The Amazing Race All-Stars Episode 10
We're Trying to Make Love, Not War
By Reagen Sulewski
April 30, 2007

Product placement! clap-clap clap-clap-clap!

Only four teams remain in this All-Star edition of the Amazing Race, which is proceeding with an ever-looser definition of "star".

Dustin & Kandice are once again out in front, leaving this leg in Kuala Lumpur in the lead. They're immediately sent to Hong Kong, where they'll have to find a particular laundry (oh, that should be simple) to find their next clue. Their big concern is about how Eric & Danielle will react to them after yielding them last leg, but really, at this stage of the race, there should be no friends left.

Charla & Mirna leave next, and they seem to be more upset about the yield than anyone else, "coining" the phrase Yield Karma (you're way too late on this one), meaning the supposed revenge that Dustin & Kandice will experience on this leg. Dear Race Babies – YIELDS ARE IN THE RULES!

Third out are Eric & Danielle, who vow revenge (at least they have a reason), with Oswald & Danny trailing everyone, although only a couple hours behind overall, in the middle of the night, the great Amazing Race equalizer. This last team is also suffering from a low supply of cash, after Danny spent all theirs in a Roadblock last leg. This may or may not be a factor today, but it definitely means no side shopping trips.

The four teams are struggling with flights to Hong Kong, as both of the early flights are completely booked, and it's too early to get on waiting lists. Dustin & Kandice are the first at the airport and park themselves in front of the first counter to open. Eric & Danielle are next there, and do likewise after a particularly awkward elevator ride with Dustin & Kandice.

Oswald & Danny hunt through the bowels of the airport and find the back offices for the two airlines, which are staffed, and are able to get on the waiting lists for both flights. Charla & Mirna join them in time to get second spot in line on the Air China flight, the first out that day. Mirna attempts her usual "most important person in the world" manipulation here on the airline employee, who thankfully is having none of it. She is really the most self-entitled person ever.

Meanwhile, Dustin & Kandice have secured the 2nd spot on the Air Malaysia flight, which is the second out of the day, with Eric & Danielle just behind. They end up third and fourth respectively on the Air China waiting list, leading to much bickering among the teams over what constituted a proper line. These legs always bring out the best in people, and the airport scenes are what win Emmys, I'm sure!

Oswald & Danny are the only team to get onto the early Air China flight, making their semi-devious excursion to the bowels of the airport actually kind of crucial. Not accepting defeat, Mirna attempts to charm her way onto the plane, with predictable results.

Oswald & Danny attempt to hand off their first place tickets on Air Malaysia to them, which leads to another Battle Royale at the ticket counter. The Air Malaysia ticket agent is having none of this (hello, security?), although Mirna appears to think she can jump the line through yelling. Ooh, the drama. Eventually both Dustin & Kandice and Charla & Mirna are confirmed on the flight, making the whole yelling match moot, yet revealing. At one point Dustin threatens to make a beauty queen sandwich out of Mirna, which is alluring albeit baffling.

The odd people out are Eric & Danielle, who miss out on both flights, losing their spot while trying to change over money. They should have been ahead of Charla & Mirna, but them's the breaks when you don't stay in line. Mirna wheels Charla over to the gate on the baggage cart (a surreal sight if there ever was one), and the next two teams are on their way. With visions of Uchenna & Joyce's miserable elimination in their heads, Eric & Danielle then search for another flight to Hong Kong, finding one that gets them in several hours behind.

It's almost halfway into the episode and we're finally getting ready to see our first task. Oswald & Danny bargain down with their cab driver when reaching Hong Kong, saving them valuable funds. In their clue, they find the second Fast Forward of the race, which definitely comes in handy for them – although they're well ahead of the pack, this could save them a ton of money in cab fares, and the like. But wait, you say, didn't they already take a Fast Forward? I thought they did as well, taking one in Poland when teamed up with Uchenna & Joyce. Apparently, this doesn't count, which seems to be more evidence that the producers planned out this race while drunk, or at the very least, have stopped caring.

The Fast Forward is located at Hong Kong's old airport, and involves them participating in a movie stunt sequence. What they don't know is, it's a fairly involved driving sequence, and will have them go through a crash. Obviously they're not trying to kill them, but they're definitely trying to see if they can intimidate a team out of taking the Fast Forward.

The second group of teams has now landed, and we're treated to the second surreal Charla transportation moment of the day, as she pops out her wheelie shoes and glides across the airport being dragged by Mirna. I'm pretty sure she's convinced that Charla is a toy of some sort. Dustin & Kandice are in hot pursuit, though without wheelie shoes, they're truly sunk.

Charla & Mirna pass on the Fast Forward, which then leads them to choose from the Detour options, which involves them either climbing a bamboo ladder while masked kung fu fighters do battle around them (Best. Detour. Ever!) or trying to match a Chinese character sign. Not only is that a needle in a haystack challenge, it's one in a foreign language. It seems truly hellish. Both teams decide initially to go for the Kung Fu Detour, but Mirna is having second thoughts about Charla's ability to perform it, and they tell their cabbie to turn around. Indecision! Always the mark of a great racing team.

Over at the Fast Forward, Oswald & Danny are getting strapped into their padding and buckled into the stunt van, which then proceeds to rip around the tarmac of the old runway. Oswald could not look more scared, and then the van is sent into a slide on its side. The producers attempt to make out like that they might actually be injured, but of course they're safe. They now get to head to the Pit Stop, at the Hong Kong Jockey Club, and they're told to bring along the little Product Placement Gnome that's sitting with their clue.

Meanwhile, Charla & Mirna have changed their minds on the Detour yet again, allowing Dustin & Kandice to build a sizeable lead in this portion of the leg. Yield karma, meet Stupid Karma. Reaching the Kung Fu wall, Dustin & Kandice gear up and prepare to climb, as Chow Yun-Fat and Zhang Ziyi battle for the Green Destiny above them. Dodging the fighters proves to not be that hard, and they eventually make it up the 11 stories of the building. They're then told to take the Star Ferry across to Hong Kong Island and find the old police headquarters.

About this time Eric & Danielle's plane has landed, with Danielle vowing that there will be no more Miss Nice Bimbo, seeing as how that's gotten them screwed so far. It's hard to argue with that logic, but one wonders if they'll even get the opportunity to act on it.

Charla & Mirna have now reached the kung-fu Detour, with Mirna using her ever popular "you can't do this" method of motivation for Charla. Why she doesn't punch her in the face is beyond me. Mirna's hamming for the camera reaches new ridiculous heights, both literally and figuratively, with her at one point "waving" to Hong Kong and professing her love for it. Of course, there's no one there and she's just looking out onto a parking lot, but let's not anger her,okay? A woman this self-absorbed and deluded could be dangerous. In a post-race interview, Mirna says that Charla is on the race to break down people's expectations of her, which apparently includes her own team member.

As Dustin & Kandice disembark from the ferry to Hong Kong Island, it appears that Charla & Mirna are just boarding their ferry – however, they find out that their taxi driver actually took them all the way to Hong Kong Island, and they're headed back to the mainland. Karma laughs and laughs and laughs at you two. They're forced to take the ferry all the way across and back, shedding valuable time to Eric & Danielle, who are closing in on the kung fu Detour.

Dustin & Kandice have now reached the old police station and are confronted by the Roadblock. It's another fun one, where they'll have to kick down stunt doors to find a clue in one of the rooms of the station. Kandice gets the call for her team, and proceeds with gusto.

About this time, Oswald & Danny have reached the jockey club, after spending their last dollar on tolls. They've won the leg, and are also in possession of the winning gnome, which gives them a trip back to Hong Kong.

Kandice is rather quick to find her clue in the police station, which gives them one more task to do. They need to go to Victoria Park and pull a small model junk across a pond, which carries a Travelocity gnome, without it tipping over. Although it's slow going, Dustin is quite good at this and they get their last clue of the day, sending them to the Pit Stop at the Jockey Club.

Charla gets the nod for her team for the Roadblock, which seems crazy until you realize that Mirna probably couldn't kick over a tower of plastic cups. Charla's having trouble finding a clue, leading the possibility that Eric & Danielle might catch up, especially after they make short work of the Detour. Second place is definitely lost to them, with Dustin & Kandice coming in to claim it. Finally, Charla finds a clue, and they're on the way to Victoria Park.

After making Danielle take a bunch of hard physical Roadblocks, Eric finally mans up and takes this one, finding a clue after not too long a search. There's no way that Charla could have taken the clue that Eric finds, though, seeing as it was above a door, so who knows if Charla actually was in that room or not.

Charla & Mirna are caught in a traffic jam, which initially looks like it might help Eric & Danielle, but of course, this means that they'll be caught in it as well, since they're going to the same spot. Charla handles the junk towing duty, getting it across without spilling it, and they're on the way to the Jockey Club. Eric does the same for his team, and it's now a race to see who can get least lost. Eric decides not to hire a taxi, much to the consternation of Danielle, who gets an excellent "told you so" moment when they go in a circle.

Charla & Mirna hold on to enough of their lead to come in for third, leading to the big question of whether Eric & Danielle get to stay in the race or not. Luckily for their sake, it's a non-elimination leg, and they're still in, to go at each other's throats for one more week, although they now have that half-hour penalty on their heads.