Bucky reports on last night's Amazing Race, in which someone is an amazing jerk:
The teams, Pit Stopped in Bangladesh, find they have to fly to Hong Kong, where they will take a bus and then a ferry to an island, where they will have to locate a cave for the next clue. Of course, all the teams end up on the same flight to Hong Kong, which is OK, because Jill & Thomas had such a big head start that they would have been assured a win this week, otherwise.
At the airport, Brook & Claire confront Jill & Thomas over the U-Turn in the last leg. Thomas explains, of course, that it was because he and Jill consider Brook & Claire to be the biggest threat. (Even though the Docs, Nat & Kat, have won more legs of the race.) It makes no more sense this week than it did last week.
We also get a confessional interview from Nick who says that he didn’t used to care about anybody’s feelings (big shock) but then he met Vicki. He says that she is “a blessing.” And then he cries. Because the producers are showing a remorseful Nick up front, I make a note, “Watch out, Vicki.”
In Hong Kong, Jill & Thomas catch the first bus to town, while the rest of the teams catch the second. From the bus station, they have to hoof it to the ferry. Schedules are such that Jill & Thomas, the Docs and Brook & Claire make the first ferry to the island, but Nick & Vicki are slowed when Vicki has asthma trouble. (I’m surprised anyone can breathe at all in Hong Kong.) They have to wait 30 minutes for the next ferry, during which time remorseful Nick departs and Pathetic Bully Nick returns. When Vicki says, “I’m sorry” (for slowing them down) Nick replies, “I’m sick of you being sorry. You better keep up; the next time I’m not stopping.” So Pathetic Bully Nick adds “Stupid” to his title, because one racer can’t finish alone for the team. Vicki cries and Stupid Pathetic Bully Nick says, “Quit crying.”
(Not to get too off track, but for those TAR fans who also watch Survivor: Which is the more offensive competitor this season? Nick or Naonka?) (SKK: At least Nick's not a teacher. He's not, right??)
The teams also have to hoof it from the ferry landing to the cave ... lots of running tonight, so the more fit teams have an advantage. Claire, we find, is not a runner at all and she slows down on the race to the cave. Brook comes thisclose to going Nick on her, but it is a momentary lapse.
At the cave, they get directions to the Road Block and then have to run/jog/walk back to the ferry, because the Road Block is in downtown Hong Kong. The Docs and Jill & Thomas catch the first ferry back, Brook & Claire the second and, trailing badly, S.P.B. Nick and Vicki get ... I don’t know, a later one.
The Road Block is in the Majestic Chinese Restaurant, which answers, I guess, the old question about what Chinese call Chinese food. They call it Chinese food, apparently.
Here the teams find a large sushi buffet and hidden in among the dozens of dishes are five that are really good fakes (Hong Kong being famous for manufacturing fake food used in restaurant displays, a fact that was new to me. I always thought those displays were real food.) The competing team member must find one of the five fakes, and, if they touch anything real, they have to eat it. Nat competes for the Docs, starting and finishing the Road Block first with no problems. Jill competes while Thomas watches and Brook competes while Clair cheers her on, enthusiastically rallying the crowded restaurant. I think at one point she may have even had them doing “the wave.”
We find out that Claire, 1) is a picky eater and, 2) is on a diet for her upcoming wedding. She struggles, while Jill eats methodically and finishes in 2nd place.
Claire struggles so much that S.P.B. Nick & Vicki catch up; Vicki and Claire are eating at the same time. Eventually, Brook has eaten so much sushi that she hurls (like “The Exorcist” she says.) S.P.B. Nick just laughs at her.
Oddly, Claire finally finds a platter of fake food with Vicki standing right beside her. However, Vicki doesn’t recognize what’s going on, I guess, because she passes that platter by.
The clue at the completion of the Road Block directs teams to the Avenue of the Stars and a statue of Bruce Lee, actor and martial arts guru, who was born in San Francisco but raised in Hong Kong. There teams receive instructions for this week’s Detour which has the choice of:
Ding Ding – teams have to ride a tram along a busy Hong Kong street (that description may be redundant, based on the look of things) where, hidden among all the signs are directions to this week’s Pit Stop. If they complete the tram route without finding all the signs, teams have to start over.
Sampan – teams have to pick up a cage of canaries, get on a sampan (which is like a water taxi) then go travel about the Hong Kong harbor until they find a small boat with a number matching a number on the bird cage, painted on the side of the boat. When they hand over the parakeets, they get the next clue. Two problems: there are hundreds of boats in the harbor and it is nighttime, so the teams have to use spotlights, which makes them look at each boat individually. They can’t scan a number of boats at once, from a distance.
The Docs start first and pick Sampan, Jill & Thomas start second and pick Ding Ding and Brook & Claire, a distant 3rd, eventually pick Sampan.
Back at the Chinese restaurant, Vicki eventually hurls, just like Claire did. S.P.B. Nick asks her if she wants to just skip the task and take the penalty. So now he is Stupid Pathetic Bully Nick the Quitter. Vicki, however, says she isn’t a quitter and, eventually, finds a fake food dish. They head for the Detour, via the Bruce Lee statue.
On their tram ride, Jill & Thomas pass right by all of the signs telling them where the Pit Stop is and get to the end of the route. They decide to switch to Sampan. As luck would have it, the Docs are still searching for their target boat, so Jill & Thomas have pulled even with them. In fact, Jill & Thomas find their target boat just a little ahead of the Docs and head for the Pit Stop in first. However, they have trouble finding a taxi while the Docs get one pretty quickly, so it is the quintessential AMAZING TAXI RACE TO THE PIT STOP, which the Docs win, along with a fabulous trip for two to Rio de Janeiro! When Phil announces that, I flash on some of the old games shows, back in the '50s and '60s, when a “fabulous trip for two to Rio de Janeiro!” was often the grand prize.
Jill & Thomas finish second and, some time later, Brook & Claire third. (They used an odd strategy of calling out the number of the boat they were searching for and then listening to see if anyone answered, “Over here!” Nobody did, of course, because that wasn’t the way the task was set up. Eventually they just found their target boat by sheer, dumb luck.)
Somewhere in all of this, S.P.B. Nick the Q. and Vicki arrive and elect to do Sampan as well. Vicki, of course, does all the looking and Nick just sits there complaining and whining. At one point he says, “I’m just ready to be done” and he actually lies down to take a nap, while Vicki keeps searching the harbor. He says, “I haven’t had sleep and I haven’t had food.”
Well, you idiot, if you were hungry, you should have done the Road Block, where you could have eaten as much sushi as you wanted. So now he is Lazy Stupid Pathetic Bully Nick the Quitter. He keeps telling Vicki they should just give up and, finally, realizing that he isn’t even competing any longer, she gives in.
They arrive at the Pit Stop I-don’t-know-how-many-hours in last place and Phil tells them ... it’s a non-elimination leg! NO! NO! NO! Don’t let him off that easily!
Well, actually, I’m happy for Vicki, who worked hard the entire leg of the race, dragging that dead weight she calls a boyfriend along with her. But, the bad news (for Vicki) is they have a six-hour penalty for not finishing the Detour and will also have a Speed Bump in the next leg. So they are like toast, anyway, and it just means that Vicki will have to endure another leg of the race with Lazy Stupid Pathetic Bully Nick the Quitter. So I don’t think Phil really did her any favors.
The final order of finish, then, is:
1st – The Docs
2nd – Jill & Thomas
3rd – Brook & Claire
4th – Vicki and L.S.P.B. Nick the Quitter.
Instead of asking what you thought of this episode, I just want to know: Do you think you can despise Nick even half as much as I do? (You are, of course, free to comment on anything you want.)
Also ... rumors are making their way to the ‘net that Season 18 of The Amazing Race began filming last week and that it will be an “all-star” or “encore” race, between teams who have previously competed on TAR. Apparently among the teams that people think they have spotted running through airports with a camera man following are the Cowboys, the Globetrotters, the ex-NFL Cheerleaders Jamie & Cara and, from this season, Gary & Mallory. If the rumors turn out to be true, I think that will be a good race, don’t you?