 2009.
They get to the cookie challenge, where Mirna announces “We like to eat a lot.” Which, of course, is the exact opposite of what she told the BQ’s last week, when she said that she wasn’t a big eater.
CrazyPants begins to take bites of cookies and spit them out, which is exactly as gross as it sounds.
See, I told you. Gross.
Meanwhile, Cha Cha Cha, the BQ’s and Eric and Dani all land in Kuala Lumpur. They all end up taking different trains and buses to get to the Caves. Cha Cha Cha arrives first, gets the clue and hops back in their taxi.
The BQ’s are next. They apparently have some fear of a monkey that is on the steps and consider pushing him off. We don’t actually see the monkey getting near the BQ’s, so I’m not entirely sure where this monkey hatred is coming from (Although it makes me like them because I have a fear of both monkeys and birds and now I feel a kinship with the BQ’s.).
The BQ’s get their clue next. They get to the bridge, passing a lost Cha Cha Cha on the way, and Yield Dani and Eric.
They explain that it’s nothing personal, they are just playing the game.
Now let’s take a moment to remember Joyce and Uchenna. You wouldn’t remember them from this episode, because we haven’t seen them since about 15 minutes into the show, but they were supposedly on an earlier flight to Kuala Lumpur. So as far as the BQ’s know, since Joyce and Uchenna are nowhere in sight, they could already be done with the Detour. So the BQ’s think that they are racing against Cha Cha Cha and Eric and Dani for last place. Using the Yield to keep yourself from being eliminated: Something any team should do. Incurring the wrath of Eric and Dani: Priceless.
Back at the cookie eating, we enter the weirdest part of the episode. We learn from Mirna that Team CrazyPants has a big fan base in Malaysia. My first thought was: Huh? How did that happen? Are we sure they’re not just there because a little person and a crazy person are spitting cookies all over the place and yelling at them to cheer? Because that would make me stop and look twice, for sure. My second thought was: I feel better about hating them so much, because who needs the love of one little Awesomeness, when you have the love of all of Malaysia? Mirna then tells us that the crowd really boosted her ego. Thank goodness, because I was getting really worried about Mirna’s self-esteem.
The BQ’s decide to do Artistic Expression. They get to the batik place and get started. Meanwhile, Cha Cha Cha is still wandering around looking for the clue box. They finally find it. When they read the clue, Danny insists that the cookies would be faster. I am really, really unclear how 600 boxes of cookies could be faster than making batik. Oswald agrees with me, but Danny wins out and they head out to Cookie Town.
Meanwhile, Eric and Dani arrive at the clue box and discover that they’ve been Yielded. They have a classic Eric and Dani conversation:
Eric: “Those dirty, dirty hookers.”
Dani: “Why would they yield us?”
Eric: “Because they’re dirty pirate hookers.”
Ah, yes, the dirty pirate hooker, known for sailing the seas and yielding other pirates. Not to be confused with the clean pirate hooker, who never yields anyone.
Eric then tears up the BQ’s picture. And Dani calls them bitches. And then shady bitches. And then calls them fake and phony. And then Dani tells us that using the Yield should make us think about the BQ’s character.
So let’s recap this part of the recap:
The BQ’s are dirty pirate hooker, fake, phony, shady bitches with no character.
Eric and Dani are whiny babies.
Good. I was also a little distracted during by Dani’s boobs.
Good thing they’re not in another Muslim country where that would be disrespectful…
We then cut to the BQ’s (respectfully boob-covered), who said that if they were eliminated without trying to Yield someone, they would regret it. How fake and phony of them! Admitting that they are trying to win the Race!
Team CrazyPants decides to leave the cookies and go to the batik challenge. Mirna says that they should have left “an hour ago.” And, really, were they eating cookies for over an hour? Because I love cookies. I mean, I LOVE COOKIES! But even I think that I would fall into a sugar-induced diabetic coma if forced to eat cookies for an hour. If only I were a dirty pirate cookie eater! Ole!
Meanwhile, Cha Cha Cha arrives at the cookie detour and starts eating. Danny and Oswald quickly disagree about the clue – Are they looking for one cookie, or are they looking for one whole box? Danny thinks the whole box will be of full of the same kind of cookies, while Oswald disagrees.
So I rewind and double check. When Phil read the clue originally, he said that the teams must “search through 600 boxes of cookies to find the one that has a black licorice center.” Does “the one” refer to the boxes or the cookies? Unclear! Then when Danny is reading the clue, he very clearly reads “a cookie”, and then re-reads, emphasizing “a cookie.” So the clue that was read to us may be different from the clue that the teams receive? I have no idea who is right.
Mirna and Shmirna arrive at the batik Roadblock when the BQ’s are about halfway through the task. Mirna thinks that Shmirna is too short to be able to help, and announces “If I have to do this challenge, that’s fine. We’re a team and we work together.” Except for the times when Mirna does everything. Which is always, just ask her, she’ll tell you all about it.
Cha Cha Cha decides to switch tasks to do the batik. They leave but then they switch back to the cookies. And they eat some more cookies, and then switch again. And then switch again and decide to do the batik. Stop it Cha Cha Cha! Pick a task and do it, but anyone who has seen an episode of The Amazing Race (and that means you!) knows that changing tasks three times will never, ever, ever work to your advantage.
The BQ’s finish up the batik and get their clue, which instructs them to travel to a neighborhood six miles away and find a recycling truck. Meanwhile, Eric and Dani finally finish with the Yield and decide to do the cookies. Cha Cha Cha starts on the batik while Eric and Dani start on the cookies.
The BQ’s arrive at the recycling truck, which seems ridiculously easy to find, and they get the clue for the Roadblock. One team member much choose a bicycle with a cart and ride around the neighborhood collecting old newspapers until they have a stack eight hands high. Kandace quickly volunteers and is off.
Kandace is riding around getting papers. People are actually running out of their houses to bring her newspapers. As a local man explains: “You should have no problem with getting free newspapers. The way you look, yeah.” Let’s hope that NBC’s Dateline: To Catch a Predator hears about this – I smell a very special Malaysian episode!
At the batik, Cha Cha Cha creates a design with too many rows of batik, so has to do it over. Or, as Mirna helpfully explains: “They screwed up real big.” Cha Cha Cha starts to redo their batik as Team CrazyPants finishes up.
Dani and Eric are still eating cookies. And who even cares about Joyce and Uchenna. Nope, still haven’t seen them. Presumably they’re still in Frankfurt. Or on a plane. Or wherever, if it were important, The Amazing Race would let us know.
Cha Cha Cha finishes their batik, but can’t find a taxi. Dani finally bites into the right cookie, and I try to peer into the cookie box to see if I can tell if they are all the same type of cookie. But stupid Amazing Race doesn’t give us long enough too look or the right angle to spy the box from. Jerks. Therefore, the cookie challenge will ever remain a mystery. But doesn’t matter because both Cha Cha Cha and Eric and Dani are on their way to the clue box.
Kandace is checking in as Team CrazyPants arrives. The BQ’s have enough newspapers to get their clue, which tells them to travel by taxi to the next Pit Stop. Mirna quickly tells us that the BQ’s are “one ultra-phony team.” Ah, yes, you can tell by the way they push their newspapers. And if we’re really so worried about fakeness, shouldn’t we be focusing more on Dani’s boobs?!
Mirna gets started on the bicycle as Eric and Dani and Cha Cha Cha arrive. Oswald has Danny do the task, because as he explains: “Bicycles, I simply don’t like them.” I would like to know more about this. I can understand not liking plaque, or mayonnaise, or Kayne West, but who doesn’t like bicycles? And why?
The BQ’s arrive at the Pit Stop and rush off to find Phil. As they run, one BQ announces “I smell Phil!” Interesting… Does Phil have a potent smell? And if so, what do you think Phil smells like? Clouds? Bunnies? 599 boxes of non-licorice cookies? If only my TV had Smell-o-Vision (although I’m grateful it didn’t during Mirna’s sausage burp last week).
The smell leads the BQ’s to exactly where they want to be: The Mat. They’re checked in as Team #1, and they both win a retro scooter.
On the paper quest, Mirna finds a woman who has stacks and stacks of newspaper in her house. Mirna offers to clear it out, telling her: “You don’t need this many papers. They clutter your house, and then you become a clutter bug.”
Good advice, and I’m pretty sure the woman who’s been saving every newspaper from 1987 is going to listen to the woman with the camera crew speaking in broken English. In the end, Mirna has so many newspapers that she needs help pushing her cart, so her new Malaysian best friends help her with that too.
Mirna looks at the kids and announces: “These are the future Charla and Mirnas of the world.” She tells them “Stay out of drugs. Go to school. Be a professional. Stay good! Win more medals in school!”
I don’t know why she left out the real advice about how to be Mirna: “You are always the victim!” “Yell at service professionals makes them want to help you!” “Insult your family members, after all you are taller and thinner and therefore superior!”
Dani and her boobs get a young teenage boy to help them – big surprise there. Danny gets frustrated and tells Oswald that he is “haaaaaaaaating” him. And when he can’t collect enough newspapers, he buys some from a gas station. Somehow I feel like this defeat the purpose of the recycling part of the challenge, but who cares, because this task was pretty boring, so at least it’s over when first Dani and then Danny check in.
At the Pit Stop, Team CrazyPants checks in as Team #2. Dani and Eric check in as Team #3 and complain about the Yield. And Cha Cha Cha checks in as Team #4.
And remember Joyce and Uchenna? At some point after all of this happens, they finally arrive in Kuala Lumpur. The show devotes about 2 minutes to them, and makes it look like they went right from the Caves to the Pit Stop (Although I’ve read since that they actually did all the tasks, and if you watch closely you can see that they cut from footage of them walking towards the clue box on the stairs, but the clue box with the clue that sends them to the Pit Stop is very clearly not on the stairs. And to think of them doing all those tasks with no hope of making up time makes me sort of sad for them.) But either way, they’re eliminated. They say some nice things about each other and the Race reviving their feelings for each other. And then they’re gone.
And that’s it for this episode. I have to say that I am still disappointed with the difficulty of the challenges – the cookies seemed annoying but not particularly hard, and the batik was easy. And does every single person in all of Malaysia speak English? Because there was not one communication problem the entire time. According to the CBS website, we have 4 more episodes, and I don’t really understand how that’s possible, but let’s hope that we get some really hard challenges. And, of course, more Mirnanigans!!