The Amazing Race Season 30: Episode 9 (Part One)
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
February 26, 2018

The Odd Couple

Previously on The Amazing Race, Team Yale started fighting, and then they started finishing last. They caught two huge breaks during the most recent two-hour episode. The first one occurred when Team Ocean Rescue lost a passport, thereby rendering the lifeguards unable to finish the leg. The second was when they finished in last, only to discover that it was a non-elimination leg.

The debaters have to complete a Speed Bump, and that’s not the only issue they face. The other three teams are in an alliance and seem uninterested in allowing Evan & Henry to reach to final leg.

Tonight’s leg sends the teams from Thailand to Hong Kong, where they will head to Victoria Peak. As always, the deciding factor out of the airport is who gets the best taxi. Evan & Henry are the fortunate ones, as their taxi driver is named Henry and speaks Mandarin, allowing them to communicate. Henry tells the driver that they are in a race and points out the cars he needs to pass.

Meanwhile, Team Extreme’s driver gets lost and then bumps into a wall. So, they abandon him after he tells them that running might be faster.

Alex & Conor arrive first and find the clue location. It resides with a photographer, who insists on taking their picture before they can move on. Then they have to wait some more. And some more. The photo is apparently processing and printing. Alex might die of impatience.

Next on the scene are Evan & Henry, who have already reached the Speed Bump, which is called “Let Your Light Shine.” They have to illuminate and hang 40 Chinese lanterns before they can move forward. We’d guess this is 20 minutes of busywork. As always, they manage their time well, prioritizing process.

Back in the photo area, Alex rips the photo out the man’s hands once it is complete. It’s the rudest we’ve seen him all season. Of course, Cody & Jessica are just as terrible at waiting.

With the photo comes the next clue, which tells the Racers to go to Aberdeen. Also, it’s important to note that all three teams pass Evan & Henry, which means they know exactly where the competition is.

We think that Team Yale has a heckler, but it turns out that Henry, their driver is emotionally invested in seeing them win.

After arriving at Aberdeen, Kristi & Jen are the first ones to find the clue. They’re instructed that they must do a Detour. For Hairy Crab, they have to secure 50 crabs like the local fishermen do. The catch? They have to get the work done in circumstances that mimic a typhoon. For Grub Grab, a contestant receives a menu order in Cantonese. They must decipher the correct dishes and deliver them to the table.

The Indy drivers, the skiers, and Big Brother all choose “Hairy Crab.” Meanwhile, Evan & Henry have finished the Speed Bump and will compete in “Grub Grab.” Their reasonable thought process is that Henry will ace this challenge. He doesn’t speak Cantonese, but he does make a good effort at understanding.

At Hairy Crab, Alex & Conor are lucky enough to have gloves in their bag. Nonetheless, Conor decides he wants to switch tasks . It’s probably a good thing, because the crab judge is a hardass. Also, the added typhoon conditions make it pretty difficult.

Once the Indy car drivers arrive at Grub Grab, Evan & Henry are feeling pretty comforted since they now know they’re not far behind the other Racers. Although Henry speaks Mandarin, it’s not all that much of an advantage here since the restaurant patrons are ordering in Cantonese. Also, there’s a loud stringed instrument playing, making it difficult to hear the orders. Nonetheless, Henry wisely writes everything out phonetically so that he can communicate easily to Evan.

Conor freaks out, because all of the patrons are saying their order at the same time and obviously he has no idea what they’re saying. Henry is nice enough to explain his process to Conor, which annoys Evan, since, you know, they’re IN A RACE. Still, Henry’s method works exceptionally well, and he and Evan are quickly able to identify the proper dishes.

Once again, Cody is powering himself and Jessica through the Hairy Crab challenge, while Kristi & Jen are super pleased that they have figured out how to tie up their crabs.

“Cody goes into cyborg mode,” Jessica says of her boyfriend’s approach to challenges. It’s absolutely true and makes them a hugely formidable opponent amongst this highly competitive group.

After placing his plates, Conor discovers he has three wrong. Henry, meanwhile, has very methodically gone through the challenge and the Yale debaters have moved from last to first. Fortunately for Conor, he also gets his done soon after despite being highly frustrated with the challenge.

Both Team Extreme and Team Big Brother are forced to retie some crabs that didn’t follow the proper instructions, but Cody & Jessica finish the challenge first. We’re pretty sure that both teams wish they had chosen Grub Grab instead.

Evan & Henry have picked up their next clue, which is the Roadblock for this leg. It’s called “Who wants to get smashed?” and involves something known as Rage Art in Hong Kong. Essentially, it involves taking a bat and smashing stuff. They are looking for a two halves of a clue amidst the chaos of the stuff they are smashing. Their teammate will stand off to the side with a briefcase handcuffed to their wrist for some reason.

“This is awesome,” Henry says, right before breaking his bat. Conor breaks his, too.

Eventually, Henry is the one to finish first, and they are instructed to travel by taxi to Lan Kwai Fong, which is where they will figure out how to access the clue that is in their briefcase. There, they will be searching for signs that reference specific leg numbers. If they can put those numbers in the right order, they will unlock the combination on their briefcase, which will give them the address for the next Pit Stop. Each briefcase has its own unique combination of the three numbers, so there can be no copying off your fellow Racers.

Cody: “I just like smashing stuff.” Clearly, this is true, because he DESTROYS his electronics. Kristi, on the other hand, is in pain as she tries to smash. It physically hurts her to hit the items. She’s not sure how she’s going to do this.

Conor has found his half of the clue, so both Team Yale and Team Indy Car are off to unlock their briefcases. While in the taxi, Team Yale starts writing out where they were for each leg. The area of Lan Kwai Fong is incredibly chaotic, so this needle in a haystack challenge isn’t going to be easy.

Both Alex & Conor figure that Cody will blow through the smashing stuff Roadblock, and they are right. Big Brother leaves Team Extreme alone in last place.

Sighting a fez, Henry & Evan know that the Morocco leg will be one of their lock combination numbers. Team Indy Car sees the bull from Provence. They also find the fez.

Back in the smashing stuff area, Kristi hasn’t read her clue and is just smashing items with abandon, not realizing that she needs to be looking for two halves of one clue. She yells for someone to check her work, and when no one comes, she does look at her clue to realize her mistake. With that done, she and Jen are ready to start the scavenger hunt with the other three teams.

Team Indy car sees a couple of things that could be relevant to past legs, and wonder how they are supposed to know what a sign really is. They try to use the numbers they have to open their briefcase, but feel like they are wrong. They consult with Evan & Henry, who agree that something isn’t right with what they’ve all found and they both keep moving forward to try to find answers.

Soon, though, Evan & Henry have found what the combination should be, and they start trying the combinations in all different orders. The bigger problem is that now that Big Brother has arrived, those two teams will start working with each other to make sure Yale is eliminated.

Fortunately, they find the final right sign, realizing that their combination should involve the numbers 1-3-5. They try different orders until they unlock their briefcase. The address where they must go is at Johnston & Wan Chai Road. The first three teams to check in will be racing for $1 million. The last team to check in will be eliminated.

The three teams still wandering and trying to figure out their combinations have been in a tight alliance thus far. None of them are happy to be working against the others, but quickly realize that any information they deduce will need to be kept close to the vest. Kristi & Jen quickly find the bull and the fez. The sign for Washington Square in New York – leg 1 – is the one that seems to be the most problematic.

Cody & Alex keep trying to make a wrong combination work – one that they have already tried, in fact.

Both Team Big Brother and Team Extreme have two correct numbers, and start trying to figure out the third through process of elimination. It works for Cody & Jessica, and they’re on their way.

Some helpful people in the area point Kristi & Jen to the correct third sign, but they don’t recognize it as Washington Square Park. Team Extreme is having a really bad leg, and it shows in the stress on their faces. Indy Car tries to decide if Henry was helping them or leading them astray when he told them where the final sign was (he was being honest).

Evan is so excited to see the Pit Stop that she almost runs out in front of a bus. Henry gallantly pulls her back. Phil checks them in as Team #1 – last to first! They will be racing for $1 million. They will be flying business first class to San Francisco, so they’ll be able to get plenty of rest ahead of that final leg.

Cody & Jessica are checked in as Team #2, but they’re not happy because Yale is in the final three with them.

Another friendly local tries to point Alex & Conor to the right sign, but they ignore it just as Kristi & Jen did. Team Extreme is openly fighting at this point, with Jen even cursing at her friend. Eventually, they are able to get the right combination by process of elimination, and Kristi & Jen are headed for the Pit Stop.

As the guys decide that the bull is the wrong sign (it’s not), Kristi & Jen arrive on the mat and believe they are in last place. Jen gives Kristi a hug. Even though it has been their toughest leg, Phil is pleased to tell them they are Team #3.

So, with all three teams checked in, Phil walks over to the square where Alex & Conor are still struggling, and he goes ahead and puts them out of their misery to tell them they have been eliminated. Conor is discouraged, but Phil tells them to hold their head up high. Conor reminds us that he is supposed to move out from Alex’s house now, but Alex says that maybe he can stay a little longer.

Now, we have one leg left! Be sure to come back to see who wins The Amazing Race!