UNITED KINGDOM – GHANA – SWEDEN – NORWAY – RUSSIA – OMAN – BANGLADESH – HONG KONG – SOUTH KOREA
Previously on TAR: Six teams raced from St. Petersburg, Russia to Muscat, Oman. Chad & Stephanie got off to a shaky start but once in Oman, Chad popped the question.
An exhilarating Roadblock had Jill holding on tight while a navigational nightmare took its toll on Mallory.
In the end, Chad & Stephanie celebrated their engagement in style, and Gary & Mallory bid farewell (temporarily).
Meanwhile back in the United States, Olympian gymnast cried as she felt an unspeakable horror had just occurred.
Five teams remain; who will be eliminated next?
NUMBER OF EPISODES A TEAM HAS BEEN MENTIONED IN THE ‘PREVIOUSLY ON’ SEGMENT
CHAD & STEPHANIE 6
KEVIN & MICHAEL 4
BROOK & CLAIRE 3
NAT & KAT 3
CONNOR & JONATHAN 2
JILL & THOMAS 2
RON & TONY 1
ANDIE & JENNA 1
KATIE & RACHEL: 1
GARY & MALLORY: 1
NICK & VICKI: 0
– Intro time.
Which includes the Rachel Death Stare.
– Phil tells us about Muscat. It has a rich history which can be found in places like Al Alam Palace.
That’s all you have to say about Oman, Phil?
Whoever wrote the intro script for this episode was busy doing other things during this pit stop. That is one of the least informative historical lessons I have heard at the start of an episode.
Or what about their history of cars parking diagonally? That’s would be a neat fact to bring up.
– Chad & Stephanie, who were the first to arrive at an unspecified time because of Jill & Thomas’ hilarious last minute choke, will depart at 11:10am. Steph is excited to read they are heading to Dhaka, Bangladesh.
– Yep, our only new country between now and the next twelve episodes of TAR in the US.
In fact, our next new country will only host a couple of tasks during the ninth round of TAR 18. I have said it over the past couple of seasons, but TAR will have an increasingly difficult time with finding any debuting countries to visit.
– Dhaka is two thousand miles away from Oman and is the most densely populated city in the world. As I said last week, my uncle who worked in Yemen during the Civil War for some sort of international machinery company would follow that working experience with another interesting one–living in Bangladesh for a year.
He said Yemen during a Civil War was easier to live in compared to Bangladesh because the latter simply has way too many people. Everywhere. And the lack of overall maintenance and city sanitation (things we take for granted like mandatory garbage pick-up) made the conditions near impossible. My uncle also would stress just how densely populated it really is in terms of the fact that personal privacy is non-existent. No matter where you go there is always going to be at least a couple people right there with you.
For the past fifteen years, my uncle lives on a three acre plot of land about ten minutes outside of a small town. Way to live on both ends of the density spectrum.
– Once in Dhaka, teams must take a taxi to find the Sundarban Square Supermarket, and find a sugar cane press.
Which will likely be well-hidden.
– When they find this press, they must fill a large mug with sugar cane juice. One team member must drink it in order to receive their next clue.
“Sugar cane can be crushed with my toe,
Watch me crank dat,
watch it roll,
then drink that sugar cane juice”
“then watch me Wuuuuu drink that sugar cane juice
then watch me Wuuuuuu drink that sugar cane juice”
In 2015, the health-conscious crowd will have their desires addressed when a sugar-free sugar cane juice product is released in the supermarket.
He is handling that juice with two hands like a champ. Feel the rush!!!
– STEPH: Warning–Somewhere on this leg you will encounter a Double U-Turn.
A -double- U-Turn? Are you f–king kidding me?
You thought one U-Turn was enough?
It’s on now. When you thought he could get you just once, he can sneak up on you to put you out for a second time.
He is upping his game.
TAR 12: U-Turn replaces the Yield. Whoever gets U-Turned always goes home (all one time when it was used effectively. Sorry Lorena & Jason; we loved you in Gilmore Girls, Jason).
TAR 13: Nobody wants to be the bad guy.
TAR 14: The Blind U-Turn is introduced. Because nobody used the U-Turn in TAR 13, producers decided anonymity for one of the U-Turns would encourage teams to use it. Both U-Turned teams go home.
TAR 15: Lance & Keri tried using a U-Turn. . .but they didn’t quite understand how to use it.
TAR 16: Louie & Michael U-Turn Joe & Heidi out of the race in a slightly douchey manner, and Caite U-Turned “the s–t” out of Carol & Brandy.
In other words, when a team is effectively U-Turned, that is the team who has gone home on all five occasions.
If you show up at the U-Turn board and see your face, you are dead.
At this point in TAR history, only Dimple & Sunaina have survived a U-Turn.
All because Hilda couldn’t jump off a platform alone and Ivan drove like a grandpa.
– I presume the Double U-Turn was a way for producers to protect their big personalities.
Think about it. In the past, those who have a large presence are most likely to receive the U-Turn. Since the U-Turn has a higher casualty rate than the cordilla virus from the third season of 24, producers know that team will be killed in the race.
Thanks to the Double U-Turn, the threatening/popular/ratings grabbing team can just U-Turn whoever is behind them, and keep the stars alive.
Furthermore, two teams being U-Turned creates a bit of suspense. We will see this in future seasons, but a team who is at the back of the pack when U-Turned can really drag the conclusion of an episode.
We saw this to a lesser extent during the Double U-Turn in TAR 26 with Aly & Steve. They were already two to five hours behind the other U-Turned team, and thus made it a boring ending.
– Now that the mandatory new twist speech is out of the way, we can return to the race. Neither of them sounded too surprised about the Double U-Turn twist. I assume they were told about it in the rules prior to the start of the season.
Much like how TAR 12 players were not fazed by the U-Turn debut.
– Chad & Steph want to U-Turn Nat & Kat because they are a strong team.
CHAD: Now’s the time to finish strong. We’re in first, and goal is ultimately it’d be nice to finish first from here on out.
Slow down there, buddy. You just won your first leg. No need to get carried away with winning the next four in a row.
– Besides Nat & Kat being threats, there is one other reason why Chad wants to U-Turn them.
CHAD: I don’t want to lose to a pair of girls too.
lol American women winning a season of The Amazing Race.
– Jill & Thomas depart second at 11:27am. They could have been ahead of Chad & Stephanie by thirteen minutes if not for their silly penalty. Thomas reads the clue as we cut to Jill.
I know Jill suffers from hunchback, but I didn’t know her condition was progressing this quickly!
I am one hundred percent truthful when I say that Thomas’ mouth remains in that position while Jill talks to the camera in the cab. Thomas must have the record for most frequent cases of ‘mouth hanging out open’ syndrome on TAR. I was just joking before about comparing him to Alec of Survivor: San Juan Del Sur, but I think Thomas takes the cake.
He just can’t close it like a normal person.
– Nick & Vicki are third to depart at 12:57pm.
Hey, Vicki has some sort of flower near her ear! It’s more Hawaiian than Vegas.
– Vicki is worried about Bangladesh; Nick however is focused on the troublesome Double U-Turn.
Although I would be more afraid of that taxi driver who is talking on his cell phone. C’mon man, you’re endangering your passengers!
– Chad & Stephanie are at the airport. They find a flight which gets in at 12:00pm.
Which means they get to spend the night in the Omani airport rather than outside in downtown Dhaka at a route marker. Everybody wins.
– The camera pans to the right during Chad’s confessional.
Well, Jill knows which flight is the best one. She is definitely within earshot. You picked a poor time to do a confessional, Chad.
The two teams size each other up for the coming round.
– Brook & Claire check out at 1:36pm.
With the most unique camera angle used at a pit start ever. What makes Brook & Claire so special that they do not get a shot straight on like everybody else?
BROOK: Somewhere on this leg you’ll encounter a Double U-Turn. Bok bok bawwwk.
Brook should be hired to replace Seth Green and Brecken Meyer to do the closing credits for Robot Chicken.
– Brook & Claire are in the cab as they try to pronounce Dhaka.
BROOK: Haka. Dhaka hocka hockaaa!
Brook preps for Bangladeshi choir practice.
– Brook shows the clue to Claire to get her thoughts on the proper pronunciation.
CLAIRE: I think it’s, yeah, Haka.
“Really, Claire? You think the ‘D’ is silent?”
In all fairness to Claire, that is an educated guess considering what has transpired this season. For instance, Connor & Jonathan’s Ds are always silent.
– Nick & Vicki are at the airport. They book tickets on the 12:00pm flight. Brook & Claire ask for tickets as well.
– Nat & Kat are last to depart at 3:37pm. They are working on a nearly three hour deficit. A bit surprising given their reputation of being major threats at the moment. They react to the Double U-Turn. Probably the reaction producers were hoping a team would have.
– Thomas evaluates their current 12:00pm flight. Unlike post-TAR 24 era, these teams can pursue better flights. Chad & Stephanie are standing behind them. Thomas assumes they will strike out and be stuck with an airport equalizer.
But since it is nearly 24 hours until the flight leaves, I guess spending time to confirm you have the best flight can’t hurt.
– Chad & Stephanie get impatient as Brook & Claire approach them, and state they have tickets for the 12:00pm flight. The background music reminds me of the treetop fortress in Donkey Kong Country.
BROOK: We’re all on the same train.
“But don’t tell Nick & Vicki that because they will interpret it literally, and search for a train from Muscat to Dhaka.”
Because they learn Brook & Claire are on that flight as well, Jill & Thomas have an increased level of motivation to find a different plane.
– Chad’s impatience reaches a peak.
STEPHANIE: Do you want to just wait?
CHAD: I want to go get a blizzard now. I want a cheeseburger and a blizzard.
What can I say? The dude wants to eat.
If he really wants a blizzard, Chad should have signed up for The Amazing Race Canada 2. During the PEI leg, he could have received all of the blizzards he could dream of. Why, the winner of TARC 2 also won free blizzards for life.
And you thought Ford was an intrusive sponsour during TAR 26, eh?
– I am amazed Chad wants a blizzard of all things. He and Steph must have saved a ton of money because blizzards ain’t cheap. Six dollars for a large. The inflation on them is such a joke. Not to mention Dairy Queen’s idea of a large has been incredibly reduced over the past ten years.
I promote healthy living as much as the next guy, but c’mon, six bucks should get you something.
– Jill & Thomas keep pestering their agent to find a better flight.
For the first time ever, I see an airport travel agent using a cell phone to help out a team on The Amazing Race.
– Nat & Kat are in the worst position of all as they only have tickets from Muscat to Dubai, but not a flight which connects them to Dhaka. They immediately board their flight.
I guess that’s one way to try and get out of the back of the pack. An extremely risky move to deviate from the pack alone to not only a different city, but rather to a different country. If you do not find the best flight, chances are you will find yourselves very very very far behind.
They should have at least dragged Brook & Claire onto the flight with them. You need that back-up plan to ensure you are not dead before the leg truly begins.
“FIRST” FLIGHT: NAT & KAT
– Jill & Thomas get the news they wanted–there is a flight which arrives in Dhaka at five o’ clock in the morning.
– During all of this, we cut to Chad & Steph who are working hard at something else.
STEPHANIE: I know you were going to like this.
CHAD: It was pretty good.
STEPHANIE: Did you already try it?
CHAD: Yeah, but I didn’t get any graham cracker crust.
No graham cracker crust? The whole day is ruined! The engagement is off!
– Jill & Thomas continue to wait.
JILL: We are just, like, uh, keeping hope alive.
I have never seen Russell’s infamous quote translated into Valley Girl Speak before.
– The flight is booked. Jill & Thomas’ plan worked.
– Brook & Claire are sitting nearby and can see Jill & Thomas working something out.
BROOK: I wonder what they’re getting on.
– Thomas makes fun of Chad as he and Jill run for the departures.
THOMAS: No eating! No eating allowed! Just fly. Fly!
They run off to their flight before Brook can interrogate them. Arriving at 5:00am with a seven hour lead is exactly where you want to be. That is perfect timing since you do not have to worry about an overnight hours of operation screwing you over, and are guaranteed to be first to the Double U-Turn board.
“We told Jill & Thomas they are our BFFs, right? Right?”
– We get a comedic cut to Chad & Stephanie eating at a food court.
STEPH: I’m never eating carbs before a big sprint.
Yes, Chad & Steph are discussing dietary tips.
– Brook asks the ticketing agent what flight she put Jill & Thomas on.
BROOK: Oh wow. He got on the 5 am.
– She asks if there are any more seats on the flight.
– Jill & Thomas celebrate as they ride out to the plane.
THOMAS: Hard work does sometimes pay off.
Thomas couldn’t be more smug about it if he tried.
– Brook is amazed by Jill & Thomas’ huge advantage.
BROOK: That’s, like, seven hours.
Claire, on the other hand, is NOT amazed by this.
CLAIRE (in a child-like moaning voice): I’m having anxiety reallly bad.
Claire looks like she is ready to rebel. For reasons unknown.
– Brook informs Vicki about the situation.
BROOK: Their flight gets in at 5 am.
VICKI: Are you serious?
BROOK: Uh. Yeah.
“No, I meant the other 5 am. Of course I am serious!”
“The viewers are laughing at our dumb ass. . .”
– Jill recaps how big it is to have a lead on a round with a Double U-Turn.
REAL FIRST FLIGHT (5:00AM): JILL & THOMAS
– Nick thinks Chad & Stephanie are not on the flight. We cut to Chad & Steph once more.
CHAD: . . .Mmmmm.
Leave the man in peace, guys. He hasn’t found this type of inner peace in a long time.
And am I the only one stunned by how empty that ketchup bottle is? Did they get unlimited refills on fries? They tore through that ketchup.
– Nick & Vicki and Brook & Claire split off to different counters to find a flight at Dhaka. I love how Americanized Nick pronounces the city.
He looks a bit similar to the archaeologist during TAR 5’s Cairo round. Particularly the moustache.
I have never seen such mumbo jumbo in my life.
– Nick & Vicki purchase tickets for an 8:40am flight. Meanwhile, Brook is begging.
And more begging.
C’mon Brook, the guy is trying his best! Those fingers don’t type themselves.
– Brook decides to get in the agent’s face for him to understand how badly they need the flight.
All while he is amused by his own reflection in the mirror.
– Initially there was only one seat remaining, but Nick & Vicki are booked onto the flight. Brook’s agent hands his phone to her.
“Here–talk to someone else for an hour while I go cure my headache.”
– Brook is told by the agent’s friend that Nick & Vicki took the last seats.
Who is telling Brook the flight is full, anyway?
Dammit, Jaime & Cara! This race is serious! You can’t screw over racers like this!
– Brook & Claire conclude they are done in the race.
Now is the time for a blizzard.
– Nick & Vicki are riding out to the second flight.
Vicki chest bumps Nick to celebrate their lead. The guy on the right is happy to be on TV.
– Brook & Claire wander the airport. They see Chad & Stephanie.
Who somehow can now afford a Nintendo DS. How much money did these guys get for this round? Ridiculous.
SECOND FLIGHT (8:40AM ARRIVAL): NICK & VICKI
– Chad & Stephanie and Brook & Claire wonder where Nat & Kat have gone.
– Nat & Kat are shown in Dubai. They receive tickets on a flight to Dhaka via Bombay (which Nat later corrects the ticket agent by saying it is Mumbai), and their flight gets in at 12:00pm.
In other words, they are in the exact same position as they would have been if they stayed in Oman. In fact, they had a shot at the 8:40am flight.
Jesus, even Jet Airways still calls it Bombay. Learn the proper name, dammit!
THIRD FLIGHT (12:00PM ARRIVAL): NAT & KAT
– We go back to Oman where Brook & Claire and Chad & Stephanie are boarding the final flight. They assume it will be a foot race against each other.
BROOK: You never know.
Which is editor’s code for “yeah, they’re both screwed”.
– Jill & Thomas are first to land in Dhaka. Jill comments that it is six o’ clock in the morning but it looks like rush hour at five o’ clock.
Or if you are the Canadian channel Encore Avenue, every day at five o’ clock is always Rush Hour. Seriously, find more movies to play on your stations, guys. I love Jackie Chan as much as the next person, but it is getting a bit extreme.
– Jill & Thomas comment on the heat as well. Jill continues on as she points out another unusual sight.
JILL: Walking. . .with a wheelbarrow. . .in the middle of the street?
Clearly Jill has neither been to New York nor ever watched a single season of The Amazing Race. What a recruit.
“This yellow car we’re in. . .with WHEELS. . .and a driver. . on the road?”
“This is a taxi, Jill.”
– They find the market square.
If there isn’t people on the street, there’s a bunch of random garbage. Granted it is tough enough for most of us to clean up after one person regularly, let alone millions of people sharing tens of square miles.
– Jill & Thomas see the demonstration before beginning the task. Thomas utters a statement about the sugar cane juice which can definitely be taken out of context.
That wouldn’t happen if you didn’t get excited so easily, Thomas!
Editors are so immature. I know they tried to make this scene look as suggestive as possible. For shame.
THOMAS: Grab it on the other side! Grab it on the other side!
Thomas knows Jill has steady hands.
THOMAS: Got it?
THOMAS: It’s okay. Grab it off the ground.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I doubt the ten second rule applies to food that falls onto the streets of downtown Dhaka.
This feels like an inappropriate episode of Unwrapped.
THOMAS: Ow! Right in my eye! YEAH! GET THAT SUGAR!
Remind us to never let Thomas have a seven hour lead ever again.
They don’t know whether to walk away or continue to watch awkwardly.
– The Finishing Point music from TAR 4 plays as Thomas chugs the sugar cane juice.
Freshman! Freshman! Freshman!
Chug! Chug! Chug!
That’s the most Irish way to drink anything that I have ever seen. He earned that shirt.
It’s the ol’ Chug n Flex. Stand back, Jill.
– Thomas receives the clue but has to wait to read it.
Jill needs her morning cup o’ Cane before she can start her day.
– It’s a Detour. Teams must choose between which time-tested tradition they’d like to tackle.
Balanced Meal or Balanced Brick.
In Balanced Meal, teams pick up a midday snack known as a tiffin which is customarily delivered in a stack of interlocking metal containers. Then transporting it across the harbour to a nearby cargo ship, they must carefully hoist thirty containers to the deck.
Once the meal ticket is safely delivered, they must return to shore with ten empty containers to receive their next clue.
He is proud of his tiffin.
It should be noted that tiffins were featured in one of my favourite independent films from India–The Lunchbox, which I referenced in an earlier TAR blog.
Tiffins are receiving international attention. Good for tiffins. It’s about time.
These are the tiffins teams must transport. It would be impossible for a team to steal another team’s set simply due to the sheer number of eyewitnesses.
There are so many people on the ship that one guy is strictly assigned to giving a team a thumbs up upon completion of the task.
– In Balanced Bricks, teams use their head to deliver heavy bricks from a supply bridge to a nearby shop. Once they transport one hundred unbroken bricks, they will receive their next clue.
This is one of the rare ‘transport an object on your head but you finally get to use your hands for balance’ tasks.
I swear every time they visit Asia on TAR there will always be a “transport X number of somewhat fragile objects from a boat on a hot day to a shop close by”. Vintage TAR.
Kneel before your brick master.
– Thomas wants to balance bricks. They jump into the rickshaw.
We see the clue but do not get a shot of the note regarding the safety concern. In other words, editors block the only interesting part of the clue.
– Jill is hesitant to get on the rickshaw. Seconds after getting on Jill screeches due to the close proximities of a bus.
Imagine if the movie Speed was held in Dhaka? There would be tens of thousands of people ran over by the end of the first block.
Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock may be alive at the end, but at what cost?
– Jill is convinced she will die.
JILL: Holy s–t!
THOMAS: Just keep your extremities in.
JILL: By yelling at me?
THOMAS: Your extremities. Your arms and your legs.
JILL: Oh, okay.
Dangit Thomas, stop showing off your university level English vocabulary. That don’t impress us much.
Thomas nearly loses an elbow.
Jill is experiencing culture shock.
– Jill is not enjoying the sights.
I never thought I would say this, but there is a man literally walking around carrying chickens with their heads cut off.
The route info is Jill’s only defense against the odour in the air. Not to mention she is sitting next to Thomas.
– They hop off the rickshaw and try to locate the barge. Jill sees a duck being held.
Forget about Dhak Dhak Goose, I think it’s more like Dhak Dhak Noose for it in a few minutes.
The duck really wants to go out swinging.
JILL: It’s a chicken?
THOMAS: It’s a duck.
Uhhhh, did Jill go to any school at all? Did Thomas ask her out just so he could come off as the most educated person in the world to his friends, but really it’s because of Jill’s lack of schooling?
If so, that’s just low, man.
– They also come across a dog.
THOMAS: Hey little puppy.
JILL: Oh my god. I thought the dog was dead.
Geez. Everything is coming up Thomas.
That three by three square the dog sleeps in is his territory. Everyone knows full well to stay outside of it. Personal space is at a premium in Dhaka.
Thomas rudely laughs at the dog’s current accommodations.
– They walk across a wooden plank to get to their bricks.
That plank would totally snap within seconds if Chuck & Wynona were on it.
Alright, Jill. This will be a piece of cake. Just ignore the wax statue and you should be good.
Good try, good try.
– Jill tries again. Because she is successful at crossing the plank, there is nothing funny to screencap. Thomas coaches her to go slow; he trails right behind her.
THOMAS: It’s ridiculous. These guys half my size can carry two to three times the bricks I am. They’re barely breaking a sweat.
I would go more with five or six times your brick count, Thomas. Don’t sell the Dhakians short, good sir.
And what good are those muscles if you’re not even using them? Are they just for show, Thomas?
– Jill nearly gets hit by a cab on the street.
This clumsy man has to be pulled by his buddies away from what would have been a collision with Thomas. We were this close to Thomas and the clumsy guy colliding, the other guy being knocked out by falling bricks, and a white puff of smoke appearing.
There are so many people are watching Jill & Thomas from the ground that some are forced to find windows in apartment buildings to get a decent view. It is like the Wrigley Field of Bangladesh.
Jill doesn’t quite have the brick dumping technique down.
Neither does Thomas. He can’t see!
– We interrupt the Bangladesh Adventures of Jill & Thomas to bring you back to Mumbai where Nat & Kat are entering the airport.
Being able to sleep until noon is fine by them.
– They walk through the airport and guess who they see?
Brook & Claire on one side.
Chad & Stephanie on the other.
– Nat is happy to see two other teams and know she is in a 3-way tie for last.
And I think she might be the last one standing out of the three due to the fact she somehow turned into a zombie over the past twelve hours.
I don’t know why, but I think a place called the Moile Charging Tation may be overdue for renovation.
Kat Chang–Master of Comedy.
– We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.
Jill helps slam down Thomas’ bricks with force.
– Jill & Thomas receive their clue.
Thomas’ headgear is designed like a soccer ball, for some reason.
– Thomas reads to head to the Dhaka River Port. We assume this is the location of the Double U-Turn.
– Since Jill & Thomas are boring, we return to Mumbai once more. Brook & Claire wake up to see Nat & Kat waiting at the same departure gate.
I love how Brook & Claire get up at the same time. It is like they practiced it all night.
Brook points out Nat & Kat as if it couldn’t possibly be real.
We call this the Sugar Cane Pose.
– Brook re-enacts her reaction for us in a confessional.
BROOK: We saw Nat & Kat and were like (comedic spring sound effect) POOOF! Just instant. You can see the energy.
She’s like a f–king Jack-in-the-Box.
– They are in line for the flight.
CHAD (Bee Gees voice): Stayin’ alive!
The charge for paying the royalty will come out of your trip to Belize, Chad. So much for a honeymoon.
– Jill & Thomas discuss who to U-Turn.
THOMAS: We’re pretty sure we’re going to do Brook & Claire. They are always at the top.
Thomas prefers women who are usually on the bottom rather than on top. Who knew?
– They step onto the U-Turn mat. Game time, folks.
Oh, pardon me. U-Turn X 2.
Sort of like Mega Man X2.
Not only is this U-Turn double, but also is the guilt from hundreds of locals making you feel ashamed for what you are about to do.
Jill. Thomas. Look into each local’s eyes and own up to what you are doing. They put their trust in you, and now think about what you are planning to do! You’re breaking their hearts, Jill & Thomas. That’s EXACTLY what you’re doing!
– Phil cuts in to explain the Double U-Turn twist.
PHIL: A U-Turn appears at the end of a Detour. Usually just one team member can use the U-Turn to slow down another team forcing them to backtrack and perform the other side of the Detour.
For the first time in Amazing Race history, teams will encounter a DOUBLE U-Turn. Now, two different teams can each pick a team to do an extra task potentially causing a major shift in the standings of the race.
Except for the team who is in first place. Their lead just gets bigger.
During his explanation, Phil bumps shoulders with the man on the left.
Uh oh, Phil. Your trip to Bangladesh may be a one-time deal.
He may very well be U-Turned back to New Zealand by the end of the day.
– Jill & Thomas do indeed solidify their decision to U-Turn Brook & Claire.
A picture says a thousand words, and I think all thousand words are screaming “F–K YOU!” at Jill & Thomas.
The mentality of using the U-Turn as fair play continues to grow in the TAR universe.
Because, let’s face it, if U-Turning a team makes Jill giddy to the point that she makes a Nat face, who really can resist using the twist to their advantage?
– Thomas reads they must take a bicycle rickshaw to Nazira Bazaar. Jill fears they will be portrayed as such assholes if Brook & Claire are not eliminated.
And apparently asshole is a word you cannot say on American television.
By the way, one team has been U-Turned. Who will be the other team U-Turned in the ultra super double most motherf–king insane twist ever conceived in the history of The Amazing Race?!?!?!?!
FINAL FLIGHT (12:00PM ARRIVAL): Nat & Kat; Brook & Claire; Chad & Stephanie
I have never seen a team this happy with the odds of being a 1-in-3 shot at being eliminated this round.
– Brook & Claire discuss Jill & Thomas’ lead once more.
BROOK: Jill & Thomas have the biggest lead on us. It’s EPIC.
And Brook concludes with a fitting remark.
Idiots. . .or just frontrunners who are using a twist to keep in a weak team like Chad & Steph, and eliminating a strong team such as yourself and Claire?
If it is any consolation, Jill is absolutely hating her travels through Dhaka at the moment.
– Commercial break. We resume. For some reason, the U-Turn scene AND the airport scene are repeated.
– Jill & Thomas have their next clue. It’s a Roadblock.
PHIL: On any given day, there are more than half a million cycle rickshaws in Dhaka.
“And more than ten thousand of these rickshaws are operated by men over the age of eighty. If he dies at the wheel, I’ll have to push him off and take over! And we all know how dangerous that is based on the fact I am a Kiwi!”
– In this Roadblock, teams enter a mechanic shop and must properly assemble a cycle rickshaw using the parts provided.
Tring tring. Of course, the pickiest part about assembling this rickshaw is ensuring the bell is on perfectly and brings music to your ears. It is a great source of pride in Dhaka.
Once the task is complete, the manager along with the help of Phil’s veins in his arm will hand them their next clue.
In North America, you would never see a mechanic’s garage being adorned with this much of an artistic banner.
If P. Diddy and Nelly were on The Amazing Race, Nelly would do this Roadblock because he is the more mechanical one.
– Jill volunteers herself for the Roadblock. She is quickly overwhelmed as she sees the various parts that are provided.
JILL: Oh, my goodness. These are like a lot of nuts and bullets. Or whatevee.
You know it is embarrassing when locals from Bangladesh are more familiar with American sayings than you are.
I wonder if her and Vicki would be quick friends?
What producer in their right mind would give Jill bullets for a gun? She hasn’t even taken any classes like Thomas has to teach her how to operate a weapon professionally. Jill would accidentally shoot Phil Keoghan in the head because she’ll mistaken him for a Russian clown.
– Jill is struggling.
JILL: I’ve never sweat this much in my life. I don’t know if this thing goes on at first.
“Is it lefty loosey or tighty whitey?”
THOMAS: Just take your time. You’ve got it.
CAMERA OPERATOR: Yeah, take your time. We can stand out here for more than. . .seven. . .hours. -_-
The nuts and bullets lady herself is shocked by being able to meet the criteria of assembling one of the items.
“Can I assemble the tassels?”
– Thomas thinks she is doing a good job. I have never seen so many locals watch a team complete tasks all day long. He commends her wrench handling abilities.
8:40 AM: The second flight lands containing Nick & Vicki. They hire a taxi.
VICKI: Look at the little buggies. I think those are cute. I hope we get to ride one of those things. That’d be so cool.
NICK: Meeee too.
Have any of the dating couples traveled outside of America before? Seriously.
On one hand, you have people like Vicki who are so eager to pick up every little thing the world has to offer, and on the other you have people like Nick Nick who want nothing more than to fly home and drink from a keg of Bud Light.
– Jill continues to work on the task. Thomas comments that a whole “village” is watching her. Since when Dhaka is referred to as a village is beyond me.
Geez. Locals have to create their own makeshift platforms just to create more spots for people to see Jill working on the Roadblock.
I love the diva-like hands on hips, by the way.
– Jill grunts as she secures the canopy.
JILL: I’m securing the canopy with some nuts and–I think they’re called nuts and bolts, maybe?
She looks to the camera operator for verification.
Jill had a better time with nuts and bolts than Rare did.
– Nick & Vicki find the sugar cane press. Nick does a brief commercial for the tourism board.
NICK: It stinks out here for sure. Everybody has a body odour from hell. It’s bad.
Oddly enough, Nick is more diplomatic about describing a bad smell than Jim from TAR 25.
I bet if somebody lied to Nick and said the country used to be called “Garbage Land”, he would be gullible enough to believe it.
– Nick works on the sugar cane press.
Real men push through two sugar canes simultaneously.
– Vicki says Nick looks like a pro at this. I have a feeling there is not much of a difference between an amateur and a pro at a sugar cane press.
VICKI: It looks good.
NICK: Yeah, you wanna drink it?
That was a metaphorical ‘good’, not a literal one.
– Jill is getting close to finishing the Roadblock.
That kid has a baby tucked under his left arm as if he were carrying a football.
Jill is lucky producers waited until next season to start broadcasting in HD.
– Jill says the bell is giving her problems, but manages to fix it.
– Nick & Vicki have their mug filled. Vicki tells him to down it like a beer.
Drink your medicine, Nicholas. It’ll help you grow big and strong.
– Nick successfully chugs it.
VICKI: Does it taste good?
NICK: No. Tastes like sweet grass.
He’d probably prefer to smoke it instead.
– Nick & Vicki hire a rickshaw.
– Vicki apologizes to the driver because their bags weigh as much as her and Nick do.
“No, they’re just fat.”
I think it’s crazier, than, uh, anywhere Nick.
Am I the only one amused by that lone traffic signal in the middle of the street? You either go straight or turn right.
– Thomas greets the kids around him. He and Jill are loving the experience.
Heh, he even greets football baby.
– Jill has only the seat remaining for the Roadblock.
“It doesn’t even punch good!”
THOMAS: Is that the final touch?
Thomas has an idea.
THOMAS: . . .Put that booty into it.
The man on the left is intrigued.
– Sure enough, the camera operator uses this as a cue to film Jill’s butt. Classy.
“We can see Jill’s entire ass!”
And the crowd, which interestingly enough is exclusively men, applaud Jill’s efforts.
– Jill asks for a check.
– What could Jill be missing?
Geez, Jill, it’s the chain! I need some help here. Can someone yell at her it’s the chain?
– Nick & Vicki have chosen the Balancing Meal Detour.
Vicki is inspired by Edna of Survivor: South Pacific to use the additional info as a visor.
NICK: This is way more than crazy.
Like. . .super crazy?
– Nick & Vicki arrive at the boats and see the tiffins.
Which is run by a guy named Shahjahan.
Not to be confused with the Bollywood film Edward Shahjahands.
– Nick & Vicki are grossed out when the juice within the tiffins spill onto them.
Nick quickly grabs the side of the boat for balance as nearly tips. I wish Nick would have fallen into the water.
– The final flight containing Brook & Claire, Nat & Kat, and Chad & Stephanie finally lands.
This is taking place as Vicki tries to protect her face from the brutal Bangladeshi sun.
– Nat & Kat and Chad & Stephanie enter taxis. Brook & Claire are left stranded.
– Nat tells the driver to go fast by making a ‘vroooom’ but instead she sounds like a 60s soul artist.
Is that all it takes to be Aretha?
– Chad & Stephanie expose their plan to U-Turn Nat & Kat.
STEPHANIE: Nat & Kat won so many legs that Chad and I are tired of it. They’ve got great game. That’s why Chad and I pretty much wanna U-Turn ’em.
I can confirm that the latter half of Steph’s confessional was indeed spent talking out the side of her mouth as if she were Chief Clancy Wiggum giving bad news about what the attack dogs will do when they find Milhouse Van Houten.
This backfires on Steph considering she exaggerates how a normal person talks out the side of their mouth. Just raising one shoulder and leaning her head would have been enough.
Like this. . .okay, maybe not.
– Also, they have a brief “I can’t believe people live like this” TAR trope.
For once, can we see a child being carried under somebody’s right arm? Why is it always the left arm?
– Nat says it is a 3-way race, and the Double U-Turn will heavily influence the outcome of this leg. No kidding. Brook & Claire are now in a cab. They state there is a lot of staring in Bangladesh.
BROOK: I don’t think they see our kind very often.
Dhaka has the most double takes per square kilometre of any city in the world, didn’t you know?
While Claire obviously blends in well with the Bangladeshi population.
– You know what amazes me?
Jill has spent the past 90 minutes examining her rickshaw to figure out what’s wrong, but yet the crowd has not gotten bored enough to disperse. With 1, 100 people living per square kilometre, surely there’s somebody else nearby who is doing an activity that is much more entertaining?
– She does a Pee Wee Herman growl as she notices the chain is the issue, and fixes it. The clue is hers. She and Thomas read the location of the pit stop is Lalbagh Fort. It is a three hundred year old palace fortress.
Which means it is just ten years younger than Bill & Cathi.
– The last team to check in here may be eliminated. And with one Non-Elimination left to go under the condition that no season since TAR 9 has used up all of their NELs prior to the Final Four in the US, whoever is last this round will most certainly be doomed.
Oh, and who will follow up Muscatman John as the pit stop greeter for this week?
Ladies and gentlemen, Dhaka Khan!
– Jill & Thomas try to head to the pit stop in their taxi.
Assuming the crowd does not act like a bunch of teenagers by rocking the cab back and forth just to annoy the tourists inside.
Thomas blocks Jill’s sweaty top from his view.
– Nick & Vicki continue to praise the aroma of Dhaka.
VICKI: I don’t want to know what are in these food containers because they don’t smell very good, but Nick is wearing it.
Usually, tiffins contain curry. . .but because of how “wonderful” you two have been to the locals, producers defecated in these tiffins just for you because you’re special.
– Nick says the boat reminds him of a ship repair yard. I can vouch that it does remind me of Final Fantasy cutscenes when the airship is being fixed.
Although I think this kid just wanted to create a swing.
– Nick & Vicki have a game plan. Vicki ties and Nick hoists them up.
This means Vicki is left with the safety guide who is in the boat with her. Vicki has a lovely compliment for the safety guide.
I have never seen a team go out of their way to score as much bad karma as possible.
– Chad & Stephanie are at the sugar cane task.
CHAD: Stick it in there!
STEPHANIE: Go faster! Go faster!
What are you. . .?
It’s bigger than Steph thought it would be. Look at how shocked she is by the size of that cane!
– Chad yells at Steph for not bending it more because bending it is what creates more juice.
Nat & Kat are doing well with their teamwork. One guy pops out like a Whack-A-Mole game as he observes their progress.
– Brook is pumping the sugar cane through while Claire is bunching it with a lack of enthusiasm; she is not enjoying this task.
“C’mon Claire! Work on helping me with squeezing this phallic object, Claire!”
– There is a ton of locals watching the three teams work on completing this task.
This guy is my favourite. He reminds me of the female players on Canada’s FIFA Women’s World Cup team who have their hair streaked red.
I think this is the closest to personification of Aslan’s mane from the Chronicles of Narnia.
There has been mutton chops sightings in my lifetime, but this takes it to a whole new level.
– Chad & Stephanie are done squeezing first. Nat & Kat are second. Brook & Claire are last. We get a triple split screen as all three teams chug the sugar cane juice.
Spoiler Alert: One of these three drinks contained a roofie. Somebody is about to be U-Turned to a dark alley by the end of the day and wake up with an unexplained headache.
What happened to the clue giver from earlier? Did he not feel like waiting for seven hours after Jill & Thomas left the sugar cane station?
– Chad & Stephanie, Nat & Kat, and Brook & Claire all choose Balanced Meal. Brook & Claire needed to do the other side of the Detour if they want any sort of separation to make it to the U-Turn board ahead of the other two teams.
– All three teams are in rickshaws.
Jill & Thomas’ lead may be bigger as they will be avoiding most of the afternoon traffic in Dhaka.
– Chad & Stephanie’s rickshaw goes in the opposite direction of Nat & Kat’s and Brook & Claire’s. I assume it is because women have to go through a different entrance to the shipyard.
Nat looks as nervous as Chunky in a minecart.
– We cut to Jill & Thomas who have already arrived at the pit stop even though we are barely halfway into the episode.
The least densely populated location in all of Bangladesh.
The hottest band in Bangladesh welcomes them.
Also a stud.
Not a stud. He is so ashamed of his role as the Cymbals Guy that he doesn’t even want the camera to pan up and show his face on TV. All he wanted was a cowbell!
– Jill & Thomas step onto the mat.
The one band member steps forward as if he were initiating a Bangladeshi version of “So Long, Farewell” by the Von Trapp family.
Nevermind. He just wanted to show off his feathers as he welcomes the team to Dhaka.
– Phil knows there is no need for suspense as he tells Jill & Thomas they are the first team to arrive. In fact, because of how quickly Jill & Thomas sprinted their way through this whole round in Dhaka, the country has officially been renamed Bangladash.
FIRST PLACE: JILL & THOMAS
Since Chad & Steph won a prize to Belize in the previous round, Jill & Thomas hope to score something even bigger.
– They have won a 15, 000 dollar Discover card which splits to 7, 500 each. One of the biggest prizes ever.
Part of the prize includes this family of four to hang out with you to make it look like you have friends.
Or another skiing trip for Chad & Stephanie.
– Phil asks them about U-Turning Brook & Claire. Thomas anticipates they will be tough to beat in the final leg.
Mission accomplished. . .right?
– Vicki chats with the kids. She is surprised they are swimming it because the water is brown, green, and full of trash.
C’mon Vicki. Don’t diss the family swimming hole.
Nick becomes one with the tiffins.
– Nick & Vicki said in a confessional they accomplished this task without communicating. They are lying because we see them talk to each other plenty of times throughout the task.
Bangladeshis love giving the thumbs up.
– They are back in the boat with their empty tiffins as we watch the ship workers eat their lunch.
Leftovers! Geez, thanks Mom.
It should be noted that the ‘awful smelling’ dish they are eating is a rice curry meal. Apparently Las Vegas doesn’t have an appreciation for Indian cuisine.
NOTE: It should be noted I consume curry at least once or twice per week. So screw you Nick & Vicki. Your h8erade tastes a bit spicy.
– Nat & Kat feel like they are on a parade float as they ride the rickshaw at a slow pace.
Presenting Ms. Anaesthesiologist 2010 and Ms. Vegetarian 2003!
As if traffic problems could not get any worse in downtown Dhaka. I think that one kid is going to snap his back pushing the truck.
– The rickshaw containing Brook & Claire comes to a stop. Brook sees traffic is being directed by a cop.
BROOK: We can’t break the law. I really don’t want to go to prison here.
Especially when the officer is carrying an umbrella and a Hogwarts wand he purchased when on vacation in Diagon Alley. Guys like that are just unpredictable.
I am sure locals would have a tough time picking you out of a lineup Brook. Just think of all the other thin blonde-haired White females wearing pink bandanas that live in Dhaka. They’ll pick the woman holding #3, but you’ll be holding #4 and get away scot free.
– Nick & Vicki Dhock back on shore.
NICK: You grab five, and I’ll grab five. Just go. Just do it!
I bet editors were so bored by Nick & Vicki being uber safe this round that they coached them into creating fake conflict for television.
– Nick & Vicki have their clue and make it to the DOUBLE! U-Turn board.
NICK: I knew it! I told you! Brook & Claire!
“Hey Vicki, can you grab a marker and write “Nick knew it” in the second U-Turn slot? I want everyone to know that I KNEW Brook & Claire would be U-Turned.”
– So Nick & Vicki have two options.
1) Nat & Kat, who have won three legs and possess an average of 3.625 to date.
2) Chad & Stephanie, who have won just one leg and possess an average of 5.125 to date.
Clearly one is much stronger than the other.
– Vicki was surprised to see Jill & Thomas had exercised their U-Turn.
– Nick suggests Chad & Stephanie. Vicki acknowledges how excited they were at the thought of being able to U-Turn someone in the moment.
NICK: Chad & Stephanie was the strongest team out of that bunch.
And by “bunch”, he means “only Nat & Kat”.
“I am not one for statistics, but Chad & Stephanie are the strongest by far based on the fact that Nat & Kat are both women while Chad is indeed a man. Do the math.”
– Nick has Chad & Steph’s picture in his hands. All he needs to do is convince Vicki to U-Turn them. It is a rule not verbalized on TV, but it is safe to assume both members of the team must agree on who to U-Turn.
VICKI: Do we even need to U-Turn anybody?
NICK: Do you want to or not? Just let me know.
“Can I put this picture up on the fridge? Please Miss Vicki?”
VICKI: I choose not to use it.
“You’re no f–king fun.”
– Nick & Vicki discuss this disagreement in a confessional.
VICKI: I thought it was pointless because I already knew they were behind us.
NICK: Because you’re too nice.
VICKI: Yeah. Whatever.
I believe you’re on the receiving end of an eyeroll, Nick.
Nick really loves his liquids. Slow down there Nick, you’re going to get a tummy ache!
– Nat & Kat are led on foot by some locals. Brook & Claire’s rickshaw dropped them off too far away and therefore must run a long distance. Claire thinks it stinks. Chad & Steph are quite lost.
“Dispatch for help!”
Have you noticed there is a correlation between locals who don’t know directions and those unwilling to sign the waiver to be shown on camera?
The romantic moments since proposing in Oman have severely dwindled over the past 48 hours.
– Commercial. We resume.
– Chad & Stephanie find someone who knows where to go and explains it to their rickshaw driver.
– Nick & Vicki are at the mechanic shop. Who volunteers to do a Roadblock involving a cycling object? Yep, Nick. He uses this as an excuse to rehash his childhood fascination with bicycles.
– Nat & Kat are at the ship to deliver their tiffins. They use their straps to tie the tiffins together. It works well. Brook & Claire are at the ship too and begin hoisting their tiffins.
– Chad & Stephanie are last to the Detour location. Away they go with their tiffins.
– Nick thinks he has his rickshaw correctly outfitted.
So this is how Nick didn’t make the cut for being in a chain gang growing up.
– Nick requests confirmation that his bike is done.
“Am I the best?”
We get the same close-up of the chain.
Nowadays in Dhaka
Everybody assemble bikes on the Race
But nothing happens when they think they’ve done the check list
What the motherf–k is that? They forgot about Cheyne.
– Brook and Nat are both hoisting up tiffins onto the ship.
A bit tangled up, are we?
– Brook nearly drops the last set of tiffins. They jump back into the boat as Chad & Steph are approaching the ship. Brook intends to U-Turn them.
– Nick rants about how he has no more supplies in his box and he used everything. Vicki tells him to stay calm. He figures out it is the chain and the task is done. The clue is theirs.
– Nat & Kat receive their clue and head to the U-Turn board. Sorry, DOUBLE U-Turn board.
I love Kat’s modification to her bandana.
– Nat & Kat are surprised they are not U-Turned. They ponder their options.
Option A: Chad & Stephanie. But how can you U-Turn those faces? It’s like a box of newborn puppies sleeping!
Option B: Themselves.
“I wonder who we should U-Turn.”
– You’re not going to believe who they decide.
Yeah, they U-Turn the only possible option who happens to be trailing by just twenty minutes. With that move, they join Jill & Thomas in being Bangladouchebags. What dirty gameplay you teams possess! The Amazing Race is supposed to be fun!
I feel it is necessary to point out that eighty percent of all remaining teams are involved in this twist. That is a record, and a record which happens to be sponsoured by AIG Financial.
Apparently nobody gives a crap about Nick & Vicki’s standing in the race.
– Nat & Kat hire yet another rickshaw and are moving to the mechanic shop.
Nat & Kat were 150 to 200 percent certain they were being U-Turned. They are the strongest remaining team and yet two teams in front of them did not even consider them a threat.
– Brook & Claire have their clue. They see the Double U-Turn board.
BROOK: Really? You’re lame.
Great comeback, Brook.
– Brook tells Claire that they have to do one hundred unbroken bricks.
CLAIRE: Oh good lord.
BROOK: It’s okay. We’ve got it, Claire. No complaining.
Carrying one hundred unbroken bricks with Brook is the equivalent of clothes shopping with one’s mother for one hundred uninterrupted minutes.
“I can pick out my own clothes, Mom! Just give me forty bucks and I can go with my friends!”
Do you guys have anything else to do? Go home. Be with your families. Play cricket. Read a book. Watch TV.
BROOK: C’mon Claire!
– Steph yells at Chad to feed her more rope.
CHAD: I’m tryin’! Shush!
Chad just went into Colin Guinn mode. All he needed to do was shout “I’m packin’ it!”
– They head back to shore. Meanwhile, Nick & Vicki check into the mat.
SECOND PLACE: NICK & VICKI
Yes Nick, we know. You did good today.
They are on the verge of winning the next three legs in a row. Watch out!
PHIL: That’s your best finish yet, right?
It’s like Phil is just toying with them because he knows what is about to come.
VICKI: So me being nice does pay off.
NICK: Uh. . .yeah.
Nick may not be quite on board with that statement, Vicki.
Enjoy this moment while it lasts Nick & Vicki. You’re not going to have another highlight for the rest of this season.
– Chad & Stephanie have their clue. To the Dhaka River Port they go. Chad is pissed because the locals who are trying to direct them are leading them to a rickshaw, but rules state they got to walk, yo.
– Chad is pissed.
He bumps himself right into the camera equipment. That’s a technical foul.
– Brook keeps encouraging Claire. Claire is out of breath saying she needs to move slower. Brook agrees to take more bricks and suggest Claire should take less.
– Nat & Kat are at the mechanic shop. Nat is doing it. Kat has a boring confessional about how Nat is good with her hands.
Hey, it’s a tiny goat! What are you up to Mr. Goat?
If only the goat were a gymnast. It is quite flexible.
NAT: I can’t say I’m an expert on building rickshaws, but it’s similar to when you things from Ikea. You think you have the right pieces but they just aren’t the right length or anything.
Don & Mary Jean know all about the issues surrounding Ikea.
– We cut to Brook & Claire.
BROOK: C’mon Claire.
Take a drink.
– They are up to sixty bricks. Brook’s leg is swollen. Claire says her body is tingling all over, but not in the good way. Brook has a blooper when she dumps her next set of bricks.
Carrying it like a pro.
Dumping it like an amateur.
– Brook asks Claire why she has not seen Chad & Stephanie. Claire doesn’t know and probably doesn’t care.
– Chad is angry as they are lost. How have they not made it to the River Port?
STEPH: Keep going.
CHAD: Stephanie! I don’t want to keep going. I don’t want to keep going BLIND! Waste more frickin’ time than we already have.
Chad finds a guy who speaks English (someone is bound to when you have two thousand people within any given block), and points the way.
STEPHANIE: I’m sorry.
CHAD: It’s okay. Shush.
“I am not angry, but if you could shut the f–k up for the rest of the leg, that’d be great.”
– Nat is having troubles with the bell.
Unlike Tracy Turnblad who can hear the bells.
EDITOR’S NOTE: When I was in university, I had to watch a documentary of Ricki Lake giving birth in Anthropology. It is as disturbing as it sounds.
Lots of sweat pouring down Nat’s face as she fixes up the rickshaw.
Kat is checking out her partner hard at work.
– We are back to Brook and–
BROOK: C’mon Claire!
By the way, you know she is not actually saying it repeatedly, right? This is called an audio loop, my friends.
CLAIRE: I feel like I’m going to barf.
Even though Bangladesh is not a Buddhist country, Claire decides to do some meditation anyway.
– Chad & Stephanie see the (DOUBLE!) U-Turn board. Chad’s range of emotions in the span of two seconds is hilarious.
CHAD: I see it!
CHAD: It’s Brook & Claire!
CHAD: Oh, we got U-Turned by Nat & Kat.
– Stephanie describes it as the worst feeling to see their faces on that board.
She can’t even.
But dammit, we’re going to look good when we do get U-Turned!
– Once again we see Brook & Claire transporting bricks and–
BROOK: C’mon Claire. We’re almost done.
Finally. One that isn’t an audio loop.
– Brook & Claire read they have to move on foot back to the river port. Claire wishes she could get a taxi. Brook is running.
CLAIRE: Brook, I, just, can we speed walk please?
BROOK: What’s the difference between speed walking and trying?
CLAIRE: Okay, okay, okay. You’re not a very good teammate if I pass out.
But a very good source of entertainment for the audience!
– Chad & Stephanie are at the brick barge. He coaches Steph into walking in large strides.
– Claire says she is focusing on the ground to avoid spinning.
BROOK: You’re sick? I’m exhausted, honey.
Much like Skinny Ryan and Osten in Survivor: Pearl Islands, Brook on her worst day possesses more energy and enthusiasm than Claire on her best day. I love this contrast.
BROOK: You just have to dig deep!
CLAIRE: I HAVE BEEN DIGGING DEEP!
Who knew Brook inspired Probst to adopt this Survivor trope.
– Claire wants positive reassurances, but is interrupted by a kid who walks up to Brook’s backpack and says ‘hello’.
Ooof! Hopefully Brook’s backpack is not full of bricks.
– Chad & Steph are trying to make up time, but Steph panics in the street as she claims she is about to drop.
Maybe she would not be in as much of a panic if she chose more normal looking pants.
– Chad starts swearing and demands Stephanie to get mentally tough.
This is not Steph’s idea of a fun day in Dhaka.
CHAD: This is do or die right now. C’mon. Give it everything you have.
STEPHANIE: SHUT THE HELL UP! STOP BEING SUCH A S–T RIGHT NOW!
“YOU’RE NOT THE ONE WHO HAS TO SUFFER FROM A MIC PACK BEING GLUED JUST ABOVE THE TOP OF YOUR ASS!”
Chad’s speech using cliched quotes of motivation from every sports movie ever insanely backfires.
– Brook & Claire return to the River Port. Away to the garage they go.
Again, how is there such a big crowd? They have all seen five teams at the Double U-Turn board, and had no way to expect Brook & Claire would be there for a second time. How boring is Dhaka?
– Brook & Claire get into a rare argument in the rickshaw.
BROOK: Let’s not get grumpy. We just accomplished something and we’re ahead of them.
CLAIRE: But you were -yelling- at me, Brook.
BROOK: Why do I do everything–
CLAIRE: I don’t run marathons like you. If you wanted a partner like that, you should have chosen a different partner.
BROOK: Oh, wow.
Brook is now contemplating the best way she can subtly shove Claire off the rickshaw without drawing attention to herself.
“C’mon Claire! You’ve only rolled through half a block of Dhaka, and your face is all bruised. You can still limp your way through the streets. C’mon Claire!”
– Brook says it is tough to be empathetic in the moment, but when it is done she knows it is a lot to ask of anybody. She will continue to be positive.
“I understand it is tough for you to keep up when I am better than you at every single aspect of this race, and also everything in life. I’ll improve at being less good to reduce myself to your pace.”
– Chad & Steph have 38 bricks to go. Steph wants to throw up. Chad tells her to not transport as many bricks.
You mean from three down to two?
– Brook & Claire are at the mechanic shop. Brook wants to do the Roadblock because she “wants to charge through it like a spider monkey”. She is amazed that they have caught up to Nat & Kat.
BROOK: I could not believe we had to do both Detours, zip back, and met up with Nat and Kat. WOW. We must have been HAULIN’.
“Nat and Kat must have been traveling at Claire speed!”
Easy Brook, easy.
– Chad & Stephanie finish the task. He yells “DONE!” but none of the locals move. Chad then starts shouting “C’mon!” as nobody is giving him his clue. They count the bricks and hand him his clue.
This is a rather unique event. Rarely do you see clue givers be very casual and laid back about handing out clues in a timely manner. Perhaps producers encouraged them to go slower because Brook & Claire are anticipated to be bigger stars than Chad & Stephanie.
The clue is being passed down to the next generation.
– They receive the clue at the river port and hire a rickshaw. It is a ridiculously tight fit.
– Brook is starting up the Roadblock. She is speedwalking as if she is on crack. Claire tells her to put some flair on the rickshaw.
BROOK (waving arms frantically and talking as if she is Donkey from Shrek): I started out really strong. I was like thisgoesherethisgoestherecauseflairIcandoflair. I decoratedthatpuppyupintwosecondsflat.
Let’s put this in perspective. These confessionals are filmed during the pit stop at the end of each leg. This means that they have spent the past twelve hours racing on foot through Bangladesh in the heat, in the stink, and in the midst of a huge adrenalin rush.
So how the hell does Brook chat during the post-round interviews like she just woke up thirty minutes ago and had a cup of strong coffee? I have ran 300 kilometres in 24 days before, and not even I can keep that energy level up.
By the way, Nat is the first person to remember to fix the chain.
– She said the task is much less straightforward than she thought it was going to be. It took her a long time to complete it the way Mr. Tekka wanted it to be done. She forgot to properly assemble the wheels.
But hey, at least she remembered the backseat!
Mr. Tekka will never hire an American tourist to operate one of his rickshaws.
– Chad & Stephanie are last to the Roadblock location. Chad says he believes in Steph to do it.
Translation: Chad has done too many Roadblocks, and Steph is forced to make up for it. Chad doing the first four Roadblocks in a row, and already at a grand total of five is already backfiring on them.
– And yes, we do have an awkward TAR moment as Chad & Steph are in the same place as Nat & Kat.
This is not what was planned.
– Because Chad cannot participate, he begins to heckle Nat.
CHAD: Nat, you should be able to get this easy. How’s that PhD helping you?
“What the f–k, Chad?”
NAT: For the record, MD. I do not have a PhD.
Chad couldn’t even make it through one sentence of heckling without presenting factually incorrect information.
KAT (aloud): I sense a little bit of bitterness from the U-Turn.
If anything, Kat is getting under Chad’s skin.
– Chad continues on with heckling.
CHAD: Big. Smart. Doctor. Can’t put a bicycle together.
NAT: Hey Chad, it wasn’t personal. You were the only team behind us.
– Nat is worried Chad may come over and tackle her like they’re on a football field.
“It should be so easy for a doctor to put a bicycle together, especially when their mother is a WHORE!”
– Chad admits he is doing whatever he can do to get ahead and get in somebody else’s head.
CHAD: C’mon Steph! You’ve got this! This is our chance! Pass Nat & Kat.
NAT: I love you, Chad.
Oh no u di’int.
I love how bored Claire is during this whole exchange.
– We resume. Steph thinks she is gaining ground. She is surprised because of how good she is at putting a bike together for the first time. Claire compliments Brook for killing it, and once again is impressed by her.
I should note this Roadblock is probably easier when you can see two other players doing the same task as you. I bet Jill and Nick took a longer amount of time since they did not have any points of reference.
Stephanie loves her vibrant colours on her rickshaw.
– Nat’s rickshaw is approved. The clue is hers. Nat says good luck to Chad. Chad smiles and knows it’s all good.
But a part of Chad will have a deep hatred for Nat forever.
– Nat & Kat hail a taxi.
Except for the kid in the back who spitballed their taxi. He’s a real jackass when you get to know him.
Considering Nat & Kat’s occupation, it is in everyone’s best interests to never see these kids ever again.
Can you imagine if a TAR superfan went to the same hospital that Nat & Kat worked at just so they could meet them?
“The good news: I met Nat & Kat because I flew to their hospital for surgery. The bad news: I don’t remember any of it.”
– Now it’s the showdown between Steph and Brook.
But first, a less deformed goat.
– Steph can’t put in the backseat while Brook is having issues with the bell.
Brook is to putting rickshaw bells together as Homer Simpson is to putting grills together.
Whose faces are on the backseat? Dhollywood actors and actresses?
And no, I did not make up the term Dhollywood. It’s a real industry in Bangladesh.
– Steph now tries to force the backseat into place as if it were a stubborn puzzle piece.
– Brook and Steph both cannot understand how to get out of their current jam.
If you revive the backseat to the rhythm of Stayin Alive, it will fit into the bike on its own.
– Commercial. We resume.
Both non-participants are nervous about the outcome of this task.
– Brook has the bell figured out, and motions to Mr. Tekka that she has solved the mystery.
This is huge! I needed this!
– Stephanie resorts to extreme measures to lock her seat into the rickshaw.
Kick the s–t out of it like it’s a sixth grader’s prized snowman on school grounds.
And it works! Mind you the backseat is very muddy. You may want to wait for the mud to dry.
– Brook receives her clue.
And just 24 hours later, she finds an Elvis Chapel to become Mrs. Tekka.
– Claire is running fast as she chases Brook through the streets.
– Steph receives her clue too. Chad starts screaming words at locals. Brook sees Chad & Stephanie running right behind her. Neither team is receiving good directions.
“While the other teams are running around like maniacs, I’m just lying here being chill.”
– Nat & Kat are at the pit stop location. They run to the mat. An odd Bengali riff plays for dramatic effect.
You know it has been seventeen seasons when Phil has to employ sound effects to mess with incoming teams.
NAT & KAT: . . .Yes, Phil?
THIRD PLACE: NAT & KAT
– Phil asks about their Double U-Turn use. They don’t have any regrets about it.
It’s now night time in Dhaka. Brook & Claire and Chad & Stephanie are further behind Nat & Kat than I originally thought. Evidently taking a taxi was the faster option.
– Both teams are yelling throughout the streets where they need to go. That’s how desperate they are for help.
Chad is resorting to asking a local who probably thinks Lalbagh Fort is French for The Bottle, which he always wants at nap time.
Meanwhile, Brook & Claire form a conga line to the pit stop.
– Brook claims she sees Phil on top of the roof.
BROOK: C’mon Claire! It’s here!
Take another shot of that sugar cane juice.
This is getting as bad as Rob & Kim’s Babe Count.
Phil searches for a team.
Then he realizes for the fourth time this season that Brook & Claire could sneak up on him from behind.
And he’d be right.
PHIL: Brook & Claire. . .
Both are uneasy. They know it’s going to be close.
PHIL: . . .It’s really close. . .but it’s good news. You’re team number four.
FOURTH PLACE: BROOK & CLAIRE
They did not expect to beat a fit dating couple in a long distance foot race.
BROOK: How did we do this?
BROOK: We were like hanging on by a thread.
Phil is amused by their antics.
BROOK: A man U-Turned two little girls.
PHIL: Two little girls?!
BROOK: We’re women now.
PHIL: Don’t even TRY to pretend like you guys aren’t a threat.
I love how Phil has to emphasize that he doesn’t buy Brook & Claire’s BS.
Maybe if Britney Spears was U-Turned, she could finally solve her problem of being not a girl but not yet a woman.
– Phil informs them that they still have a chance to be the first all-female team to win The Amazing Race. Apparently that doesn’t apply to Nat & Kat.
Brook is still having a tough time grasping how she beat Chad & Steph to the mat. I am guessing it is because she and Claire never took a taxi.
– Chad & Steph make it onto the mat.
LAST PLACE: CHAD & STEPH
– They are eliminated.
It’s a sweaty embrace at the mat.
– Phil, for the fourth freakin’ time, asks about the U-Turn. He was not shocked by being U-Turned. It was just a matter of who was going to be there first.
CHAD: We knew if we were the last ones there we were going to be U-Turned there. Nat & Kat beat us to it, so touche to them.
Phil may have to explain what that word means to his friend beside him.
“P.S. I still hate Nat & Kat and hope they DIAF.”
– Chad thinks he got the biggest prize of all.
And it was a blizzard they will fondly remember and reflect upon for the rest of their lives.
Next Time on TAR: Brook cuts loose, and Nick cuts down.
EDITOR’S NOTE: People credit Brook & Claire as the first team to survive being U-Turned in the US version of TAR. I think you have to put a gigantic asterisk beside that record simply due to the fact that the only reason they are alive is because the only team they beat was also U-Turned.
Much like my philosophy regarding TBC, KOR, and DLL legs, I will not say a team survived a U-Turn if they beat someone to the pit stop who was not U-Turned.
Otherwise you’re just giving someone the record by default. Somebody was bound to survive the Double U-Turn. It’s not like TAR would have a random leg where two teams get eliminated at the pit stop.
NUMBER OF EPISODES A TEAM HAS BEEN MENTIONED IN THE ‘NEXT TIME ON’ SEGMENT
KEVIN & MICHAEL 2
BROOK & CLAIRE 2
NICK & VICKI 2
NAT & KAT 1
CHAD & STEPHANIE 1
GARY & MALLORY 1
RON & TONY: 0
ANDIE & JENNA: 0
CONNOR & JONATHAN: 0
KATIE & RACHEL: 0
JILL & THOMAS: 0
BROOK ROBERTS.CLAIRE CHAMPLIN 5.3
CHAD WALTRIP.STEPHANIE SMITH 7.6
NAT STRAND.KAT CHANG 10.6
NICK DECARLO.VICKI CASCIOLA 5.4
JILL HANEY.THOMAS WOLFARD 6.7
Below is a list of all teams from seasons I have blogged to date, ranked by racing average.
e.g. Don & Mary Jean finished 9th, 8th, 8th, 8th, and 8th. Add up the numbers and divide it by the number of legs they have played.
Because of how long this list has become, I only show the relevant section where the eliminated team from this episode has fallen amongst the ranks of what TAR history has to offer.
4th Meredith & Gretchen 5.36 Saved by NEL twice TAR 7
7th Monica & Sheree 5.33 FF TAR 4
7th Marshall & Lance 5.33 TAR 5
9th Monique & Shawne 5.33 TAR 16. Praise Jesus.
9th Debbie & Bianca 5.33 TAR 7
7th KevJumba & Michael 5.29 TAR 17. NEL once + Heather & Eve Syndrome.
7th Gus & Hera 5.29 TAR 6
6th Joe & Bill All Stars 5.25 Saved by NEL once TAR 11
8th Bob & Joyce 5.25 TAR 5
8th Lorena & Jason 5.25 U-Turned TAR 12
5th Mark & Michael 5.22 Saved by NEL once but came up just short TAR 14
3rd Andrew & Dan 5.18 Saved by NEL once TAR 13
7th Silver & Gold/ Wil & Grace 5.17 TAR 3
6th Kelly & Christy 5.14 TAR 13
5th Chad & Stephanie 5.11 U-Turned TAR 17
7th Ray & Deana 5.0 FF TAR 7
7th Melody & Sharon 5.0. Screwed over by weird penalty for another team. TAR Asia 1
9th Steve & Josh 5.0 FF TAR 4
9th Pat & Brenda 5.0 FF TAR 1
9th Mark & Bill 5.0 Wah. TAR 13
5th Fran & Barry 4.89 TAR 9
6th Howard & Sahran 4.88 TAR Asia 1
Rank the Teams
1) Gary & Mallory
2) Chad & Stephanie
It’s no secret that Chad & Stephanie will go down as one of my all-time favourite dating couples to participate on The Amazing Race.
Particularly from one of the early moments during the season when Chad tried to barter with this woman from the Accra market. From that point forward they brought plenty of comedic value to the table.
There is something about them that is charismatic. Producers certainly loved them as they received the most attention during the ‘Previously On’ segment of any team during the season. They probably expected the audience to be just as big of fans of them.
But that is not quite the case anymore. The only time you hear their names thrown around is due to the proposal in Oman, and even though it is a highlight on its own, I hate the idea of Chad & Stephanie being reduced down to “oh yeah, didn’t they go from dating to engaged during the race?”
Although they had frequent meltdowns during the race because of how often they were trailing, they bickered in a way that was not as irritating as other dating couples. It was frequently funny and would learn from each fight. Chad using all of the sports cliches to motivate Steph really did backfire.
I love it when they get so wound up that they nearly lost the race in St. Petersburg because they did not think about the rules and were too focused on taking a shortcut to the mat. We’re lucky that the Jumbas did even worse at reading comprehension that round.
Stephanie grew throughout the race as someone who avoided doing Roadblocks at all costs, and finally embraced it as she did several in a row. She appeared to struggle during these tasks, but hey, at least she was putting in the effort. It balanced out how awful Chad was at some of the Detour tasks.
On paper they were expected to be a generic dating couple we would forget by the end of the season, but I can safely say Chad & Stephanie exceeded expectations. That goes for Nick & Vicki as well. Jill & Thomas may be the only dating couple who weren’t noteworthy this season.
3) Connor & Jonathan
4) Andie & Jenna
5) KevJumba & Michael
6) Katie & Rachel
7) Ron & Tony
Rank the Legs
1) Gloucester, Massachusetts, USA -> England, United Kingdom, London (according to Nick Decarlo)
2) St. Petersburg, Russia -> Muscat, Oman
3) London, England -> Accra, Ghana
4) St. Petersburg, Russia -> St. Petersburg, Russia
5) Muscat, Oman -> Dhaka, Bangladesh
The last country to debut in Bangladesh for the next twelve episodes of the franchise.
Bangladesh was presented exactly the same way as my uncle told me for all these years–people everywhere and a government sanitation commission we take for granted in North America is not established there.
I think teams were prepared for this since they experienced culture shock in Ghana, but everyone was having a tough time with nausea here. The race is all about putting people in a location which is out of their comfort zone.
To go from Oman, a nation which has one of the lowest population densities, to Bangladesh could not have made this shift more dramatic. This round unofficially holds the record for the most spectators as there appeared to be a hundred or so people watching silently at every route marker.
Traffic appeared to be dang near impossible to navigate.
The task of transporting bricks was recycled from previous seasons, but it did make the teams exhausted. Nearly everyone delivered tiffins to a ship. The ship was neat to see, but the task itself was a bit dull.
The sugar cane juice task was uneventful. However, adding the unofficial Roadblock of making somebody drink it was entertaining to see. It would have felt empty if teams never got to experience the task in its entirety.
And yes, we had a TAR record in the universe as this was the first time ever where the Double U-Turn was introduced. With only five teams remaining, four out of five teams were implicated. Nobody cared about Nick & Vicki’s presence.
It is a bit funny to look back and see Phil ask every single freakin’ team about the Double U-Turn because it has become a TAR staple by 2015.
Hell, TAR 26 had a Double U-Turn during the season premiere, and both slots were used.
This twist will quickly become a production favourite as it will trigger huge moments and conflict in TAR 21, both seasons of TAR Canada, TAR 24, and TAR 25.
Oh, and Chad heckling Nat & Kat about her non-existent PhD only happened due to the Double U-Turn twist. Producers want you to thank them for that moment.
P.S. Yes, we will have a Double Blind U-Turn twist down the road.
P.P.S. Will we ever have a Triple U-Turn? It doesn’t seem to be such a farfetched idea.
6) Accra, Ghana -> Riksgransen, Sweden-Norway Border
7) Accra, Ghana -> Accra, Ghana
8) Riksgrandsen, Sweden/Norway -> Narvik, Norway
9) Narvik, Norway -> St. Petersburg, Russia