It's pretty amusing to me that the cowboys were spared elimination at a pitstop in the Indian Ocean. That's the good news. I guess "indians" aren't all bad for cowboys, despite what our childhood games may tell us.
The Amazing Race Recap
You're Like Jason Bourne, Right?
By Daron Aldridge
April 6, 2010
The not-so-good news is that Jet and Cord will have to face a Speed Bump. After the abysmal performance last week with two time-wasting errors, they need to just thank their "oh my gravy" they are still in the race. They need to truly cowboy up this leg. That will be my last cowboy pun for this week.
After being reminded that 7Up gave Coach Steve and daughter Allie a prize for first place, we pick up with them leaving first for Penang, Malaysia and the ominous sounding Snake Temple. Since the Seychelles are remote, all the teams will be on the ferry together, which leaves at 2 a.m., AND the same flight to Penang. That's bummer for Steve and Allie but quite fortuitous for Jet and Cord. As long as the Speed Bump doesn't bring them to a screeching halt, the cowboys are at least somewhat level at this point. So let's not worry about the order they leave in because it is irrelevant.
Oh yeah, we are reminded that the last absent-minded leg also resulted in Steve and Allie leaving their backpacks at the Detour. They are left with a pouch with their money and travel documents and the clothes on their back. It's a good thing that Malaysia is sweltering hot. At least, they score some plastic bags from the hotel to carry whatever they scrounge up.
During the downtime hanging out at the dock, Team Super Fuzz say they like the Pride of South Carolina because they are good kids and apparently, as we learned on the mat last week, they share a hatred for lesbians Carol and Brandy, specifically Carol. Both are on a mission of U-Turning Carol and Brandy if given the chance. At least Michael admits they only have a problem with the girls because he views them as a big threat on the race.
Caite even dubs Michael and Louie "The Daddies". I am not sure what to make of this new nickname. Regardless of that, Caite resurrects her fabulously sparkly headband. This headband is her homage to Olivia Newton-John, Sonya from Mortal Kombat or American Gladiator's Lace. You decide, but I am going with Olivia.
Out of generosity comes one of the most unsettling acts ever on the Amazing Race. Knowing their clothes deficiency, Michael offers Steve items, including UNDERWEAR. To quote Seinfeld, "Your boys should stay in their neighborhood." Aside from this unsettling imagery, Steve gives us what would be a much better episode title, "Hard man to fill his pants but I'll do the best I can." By sidestepping this one and Michael's previous one about spotting crack in someone's butt, the producers are letting down my juvenile side.
After a 21-hour flight, the teams land and dash to the taxis with only a few minutes separating them. Dan and Jordan win the taxi lottery as their driver has no problem with ignoring speed limits and traffic laws. He zooms past all the teams and puts the brothers in first. As expected, the clue box is covered in snakes at the Snake Temple. At this point, I would be hanging out there until either all the snakes left or a kindly local came by that was willing to retrieve the clue. I do not do snakes...at all...ever. In fact, it's ooging me out just thinking about them.
The clue points them to the Detour: Buddhist Tradition or Chinese Custom. For Buddhist Tradition, they have to go to another temple and carry 12 incense poles that are six, eight and ten feet tall up 150-plus steps and then light them. In Chinese Custom, teams have to balance a 32 foot pole on their forehead and walk it 120 feet across a park. For my money, both tasks seem difficult but I would go with the one that is just endurance. Powering through a challenge is preferable over having to test my balance that may never work out.
I am a bit frightened that I think like all these knucklehead teams, as everyone is going for Buddhist, except Jet and Cord, who are heading to Chinese. This separation from the pack is probably the make or break decision for the cowboys.
En route to the next temple, Michael and Louie's cab driver must be related to the one that Dan and Jordan let get away because he is whipping past all the other teams. This aggressive driving elicits a "You're like Jason Bourne, right?" from Michael. Aside from the scene of him driving a MINI Cooper, I don't immediately associate driving with Jason Bourne. Regardless, the producers go with this non sequitur as the title.
A lead foot is not all you need because Carol and Brandy's driver takes a different route and gets them to the Detour first, but South Carolina shows up just a few minutes later. Cut to a traffic jam that has Super Fuzz, the brothers and Steve and Allie all stopped within feet of each other.
To keep the momentum going and at the advice of their cabbie that says the temple is only five minutes up the road, Steve and Allie and Dan and Jordan all leave their cars and hoof it to the Detour, or so they think.
Jet and Cord get to the Chinese Custom task and are bit rattled by the challenge, as well as the fact that they are the only ones to choose it. It's no secret these guys are my favorite team but this does not look good for them.
Cord gets the quick demo on how to balance it and then sprints across the field on the first try. Jet needs a couple of attempts but finishes it with relative ease. I stand corrected that this could be their downfall. These guys handled the Detour in a brisk fashion and none of the other teams are even close to being halfway through their tasks. In fact, three teams (two by foot and one by car) are still trying to get there but Michael and Louie get through traffic and accelerate away from the foolish walkers. As the detectives hit the Detour, Brent and Caite and Carol and Brandy are still sweating it out.
The cowboys finally get what they have been dreading – a Speed Bump. It is waiting for them at the Roadblock task but they appear to have enough of a lead to keep them from being eliminated this leg. They have to head to the Tropical Spice Garden, find a lady crushing spices, smell said spices and identify the correct tea made from those spices. Finally, they must take it to a guru on a swing for him to confirm that is the right one. While it seems convoluted, the spice garden is not far from the Roadblock.
Cut back to the temple and the challenge has turned into an anti-smoking PSA with Louie clearly hacking up a lung thanks to years of smoking. I hope it's a result of smoking because if not, Louie really needs to see a pulmonologist at the end of the race. Michael has effectively caught them up with the others.
Jet and Cord strike out on the first attempt with the guru but judging by the rousing western soundtrack, they get it right on try number two. Once they get back to the Roadblock, the cowboys will be back on the same path as the others.
Where in Malaysia are Steve and Allie and Dan and Jordan? Based on the scenery, the answer is nowhere near the Buddhist temple. In fact, they have all four effectively jogged to the wrong temple. At least for Steve and Allie's sake their cab is waiting for them, but the driver hasn't a clue where he is going. Dad and daughter change tasks because the driver says he knows where the other one is. The brothers are not as lucky, as they have to flag a cab down.
Jet and Cord get back to the Roadblock and are in disbelief the others still haven't shown up. Jet comes forward to the do the Roadblock, which requires him to smash through a pile of coconuts to find one that is brightly colored inside. Then, he has to use the coconut and some floral decorations to make a good luck offering that is sent to sea. Jet gets to cracking.
As Dan and Jordan arrive, Brent and Caite finish their Detour first but their cabbie is not instilling much confidence in them as he waffles back and forth with "I know" and "I don't know" how to get to the Roadblock. Brandy and Carol aren't far behind.
Steve and Allie show up finally to at least one of the tasks but quickly bail on the balancing act without giving it much effort. At this point, with them switching back to the other task, Steve and Allie are securely in last place. Short of a team passing out due to heat exhaustion, the writing is on the wall for them.
Jet finds one of the marked coconuts and begins arts and crafts time. South Carolina's navigationally challenged cabbie takes them to a house and not the temple they need. As Michael said earlier in this leg, "one bad cab can cost you a million dollars." This is such a true statement. You can ace all the tasks but if you get the worst taxi driver this side of Travis Bickle, then you are doomed.
The cowboys are off to the pitstop with whole lot of hustle. Carol and Brandy show up at the Roadblock just in time to see the cowboys peel out onto the road. Carol gets through smashing the coconuts fairly quickly and starts to build her offering. Louie, on the other hand, gets lucky and finds one of the right coconuts on his second throw.
Team South Carolina has fallen from second place to fourth place, with Caite getting physical with the coconuts. Jet and Cord cruise into the pitstop and Phil happily tells them that not only are they team number one but also the first team EVER to go from last place in a non-elimination leg to first place even with having to complete a Speed Bump. The boys have turned their frowns from the last leg upside down. The smiles are deserved with the two of them running an effective leg this episode.
Dan and Jordan are lighting their incense and Steve and Allie are trailing significantly but still keeping positive and supportive with each other, which is always nice to see on the race.
Carol and Louie finish the Roadblock and head to Phil. Not terribly far behind is Caite, who for some unknown reason gets some Chariots of Fire-esque music accompanying her bringing the offering to the sea. May be the headband is disorienting the editors too.
Carol and Brandy are team number two and Michael and Louie are team number three. Cabbie blues still afflict the brothers and Steve and Allie, with the former team's driver stopping for gas on the way to the Roadblock and the latter team's having difficulty reaching his destination when he hasn't an inkling of where to go.
The brothers arrive at the Roadblock first, which isn't surprising, and Jordan finds the coconut. After mistakenly just taking the coconut alone as the offering, he reads the clue again and builds it correctly. Allie steps up to let out her frustration on the coconuts and starts smashing.
Brent and Caite meet up with Phil as team number four and clearly are disappointed in that showing. For once, I don't blame them for this misfortune. This was entirely a cab-plagued leg for many teams.
Despite the attempts at manufactured suspense, we know that Dan and Jordan are number five and Steve and Allie are last. Sadly, the father and daughter are eliminated from the race only one leg after their backpacks are eliminated.
With the start of the MLB season happening on another channel, it's eerie that Phillies coach Steve is eliminated from the race on the same day. He does offer probably the highest compliment possible to Allie by saying that running the race with her has surpassed even being part of a World Series winning team.
I am sorry to see a nice team leave, especially when there are some not-so-nice teams (South Carolina and lesbians) still in contention, which brings us to next week, when said teams unleash the contempt for one another for the entire world to see. I can't wait to see what petty and overblown situation leads to this conflict.