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Amazing Race Recap
Rooting Around in People's Mouths Could Be Unpleasant
By David Mumpower and Kim Hollis
April 12, 2009
Previously on the Amazing Race, some country music awards show was on. God bless those hillbillies in their cowboy hats. And congratulations to Rascal Flatts!
Also, some short, angry men were penalized for trying to be jerks to other contestants, a rule that Boston Rob is glad wasn't enforced prior to this season. The biggest story, though, was not the elimination of Mel & Mike , but instead the fact that Luke's mother, Margie, suffered heat stroke and collapsed at the finish line. This is one of the scariest moments in the show's history to the point that even we won't joke about it. The preview for tonight's show promises more passport-losing goodness, and we are always all about that.
We start tonight's leg in Phuket, Thailand, which is sadly not pronounced like you might hope. Hey, we passed on making a Margie joke, but you have to give us some low-hanging fruit. The order for departure for this leg is Tammy & Victor at 9:27 p.m., Jaime & Cara at 12:30 a.m (that's right, Tammy & Victor have a three hour lead), Mark & Michael at 12:46 a.m., Margie & Luke at 12:53 a.m. and Kisha & Jen at 1:05 a.m. It would be grossly unfair if there were to be bunching this leg, but that's what we're expecting to happen.
The first bit of drama occurs when the cheerleaders grow suspicious about whether someone claiming to be a taxi driver is legitimate. Their cause for suspicion? He is driving a BMW. On the racism scale, that's about a Mark Fuhrman. Maybe even a David Duke. We should specify that Jaime is the one who loses her freaking mind at the drop of a hat. Her friend Cara generally seems every bit as mortified by her behavior as we do. We're just lucky enough to not have to be trapped in a car with her on a frequent basis. Not content to just demean the taxi driver, Jaime also berates a couple of law enforcement officials for not validating her xenophobia quickly enough. She's singlehandedly ruining North America's cheerleader fantasies.
Tammy & Victor race to the airport, but are informed that they will not be able to buy tickets to Bangkok until 6 a.m. when the ticketing center at the airport opens This means, of course, that all of the teams are bunched onto the same flight. The team that should have been in first place by three hours is rewarded with the rare opportunity to race to the airport, then wait there for nine hours. They like it better when first place comes with a trip for two to Hawaii.
Once the teams arrive in Bangkok, a bit of gamesmanship occurs as Margie & Luke and Kisha & Jen's cab drivers stop to get directions. Margie & Luke instruct their driver not to help the other one, and in fact, it appears that he might even have given the guy the wrong directions. Kisha & Jen certainly believe, so, anyway.
The Roadblock asks teams to put a propeller on a boat popularly used for transport in Bangkok, then to climb aboard for a trip across the canals. Margie is finished with the task before any of the other teams can even get started. As far as the other teams go, there seems to be some confusion about whether they should go back for their bags that are on the docks. We suspect this is going to be pretty important at some point down the line, as a few of the teams make the specific effort to turn around and grab their bags. In fact, only Mark & Michael and Kisha & Jen choose not to return for their bags. The only person that has any real trouble with the challenge is Victor, who thinks he has completed putting his propeller together. The judge tells him it's good to go, but then it doesn't prove to be seaworthy and he has to go back and try again.
We arrive at the Detour, and it's a great one. The teams have a choice between either finishing more quickly and having to do the disgusting task of rooting around in people's mouths (ergo the title) to find dentures that match them, or hopping in a party taxi and singing karaoke. The one is obviously disgusting, while the other seems like the experience of a lifetime but could be problematic due to the fact that traffic is unpredictable.
The earlier discussion about returning for bags proves to be every bit as important as expected. With three of the teams in possession of important stuff like, say, money and passports, Kisha & Jen and Mark & Michael are both freaking out about the proper time to retrieve their stuff. There is open warfare between the brothers, as one doesn't want to track down a taxi driver because they don't have enough money to pay him, and the other one doesn't want to take up permanent residence in Thailand. The sisters are having almost exactly the same argument, actually.
Jen wonders a few things about their karaoke cab experience. "My first question was, 'Are those transvestites?' My next question was, 'Why do they wear so much makeup?' Third question was, 'Why are we in a party taxi with three transvestites?' Hey, I had a good time with it." Punctuating this, even super bitch Jaime gets a contact high from the experience. Apparently, if she'd had singing transvestite buddies the whole time, she would have been just fine.
Interrupting the singing and dancing portion of the show are Luke & Margie, who instantly complete the dental challenge and destroy this leg as much as possible. They easily check in first at the Pit Stop and probably would have done so if they'd gone ahead and done the karaoke leg just for funsies. They win a trip to Puerto Rico, which does look pretty sweet.
Jaime & Cara check in second, while Kisha & Jen decide to go ahead and go to the Pit Stop without their bags. We have no idea what they're thinking, and they get in a sprint with Victor & Tammy for third place. Sure enough, Phil informs them that one of the basic rules of this game is that you need passports and travel documents at the end of each leg. Until they get them, they cannot be checked in. This puts Victor & Tammy in third place and means that one of the sibling duos is going to finish in last place due to an entirely avoidable mistake.
We're astounded when the brothers choose to do the significantly slower Detour option while staring in the face of elimination. Just an hour or two after one brother berates the other for de-prioritizing winning, they both choose to do something fun instead of taking the faster approach. This has been a constant issue for Mark & Michael, though. They've never been particularly good at choosing the right Detour at the right time. Somehow, they've run out of cash to pay for their cabs, and barter their own possessions with two different cab drivers in order to keep moving forward.
What this means is that Mark & Michael are next to arrive at the Pit Stop. However, they are informed that they have incurred four hours worth of penalties due to the fact that they used their own stuff to cash out with the cabbies. They have actually received two penalties since they did this twice, at two hours per transgression. With four hours in time out, there is no chance for them. Some 45 minutes later, Kisha & Jen arrive, convinced that they are the last team and about to be eliminated. Apparently, they think that Mark & Michael are sitting out there in the field, enjoying the day. When Phil informs them that they've been given a lifeline, their relief is palpable.
As for Mark & Michael, they're told that this is a non-elimination leg. The tough luck for them is that not only do they have to deal with the Speed Bump in the next leg, but they'll also get the 3:10 remaining out of their penalty added to their start time. Honestly, they're the worst team still in the competition by far. They need to go home and put us out of our misery.