By Janell Sutherland
7:31 AM EST, November 5, 2012
Last week, the teams stayed in Bangladesh and got very hot. The Twins somehow failed to fall for Boyfriend Ryan's nerdy charm, and the Goat Farmers came in last but were spared from elimination by a benevolent Phil and a pretty woman at the Pit Stop.
The next destination is Istanbul (not Constantinople). Did you know that Istanbul (not Constantinople) is the only metropolis in the world that stands on two continents? Europe and Asia. How cool is that?
Any final thoughts about Bangladesh, teams? Boyfriend Ryan says they've learned a lot, and he tells people that if their 52-inch tv goes fuzzy, "don’t b---- about it, go to Dhaka." Try to work that phrase into a sentence this week, I'll give you extra credit.
Now there's only one flight headed for Istanbul (not Constantinople) so you know all the teams will be on it. This gives us some time for a chat.
Why the hate?
The Twins think Abbie and Boyfriend Ryan are "weirdos." I still don't get it.
Boyfriend Ryan says Team Rock On and the Twins are the two most annoying teams, their hair is all the same length (heh) and he's tired of them all. Then when Monster Truck joins the crowd, and Abbie wonders if everyone is scheming against them, he says, "You put those six heads together and you get about three brain cells." Oh, rude, Boyfriend Ryan! But still funny.
Karmic retribution, party of four
At the travel agency, Rock On loses $100. It's a wad of American money sitting on a table near a computer. Twin One finds it and calls out, not too loudly, "Whose money?"
Twin Two immediately shushes her and pulls her off to the side where Trey and Lexi are. Lexi hears them talk about the money and they joke about sharing it. The Twins interview that Lexi was on board with the plan but that Trey needed some convincing, so they didn't give him a vote. The Twins hold on to the money.
Later, at the airport, the Twins feel guilty so they do split the money with Texi. They explain that it will also split the guilt, "and they're Christians so they'll pray for us."
So, there's lying during the Race, there's misleading, but stealing money is a new level of evil. I'm waiting for the moment when we can all point and say "Aha! That's for stealing the money!"
This makes everything about Bangladesh okay
Meanwhile, James and Abba are missing $100. Abba thinks he left a zipper open on the backpack and it fell out in a cab, they don't even consider the idea of someone taking it. I'm not sure if they need that money for plane tickets, but they say they can't move on in the Race without the money.
Although they hate to beg in a city where they're surrounded by poverty, they do it anyway. They go to a business district and talk to some very generous locals. One woman gives them a hug, another man says, "It's my country, you're my guest." That's the sweetest thing. Their cab driver says, "Bangladesh good, not bad." James and Abba agree -- they've been given $100.
From Phil's Twitter feed: "Kudos to the generous people of Bangladesh for helping out the rockers. They must be Megadeth fans :)"
Cab vs. metro: How about both?
Okay, everyone flies to Istanbul (not Constantinople). Everyone jumps in a cab except for the Chippendales and Monster Truck. This is because cabs are faster, unless the traffic is bad.
On the subway, the Chipps hear from a local that it's too early in the morning for bad traffic, so the cabs are definitely faster. They decide to get off the train and hop into a cab.
Monster Truck sees this move, worries, discusses, and then calls the Chipps followers. Rob claims that they'll win the leg. Let's see how this works out.
Best tradition of the Ottoman Empire
Teams get the Detour clue in a marketplace from a candy vendor. He hands them their clue along with a box of Turkish Delight (on a moonlit night).
The Detour, Phil tells us, involves two ancient traditions that date back to the Ottoman empire. One choice is to transport Turkish bagels known as simits on a tray balanced on your head and deliver them on foot to three separate restaurants. The other choice is to have a Turkish bath.
Now I can recall some misleading clues, like sit in an ice cave in your underwear for 10 minutes, or get the world's most painful foot massage. Even Boyfriend Ryan understands this: "It'll probably be painful but let's do it."
The Turkish bath is painful for some. Rock On James, describing the intensity of the massage, says,
"He pulled my heart out, showed it to me while it was beating, said 'Here, it's going too slow, here you go."
Boyfriend Ryan gets his foot scrubbed and says, "Look at that. Abbie won't do that for me. I need to get your number, dude."
At one point four teams -- Rock On, Twins, Texi, and Dominate -- are sprawled out on a large slab getting rubbed down. It looks awesome. They all leave at roughly the same time.
The Chippendales arrive just as the teams are leaving, so jumping into a cab was a good idea. It was also a good idea for them to take a bath, because we get to see them with their shirts off.
Turkish food part I
Remember the Goat Farmers have a Speed Bump this leg? Before they can do the Detour, they have to go to a marked ice cream stand and buy two scoops of ice cream and eat it. Dude. I would rock that Speed Bump so hard, unless the ice cream was pepper flavored.
Anyhow, they miss the marked ice cream stand, but they find another! The thing about Turkish ice cream is that it's served with a performance -- juggling, magic, joking around. We totally need this in America. The Beekman Boys finally grab the ice cream from the vendor and eat it quickly. They run back for a clue but they're denied.
So they find the correct ice cream vendor. Brent is not having the fun this time. He begs the vendor to hurry up, but that is not the plan. Eventually they finish their ice cream.
Turkish food part II
Goat Farmers choose to deliver simits, thinking the more physical task is quicker. Aw, they don't get a bath. Brent chooses to carry the simits because he has a nice flat head. "Not a lot of brain there," Josh says.
Oh, by the way, Monster Truck finally got off the metro and is now choosing to deliver simits as well.
Josh leads Brent aimlessly through the streets, asking people for directions but not understanding the answer. Brent's not a fan of this strategy.
The Goats and the Truckers finish at about the same time.
Turkish food part III
The Roadblock is in a busy bazaar. It reminds me of the Aladdin Casino in Las Vegas, so, I guess, good for the Aladdin Casino? Although I haven't been there in at least 10 years, so don't go there just because I said it looks like Istanbul (not Constantinople).
One team member has to serve Turkish sherbet, which is believed to be the world's first soft drink. Turkey, you guys, with the baths and the bagels and the soft drinks. Let's all move there.
The Roadblocker puts on a uniform of red pants, white shirt, red vest and hat, and then wears a long spouted brass teapot on their back. They're supposed to tip forward to pour it into a cup. Just like the song! Well, this teapot isn't short and stout, it's long and thin, but you do tip over to pour it out. I'm just saying, what if the song came from here, too?!
You know who rocks the teapot? Lexi. "I was just being loud and obnoxious like I normally am." It's the cheerleader in her, she's cheery. Maybe too cheery, one man offers to pay her to just go away.
Boyfriend Ryan has a harder time selling, the top of his teapot keeps falling off. Finally he engages a local as a broker to sell to others, and for some reason that works for him. Sidenote: in the post-interview, Ryan is wearing a Bangladesh t-shirt. That's sweet. Maybe it's to remind him to never bitch about his TV.
Chippendale James can't sell the sherbet shirtless, which is a hindrance to him, I'm sure. The Chippendales caught up to the top four teams at the Roadblock, but then everyone finished before them, so they think they're last. Until ...
Goat Farmers and Monster Truck arrive. Brent takes it, even though he just carried a bunch of bagels on his head and you'd think he'd want a break. But no, not only does he have a flat head, but also he has strong sales technique. "I may not be a Chippendale but I can work a costume." And he's not even a drag queen!
Kelley takes the Roadblock for the Truckers, she doesn't seem to have much trouble either.
The editors try to make me believe that the Chippendales are in trouble, but I don't believe it. We were promised shirtless Chippendales at some point, and I don't think the bath counts, so I believe they're not out until we've seen them shirtless.
Taking charge of traffic
This leg wasn't so bad. After all the heat and stress I'm glad the teams were able to have some fun. Well, except for Rock On losing their money and having to beg. But the worst penalty on this leg was the Goat Farmers having to eat an extra ice cream cone? Sweet.
Team Texi takes first place, thanks to Lexi's performance at the Roadblock. Dominate is next, and Boyfriend Ryan has accepted that he won't be on the winningest team ever. Rock On takes third and the Twins are fourth. Chippendales come in fifth.
Goat Farmers and Monster Truckers were selling together at the Roadblock, and Goats finished first. But their cab is stuck in traffic!
This is a first on the Race, I think: Josh pulls Brent out of the cab. Instead of finding another cab, they start directing traffic! They hold off pedestrians to let the cars pass, and when they see a van parked in the middle of the road, blocking it, they track down the driver and tell him to move. It's kind of awesome how they take charge.
That fine effort pays off; Goat Farmers land in sixth place.
Monster Truckers are last. I wonder what would have happened if they hadn't taken the Metro? Or if they got off when the Chippendales did? I bet they wonder that, too.
Next week the Race goes to Moscow. Farewell, Istanbul (not Constantinople), thanks for inspiring They Might Be Giants to write such a nice song about you! It looks like Dominate and the Goat Farmers miss a flight. Oh no! And Rock On might lose all their stuff when their cab disappears. Oh no!
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