• Starting in Denver, Colorado, eleven teams embarked on a race around the world.
• For various reasons, the following teams were eliminated: John/Scott (too much running), Lisa/Joni (can’t do anything), Wanda/Desiree (hydrophobia), Danielle/Dani (too top-heavy), Dave/Lori (too focused on each other), and Lake/Michelle (100% Michelle’s fault).
• In Oman, BJ and Tyler were non-elim’d, due to BJ’s overall ineptitude at hole-digging.
• Fran and Barry were eliminated in Australia (no wheelchair access).
• In a close footrace, BJ and Tyler were non-elim’d again, further proving their racing consistency.
• Later, in Thailand, Joseph and Monica reached the mat last and were eliminated (they were against the hippies, so they had to die).
There you go. Ten minutes of introduction compacted into ten lines of text. It’s called a summary for a reason, kids.
Part One: Turning Japanese
The opening credits roll by as well as the surprisingly nonexistent commercial break, so Phil sets the scene. Teams are currently in Bangkok, Thailand, where they can eat, sleep, and mingle with something or other. Even though Ray and Yolanda only finished third in the previous leg, they had the Golden Gnome of Sponsorship, so they get to stay in a luxury hotel suite as they pick out their vacation package. Luckily for our good sponsors at Travelocity, they eventually navigate their way through the supposedly easy-to-use website and book a vacation. Whew.
BJ and Tyler leave the Pitstop first, and rip open their clue. Teams must travel by taxi and find Royal Kraal, whatever that is. There, one of the elephants will give the each of the teams a T-Mobile Sidekick with their next clue. As they get into their taxi, Tyler says something about winning a million dollars. Just felt like sharing that, for some reason. BJ comments that he thought that they would just “slaughter” the competition, but they realized that even immortal gods like themselves can make poor decisions. Tyler also points out that they’re not worried about being eliminated anymore. Well, that’s good. Now they can worry about real-life, practical things like global warming.
Meanwhile, Eric and Jeremy are leaving the pitstop too. They’re pretty excited about seeing some elephants, since they’d never seen an elephant close-up before. They’d only seen ‘em on high-quality Fox programming like When Elephants Attack or reports from the National Republican Convention.
BJ and Tyler arrive at Elephantworld, but it doesn’t open until 4 AM. That should be just enough time for Ray and Yolanda to catch up, because they’re leaving right now. Ray makes a comment about the “Frat Girls,” which doesn’t make any sense at all. If anything, those two are “Sorority Boys,” if you know what I mean. Ray also mentions how a discussion of a wrong turn can turn into a discussion about the relationship. He says that it turns into the Amazing Relationship Race, and that there are really two races on this show.
We’re fifteen minutes into the episode and Ray’s already playing the Race Card. Don’t tell me that wasn’t an allegory.
Eventually the two slower teams arrive at Elephantworld and 4 AM finally trudges along. This is called Massive Bunching Point #1 of the episode. They quickly find the elephants and receive their T-Mobile Sidekicks. In a groovy voiceover, Phil explains that teams must fly to Tokyo, Japan and find Shibuya, the world’s busiest intersection. Once there, they need to search the numerous billboards and videos for their next clue. Those suffering from epilepsy need not apply for this task.
BJ and Tyler are really excited about this trip to Japan, since Tyler has already been there. He says that he has walked the entire island on foot, and even has a Japanese girlfriend, which really gives Tyler that extra edge. He says that, aside from America, it’s the country that he feels most at home. I bet you do, Tyler. Anime nerd.
Meanwhile, Ray and Yolanda, astonishingly in first place, have arrived at the airport. They quickly find the earliest flight and head to the United counter. Eric and Jeremy find the same flight, and both teams get tickets. BJ and Tyler go to the wrong floor. When they do finally get to the counter, the flight is full. Besides, if they had gotten tickets, Eric and Jeremy would’ve just canceled them anyway.
Usually, when a commercial comes along, everything ends up working out. But, in this case, BJ and Tyler have to book a Thai Airlines flight, which arrives one-and-a-half hours later than the other two teams. But that’s OK. They expect to make up a lot of time in Japan, since they know the language.
When the Japanese-illiterate teams arrive, they have to find their cars at a nearby hotel and drive to Shibuya. Ray and Yolanda, still smug about leading the pack earlier, leave right away. Eric and Jeremy go inside the hotel to get directions. Which was, surprisingly, the smart thing to do. Ray and Yolanda are puzzled and mystified by the transportation system of Japan. The signs in Japan are much more complicated that the American varieties of Stop, Yield, and Turn Left signs. The Japanese signs have large, complex pictures of left-right-left-straight-left turns.
In short, Ray and Yolanda are seriously confused. After “driving Miss Crazy” around, they eventually ask some locals for directions, but they don’t understand. Obviously, finding the busiest intersection in the world is an obscure, difficult location. My strategy would be “go to where all those cars and people are.” Meanwhile BJ and Tyler have arrived in Japan, while Eric and Jeremy are already parking their cars at the Sakamoto building. The frats find Shibuya square pretty quickly and gawk at all the sparkly flashing colors. Eventually, they spot a video screen with the words “Find Hachiko” on it. Hachiko, Phil explains, is a statuette of a dog from Japanese folklore. Nearby, teams will find a man wearing a red and yellow scarf who will give them their next clue.
Eric and Jeremy find the Hachiko statuette pretty quickly, but they think that “Hachiko” is referring to the man’s name. Which makes a ton of sense, because every single person in Tokyo knows who that guy is. I can’t wait for the “Find Bill in New York” Roadblock next year.