Sunday, March 27, 2011

Amazing Race Recap: "To Tea Or Not To Tea"

The preview for this week’s episode of The Amazing Race teased a major meltdown by Luke at one of the tasks for this leg of the Race. Could I actually be that lucky? To have the ultimate Mama’s Boy eliminated on the same day as the North Carolina Tar Heels were bounced from the NCAA Tournament? Let’s find out.

My Random Thoughts:

- In my first recap of the season, I said that I would be doing a season-long “Goth Count”, to see how often Kent and Vyxsin said the word “Goth.” Well, we’re six episodes into this season, and we still haven’t heard it yet, so I’m tossing it aside. Kent, I know you’re reading, and I tip my hat to you: your efforts to make sure you weren’t edited into the repetitive “Gothsters” that we saw last time around have thus far proven successful.

- Mallory went back to her manic ways in this episode, coming across once again as a Cheri Oteri character from Saturday Night Live. She shrieked when she opened the clue at the Pit Stop, she almost had a seizure when she found out she was going to India, and she freaked out when they arrived in India to see how many people were outside of the airport. I had a tough time noticing much else about her because my eyes were always drawn to her giant yellow watch. Did you notice that? I’ve seen televisions that were smaller than that watch!

- Many of the teams were shocked to find that they were staying in China to start this leg, but Luke and Margie were visibly annoyed and upset. That didn’t shock me at all, because those two will complain about absolutely anything. Karmic foreshadowing, perhaps?

- Did we really have to have the phrase “Holy Cow” shoved in our face when the teams arrived in India? Did the producers think we weren’t going to be able to interpret “Holy Cow”, and actually needed subtitles? Yes, we get the irony of the teams arriving in India, where the cow is a sacred animal, and saying “Holy Cow”, but did we really need to be told “Look at us…we’re funny!”
- I enjoyed the montage of insane driving that saw most of the cabs having the teams fearing for their lives, and Ron and Christina almost getting blindsided by a truck...only to find out that the mad racing everyone was involved in, had all of them arrive at a location that didn't open for 8 hours. If you're going to take your life in your hands, I'm thinking that maybe you pick your spots a little better.

I had a good laugh at Big Easy and the others yelling at other arriving teams to run down to the end of the street and sign up on the sheet, sending them into a panic for no reason other than their own enjoyment. Everyone pretty much took it in stride, though, and I had to acknowledge the fact that these racers are generally more good-natured towards each other, and try to have fun with each other in the times they're not racing. Take the impromptu basketball game last week, or that practical joke tonight. Quite a stark contrast from the bitterness of, for instance, Carol and Brandi towards Brent and Caite a couple of seasons ago, don't you think?

- I liked that the teams had to participate in the tea tasting that would come back later in the episode in the form of the Road Block. Zev thought it was “pointless” at the time, but I think the fact that the clue specified that it was a “tasting” should have told them that what they were tasting would be relevant later.

For the Road Block itself, Ron got it on the first try, Kisha did it for the Sisters Team, presumably because Jen would have had to stop to pee a few times (I know that joke will probably be made by 100 different people, but I'm still going with it), Mallory seemingly had trouble keeping the tea in her mouth with the constant drops dripping off of her chin, and prayed to Jesus (yet again) for help. Maybe you don't need help from your saviour...I'm thinking that a napkin or a sippy cup would suffice here. And I absolutely loved this back-to-back exchange as the teams were presenting their mango and papaya to the man at the Road Block:

Kent: "I bring you papaya...and I bring you mango"
Flight Time: "Here you go, homey"

But the best part of the challenge (Exhibit #1 in the Sean is an Asshole case) was Luke's total and utter meltdown. "Why is this so tough?", he cried, "So hard, hard, hard.” Personally, I think the challenges in a Race around the world for a million dollars SHOULD be hard, but the reason it was so tough for you, Luke, was because for the first time in this Race, you two had to do something on your own! No listening in for clues, no getting help from other teams. This time, Margie and Luke could only count on Margie and Luke...and guess what? It wasn't good enough. Team Freeloader was on their own for once.

But this petulant child kept whining and complaining to his mom, which accomplishes nothing but delaying him in completing the Road Block even longer. And with the way he was wailing constantly, it's not like her consolations even helped him. He just kept crying like Roy Williams after one of his teams gets eliminated from the NCAA Tournament (by the way, adios UNC!)

And don't even try to fool me with your redemptive music and everyone at the Road Block cheering for Luke once he actually found the correct tea. After the table had hundreds and hundreds of cups, by the time he found it, there appeared to be only 6 or 7 cups left, and he was too lazy to even walk up to the guy with the list. He just slouched on the table and held it up from there. Did the posse of Indian men just herd all the cups at the end for him to do that? I guess if you cry long enough, they'll adjust the rules for you?

- Flight Time and Big Easy weren't able to immediately figure out that the clue was in the Snapple cap, but they did find the clue once they were in the cab, speeding along the streets of Kolkata. Let me ask you this, if they didn't know where they were going to get their next clue...where the hell were they going in that cab?

- I'm hearing "Baby" way too much this season. It's making me feel like Louie and Michael, the Undercover Cops from Rhode Island (that still kills me!) are back on the Race.

- At the Detour, teams had to choose between Art and Literature. The Art portion of the Detour saw teams working to "paint, dress, and adorn" a statue of an Indian Goddess. This was a perfect task for Kent and Vyxsin, who gushed about the fact that it was pink, and that painting on eyebrows and accesorizing was what they themselves did every morning. And did I hear something wrong in the cab, or did he just call Vyxsin's breasts "tea pillows"?

The Literature portion saw teams delivering children's books to a school, and I was thinking to myself, any Detour that involves the instructions "teams must direct their driver through the congested streets of Kolkata” is something I would stay as far away from as possible. Shockingly, all of the teams that chose this one breezed right through it, none faster than Gary and Mallory, who arrived at the Pit Stop first...faster than when they used their Express Pass last week.
- Once they arrived at the Pit Stop, I waited to hear what their prize was going to be for winning the leg, and then I listened to Phil launch into a long explanation about two new brands of Snapple, and how Gary and Mallory were going to be the first two people to try them. Mallory was ecstatic, and it reminded me of that scene from Seinfeld where Kramer agrees to a deal just a tad too early.

I'm thinking to myself...Iced Tea? What the hell?

But then the Snapple commercial continued and we heard that they were also getting an Indian Feast, a Dance Party, and the sum of ONE MILLION Rupees ($20,000 USD). Ok, that's pretty good.

- It was obvious that Margie and Luke were going to be eliminated after the tea debacle. Flight Time and Big Easy even gave them a hug goodbye at the Detour. What was obviously edited out of that scene was Margie saying "Will you please stay and paint it for us?"

I'm absolutely thrilled that Margie and Luke were eliminated, and I have no sympathy for Luke's crocodile tears at the end (Exhibit #2). He was his typical, sulky self, plopping himself down on the mat like a child having a tantrum. Phil made the effort on EVERY LEG in BOTH of their seasons to use sign language to give them their result specifically for Luke, and now he's refusing to even have the decency and respect to stand up and listen to Phil?

Good riddance. Now you can head back home with your mom/prom date (come on, you know that's one and the same), and keep baking together and heading off on your romantic trip that you won thanks to the other teams.

Next Week, there will be no episode. The Academy of Country Music Awards are on Sunday night. TAR returns on April 10th.

Amazing Race fans, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook or Twitter, where I post all of my recaps (and other Random Thoughts) as soon as they go up. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined.

Related Posts: Amazing Race Recap by Darren Franich
Spoiler TV Recap


Choirchick22 said...

Ok I actually thought it was touching how the people cheered for him when he finally got it right. That being said, it's tea. Drink the damn tea and move on! Don't cry about it!

I seriously started laughing when he started saying the prize for being first. I thought they were just getting snapple and I was happy cuz I don't like their team. Sadly it wasn't all though.

David Podcast said...

Great recap Sean! I just was wondering if you noticed this. Starting out this season there were 5 teams from season 14. 4 teams have been eliminated, all from season 14.

I must say I am pleased cause I was not a huge fan of any of them. I just find it interesting that the group that was all helping each episode 1 all got eliminated 1 by 1. your thoughts?

Connor said...

Yes, how dare Luke! Phil took the time and energy to move his hands around for two seconds and sign to Luke on the mat (and did so incorrectly several times) and that selfish boy had the audacity to be physically exhausted! For shame Luke, for you should never EVER be tired on the Amazing Race! I say good day sir!

Anonymous said...

Gary and Mallory donated their winnings to a Marine group! Good for them!

Sean said...


Do the math: in 17 seasons of TAR, there have been over TWO THOUSAND mat check-ins with Phil. How many times do you remember someone sitting down like that? Honestly?

Even his own mother, who nearly passed out from exhaustion in Thailand in Season 14, stood and heard their fate before fainting. She wasn't tired?

Let's all just keep coddling Luke so more so he can spend his WHOLE life as a sulky baby.

It's about respect, and for you to find fault in Phil vs Luke, leads me to believe you have a personal ax to grind here.

Tell Luke I said hi...and to grow up.

Anonymous said...

What about Jen and Kesha looking for the Snapple bottling plant?
I can't believe they didn't open their bottle until they actually got thirsty! Lucky for them India is hot!!!
Also, at the detour....Didn't anyone notice that the first ones to complete the task weren't actually tasting the tea, but were smelling the tea for signs of orange/mango?

UnclePeJay said...

Luke and Margie, Thanks for playing "The Amazing Race!" And as a parting gift, a YEARS SUPPLY OF SNAPPLE'S PAPAYA MANGO TEA!

If it had been me, I would have smelled each cup, and if seemed to be right, I would drink it while walking up to the man to see if it was correct. This would have saved a little time.

Jen said...

Anyone else notice Kent's whale tail right after he got the clue from the tea auctioneer? I think he put the "Y" back in Kynt. :)

Anonymous said...

I absolutely found it hysterical when Jet incorrectly told Kent and Vyxsin that they were team 4 and not 5. What an embarrassment! Lol gotta love em.

Emily said...

Wow, that's the fourth eliminated team in a row from season 14. For some reason I get a feeling that Jen and Kisha will be the next ones to go home. I know it's unlikely but yeah.

neville said...

I don't really care one way or another about any of the teams. It really sounds like you are the one that has a personal axe to grind against Luke and his mother though. It surprises me that someone can muster such animosity towards contestants on a reality t.v show. All of the negative things you've written about them would never have even occured to me had I not read them here.

Anonymous said...

It's clear that the Globetrotters bring the fun to this season.

Samson said...

I am all about Gallory! I think they win...anyone else think so? And who is Peach Georgia on that Reality Fan Forum? Is she Peach from AR 2??????