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'Amazing Race' recap, Eggplant, bamboo and jute

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Remember last week when the Twins screamed a lot? And it was hot? It happens again this week on "The Amazing Race," only without the Superfans sadly trailing behind.

Team Rock On won the Fast Forward last week, so they start first. James's father (not specified whether he is Abba's father as well) had some cancer tests, and James learns via video chat with his wife that his father has no chance of remission. Not good news for him, but the family tells him to race on and make his dad proud. So they're off to find an eggplant vendor. 

One cup of eggplant has about 30 calories and almost 10 percent of your daily fiber. Sadly, the teams are not required to eat any eggplant, just to grab a clue and move on.

This recap will now be presented to you with a series of questions.

Is it racist?

The Twins and Abbie and Her Boyfriend leave at the same time and have a taxi race to the eggplants. The Twins tell their driver to "beat the goras." They tell us that goras means white people in Hindi, but it's not racist, it's just a color. You make the call!

What life skill best helps you to build a Bangladeshi scale?

The Roadblock challenge is to build a scale using three bamboo poles, some rope, and some sticks, like a tripod. Then they affix some platforms and weigh a bundle of sticks against some rocks.

Rock On James takes the challenge so that Abba can rest his knees. James points out that 40 years ago he was a Boy Scout and learned how to lash things together, but he's since forgotten the process. "I can assure you, though, that throughout the '80s I was no Boy Scout," he says with a wink. Oh James, quit being so self-aware.

Chippendale James also builds the scale. He reports that his dad is a carpenter, and he seems to finish the task with no problem. Well, except he told the crowd, "Y'all can cheer if you want," and he only got one man to halfheartedly applaud. He probably should have taken off his shirt.

Goat Farmer Brent does the Roadblock, saying he builds things all the time on the farm. He was a physician before he because a goat farmer, and used to treat people for dehydration, but he's never experienced it himself before now. Did I mention it's really hot? And humid? Brent's scale has one stick out of position, and his melted brain has a difficult time seeing it. He finishes the task in last place.

Which team is more obnoxious?

Team Dominate is at the Roadblock at the same time as the Twins. Remember last week, when Twin 1 kept yelling "Come on, Twinnie," and Phil made a drinking game out of it, and Abbie and Her Boyfriend were really annoyed? Remember also that the Twins seem to hate Abbie and Ryan? It's like that again.

Abbie is building the scale, one Twin is cheering on the other Twin. Ryan asks, "Are you gonna yell the whole time?" Then he starts mockingly shouting "Twinnie!" Twin enlists small children to yell "Go Twinnie!" with her.

When Ryan tells Abbie that she is dominating, Twin disagrees and says that Other Twin is, in fact, dominating. Ryan clarifies that Abbie is dominating her own scale, and that Abbie's domination in no way diminishes Other Twin's domination of anything.

In an interview, the Twins say that Ryan is rude and obnoxious. They just don't get his nerdy charm at all.

How many locals get whacked in the head with bamboo?

The Detour: Straw Dogs or Bamboo Jungle. In Straw Dogs, they whip unprocessed jute on a bed of nails to untangle 20 coils, then transport it to machines that manufacture it into jute bags. Jute has been used for centuries for sacks, ropes, carpet, and fabric.

In Bamboo Jungle, teams collect 40 poles of bamboo in three different lengths (manageable, long, and dangerously long). Then they lash it onto a rickshaw and deliver it to a construction site. Bamboo produces about 30 percent more oxygen than trees, did you know that?

Abbie and Her Boyfriend are the only ones to choose the jute. Ryan points out that the factory is about 110 degrees inside, and it takes "pure jute force" to whip the jute. There's my nerdy boyfriend. The task seems quicker than bamboo, because they finish it before the Twins finish the bamboo.

Speaking of bamboo, that stuff is long, yo. And heavy. They have to carry it through racks of bamboo, and it does not corner well. The Twins manage to knock their camera guy. I wonder if it's the same camera guy they crashed into at the Double U-Turn station?

We don't see a montage, but I'll make one up for you. Imagine a rickshaw with, I don't know, 30 feet of bamboo hanging off the end. Watch that poor fruit vendor protect his stand from being knocked over again and again. Watch that young child duck behind a drain pipe to keep from being poked. Watch dozens of locals duck out of the way so they don't lose any eyeballs. They are really putting up with a lot from these crazy Americans!

It's second place, Boyfriend Ryan, why aren't you happy?

As I said above, Team Dominate finishes with the jute reasonably quickly. And without injuring any locals or cameramen, I might add. 

Before the leg began, Ryan interviewed that he wanted to be the strongest, winningest team, and beat Army Dave's record of eight legs won. Well, they land at the Pit Stop in second place because Team Rock On kept their Fast-Forward lead and took first place. 

Ryan almost looks mad, and poor Abbie, who has pushed herself in the heat all day long, asks if he'll just smile. Then she cries because, seriously, he's not happy! Ryan acknowledges that it's a lot of pressure on Abbie to try to beat that record. But he doesn't say if he'll back off. I think he's too nice to push her, though. Stay tuned!

How is your life like a monster truck?

Phil tweets that Monster Trucker Rob can literally make a monster truck analogy for pretty much anything in life. He's loud like them, too. 

This week, Rob points out that monster truck tires are 750 pounds each, and he mounts them by hand, so, you know, he's strong. He carries a lot of bamboo. They get to the Pit Stop in fourth place, after the Twins.

Last week, Rob's auto detailing helped him fix up a bus, and this week the tire lifting helped him carry bamboo. I can't wait to find out how monster trucks help him next week! He could teach a life skills course just by using monster trucks.

Quote of the week

As Team Chippendale selects the bamboo Detour option, Jaymes says enthusiastically, "We been waitin' to lift heavy things!"

Can you not pass out and die, please?

It's hot, remember? The Chipps are excited to lift things, so they start running with bamboo. They also point out that they've been saving money by not eating much, so they've lost weight. Do you think heat plus malnourishment plus dehydration is a good idea? 

They do eventually stop to drink water. But not enough to clear those brain cells, because they leave three bamboo poles behind when they transport to the construction site. Oh, it doesn't look good. They both lay down in the sand, drenched in water and sweat, and try to catch their breath. 

Chippendales never say die, of course, so they suck it up and finish the task correctly. This time the locals cheer for them. The get to the Pit Stop in sixth place, after Team Texi.

Are you still fabulous?

The Goat Farmers have been in last place because of the Road Block. They choose Bamboo because Josh (Aquadisiac) thinks he can do most of the lifting and give Brent a chance to recover. And by golly, he seems to do just that.

They know they’re in last place, but while they count out bamboo, Brent asks Josh (Aquadisiac) "Are you still fabulous?" He is. They get a crowd of children to cheer them on as they transport bamboo across town.

At the Pit Stop, Phil tells them that they are the last team to arrive. However, it's the first non-elimination leg of the season! Brent and Josh (Aquadisiac) are too exhausted to respond much, causing Phil to say, "Maybe you're not so pleased!" Then they muster up some energy. Let it be known that next week they plan to make a fabulous comeback!

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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