Once again, sorry for the late recap. I have a really good excuse. I was busy building Ikea furniture all weekend. What? That’s not a good excuse? You see, what happened was that I went to Ikea on Saturday to buy a bookshelf and whatnot, and one thing led to another and there I was Sunday afternoon, in my bedroom, still assembling junk. By the time The Amazing Race came on, I was full-on exhausted, but that may have had to do more with the hangover I was suffering from. But who wants to hear about drinking when I can talk about Ikea — home of a beloved Detour on season six of The Amazing Race. Speaking of which, let’s get onto the latest episode, which, I am happy to report, featured about thirty minutes — that’s right, thirty minutes — of airport intrigue. Doesn’t get much better than that.This week’s episode began in lovely Vietnam where our dearest Phil stood proudly before a sunny seascape, or as I like to call it, a Philscape™. This tranquil and wonderful image, however, was quickly replaced with the harsh and unseemly sight of Rob and Kimberly emerging from the Pit Stop. Apparently razors are in short order in Vietnam because Rob was growing in a patchy, salt-and-pepper homeless beard. Nevertheless, the two bickering ninnies opened up their first clue and learned they’d be taking a train back to Hanoi and flying to scenic Chennai, India, but because of Vietnamese regulations, they wouldn’t be able to purchase tickets at the airport. Hence, Phil advised, “so it’s best to get them at a travel agency.” Well, yeah. Of course, it’s best. What other options do they have, PHIL? Thanks for the loaded suggestion!
Anyway, as Kimberob jogged off to the train station, Rob asked, “Ready for some curry?” Clearly he didn’t realize that curry was just as readily available in Vietnam as it was in India. Some people and their curry ignorance…
Rob then told us that “Running this race is a metaphor for a life together.” How wonderful. And if this race is any indication, that life together will be ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE (and possibly filled with curry).
Out of the gate next were Sarah and Peter and their invisible partner: disillusionment. Yes, Sarah was seeing Peter for who he was these days, and she wasn’t a big fan. “I don’t hold him on this pedestal that I did before,” she said. To be fair, she can’t hold him on the pedestal anymore on account of the pedestal’s legs leaking hydraulic fluid. Personally, I’d like to see Peter hold Sarah up on a pedestal, only because it would be fun to watch him yell, “C’mon, sister! Get up there, SARAH!” as she struggled to climb on top of the pedestal.
Next out were the models, who were particularly chatty about their druggy days this episode. “We are recovering addicts,” one of them said, as if we didn’t already know. He then added, “We were addicted to BLUE STEEL!” Actually, he didn’t say that. Instead, James — a.k.a. the one addicted to silence — commented, “I think one of the hardest things about the race is being powerless over a lot of the situations.” You know, like being around black market hashish and heroin all day long.
One situation that the models seemed very powerless over was their inability to draw a train. Yes, in an effort to guide their cabbie to the train station, Tyler attempted to sketch out a little locomotive, but all it really looked like was a car with a smokestack. But then again, on a second glance, one might say it looked like… a marijuana pipe with wheels. Oh, those recovering addicts! Must everything be a reference with them?
The Cho Brothers (Win/Win) emerged next, and for whatever reason, they decided a pair of matching novelty t-shirts that said “LOST” and featured pics of Phil. I’m still waiting for this alleged sense of humor to kick in with these guys. Following them in fifth place were David and Mary, who talked about all the wonderful things they could do for their family with the prize money, and behind them were Lyn and Karlyn, who told us that this was the longest they’d ever spent with each other face to face. Last but not least were those sneaky Miss Americas, who promised, “We’re going to have to pull out all of our cards!” And maybe after that, they can pull out all the stops. Of course, that’s assuming they have one more stop up their sleeve, if you will…
Well, everyone wound up on the same train, which meant it was a case of the ol’ equalizer kickin’ in. As they traveled from one town to another, Tyler and James informed us that they saw a guy shooting dope out their window. “Brings back a gruesome truth for James and I,” Tyler mentioned. Yes, back when they were at their low point, they too often shot up in rural Vietnam.
Elsewhere, in less somber parts of the train, the remaining members of the backpack (Win/Win, Lyn/Lyn, and Kentucky) all sat together and shared information on which travel agencies to go to in Hanoi. Nearby, Peter tried to listen in but eventually decided that maybe he too should ally with someone. He then walked to another car where the Miss Americas were seated with two random Vietnamese girls. Peter joined forces with them (Kandice and Dustin, not the Vietnamese girls), and they agreed that they would share information with each other. Of course, as soon as Peter left, the beauty queens confessed that they didn’t trust Peter at all and would use him until it was no longer beneficial. Meanwhile, on his way back to his seat, Peter told the Backpack (for about the third time) that he knew where the closest travel agency was, causing Lyn to angrily (and thankfully) rant back, “Well, tell me and quit telling me you’ll tell me. You tellin’ me you’re going to tell me, but you’re walking off. So I’m not going to beg you for nothing because I don’t need you for anything! Don’t keep playing me for stupid. I’m not stupid!” Watch out, India! Sassy black woman coming your way!
Even better than Lyn’s rant was Godwin, who pulled out a fake cell phone, just to bother the other teams, specifically Peter. Sure enough, the junkie models and Peter tried to eavesdrop on Godwin’s “call,” and while it was hilarious watching them get so unnerved, the whole plan kind of worked against the Backpack because it simply motivated Peter to find a phone for himself. I seem to remember a similar act of deception backfiring in a team’s face on Family Edition, but I can’t pinpoint what exactly it was. Nevertheless, Peter booked tickets for his team and the beauty queens, and once the train arrived in Hanoi, everyone sprinted off in search of travel agencies. Kandice and Dustin actually arrived at an agency first and tried to secure their tickets before their “allies,” but Peter and Sarah arrived two seconds later, full of the usual “C’mon sister!” energy.
As for the Backpack, they somehow got all split up. The Cho Brothers arrived at their intended agency, but it had moved locations. Mary, meanwhile, sought help from a local, whom she told, “You dress really nicely!” And as we all know, nobody’s a fashionista like Mary. I heard she’ll be a guest judge on Project Runway next season.
Well, about half the teams (Miss Americas, Peter & Sarah, Mary and David, and Lyn/Lyn) booked flights getting into Chennai at 12 PM (via various layover cities — couldn’t wait for the airplane diagram). Meanwhile, the junkie models and Kimberob managed to find flights arriving at 9:20 AM. Sounded great, BUT the tickets would be coming by messenger, and no one knew when they’d arrive. Oh, and by the way, the flight was leaving in two hours. Would the tickets get there in time???
Over at the airport, Lyn/Lyn asked Peter what flight he was on, but he acted all shady as if he couldn’t remember. He stuttered something about T-T-T-Tahiti airlines, thus proving himself to be the worst liar of all time. The single-moms quickly sniffed out what flight he was on. Back at the travel agency, the junkie models and Kimberob were still waiting around, going nuts in the process. If only Tyler had a Quaalude to calm him down… Luckily for them, the courier arrived like two seconds later (probably coming from across the street), and all was well in pretty model land.
Back at the airport, the single moms and Kentucky learned that the Cho brothers had also landed seats on that 9:20 AM flight. They knew they all had to be on that early flight, and so Mary decided she’d talk her way onto it. Long story short, Lyn/Lyn and Kentucky were able to get seats to Delhi, but after that, the best they could do would be only reservations from Delhi to Chennai. Thus, they needed to make a choice: take a sure thing that would put them at the back of the pack, or risk everything for a chance to move ahead.
Well, the single-moms had already made up their minds: “We don’t wanna get on a flight with Sarah and Peter and the Barbies. It’s just too much tension.” So there you have it. Sarah and Peter and the beauty queens were so annoying that these teams were willing to give up a million dollars to avoid them. And speaking of Peter, he was presently hanging out in a restaurant with the beauty queens, making fun of the Kentuckians behind their back. I believe last time I checked, that was our job, not his, and since we like Mary and David, Peter had better back off. Back off, sister!
Later on, Peter apparently asked Win/Win what their flight was, and Godwin explained that he gave the broad outlines of their itinerary, ie. he revealed all. Dumbass. Apparently, he didn’t want to lie, which had me wondering why he came on a reality show in the first place. Anyway, this all caused Peter to go investigate an earlier flight, but when he found out that he wouldn’t have a designated seat for one leg of the layover, he decided that a leaking hydraulic knee was worth two in the bush, and so he stayed with his original flight. Haha, sucker! Meanwhile, David told us, “Hopefully, we can be 1, 2, 3, and just shake up this whole race.” Yeah, probably not.
At this point, I fully expected the most complicated airplane diagram in seasons, but alas, THERE WAS NONE! That’s right, after twenty-five minutes of travel plans that were fairly confusing, CBS deprived us of seeing all those lines going from all over Southeast Asia. What were they thinking? I’d been waiting all episode! Nevertheless, I soon discovered why the producers could not shower us with animation just yet (or at all). Turns out there was still quite a bit of airport intrigue to be had! Both sets of teams arrived in their layover cities (Delhi for the 9:20 group, Bangkok for the rest), and that’s where things started to get tricky. In a cruel twist of fate that had me growling quietly, Peter managed to switch to a flight that arrived in Chennai at 7:50 AM. Blast! The beauty queens also booked the same flight, but before anything was confirmed, Peter asked them what they were doing. They gave him a noncommittal response, causing him to come over and look over their shoulders at their ticket. It was fairly obnoxious and precipitated the end of this once glorious and fleeting alliance. The Beauty Queens were totally creeped out by his actions and decided that they weren’t going to work with him anymore. Similarly, Peter was turned off by what he perceived was a lack of openness from Dustin and Kandice. “Too bad the girls didn’t share a little bit of information,” he said, “when we had every intention of showing them the same flights.” He then added, “Maybe if I had called them ‘sister,’ they would have responded better…”
Meanwhile, over in Delhi, Kimberob, who had been surprisingly quiet this episode, discovered that Win/Win would be on their flight, and they were not happy. “It’s the CHO BROTHERS!” they balked, as if Godwin and Erwin were two lepers on the loose. As for David, Mary, Lyn, and Karlyn, they all got in line and tried to get seats, but guess what? None left! They had to get on a waiting list. As time ticked away, the single moms lucked out and received tickets. As for David and Mary, there were no seats left. They were stranded in Delhi!! Would they ever make it to Chennai?
Well, we then cut to commercial, and as usual, everything was remedied when we came back… sort of. David and Mary wound up on an Air Sahara flight that would arrive at 10 AM. It was only forty minutes behind the other teams, but still, given that these two were not the fastest of duos, it was not an encouraging situation.
Nevertheless, after over a half an hour of airports, we finally arrived in India where teams had to take a bus to the town of Mamallapuram (sort of sounds like “Mammals And Purim”) and find a shop called Valluvar Arts and Crafts. The beauty queens and Peter and Sarah were first to touchdown on the subcontinent, and as they made their way to the bus station, Peter scoffed, “We go from one polluted city to another.” He then added, “I hear that the people in these places actually assist their one-legged girlfriends. Idiots.”
At one point, Peter and Sarah’s taxi drove up alongside Dustin and Kandice’s. He tried to ask the girls’ driver where they were headed, but one of them literally stuck her hand in the cabbie’s face so he couldn’t say anything. Subtle. Very subtle. Turns out the tactic worked. Peter and Sarah got lost while Dustin and Kandice wound up in first place on a bus to Mamallapuram.
Later, the teams on the 9:20 flight all arrived, and immediately, Win/Win and Lyn/Lyn all headed appropriately enough to a Tuk-Tuk. They LOVE repetitive three-letter words! Kimberob, meanwhile, opted for a taxi, whose trunk Kimberly promptly bopped her head on. I wonder if that was part of the race-as-metaphor-for-life narrative.
As for the junkie models, their cabbie was totally lost (I’m guessing Tyler’s drawing of a bus station looked like a spoonful of heroin), and while they languished in the streets, David and Mary finally arrived in Chennai. “We do not think we’re in last,” Mary said optimistically. Unfortunately for her, the words “CURRENTLY IN LAST PLACE” then flashed on the screen (Mary and David still thought that Peter and Sarah and Kandice and Dustin were all still arriving at 12 PM. Oops!).
With everyone now in India, it was time for various teams to make generalizations / obnoxious comments. Lyn and Karlyn said they liked India because the people seemed to have more meat on their bones. Basically, they weren’t such freaks of nature with their plus-sized femininity like they were in that anorexic country, Vietnam. Meanwhile, Kimberob squeezed into a bus where Kimberly barked, “Don’t let anybody touch me!” Her body is her temple! Her annoying, whiny temple.
Of course, no Los Angeles girl on The Amazing Race can get through a season without balking at the offensive odors she encounters, and Kimberly was no exception. “It smells like FISH!” she complained, not realizing that she was probably talking about Rob (I’m sure there were a few barnacles trapped in his patchy beard). Ultimately, Kimberly proclaimed, “I want to go to Europe.” Hmmm… I think this part of the metaphor is supposed to represent Rob’s inability to satisfy Kimberly sexually. Either that, or he doesn’t buy her a big enough wedding ring. Either/or.
Rob then derisively commented, “We’re stuck in a poor, poor part of the world,” causing Kimberly to say, “I want to be with the rich folk.” Normally, I’d give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she was just being snarky and sarcastic, but then I remember this is Rob and Kimberly we’re talking about. And they’re idiots.
Over at the front of the pack, the beauty queens arrived at the arts and crafts store, but it didn’t open until 11:30 AM. Could it be? After thirty-five minutes of airport intrigue, it would all end up in an equalizer??? Not really. The only team that benefited from this was Peter and Sarah, who caught up to their former allies, now semi-rivals. Anyway, once the store opened up, the teams received their next clue, which was the Detour: “Wild Things” or “Wild Rice.”
In “Wild Things,” teams had to go to the Madras Crocodile Bank and locate pit 16. Then they’d have to help two wranglers secure one large croc and transport it to another pit. It didn’t seem so bad.
Wild things indeed!
In “Wild Rice,” teams had to go to a nearby temple, choose an outline, and fill in the picture with colored powder. I guess the upside with this option was that it was so close, but on the other hand, it looked time-consuming and tedious. Sure enough, everyone seemed to do the crocs. Both Sarah and Peter (or Speter) and the Miss Americas opted for “Wild Things,” and as they headed off in search of the Madras Crocodile Bank, Dustin and Kandice faced an annoying setback when their cab was stricken by that most common of third world taxi ailments: the much maligned flat tire! Unsurprisingly, this made Peter very, very happy as they sped on by.
At the crocodile place, Peter pestered Sarah to run faster, but in case he forgot, the wonderful artificial knee that he designed was broken, thanks to that pesky hydraulic leak. Still, that didn’t stop Peter from cracking the whip, and at one point, when they had to climb over a small wall to enter the crocodile pit, Peter didn’t help Sarah at all, despite her one-legged struggles. Later, the two attached rubber bands to a croc’s snout, and Peter added insult to injury by barking at Sarah like she were a little girl. “WORK IT!! WORK IT!!! Don’t twist it!” he yelled. (By the way, easiest Detour ever.) The two then transported their crocodile to its new pen, causing Sarah to comment, “This is scary.”
“It’s not scary, Sarah!!!” Peter snapped back condescendingly. Little did he realize she was talking about his sexuality. ZING! Gotcha!
Once the two had unleashed the croc in its new tank, they had to climb over another small wall, causing more patronizing cheerleading from Peter. “C’mon, Sarah! Over! C’mon sister!” he yelled, not deigning to actually help her in the process. They then read the next clue, which told them to take a bus back to Chennai and look for the Karthik Driving School. Conveniently, there was a bus nearby, but because Sarah was limited by her bum leg, the two couldn’t reach it in time. Peter did try to call out for the bus, but shockingly, the driver didn’t seem to hear him from A HUNDRED FEET AWAY.
Having missed the bus, Peter and Sarah had nothing else to do except sit and wait for the next. This gave them ample time to do a few things: he could snack on candy; she could cry in her hands. Fun times! “I can’t go faster,” Sarah bawled, (and shame on Peter for making her feel so badly about herself).
“Sarah, I’m not asking you to go faster,” Peter said, clearly overlooking all those times he harassed her to go, you know, faster. But of course, as is always the case with Amazing Race villains, the man always blames the woman for everything. “Get it together, Sarah,” Peter scolded condescendingly. He then became all passive aggressive and said that he would slow down in order to come down to her level. When Sarah asked him to find a happy medium, Peter spurned her and said it was one or the other — no in between.
“Maybe you need to work on that,” Sarah replied.
“I like the way I am. I like the way I deal with things,” Peter responded, adding, “And as you know, I deal with things in a prissy, controlling, possibly closeted homosexual way.”
Then, while boorishly chewing his snack with his mouth open as usual, Peter managed to belittle all of Sarah’s emotions by dismissively saying, “Remember, it’s just a game. We’re just having fun.” Um, we’ll try to keep that in mind the next time you lash out at your poor girlfriend for being slow (and don’t think we forgot about last week’s hissy-fit at the pearl farm).
Luckily, Sarah had a nifty comeback: “I’m not really having fun with you, Peter. I’m not.” Oh, COME ON, SISTER! You’re having a blast! You’ve discovered that your boyfriend is a control freak, he’s patronizing, he’s kind of gayish, and his prosthetic limbs leak! How could you not be having fun?
Peter fantasizes about meeting Tommy Lee.
Elsewhere on the race, Lyn/Lyn and Win/Win got out of their Tuk-Tuk, boarded a bus-bus, and arrived at the Detour-Detour. They all decided to do the Wild Rice challenge, but as the sun beat down on them (and the hot stones below their feet), they all decided that this was entirely too detail-oriented a task to perform in such heat. They then all headed off to the crocodiles, and slightly ahead of them were Kimberob, who were marveling at the local flora and fauna. “Look how skinny that cow is,” Kimberly observed. “Like, is it a homeless cow?” Yes, I’m sure that’s exactly it. It spends its days muttering about the government and asking for spare change.
Well, Kimberly and Rob made short work of the Detour, but like the teams ahead of them, they had to wait for the bus to bring them back to Chennai. This allowed the Chos and Lyn/Lyn to catch up, despite Lyn’s difficulties climbing over a wall. Funny how she can scale the Great Wall, but this little 5 footer was damn near impenetrable.
Towards the back of the pack, the models braved their bus ride as they wore bandanas over their mouths (wouldn’t want to breath in the air of those un-pretty people). Surprisingly, they opted to do the Wild Rice, which seemed odd since they seemed the most likely to tackle a crocodile (if they can tackle addiction, they can tackle a croc!). Right off the bat, however, they managed to mess up their pattern; although, I couldn’t imagine this set them back very far. In fact, when David and Mary finally showed up eons later, it seemed as though the models had a significant lead on them.
“I feel like a retarded kid,” one of the models said as he filled out the pattern. Apparently retarded kids are world renown for their tendency to play with dyed rice powder.
Up at the front of the pack, Peter and Sarah arrived at the driving school where they encountered their next Roadblock. This caused Phil to emerge from a PhilHovel™ as he explained that this challenge required one member from each team to receive an Indian license. Just as he finished speaking, a car suddenly rolled up and stopped mere centimeters from Phil’s vulnerable legs. How close we were to yet another potential PhilDeath™!
Phil, to your left!!!
It’s gonna run you over!!!
Phew! It stopped. Close call!
Anyway, for this challenge, teammates had to sit through a drivers ed class and then make his or her way through India’s frenzied and confusing streets, all while driving on the left side of the road. Once the team member passed, he or she would receive the next clue. At last, we’d finally see why all those Indian cabbies on The Amazing Race suck so much.
Well, the instructor, who kind of looked like India’s response to Elvis Presley, submitted Peter to a flowery, impassioned lesson about the various rules or the road, and ever the cocky bastard, Peter simply sat there with a little, self-satisfied smirk on his face, clearly writing the instructor off as an idiot. Oh, how I hoped Peter’s car crashed in a giant fireball.
Don’t be cruel to an instructor that’s true…
Of course, he did just fine on his road test, occasionally earning a stern, “Don’t drive crazy!” from his in-car instructor. After he received his license, he and Sarah had to drive with the instructor to the Chettinad House, which was less a house as much as it was a sprawling palace. We just knew that Kimberly would be so psyched to see this estate of the rich folk. To think, there were probably enough rooms to accommodate all the homeless cows of Chennai!
We then saw a random shot of a monkey, which is always welcomed, and then we headed back to the Wild Rice area where David and Mary were proving to be tragically slow. At one point, they optimistically proclaimed, “We’re catching up!” Yeah, um, no. No, you’re not.
Meanwhile, Sarah and Peter checked in at the pit stop first, winning a home gym system in the process. Not long after, Dustin and Kandice took second place.
As for Kimberly and Rob, they read the Roadblock clue, “Who’s the driving force behind this team?” and amusingly, they both answered, “I’ll do it.” Oops! That’ll be fun to discuss in therapy! Ultimately, Rob wound up stuck in driver’s ed, which might not have been a bad thing. The instructor sternly told him, “Do not drink and drive at any moment,” and Rob, being the genius that he is, asked, “Drink what?” Hot cocoa with marshmallows, clearly. Idiot.
Back at the Detour, the models finally finished up with the rice, and a quick check of David and Mary’s pattern showed they had a looong way to go. This could not be good for them. Meanwhile, the instructor unleashed Rob on the open road, despite his inability to grasp the concept of not drinking and driving. He passed with flying colors, and as he head off to the Pit Stop, the instructor reminded him, “Remember, don’t drink and drive.” Of course, this begged a very serious question from Rob: “Drive what?” Okay, he didn’t ask that, but he and Kimberly did arrive at Phil’s mat in third place.
Well, all the other teams pretty much sped (not literally) right through the roadblock, even Lyn, who complained, “They drive like a bunch of jackasses out there.” Coming in fourth place were the Brothers Cho, whose t-shirts piqued Phil’s curiosity. “That really is an ugly shot of me,” he commented. Wow, looks like we just witnessed some PhilNarcissism™! Lyn and Karlyn survived the onslaught of jackass drivers, placing fifth, and as they headed into the Pit Stop, they feared that Mary and David might be too far behind. “I hope it’s a non-elimination leg,” one of them said. Of course, that pretty much tipped us off that it was a non-elimination (the producers don’t mention “non-elimination” unless it’s gonna happen).
As predicted, the junkie models came in sixth place, and last but not least, Mary and David showed up last. The music and production and interviews made it seem like they were on the verge of elimination, but lo! It was a non-elimination round! Imagine that!
Even better, the producers finally scrapped that dumb twist where teams hand over all their belongings. I think they realized it never affected anything. However, David and Mary’s reprieve didn’t come without consequences. For the next leg of the race, they would be “marked for elimination,” which meant they must arrive first or incur a thirty-minute penalty at the Pit Stop. This was definitely a scarier scenario for teams, but I think I liked this twist. It inherently created a dramatic arc for next week that was much more compelling beyond the standard “I wonder if they can find someone to lend them ten dollars?” dilemma.
What did you think about this episode? Do you like the new twist? And what about Peter?