You know it’s a good episode of The Amazing Race when it comes down to a three-way foot race. I tell you, the last minute of this show was more exciting than most action movies out there, and on top of that, it was totally unpredictable too. Just when you thought you knew who’d come in last, a little thing called fate (and slippery rocks) changed everything. Add a dash of bitter rivalry and underhanded potshots, and we had quite the episode. Unfortunately, as intense as the final showdown was, I couldn’t help ignoring a nagging thought in my head that this had to be non-elimination. Only four teams left with two more weeks until the finale? It had to be, right?This week’s show started off “down undah” in lovely, scenic Perth, Australia. A place where parrots caw, sun shines, and pale women go randomly charging into the ocean for no real reason. Perennial first-placers Jeremy and Eric were first out of the gate, and they immediately learned they’d be trekking cross town to the Swan Bells tower, on top of which they’d find their next clue. What a lovely tourist attraction this tower seemed to be. But I wonder… will it not be open again until 8 AM?? Hmmmm!
Well, Jeric headed off for more homoerotic adventures, and next up were Monica and Joseph who had typically sour looks on their faces. As this seasons inches closer and closer towards its finale, I’m starting to get a sinking feeling that these two will somehow claim the top prize — a horrible retread of Freddy and Kendra or, dare I say, Zach and Flo. Anyway, Mojo also zipped off to their next destination, and I was surprised that Monica didn’t ask what a “swan bell” was. Or actually, what a “swan” was. Or “Bell.” Or what the tall bushy thing was over in the corner (a tree).
Third to leave the Pit Stop were BJ and Tyler, who found a new and exciting way to open their clue annoyingly (they flipped in the air and… oh, I don’t even want to re-live it. Just believe me. It was dumb). Anyway, the Hippies simply couldn’t understand why Mojo were so mad at them. I don’t know. Maybe it has something to do with “enjoying NOT smelling body odor”? Actually, it had to do with a minor rivalry that began two episodes ago when BJ and Tyler asked for monetary donations after a non-elimination leg. They told the other teams that if they didn’t give anything, they’d yield them the first chance that they could. Well, Mojo didn’t offer up any money, and now they were mad that the Hippies were threatening a Yield on them. Ah yes, a rivalry for the ages. Not as good as everyone vs. Rob and Ambah, but still entertaining.
Well, the Hippies soon caught up with Mojo and Jeric who had already called for two taxis to take them to the Swan Bells. Would they call a third for BJ and Tyler? Not likely. The two teams basically stonewalled the Hippies, and so our smelly Harvard alums had to find a random drunkard and use his cell to call a cab. I couldn’t help thinking that Jeric was mildly jealous. After all, they hadn’t been so lucky to enjoy the company of a stranger since their train ride through the Rhineland with Johan. Mysterious, supple Johan.
Last to leave the Pit Stop were Ray and Yolanda, and once again, we were reminded of how they were learning so much about each other on this race. “It does take time to realize ‘Oh, that is the noise he makes when he brushes his teeth,’” Yolanda said, causing Ray to let out a grunt/giggle (or a gruggle). It seemed sort of like a silly observation, but then I got to wondering: what noise does Ray make when he brushes his teeth? I kind of imagine something like Snuffaluffagus meets a chickadee. And I bet at the end, he makes a tug boat toot-toot noise.
Anyway, the teams all made it to the Swan Bells, and guess what? The tower didn’t open until 8 AM the next morning! Holy Canoli! Well, better find some overnight accommodations! Monica asked some random dude if there was a cheap place to stay overnight, to which he replied (in the most Australian accent ever), “Cheap place to stay, love? You can stay at my joint for free!” Crikey! I’m personally shocked Jeremy and Eric didn’t jump at the opportunity to shack up with this guy, but alas, maybe they had already made reservations at Bruce’s Love Dungeon.
A little later, Joseph talked about how trusting Monica was of him, saying “She doesn’t keep me on a tight leash.” But to be fair, Monica doesn’t actually know how to use a leash.
Eric then replied, “I don’t let Jeremy out of the house at all.” Something tells me that wasn’t a joke. I mean, would you let this big slab of man-meat out?
I DIDN’T THINK SO!
The race then took an unexpected twist as the Hippies observed how Eric was flirting with Monica. This would surely upset Joseph and his five brain cells, and with any luck, BJ and Tyler would be able to use this to tear apart the burgeoning Mojo-Jeric alliance. Wow, if they pulled that off, I’d be impressed. And let’s give a ’round of applause to this episode so far. The scheme-to-race ratio has been quite high. Higher than normal.
The next morning, all the teams called up a cab company to book taxis ahead of time. It was a smart idea to have a car waiting for them as soon as they grabbed their clue atop the tower. But an even smarter (and dirtier) move came from Jeric, of all people, who called back the cab company and cancelled the Hippies’ and Raylonda’s rides. So dirty and evil. But all’s fair in The Amazing Race. Jeremy, btw, used the alias “Doug Brubaker” to book his car, and for all you wondering, “Doug Brubaker” was actually the first guy they ever had a threesome with. Kind of touching, huh? Okay, I kid! I kid! He was the second guy they had a threesome with.
Anyway, at 8 AM, everyone scrambled up the tower to retrieve their clue. Next destination: Darwin, Australia! Teams had to fly to this city and then find a crocodile park where they’d have to wade through a pool of crocodiles to find their next clue. Sounds lovely! Kind of like a Lubriderm commercial gone bad.
Well, the teams then all raced back down to the street, and ironies of ironies, BJ and Tyler found a cab — even though theirs had been allegedly cancelled. Oh, but wait. Turns out they were in Mojo’s cab. Joseph demanded that they get out, and ever the wilting flower, Tyler immediately hopped out. He didn’t want to make Joseph mad, you see. Mojo, meanwhile, was super pissed that the Hippies would try to steal their cab. How could they play so dirty. What awful, sleazy people! Hey, remember that time when Mojo happily egged on Jeric to cancel the other team’s cabs? Yeah, that was great. But seriously, the Hippies are the dirtiest players.
With the other teams (including Jeric, heh) waiting for their cabs, Mojo drove off to the airport, leaving everyone in their dust. Their vacuous, bland dust. Ray then called up the cab company to see what the hell was going on, and that’s when he discovered that someone had cancelled all the cars. Who could it be? Certainly not Jeric. They were stuck waiting to. And so everyone immediately blamed Mojo for this underhanded maneuver, thus creating one of the more amusing fake conspiracies in Race history.
Eventually, everyone got a cab. Everyone but Jeric, that is. Ha. Cosmic justice. “How could it be so hard to get a taxi?” Jeremy asked. Well, it could be very hard, especially if it’s been CANCELLED ON YOU! Anyway, while the guys waited for a ride, BJ and Tyler stewed about Mojo’s sneaky move. This meant more talk about “Yield Season” which annoyed me greatly, mostly because there’s no such thing as YIELD SEASON. Over in another cab, Ray joked about the crocodiles they’d soon be encountering. “If they eat Monica, they might choke. It’s like eating a plastic Barbie doll,” he said. This then led Yolanda to comment, “Black people wouldn’t be stupid enough to get into a pool of crocodiles… [long, speculative pause] Or would they? ‘Cause that’s what we’re about to do!” Honestly, it doesn’t matter what race you are, it’s just a dumb, dumb thing to do.
At the airport, Joseph tried to get a leg-up on all the teams by telling the airline worker not to tell the other teams about the earliest flight. The worker was all “What’s in it for me?” and while I think he was fishing for a bribe, Monica just giggled it off and said something about respect or whatever. Eventually, all the teams wound up bunched together again, and faster than you can say “witch hunt,” everyone was pointing fingers over the cab fiasco. Joseph denied having cancelled the cabs and then started passive aggressively saying to Monica extra loudly how everyone was lying now. Finally, the Hippies decided to play their trump card and said to Eric, “You know, there’s a rumor going around that you and Monica are getting kind of close, huh?” Well played, idiots. You might as well have lit up a sign over your heads that said “HERE’S A RUMOR TO CAUSE DIVISIVENESS!” Nevertheless, Mojo was definitely not happy with this accusation. It was like they had to carry swordfish through Sicily ALL OVER AGAIN!
Well, everyone flew to Darwin where they hopped in some nifty Mercedes Benzes and drove to the crocodile park… which didn’t open until 9 AM the next day. Once again, Tyler joked with Eric about the budding romance with Monica, but because Tyler is sort of an idiot when it comes to these things, he crazy overdid it, thus undercutting any power such a rumor could have had. Joseph, meanwhile, proved to be just as humorless as ever and stared down the Hippies with an expression that seemed to say, “Me Joseph. Me mad!” He then grunted and stuffed a banana in his face.
The next morning, the teams entered the park where they all had to put on protective waders and gloves. “This is how you practice safe sex,” Jeremy and Eric said. Believe me. They know:
I naturally assumed this challenge would lead to Monica freaking out and whining and crying and telling the crocodiles “I haaaaate you!!” But she was pretty even-keeled — as was everyone else. The only people who seemed to be actually in danger were the camera man who couldn’t help sticking their lenses right up in the crocodiles’ bidness. Anyway, the next clue told teams to drive fifty miles to Batchelor — warning, YIELD AHEAD! Oh, this was gonna be good. With the bitter rivalry between the Hippies and Mojo, I started to get warm memories of all the teams racing to use that Yield on The Weaver family last season. That was the best. Say what you will about Family Edition, but The Weavers were some of the best villains ever.
Out on the open road, Mojo attempted to speed past the Hippies, and since Tyler was at the wheel, he happily let them go by. He tossed up some excuse about how they were already going 120 kilometers per hour, but we all knew this was just a case of massive pussyitis. BJ quietly hmmph’d in the back seat, and over in Mojo’s car, Monica happily celebrated whilst wearing her dumb “I [heart] Spinning” tank top. She might as well have worn a “I AM A HUGE IDIOT” shirt instead.
Well, Mojo may have won the battle, but they lost the war. At the next clue, Tyler and BJ hopped out of their car before even reaching the parking lot and sprinted ahead, landing on the Yield just seconds before Mojo. Haha. BUSTED. Sure enough, the Hippies Yielded their arch-enemies, causing Joseph to sneer “Get off so we can flip it [the hourglass], c’mon!” Yes, let the bitterness escalate. Escalate, I tell you! For the record, the smarter move for the Hippies would have been to Yield Jeric because a) they’ve proven to be the fastest, wiliest team, b) the Hippies might have surprised Mojo with their amnesty and won back some respect, and c) Jeric totally would have Yielded them had they had the chance. Oh! And d) Jeric didn’t leave money for them either after the non-elimination round.
Anyway, I was still very happy to see Mojo Yielded, if only to watch Joseph growl impatiently and Monica whine. While they stood around angrily, the Hippies tore open the next clue which was the Roadblock. Nothing too elaborate today. Just a simple skydiving routine. BJ ran off to find an instructor and a plane, and back at the Yield, Monica did everything she could to make the viewing audience hate her. “That is not fair!” she whined. “We were here first!” Does baby want her bottle? What if the bottle is filled with SWORDFISH? Ha, gotcha!
Well, Monica whined and whined and then whined a little more, causing Joseph to snap, “It’s nothing to cry about.”
“I’m not crying!” she insisted. Monica, it’s an expression. You might know that if you, I don’t know, read once in a while? Of course, the best part of this was that she actually did begin to cry anyway — so really she was twice the idiot we thought she was.
The other teams eventually arrived, and Jeremy was ever so supportive to his life partner as he climbed into a plane. “Hopefully your chute opens, dude!” he yelled out. He then added, “Seriously. I love you. I love you more than life itself. Come back to me, Eric.” It was very emotional.
Okay, that didn’t happen. Yet. Anyway, back at the Yield, Monica was still sniffling, despite Joseph’s insistence that she cheer up. “I don’t want to cheer up!” she sulked. Someone just smack her now. You know, they shouldn’t be so upset. The Hippies said they’d Yield them if they didn’t offer up money. Mojo didn’t offer up money. So guess what? They got Yielded. Why are they so surprised? Oh, that’s right. Because they’re IDIOTS.
Meanwhile, up in the sky, BJ yelled out “T’tao” (or however you spell it). This was the Hippies’ new buzz word. It meant something lame and cheesy, and honestly, I don’t have the patience to go back to the beginning of the episode and hear the definition again. Whatever it was, it was dumb. And I wasn’t the only one who thought that. “He’s so damn corny,” Yolanda said from the ground. That’s the truth.
Speaking of corny, Jeremy pretended to put the moves on Yolanda by saying, “It’s a good thing you’re with Ray. If you were single, you’d be in trouble with me.” He then added, “Not in a sexual way. Ewww! Women!!”
After the Roadblock, teams then had to drive to Litchfield National Park and find the Magnetic Termite Mounds, which is incidentally the same pet name Eric has for Jeremy’s buttocks. The Hippies trekked back to their car, and on the way, Tyler tried to say bye to Mojo and be all friendly, but Joseph shot him down. “Don’t… don’t act nice. If we weren’t in this race, I’d beat you down.” Hey, you can still do it. No one’s stopping you. By all means, have at it!
Anyway, the Hippies soon arrived at the Magnetic Termite Mounds where they encountered this week’s Detour: Wet or Dry? Funny, Eric always asks that before playing in Jeremy’s Magnetic Termite Mounds also!
In “Wet,” teams must drive a nearby roadside park and hike and swim a mile up a river riddled with poisonous plants and (dunh dunh DUNH) large spiders! In “Dry,” teams must complete the most convoluted task ever. Drive six miles to a turn off, then drive six more miles off road to “The Lost City.” There, they’d have to take a didgeridoo and then follow the sound of other didgeridoos to find some local Aborigines. If the pattern on the guy’s didgeridoo matched the team’s didgeridoo, they’d get the clue, right? Wrong. Each person would have to learn how to play a note on the didgeridoo and THEN they’d get the clue. Wow. I never thought I’d write “didgeridoo” so many times in one paragraph.
Hey, it’s Phil and his bowling team!
Anyway, the Hippies opted to go for wet and so did Jeric, which truly surprised me. You’d think they’d never turn down a chance to put their lips on a long hard object and blow. Incidentally, “didgeridoo” is what Jeremy and Eric call their… well, you catch my drift.
The Hippies soon arrived at the river where Tyler revealed that he didn’t own any underwear. And I don’t think that had to do with him losing all his possessions. If you remember, he was sans undies at the lederhosen challenge. Just makes me wonder: how do you sign up for The Amazing Race and not bring underwear? Tyler may have gone to Harvard, but he was clearly proving himself to be a bigger idiot by the second. Jeric, however, had plenty of underwear, and as they galloped out of the car for the challenge, Jeremy was already decked out in his skivvies. I guess he’s never one to be unprepared for a Speedo moment.
Elsewhere in Australia, Mojo had been liberated from the Yield mat, and after Monica had plunged from the sky, the two then headed to the Litchfield National Park where they attempted to find the Magnetic Termite Mounds. Not so easy if you’re a moron. The two managed to get lost, but eventually, they found a kind stranger who helped them get back on route. “This is probably going to be it for us,” Monica sighed. Oh, Monny. Don’t you realize that this is going to be non-elimination? Wasn’t the Yield a big enough clue? The producers never put Yields on elimination rounds (except that one time earlier this season. Hey, maybe this would be elimination after all…).
Speaking of the Yield, Monica was still going off about it: “If you’re going to Yield someone, that’s sleazy. And that’s exactly how the Hippies are. They’re sleazeballs.” Uh, mistake me if I’m wrong, but weren’t you running for that Yield just as hard as they were? I guess it’s only sleazy when someone Yields YOU, not the other way around.
Back at the river of doom, BJ and Tyler were struggling their way through the rigorous hike. Plus, they were nearing those big, scary spiders. Sort of. They were like five feet away from them, but still! Scary! Eh, maybe not.
Ray and Yolanda, meanwhile, had chosen to do “Dry” and after some fruitless searching, they finally found their Aborigine. Now all they needed to do was play their note. Not so easy. Ray attempted to make didgeridoo magic, but what came out sounded like a big, messy bowel movement. The Aborigine dude instructed him to flap his lips, and after a few tries, Ray finally mastered the art of the didgeridoo. I’m sure Yolanda will appreciate that later, if you catch my drift.
Yolanda also went through the same learning curve (fart noises to didgeridoo music), and after some chuckles, she hit her note, and the two received the next clue: drive to Lake Bennett for the Pit Stop! We then saw Phil standing by a lake, describing the location. “The last team to check in here–” Phil started, but he was suddenly interrupted by a man brandishing two whips. The guy cracked the whips in about forty-five different directions at once, nearly hitting Phil in the process. Hey, man, watch it! That’s Phil! The last thing we want to see is a PhilLash™.
Excitedly, Raylonda hopped into their car and drove to Phil, hopefully saving him from some Cat O’ Nine Tails demise. “Ray doesn’t need a didgeridoo to make those noises,” Yolanda said. “He makes them all the time.” Yeah, like when he brushes his teeth! Ray chuckled at the joke and then stopped short, revealing that he wasn’t amused at all. I guess we all have our limits. Some people don’t like jokes about dead babies, some don’t like jokes about pedophiles. Ray doesn’t like jokes about didgeridoos.
Meanwhile, back at the “wet” challenge, BJ and Tyler were still going at it. Even though this trek was just a mile, the rough terrain obviously made it the worse choice. Or maybe it was just that the Hippies were lame because by the time they completed the task, Jeric had completely caught up to them. Another reason why the Hippies should have used the Yield on them instead. Anyway, the teams hopped in their cars and headed off to Lake Bennett, or Ben-ETT as Tyler pronounced it.
As for Team Mojo, they had wisely opted for the “dry” challenge, and almost immediately, they had found their Aborigine. Joseph only needed a few tries with the didgeridoo to get it right (at least, according to the editing), but Monica was a different story. As soon as she put her lips on that thing, Joseph suddenly took over as Head Aborigine and tried to tell her exactly how to work it. This led to an odd symphony of lip vibrations, peppered with incredulous looks from the Aborigine. Uh, Joseph, why don’t you leave the didgeridoo lessons to the locals? You know, the people who’ve been playing it FOR YEARS.
Over at the front of the pack, Raylonda happily arrived at the Pit Stop. Ray was so excited that he even jumped down a small flight of stairs. However, he didn’t quite prepare for the landing, and so he tumbled on down and rolled over, but that’s okay. He was entitled to a moment of euphoric stumbling because for the first time all season long, he and Yolanda finally arrived in first place.
“Welcome to Darwin, Australia!” said Phil’s whip-happy, fake Crocodile Dundee buddy. Phil then greeted the couple and announced that for their prize, they’d each win a one year lease of the very same Mercedes they’d been driving around in for the past day. This made Ray extremely excited, and he showed more emotion than he has all season long.
“You look happy!” Phil announced.
“I got a Benz,” replied Ray.
“This is the best his emotion gets,” Yolanda then laughed.
“That’s part of his appeal, you know what I mean?” Phil then said. Hey, did Phil just come onto Ray a little bit? Who knew he was into the strong, silent type?
Anyway, back on the road, both Jeric and the Hippies had no idea how to get to Lake Bennett. Jeremy pulled over and asked an ambulance for directions, and upon seeing this, BJ had Tyler stop the car and ask also. And so Tyler hopped out of the car, but he didn’t ask the ambulance for directions. He asked JERIC. What an IDIOT. Why would you ask the people who just tried to sabotage you and your taxi just the day before? Luckily, BJ seemed to have half a brain and yelled at his partner to ask the medics instead. Tyler then leaned into Jeric’s car and said “Wait for us.” Yes, because I’m sure that’s exactly what they’ll do. Total dumbass.
With Jeric and the Hippies pulled over asking for directions, Mojo was able to catch up, and before we knew it, all three teams were barreling down the road towards Phil. Tensions were running high, and Joseph even flipped off the Hippies through the windshield (but sadly, CBS pixelated it out).
Soon, the teams arrived at the lake, and yes, this would be a three-way foot race. It was going to be crazy. Too bad it was so obviously a non-elimination. The teams all poured out of their cars at once, scrambling to get a heads up on each other. Must… not… get… too.. excited…
We then cut to Phil, who was still trying to avoid his sidekick’s flailing whips. Hey, stop whipping, PHIL’S SIDEKICK! Back to the footrace, the teams were all neck and neck, but Monica simply could not keep up. “JOOOOOEEE!!” she yelled as she fell behind the pack. It looked like it might be over for Mojo, but then suddenly the unexpected.
Run, Monica, Run!
In an effort to speed past the teams, BJ tried to take a shortcut, but slipped on some rocks or a slope, effectively dropping him behind Monica. Oh shit! Oh shit! This was craziness!! Sure enough, Jeric arrived second, Mojo third, and the Hippies last — all within seconds of each other.
Who needs pants anyway, right Jeremy?
Don’t worry, Jeremy, it’s still there.
With everyone congregated on the mat, Joseph couldn’t help be relish the turn of events. “YOU YIELDED US!” he yelled at the Hippies with glee. Tyler then extended his hand, which Joseph begrudgingly shook, but Monica was not about to accept it. “Don’t. No!” she said. God, you’d think he just offered her a swordfish.
Well, as expected, this was a non-elimination round, but in another cruel twist, the camera tilted down to reveal that BJ had shed his pants and shoes, meaning he was barefoot and in his underwear. Yes, he had officially made the transformation to homeless bum. We’ve seen a lot of these non-elimination rounds, and everyone always rebounds quite well. But no pants or shoes? I can’t even imagine how he’s gonna get out of this one.
At least the Hippies had a suitably ridiculous outlook on the whole experience. “It’s like shedding our cocoon and metamorphosing into the butterflies that are going to win this race,” BJ said. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen such bedraggled butterflies.
What did you think about this episode? Should the Hippies have Yielded Mojo?