Sunday, October 9, 2011

Amazing Race Recap: “Planting Rice, Carrying Sheep, and Counting Buddhas”

In this week’s episode, the teams remained in Indonesia for the third leg of the Race. Which teams are having trouble counting? Who keeps wiping out in the rice fields? And will ditching a taxi prove to be a costly mistake for one team?

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.
- Cindy reminded us that she is a “control freak”, but I’m just not seeing it yet. Yes, she told us that she packed for the Race 3 months in advance, studied travel books, took language courses, and exercised all prior to the Race, but that doesn’t seem to fall under “control freak” as much as it falls under”prepared.”

- 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.
- After the Detour, teams had to travel to the Borobudur Temple and climb up to the top before being faced with a Roadblock. Andy and Tommy made sure to ask if running on the Temple grounds was permitted, and then actually took the time to appreciate their surroundings, saying “that’s what I’m talking about. That’s why you do the Amazing Race. For stuff like this, right here.”

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.
- The Roadblock itself was a counting task, where one team member had to count the exact number of Buddha statues and demonstrate the appropriate hand position for each. Counting tasks on TAR are always awesome, because they’re always a disaster. This one was no exception, with most teams having no idea how to differentiate between the statues and the carvings, and not considering the different hand positions.

- 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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Thanks for reading.


Lauren said...

Maybe you noticed this or not, but Liz & Marie also chose the Rice planting detour.

also, given the picture they showed of the pool where Andy & Tommy won the trip to, I'm pretty sure that's the same resort from season 15 when Mika refused to go down the water slide and got her and Canaan eliminated on that leg (the sharks around the water slide triggered my memory). I had to check make sure the teams had been in Dubai, and they had. maybe you know this already, but I've only been reading this blog since last season, and I don't know how long you've been doing these recaps.

I really enjoy reading your recaps and I'm hoping Andy & Tommy do well, they seem to really get along well.

shipaddict said...

I thought this week's episode was slightly more exciting than previous ones this season, and I loved how the buddha statues was the great equalizer. Of course, we seem to have a lot of illiterate people on the show this season who can't read their stuff! If they had all read the clue carefully in the beginning, it wouldn't have taken nearly so long and the NFL team would not have been able to make the awesome comeback they did. I didn't see anything that was edited or "set up" tonight, at least not blatantly so (as some facebook comments are suggesting).

HoH8 said...

It looks like most of the comments are in Facebook and Twitter, too bad cause i dont have those....

All my Favs are slowly leaving already, the showgirls and team survivor, now im trying to find a new team to root liking the snowboarders now..☺..:-) it possible for u to post the Elimination Station video on ur Blog?....TY

R.P. McMurphy said...

You know you're in last place when one of the top teams gives you the answer and you don't pay attention! No wonder only one Super Bowl with Peyton.