Sunday, October 9, 2011
Amazing Race Recap: “Planting Rice, Carrying Sheep, and Counting Buddhas”
My Random Thoughts:
- From the Pit Stop, teams had to take part in what I viewed as the slowest bike ride ever, riding through the streets with some sort of Dutch-History-Themed bike patrol. On the ride itself, the snowboarders popped wheelies and surfed on their bikes, Jennifer drove into a local, Ernie lost a pedal, and everyone seemed to reference Lance Armstrong.
During the ride, Cindy said that “Ernie’s dad is a cop, so I think he’s feeling pretty at home right now” which didn’t make a lot of sense to me. Do police officers ride bikes slowly and dress like Kim Chee, the handler of 80’s WWF superstar Kamala the Ugandan Giant.
- Bill and Cathi pointed out that they are fearless because “at our age, you know, we’re gonna die soon anyways, so it’s all good.” Really? That’s your selling point? We’re going to die soon, so we’re not scared to go hard? Did the “we’re going to die soon” part cross your mind when you were spending 4 hours looking for a sign in the first episode?
- After the bike ride, teams had to travel to Salakmalang Village, where they faced a Detour. At first glance, seeing the muddy rice fields reminded me of Estonia a few seasons back, and the fact that I still get weekly hits on this site from that episode, of people Googling “Amazing Race mud volleyball boners.” No, that’s not a joke, and in the ‘ridiculous Google Search’ category, while this episode aired tonight, someone actually landed on my site after Googling “plus size strip clubs in Chicago.”
- For the Detour, teams had to choose between Rice Field, which saw them deliver a mid-day meal to field workers, and then plant 300 rice seedlings, or Grass Fed, where they would have to fill bags with grass, deliver the grass and two sheep, and then fill a trough with water. Both tasks seemed tailor made for the age-old Amazing Race tradition of making the locals laugh at the contestants.
- Rice Field was uneventful, and the only teams that chose it were Kaylani and Lisa, and Amani and Marcus. After running on a strip of land that seemed to be only about as wide as a gymnastics balance beam, the teams had to do some dirty physical labour. Have you ever heard the phrase “sweating enough to grow rice?” It never made sense as much as watching Marcus with sweat dripping off of his face…while he was actually planting rice.
- Most teams chose Grass Fed, and soon learned that the grass bag must be completely full, and that sheep tend to not be very co-operative. Cathi wiped out not two, not three, but four times (which won't really matter because she's going to die soon, right?), and then lost her sheep. Why did we never see how she got it back? Marcus meanwhile, just picked up the sheep and carried it under his arm like it was a football.
How can you not like these guys? Aside from that, at the Grass Fed Detour, when they learned that their bags weren’t full enough, there was no whining and complaining, just a focus on turning around, and doing it right. (Amani and Marcus, on the other hand, complained and then switched tasks)
I liked that they told Laurence and Zac to read their clue when they saw that they were using too many buckets, and I liked that they chose to team up to do the Roadblock together.
Plus, they’re still doing Rock, Paper, Scissors to make decisions on Roadblocks. And I love that the winner doesn’t automatically have to do it, but rather decides who does it. For this Roadblock, Tommy actually won the duel, and chose Andy to do it.
- Amani and Marcus decided to let the taxi go because he was so bad, reasoning “we’re already in last place. It can’t get any worse.” I immediately thought to myself, Yes it can…like if you were to catch up to the other teams and then be the only one who didn’t have a cab to get to the Pit Stop!
- They then entered the Temple and ran into Andy and Tommy who flat out told them the answer (athletes gotta stick together, yo!), but Marcus wasn’t listening. I pretty much wrote them off at this point.
- At the Pit Stop, Laurence and Zac arrived first, but incurred a time penalty of 15 minutes for using 200% as many buckets as they were allowed. This gave Team Snowboarders the win and a trip to Dubai. They felt bad for Team Sailboat but not bad enough to hand over either of the two trips they have already won, instead telling Laurence and Zac “Talk to us when you need some snowboard gear.”
- It turned out that Amani and Marcus made the right decision ditching their cab, because without having to go back and settle the fare, they went from 9th to finish the Roadblock, to 6th to arrive at the Pit Stop. Bill and Cathi finished 3rd, but arrived at the mat 7th, and the Vegas Showgirls arrived last, eliminating them from the Race.
- Despite Lisa’s Buddha guesses that ranged from 4 to 400, and the fact that we all learned she “only sleeps in Pink”, they were forced to make a tearful exit while Kaylani waxed poetic about her four-year-old daughter and the struggles of being a single mom. As someone who was raised by an amazing single mom, that sentiment is not lost on me, but I’ll never understand why some reality shows only introduce the human element like that on the episode that teams get eliminated, and highlight it upon the elimination.
Next Week: Speedboats and Rock Climbing in Windy Thailand
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