This Summary is Dedicated to Red Foreman Who Would Oblige Sarah by Putting His Foot Up Peter’s #@!
Be warned: Not every aspect of the show is reported accurately. Artistic license is a terrible thing to waste.
Previously on The Amazing Race: Tom and Terry were eliminated. That’s it. That’s all I remember. And, let’s face it, that’s really all that matters. But if it’s entertainment you seek, refer to the masterful summary written by our friend Cyndimaus.
Tonight’s episode opens with Phil treading the beach at Soi Sim Island, filling us in on the race so far and explaining to us that Soi Sim juts out of the sea. But then, it is an island and that’s what islands do. Soi Sim was the Pit Stop for the previous leg of the race and teams will be leaving in the order in which they arrived.
1:47 a.m. - Rob and Kimberly, or Team Dysfunctional Couple #1 (TDC#1). Rob, being a philosopher in his downtime, explains that the race is a metaphor for their life together. Both in life and on the race, he and Kimberly have a common goal; one that must be reached through heartfelt bickering and meaningful argumentation. He knows that they have to chill out, meaning he needs a drink and Kimberly should die.
The “clue”, which is really just a paragraph with directions and cash, tells them to fly to Chennai, India from Hanoi. To get to Hanoi, however, teams will need to catch a train. Let’s see. 1:47 a.m. . . . train travel . . . Hmmm . . . bunching? Phil’s voiceover also informs us that in Vietnam, one cannot purchase plane tickets at airport counters, so side trips to travel agencies are recommended.
2:17 a.m. - Team Dysfunctional Couple #2 (TDC#2), a.k.a. Sarah and Peter, are leaving the pit stop. Peter has already started his “C’mon Sarah” chanting. Sarah confesses that her feelings for Peter have changed and he is no longer on a pedestal. I guess she’s starting to picture 50 years of “C’mon Sarah, run faster.” “C’mon Sarah, cook faster.” “C’mon Sarah, clean faster.” I’m sure the only thing she’ll be able to do quickly enough is file for divorce.
2:21 a.m. - Tyler and James head to Hanoi. Did you know that these guys are recovering drug addicts? I think this is the first time I’ve heard them mention it. Like Rob, James has made the race a metaphor for his life. He has felt powerless in race situations just as he was powerless to drugs and alcohol.
Pop Quiz! According to James, one of the advantages to heroin addiction is . . . a. early mortality. b. propensity to commit crimes to finance habit. c. lank hair and sunken face. d. preparation for other challenging life experiences.
2:28 a.m. - Erwin and Godwin load up the backpacks. The Cho Bros believe it is more important to enjoy the race than to win the $1 million prize, although they will take every opportunity to lie, cheat and steal to win.
2:49 a.m. - David and Mary read their clue and, like David’s father before him, thank their lucky stars that they’ll be getting out of Vietnam. Confessional interview reveals that David wants to win to escape his coalmining career. He wants to take his kids to Disneyland and the Grand Canyon. He does know they’re in different states, right?
2:53 a.m. - Lyn and Karlyn stagger out of the Pit Stop complaining about how they are sick of looking at each other. I think they’ve been spending too much time around TDC#1 and TDC#2 and are projecting.
3:46 a.m. - Dustin and Kandice spout motivational cliches as they wave goodbye to Soi Sim Island. They are in a “do or die” situation, they want to be “on top of it all,” and they are going to “pull out all cards.” Huh? What the heck does “pull out all cards” mean? Are they heading to Vegas? In heavy foreshadowing, the Barbies hope that the train won’t leave until 5 or 6 a.m.
Remember that heavy foreshadowing mentioned in the previous line? Well, guess what. The train leaves at 5 a.m. and all teams are on it. I know! It surprised me too. The train is somewhat civilized and no one exclaims how it smells like goats or will likely break down in a rice paddy. Tyler and James do see the shocking behavior of junkies shooting up beside the tracks and take a little stroll down memory lane. Did you know that these guys are recovering drug addicts? I think this is the first, no, second time I’ve heard them mention it.
There is much drama between the teams on the train. Single Moms Named Lyn and the Cho Bros play nice with the Kentucky Kouple (please note that I did not add a third K to the alliteration of the Southerners because I see how they have almost exclusively befriended the Americans of Asian, African and Gay descent) by sharing travel agency info. Godwin gets silly with a fake phone making fake reservations with a fake agent to make Peter really nervous. This plan backfires and Peter runs to the Barbies, secures a phone from their seatmate and makes reservations. This is a repeat of what happened in an earlier race when Romber lied to Joyce and Uchenna about catching an earlier flight, then J&U actually hustled to get on an earlier flight.
Pop Quiz! The Cho incident mirroring the Romber incident is an example of . . . a. two guys who didn’t watch previous seasons of The Amazing Race. b. terribly bad luck. c. would-be actors outsmarting other would-be actors. d. heavy foreshadowing that actually spans seasons of The Amazing Race.
There is also a little bit of who-knows-what going on between Peter and the Barbies. He sees how the teams are allying and tries to strike a deal with the Barbies regarding exchange of information. The Barbies think he’s flirting, Peter thinks he’s flirting, Sarah thinks he should just sit with the Barbies and I think the whole scene is a little creepy.
As soon as the train reaches its platform, there is a mad scramble for taxis and teams go to various travel agencies. It’s too confusing to track who goes where, just suffice to say that all teams do get on flights to Chennai. The teams arrive at the Hanoi airport, play the What-Flight-Are-You-On? Game, and scramble for better deals. Teams Barbie and TDC#2 smugly sit and mock other teams, particularly the Kentucky Kouple who should have been out by now. Peter impersonates Mary with “Ow! My ankle!” and “Is there a Burger King around here?” In desperate circumstances, like when he’s surrounded by three pretty blondes, Peter’s flirting descends to 6th grade level: Make myself appear better by mocking others. Nice. By the way Peter, that’s my job. I’m the summary writer here!
After flying all over Asia, teams arrive in Chennai. The Barbies and TDC#2 arrive around 8 a.m., TDC#1, the Models, Cho Bros and Single Moms Named Lyn arrive around 9:20 a.m., and the Kentucky Kouple arrive around 10 a.m. Their “clue” (again, the word is used lightly), directs the teams to catch a bus to Mamallapurum (or Malomar-purum to the Barbies) where they are to find an arts and crafts store. I think, “Cool! Who knew Michael’s was in India?” Along the way, some teams have no problems getting to the bus station and others just choose random bus stops and hope that bus #119 comes along. The Barbies, who prevented their cabbie from sharing the destination with TDC#2’s cabbie, arrive first only to discover a sign stating that the owners would be back by 11:30. A disgruntled Peter shows up and sneers, “Good job on the taxi.” Dustin removes the sign from the wall, writes KICK ME on it, and tapes it to Peter’s back as she apologizes. Kandice and Sarah hide behind a holy cow and snicker.
While the first two teams wait, all others are experiencing the joys of India’s mass transportation. Lyn and Karlyn are appreciative of meaty Indian women and relate that they had been the object of pointed stares from the anorexic (i.e. starving) Vietnamese. Kim, who held her tongue on the Vietnamese train ride, complains that the bus smells like fish and she wants to hang out with rich folks in Europe. Unfortunately, the bus driver hears her slurs against his homeland and slams on the breaks, sending her headfirst into the windshield. The blow stuns Kim and she is unable to continue her gripe fest. The other passengers erupt in applause.
At the arts and crafts shop, the Barbies and TDC#2 get their Detour clue. The choices are Wild Things or Wild Rice. In Wild Things, the producers of The Amazing Race arrange an amateur crocodile wrestling event 9 miles away. Racers are to assist 2 wranglers with subduing and transporting ferocious crocodiles. In Wild Rice, racers need only walk 200 yards to a temple and fill in an intricate traditional design with specially colored rice powder. Okay, if you are new to The Amazing Race, let me give you a little heads up. If a task ever involves native art forms and there is an alternate task, take the alternate task! India isn’t known for it’s centuries of gorgeous textiles and temples for nothing. The Wild Rice Detour option is a monster of varying shades of powdered rice and intricate details. Surely whoever is foolish enough to choose this task is doomed.
Both the Barbies and TDC#2 choose the crocs. Along the way, the Barbies’ cab gets a flat tire. Peter sniggers with glee as their cab passes and insists that the Barbies got what was coming to them. Peter might call this karma, but I don’t. One half of karma is that when you do something bad to someone, something bad happens to you (Sorry to the karma-lites out there. I’m paraphrasing.). It wasn’t bad when the Barbies covered the mouth of their cabby earlier in the day to prevent TDC#2 from knowing where they were going. It was a noble attempt to save you and me from having to watch Peter throughout the entire race. As a result of the flat, TDC#2 get to the Madras Crocodile Bank well ahead of the girls and viewers spend the next 10 minutes wishing the crocodiles hadn’t been tranquilized and were twice as big as they actually are.
Pop Quiz! When Peter wants to motivate Sarah to accomplish a task she may find difficult, he . . . a. berates her. b. belittles her. c. demeans her. d. condescends to her. e. all of the above.
Gosh, it was painful just to remember this scene in the episode. How am I ever going to write about it? Let’s just say that the title of this summary was based on this crocodile scene. Peter is a micromanaging pain who really needs a kick in the patootie. If he’s not shouting “C’mon sister!” (very creepy and has been discussed in other threads), then he’s being just plain mean. Ick. Ugh. Blech.
As TDC#2 completes their task, the Barbies show up at the croc pit and hope little crocs aren’t running around ready to attack en masse. The Barbies begin tying the croc down while TDC#2 get their clue and go wait for a bus to return them to Chennai and their destination, the Karthik Driving School. The bus stop is a scene of more carnage as Peter wallows in utter denial about his behavior and then tries to placate Sarah with the absurd. He determines that if he’s too intense for the race (What, like Colin, Jonathon, Lake and all the other intense jerks who have sought fame and adulation on this show?), then he’ll just downshift, have fun and stop being aggressive. After all, there’s no in-between for him. It’s either tear up the competition or roll over and play dead. Sarah disagrees and states that he has personality disorders (Oops! I mean issues) that he needs to work on. Now it’s Peter’s turn to disagree and avows that he likes who he is and how he deals with things. You know, this is an endless debate. Let’s move on and see what other teams are doing.
Single Moms Named Lyn and Cho Bros arrive at the arts and crafts store and decide to check out the Wild Rice detour before committing themselves to a 9 mile cab ride. They make a half-arsed attempt to walk on the hot courtyard and spread rice powder, but quickly decide that crocodiles may be a better option.
Rob and Kimberly, who pities the poor homeless cows that seem to proliferate in India, arrive in Mamallapurum and immediately choose the crocodile detour. They beat the Single Moms and the Cho Bros and race back to the bus stop only to discover that busses run on a schedule. Fancy that. Meanwhile, the Cho Bros are motoring through the croc delivery detour and one of them states that James and Tyler transport crocodiles every Tuesday. Does the LA Zoo hire former heroin addicts cum models to wrestle large reptiles? I know the zoo has to compete with Disneyland, Hollywood, Universal Studios, etc., but I didn’t think it would stoop so low. Lyn and Karlyn have a few troubles with the task. No, the croc doesn’t bust free of its oppressors and go medieval on them. Lyn just can’t get her fanny over the wall of the croc pen. Fortunately, she thinks of her kids and how proud they will be of their mom scaling a 3 ˝ foot obstacle, and she powers through the pain. I think even the crocodile is laughing.
Team Model finally arrives at the detour after having waited at every bus stop within a ˝ mile radius of the bus station for #119. Despite their frequent practice with crocodile transportation, they opt for the Wild Rice detour. All that powder, that beautiful, beautiful powder. Anyone have a 3-inch straw? Oh, that’s not fair and I know it, but I’m still not erasing it. The Kentucky Kouple also show up and Mary forces the Wild Rice on David. David is amenable to the idea of rice until he realizes that it’s not being served on a plate with ‘possum. Now they start bickering too. Unfortunately, as I speak English, I don’t understand them as much as I do Peter and Sarah. I think the argument went something like this. Mary: Mumble . . . Mumble . . . Dayv-ed . . . Mumble . . . Skeered . . . Mumble . . . Croc-o-diles . . . Mumble. David: Mumble . . . Woman . . . Mumble . . . Mumble . . . Croc-o-diles . . . Mumble . . . Mumble . . . Yer cho-eece . . . Mumble . . . Mumble. Sorry, that was the best transcription I could do. But all of that is said in angry tones so I know it is fierce!
The leading teams, who I am quite frankly sick of writing about, have arrived at the Karthik Driving School to find a Roadblock. For those of you in Outer Mongolia (and heck, even you must know about this by now), a Roadblock is a task only 1 member of the team may perform. That doesn’t mean that 1 member of the team performs all Roadblocks, although Peter (and Rob and David) seem to think that this is so. Does anyone know if the “split the roadblocks” rule is still in effect? Lemme know, and our friend Seana is keeping a running tally of the Roadblocks. Many thanks. Anyway, this particular Roadblock asks “Who is the driving force behind your team?“ and requires that one team member take a slapdash driving school course, hop in a training vehicle with an instructor and circle the block a few times. The team member will then receive an Indian driver’s license and get the next clue.
Pop Quiz! Driving in India is a great idea because this Roadblock . . . a. allows a team member to see a typical Indian city. b. shows that Americans can drive on the left side of the road. c. separates the stick-shift studs from the automatic wimps. d. has disaster written all over it.
Marvelous! At this point, I start banging my head against my 200 lb. solid cherry coffee table as Peter jumps in to drive and Sarah lets him. Seriously, girl, I’m losing respect for you. You should trade out for your foot attachment, kick Peter in the hind quarters and drive that darn car. Peter spreads his smug condescension around to the fellows at the driving school, completes the task and receives the directions to the Pit Stop. He is to drive 10 miles to Chettinad House where a team may be eliminated. Could this be a non-elimination leg? I would prefer a reverse elimination leg where the 1st team to arrive gets sent packing.
Before describing the triumphal entry, let me remind you where everyone else is. Barbies are at the Roadblock, TDC#1, Single Moms Named Lyn and Cho Bros are on a bus back to Chennai and Models and Kentucky Kouple are still at the Detour.
At the Pit Stop, Peter and Sarah skip to Phil and the designated local. Peter whispers, “Sarah, skip faster please!” Phil announces that they are in first place and each wins a home gym featuring an elliptical trainer and a standing air bike which they may enjoy after the show. Peter tries to convince the off-camera producers to provide him with the trainer and bike now so that he can get Sarah started on a training regimen for the next leg of the race. Sarah finally blows up in frustration, cuffing him with her backpack in the process. Good girl, Sarah!
Dangerous Dustin, who drives like a damn lunatic, finishes the Roadblock and gets her driver’s license because her instructor isn’t willing to risk another trip around the block. The Barbies cruise into 2nd place and each wins a home gym featuring a recalled AbLounge and a big yellow ball.
Rob pre-empts Kimberly, taking the Roadblock and getting a lecture in not drinking and driving. Rob isn’t sure what he shouldn’t drink while he is driving, so the head instructor must run through an alphabetical list of beverages that are either banned or not recommended for motorists. The list starts with Alcohol, All Kinds (duh?) and ends with Yerba Mate Tea, Hot. Rob receives his official Indian driver’s license while Lyn and Godwin are still going through the course, and he and Kimberly rush to the Pit Stop. They are team No. 3 and each wins a home gym featuring a 2 lb. weight and a Thighmaster.
The Models are on their way back to Chennai and David and Mary finally finish the rice powder masterpiece that will be swept away as soon as they leave the temple. Godwin, who uses the word “insanity” or some variation thereof at least 4 times during the Roadblock, finishes the task, grabs his brother by the ponytail and heads to the Pit Stop. They are in 4th place and can’t wait to show Phil their identical shirts. L-O-S-T is written in large block letters atop a heinous picture of Phil and the phrase Reward: Bushel of Kiwis.
Pop Quiz: Erwin and Godwin do not receive their prize of a home gym because . . . a. the production staff couldn’t find any more decent stuff at Play It Again Sports. b. 4th place finishers never get prizes. c. they’re fit and clearly don’t need it as much as other teams do. d. they freaked out Phil when they gave him a matching shirt and gleefully exclaimed, “Now we can be triplets!”
Lyn and Karlyn aren’t far behind the Cho Bros and ease into 5th place. They don’t know where David and Mary are and cannot be consoled with the prize of a home gym each featuring a deflated basketball and a jump rope.
The Models finally arrive at the Roadblock and Tyler takes on the job. I’m not sure if we even see him in the car, but he must have successfully completed the Roadblock because he and James are in 6th place. They are bummed and humbled. James says that being next to last is almost as humbling as being dragged out of an alley at 4 a.m. by your parole officer with a needle still in your arm. Did you know that these guys are recovering drug addicts? I think this is the first? No, second? No, third time I’ve heard them mention it. The Models do perk up though, when Phil announces that each will receive a home gym featuring a Jane Fonda exercise tape in Beta and an egg timer.
David and Mary, those loveable hillbillies, get to the driving school sometime around 2 a.m. To no avail, David throws himself under the bus in an attempt to get Mary to do a Roadblock that doesn’t involve food. He drives the deserted streets with a sleeping instructor and then finds his way to the Pit Stop. David and Mary are in last place. Fortunately (Phil’s eyebrow shoots up), this is a non-elimination leg and David and Mary are still in The Amazing Race. The good news keeps coming as Phil remarks that after careful consideration, Bruckheimer decided that taking all possessions and cash from last place contestants who must then beg for money in a 3rd world country, where even coalminers from Kentucky are considered rich by a good portion of the populace, is a bad idea. Instead, the Kentucky Kouple will be marked for elimination on the next leg. They must finish 1st or incur a 30-minute time penalty. David and Mary sigh with relief, exclaiming how much they want to win and how they adore each other. Mary really puts her heart out there when she says that she loves David more now than they day she came on the race. Yeah, I think that was last Tuesday.
Next time on The Amazing Race: The Barbies and the Single Moms Named Lyn really muck up the Cultural-Tolerance-Religious-Understanding Stew when they fight over the assistance of a Muslim man. What’s worse, one of the Moms is actually touching his back and trying to direct him away from the Barbies. Hasn’t any of the Let’s-Understand-Islam-So-Maybe-They-Won’t-Hate-Us-So-Much-But-Who-Are-We-Trying-To-Kid Education of the past 5 years taught these women anything? And teams get to play with life-sized remote-control animatronic camels. Ooh, sounds fun!