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'The Amazing Race' recap: U-turnabout is fair play

Bucky reports on last night's Amazing Race, with a double U-Turn and a pretty complicated Roadblock:

We’re back to finish the unfinished business left over from last week’s episode of The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business.  When last we visited, the first six teams had been sent along their way on a continuation leg, Zev & Justin were racing to what they assumed would be the Pit Stop and the Goths, Kent & Vyxsin, had just discovered they were without their fanny pack, passports and money.

This week opens with Zev & Justin finishing, getting their clue and finding out a Double U-Turn lay ahead on the continuation leg.  In a short amount of (air) time, the Goths retrieve their fanny pack, complete the rest of last week’s leg and arrive at the Pit Stop.

The bad news for the Goths is that Phil tells them they will have a 30-minute penalty, at the end of the leg, for not taking the required flight last week.  The good news is that the clue sends the racers to the train station where, we learn, the next train leaves in seven hours.

The Goths have caught up.  None of the other teams are at all happy to see them.  Everyone was counting on beating the Goths on this leg.  Ha!  Take that, everyone.

Oh, and we see the basketball game that has been the subject of promotions all week.  The Globetrotters, the Cowboys and Kisha & Jen play a little pick-up 3 on 3 out in the parking lot, just to kill time.  It is not part of the race at all, as the promos led us to believe.

When the train arrives back in Kunming, teams have to travel by taxi to some “Golden Arches” which are really very ornate Chinese arches, not McDonalds golden arches.  But, of course, a couple of teams—Gary & Mallory and the Cowboys—see a McDonalds close by and divert to there, throwing them behind.  The clue at the arches directs teams to this week’s Detour, a choice of:

Honor the Past – teams have to watch a traditional dance performance by 15 costumed dancers and then go into a room and put 15 dolls dressed like the dancers in the same order as the real dancers finish on the stage.  It’s a memory task.

Embrace the Future – teams must carry the parts for a solar heating system to the top of a (ten or so story?) building then assemble the unit correctly.  This is mostly a physical challenge.

Ron & Christina, Zev & Justin, Kisha & Jen, and Gary & Mallory chose the memory task.  The rest of the teams choose the physical challenge.  Ron & Christina and Zev & Justin are in the lead; the Goths, Gary & Mallory and the Cowboys trail the pack.

The Detours provide no suspense.  Kish & Jen move up in the standings, the Globetrotters fall to last.

The next clue directs teams to the U-Turn station.

After they finish the Detour, Zev & Justin, and Kisha & Jen decide to have their taxis simply follow Ron & Christina, the racers who are fluent in Chinese.  However, Ron & Christine’s taxi driver takes them all to the wrong place.  Ha Ha Ha Ha.  I love it. 

So, Margie & Luke arrive at the U-Turn station first and don’t U-turn anyone.  The Cowboys arrive next and decline to U-Turn anyone as well.  Then the Goths beat the Cheerleaders to the U-Turn station by just thismuch and, with the Cheerleaders yelling at him “Do the Globetrotters, do the Globetrotters”, Kent U-Turns ... the Cheerleaders!  Right there in front of them!  Ha Ha Ha Ha, again.  (Kent explains that in their first race, he & Vyxsin U-Turned someone who turned out to be ahead of them, wasting the U-Turn.  This time, he knew they were in front of the Cheerleaders—who were standing behind him yelling in his ear—so he made the absolutely safe play.)

The Cheerleaders U-Turn the Globetrotters.

The clue at the U-Turn station directs teams to this week’s Roadblock, at a place called the Stone Forest, a significant dinosaur archeological site.  Eventually, Zev & Justin and Gary & Mallory depart the U-Turn station by telling their taxi drivers to follow Kish & Jen.  This follow-the-leader doesn’t work out any better than the last one did, because Kisha & Jen instruct their taxi driver lose the others, which he does.  Zev & Justin and Gary & Mallory get hopelessly lost and once again, Ha Ha Ha Ha, I laugh right out loud.

The Roadblock requires teams to put together a large (20 feet long and, maybe, seven or eight feet tall) model of a dinosaur skeleton.  Just like the little balsa wood models, but big and all the bones are cut from plywood.

The players begin the Roadblock in this order:  Kisha, Christina, Margie, Kent, Cord, Big Easy, Jaime, Justin and ...

Gary says he will compete for him and Mallory, but when he sees the task, that they are in last place and that some teams are moving quickly to complete their models, they decide to use the Express Pass. Remember the Express pass they won at the very first Pit Stop?  It allows them to skip any challenge?

So Gary & Mallory head for the Pit Stop in first place.  The Cowboys make up a lot of time and head to the Pit Stop next.

The rest of the teams have varying degrees of difficult with Jaime, for the Cheerleaders, and Justin struggling the most.

The Cowboys race Gary & Mallory to the Pit Stop.  The full order of finish is:

1st – the Cowboys, who win $5,000 each
2nd – Gary & Mallory, who spent their Express Pass,
3rd – Margie & Luke
4th – Kisha & Jen
5th – the Goths (after serving their 30 minute penalty, during which Kisha & Jen, but nobody else, passed them)
6th – the Globetrotters, who survived the U-Turn
7th – Ron & Christina
8th – Zev & Justin
9th – the Cheerleaders, who weren’t actually hurt by being U-Turned.  They fell to last on Jaime’s struggles at the Roadblock.
 
So, we’ve finished the very complicated Double U-Turn, double leg, and cleared out the Express Pass, to boot.  And we’re leaving China for India, where Ron & Christina don’t speak the language.  That’s a lot of loose ends tied up tonight; things should be fairly straight forward for the rest of the race.

 

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