This season of The Amazing Race keeps getting better and better. I think we can officially say that the show has returned to proper form after two forgettable seasons. This latest installment didn’t include much traveling, but the levels of confusion and frustration more than made up for that as teams struggled to climb a massive rock and braved the fierce waters of Vietnam. Most importantly, however, we learned that almost no one on the show seemed capable of controlling a simple rowboat. With the way these teams acted, you’d think they’d just been ordered to pilot a space shuttle to Mars. It was total pandemonium, and as the minutes ticked by, the meltdowns grew from ridiculous to sublime. Every season, we always ask why we get generic Los Angeles couples like Rob and Kimberly. The answer, in short, is simple: there’s nothing like witnessing their spectacular mental demise.This week’s episode began in the lush countryside of Vietnam where the aforementioned Rob was recovering from a brutal case of heat exhaustion. Apparently, during the last leg, all that huffing and puffing in the rice paddy had taken its toll, causing him to collapse (and age about ten years). The crack medical team saved him, however, by dunking his feet in a cold bath and heaping ice bags on his head. Would he be able to recover from this setback? Would his constant state of crabbiness finally abate? Well, we’d have to wait to find out.
In the meantime, Erwin and Godwin left the Pit Stop first this week (with a flourish of wonderfully appropriate Asian music). They were to travel by taxi to Hanoi where they’d need to find the Ly Thai garden and listen for their next clue. As the two brother sprinted off to the next destination, Erwin explained to us how important it was to display the different sides of being an Asian-American, “Including our sense of humor.” He then added, “which is TERRIBLE.” Case in point, as the guys hailed down a taxi, they cheered, “We’re going to Disneyland.” HI-larious! Consider my Asian-American perceptions broadened!
Next to leave were the models, and as usual, Tyler did all the talking. He noted that regarding James, “When he’s down, I’ll try to pick him up, and if I’m down, he’ll try to pick me up.” He then added, “And we’ll use whatever methods are necessary: cocaine, PCP, speed. All the usual stuff.”
The models then giggled about having to pick up some Vietnamese currency, a.k.a. “Dong.” I wanted to roll my eyes at their cultural insensitivity, but honestly, I’m not above a good dong chuckle.
Speaking of dongs, next out of the Pit Stop were Rob and Kimberly, who were raring to go full crankiness ahead. The good news was that Rob had recovered from his debilitating heat exhaustion. Now he just had to focus on his relationship with Kimberly. He noted, “Control is a big issue in our relationship.” Translation: he doesn’t have any. But just because Kimberly wears the pants around the house doesn’t mean that Rob can’t channel his self-frustration into pure rage and obnoxiousness. As soon as the two hopped into their cab, Rob began haranguing his driver, yelling, “SLOW DOWN, BRO!!!” God! Didn’t the driver realize that his high speeds were endangering Rob? HE’S JUST A HUMAN BEING!
“Has he no respect for my heat exhaustion?”
Exiting the Pit Stop later were the beauty queens, who provided the first of many wonderful lines of the night: “We’re here to pick up our dong.” Clarence Thomas LOVES this episode!
Out of the gate next were Peter and Sarah, the latter of whom expressed some mild consternation about her partner. “Peter’s a complicated guy,” Sarah said, adding, “Mostly in that he’s gay, but still dating me.” Okay, she didn’t say that last part, but she did elaborate that regarding his character, “There are some things I found surprising and wonderful and other things that I’ve see where I’m kind of — I don’t know if disappointment is the right word.” Just say it, Sarah: he won’t have sex with you. It’s because you’re missing an appendage (and no, I’m not talking about your leg).
Karlyn and Lyn emerged from the Pit Stop, and as usual, they were babbling about their daughters and how much they missed them and how this race was to show them how empowered they were and blah blah blah. They were followed by Team Kentucky, who admitted that they had no idea how they’d managed to stay competitive. “I stay home and watch reality TV all the time,” Mary said, surely shocking all of America with this revelation. By the way, I wanted to hate the matching t-shirts these two wore, but how could you deny the sheer silliness of rocking the “Friends In Low Places” coal-miner pun? Okay, I guess it’s easy to deny, but I’m wont to loving pretty much everything these two do — including Mary when she tried to speak Vietnamese to a cab driver.
Last but not least were Tom and Terry, who again made us snicker with their dong use. “Pick up your Vietnamese dong,” Tom said with his typical, effeminate drawl. You know, if these guys had any sass, one of them would have chirped, “With pleasure!” But alas. No sass.
“The Vietnamese dong was quite impressive!”
Well, with all the teams heading towards the park in Hanoi, it was only a matter of time before someone was lost, and surprisingly, it was the Cho Brothers, Erwin and Godwin. They were so lost that their taxi fare dropped a dollar within two seconds (either that, or the editors showed us stock footage of a taxi gauge out of order. For shame!).
Anyway, Kimberob managed to pass Peter and Sarah on the road, and not without a touch of glee. The two noted how much they hated Peter and his pushy ways, but to be fair, Kimberly and Rob hate pretty much everything, and that includes you, cuddly teddy bears.
One of the first teams to arrive at the park were Dustin and Kandice, who listened for whatever their clue was. This would be a simple task for them because, as one of them revealed, “I’m very auditory; so hopefully it won’t be hard for us.” I wonder if that was her official beauty pageant skill: being able to hear things. It should be noted that as soon as these two bragged about their abilities to hear sounds, they then stalked some sort of box full of chirping crickets — completely neglecting the giant statue nearby that was reciting the clue over and over again via some outdoor speakers. What could be the clue? Crickets? Or a recorded message saying “Go to…”? For a moment, I thought a katydid might hop by and completely derail the beauty queens. They could have wound up in Guam if they weren’t careful.
As for that statue, it had a pretty direct message: take a taxi across the Red River to Ben Xe Gia Lam; then take a bus to Ben Xe Bai Chay; then find the Hydrofoil Harbor. Here’s the thing: these clues seem simple enough to us, but the racers didn’t have the benefit of subtitles to help them out, which meant “Ben Xe Gia Lam” sounded more like “Ben sheasd;glkahsdlf;gka.” Nevertheless, it was a very Lost in Translation moment (minus the pretentious, boring, interminable elements). All of the racers jotted down what they could understand of the clue (which was also garbled by the poor recording quality), and Lyn/Lyn immediately rushed off to their taxi, trying to inform him on the whereabouts of their destination. The junkie models, however, had the pretty smart idea of having their cabbies listen to the clue, and in no time, they were off, seeking out Ben Xe Gia Lam (which is like DUH so obvious!). Following right behind them in their own cab were Kimberob, but unlike before when their driver was going entirely too fast for Rob’s liking, the car had now fallen to a slothful velocities, causing Rob to completely flip out all over again.
“What are you waiting for, bro???” he whined with frustration, but it was too late. The junkie models had slipped away from him like oh so many bit roles on Passions.
Rob finds out that he did not, in fact, book the Applebees commercial.
Having a better time in their cab were David and Mary, the latter of whom had developed a full-scale crush on their driver. “I love him! He’s so cool. I love yewww!” Mary said to their driver, who may or may not have been scared out of his mind. Meanwhile, back in the cab of acrimony, Kimberob decided that the best bet would be to return to the park and get a new driver. And so that’s exactly what they did, cursing and screaming the whole way. But seriously. Fuck that driver for not speaking English in his home country! Who did he think he was? A native Vietnamese local? JERK.
As other teams such as TerTom (just made that up) and Win/Win worked with the locals to get direction, Rob and Kimberly simply hopped in a new cab and began the harassment all over again. “Are you stoned, bro?” Rob asked at one point, CLEARLY not seeing the gravity pong perched in the front seat. Later, when the cabbie tried to ask him a question, he barked back, “Dude, I don’t speak your language, dude!” Yeah, stop speaking to Rob in a language he doesn’t understand. Only he’s allowed to demand things in a foreign language. Asshole driver…
Rob then accused the driver of being a malicious ne’er-do-well, saying, “He’s just toying with us right now.” That’s right, Rob. The cabbie is trying to make your lives hell — just for shits and giggles. It’s all a conspiracy. Well, not wanting to be a pawn in this driver’s devilish chess game of wits and survival, Kimberob hopped out taxi, hoping that the third time might be the charm (although, “charm” and “Rob” are not two concepts that ever co-mingle).
Sure enough, the two wound up in another cab, and since this driver seemed like he actually had a sense of where to go, Rob shushed Kimberly, fearful that any errant noise might send the car into a tailspin from which they’d never recover. But before entering a state of total silence, Rob muttered, “I’m done talking with foreigners.” Um… they’re not the foreigners. Last time, I checked, your residency was not 541 Ho Chi Minh Trail Drive.
Elsewhere in the race, teams began arriving at the next stop, which was a bus station (and yes, it wouldn’t open until 5 AM). Almost everyone arrived all at once, even Lyn/Lyn and Peter & Sarah, who had been incredibly lost in the back alleys of Hanoi. Showing up towards the rear of the pack, of course, were Rob and Kimberly, who somehow thwarted the combined efforts of Vietnam’s taxi-driving population to undermine them. As the two were reunited with the group, Rob explained, “That was the worst taxi experience in the history of taxi drivers, dude.” For you or for him?
By the way, two weeks ago in New York City, part of a crane fell over onto a taxi, nearly killing everyone inside. Luckily, they all escaped unharmed. But still, Rob’s experience was THE WORST IN THE HISTORY OF TAXI DRIVERS! It was like the Holocaust of taxi rides!
Last but not least, Kentucky showed up at the bus station, and as she stepped out of the car, Mary tried to embrace her driver, who clearly was not prepared for such a hillbilly treat. Needless to say, he looked as enthused as if he were receiving a warm embrace from a mummy covered in vomit (and that DOES happen).
Just like that, everyone was even again, and the next morning, all the teams boarded a bus for a leisurely ride across the countryside. This trip gave everyone a chance to relax for a few seconds, and at one point, Tyler turned to his partner James and said, “You look like I feel.” He then added, “SEXY. VERY VERY SEXY.”
Eventually, the bus arrived at its destination, and all the teams poured out in search of Hydrofoil Harbor. Once there, they encountered this week’s Roadblock, which was no easy task. In fact, Phil suddenly appeared and told us, “One person has to summon the guts and stamina to power through a potentially frightening challenge!” Oooh! Summoning guts and stamina! It’s like the trip to Amazing Bridge World all over again!
Anyway, for this Roadblock, one person had to climb a ninety-foot vertical rock surface with nothing but an ascender — of which there were only three (first come, first serve). Perhaps feeling pressure from having skipped out on last week’s flower-selling Roadblock, Sarah volunteered for this mission, despite the clue asking, “Who’s got strong arms and legs?”
“I’ve got strong arms, and I’ve got strong legs!” Sarah happily announced. Um, not to be cruel, but the clue didn’t read, “Who’s got strong arms, one strong leg, and one leaky hydraulic knee?” Just saying, it might not have been the wisest decision…
Well, to get to the Roadblock, teams had to board speedboats and be taken out to the rock. In another example of their devious ways, Dustin and Kandice stole Lyn/Lyn’s boat, but alas! Cosmic justice of the Lyn/Lyn! One of the girls managed to gash her leg as she boarded the boat. That’ll teach them! By the way, I’m constantly amused by the producers’ attempt to vilify the Miss Americas. I’ll just say it right now: I don’t hate them!
“This boat is Super! Thanks for asking!”
Anyway, first to arrive at the Roadblock were David, Terry, and Rob, who all began scampering up the ropes. Maybe “scampering” is too active of a word. Perhaps I should stick with “slowly ascending.” On deck for the challenge was Karlyn, who famously spent the latter half of the premiere episode panting at the base of the Great Wall. Why she’d volunteer for this Roadblock was beyond me.
As the guy moved up the wall, Rob took a quick lead, despite looking incredibly anxious. Terry, meanwhile, had harness issues: “Tight on my crotch…” he proclaimed, and no, he wasn’t referring to Vietnamese dong again.
Also feeling apprehensive about this challenge was Sarah, but luckily, she had a cheering squad in Peter. “SARAH!!!!” he yelled urgently. I half expected him to go on some rant about whatever, but instead he quietly said, “You’ll be fine.” I wonder if he does that to her all the time. “SARAH!!!! Do you want paper or plastic, sweetie?”
Anyway, Rob reached the top of the rock first, and after the friendly person up there gave him a clue, he began the swift rappelling trip down. “Did they give you the clue?” Kimberly asked as he descended. No, you idiot. He climbed all the way up there, and there was no clue. Oops!
While Terry labored to reach the top of the rock, Tom fretted in his boat, saying, “Oh my god. He’s gonna totally make me do the next Roadblock after this!” The good news for Tom: rumor has it the next Roadblock has to do with sparkles and Liza Minelli! Yay!
Well, once Rob reached the base of the rock, he was able to open the clue. Teams now had to travel to a nearby cave and find the next clue. As they ran off, Sarah’s anxiety continued to escalate, especially after Erwin commented that this challenge was “All legs!” Pssst: ixnay on the egslay around arahsay…
Meanwhile, from his comfy perch in the boat, Peter jokingly encouraged Sarah to “pull the handicap card and tell ‘em you’re next in line.” Maybe if we pull the douchebag card, Peter could be next too!
Anyway, it was finally Sarah’s turn, and faster than you can say “Sniffles galore,” she was already struggling with the ascender. First her foot got caught in a loop, and then she just began to freak out in general. “Peter… oh god… Peter…” she kept saying quietly, as if Peter were right there — which he wasn’t. Seriously, stop saying his name. He’s nowhere near you!
Luckily for Sarah, the commercial break worked wonders for her, and she suddenly regained her confidence and composure. As she began climbing up, Kimberob ran into a cave to find the next clue. Amusingly, Rob managed to hit his head on something or another, causing him to let out an angry, “OW!!!” Hey cave, don’t you realize that Rob is just a human being??? Clearly, this was all the work of those taxi drivers who were callously toying with him and his precious cranium!
Well, the quarrelsome couple had a good amount of difficulty finding the clue box, but eventually, Kimberly located it. “Here it is,” she said, causing Rob to reply, “No way…” He then added, “That is completely inconceivable to me that the clue box is RIGHT THERE!!!”
Anyway, the two opened the clue which was this week’s Detour. Suddenly, we found Phil walking in the cave as he explained this week’s arduous tasks: “over” or… wait for it… wait for it… “under.”
Behold the PhilCave™
In “Over,” teams had to ride a junk (a type of boat) to a buoy where they’d then have to disembark onto a smaller boat called a sampan, then row that bad boy to a supply boat, load up provisions, and row over to a floating village where they’d have to deliver the items to two addresses. Then teams would have to return two signed invoices to get the next clue. You know, mildly convoluted. Add a puzzle, and it would have been a Survivor immunity challenge.
In “Under,” teams had to ride a junk to a buoy, get into a sampan, and then row over to a pearl farm where they’d have to harvest thirty oyster baskets and deliver them to a farmer.
Well, Rob officially selected “Under” as his Detour of choice, happily saying, “Let’s go under water.” (Of course, the challenge didn’t call for actually going under water, but that’s neither here nor there in idiotville.) The two ran out to their junk, and amusingly, Kimberly didn’t even know what one was. Now, this is no disrespect to people who don’t know what junks are, but c’mon. How do you not know what a junk is? You always remember what a junk is because it’s the only boat called “junk,” and when you’re eight years old and learning about boats in school, that’s like the most hilarious thing ever. Junk!
Back at the rock, dreamy, druggy Tyler quickly passed Sarah en route to retrieving his clue, causing Peter to advise Sarah to spit at him. It was only a joke, but it was still hard to resist hating Peter as he then reclined in his boat, haughtily sipping a Coca Cola in the process. Later, as he continued to enjoy this fine beverage, Peter dialed in some token encouragement, saying, “Keep it going, sister!” Peter, in case you didn’t realize, sisters are doin’ it for themselves. (I know, I know. Awful pun…)
“Sometimes, I like to pretend that soda cans are penises…”
Well, Sarah actually did manage to make it to the top of the rock, which really was an impressive feat (surely overshadowed Karlyn’s heroic effort). While Sarah basked in this moment of personal triumph, Rob was delighting America with yet another hissy fit. He and Kimberly had transitioned from junk to sampan, and now he was facing his biggest challenge: rowing.
For those of you who are avid Amazing Race fans, you realize that there are two things in this world that don’t mix: Vietnam and rowing. Let’s not forget what happened the last time the Race came to this country. Zach and Flo attempted to paddle across a river in a little, circular raft, but only met anger and malaise. Well, that was just a precursor to the rowing problems nearly everyone faced this time around, starting off with Rob and Kimberly. The two went absolutely nuts as they attempted to hone the fine art of rowing. Should they face forwards? Should they face backwards? Should they do it together? Should they be apart? Should they yell loudly? Or should they yell really loudly? It was a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a mystery wrapped in two very dumb people.
At one point, Rob barked at Kimberly to go up to the front of the boat, but then as soon as she got there, he insisted that he join her on one side. Memo to future reality stars: only one person rows. This isn’t like a viking ship. It’s a sampan (which was essentially a glorified rowboat).
“You put your chin up, you walk right back there, and you audition for that Sizzler commercial!”
Elsewhere on the race, Terry and Tom were relaxing on their junk, not realizing the hell they were about to descend into. For now, they simply admired the scenery, saying that if there were a Starbucks nearby, they could live there. Well, Indonesia’s not that far away. They have coffee. Does that count?
On another junk, Mary complained about her nagging ankle injury, but when David offered her a chair, she stubbornly opted to stand instead. “When you become my boss, you can tell me what to do!” she snapped. I didn’t know “sitting around, watching reality TV” had a supervisor position. How can I get into that field?
Meanwhile, in the sampan of disharmony, Kimberob approached the pearl farm, but dammit! They couldn’t find any baskets! “WHERE ARE THE BASKETS, DUDE???” Rob bellowed, punching the water in the process. Yeah, take THAT, water! You can’t hide your baskets forever! Rob will beat you until you relent. He will BEAT you!
At long last, Kimberob finally found their first basket, which meant that for two seconds, they actually seemed satisfied. Looks like Mr. Ocean crumbled under the intense man-slaps of Rob! Victory!
Over in TerTom-ville, the junk vacation had ended, and now the two were struggling with their sampan too. Rowing, it turns out, is not an intrinsic element of fetching Starbucks. Needless to say, much whining and whimpering ensued.
Also experiencing the joys of the sampan were David and Mary, who were gingerly trying to make their post-junk transition. Alas, the sampan was a feisty little vessel, causing Mary to scream to her husband, “DON’T YOU DARE LET GO OF ME!” Never Mary. We’ll be holding onto you for as long as we can…
Nevertheless, the coal miner and his wife began bickering about rowing too, and here’s a surprise, their faithful allies, the Cho brothers, were just as bad off. They didn’t really argue that much, but they too had no idea what they were doing. C’mon, people. Have you ever even glanced at a rowboat? It’s a very simple motion!
Just about the only ones who could row were Tyler and Peter, the latter of which entered a mode of authoritarian intensity. When Sarah sweetly asked how she could help, he snapped back, “I really need you not to say anything.” To which Sarah said, “You’re doing awesome!” SHHH!!!! Don’t you realize he needs perfect silence to keep his rhythm? Otherwise, how will he hear his inner-metronome clicking “Sis-ter! Sis-ter! Sis-ter!”
Elsewhere, the beauty queens somehow fell into last place (I think it’s because they arrived at the Roadblock last — bad boat-stealin’ karma!), and now they were also attempting to conquer the indomitable beast that is rowing. Unlike other teams, they attempted a newer, more idiotic approach: standing and rowing. Makes perfect sense! Needless to say, it wasn’t terribly effective. As we headed into the commercial break, there was chaos everywhere: Tom and Terry and rowed to the completely wrong spot (the floating village), the beauty queens were crying, and the rest of Rob’s hair had turned gray (paging Just for Men…). Would any of these teams be able to gain control of their sampans from hell?
Uh… not really…
After the break, Kimberob managed to collect all thirty of their oyster baskets, and as they paddled to the oyster farmer, Rob yelled, “UP! DOWN! UP–” But Kimberly quickly rained on his parade by snipping, “You don’t have to yell it. I’m right next to you.” Listen, Kimberly. Rob doesn’t want to talk to the foreigners, and if you don’t shut up, he’s gonna add you to that list. So zip it with your logical but bitchy requests!
We then cut to T&T where we discovered Tom bleeding, but it wasn’t as impressive as Kandice’s leg cut; so whatever, right? Let’s go back to dysfunction junction! Yes, Kimberob turned in their oyster baskets, earning them the next clue: take the sampan back to the junk, which will take you to a certain beach (I didn’t write down the name) for the Pit Stop. As the two headed back to their junk, we then cut to Lyn and Karlyn who had finally reached the provision boat (they were doing “Over”). The two stocked up on supplies, all to the tune of some vaguely Rocky-ish music (btw, I saw the trailer for the new Rocky this weekend. Kind of looks silly. Then again, I never saw the original. I know, I know. I’ll watch it one of these days. In the meantime, The Departed? Awesome.)
But I digress. Let’s go back to Kimberob (and by the way, it should be known that during all this, we cut back and forth rapidfire between all the teams as they struggled to row and paddle and pull up oyster baskets, etc). Anyway, we received a delicious dose of snark from Kimberly when Rob sneered, “I know how to row!!!” (clearly not), to which she said, “I forgot. You went to school for that.” ZING! Well done, Kimberly! If there was any question as to whether this relationship should be Kimberob or Roberly, I believe the Kimberob name was just officially sealed.
Hey, remember Peter? Remember the way he so cavalierly sat around and watched his “girlfriend” (in the shopping sense) climb that rock? Well, now he was all high strung as he and Sarah tried to haul in oyster baskets. At one point, he did succeed in yanking up a basket into the boat. Unfortunately, he also let in a shit load of water. He was leaning over so far that he had actually submerged the corner of the sampan. As you can imagine, this led to general prissiness. It was almost as bad as the time someone taped over his favorite episode of The Nanny.
Elsewhere in the harbor, Lyn/Lyn took a moment to appreciate the floating village. One of them commented, “That is kind of cool though, seriously.” Yes, nothing quite as awesome as poverty. Shanty town on water? Paradise!
Back at the oyster buoys, terrible TerrTom drifted in to do some harvesting. Unfortunately, they still didn’t seem to have any control of anything, which infuriated no one more than Peter who screamed, “ROW YOUR BOAT, GUYS! We can’t do our… get the fuck—” and with that, Peter shove their boat away. Meow! Honestly, I bet Terry and Tom really loved that. It was the first time all day that their boat had gone in the right direction.
Anyway, pushed to the limits with frustration, an irate Peter complained, “I’m done after this. I don’t want to do this anymore!” Never mind that his “girlfriend” (in the take-to-Madonna sense) had just spent the earlier part of the afternoon scaling a giant rock with one leg. This “pulling baskets from the water” was entirely too difficult! THROW IN THE TOWEL, SISTER! WE’RE GOING TO BANANA INSTEAD!!!
Meanwhile, up in the front of the pack, Kimberly and Rob officially checked in with Phil in first place, which meant they annoyingly won a pair of jetskis. You know what that means: let the countdown to tragic (yet kind of awesome) jetski accident begin! Phil then asked them, “Have you guys been nice to each other?” To which Rob replied, “I’m so competitive blah blah blah…” The answer: NO.
Back on the open water, Lyn/Lyn were stuck in some sort of rocky alcove while Peter and Sarah, despite all their bickering, had finished the Detour and were now in fourth place. Ahead of them were James and Tyler, who were now powering their way back to their junk, thanks to Tyler’s assured rowing. “You are just the muscle man today, bro!” James said with adoration, adding, “I was just merely a passenger today.” Yes, a passenger. LIKE EVERY DAY. It should be noted that this was the first time that James has said two sentences in a row.
On their junk, Sarah told Peter that he rocked in the Detour, but he merely ignored her, looking the other way (at least, that’s the way it was edited to look). This caused Sarah to cry, and then moments later, she told us how upset she was that Peter even talked about giving up when she had given 100% and had never even questioned her commitment to the race. Yes, but sister, did you just get your mani-pedi done? I didn’t think so. Peter’s got an investment to protect!
“Check out these guns. I’m ready to tackle any Vietnamese dong that comes my way…”
Luckily for Peter and Sarah, the two took a lead in the ocean. Turns out Tyler and James’s junk was moving amazingly slow. Why? Because the crew forgot to reel in the anchor. Oops! A frustrated Tyler waved angrily at the captain, who obliviously waved back happily. Yay condescending Americans! As a result of this snafu, Peter and Sarah took second place with the junkie models behind with third. Erwin and Godwin showed up fourth, and then things started to get really exciting (as if they weren’t already).
Still left in the water were Dustin and Kandice, Terry and Tom, Lyn and Karlyn, and David and Mary. The Kentuckians were in pretty good shape. I’m pretty sure they were even on their junk at this point. In fact, yes they were because they soon motored right by the Pit Stop, and as Mary spotted Phil on the beach, she cooed, “I know Phil — scrawny, little ol’ gorgeous thing!” Grrrrowl! The other three teams were struggling though. The Miss Americas managed to make up for lost time at the oyster farm, passing Terry and Tom in the process. However, when the girls received their clue, they didn’t read it carefully and thought they were supposed to row to Phil’s beach, not take the junk. Oh man… This was gonna be close…
Meanwhile, David and Mary officially check in fifth, and back at the Detour, Terry and Tom finally pulled up all thirty baskets. As for Kandice and Dustin? They had pulled up to some random beach where Phil was most definitely not standing. Realizing that something was amiss, they decided to take a second look at the clue, but for some unknown reason, the paper was all shredded. Yes, one of the girls had actually torn the thing apart. Why? I don’t know. Maybe she was taking out her aggression? Or maybe she wanted to be menacing to the other clues. Nevertheless, they realized that they might be very screwed by this development, and as a result, Dustin (I think) began to cry. Kandice told her to snap out of it, but Dustin wouldn’t. “Just let me cry as I paddle,” she said, honing her inner Christine Godlewski (she just wanted her bayackpayack!!!).
Anyway, Lyn and Karlyn finally boarded their junk after spending the past few hours stuck in that cove, and as they headed to the beach, they began to cry, thinking that they’d be eliminated. Don’t worry, girls. You’ll be safe! Of course, their bawling was accompanied by inspirational music — a true testament to the will of single-mothers around the world! Or something like that.
Over with the Miss Americas, the girls finally realized that maybe they should just go back to their junk. Similarly, Tom and Terry had finished their Detour, and they too were trying to paddle back to the mothership. Unfortunately, the wind had picked up in the harbor, making rowing even more difficult than before. Tom attempted to actually hail the junk, but shockingly, no one on the vessel heard his call all the way across the harbor. Eventually, he just got out of the boat and began hauling it (Tom probably should have gotten out to assist, but I think he was still holding onto the notion that he could actually row).
“Yoohoo! Mr. Junk captain! We’re ever so lost and afraid!”
In the middle of all this, the single moms arrived at the mat to take sixth place, and then the pressure was really on. Queens vs. queens once again. The girls reached their boat first, and once on board, we got a glimpse of just how tattered their clue was. It looked like it had been in a food disposal. Seriously, what the hell?
Meanwhile, a weary and helpless Tom literally could not even get into the junk. Instead, he flopped back down into his sampan. My lord, it looked like he had the vapors!
“Good sir, I reckon I do feel faint!”
Once Tom and Terry got on board, the show then became the weepy junk race we always knew it could be. Over in the Miss America junk, Dustin and Kandice bickered slightly, but then, in a chamomile tea moment of perfection, Dustin asked, “Can I just cry on your shoulder for a moment?” Of course Kandice said yes, and all their troubles melted away. “I love you,” Kandy said. It was a totally silly scene, and yet, oddly moving. And speaking of bawling, that’s exactly what Terry and Tom were doing on their boat as they headed to shore. The two looked exhausted and drained, ready to soak in a bubble bath with Babs playing on the stereo.
“I still can’t believe that Wicked isn’t playing ANYWHERE in Vietnam!”
The big question remained: who’s junk would deliver the goods? The answer… the beauty queens! Yes, Dustin and Candice arrived in seventh place, thus avoiding elimination by a hair. This meant that Tom and Terry were last, and for a moment, I thought that maybe they might benefit from a non-elimination round, but alas, they were unceremoniously cut — like so many kickball games growing up, I’m sure.
As the show ended, the two talked about how amazing the experience was, and Terry praised Tom’s fortitude in the final Detour, saying how it showed his determination and heart. Once again, another moving exit interview. So great to have this show back in top form. Now I won’t feel bad if it wins another Emmy…
What did you think about this episode?