Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Amazing Race update – Thai-dyed hippies

The final four teams started out the Race from Darwin, Australia and had to make their way to Bangkok, Thailand in the middle of the night. The hippies were last in the non-elimination leg last week so they start out with no money and the clothes on their backs. This normally wouldn’t be a big deal except BJ hit the mat with no pants or shoes. Yolanda leaves a pair of purple pants which look ridiculous on the hippie while the Frat Boys contribute a pair of sandals. Before heading to the airport, BJ & Tyler beg for cash at the local Darwin hot spot and the Australians appear to be very generous. The bad news, however, is that the other teams get the last spots on the first plane to Bangkok so Team Burning Man is starting out with a big disadvantage.

Once in Bangkok, teams need to take a taxi to a bus depot and then find the Three Spire Pagoda which is surrounded by “sacred” monkeys. Team Volcano and Team Frat Boys get the first bus at midnight while Team MoJo gets bad advice from their cab driver who tells them the first bus doesn’t leave until morning. This gives the hippies a chance to catch-up and they wait outside the pagoda until morning as MoJo slumbers.

At daybreak, all teams except MoJo rip open the next clue to find an envelope reading “open at the pit stop” along with a Roadblock and a Fast Forward. The Frat Boys, who took the last FF couldn’t take this one, so Team Volcano and the hippies both head out to a restaurant two miles away. The Fast Forward task is that each team member must eat a bowl of deep-fried crickets and grasshoppers. Ray & Yolanda balk then head back to the Roadblock leaving BJ & Tyler to eat insects. Portentously, buckets are provided (and they are later used). But if they can chug bugs, the hippies skip all remaining tasks and head directly to the Pit Stop.

Back at the Roadblock, the other teams must create a feast for the monkeys by cutting up a bunch of fruit. This is made more difficult by the fact that the monkeys swarm around the fruit arrangements as the teams try to finish them. Eric, then Joseph, then Yolanda finish and turn and head to Koh Kret island for the next clue. This is the Detour: Move It or Alter It. Teams may either transport 72 clay jugs on flat boards to the river or apply gold leaf to a Buddha statue. The Frat Boys and Ray & Yolanda put gold leaf on Buddha while Monica & Joseph choose to transport jugs.

Meanwhile BJ & Tyler are barely making it through their feast of crickets and for a second they eye the taxi that could take them back to the Roadblock. But that’s not really an option so they plow ahead. Tyler is especially having trouble (the bucket is close at hand) but he eventually finishes. Team Burning Man heads directly to the Pit Stop where they arrive as Team #1, going from worst to first.

Most of the camera action is on Monica and Joseph since there’s not much fun it watching people paint statues. They try to balance the ceramic jugs on the planks but Monica can’t seem to carry much without pots crashing to the ground around her. It takes them three trips to carry all 72 pots; in one trip Monica carries exactly two pots while Joseph carries more than 20. Back at the Buddhist temple, Eric & Jeremy finish their statue followed by Ray & Yolanda. Team Mojo finishes their task and now all teams are heading to the Pit Stop at the Marble Temple.

It’s a heavy traffic taxi ride to the Pit Stop and the tension builds. The Frat Boys arrive as Team #2. It appears that Team Volcano and Team Mojo arrive pretty close together and Yolanda is ordered to put on something to cover up her bare arms before entering the temple. Team Volcano arrives as team #3 and also win a Travelocity yacht cruise around Sydney (the "open at pit stop" envelope). Team Mojo hits the mat for the last time as they are eliminated; they take the news surprisingly well.

Final standings:

#1 – Team Burning Man – BJ & Tyler
#2 – Team Frat Boys – Eric & Jeremy
#3 – Team Volcano – Ray & Yolanda
#4 – Team Mojo – Monica & Joseph – PHILIMILATED

Next week: The final three teams race to the finish line and the $1 million prize.

Extra – This space reserved for recaps by Kris & Pat.


Anonymous said...

Eric, You've watched this show longer than I have. Has the penalty (losing money and clothes) ever actually hurt someone enough that it caused them to be elimanted? Seems to me a better penalty would have been to disqualify BJ and Tyler from being able to use the Fast Forward.

That being said, I am glad the three teams in the final are the ones that made it. They have been by far (other than maybe Dave and Lori) my favorite teams this season.

Pat said...

I wonder if there was a requirement that they stay together while carrying the pots. It made absolutely no sense for Monica not to go back at the point she was carrying two pots on her board, especially since it seemed near the beginning of the walk.

Eric said...

Dave, I've always thought the "penalty" was nonsense. The only time it made a bit of difference was when one team was in Senegal (I think). Most of the time, the teams are in relatively affluent countries and they can find some cash.

Although you have to admit that the pant-less and shoe-less BJ was funny.

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