After last week’s elephant-tastic episode, the teams are off to Africa for the sixth leg of the Race. Who’s trapped under a bed? Why are the teams building toy trucks? And who hasn’t paid their driver?
My Random Thoughts:
- Previously on The Amazing Race…The twins had no money. The twins had no money! But at least they had an elephant-gasm, right? Team NFL came in first place, while the Twins were eliminated partially because, you guessed it, they had no money.
- From the Pit Stop of Bangkok, teams learned that they had to travel more than 5,000 miles to Malawi in Africa. Teams were all on the same flight to Malawi, so the first few minutes were spent talking about the teams
- Cindy is frustrated with their team making mistakes on each leg, while Ernie says “mistakes are inevitable”. Do you think after the camera was off of them, control freak Cindy turned to Ernie and yelled, “No they’re NOT inevitable…unless you’re a B student!”
- All during the race, it’s been bothering me trying to figure out who Marcus reminded me of…and now I’ve figured it out. Fans of HBO’s The Wire (perhaps the greatest show in the history of television) are probably looking at Marcus and shouting “Stringer Bell!” Don’t you think they look alike?
- So the teams were off to Malawi…and here’s a fun fact about Malawi, in case you didn’t know: the government of Malawi has introduced a bill for a new law to try and stop people from breaking wind in public. The intention is to prosecute those “who foul the air” in an effort to “mould responsible and disciplined citizens”. I thought you should know.
- After landing, the teams had to find their way to a Tobacco warehouse, which was a relevant task since 60% of Malawi’s income is derived from the sale of tobacco leaves. I live in Southwestern Ontario, and there is a large industry nearby of farming tobacco, and also a legendary song by Stompin’ Tom Connors about the strenuous labours of working tobacco (Helpful tidbit: Tillsonburg is the name of the city that is the centre of the industry).
Everyone was finding it hard to breathe (which is understandable since many of the workers had masks), the Snowboarders inexplicably DIDN’T choose Rock, Paper, Scissors to decide who did it, and everyone had trouble taking corners with the cart. Is it really that hard to know how to use a dolly/handcart? You have to step on the axle between the wheels to anchor it when you want to lift, people!
Amani and Marcus finished last, and apparently this was the green light for all of the workers to gather around Marcus, singing, dancing, jumping, and helping him take his orange jumpsuit off. The scene looked eerily reminiscent of the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night, mobbing David Freese at the plate after his 11th-inning homer. Did you see that game? Since when did ripping someone’s uniform off constitute a form of celebration?
Laurence showed his generational differences by stating that “this is where the women whip past us”, because apparently all women sew great and all men build trucks fast. I’m sure he’s hoping a future challenge includes a barefoot pregnant woman doing laundry while he chops down a tree and then reads the newspaper in front of the television. (And how awesome was it that Marcus, perhaps the “manliest man” in the Race, jumped at the chance to sew?)
- In All Sewn Up, the teams had to find their way to the tailor shop in a busy marketplace, choose a waiting patron, and work on his suit. What made this task so awkward was that the patron was waiting for them only a few feet away…with no pants on. Talk about putting a realistic spin on the task, huh? Ernie came up with the best line in this one, talking about how Cindy normally “holds the pants in our relationship” and her response was a predictable “Hey, Hey!” to shush him.
- Not Grown Up was a great challenge that seemed rewarding to all of the teams. This is really what the Race is about, not just the competition, but the adventure, the culture, and the human element of it all. It’s why I love it more than all other Reality shows, and why it has won 8 Emmys.
And then Laurence shat all over that sentiment by talking about how he loves the kids, only to be seen yanking the clue out of the hands of the young boy presenting it to him.
I liked that there were a couple of brief moments where the teams stopped to play soccer with the kids. Don’t you wish Ethan and Jenna would have still been here for this? This is what Ethan’s charity is all about.
- After the Detour (which Jeremy and Sandy finished in first place), teams then had to find their way to a roadside furniture shop, and transport their own beds to Kumbali Village, which was also the next Pit Stop.
Here’s the interesting thing to consider, though…remember that footage of Cindy (and others) hanging off the back of the truck? Where the hell is the cameraman?? From what I can tell, he had to be sitting ON TOP of the cab of the truck as it sped down the road!
- After arriving “near” the Pit Stop, teams had to settle up with their drivers and carry their beds the rest of the way. It was awkward for most, but none more so than Cindy, who tried to balance the frame on top of her head, only to fall seconds later, creating her own personal temporary prison cell.
- Bill and Cathi also had to backtrack to pay their driver, leading to a “footrace” with Amani and Marcus. Come on, who do you think was going to win between a former NFL player and his wife, and the grandparents? Well, when the former NFL player has to carry a bed, it’s probably going to be the Oldsters every time.
- Earlier in the episode, Amani and Marcus talked about going from worst to first. Well, they’re back to worst again, and just like his former team, the Indianapolis Colts, he’s learning what it’s like to be on top, and then be dead last. Lucky for them it was a non-elimination leg. We’ll see how relevant the Speed Bump is next week.
Next Week: Bike Taxis and Log Canoes.
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(Photo Credits: Reality Fan Forum, CBS)