Did you guys miss me? Sorry about disappearing for a month. I think after blogging about The Amazing Race constantly for the past five years, and with a lot happening in my personal life over the past month (hectic work schedule, planning my trip to Vegas, family in town over the past ten days for Christmas, etc.) I decided to take a short break.
However, we’re back up and running, and I feel more focused on my blogging than ever. My apologies if I worried you.
Fourth Round (Episode blog #264)
Candy Vomit, PMA and the Chinese Pope
AUSTRALIA – JAPAN – CHINA – INDIA – AUSTRIA – LIECHTENSTEIN – SWITZERLAND – BRAZIL – UNITED STATES
Previously on TAR: Ten teams raced from the Australian Outback to Tokyo, Japan. A car accident put Jaime & Cara in last place from the start. Justin’s sharp shooting and sharp eyes at the Detour led him and Zev to another first place finish.
When darkness fell, Mel & Mike struggled in the cold weather giving Jaime & Cara the opportunity they needed to pull ahead as the father and son came in last.
NUMBER OF TIMES MENTIONED IN THE ‘PREVIOUSLY ON TAR’ SEGMENT
AMANDA & KRIS 2
MEL & MIKE 2
GARY & MALLORY 1
JET & CORD 1
RON & CHRISTINA 1
ZEV & JUSTIN 1
JAIME & CARA: 1
– Intro time. Yes, they still existed back then–
Whoa. You alright there, fella? You seem sad.
Although Jaime looks to be the one that’s really in trouble.
– Phil introduces us to Yokosuka, Japan. It’s at the mouth of Tokyo Bay, and the home to America’s Seventh Fleet. This is one of the most important military seaports in the country.
– Commodore Perry’s Landing, built in 1901, honoured the opening of trade with America (which may or may not have faced a setback for a few years in the middle of it) was the third pit stop.
– Zev & Justin who were the first to arrive at an undisclosed time, will depart at 8:44pm. We presume this pit stop was a little over twenty-four hours.
Which was needed after Phil gave Zev a Purple Nurple.
– Zev opens the clue. They are heading to Lee Jung, China.
“Who is Lee Jung?”
Probably the brother of Carl Jung who didn’t want to go to Switzerland. Psychiatry just wasn’t his thing.
– Teams must travel 2, 700 miles to Lijiang, China and make their way to Jade Dragon Mountain.
Hmmm. I see something green on the mountain. Let me squint at it for a minute.
Ah. Good ol’ Jade Mountain.
– Due to limited availability, they must take a provided mandatory flight from Tokyo to Kunming, China. From there they may book their own travel to Lijiang.
Um, which one is our provided flight?
Hopefully Lijiang has less smog than Kunming.
Li Jiang Dong Zhan. Say that ten times fast.
– Zev & Justin discuss China.
JUSTIN: We’re going to China. Never been to China.
ZEV: I don’t know. There’s a lot of people in China. I’m not much of a people’s person.
“. . .And their human rights record isn’t the greatest, there is a lot of censorship when it comes to freedom of access to information, the air quality is poor, and they seem to have this hybrid Communist and Capitalist system which you know will blow up in their face sooner rather than later.”
Too bad the rest of Zev’s speech didn’t make it into the episode.
JUSTIN: Zev has had a couple of rocking chair legs so far where he basically had very little to do except sit in the back seat of a car.
“Before you know it he’ll be in a retirement home with a cat on his lap by the window.”
You know what we call Rocking Chair Legs?
The “Participate As Much As a Woman In TAR 5” format.
Granted he is a bit quieter in a rocking chair than Flo. He makes up for it by making jokes about Japanese men.
JUSTIN: Basically he’s had very little to do except sit in the back seat of a car and cruise around.
ZEV: I’m good at it.
JUSTIN: He’s really good at it.
ZEV: I’m really good at it.
He could probably beat Courtney in the immunity challenge she won in Survivor: China.
ZEV: I don’t like this Blue Moon Valley White Water River. I’m not a big fan of water.
Zev doesn’t like the Chinese nor water. Justin can’t help but find it amusing that Zev only needed two sentences to dislike ninety percent of what occupies this planet.
Don’t worry, Kisha & Jen don’t like the Chinese and water either.
Although things get uncomfortable when Zev pretends they are all a bunch of monkeys. This isn’t Cambodia, Zev!
ZEV: When it’s my turn to step up then that’s what I’ll do. I’m not too worried about it.
“As long as it doesn’t involve, China, water, oxygen, or words that end in ‘amburger’.”
– Zev mocks how producers are making them wait until 9:50am (more than twelve hours) until their flight departs. This is a long break for teams.
– Gary & Mallory depart second at 9:29pm. Mallory once again refuses to be normal when opening a clue at the pit start. She makes an eagle call followed by a Marge Simpson ‘Hmmmmmph!’.
What type of creature are you, Mallory?
– Ron & Christina start in third at 9:38pm. They announce the clue loudly because they are going to Lijiang.
RON: Lijiang, China! Whoa! Great!
CHRISTINA (laughing): We’re so excited because we speak Chinese.
You can’t do this to me, Christina! I love you and Ron so much for you to fall prey to Tammy & Victor antics.
“We speak Chinese! We speak Chinese! We are Chinese! We are Chinese! During the race, we spent three rounds in China. . .speaking Chinese. . .because we’re Chinese!”
Seriously. Don’t do it, Christina. I am rooting for you two more than any other team this season. I am snapping my fingers at the computer screen.
CHRISTINA: Both me and my dad have been to Lijiang already.
NO! WIPE THAT SMIRK OFF YOUR FACE RIGHT THIS INSTANT!
– Ugh. I can’t even.
– Kisha & Jen depart fourth at 9:50pm. Kisha doesn’t completely butcher a Chinese word for once when reading the clue.
KISHA: I believe we spent three legs in China during our last race.
Don’t remind me. The first and only time in TAR US history to spend three consecutive rounds in one country.
JEN: We had a bad leg where I called a deaf guy a bitch.
Yes. We’re getting THAT flashback.
Who can forget Luke trying to throw some bows at Jen?
“So this is what American television looks like.”
– The flashback even includes Kisha’s reaction on the audio. Ooooooh.
JEN: I do apologize for that.
Which is one apology Margie will NOT accept.
By the way, I never realized this in my TAR 14 blog, but TAR taught millions of Conservative families across America how to say ‘bitch’ in ASL.
And if you ever wanted to learn how to say ‘Bitch, Please’ in ASL as well, please watch this video!
My close friend Jake would be so proud that I am finally learning ASL and taking it seriously.
– Flight Time & Big Easy start the leg in fifth at 10:01pm. If this were TAR 24, their 30 minute penalty would have been enough to eliminate them.
FLIGHT TIME: We’re going to China, dog. Lord have Mercy.
Considering you guys, Kent & Vyxsin, Zev & Justin, and Gary & Mallory are the only ones without experience in China, you’ll need all of the mercy you can get.
– Jet & Cord begin in sixth place at 10:34pm.
“China? Do you think we’ll meet people who aren’t super short or super tall this time?”
– Jet goes to open a car door.
CORD (laughing AT HIM): You want to drive?!
JET: Golly. Everything is backwards here.
– There is a big time gap as Kent & Vyxsin depart in seventh at 11:33pm.
KENT: Make your way to the city of Liezheeung, China.
Pronouncing the city’s name correctly will be just the beginning of your troubles, Kent & Vyxsin.
– Suspenseful music plays in the background.
VYXSIN: Kent and I are leaving today in seventh place.
That’s not seven in ASL, by the way.
Neither is that. You failed.
KENT: We’re ready for the leg no matter how rough and ferocious it is. Our theme for the day is PMA.
And what does PMA stand for?
Go on. Tell the class.
VYXSIN: Positive Mental Attitude!
Everyone give yourself a big hug for expressing yourself in the inaugural PMA seminar!
– Kent & Vyxsin put this PMA to work as Kent tries opening the driver’s side door (or passenger side door if you are Jet).
Can’t get the key to turn in the hole? Looks like somebody needs PMA–Positive Metal Attitude!
– Vyxsin figures out why the car door is not opening.
VYXSIN: It’s not ours.
Kent keeps trying anyway.
I want you all to file the following fact away in your mind:
Kent & Vyxsin applied for TAR Asia 3 after they completed their run on TAR 12, but were rejected because their experience gave them too big of an advantage.
– With that out of the way, it is good the key does not fit as Kent was extremely close to pulling a Don & Mary Jean.
Yes, Kent & Vyxsin, TAR’s biggest superfans, makes a mistake that only one of the oldest and most incapable teams in TAR history has ever made.
Fiddling around with a car that isn’t yours? Ain’t no Vyxsin got time for that!
I love how unimpressed she looks.
– Kent gives up on the car and acknowledges Vyxsin is right.
KENT: Did somebody steal our car?
We know how you feel!
KENT: Like. . .we don’t have a car where we left it.
– Margie groans when she reads she is going to China as Luke cheers.
Luke and Mallory are going to love this round, while Zev and Margie can express empathy to one another.
– Even though it has been twenty minutes, Kent & Vyxsin are STILL trying to track down their car.
KENT: Vyx! Come back! Come baaaaack!
VYXSIN: Could it be down here? Down here!
KENT (like a creepy villain): Come baaaaack!
VYXSIN: Speed it up.
KENT: Slow it down.
VYXSIN: This is a race!
They are experiencing what I like to call Poa–Polar Opposite Attitude.
The camera operator must be either extremely entertained or extremely frustrated.
– Kent has the magic key and tries to open the trunk.
“Where do I put the key?”
“Hey, sometimes it is difficult!”
– Kent & Vyxsin are looking for a sign that this is their car.
The car is blinking. Unless Margie & Luke trolled them by unlocking the car automatically from a distance, Kent & Vyxsin have solved a mystery that has taken nearly thirty minutes to solve.
– The trunk should come open now.
Or not. Car doors CAN be tricky! This is tougher than any task anybody will face in TAR 24.
VYXSIN: There’s no thing here.
KENT: I don’t know how–
VYXSIN: Do you know how to open the door?
“Back up back up back up. What’s a door?”
– Kent slowly strolls to the driver’s side door as if he landed on Earth as the first Martian to make it here.
KENT: I don’t know how to open this door–
VYXSIN: Just open this door!
I have never seen a team stuck at the pit stop for this long even with their own marked car.
What is the design on Vyxsin’s shirt? Is that an anchor with a broken heart and a lightning bolt in the middle? Considering they are currently at an American seaport military base, this shirt is actually somewhat fitting. I bet she never expected that.
Question: How many Goths does it take to open a car door?
Too f–king many. Geez this is painful.
KENT: Oh, I was switching to ‘lock’.
Very simple piece of advice from Vyxsin. She says it as if Kent did it on purpose. I have a feeling Kent has zero purpose at the moment.
– Vyxsin tries to open the trunk.
Congratulations! The time it took to open the trunk door was more than twice as long as it has taken to complete every Speed Bump in TAR US history!
Shut up, Tanner & Josh. Yours was the Handikap from TAR Norge–it was not a Speed Bump.
“At least our trunk door malfunctioned. You guys have no excuses!”
VYXSIN: Hey! Let’s go!
KENT: Caaaalm it doooown.
VYXSIN: So much for PMA!
She even shouts ‘PMA’ after all of that. This is awesome.
VYXSIN: This is just the most stupid day ever and we just started.
Just you wait, Vyxsin. The bar will be raised much much much higher for what you already think is “the most stupid day ever”.
I think PMA has descended into BMA–Bitter Mental Attitude.
– Jaime & Cara depart last at 12:42am. I assume they lost about an hour from the previous round’s car crash due to how far behind Margie & Luke they are.
Jaime mourns the side view mirror by wearing a skull and crossbones.
JAIME: Last time we went to China was probably one of the most miserable days of my life.
You can try mentally suppressing the experience Jaime, but it won’t quite work.
– Of course, Jaime & Cara get their own flashback to the third and final Beijing round.
Forget about Chin from Hong Kong 97, I think Jaime is willing to take on over a billion Chinese by herself right now.
“Our place is just around the corner. What’s the big problem?”
“When I open my eyes, I’ll be back in Beverley Hills with The Heff.”
JAIME (flashback): This is why I did not want to go to China; it sucks.
– We cut back to the present.
JAIME: This time it’s a fresh new start.
lol. There is no way that will happen, Jaime. Especially for someone like you.
It would be like if when blogging TAR 24 I say “you know what? It’s a fresh new start. Jet & Cord, I have -always- thought you are amazing”.
Nobody would buy that because they know it is a bunch of BS.
Jaime, just admit you hate China. Say that upfront and I am sure the American audience will forgive you. Say it loud and say it proud.
– Zev & Justin see a sign for the airport.
It looks like they had an easy time with it.
– Zev & Justin arrive at the airport at 4:30am. That would make it an eight hour drive to the airport.
Something isn’t adding up here. What did they do for the other six hours? They must have pulled over and slept on the side of the road somewhere. Clearly they were in no hurry to get to the airport for a 9:50am flight.
Justin is sporting the ol’ Gryffindor toque.
– Gary & Mallory also spot the airport.
It may or may not be past Mallory’s bedtime.
– Big Easy makes an exaggerated stretch as the Globetrotters enter the airport. His legs didn’t like that car.
– We cut back to Kent & Vyxsin navigating the streets of Tokyo.
a) The drive to the Narita Airport is somewhere around two hours. Kent & Vyxsin, after spending twenty minutes solving their car troubles, left the pit stop at around midnight.
b) The flight does not leave the airport until 9:50am. This means they can safely make the flight even if it takes them until 8:00am to show up.
In other words, Kent & Vyxsin have as little as eight hours to complete a two hour journey. Realistically, they have about seven hours of wiggle room.
KENT: Do you want me to go left here?
“Can I. . .can I use my 50/50?”
VYXSIN: No, go straight. We’ve got a ways to go down this thing.
“We just follow this map until we get to The Hamburgler and–oh sh-t.”
KENT (more inflective): You want to go left -here-?
“Why wait to go left in the future when you can go left. . .nowa?”
– Vyxsin agrees that Kent needs to turn left.
VYXSIN: I just. . .I can’t think, Kent. I can’t even think. I don’t even know what’s going on.
“Am I a dog? Should I roll down the window and start barking at onlookers? Oh my Goth, what is happening!”
VYXSIN: I’m so confused. We’ve already totally messed up our map.
KENT: Then you don’t need to be our navigator then.
. . .
. . .
You would think Vyxsin is holding in a secret that the Yakuza has put a hit on her and Kent after Vyxsin couldn’t pay up a losing bet in a poker game.
KENT: What’s the highway we’re supposed to get on?
“Whichever one is off the beaten trail–but the Yakuza will be expecting us to do that! Oh god!”
PMA: Panicking Mental Attitude!
VYXSIN (shaking): Th-th-th-ummmm.
KENT: I’m just going back to the sixteen.
“No! Because sixteen is my second most unlucky number after thirteen!
VYXSIN: We can’t make it in time.
KENT: Because none of this is right.
VYXSIN: We have to take the highway. We’ll never make it in time.
KENT: But there’s no highway for us to get on.
“Unless you can read your Japanese Ronald McDonald map. Is there a sixteen above The Hamburgler?”
VYXSIN: Okay! Listen!
This is the most frantic advice fairy I have ever seen.
Navi would know how to read the map. I mean, she would pester you every five seconds telling you how to get to the 16, but at least she would get the job done.
KENT: There’s no highway for us to get on. There’s no highway.
They could be wasting a couple more hours.
– It is still pitch black as all of the other eight teams, including Jaime & Cara, arrive at the airport. My guess is everyone casually showed up at around 2:00am to 4:00am.
JAIME: We’re all in the same boat.
– Cord tells us that nobody has seen Kent & Vyxsin yet. Night continues.
Only a Goth would embrace staying up all night on the road.
Everyone else? Not so much.
VYXSIN: I just want to find it so badly and I’m so sorry.
KENT: Hold my hand.
VYXSIN: I woke up and I was so happy. What happened? I was thinking we ripped open the clue and I just (southern accent) lost my mind.
This seems like an evening more resembling PMS than PMA.
Kent may be steering the car with one hand, but I have a feeling he wants to hold Vyxsin with his other hand just so she doesn’t bite it off in a manic meltdown.
– Kent sees the sign for Tokyo.
KENT: We are on the highway to Tokyo!
VYXSIN: I am so proud of you, honey.
Crisis averted. It’s a good thing they have a million hours until the flight leaves for Lijiang.
Yep. Daylight and there is still more than three freakin’ hours for Kent & Vyxsin to make the flight. It’s just one of those fun meltdowns that don’t really impact the leg.
– The eight teams are half-asleep, but all check in for their flight.
JAIME: I wouldn’t be paranoid at this point because the flight doesn’t leave for another three hours from now.
“You would have to be a complete dumbass to not make this flight.”
– Zev & Justin are strolling through the airport.
JUSTIN: Million dollar question is “Where is Kent & Vyxsin?”
ZEV: It really -is- a million dollar question.
JUSTIN: It literally is a million dollar question.
The real million dollar question is “Why did Justin change what toque he is wearing within two hours?”
ZEV: Either they’re in a kabuki show or they’re super super lost.
The former or the latter? Let’s find out.
VYXSIN: I really thought we were almost there.
KENT: What’s the issue?
VYXSIN: I don’t know; I don’t understand where anything is.
Not understanding where anything is MAY be the issue, Vyxsin.
That would be like saying “I don’t know what’s physically wrong with me, all that happened is that some guy shot me in the leg ten seconds ago.”
VYXSIN: We think we know what we’re doing.
We get an extreme close-up of the compass as Vyxsin keeps staring at it. Then it hits her.
VYXSIN: No freakin’ way! We went the wrong way!
KENT: No we didn’t.
Yeah. How can you possibly be going the wrong way?
When -this- has been your navigator for the past seven hours.
VYXSIN: We’re three–we’re so far away right now! We’re like–we’ve been going the wrong way like this entire time. What is wrong with me?
DO NOT answer that question, Kent. Trust me. It’s a rhetorical one.
VYXSIN: I don’t understand why I’ve been staring at this compass for an hour (smacking map) watching it go the wrong way.
Kent may succeed with getting Pink in the Bed, but Vyxsin struggles with getting Red in the Bed.
KENT: It’s taken you this long to bring this up?
VYXSIN: It’s totally wrong.
KENT: Well, I’ve done nothing but follow your directions all day.
Which you should have stopped doing after Vyxsin started panicking after the first left turn.
VYXSIN: Well, I’m bad at directions.
Vyxsin would prefer racing in TAR 27: No self-drive legs for the whole season.
And this is why you need self-drive rounds–for meltdowns like this.
VYXSIN (breaking the fourth wall): Bye bye Amazing Race.
Vyxsin is waving the black flag to surrender.
I wish Vyxsin was the navigator on a self-drive leg in South Korea. She would be completely unaware as she would end up in Pyongyang in no time!
– Commercial break. We resume. Vyxsin’s emotional breakdown continues.
VYXSIN: WE ARE SCREWED! We are so screwed! I’ve been staring at this map like. . .staring at it. . .and looking at this thing.
You know, like how you. . .stare and look at something.
I would love to see the reaction of the sound and video crew right now.
– Kent tries to defend the possibility that they are going the right way.
KENT: But there hasn’t been any signs for Narita.
VYXSIN: I know because we’re going the wrong way.
“Hey Kent, I hear they will be a sign up ahead that says “Narita–Two hundred kilometres behind you”.
– We cut to a confessional about how Vyxsin relates this to the drive through Tuscany in TAR 12.
Kent looks so sad here. It is like he wants a lightning bolt to strike Vyxsin in the head to grant her some map reading skills.
– Kent goes ahead to make the obvious statement.
KENT: We’re not doing too well on time right now.
“I asked producers if I could throw myself over the railing on the overpass, but they said I couldn’t be more than twenty feet from my partner.”
KENT: It’s nine o’ clock, and the flight leaves at 9:50.
VYXSIN: We’re not going to make the flight, Kent.
“Because I am going to direct us -past- the airport, and it’ll be dark again before you know it.”
– Vyxsin’s emotions hit rock bottom.
VYXSIN: I can’t believe it.
There are few things more humiliating on The Amazing Race than missing the required flight which was INTENTIONALLY SET UP TO BE AN EQUALIZER. That’s like producers handing you three or four hidden immunity idols at once on Survivor, but you still get blindsided at Tribal Council.
– Once again, Kent has to step in to be the optimist.
KENT: Vyxsin, we can’t give up. The Amazing Race is about tragedies but it’s also about miracles.
– It’s 9:20am. Kent & Vyxsin have been on the road for nearly an additional eight hours than they were supposed to. We are back at the airport.
JUSTIN: It’s just hard to believe that Kent & Vyxsin would have missed that flight. Even if they had to -walk- to Narita. It should have happened.
You know what? Justin is pretty much right. Walking speed is roughly five times slower than driving speed.
Therefore, two hour drive = ten hour walk. Factor in that this is driving around parts of Tokyo, and an argument could be made that a team who chose to ditch their car and walk to the airport would have made it to this flight on time.
Which is something that is on Vyxsin’s mind at the moment.
VYXSIN: I just love you so much for never quitting. It’s one of my favourite things about you.
Those aren’t tears of joy–those are tears of somebody who i accepting that three teams from TAR 14 will beat her this season.
I love how the word ‘REQUIRED’ is added in to the flight description just to rub it in how pissed producers are that a team was able to mess it up this badly.
And Vyxsin isn’t finding it funny.
“Nobody wants to date somebody who can’t make the required flight on The Amazing Race.”
– Vyxsin is relieved when she sees a sign for the Narita airport.
However, go into the left lane and you shall start training pokemon in the Kanto region!
There needs to be a stream on Twitch called GothsPlayPokemon, and it’s just Vyxsin freaking out about getting lost trying to find areas where pokemon have to be caught during a specific time of day, but always showing up too late.
– We go back to a confessional from Vyxsin.
VYXSIN: We were given ample time to get to the airport. There is no reason on this Earth why any sane person could not get to that flight on time.
Vyxsin is looking to the Heavens for some help. However, she might not find an answer seeing how God and Jesus don’t have a history of helping Pagans.
But hey, they’ll need to get any help they can.
– Kent & Vyxsin enter the airport.
Considering the leading flight from each of the first two legs fell behind due to a heart attack and engine issues respectively, all Kent & Vyxsin need this time is one more delay.
They have a couple of options.
a) They can use their Voodoo magic. C’mon. We know you possess these powers.
b) Quickly drive over to Yagami Light’s house not too far away in Japan, briefly borrow the Death Note, and write down the name of the pilot for the required flight.
“Who are you guys? That was a required flight. . .or are you just overly obsessive fans from RFF who are trailing the teams to Kunming?”
– Kent & Vyxsin explain what happened.
Even the ticketing agent can’t help but be an asshole about it.
Considering that if there wasn’t the required flight then teams could have left as much as six or seven hours ago, Kent & Vyxsin will accept this as a just punishment.
KENT: We’re on our way to Kunming. I hope we can intercept some other teams there.
“We just need another required flight or bus or train after this.”
KENT: We’re going to get there. It’ll be okay.
Vyxsin is ready to cuddle.
Kent is not.
How can there be an alternative to the required flight? Doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose of the word ‘required’?
– The “required” flight gets into Kunming at 7:17pm. It looks like the next plane to Lijiang will not be until 7:00am. Everyone is doing some research.
However, Ron & Christina are able to do their research in Chinese.
– Ron informs us there are two trains which leave tonight. One at 8:50pm and the other at 10:16pm.
Ron mugs for the camera.
– Margie & Luke tail Ron & Christina to the counter.
MARGIE (sweetly): Are you guys doing the train?
“If you help us, we promise you’ll be portrayed in a good light.”
RON: We don’t know. If we’ve got to get our money first.
Ron essentially shoes Margie & Luke away. Hilarious.
**TWO SECONDS LATER**
RON: LET’S GET THE HELL OUTTA HERE!
“Quick! I’d rather shoot myself than spend more time with Margie & Luke!”
– Christina speaks a plethora of Chinese to the ticketing agent. They board the train alone, and hope to preserve their advantage.
– Everyone else asks to be on the 8:50pm train. Good luck.
“And you’re saying if I sit by -that- window, the other teams can see me moon them as we start moving?”
– Justin tells the Globetrotters they missed the 8:50pm train by ten minutes.
FLIGHT TIME: Everybody did.
“But what are you gonna do?”
– You know why I can’t wait for this round in China to actually start?
Because Jen will inevitably call Luke a douchebag, and millions of viewers get to see Margie teach us the word for ‘douchebag’ in ASL on TV.
– Mallory informs us the only two teams missing are Ron & Christina, who they presume is ahead on the 8:50pm train, and Kent & Vyxsin who are nowhere to be found.
But what is found is that ridiculous blue. . .whatever that is Mallory has wrapped around her head, and Gary’s hat which has three double ‘A’ batteries hanging from the brim.
– Justin gives his take on Kent & Vyxsin’s absence.
JUSTIN: No Kent & Vyxsin not on this train and not in China makes this hard sleep a little softer.
Although Zev’s “ayoooo” may have been sarcastic.
The lady on the train salutes the Fallen Goths. . .or her eye is itchy. I dunno.
Cord tries to cover up his erection with his cowboy hat. We’re onto you, Cord.
It’s a classic case of Safety Boner–that tingly feeling you get on The Amazing Race when you know you are significantly ahead of at least one team.
– Kent & Vyxsin’s flight gets in at 1:35am. Vyxsin says she is sleepy.
And is also very red. Wait, is that what Vyxsin looks like when she cuts back on the makeup a bit?
Man. Kent & Vyxsin must be absolutely drained.
– Kent & Vyxsin got into Kunming so late that the airport closed down for the night, and couldn’t exercise a bus or a train.
VYXSIN: We have to find somewhere else to hang out in the meantime.
Wherever it is, I hope it takes them several hours in the wrong direction.
– We move on to Lijiang as the first train pulls into the station at 5:38am. Ron & Christina hop out. Is this the first time all season a team has a decisive lead? I think so. More Chinese is spoken.
– Ron & Christina hire a taxi van upon entering Lijiang.
You know the taxi was meant for TAR thanks to the red and yellow steering wheel on the side.
CHRISTINA: We’re on our to Jade Dragon Mountain. My dad is making a pit stop to get warm Chinese buns.
I don’t know how Ron’s wife will feel about him getting his hands on some Chinese buns in the middle of the night, but whatever. We’ll go with it. It’s Chinese culture.
“Oh crap. Right. I have a wife.”
RON: These are the breakfast staples that I grew up with.
CHRISTINA: We’re going to make this quick.
Eh, Kent & Vyxsin are over six hours behind. Take your time.
Seeing how it’s not even six o’ clock yet, there is a strong possibility you’ll be held up at an Hours of Operation anyway.
Now you see the eggs.
Now you don’t.
What the cook needs to do is shuffle around the covered pots like a memory game until Ron is disoriented (no pun intended), and whichever pot he picks is the food he gets once the lid is lifted.
– They purchase the food as Ron narrates his breakfast.
RON: This is very nutritious stuff. These are mushroom.
I am sure this is why Christina went on the race–to watch her dad eat.
CHRISTINA: My dad loves food.
“It all started with Lithuanian pastries. . .”
CHRISTINA: These little dragon buns will get us through the day.
Yes, they are made with real dragon from Jade Mountain.
RON: They’re delicious. That didn’t take long.
CHRISTINA: No, it was a good call. Now my dad is satisfied.
Ron–Loves food so much that he is the first person to record a confessional with his mouth open while chewing.
Taxi drivers do not want to hear their passenger is “satisfied” after Ron looks like he has hit his vinegar strokes while eating dragon buns.
– Ron & Christina jump out of the taxi.
CHRISTINA: Marked shuttle. Oh, that’s marked.
RON: There’s a clue. There’s a clue.
CHRISTINA: No. That’s marked, daddy.
The dragon buns needed some carrots to help clear up Ron’s vision.
– Christina sees a sign.
Shuttle buses don’t start until 8:00am? That’s two hours more of dragon bun time for Ron!
– Ron & Christina board the bus without a driver. She heaves a great sigh.
Call “shotgun” while you have the chance, Christina!
– It is 6:00am in Kunming for Kent & Vyxsin. Could they possibly make up enough time?
Walking about one hundred feet from Arrivals to the Ticketing Counter occurred without any incident. This is the smoothest part of Kent & Vyxsin’s round thus far.
– They have their tickets. . .and once again their day derails into a big mess.
KENT: Do you have your passport?
“Funny you should ask. . .”
I’ll have to go with a ‘no’ on this one.
KENT: It’s not here.
VYXSIN: Go to the ticket office.
KENT: I asked you if you have your passport, and you said ‘yes’.
Together they go to the ticket counter. Could they be missing two required flights?
Vyxsin wouldn’t have been so absent-minded that she’d just leave it on the ticket counter like that, would she?
Vyxsin is extremely lucky for being saved from a mistake that is one hundred percent her fault.
She can’t navigate on a map, she can’t keep her composure, she can’t read a compass, and she can’t handle her own passport.
This is not the show for Vyxsin.
After traveling like this for more than 30 straight hours with Vyxsin, Kent finally has something to say.
KENT: Vyxsin, I’m going to shoot you. I’m going to shoot you. I’m going to shoot you. I’m going to shoot you.
***REAL LIFE FUN FACT***
Kent & Vyxsin broke up a couple of years ago.
It is surprising Kent was not flagged by security after repeatedly stating “I am going to shoot you” while raising his left hand in a gun-like pose.
“By the way sir, your makeup was left on the adjacent ticket counter–but oh well. Too late!”
FINAL FLIGHT TO LIJIANG (7:00AM AND SET TO ARRIVE AT 8:15AM): KENT & VYXSIN
– Christina waits as all of the teams pile onboard.
No self-driving? Cara is pumped.
The TAR 15 alliance reluctantly holds strong. Anything to save money when it comes to taxis.
Why does the bus have horns?
– Eight teams are currently crammed into that bus.
That’s one way of putting it.
– Kent & Vyxsin’s plane touches down just fifteen minutes later. Now that everybody is here to start this round, it is time to reflect on who has the advantage for this leg of the race.
a) Margie & Luke; Kisha & Jen; Jaime & Cara (all spent two rounds in Beijing and one round in an area called Guilin for a total of THREE legs in China).
b) Ron & Christina (Speak the language and spent one round in Taiwan. The People’s Republic of China still claim Taiwan/Chinese Taipei/Formosa/Republic of China to this day.)
c) Jet & Cord (Spent two rounds in Shanghai during TAR 16.)
DISADVANTAGE: Gary & Mallory (if only they hadn’t been eliminated two rounds before the Hong Kong leg); Flight Time & Big Easy; Zev & Justin; Kent & Vyxsin (if only they hadn’t been eliminated two rounds before the Taiwan leg).
– Kent & Vyxsin find a cab.
VYXSIN: Maybe once we get up there we’ll see some other teeeeams.
KENT: It’s hilarious.
VYXSIN: That would be refreshing. It’s been days.
Judging by their appearance, I for one am SHOCKED that Kent & Vyxsin would be the type of people to not encounter civilization for days at a time.
And I am glad their PMA levels have been restored.
– We move on to Jade Dragon Mountain.
That is a really high elevation.
This might not be the place for you, Mark.
– The teams are amazed by what they see once they reach the mountain.
KISHA: What. The. Hell.
JEN: Looking out the window I think I just saw mules.
What a unique sight.
But not the ideal one if you’re Zev. Chinese and water!
BIG EASY: We about to get in that water.
JUSTIN: Zev, get ready to get wet and cold.
ZEV: No, he’s not.
“Screw you, Justin.”
JET: There is a yak with a saddle on it! That’s awesome!
Get it? Because Jet & Cord are cowboys who love to ride random animals on their back.
– Everyone cheers when they see the clue box. Lots of running.
It has already happened a couple of times this episode, but a production member enters the shot. This makes it four episodes in a row with one entering the frame.
– Who’s got two dragon thumbs and loves the altitude as much as Mark?
I think another hernia is coming.
CHRISTINA: Yak yak yak.
CARA (upbeat): Saddle a yak!
Once a cheerleader, always a cheerleader.
– Phil explains that the yak is an indispensable part of life in this region of China (which is awfully close to the now-dethroned military junta in Myanmar).
But I think yaks are a lighter subject matter than military juntas.
PHIL: Every day hundreds of Chinese tourists come from the big cities to ride the yaks and take pictures with them.
And apparently tourists love it when the locals put on an outfit that makes them look like they are 17th century royalty.
PHIL (gestures to the photographer): Okay, sir.
The local wants nothing to do with Phil or the photo when Phil puts hand on hip and crosses his legs. Hilarious.
I wonder what the yak thinks about all of this?
Not too thrilled.
The yaks hate the Chinese and water more than Zev does.
– Teams must properly saddle one yak and ride it across a precarious section of the river.
“Can we do this on land for once?”
– Once teams complete the task, they will receive their next clue.
CORD: We’re not yakkin’ around.
Even the yaks are brighter than the casual fans.
“I give the yak’s eyeroll a 10/10.”
– Jet yells at Cord to not hit the yak.
No, please keep abusing the yak like you and Jet verbally a certain community offscreen, Cord. -_-
Just so you can suffer a worse fate than Joyce Agu on a horse.
I love Jaime’s “No Hands!” gesture in the background.
– Mallory is doing the Roadblock. Gary cheers on “Mal, Mal, Mal”.
Or Gary is a Communist and is actually cheering “Mao, Mao, Mao” here in China.
Just ship a yak over to Kentucky and you’ll suddenly have the most popular attraction in the state fair.
– Zev tries mounting his yak.
Why? What’s the problem?
It’s easy, right?
Jet watches in horror.
This is a nominee for Lijiang’s Funniest Tourism Videos.
– Jet loses it.
JET: Give him a minute, Zev.
JET: Give him a minute.
ZEV: Alright. Alright.
This might be the hardest I have ever seen Jet laugh on The Amazing Race.
Out of all the things that can make Jet ROFL on TV, somebody unintentionally analling a yak is at the top of his list.
– Dream-like fairy music plays as everyone rides the yaks.
This setting is truly spectacular.
Save a horse, ride a yak.
I don’t care how many blankets you put down–the descent on the rocks with the yak is going to be very painful.
– Jaime receives the clue. Then Cord.
CORD: Adios amigos!
Oh, because you’re pretending this is the Old West.
Or some unnecessary sequel to Shanghai Noon.
– Mallory is having a tougher time with her yak.
She has the same expression on her face as Zev’s yak from a couple of minutes ago.
MALLORY: I got a buckin’ one.
Hey, somebody needs to have the excited yak of the bunch. An appropriate fit for Mallory, if you ask me.
– Ron is next to receive his clue. Of course, he thanks the clue giver in Chinese.
I think he said ‘thank you’ twice because he assumed everybody else would now be twice as impressed with his Chinese skills.
If Ron had to do this task in TAR 12 with his hernia, I think this is the part of the task where he would have died.
KISHA: I can’t believe I am riding a yak. . .in China right now.
As opposed to. . .Brazil?
– Jaime reads that teams must ride a gondola nearly three miles above sea level to find Spruce Meadow.
Well if this doesn’t look like some sort of needle in a haystack task.
It’s okay, Nat. The gondola doesn’t go that high.
– Jaime brags she is the first team out but every freakin’ team is seconds behind her.
Luke does an impressive albeit unnecessary leap onto the grass trail. He saved about 0.1 seconds by doing so.
– The eight teams are waiting for the gondola.
CARA: The altitude is no joke you guys. We need to take it easy.
Leave it to the woman wearing the skull and crossbones toque to nearly black out during this round of the race.
– Everybody is spread out between three or four gondolas, and freaking out about the sprint to the gondola. One team is having fun, though.
When it comes to starting your Chinese Hip Hop career, better late than never.
“Give me one second and I’ll make a quick correction.”
“There we go.”
– Christina starts laughing at him (and that’s rude).
It’s the Year of the Rooster.
Just because Phil made that hairstyle cool during TAR 12 doesn’t mean it is still cool to this day, Ron. Hairstyles are always a fad.
– Oh, and we get an elevation update.
Throwing out numbers in the tens of thousands? That is so FitBit.
– What do Margie & Luke think about the elevation?
They’re having a harder time getting oxygen than President David Palmer at the end of the second season of 24.
Cord is a little bit turned on by the high elevation.
– Jaime & Cara and Margie & Luke disembark from the gondola.
MARGIE: I’m. . .even. . .from. . .Colorado. . .and the altitude is kicking my butt.
Does Margie really talk with that many pauses on The Amazing Race?
Or am I confusing her with Stevie from Malcolm in the Middle?
RON: I need to breathe. I cannot run at that pace. Whoaaaaaaa. I’m getting dizzy.
CASUAL VIEWER FROM COUCH: Stop whining.
Much like Mark & Bill struggling with Bolivia during TAR 13 due to being from California, Ron living in Seattle for the past several years is not helping things here.
I bet all teams are running just a little bit slower thanks to Kent & Vyxsin being significantly behind.
Luke getting to the clue box first in China? Even the locals have learned to get out of the way to avoid a possible elbow.
That’s right. Keep walking, buddy.
– One guy peers over Luke’s shoulder to read the clue.
“Another Roadblock? I cannot post this on RFF for it is an ancient Chinese secret.”
MARGIE: Roadblock: Who thinks they are living a charmed life?
NOTE: Prue, Piper, and Phoebe are NOT allowed to participate in this Roadblock.
And neither is this guy–it has to be SEMI-charmed, buddy.
– Phil explains that according to legend, Buddha challenged the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac to the race. Their position on the Zodiac chart reflects the order in which they got to the finish line.
Of course, every international version of TAR needs to incorporate the Chinese Zodiac symbols.
It should be noted that there was a much more recent race with the twelve Zodiacs took place, but the Yoga symbol was eliminated before it even began.
PHIL: Now that mythic race is about to happen again.
Are you kidding me? If I recall the legend correctly, the rat pushed the cat into the water, and it drowned. This is why the Cat is not part of the Zodiac.
NOTE: This is the same Jade Dragon Mountain where the Zodiac Race was rumoured to take place. Whether the challenge involved Buddha too depends on your personal beliefs.
– In this Roadblock, teams must search amongst tens of thousands of hanging charms for the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac. Once they find all twelve animals, and put them in the correct order, they will receive their next clue.
Finally. A dog featured on TAR that doesn’t live in Argentina.
Hey! That’s my Chinese Zodiac symbol! It is also coincidentally Russell Hantz’s, but that is besides the point.
I would wear that hat every day if I could.
Searching amongst tens of thousands of medallions for twelve symbols in China seems like a task designed for Hayden.
– Luke, Cord, Cara, Mallory, Big Easy, and Jen are all doing the Roadblock.
Wait, why are teams allowed to decide who does this Roadblock? Wouldn’t it be automatic since we just had the yak task?
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? The yak task didn’t count as a Roadblock even though it was a task which only one person may perform? What the hell, guys?
Cara may or may not be reluctant to do this one.
JUSTIN (turns to ZEV): ‘Who thinks they are living a charmed life’? I say that sounds like you.
I think if the clue said ‘Who loves to sniff their own feces’?, it would have to sound like Zev regardless due to Justin already having completed three Roadblocks.
Zev feels more cursed than charmed at the moment.
– Ron & Christina discuss the Roadblock hint.
CHRISTINA: You want me to do it?
RON: Charmed life. Charmed life. Is it eating?
“Charmed? Eating? Are we eating Lucky Charms? Just hand me my Real Truth Spoon and I’ll f–king chow down!”
RON: Is it eating? I’ll do it. Charmed.
RON: I think it might be eating.
“I think in Cantonese ‘Charmed’ means ‘to eat’.”
RON: Okay. You do it.
Perhaps Ron’s childhood not only involved eating dragon buns, but also each animal from the Zodiac. A bit of rat, a hunk of dragon, a piece of dog, some ox, a monkey’s brain, and of course, bacon from a pig.
Ron is strongly hinting at being hungry. I wouldn’t be surprised if he walks over to the garden and starts nibbling at the non-edible medallions.
– The task is simplified immediately.
Because the order is already displayed as the freakin’ example.
NOTE: In my childhood, I knew all about the Chinese Zodiac before the Western Zodiac.
Somebody is doodling the shape of the animals on the Additional Info sheet. Who is that?
You know what would be cruel?
If Charla had to do this Roadblock, and the producers placed all of the medallions higher up on the poles.
Jen admits she is not familiar with the Chinese Zodiac. It may as well be a swimming pool to her.
CHRISTINA: I know them in Chinese. *starts rambling about how to pronounce each animal in Mandarin*. It’s all the animals. My mom made me memorize them when I was a little kid.
Dear god. We get it, Christina.
By the way, what did Ron make her memorize?
How to pronounce every meal he consumed in Chinese cooking?
MALLORY: Here’s a cow!
Uh. I don’t think that was apart of the Zodiac.
ZEV: Uhhhhh. Where are you animal?
He’ll be easy to spot, Zev.
Although it might be difficult to hang him from the net.
– Cord starts annoying the locals.
CORD: Rooster! Coca doodle doo! Cocka! Buckbuckbuckbuckbuck.
I love how the other guy remains silent. He just lets Cord go on his one millionth cowboy impression.
Cord has probably rounded up every rooster in Kakariko Village during his childhood.
– Cord continues to speak Rooster with the locals.
He only has one feather, and it’s streaked yellow.
– Big Easy interrogates one of the animals.
BIG EASY: Looking for the dragon. You know where it’s at?
If you had any doubts that the Harlem Globetrotters refuse to complete a task on their own on The Amazing Race. . .
Just know they are willing to follow the lead of a yak just so they don’t have to work alone.
BIG EASY: It’s that way? Okay. He said this way.
(Evil music plays.)
“I stick my tongue out at you, sir.”
He got him good.
– Kent & Vyxsin are at the yak task. Vyxsin gets to ride it.
If the unofficial prize in TAR 27 was to play for Ernest’s chain, then I hope the prize for TAR 18 is to covet the novelty oversized hat.
KENT: Ride that yak! Yes yes yes!
In other news, White men can’t jump.
– The scavenger hunt continues in the mountains. Margie says Luke is really good at detail.
Meanwhile, this cow is really good at sniffing the camera.
Unbeknownst to Luke, this lady is posing with him. Smile, Luke! You’re on Jaded Camera!
Who the hell is that on the right?
– Luke has all twelve medallions and runs back to the hut.
Look out, Cara!
HE DID IT AGAIN!
– Do you know how Luke is detail oriented? Well, his first guess is wrong.
– Christina is happy she has found the horse. She does so without translating it into Chinese.
“We’re never coming back to China.”
– Mallory is second to the hut. Christina is right behind. Mallory puts up all twelve medallions.
She’s hoping. . .
And wishin’. . .
The Chinese Pope hands Mallory the clue without incident.
– Mallory instantly starts communicating with Luke.
MALLORY: Luke! Look at mine.
Mallory is going to literally try her hand at ASL? This could become cringeworthy fast.
Luke is going to have to be very patient and not hysterically laugh at Mallory.
MALLORY: The order. ORDER.
No person on this planet moves their mouth like that to say ‘order’.
You’re closer to a Lucille Balle impression, Mallory.
Luke is still confused (as would anybody else who is trying to communicate with Mallory in ASL). Therefore, Mallory does the one thing she excels at–continue to overly exaggerate expressions in any given situation.
MALLORY: OR. DER.
This is getting painful.
There we go. Mallory is finally uttering the word for somebody to read her lips.
– Luke understands what Mallory means, and he begins to make the necessary adjustments.
Jesus. There really isn’t any room for camera operators.
– Mallory and Gary read that they must head back to the Lijiang Old Town.
NOTE: They must take marked buses to get there.
And unless these seasoned racers have forgotten, the marked buses have red and yellow flags.
– Once in Old Town Lijiang, they must find an ancient Prayer Wheel.
Not to be confused with the aquatic Ferris Wheel. I hate to be seated on the bottom of that ride!
– Gary & Mallory run back to the gondola.
GARY: You did a great job. All I did was stand there.
Which, judging by the way Gary is huffing and puffing in this altitude, took a great deal of effort.
– Jet is amazed how well Mallory did at the task. I assume it is because Christina refused to shut up on the bus as she told everyone stories about how much her mother taught her about the Chinese Zodiac.
– Christina has the clue in second place. Then Luke.
– Everyone else is making progress.
JUSTIN: I just caught a glimpse of Zev’s little Elmer Fudd hat. He seems like he knows what he is looking for which is all I can ask at this point.
“I could ask for him to be in the lead, but then I would come off as an asshole.”
Elmer Fudd has his eyes on one particular animal.
Shhhh. Quiet, tourists. Zev is huntin’ wabbit.
Yeeeeeeeah. What’s up, doc?
– Cord completes the task in fourth. Jet pulls out the best impression of the Rich Texan from The Simpsons that I have ever heard.
JET: ATTA BOY! C’MON BRO! THAT’S MY BROTHER RIGHT THERE!
I love how unimpressed Flight Time is in this picture. This will explain a lot as to how this season will go down in a few episodes.
Dammit, Zev! You missed your chance to photobomb those tourists!
– Big Easy cheers himself on when he finds a twelfth medallion.
FT: Pace yourself.
BE: I’m comin’, Flight Time.
FT: Pace yourself.
BE: I’m comin’, Flight Time.
FT: Pace yourself.
BE: I’m comin’!
– Justin tells Zev not to give up as he says he cannot find the elusive wabbit.
– Cara and Jen are both working on hanging up the symbols. Somehow they are passed by Big Easy as he completes the task.
– Big Easy makes a bunch of celebratory noises that you hear athletes make whenever they score a point. He is rushing the crowd on the wooden pathways.
I can only imagine if Big Easy switched roles with Charlie Bucket, and was able to find the golden ticket. It is like Big Easy is sprinting home to Grandpa Joe.
He is running like a freakin’ rooster!
OOOH UHHH! THAT’S WHAT MEN DO!
– Cara has the clue in sixth. Jen is done in seventh.
ZEV: I need that damn rabbit.
“There is nothing like a juicy rabbit.”
– Meanwhile, Kent yells out to Vyxsin to move faster.
Yeah, what the hell is this? Amateur Hour? Yell at that yak to hop down two of those rocks and not be a wuss about it. Only my grandfather’s yak moves one at a time.
– Justin is not liking this at all.
JUSTIN: Zev! What are you doin’?!
Hunting for a real rabbit, evidently. Perhaps one that Ron used to eat in his childhood.
– Kent & Vyxsin are happy as they enter the gondola. Vyxsin notes they have yet to complete a Detour or Roadblock.
No, they just rode a gondola one hour in the wrong direction and missed the required Roadblock. . .oh wait.
JUSTIN: Everybody’s left except Kent & Vyxsin.
Which, given how disastrous Kent & Vyxsin’s trip to Lijiang was, means that they don’t even count.
JUSTIN: Zev, you’re got to move quicker than you’re to movin’ dude.
ZEV: I can’t find ’em, man!
JUSTIN: Move your feet, dude! We’re in a race.
JUSTIN: Zev, do not give up, man. C’mon.
“Eh, there’s still TAR 14 teams ahead of us.”
Justin uses this time to pursue his mountainous modelling career.
Who shall be the victim of Zev’s frustration?
“F–k your Buddha.”
Oddly enough, punching objects because you can’t find the Chinese Zodiac Rabbit is exactly the behaviour of what somebody who is as passionate as the Astrological Zodiac Libra would do.
– Commercial break. We resume as Zev has completely taken down the entire structure of all of the poles, and ripped out all of the wooden planks on the pathway. The Chinese tourists all flee in terror.
– Nah, just kidding. Zev finds the rabbit seconds later. Apparently the medallions are actually called charms.
ZEV: Do I have to hang my charms?
(CHINESE POPE nods.)
Tie em all together and. . .
ZEV: WHAT DO YOU MEAN NO?!
“Order, Zev. . .or. der.
– Jet & Cord are on the gondola going down as they see Kent & Vyxsin riding up.
– Gary & Mallory enter a marked bus. No one else gets on. We get a very forced confessional about the Express Pass.
MALLORY: We’re having fun. Me and my dad in Chi-NUH!
Only Mallory can talk like that without attracting heat from the audience.
– Margie & Luke enter a marked bus.
Ron & Christina? Not so much.
– Jet & Cord are now in third place as they enter a marked bus.
Ron & Christina no longer have the right to mock the Globetrotters for failing to follow the rules last leg.
– After speaking to the driver in Chinese for the past few minutes, Christina becomes concerned in English.
RON: Let’s see where he goes.
CHRISTINA: Buses have doors.
Doorless. Christina’s mental schema of buses is coming into play.
Unfortunately, Christina is wrong (okay, so shut up). Whether or not it has doors is irrelevant when defining the prototypical properties of a bus.
– Kisha & Jen and Jaime & Cara enter the same bus together in a tie for sixth.
– Ron & Christina hop out to speak to the driver. The driver has one great piece of advice for them as to how they should get to the Old Town.
This is the closest Christina has come to punching somebody in the face. The driver wishes there were doors now!
– Kent & Vyxsin complete the gondola ride. Zev is still angry.
Zev gives the charms a good ol’ fashioned bitch slap.
ZEV: How about now?
The Chinese Pope expresses his deepest condolences for Zev.
“You can’t excommunicate me because -I- quit!”
JUSTIN: I hope Kent & Vyxsin are way back there somewhere.
**TWO SECONDS LATER**
“Hey guys, what’d we miss?”
– After a lengthy discussion, Vyxsin is doing the Roadblock.
JUSTIN: HEY ZEV!
ZEV: I HAVEN’T WRITTEN IT DOWN YET! LEAVE ME ALONE!
“Because first I have to tie my shoes.”
JUSTIN: KENT AND VYXSIN ARE HERE!
I love how Zev & Justin have to scream over hundreds of tourists in order to have this conversation.
– Kent thinks the charms are puzzles. Anyways, Vyxsin scampers off to start the task, and Justin and Kent are left alone to have an amusing conversation.
JUSTIN: What happened to you guys, Kent?
KENT: Our car broke down.
“Don’t you believe us?”
“That’s impossible. Ford, a proud sponsour of TAR, would never be so reckless as to produce a faulty car.”
KENT: We had car trouble and we missed the flight.
“The mechanic told us there was something wrong with its PMA or something.”
JUSTIN: So the flight you took was not the flight you were supposed to take?
KENT: Ummmm. . . . .
KENT: . . .Well. . . . .
JUSTIN: . . . .
He has heard enough.
KENT: . . . . . . . .
(Cut to confessional.)
VYXSIN: We were really unsure if we were going to get a time penalty.
KENT: It’s like a poker game. You don’t tell the other players what cards you have. Good or bad. You have to keep them to yourself to utilize them.
Expert advice, Kent.
Maria and her douchey friend would be proud!
You don’t say what you have aloud, but the other players may or may not pick up on this tell that you are currently holding two-seven offsuit.
“He totally bought it.”
– Justin admits he is panicking a little bit.
– Vyxsin decides to take a shortcut to look at the symbols.
ZEV: What are you doing? You can’t take mine.
Vyxsin is like a second grader hanging around a friend’s brand new Christmas present.
ZEV: No! Go over there and look!
“GET THE F-CK OUT OF HERE!”
– Ron & Christina are in the doorless automobile.
CHRISTINA: Please. Just trust me.
RON: Why does it have to be a bus?!
For once, Ron’s fight is not with Christina nor with the Globetrotters. It is not even with a 70 year old grandpa. Nor is it with Azaria at a family lunch when Ron noticed the hicky on Christina’s neck.
“I swear it isn’t a hicky, Mr. Hsu.”
This time production will be the victim.
RON: Now we’re going to get screwed because we have to go up there. We’re going to waste about a good forty-five minutes on this thing!
No hands are being held here–unless it is around the driver’s throat.
CHRISTINA: Daddy. Please.
RON: HE’S GOING THE EXACT DIRECTION TO GO BACK TO THE BUS WHEN WE’RE GOING TO BE FRICKIN’ GOING THERE!
I love how Christina doesn’t even flinch.
They spot the marked green bus. Christina tells him to stop in both English and Chinese. The driver is refusing to stop.
Ron waits and repeats the command to stop in Chinese. As for Christina?
Waiting for a moving vehicle to halt?
Ain’t nobody got time for that!
Now that’s how you get whiplash.
But seriously, though. Christina jumping out of a moving vehicle and onto the road is one of the most badass things I have ever seen.
I love how the production crew refused to jump out of the shuttle as well. They want to enforce the twenty foot rule, but not to where they could potentially die doing so.
And she is right back up on her feet.
Could you imagine Flo being willing to be in a taxi going in the wrong direction then saying ‘screw it’, and do a diveroll?
“Hey Nate, I could’ve sworn I just saw Christina roll out of a car.”
– Christina is using her Christina voice to have the Globetrotters’ bus stop. Meanwhile, Ron uses his Ron voice which is far more effective.
CHRISTINA: stop. chi. stop.
GLOBETROTTERS (to the driver): Hold on hold on hold on. Wait.
“I left my keys in Christina’s fanny pack.”
Holy crap. Ron is throwing a rock at the bus!
Christina classifies that vehicle as a bus if it has doors. However, after Ron’s rock toss, is it still classified as a bus if it is missing windows?
With a broken window, they are now Flight Time and Big Breezy.
– Christina yells at Ron to keep up as she sprints to the bus “HURRY! HURRY! HURRY!” as if she was a professional Curling player.
The audio and visual crew are demanding a raise after today.
– Let’s look at all of the other times in TAR history where Ron throwing a rock did some damage.
Those Ukikis didn’t stand a chance!
O’ Doylehsu Rules!
Flight Time continues to put his hand up as if he is blocking a five year old from taking a swing at him.
Now would be the perfect time for Flight Time to shout for the driver to start moving again.
– Christina thanks the driver in Chinese as expected, and then proceeds to acknowledge the Globetrotters’ role in helping her.
I know why Big Easy is laughing.
In four rounds, Flight Time & Big Easy have had to balance out karma on two incidents.
Asking Zev & Justin for the answer to the Roadblock riddle.
How did they repay this favour? Letting them board a flight which ended up getting delayed.
Stealing and moving Christina’s fanny pack to cost her and Ron valuable time as well as a near heart attack for Ron.
How did they redeem themselves? Letting Ron & Christina get onto a bus in a round where everyone is confident Kent & Vyxsin are screwed.
It’s like asking your friends for a million dollars each day, and then giving them ten bucks back with everyone agreeing that you are even.
– Vyxsin keeps on collecting charms.
Unless this guy steals one from behind.
– Zev submits another guess.
ZEV: Tiger, rabbit, horse, monkey, dog, pig. That’s correct.
You can’t declare if it is correct, Zev. Last time I checked, the Pekatican did not elect you to be the Chinese Pope.
He holds his hand up to prevent a possible Agca-like rage from Zev.
ZEV: What do you mean?!
You need to swap the rooster to the end of that list, Zev.
– Zev makes another quick change.
ZEV: How about now?
He does not even bother to look at Zev’s order anymore; he knows it is wrong.
JUSTIN: Zev, what’s going on?
ZEV: He won’t give me the f–king clue!
Imagine how the TAR 27 Catholic viewers would have reacted to this scene. Not only would they be appalled with Zev cursing at the Asian leader of Catholicism, but also with him wearing a hat.
“I shall pray to the Pagan gods. We may survive this.”
– We cut to Old Town Lijiang. All of the stereotypical whimsical Chinese TAR music plays. I believe this is a new soundtrack. There is even a new remix of the popular Asian Riff. Gary & Mallory and Margie & Luke are running around.
I think he was the town’s founding member.
– Margie & Luke are first to the clue box.
MARGIE: What’s your sign?
Actually, this clip was condensed. Let me get the full transcript of the clue. . .
“Hey Margie, what’s your name? What’s your sign? What your interests are? Who you beeee with?”
– Each teammate must now correctly locate their Chinese Zodiac sign, write a wish on a piece of paper, and deposit it into the proper slot.
He is trying too hard with his hat.
“I wish that The Amazing Race 24 never happened.”
“There is an actual pig inside of the wheel waiting to eat your wish.
READER QUESTION: If you had one Chinese wish, what would it be?
MARGIE: You must verbally announce your sign as you put your wish into the slot.
Yeah, it’s a Grumpy Old Men reference.
– Margie thinks her sign is rooster (which is odd because they are supposed to have great people skills).
– It should be noted that this season was filmed during the Year of the Tiger.
– Gary & Mallory are second to the clue box.
MARGIE (to MALLORY): You have to write your wish then deposit it.
I think Mallory can f–king read, Margie.
– Mallory makes her wish.
So does R. Kelly. It probably involved a cheerleader.
MALLORY: I wish my dad would have most fun and best experience on this race.
“Also, I wish for a pony. Six times. And Zodiac Santa, I also wish for a giant chocolate chip cookie.
Yours, Mallory (but my friends call me Mall)”
– Gary comes up with an equally thoughtful wish.
GARY: Quick. Just write ‘WIN’ on mine.
Leave it to a middle-aged man to come up with the laziest and most direct wish possible. I bet Gary has a habit of shopping for gifts on Christmas Eve.
– Margie & Luke’s wishes are unknown.
Luke signs his sign underneath a sign.
Luke probably wished to not have any more repeat countries from TAR 14. Margie would have struggled with hers because of her sign.
– It’s a Detour. There is only ten minutes left in this episode and we have yet to begin this task.
PHIL: Teams must learn how to control one of two things synonymous with the Nazi people.
WHAT?! Nazis in Lijiang? Forget hiding in Argentina.
CORRECTION: It’s actually Nakhi, but pronounced similar to how you would say ‘Nazi’.
– They must choose between Hammer or Horn.
– In Hammer, teams must pulverize hot molten candy in the traditional method. Once they have prepared the candy, the confectioner will give them their next clue.
It looks like somebody’s vomit after too much chocolate, cashews, and Bailey’s on Christmas.
So, the first step is to pour out the vomit onto the wood.
Pay teenagers to hammer the vomit.
Hammer it until the vomit hardens.
Make the hardened vomit less appealing than it looked before.
By the way, this round definitely took place on a Sunday.
Then Phil and the bald confectioner are ready to serve up the clue.
– In Horn, teams make their way to Nanmen Square then they must pick up a long cumbersome ceremonial horn and lead a procession of Nazi dancers to Wencheng Palace where they will receive their next clue.
She holds; he blows. The third guy serves as the “pinch hitter” in this scenario.
Why do they have eight games of tetherball set up in the square?
A procession of horny men.
The Horn Cam.
Oh screw you, Bond. It’s not a f–king gun barrel. Don’t you dare pull the trigger!
Everybody have fun tonight!
Everybody Wencheng Palace tonight.
MARGIE: We’re doing candy. What do you think? Candy. Candy. Candy. Candy. Yep. Yep. Yep.
Margie really wants to do Candy. A lot.
– Gary & Mallory’s first instinct was to also do the candy task.
– Globetrotters and Ron & Christina are next to the clue box.
CHRISTINA: My dad’s an ox. I’m a rooster.
They have the same age gap as fellow parent-child team Margie & Luke, but with the symbols flipped. Huh.
– Christina shoots for the stars with her wish.
Whether or not she wrote it in Chinese remains a mystery.
CHRISTINA: You have to say ‘ox’ when you put it down. Say ‘awwwwwwx’.
You’re not at the dentist, Christina.
– Ron & Christina spam ‘thank you’ in Chinese to the guy handing out the clue.
They love making new friends.
– Jet & Cord submit their wishes in fourth place.
JET: Cord wished for world happiness.
That’s what happens when you run a full season with a former beauty pageant competitor.
BIG EASY: Monkey. He gonna be a monkey.
FLIGHT TIME: Monkeeeeeeh.
He is yelling it with pure certainty.
“NOT A MONKEY!”
BIG EASY (shakes head): Not a monkey.
Big Easy agrees with Fang.
At least Flight Time has only twelve possibilities versus Big Easy’s 120 possibilities with Znarf Kafka.
FLIGHT TIME: Gooooooat.
FLIGHT TIME: Horrrrrse.
FLIGHT TIME: Snaaaaaaake.
I love how Big Easy has to research the available options.
FLIGHT TIME: Drag Awwwwwn.
FLIGHT TIME: Rabbiiiiit. . .Tiiiiiger (he says ‘tiger’ the same way that Sagat does from Street Fighter).
It has taken Flight Time enough attempts for a ridiculously easy task that Kisha & Jen have shown up. What animal is on Jen’s head?
– Flight Time looks like an eager child at a Spelling Bee who knows how to spell the winning word.
FLIGHT TIME: I’m a snake.
“Did he finally f–king get it?”
“What the f–k, Herb?”
FLIGHT TIME’S GUESS COUNT: Eight. Four remain.
– Kisha & Jen (Jen is a rat, Kisha is a monkey) complete the hefty challenge in fifth. They opt to go with the Hammer.
– Jaime & Cara are submitting their wishes too. Jaime is a horse and Cara is a dog.
I thought Jaime was a rabbit, but I suppose I was wrong.
– I have a question.
Who the hell are they talking to?
JAIME: I wished that we would win the race (laughs really hard).
Seriously. Who is it?
– Jaime & Cara receive their clue.
Meanwhile, the guy behind her wishes he had a pet hamster named Nibbles that he could communicate with on his right shoulder during the day.
Kisha wished for more meaningful content.
Jen wished for a larger bladder and the ability to swim.
Cara wished she could possess Jaime’s levels of aggressivity.
Jet wished there was a second light installed that would occasionally flash red or green.
– Jaime & Cara go with the Horn.
Big Easy’s only interaction with Jaime & Cara is to elbow them out of his way. He loes to troll.
– Flight Time repeats his guesses to the clue bearer.
FLIGHT TIME: I am a tiger. I am a goat. I am a rooster.
9/12 with two repeat guesses. This is downright ridiculous.
GLOBETROTTERS: . . . . .
FLIGHT TIME: I am a goat.
It was worth a third shot.
ZEV: That’s right. Goat. Monkey.
Zev is getting so tired of this that he is wearing a hat on top of another hat.
Nuh uh, girlfriend.
– Vyxsin keeps searching for charms.
VYXSIN: Is there something wrong with my brain?
No, but there is something wrong with the guy on the right.
– Zev realizes he had two goats but no horse.
VYXSIN: I’m just trying to keep calm but I feel like if I keep doing the same thing I have been doing then I am not going to get anywhere.
Try to stay calm.
Try to stay calm. . .while a guy urinates on the charms behind me.
Try to stay calm.
– Zev has it, and the Chinese Pope gives him the clue.
“Here is the clue. . .or as you say in America, ‘the f–king clue'”.
“Did he get it?”
Bruce Bogtrotter war cry.
JUSTIN: I know. That was terrible, but you stuck it out. I’m proud of you. Here. Hold this. Let’s read this clue and get the hell out of here. Good work. You inished it. You finished it, buddy. That’s all that matters. I don’t know what the hell just happened.
The locals are sad, Justin.
– Justin makes fun of Zev’s mistake.
VYXSIN (crying with accelerated speech): I’m so confused and dizzy. I don’t know what I’m doing. I just don’t get it. I’m sorry.
You know what Vyxsin’s multiple meltdowns is reminding me of?
Her. Eerily similar. Although I doubt Vyxsin has the same level of social intelligence when it comes to detecting deception from opponents and manipulating them, though.
KENT: My little pink kitten is trying her best.
Yet Kent is the one wearing cat ears.
– Vyxsin starts crying.
– Flight Time guesses he is a rooster then a dragon. Apparently dragon is correct. Therefore, editing was screwing us with the order of footage.
– They choose to do Horn.
Flight Time wished for whatever Sam’s wish was.
Big Easy wished for whatever Dan’s wish was.
– Ron & Christina, Margie & Luke, and Gary & Mallory (a.k.a. Parent-Child Galore) are all running to the route marker. Ron is getting distracted.
Ah. Authentic Chinese cuisine.
Pulled in straight from the sea.
And who can forget the Chinese classic–French Fries.
RON: Hey, can I get my yogurt?
“I was good today.”
CHRISTINA: . . .No. After the task.
That is one sad rooster. . .I mean ox.
RON: But they are live fish.
Ron wants to see the fish die before his eyes.
RON: It’s not bad. Three for a stick–
CHRISTINA: We have to go. Your mind is not–
RON: Okay. Okay. Alright. I’m tired and getting a splitting sideache.
RON: Can we take the tram?
Who knew Christina would be the one that is being no fun?
– Gary & Mallory and Margie & Luke watch the candy hammering demonstration.
“How, uh. . .how fun.”
MALLORY: I needed to pay my dues and make money for a change for all the candy I eat.
Geez. Mallory is happy with this task. You could make her play HoldTheButton and she would still be all smiles.
– Gary makes sound effects as he pounds it. Jet & Cord, Ron & Christina, and Kisha & Jen join the other two teams to pound it as well.
– Ron & Christina are hammering the vomit too. Christina encourages him to use it to take her frustration out.
God. That may have the worst texture for any treat ever made. Maya needs to help them.
– Ron stops for a second.
RON: C’mon. This is good stuff.
Ewwwwwwwwww. Way to take a page out of Mardy & Marsio’s book.
– Jaime & Cara, currently in sixth, enter the square.
You know you are big TAR an when you are wearing a red and yellow sweater.
They are digging the music.
– Jaime & Cara grab a horn.
CARA: The ceremonial horn. It’s yours.
JAIME: I’m not going to be able to keep it extended the whole time. I can’t. There’s no way. Let’s make candy.
Cara may have been too presumptuous when it comes to estimating Jaime’s ability to hold up a thick, narrow, and long object.
– Vyxsin’s PMAing continues.
VYXSIN: So stupid. This is really–I never thought of myself as a stupid person until this race. I don’t understand what I’m doing ever. I don’t get it. I’m so upset. I’m so stupid.
Jesus. Even the tourists are starting to keep away from her.
Is she looking for a hidden immunity idol?
Maybe some impromptu gymnastics will help.
Something tells me they won’t be catching Zev & Justin.
– Commercial break. We resume.
More emotionally stable than Vyxsin.
VYXSIN: I don’t get it.
(Seconds later she finds the twelfth charm.)
Typical TAR editing.
Apparently I am not the only troublesome Goat around here–they have successfully haunted Zev and now are responsible for making Vyxsin cry.
– Zev & Justin board a marked bus. Justin says they can go head-to-head with Kent & Vyxsin any day, and especially with a lead.
– We cut back to the candy vomit task.
Even this dog has culinary standards.
– Margie & Luke, Gary & Mallory, and Jet & Cord bring their vomit to the cutting board.
Ron takes another lunch break. This explains how Jet & Cord leaped ahead.
CHRISTINA: Daddy, stop!
Christina cusses out Ron like he is a dog who used its hind legs to retrieve crumbs of people food from the seat of the chair.
– The requirement for cutting the candy is so minimal that Margie is taken offguard when the clue is thrust in front of her face.
“Pssst. You’re done. You can leave now.”
– They read that they can make their way to the top of Lion Hill and find the Eternal Tower. It rises above the old town and is an ornate building.
It’s the closest thing to a skyscraper that Lijiang has.
It’ll be as eternal as Phil Keoghan’s hosting gig.
– Kisha & Jen finish smashing candy in fourth. Christina begs Ron to let her cut the candy.
CHRISTINA: Please let me do it. Please let me do it.
This Detour has now become a Roadblock.
“A young lady holding a butcher knife–is this allowed?”
– So remember how Christina told Ron to stay out of the final phase?
Yeah. He doesn’t follow direction very well.
Ron’s listening skills are about on par with Blair’s.
CHRISTINA: NO! NO! That’s how you -don’t- do it, daddy.
RON: Then how do you put it in there then? You figure it out–
CHRISTINA: Take a deep breath and let me do this please. You’re so ungraceful.
“Hey guys, what’d I miss?”
The bag now belongs to Christina.
It’s a good thing Ron doesn’t have a rock to throw at the moment.
– The confectioner acts like nothing happened and smiles as he hands the clue to a now calm Ron.
Even though Ron was sidelined for most of this task.
RON: That’s because–
“I wish I could hand you a big bag of shhhh for you to eat.”
CHRISTINA: I don’t want to talk about it.
CHRISTINA: Daddy. Get dressed.
But first, it’s time for dessert!
And one piece for the road.
CHRISTINA: Stop eating! Get dressed! We can eat at the pit stop!
C’mon, Christina. Ron might die of hunger between now and the ten minute run to the mat.
– The lonely Horn dancers are still movin’.
Five hours later and they’ve still got rhythm.
– Globetrotters pick up a horn.
And pick up an entourage of middle-aged Chinese women in the process.
Big Easy repeatedly blows into the horn like it’s a saxamaphone.
Air gets caught in Big Easy’s throat.
Careful, Big Woozy! The altitude is more than he can handle!
– Flight Time & Big Easy stop to ask a local for directions.
A little girl sneaks by and starts making fart noises into the horn.
“Ah! My face is stuck! I need help!”
– The candy vomit is burning Cara’s hand.
– Zev & Justin are at the wishing task. Justin knows each of their signs.
Here is a screencap of the clue in case you are curious.
– Justin is a goat and Zev is a dog.
JUSTIN: What’d you wish for? Winning The Amazing Race was mine.
ZEV: Mine will be to live a long and happy life.
Zev has long term thinking.
– They receive the clue, and Zev thanks him in Espanol.
Here is another clue.
– Vyxsin’s charm sequence is approved.
KENT: Oh! She’s got it!
LADY PASSING BY KENT: Ooooh! *starts speaking rapidly*
It’s so random.
– Vyxsin hugs the Chinese Pope.
And is the first to motorboat a clue giver on The Amazing Race.
PMA: Perfect Motorboating Action!
So this is what Mallory meant this morning.
– Kent tries to read the clue, but Vyxsin orders him to squat with her.
Take a knee, Kent.
I don’t know why, but we get to see three of the clues this episode.
– Margie & Luke, Gary & Mallory, and Jet & Cord are in a showdown for first place.
That’s an unnecessarily oversized drum.
Now it’s his turn to ring the bell.
If the bell becomes damaged, his job security will be anything but eternal.
– Margie & Luke run onto the mat as the audio goes dead.
They know they have a chance.
– Phil signs their victory.
FIRST PLACE: MARGIE & LUKE
– They have won a trip to Aruba.
This leg is coming up Milhouse.
Oh, and one more thing.
“You know what’s in my back pocket.”
Or maybe not.
PHIL: You’re still racing.
It looks like Ron won’t be eating at the pit stop after all.
– Phil hands them the clue and instructs them to read it.
I love how the pit stop greeter is holding back her laughter as Phil trolls Margie & Luke.
They would probably hand back their trip to Aruba if it meant having a rest at the pit stop.
NOTE: If Mel & Mike were in this round, Mel would have already been killed off by the altitude.
MARGIE (to PHIL): You don’t want to know what I want to say right now.
I can take a guess.
It looks something like this.
– Margie & Luke sound absolutely exhausted, but eventually start moving.
– The ’24’ end of episode split screen returns as Jet & Cord check in while Kent & Vyxsin are running along the wooden path.
Jet & Cord were on the receiving end of humiliation just three rounds ago.
Oh, and for any casual fans who said TAR 27 was the first season to have two Keep on Racing legs, you can suck it.
SECOND PLACE: JET & CORD
THIRD PLACE: GARY & MALLORY
They are in such high spirits.
PHIL: Gary & Mallory, you can keep on racing.
MALLORY: Aweeee. Nuts.
Gary puts his toque back on and is ready to rock once more.
FOURTH PLACE: RON & CHRISTINA
Ron pretty much has a heart attack as he shouts in excitement after being told he is fourth.
What was in that candy?! Crack?!
PHIL: . . .But you’re still racing.
Christina must hate that it’s a Keep on Racing leg after lecturing her dad how they can hold off on eating until the pit stop.
CHRISTINA: But daddy, we can eat at the–
RON: What if Phil gives us the next clue right away, Chris? It’s the principle of the thing. If I’m hungry, I am going to eat now. Look, this stall says Real Truth Flavour Added.
And judging by how coked up Ron is at the moment, he is ready to run the next eight legs in a row if he must.
Oh, and Vyxsin has a nervous habit of biting on her glove.
Or sucking on her glove.
Oh yeah, FIFTH PLACE: KISHA & JEN.
SIXTH PLACE: FLIGHT TIME & BIG EASY
Why does Big Easy look so distraught?
Is it because Phil got his nose?
SEVENTH PLACE: JAIME & CARA
Vyxsin really is losing her mind.
Kent & Vyxsin are finally off the gondola and heading onto their marked bus. They definitely have all of their possessions on them.
VYXSIN: Still had time to catch up. We’re still in the game.
KENT: The odds are against us, but the pink and black attack is ready.
“This horrible horrible awful terrible day is almost over. We just have an active route info, a Detour, and a pit stop to get through. . .okay, maybe it isn’t quite over.”
– Zev & Justin keep struggling.
JUSTIN: It’s not going that well. We’re not entirely convinced we’re heading in the right place. I honestly haven’t really thought about Kent & Vyxsin. Just trying to get this done and let the chips fall where they may.
I love how Justin is treating this as a day that has gone wrong even though they have had about ten hiccups fewer than Kent & Vyxsin, and appear to be well over one hour ahead of them.
– Kent & Vyxsin keep riding the bus until. . .
KENT: Can you turn around?
What is it this time, Kent?
Maybe he just wants the driver to physically turn his body around.
– But seriously, what have they done now?
You’ve got to be KIDDING me. Vyxsin has her arm stuck in the backpack! How the hell is that even possible, Vyxsin? It’s a Positively Messed up Arm–PMA!
– Nah, just kidding.
VYXSIN: We need to turn around.
KENT: We got to turn around.
VYXSIN: Kent lost the fanny pack.
KENT: It has everything. The passpo