The Amazing Race 13, Episode 6
Please Hold Me While I Singe My Skull
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
November 2, 2008

Whenever you see Phil, you know it's been a crappy non-elimination round.

Previously on the Amazing Race, a team lost by what seemed like three weeks. Suffice it to say that the drama was...muted. The developing stories we're tracking this week are witchy Tina's path to redemption, Nick's path to villainy, Terence & Sarah's 30-minute time penalty, and Reagen Sulewski's weekend wedding to a woman approximately half his size (i.e. of normal height). Seriously, Reagen got married yesterday, so drop him a line of congratulations.

Nick & Starr are first off, and their clue tells them to head to Delhi, India. Once they land, they must go to Moonlight Motors, where they will find their next clue and presumably a 1920s baseball player who looks a lot like Burt Lancaster. Toni & Dallas, the mother/son team, are only 12 minutes behind the brother/sister. Dallas, apparently not finding travel with his mother to be awkward enough, mentions his frustration at being able to get Starr alone. His mom and her brother are totally cock-blocking him.

Ken & Tina are third to depart, and are only about 20 minutes behind Toni & Dallas. Kelly & Christy are just six minutes behind them. Christy takes this opportunity to let her ex-husband know how miserable she was with him, blithely stating that she has more fun with Kelly than she had with him. Adding a whole bunch more salt to that wound, she says she wouldn't even be on the Amazing Race if not for her divorce. Somehow we get the feeling he's not exactly torn up about it, either. The real loser in all this is Kelly, because she had to sub in for the ex-husband. No, wait. The real loser is us, for having to watch this vapid, sadistic caricature. We bet she runs for Vice President someday.

Posted without comment: "India's big, man." --Dallas

Despite their 30 minute penalty, Terence & Sarah are only 43 minutes behind the first place team. The frat boys, Andrew & Dan, are an hour and seven minutes behind. This is going be a very different episode than last week, as all six teams are spaced within 70 minutes of one another and a small slip-up can spell for disaster. As a reminder, the gap between first and last in the previous episode was over nine hours.

Also posted without comment: "My mom's the worst wingman ever." --Dallas, again

The early part of the episode features several moments with Ken & Tina during the downtime in the race. While there is nothing explicitly stated, we get the vibe that they have had the type of knock-down, drag-out fight generally reserved for Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown. Tina had made a mistake at the end of last leg that cost her team a bit of time, but she had taken accountability for it in a respectable fashion that should have been the end of it. We get the notion that Ken did not let it go. She has the type of look that you usually see on the faces of kids who didn't get the present they wanted early on Christmas morning - but with 30 years of plastic surgery added.

All six teams get on the same flight, meaning we'll have a clean reboot with the Delhi leg. All Team Superbad has to do is not choke and they'll be fine. We're laying 1 to 3 odds that they choke.

Now it's time for one of the guarantees of every season of Amazing Race - the Ugly Americans Look Down on All Things India. You know, people, just because we don't have cows on the street here doesn't make India anything more than a different cultural standard.

Ken & Tina's relationship moves up to Defcon 3 as Ken takes time to point out just how she thinks she's always right about everything. It's a snide, dehumanizing remark that actually makes us take Tina's side - no small accomplishment.

Nick & Starr are first to arrive at Moonlight Motors and the Roadblock, where they have to paint a rickshaw. We think the India Tourism Board has demanded that the show make up for past atrocities by advertising that India's cab rickshaws are now environmentally friendly. Teams must paint them green. As was the case last week, this feels like pure busywork. Amazing Race is lacking imagination this season.

While the majority of teams are at the Roadblock, Ken & Tina and Terence & Sarah seem to be lost. What this means is that we get to hear Tina repeatedly say Moon. Light. Motors. in the most shrill voice imaginable. Please, please, make the bad pain go away. We're starting to see Ken's point. If we were spies, we'd be swallowing the cyanide pill. This is why you should never pick up a potential mate at the Playboy mansion. "How did everybody get here but us? That's amazing," Tina says. It's not that they're amazing. You just suck.

Driving home their current state of emotion, Ken notes, "We said that after this race we were going to make a decision either for or against this relationship. It's not going well right now."

Terence & Sarah aren't exactly getting along famously themselves. Terence (correctly) points out that Sarah is not following all the rules. Sarah immediately chastises him because she believes Terence's comments are tantamount to treason. He agrees to her wishes, but we would have given him more credit if he'd said, "Out of the teams currently doing the worst in this challenge, I'm proudest of you."

Tina & Ken or Terence & Sarah fighting is hardly shocking. Team Superbad being the first team out of the Roadblock, on the other hand, borders on Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson. Of course, they can't find a taxi, which allows Nick & Starr to get ahead of them. That's more like it. We were freaking out for a second. Toni & Dallas also get out ahead of them. Ken & Tina get their cab about the same time that the frat boys are able to finally find one.

This leaves Terence & Sarah and Kelly & Christy at the Roadblock, and it's not going particularly well for either of them. Sarah is out of paint, which allows Kelly & Christy to finish the task ahead of them. For all of Sarah's griping, Terence has been right in his criticisms of her work all along. It's the old question of "do you want the job done fast or do you want it done right?" Since this is some sort of race, she has chosen poorly.

Nick & Starr finally arrive at the next clue, which is given to them by a man with a spectacular mustache. The Detour has them choosing between laundering money or laundering clothes. To launder money, they must create an Indian necklace with ten rupee notes that must add up to the sum of 780. This takes us back to the time when BOP was hosted by a company in India, and we had to make all of our payments in rupees. 5000 rupees isn't as much as you think it is. In the clothes laundering task, the teams have to use a fire-powered iron to press 20 irons of clothing to the satisfaction of a woman who must be some sort of laundry queen.

While other teams are arriving at the clue mustache man for the detour, Ken & Tina are finding that their taxi driver doesn't know where their destination is. They eventually decide to switch cabs so that they can find someone who knows where the Ambassador Hotel is. As they make the switch to the new cab, Ken shakes the former driver's hand and smiles warmly. We think for a brief moment that he is going to be classy. But then, when the man asks for his 200 rupee fare, Ken morphs into the dreaded Ugly American and snidely says, "You might have just cost me a million, you know that?" In case you were wondering (and we were), 200 rupees is the equivalent of $4.03. If you ever want to know when the moment was that we turned on Ken & Tina, this is it. What an embarrassing moment this is for the show.

All of the teams arrive at the clue man ahead of Ken & Tina, but lots of them are lost after getting their instructions to the Detour. Kelly & Christy somehow manage to pull ahead to second place as they join Nick & Starr at the ironing task. Toni & Dallas come in next, and Dallas is actually pretty perceptive and watches the local workers as they do the same job. This is in stark contrast to the other teams, whose main strategy is to bitch. India always brings out the worst in Amazing Race contestants.

While the frat boys choose the ironing, Terence & Sarah arrive at a very noisy location where they are to perform the necklace task. Ken & Tina are close behind them. It's a race between the two teams to get change for their bills so that they have the correct configuration for the required rupee amount.

Nick & Starr are the first team to finish the ironing, and are instructed to go to Baha'i House, where they'll check in for the Pitstop. They have to navigate a maze of streets to get there, though, so it could potentially get exciting considering that there are so many groups bunched up in this leg. The streets are no trouble for Nick & Starr, however. They arrive at the Pitstop in first place, and each of them are awarded an electric car. Ed Begley Jr. must be so pleased.

We keep wanting to be snide about Nick & Starr, but they're strong competitors who never seem to fight and genuinely like each other. They're what the show is really all about. Sure, Nick lies to other teams now and again, but it didn't bother us when Rob & Amber did it. Why would we change our minds now?

Kelly & Christy are great ironers (especially compared to Team Superbad, who are having all kinds of trouble). They finish in a fantastic second place. Toni & Dallas are out third and on their way to the Pitstop.

There are three simultaneous meltdowns. Ken & Tina and Terence & Sarah have to walk into the middle of what appears to be a mosh pit in order to find a groom at a wedding celebration. All four of them start looking claustrophobic. But the worst reactions are reserved for Team Superbad, whose lack of ironing skills make us wonder what they were thinking by choosing this task. The woman in charge keeps rejecting their efforts and shooting them the evil eye for their incompetence. When a gust of wind blows off some of their clothes (the assigned ones, not like a Marilyn Monroe thing), they briefly quit the assignment. The reality is that these two are the worst competitors remaining and equally deserve and need to be eliminated.

Back from the commercial break, we learn that the grooms that our teams are searching for are on thrones. We're not even kidding. These are the only men in the room sitting in giant, red thrones, yet none of the four people looking for them thinks that this is a distinguishing characteristic. Strike what we said about the frat boys. All of these teams equally deserve and need to be eliminated.

As expected, Toni & Dallas arrive in third place, while Terence & Sarah manage to find a taxi. They're stunned to learn that they came in fourth. Ken & Tina struggle to find a taxi, while Team Superbad has finally finished the ironing task. Assuming the editors aren't playing fast and loose, it's a race to the finish.

That's bad news for Ken & Tina, as their taxi driver gets lost. Again. We thought their conduct was inexcusable earlier this leg, but they've also had godawful taxi luck today. They should have brought their own GPS. As their taxi driver pulls over, Ken & Tina have a meltdown over her wanting her bag and him wanting her to get in the taxi. No other context is given for this conversation and we have to be honest that we spent far too much time debating what this was about without coming to any reasonable conclusion. They just looked like two people on the street fighting.

The real shock comes moments later when Andrew & Dan arrive at the Pitstop in fifth place. Given that Ken & Tina had left right after the fourth place finishers, we have no real understanding of how they could wind up so far behind Andrew & Dan. The good news for Ken & Tina is that when they do reach the mat, Phil reveals that this is a dreaded (for us) non-elimination leg, making this entire episode an hour of filler. Dear Amazing Race: Please eliminate non-elimination rounds. There's a reason the NFL doesn't have them.

BOP is doing a link exchange with our good friends at Buddy TV this season. For more The Amazing Race info, visit their site.