An important thing happens on this week's episode of "The Amazing Race": I kind of fall in love with Abbie's Boyfriend. I know. Something else happens: We learn someone's drag queen name. I know! Let's just get on with it.
Farewell, Indonesia, fourth most populated country of the world with karmic pedicabs. Time to travel to Dhaka, Bangladesh, the most densely populated city in the world (according to Phil Keoghan's Twitter feed, which I absolutely believe).
Abbie and Her Boyfriend Ryan, Team Dominate, depart at 9:52 p.m. They take a cab to a travel agency. While in the cab, Ryan makes some kind of goofy, awkward hand gesture and triumphantly shouts, "First place, nerds!"
I know he's pretending to call everyone else nerds, but somehow I saw through that and decided that Ryan believes he is himself a nerd. He's not an Alpha Caveman, he's a dork who happens to be strong and good looking. Interesting.
The first flight to Bangladesh leaves in the morning, and everyone is on the same flight. Team Superfan calls the last leg the greatest comeback ever. I can think of several teams from past seasons who would disagree with that.
Bangladesh is a land of crowds, and people, and people crowded into crowds full of people. Mixed in with all of these people are cabs and buses and goats. It's the usual Race scene of teams wandering the streets looking for taxis and nearly getting killed in the process.
While in a cab, the Twins say, "This is third world Grand Theft Auto, plus bulls and goats and garbage and minus the nice cars."
Phil's First Drinking Game!
The first task is a Roadblock. One team member must "repair" a bus, which means filling in an entire side panel of a bus with putty of a desired consistency. Then they must sand the panel. The Twins are the only all-girl team, and thus Twin 2 is the only girl to take on the challenge.
Phil Tweets: "New game: Count how many times the Twins say Twinnies." You guys, it's a lot. The teams are working in close quarters out in the heat, and Twin 1 is cheering on Twin 2. She points out that they are the only girls, says, "We can't lose here, we're the only brownies, we have to win," and shouts "Come on, Twinnie" over and over.
Multiply that by the annoyance factor of a thousand hungry seagulls and a swarm of mosquitoes, then add the intensity of a stadium full of Justin Bieber fans and you might get the idea. During the sanding we also hear "Sand your [butt] off" and "Long, strong and hard!"
We get some nice reaction shots and interviews from other teams about how irritating this all was. Boyfriend Ryan does a nice impersonation, and he tries to implement a quiet time which is ignored. Abbie stands behind the cheering Twinnie and mimics shooting herself in the head. Their mockery makes me like them more.
Friends give friends a hand
Boyfriend Ryan furiously putties the bus and sweats profusely. He sweats through the detailed instructions of the clue, actually, so he doesn't know what to do after the putty. He forms a quick alliance with Chippendale James so that he can read a non-sweaty clue.
Meanwhile, James is very disheartened about his putty job. He mixed it too dry, or something, and ends up scraping it off and starting over. He loses it a little bit, interviewing later that he has a short fuse.
"We knew it was coming," Jaymes interjects. Abbie magically talks him off the ledge so he can calm down and finish. The Amazing Editors give her an extra twinkle sound as she smiles, because she is like a magical fairy princess. No wonder it's Team Abbie and Her Boyfriend, you just can't see anything beyond her.
Rock On! Now with more rats!
This leg had a Fast Forward, and curiously only one team went for it. The first few teams were like, "whatever, we're in the lead, let's just do the task," and the later teams were like, "it's probably already taken." At least that's what we were led to believe. In reality, the Fast Forward task is to walk around town collecting dead rats and delivering them to pest control.
Probably every other team was not in a good mental place to deal with rats. Enter Team Rock On: "Like we've never dealt with rats before in this business?!"
It's a long, hot walk gathering rats, but they collect a parade of local kids as they go, and they seem to be enjoying themselves. Then one of them accidentally steps in something unsanitary. Don't worry, he rinsed it off with water and then doused it in hand sanitizer, I'm sure he'll be fine.
Team Rock On, you are Team Number One! They win a vacation, like first place usually does. I only point it out because Phil described the trip, and then on Twitter said, "Yes I know you love the way I say SPA!" I love the way he says anything, actually, but I also love the he can joke about himself.
Whose mattress would you rather sleep on?
Skipping ahead to the Detour, teams can either pound metal with sledgehammers and help make a sharp spike, or pound cotton into tufts and then sew it into a mattress.
Team Dominate chooses the mattress task because Abbie can sew, she went to Fashion Institute for a year. I hope in the weeks to come we learn other random, amazing things that Abbie can do.
You know why I really love Abbie's Boyfriend this week? Because they get to the task and he's all, "Just tell me what to do, you're the expert." You know how some people (*cough* Army Dave last year *cough*) always have to be in charge, ordering their partner around? Not Nerd Boyfriend Ryan. He'll take orders, he knows he's not the master of everything.
Later, when Abbie's sewing up the mattress, he dances around and sings, "One year at Fashion Institute just paid off!" He's Proud, Supportive Nerd Boyfriend Ryan.
The Goat Farmers and the Chippendales end up making mattresses at the same time. The Chipps wonder why they picked a sewing task when they have no skills, and it makes them appreciate their wardrobe department.
Over at the next mattress, we hear, "Josh used to sew his costumes when he was a drag queen."
"But my costumes always fell apart," Josh responds.
What? Jaymes jumps all over that, he didn't know they were competing with a drag queen. "What was your drag name?" he asks.
"Aquadisiac," answers Josh. I had to giggle at the entire conversation.
Phil queried the Twitterverse about which mattress people would prefer to sleep on. According to him, and as I said before I always believe Phil, the drag queen mattress wins. Probably because of its superior sewing skills.
The curse of the helpful drivers
Here's where it's a little complicated. After the Detour, teams are supposed to travel to a boat dock and take a boat across a river to a specific landing. From there they have to walk a short distance to find Phil.
Team Dominate and the Twins take the same boat across the river. The Twins call Dominate the craziest couple, "almost psychotic, and they're both in crazy good shape and can sprint like hell."
I don't know how Dominate looks like the crazy team in this match up. Maybe because they heard the word "Twinnie" too many times and lost their ever-loving minds? They are definitely good sprinters, though, they seem to find Phil first. It doesn't matter, though, since Rock On already took first place. Dominate and Twins are second and third, respectively.
Now, Monster Truckers get on one boat. The Goat Farmers just miss it, so they get on another one. The Truckers land and find Phil, but he tells them that their boat captain took them to the wrong dock. He took them to a dock closer to Phil, but is he appreciated for that? No, Mr. Trucker yells at the captain.
They take the boat back to their starting place and then return to the correct dock. Mr. Trucker insults the captain some more, and then they re-find Phil, now they are fifth.
The Goat Farmer boat arrives at the correct dock. When they land, they meet up with Team Texi! Where did they come from? Oh, their helpful cab driver took them across the river and deposited them at the dock to save them a step. Goat Farmers tell Texi to get back across the river and then come back the correct way. Good advice, Goat Farmers! You are team number four!
The Chippendales take sixth and the realigned Texans are seventh.
The fall of the Superfans
You know I was rooting for them. We all were, because they were supposed to represent us, the fans. For some reason their luck ran out and their skills couldn't save them.
It started in the first taxi from the airport to the bus Roadblock. Their driver took a "shortcut" and they arrived last. Small called it luck of the draw, Tall told him to shut up. Oh no, team discord so early in the leg!
Tall took the Roadblock and was just fed up with the physicality of it. He complained about the poor surface of the bus. He finished the task last, hot and tired. He chose the pound cotton Detour because he was feeling weak, not up to swinging a sledgehammer.
They almost caught a break when Team Texi's cab broke down. But then the Texan cab was fixed with a magical bottle of Sprite and Texi passed the Superfans once again.
Then it got really sad -- their helpful cab driver drove them across the river and dropped them off at the landing dock, right where they ran into Texi who had just re-crossed the river correctly. Texi told Superfans that they had to cross the river by boat, and then they were total Eeyores. It was made even worse when they crossed the river in a rowboat, like all the motorized boats were too busy, or they were in no rush.
Superfans were eliminated. They are sorry for letting all the rest of the fans down. No problem, guys, it was a tough race. I hope my son gets over your loss.
Next week looks even more physical. And we have a Chippendale down! I repeat! Chippendale down!Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun