The Amazing Race Season 22 Recap: Episode 4
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
March 11, 2013

Does the clue say anything about making the worst mistake in the history of the show?

Previously on The Amazing Race, a cancer survivor managed to suffer the worst injury in the history of the show. Father Dave underwent a medical exam that revealed he had ruptured his Achilles tendon in addition to damaging some muscle around it. This injury is so severe that any athlete who suffered it would be out for the season. Alas, there is no Disabled List on The Amazing Race.

The father/son tandem refused to quit and through a series of manipulative and sympathetic play along with an Express Pass, they managed to finish first in the leg. Their reward for their effort? A trip to Bangkok and a revelation that this is a two-part leg. So the gentlemen will have to perform another three-legged race or resign. Also, judging from their luck thus far, we presume they will suffer some sort of previously unknown super STD in Bangkok. Seriously, life owes these guys a hug.

Here are the other things we’ve learned about this season: Jessica & John are jerks, Team YouTube’s videos are unwatchable, and most of the other players are utterly devoid of personality. The only person who seems to be actively trying is Chuck (but not Wynona), and most of the well-intended tactics he has employed have backfired. The “amazing” in The Amazing Race needs air quotes so far this season.

Phil hands Dave & Connor their next clue, which tells them they’ll be heading off to Bali, Indonesia. Is it too soon to make a tsunami joke? Because that’s the type of luck they have. To his credit, Dave does say that he plans to continue on in the race.

Next off the temporary mat are Jessica & John, who want to stress how strategically they’re playing. That’s reality show code for “being selfish pricks.” We could these comments happened in Bali, because as they’re shown running away from Phil, Jessica is wearing a stocking cap and saying it’s freezing. During the confessional, they look like they’re dressed for a luau.

Bates & Anthony and Pam & Winnie arrive to get their clue from Phil at the same time. We’re not sure when the hockey players dumped the country girls. But if you can’t be with the one you love on a trip to Bali, love the one you’re with. Joey & Meghan will…probably not follow this doctrine, but anything that keeps them off of YouTube for a few days is a win for society.

The country music bluebloods, Caroline & Jennifer, are currently in sixth place. You know what Daniel Boone and John Wayne were famous for? Finishing sixth.

The bottom three are Mona & Beth, Max & Katie and far behind, Chuck & Wynona. The married couple is the only ones who are relieved to hear that the race continues. If you’re keeping score at home, it only took 3.1 episodes for a team to avoid elimination. The good news for us is that we may be looking at a historic elimination tonight. We haven’t recapped one of these since Season 18!

Max & Katie win the prize for being forward thinking this week, as they immediately go into the lodge near the Pitstop to contact a travel agency and make prearrangements for the fastest trip to Bali. Alas, they learn that the travel agent is 76 kilometers away and requires them to pick up the tickets in person, which does not seem very 2013 of them. All kidding aside, isn’t it about time for The Amazing Race contestants to get iPads?

Pam & Winnie are luckier, as they discover the same flight arriving at 8:30 and book it online. All of the rest of the contestants are confused by the arcane rules in place at the airport. All of the ticket desk employees refer them to travel agencies. Apparently, one is right by the airport, so it appears everyone will be congregating there. The good news for Max & Katie is that since they called ahead, their tickets are waiting for them and they’re out the door in just a moment.

The three-team alliance is discussed once again. The participants are John & Jessica, Team YouTube, and the Sock’er Moms. We’re not completely clear on how the roller derby women fit in. We presume it has to be something maternal since the other four players are so young. Whatever the reason, we’re looking forward to that ruthless moment when John & Jessica betray their mother figures.

Four teams attain an advantage by getting on the first flight, which will arrive in Bali at 8:35 a.m. This grouping includes Max & Katie, Dave & Connor, Caroline & Jennifer and Pam & Winnie. It would be a shock if any of these four teams is eliminated tonight, unless Dave has to quit for medical reasons.

The second group will be arriving at 12:05 p.m. Mona & Beth, Bates & Anthony and Chuck & Wynona are in the mix here. The final quartet will also be in Bali at 12:05 via a different route, and these four players are Joey & Meghan and Jessica & John. These two sets of teams will be hoping for no setbacks with regards to layovers. The quartet believes that they have gained a competitive advantage during the layover as they discover a flight that should arrive at 10:35. Basically, it took them less than one segment to stab the Sock’er Mom friends in the back.

We briefly detour into a Jackie Chan movie, as the contestants are required to visit the Sacred Monkey Forest. They are instructed to choose a coconut and give it to a monkey, who will show them their next clue.

Caroline & Jennifer’s taxi driver gives them each a flower to put in their hair. They “reward” him with an Amazing Race song that lasts 40 seconds that somehow seem like forever. He gives them a thumbs up, which is probably something no critic had ever done before. Seriously, if they try to pay for their cab fare with their singing, they’re going to get dumped on the side of the road a lot.

All of the players are impressed by the monkeys. The edits reveal the giant teeth the monkeys possess. We quickly realize that if Dave collapses, his Amazing Race journey will come to a horrifying end. You know what’s better than fruit? Meat!

The first team to successfully retrieve a clue from the monkeys is Dave & Connor. Apparently, the monkeys don’t just hand them their clues good-naturedly (who knew?). We question the training in the Sacred Monkey Forest. Instead, the monkeys must eat the coconut first, allowing the clue to drop out.

What does that clue reveal? A Detour, which allows them to choose between Sandy Bottom and Fruity Top. For Sandy Bottom, they have to fill a container with sand from a river, put it on their head, and then carry it up to a brick maker. Once they’ve filled their container to a designated level, they will receive their next clue. Fruity Top requires teams to prepare an elaborate religious offering made of fruit, which looks complicated but doesn’t require a lot of physical exertion.

All of the first seven teams choose to do Fruity Top. Dave & Connor don’t really have a choice, but we presume the other three go with it because it requires a lot less exhausting effort.

Pam & Winnie and Dave & Connor are the first ones to complete their offering, and the girls are the first ones to join the religious procession, which has a woman carrying the offering on her head. Pam & Winnie’s ceremony finishes first, which means they are awarded a clue that sends them to Uluwatu Surf Beach in search of their next clue.

Meanwhile, John & Jessica make the dumbest mistake of the episode thus far. They arrive at the house where they think they’ll build their offering, and see what they think are examples of what should build. The problem is that they are not in the right place, and the person they are talking to has no idea who they are or why they are there. He also doesn’t speak English so he can’t relay this information. He’s just a guy making a diorama when these pushy but energetic Americans show up and start helping.

The best part is that he starts to play along with them, helping them with their “offering” – even sticking a piece of peppermint candy in the middle - and then dressing them up to take it on its trip to the ceremony. When they ask a translator to ask the man if any other players have been there before them, they learn that none have, but there seem to have been several people down the road at a different ceremonial offering building place.

“Oh my gosh. We just made something at someone else’s house!” Jessica says.

When they finally reach the correct location, they see their allies. Oddly, they do not relay the story of their adventure. We strongly suspect that the other players are learning about this for the first time as the episode airs tonight. Chagrined, John tells Jessica that they need to get their game faces on. They have a hand signal for just such a moment. You will be thrilled to know that we have just made the same signal to each other to focus ourselves for the rest of this recap. We shamefully admit that up to now we have been typing this on someone else’s computer and would have posted it to another website.

The hockey dudes deviate from everyone else because they have gotten lost, and when they arrive at the Sacred Monkey Forest, an evil little dude runs away with their coconut and takes it to an area where they cannot see it. They’re well behind at the moment, but their fortunes may change because…

Mona & Beth have elected to do Sandy Bottom, which instantly seems like an overly taxing challenge. While going down the steps, one of them falls. They figure that since the women in the river are making it look easy, they should be able to breeze through the task with no problem at all.

“This is a detail-oriented task that definitely plays to my strengths of being anal-retentive,” says the guy who just built a fake peppermint offering at some dude’s house.

By the time the hockey players get their clue from their monkey, they are forced to decide which task they will perform based on whether their taxi driver knows the location. Thus, they choose Fruity Top, which may play in their favor if the Sock’er Moms struggle with the Sandy Bottom task.

Over at Uluwatu Surf Beach, Pam & Winnie and Dave & Connor have separated themselves from the path. The Road Block has them searching through a lot of surfboards to find one with a picture of something they’ve encountered along the race. Max & Katie arrive soon after.

John & Jessica are struggling with the “real” offering. Despite being “detail-oriented”, their fruit is positioned all wrong and Jessica feels like they need to start all over. This creates an opening for Bates & Anthony, who are past their monkey troubles and just now arriving at the Detour location.

On the beach, Winnie is unable to find Phil. She offers to cut a deal with Connor and show him the right board if he’ll allow her to finish first, but he declines. While trying to figure out where Phil is, he sees her board and is able to deduce which one is correct. This is brilliant play on Connor’s part, and Max also locates the clue shortly afterward. Connor grabs his dad and they head off to the Pitstop together. Once again, they arrive in first place, which is “nothing short of remarkable,” as Phil says. For their trouble, they are awarded $5,000 apiece, an amount that might cover one-fifth of the price of the Achilles surgery Dave requires.

Second place goes to Pam & Winnie, who just couldn’t locate Phil. Pam’s happy about the result, but Winnie is furious because she knows she just threw away whatever tonight’s prize was. Right behind them are Max & Katie, who miraculously managed not to be bitchy tonight.

While John & Jessica continue to struggle at the Detour, Team YouTube has finished the task and will be moving ahead. If John & Jessica would just look at the women watching them, they’d know that they’re going about it all wrong. They discuss using the Express Pass, but John says no. Seriously, the monkeys from Sacred Monkey Forest would do a better job at this than these two.

Ultimately, rather than use the Express Pass, they decide to switch tasks. Jessica once again asks him if they should turn in the pass, but John is certain that he is better than everyone else here. Eventually, he decides that if they show up and the derby girls are still at the task, they’ll make a decision on what to do.

As for the derby girls, we haven’t seen much of them tonight, but the task is clearly arduous. It’s taken them about three passes to fill up their container, and they are also exhausted. They leave before John & Jessica arrive.

Caroline & Jennifer have arrived at the Pitstop mat with their surfboard, but it’s the wrong one. She thinks that they have encountered “surfers” and “Bali”, which is technically correct, but common sense should tell her it’s too easy. This should have allowed Team YouTube to catch up to them, but they have gone to the wrong beach. We briefly hope that they’ll start working on someone else’s sand castle, but no such luck.

This gives Chuck an opening to get in front of the youngsters, and he’s headed out to examine the surfboards. Caroline decides that she’ll just pick any random board and she and Jennifer trudge back over to the mat where Phil is standing. Miraculously, it’s the correct one, so they are in fact team number four.

When John & Jessica arrive at the Sandy Bottom task, they fail to appreciate what finishing in last place in the Amazing Race indicates. John simply thinks this challenge is a dream come true relative to the other one. He would be correct if they hadn’t already wasted several hours crafting someone’s living room adornment, followed by failing to correctly recreate an easily duplicated religious totem. Watching tonight’s episode must be a humbling, almost out-of-body experience for John. He has failed as much as any single player we have ever seen. Whether or not they are eliminated tonight, they deserve to be.

The hockey players have finished their religious offering and are headed over to the beach. Chuck has picked the wrong board and is directionally challenged. Team YouTube picks the right one, and shows their selection to the roller derby moms, which means they are the next two teams to finish.

Anthony picks the right board, but sets it aside and starts wandering all over the place. Chuck has checked in with the wrong board and is sent back to pick again. John and Chuck are basically battling it out for eighth place. Chuck searches frantically, grabs a board and heads up to the Pitstop where they are checked in as team number eight.

Unwilling to face reality, John is certain that someone is still behind him, but Jessica tells him that she believes all the other teams have arrived. Nonetheless, he keeps looking at surfboards and even suggests that he should go down to the beach and look at some random ones. John has gone over to the bad place.

Phil delivers the bad news that John & Jessica have been eliminated. Not only that, but they are the first team in Amazing Race history to be eliminated while still holding an Express Pass. John doesn’t understand why that’s a big deal, and is so far in denial about the situation that after they leave, Phil looks at the camera and says, “Oy Vey.” This is the worst failure AND worst mistake in the history of The Amazing Race… at the same time!

Oh, well. At least some nice man in Bali has a nice decoration for his living room.