The Amazing Race All-Stars Episode 9
The Way You Look, Yeah
By Reagen Sulewski
April 19, 2007

At least they won once already.

After a double length leg that saw all our teams finally get back on the same day, we're down to five teams. We've got a lot of distance to cover as well, since we're barely halfway around the world.

The two headed grouping of Uchenna & Joyce and Danny & Oswald, who tied for first last leg, are first out of the gate this week, with their first clue of the day sending them to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. That certainly gets us around the world quickly. These two teams retreat to the concierge desk and their hotel room respectively, to book their tickets. Their first offering is a tight connection through Frankfurt, which Danny & Oswald reject, but Uchenna & Joyce decide to risk it. Danny & Oswald then take a connection through Paris that arrives about 45 minutes later – sacrificing a potential lead for safety. With the plane issues that people have been having this season, it's tough to blame them.

Dustin & Kandice are third to leave, with Charla & Mirna right behind. Mirna says, with a straight face, mind you, that they're not like all the other copying and dirty teams and they rely on their own skills to get by. I don't know if screeching like a harpy is technically a "skill", but let's not quibble.

Finally there's Eric & Danielle, who is showing a Tara Reid-ish amount of cleavage today. Eric talks about the struggles that he and Danielle are having, relationship-wise, on the race, but thinks they have a lot of room to grow. I'm assuming he's talking about her boobs. But really, they have so much in common, including how hot they both think they are. Their house would have the most mirrors ever. They bump into Charla & Mirna at a hotel, where they are using both computers available. When Eric asks if they can use one, Mirna pushes them away. Ah yes, it's that great fair play they were just talking about.

At the airport, Charla & Mirna then find themselves behind both Dustin & Kandice and Eric & Danielle, and then have the audacity to try and jump ahead to ask a question. Eric rightly smacks them down and they petulantly walk away. Apparently the question wasn't that important, as they go check in, and they have managed to book an earlier flight than all the other teams.

Uchenna & Joyce arrive at the airport where all the other teams marvel at their braveness/stupidity at taking the earlier flight with such a tight connection. They remain optimistic, but then, what choice do they have? Oh, right, not taking that flight!

Arriving in Frankfurt ten minutes late, Uchenna & Joyce then have to hustle to the gate to get on their connecting flight, but run into cold German efficiency. Zay vil not be zwayed, even after Uchenna claims their lives depend on it. Hunting around, they find out the next available flight leaves the next morning. It's time to resort to voodoo.

Charla & Mirna are now arriving in Kuala Lumpur, and are making their way to the Batu Caves in Putra. The other three teams are a little over three hours behind at the moment, though it's still early in the leg. Dustin & Kandice already manage to push ahead a little by hustling at the airport, leaving the other two teams behind.

Charla & Mirna find the clue box at the Batu Caves, which next sends them to a nearby mosque, where they're warned about a Yield. A note for future reference: these two admit they don't know what they want to do about the Yield here. Some crazy yelling and running ensues (what must foreigners think about us?) as they head to the next clue location.

In the trailing pack, Dustin & Kandice are having a little bit of trouble navigating to the caves, while Danny & Oswald take a slightly different route than Eric & Danielle. Meanwhile, Charla & Mirna revert back to angels of truth and light, saying they won't yield anyone, as they want to play "clean". Dear racers: get the crap over the Yield already. It's in the bloody rules! Your beef is with Bertram van Munster. They have a mild point in that it paints a target on you, but dirty play it is not.

They reach the mosque, find the yield and decline it, and open their clue to find the Detour, which is a choice between dyeing a piece of cloth in a traditional style, or searching for a particular licorice cookie in a booth of 600 boxes of them. Charla & Mirna choose the cookie task (side note: why do these two always sound like they're addressing a kindergarten class?) and head out to the market where they're located. This proves to be a pretty disgusting task, as these two then have to bite into and spit out these 600 boxes. Somewhere, staring Malaysian children are weeping. Why, why choose the needle in a haystack task when you don't have to? It's a nasty reliance on luck as a strategy, and I have no respect for it.

All three of the trailing teams have picked a different route to get to the Batu Caves, with Danny & Oswald ultimately getting there a bit faster than everyone. Dustin & Kandice are just behind, with Eric & Danielle at least ten minutes behind. Dustin & Kandice have the right attitude about the Yield, and are sizing up the other teams as far as who they want to hold back, making the choice that physically, Eric & Danielle are greater threats. It's almost moot as Danny & Oswald should be able to beat them there, and are actually within sight, though Dustin & Kandice ultimately beat them there. They decide to go with the clothing task.

Over at the cookie detour, Charla & Mirna have apparently picked up a group of fans. I fear for our future.

After stumbling around for several minutes hunting for the cluebox, Oswald & Danny finally find it, and I'm sure thanking their lucky stars that they didn't end up yielded, since, ya know, they had the lead on Dustin & Kandice. Danny insists that the cookie detour will be faster than the clothing, which just tells me that his brain is baking in the heat. Oswald protests, but goes along with his decision for now.

Eric & Danielle rush up to the clue box to find they've been yielded and react with their typical grace and good humor – "those dirty, dirty hookers", Eric says, earning him both his misogyny and crybaby badges in the Douchebag Scouts. Here's a tip for you racers out there that don't want to be yielded – don't get beat to the mat! Now, in this case, the yield really wasn't necessary, seeing as how Uchenna & Joyce are still halfway around the world, but there is no way of knowing this for these teams. For all they know, it's the race.

The clothing task is relatively simple, involving a heated wax stamp of some sort, then painting the cloth. Charla & Mirna eventually give up on the cookie task, disappointing, I'm sure, their throng of enthusiastic fans. There are no heroes anymore! They've shed their entire lead from the airport now.

About this time Oswald & Danny arrive at the cookie Detour, where a discussion of the rules breaks out between them. Danny is convinced that they only need to check one cookie in the box, whereas Oswald has the correct interpretation that it's one cookie in one of the boxes (I assume there are actually five, but just one per box). A petulant Danny gives up on the task, still holding to his view, but moving to the clothing Detour anyway. It's a rare display of enmity between these two and it's kind of upsetting. The fight continues, and they turn back once again. It turns out they didn't have to be yielded at all.

Charla & Mirna arrive at the clothing Detour just as Dustin & Kandice are finishing up. They're on their way to a neighborhood nearby where they'll have to find a newspaper truck. It turns out that Charla is too short to help out on this Detour, which is another chance for Saint Mirna to step up. Oh, the sacrifices she makes, oh, the tribulations she endures for her poor helpless friend. Honestly, I'd be pissed at her if I were Charla.

After burning some more time on the cookie Detour, Oswald & Danny decide to switch yet again, notably passing under Eric & Danielle just as their yield is up. Eric wants to do the cookie Detour (insert sound of forehead slap here), which should help out Oswald & Danny unless they're exceedingly lucky.

Dustin & Kandice find the newspaper truck, and pick up the Roadblock clue. The task has them cycling around the neighborhood to collect newspapers to recycle, which must pile up to a six foot high stack. Kandice starts out on the task, with a rather priceless bike horn (think: clown college) and meets a Malyasian perv. You stay classy, Kuala Lumpur!

Oswald & Danny's Very Bad No Good Day continues as they screw-up their first try at the cloth, and they have to try again. This lets Charla & Mirna get out ahead of them, though their second try goes smoother.

Danielle manages to find a licorice cookie, getting a bit lucky that they wouldn't have to be stuck there even longer. As it is, they're still last, er... fourth. They'll have to hustle to make up time.

Kandice is just pulling back up as Charla & Mirna arrive at the Roadblock, which prompts a comment of "what a phony team" from Mirna for no apparent reason. Kandice has collected enough papers to satisfy their evil taskmaster, and they get to head to the Pit Stop, a nearby mansion.
Obviously Charla can't do this Detour, so Saint Mirna to the rescue again! Judging how she rides, I'm not sure Charla would be much slower. The other two teams show up about this time, with Eric gallantly (eyeroll) passing this off to Danielle (who puts her helmet on backwards!) and Danny getting the call for his team, apparently because of Danny's rampant bikophobia.

Meanwhile, Dustin & Kandice have found the Pit Stop and race to the mat to be greeted by Phil, who gives them the news that they're first, with their bonus prize for the leg being two retro scooters. All in all, it was a terrific leg for them.

The other three teams are still going strong on the Detour, with Mirna having recruited a small army of slaves to help carry her papers, selling it as "a fun adventure". You, uh, realize these people live here, right? She then calls them the "Future Charlas & Mirnas of the world". Lord help us all. After a semi-coherent rant about drugs and schools and medals – she thinks she's a role model! – they're done the Roadblock and are on the way to the Pit Stop.

Both Danny and Danielle have to make second trips for more newspapers, which just makes Danny even more furious at Oswald. Things are rough all over, as Danielle gets a flat tire. Paper supplies are running low as these two teams are covering the same territory. Around this time, Charla & Mirna slide in for second spot.

Danny resorts to buying papers from a gas station, spending almost all of the cash he has on hand. This sort of defeats the whole recycling aspect of the task, but whatever. Danielle struggles back to the truck, cursing Eric's name all the way, realizing that she gets to do all the hard Roadblocks, while he takes the easy ones. Is anyone surprised? Anyone? No? Okay, then we'll move on. Danny finally struggles back and these two teams are finally on the way. Oswald & Danny continue to bicker in the cab until Oswald learns that Danny got lemonade from one of the houses he visited. This, apparently, makes them even.

Although these two teams are worried about their placement, there's a distinct lack of tension with Uchenna & Joyce still off in the hinterlands. For the record, Eric & Danielle are third, with Oswald & Danny fourth.

Finally, Uchenna & Joyce arrive on their flight, an entire day later. Although the writing is clearly on the wall for them, they're not convinced they're out, until they reach the cluebox. The producers have mercy on them, not sending them through all the tasks and right to the Pit Stop, where they are eliminated. In this season of airplane shenanigans, this leg has seen the most dramatic effect from badly planned flights.