This episode actually turned out to be pretty exciting and kind of nerve-wracking. There were twists that I didn’t expect, and some really good game playing.
I mean, it didn’t start out in the most promising way… Just when you thought nothing could be more boring than entire episodes that take place watching the teams book flights, we get an episode that opens with a commercial. That’s right, we get to watch Oswald and Danny gush about their trip from Travelocity by looking at Travelocity’s website and saying “Thanks, Travelocity!” Lame.Yeah, awesome product placement.
When that is over, we go back to the actual show. Cha Cha Cha is the first team at leave at 3:41am. Their clue tells them that they have to travel 40 miles by TurboJet Ferry to Macau.
Phil tries to tell us that they’re going to mainland China. But if you ask me (and you did ask me, didn’t you?) that’s cheating. Macau was a part of Portugal until 1999 and Portuguese is one of its official languages. All Stars should be sent to the far reaches of China where no one has ever heard of a word of English before, or to those parts of the world (like Amish country) where people think that a camera steals your soul, so they’d run away from the racers and their cameramen (now that would be a challenge!). But instead they’re sending them to a place where legalized gambling supports a huge tourism industry, so people are used to foreigners and their bumbling ways.
It’s also a place where creepy happy men with rickshaws hoard clues.
We also find out that teams have only $73 for this leg of the race. And that’s all the money that Cha Cha Cha has. Remember when they used their money to buy newspapers, instead of actually recycling newspapers, because they don’t care about the environment? Well, now the karma of the trees and forest sprites is coming back for them. Because we all know that’s how karma works.
After taking a taxi, Cha Cha Cha spends $50 on their tickets for the ferry, so money is tight. Cha Cha Cha’s question: “Can we prostitute ourselves on the Race?” Answer: Can you ever! Just wait!
Cha Cha Cha gets to Macau, quickly find the rickshaw driver and get their clue. They have to travel by taxi to the tallest structure in Macau, which the teams must discover for themselves is the Macau Tower. Considering that the Tower is just two miles from the ferry terminal, presumably they could just walk outside and point to it.
The other news from the clue: at the Tower, the teams will find the second and final Yield on the race. Since teams can only use the Yield once, the BQ’s can’t yield anyone. And Cha Cha Cha tells us that they don’t think that they want to yield anyone. And we know that Team CrazyPants would never, ever Yield anyone, because it’s a terrible evil thing to do. So at this point, there’s no reason to worry about the Yield. Now that that’s established, let’s get back to the recap.
Back in Hong Kong, the BQ’s are the second team to leave at 5:23am. While the BQ’s get on the ferry, Cha Cha Chas takes a taxi to the Tower, which doesn’t open until 10am, thus eliminating Cha Cha Cha’s lead.
Meanwhile, Mirna and Shmirna leave Hong Kong at 7:06am. Mirna tells us: “People think that because Charla is short, they think that I’m supposed to treat her in a special way. She doesn’t want to be treated in a special way.” And it’s true that Mirna doesn’t treat Shmirna in a special way. She yells at and condescends to everyone. Important information left out of The Secret: “Bad behavior is okay as long as you’re consistently a dick to everyone.”
The BQ’s arrive at the Tower and Cha Cha Cha immediately approaches them with “a little offer on the Yield.” They tell the BQ’s: “We’ll Yield whoever you want, but we do need cash.”
Let’s rewind that scene and watch it again: Cha Cha Cha approached the BQ’s and offered to Yield whoever the BQ’s want for cash.
Things that did not happen: The BQ’s approaching Cha Cha Cha. Cha Cha Cha offering to refrain from Yielding the BQ’s and not using the Yield at all.
The BQ’s have $200 and decide that it’s worth $45 to use the Yield. They feel a little bad, but decide that Eric and Danielle are the stronger team and they’d rather race Team CrazyPants in the final three. All smart game-playing decisions. None of it “dirty play”.
Eric and Danielle get their clue in Hong Kong at 9:31am. Since they are so far behind and we already know that they’re being Yielded, I was really annoyed at this point. In the past few episodes, the team in last place stayed firmly entrenched in last place through the entire episode, and it was crystal clear who was going to lose. So when I saw that they weren’t leaving until 9:31, I actually yelled at my TV “Damn it, this leg of the Race is already over. I hate you, Amazing Race All-Stars!”
Oh, how wrong I was!
Mirna and Shmirna show up at the Tower. Kandace tells Mirna that her hair looks nice. And considering that Mirna looks wind-blown and unstyled, I start to think “Maybe the BQ’s really are lying phonies?” Because you’d have to be a pretty experienced liar to think that you could pull off complements on Mirna’s unstyled hair.
The hair comment leads to a really awkward moment where no one says anything and everyone looks up into the sky. But before anyone tries to fake complement Shmirna, the doors to the Tower open. Everyone runs in, only to discover that they have to wait another hour to go upstairs.
Yup, another one of TAR’s subtle ways to make the race actually a race by evening teams up. I was going to complain about this, but then I realized I’m unhappy either way – I hate it when they artificially bunch people together by making everyone wait for something to open, but I also hate it when teams are stranded too far behind. Why can’t I just be happy? Or is that a question that I should try to answer in therapy, instead of hoping that The Amazing Race can answer it for me?
Anyway, while waiting, Cha Cha Cha complains again about not having money. Charla tells Cha Cha Cha that if they really needed money, they would be happy to give them some. And as much as Team CrazyPants has been driving me crazy this season, I think I believe that they would. They aren’t bad people, they just happen to be the Most Annoying Team on Earth. Other teams in contention: Siegfried and Roy. Hall and Oates. Abercrombie and Fitch. Ebony and Ivory.
Finally it’s 11, and as the teams get on the elevator, Eric and Dani get off the ferry in Macau. Cha Cha Cha is to the Clue Box first and they Yield Eric and Dani. Then we cut to an interview with Mirna, who tells us: “The Yield wasn’t really necessary. Why would you ever yield a team in the beginning of a leg knowing that they’re not that far behind and that they can catch up and pass you at any moment?”
And with that comment, it all becomes clear: Mirna doesn’t know what a yield is! It seems obviously to me that it is precisely because a team is not that far behind and because they can catch up and pass you at any moment that you would (and should) use a Yield. I’m not sure what she thinks a Yield is, but maybe something to do with killing kittens?
That aside, it’s time for a Roadblock! The Roadblock is explained to us by a very hippy looking Phil. And I don’t mean that he looks like Cheech or Chong (I feel like that’s a bad hippy example, but you’re going to have to live with it) I mean, “Man, those pants are not flattering!”
Hippy Phil explains to us that teams will have to walk around the outer rim of the observation deck and then jump off the building to get their clue.
As the teams put on their protective gear, Kandace asks the guy who works there “Do I keep all my clothes on?” Kandace, I know you’re a beauty queen so you’re used to a very different type of competition, but please note that the Amazing Race does not have a Bathing Suit competition. Thanks.
The BQ managed to keep her clothes on and walk around the outer perimeter of the tower. Then Danny did it. And then Shmirna. And while it looked scary to me, no one seemed to be that scared. Do you guys remember the good old days when people used to freak out about Roadblocks? Or the even better old days when people who couldn’t swim would choose to do the swimming tasks?
Kandace then jumps off the building, and manages both to remain in her clothes and get the next clue. They have to travel by taxi to the Lou Lim Ioc gardens and search for the next clue. Just as they’re leaving, Eric and Dani arrive at the Tower. They rush to the top, where they discovered that they were Yielded again.
And there’s more pissed off Eric, but apparently Yielding does not make Oswald and Danny “dirty pirate hookers”.
Danny jumps and gets the clue. They talk in the cab on the way to the garden about having to decide between bad karma and no money. But they also admit that if they didn’t take the money, they wouldn’t have had enough to make it to the end of the leg.
OK, we know that Mirna doesn’t know what a Yield is, but does anyone on this Race actually know what karma is? Let’s look it up: “Karma is the sum of all that an individual has done, is currently doing and will do. Karma is not about retribution, vengeance, punishment or reward.” So karma is not about punishment. And that’s from Wikipedia, so it must be true!
Meanwhile, Shmirna jumps and gets the clue.
In the taxi, Mirna tells Shmirna about the Yield. Except in Mirna’s story, “The Beauty Queens obviously convinced them to use the yield on Eric & Danielle.” Yes, the Cha Cha Chas are completely powerless faced with the evil ways of the blondes, who can make them do whatever they want. Mirna even says that making a deal with the Beauty Queens is “like making a deal with the devil.” Except Cha Cha Cha got to keep their souls (I’m at least assuming they did. Let’s watch for their reflection in mirrors in the next episode. Or is that just vampires?).
The Yield finally ends, and Eric walks around the building and jumps and before we know it, Eric and Dani are on their way to the garden.
Meanwhile, Cha Cha Cha gets to the next clue box, and the clue is a detour. They must choose between Noodle – traveling two miles to a building where they must use traditional methods to make noodles – and Dragon – traveling one mile to a warehouse, choosing a dragonhead and drum and carrying them Â¾ of a mile to a dock where they must attach the dragonhead to a boat.
Cha Cha Cha decides to do the dragon. The BQ’s are the second team there and they decide to make noodles. Shmirna and Mirna are the third team, and they decide to do the noodles, too. It’s kind of hard to tell the timing here, because Eric and Dani seem to show up to the garden soon after. But I think that’s just the show playing time tricks on us.
Cha Cha Cha gets completely lost. In fact, they end up at the end destination – the boats – before they even pick up their dragonhead and drum. Meanwhile, the BQ’s find the noodle place, and we all discover that the process of making noodles in China is both funny and kind of dirty. And by dirty, I mean, naughty. I could not stop laughing every time they showed this:
The BQ’s make their noodles and try to turn them in, but they’ve cut the noodles too thick, so have to start over. Just then, Mirna and Shmirna arrive, and they look even funnier while doing the task.
Cha Cha Cha finally finds the warehouse and picks up their dragonhead and drum. Danny is sure that he knows where they need to go, so they set out with their cab driver following them.
The BQ’s finish and get their next clue, which tells them to travel by taxi to a street and find a Mini Moke. They leave just as Eric and Dani are pulling up. Mirna is cutting the noodles, and Shmirna directs her not to cut them too thin. This proves to be the wrong tactic almost immediately when they try to get their clue but are told their noodles are too thick.
Cha Cha Cha is still lost. Eric and Dani finish their noodles. And Mirna starts cutting again, while scolding Mirna. My favorite moment was when Mirna says: “It would be helpful if one partner just observed and got the right observations, so the other partner doesn’t have to kill themselves.” And Shmirna just responds, completely emotionless: “Yeah, I guess so.” Hilarious – no reaction from Shmirna whatsoever.
Cha Cha Cha is still lost. The BQ’s find their Mini Moke, which is actually a teeny cute car. Or, as the BQ’s called it, a “Barbie Car”. They have to drive the Mini Moke to the island of Taipa and find the Triho de Taipa, which is the Pit Stop.
Cha Cha Cha is still lost. Mirna is still berating Shmirna. Mirna tells Shmirna that she was “obviously” wrong, so she just needs to accept it and move on. Mirna doesn’t believe in leading by example, as she is neither accepting it or moving on. But somehow they find time in all the bickering to finish the noodles and get their clue.
Cha Cha Cha is still lost. The BQ’s follow a guy on a motorbike to the island. Eric and Dani get to the Mini Mokes, pay to follow a taxi to the island, and take off. And they’re now in second place, which is a pretty impressive feat given how they started.
Cha Cha Cha is still lost. But finally gets directions, finally finds the boat, and finally fits the dragonhead into the last boat they try.
They get the clue and get in the taxi of the same driver who has been lost this entire time. Smart move.
Mirna and Shmirna reach the Mini Mokes. Mirna immediately begins to scold Shmirna for not driving. And then immediately drives into a curb.
She doesn’t know how to back the car up. She doesn’t know how to get it into gear. She does, however, know how to yell at Shmirna, so she falls back on that. As they get the car back on the road, Mirna tells Shmirna: “It would be so helpful one day if you could drive a car.” And isn’t that sort of like saying: “It would be so helpful if you stopped being a little person and suddenly grew long legs.” Ridiculous.
Cha Cha Cha gets to the car and decides to follow the same taxi driver to the island. Because while he doesn’t know his way around Macau, he will obviously know his way around Taipa.
The Race tries to make it seem like there is a tight race between the BQ’s and Eric and Danielle. But the BQ’s arrive first and both win new Waverunners. Hopefully we’ll open next week’s episode with a big commercial for Waverunners.
Eric and Dani check in next and Phil starts the thirty minute penalty. As they begin their wait, I can’t help wondering: What is on Eric’s butt???
And I think it’s a picture of Oz and Danny. And my first thought is “That’s so juvenile.” And my second thought is: “Hee hee.” It’s the same reaction I get to fart jokes.
Eric is none too happy at this point, and tells us: “As far as I’m concerned, everybody can go to hell. These teams just don’t deserve it. They’re all sneaky and backstabbers.” I can understand being frustrated and angry, but saying that none of the other teams deserve to win is wrong. All of the teams that are left have raced hard and many of them (I’m talking to you, Mirna and Shmirna) have done much better than I ever imagined.
At this point, the BQ’s come out to wait with them. Dani tells them that they got yielded, and the BQ’s tell them that Danny and Oswald approached them and they said “OK, we’ll give you money, and you yield somebody else but us.” Then they follow up with: “We feel somewhat responsible, because we gave them money.” Yes, “somewhat” responsible….
And with that, the BQ’s put on their BQ smiles.
And I know that I’ve been defending them, and I still like them, but I did get a little worried that maybe they are phonies. They told that lie like they were Rob and Amber!
Cha Cha Cha thinks they’ve arrived at the Pit Stop, only to discover that their cab driver led them to the wrong place. Well, what a surprise! So it’s back in the car for Cha Cha Cha.
Meanwhile, Mirna and Shmirna arrive and check in as Team #2. At this point, there are still 14 minutes left on Eric and Dani’s penalty. And I was totally on the edge of my seat. For a leg that I thought was over about 15 minutes in, there is actual excitement!
Finally, the penalty is over and Eric and Dani check in as Team #3. And I’m actually kind of glad, because for some reason they won me over in this episode – they raced really really well and managed not to insult each other.
But then I get sad, because even though they were kind of snippy with each other this episode and made some foolish decisions (ditch the cab driver!), I still love Cha Cha Cha. But it turns out that they were not eliminated – this was another non-elimination round!
Then we have an interview with Cha Cha Cha, where they talk again about karma biting them in the ass. And then they mention that “money is the root of all evil.” And if you feel so strongly that money is the root of all evil, you shouldn’t be racing for a million dollars.
All in all, a pretty exciting episode. I feel like the teams are all pretty good game players, and it could be any combination in the final three. I can hardly wait until Sunday!!