The Amazing Race Season 9: Episode 10

Man, They Should Have Used Fake Names

By Reagen Sulewski

May 19, 2006

Love that subtle product placement on The Amazing Race!

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Starting again from Perth, Australia, Phil gives us the travelogue for the city as we get down to out final four teams. After surviving nine legs, there's only one team left to eliminate before the scramble to the finish.

Eric & Jeremy, the Ambiguously Gay Duo, are leaving at 11:47 p.m., and are told to find the Swan Bells, a tower on the other side of the city. With their keen powers of deduction, they have detected that there's a lot of tension in the race. Although they're the source of some of it, it could be used to their advantage.

Joseph and Monica are one minute behind, and have been possessed by the spirits of the 1968 Chicago police, just wanting to beat some Hippies. The other two teams in the race thank them for their single-mindedness. They claim they aren't this vindictive outside of the race, but you don't become a bitch on wheels like Monica overnight and – here's the key thing – no one's done anything to you!

BJ & Tyler are third out at 11:56 p.m., amazed to actually have money to start the leg. Commenting on the hatred they're getting from MoJo, they fess up that they told them that they'd Yield whoever didn't give them money, and have since been accused of trickery by them. The Hippies have a point that it's actually a rather open and straightforward play.

Waiting at the taxi stand, the previous teams don't let the Hippies sit at the cool lunch table and their previously called cabs come for them. Luckily, the same guy that lent the jocks a phone is still around to help out the nerds. I don't know all the fuss is about this early – can you not tell you're just going to have to wait when you get there?

Ray & Yolanda are last out at 12:23 a.m., and they are reflecting on their newfound communication skills, hoping it will translate into game success. They find a taxi quickly and all four teams are on their way. Of course, as anyone could have predicted, the public building is not open in the middle of the night. Monica starts asking strangers for a cheap place to stay, getting a wry Aussie answer and a proposition. Run away, bloke, while you still can! He spots the large and humorless Joseph nearby and backtracks a little, but only so that he doesn't get punched.

All four teams are at the tower, spending an awkward seven hours or so together. The topic of which male is most whipped comes up, with Joseph declaring himself on a tight leash, then immediately backtracking when Monica challenges him on that. I think we have our winner, folks! Eric then adds, "I don't let Jeremy out of the house," which leads to a panicked look of, "Dude, not here," from him.

The keen-eyed Hippies note that Eric's horndog nature is asserting itself towards one of the only two females left in the race, namely Monica. They didn't see Joseph's early slow-burn, but they are dead on in that this could be something that could be used as a weapon.

Prior to the tower opening the next morning, all of the teams call ahead for taxis and we get our first piece of intrigue of the day. Eric calls back and cancels both BJ & Tyler's and Ray & Yolanda's taxis, after signing up for his under an assumed name. It's not I.P. Freely, but that's about the maturity level of this stunt. Joseph cackles on in glee beside them. Oh, it's on like Donkey Kong!

In the meantime, the teams have gotten up to the tower and get their clue, which sends them to Darwin, on the north coast of Australia. The next clue will be located at a crocodile farm, and they'll have to wade through a farm filled with them to grab it.

Taxi-gate comes to a very quick flash point, as BJ & Tyler rush over to what they think is their taxi, but turns out to be Joseph & Monica's. Hot-under-the-collar Man comes close to threatening violence, and the Hippies vacate the cab. However, taxi karma has arrived unusually quick, as even though BJ & Tyler's and Ray & Yolanda's taxis obviously haven't shown up, neither has Eric & Jeremy's. This is what happens when you do bad things!

Ray figures out the game... almost. Since Joseph & Monica are the only ones who got their taxi, they end up looking like the guilty party. They're an accessory to it, but it looks like Eric & Jeremy will escape the wrath of the other two teams, even if they are the victims of their own prank. Ray goes back to call for another taxi , which arrives quickly, and the Hippies stumble upon another one. That just leaves Eric & Jeremy wandering up and down the street, as they prepare a list of bad deeds on a sheet of yellow paper. Seriously, have you ever seen payback this fast?

This morning's activity has left a sour taste in everyone's mouth, though Joseph & Monica seem to have determined that they are the wronged party of the day. Tyler notes that there's another Yield coming, and a target has been squarely painted upon one team, even if they don't strictly deserve it.

At the airport, Monica offers a kiss to a ticket agent in exchange for his silence on connections to Darwin, though this looks about as appealing to him as kissing a poisonous snake. It's probably a remarkably similar experience. An episode of Springer almost breaks out at the airport when Tyler and Ray press the issue with Joseph about the taxis. They play silent instead of ratting out Eric & Jeremy, who try to divert attention, and Joseph gets indignant about all the lying going on. Then Tyler throws out the Eric & Monica flirting card, which steams up Monica. "That's a dirty rumor," she says, and Joseph is about ready to Hulk out. The ticket agent can barely conceal his laughter at the situation unfurling in front of him, but hands over the tickets anyway. All four teams are on the same flight, which is the punch line to this morning's drama. You pissed people off for no reason, Eric! Likely not the first time, though.

They arrive in Darwin at night, and find the crocodile park closed until 9 the next morning, compounding the pointlessness of the fighting today. But that doesn't mean that they can't continue, right? Right. A swarm of insects gathers around Monica (adopting her as their Queen?), prompting Eric to say they're attracted to her. "Just like you, right?" adds Tyler, which gets Eric to add fuel to the fire by openly plotting Joseph's demise. If he were a cartoon character, steam would be coming out of his ears at this point.


The next morning brings the episode of Crocodile Hunter that this show has been missing, with all the teams veeerrryyy sllloooowwwlly wading through to collect their clue. BJ & Tyler grab theirs first, and head for an airport in the town of Batchelor as directed. The Yield is also ahead, which you can guarandamntee is going to be used by someone. Joseph & Monica know the deal, and race to get ahead of BJ & Tyler. Question - speeding is still against the rules in this game, right? Right? BJ, like a good little boy, refuses to go any faster than he's already going (which is apparently right at the limit), causing Tyler to stutter helplessly. You could try a little.

Karma is watching over them yet again, as they still manage to catch up at the airport, and hustle to the Yield mat, where they obviously choose to hold back Joseph & Monica. How did they beat you, Monica? The Universe loves them, and hates your whiny, frowny face.

BJ & Tyler open their envelope to find the Roadblock. It's one of the cooler ones of the show, being a tandem skydive (not difficult to guess, either, as they're at a skydiving ranch). BJ finally gets to do a cool Roadblock after getting the short end of the stick for so long in this race.

Monica goes into full pout mode, wondering why the world is so cruel. It's literally the worst thing that's happened to anyone! Compounding the insult, they're passed by Eric & Jeremy and Ray & Yolanda, with Eric and Ray choosing to do the Roadblock. Joseph paces like a tiger at the zoo, while Monica continues to find new things to whine about. Joseph is yelling too loud. The Hippies didn't park properly (oh? At least they didn't, say, cancel someone's taxi!). She just wants to go cry alone. There's no crying in the Amazing Race, young lady. Tyler, for his part, is upset about having to yield someone, which shows where his spirit is at.

Joseph comes off only slightly better, trying to motivate Monica through his patented technique of belittlement. No, you can't cry the instant things go a little bit wrong, but do you really think that's the way to yank someone out of a funk? This whole situation rings hollow – as if they wouldn't have yielded the Hippies if they had a chance.

While BJ is floating to Earth, we get to see a little more of Eric's game in action, as he starts playing the "if only" game with Yolanda. I think we're down to Fran and Wanda as the only women he didn't hit on in this show. I suppose hitting on unavailable women eases the pain of being rejected.

Upon hitting the ground, BJ gets his clue, which has he and Tyler heading to Ritchfield National Park and something called the Magnetic Termite Mounds. They walk past Joseph & Monica on the way out, who are just annoyed beyond belief. Although they attempt to be cordial, Joseph replies, "If we weren't in this race, I'd slug you." Ah, but if you weren't in this race, you wouldn't be yielded. Think on that one for a while. Go ahead. You've got time. Still bickering over who was worse to whom (eh, it's a toss up), they actually miss the end of their yield. They've really got their head in this now. Monica gets to do the skydiving, and I'm betting Joseph is at least 65% hoping that her chute opens. Well, maybe 50%. Three to one odds?

The comedy troupe of Hippies, Inc. makes an appearance at the termite mounds, with BJ cautioning Tyler not to get too close as they'll eat all the wood in his body. "My peg leg!" he cries. Cue rimshot. The clue they receive is the Detour, offering a choice of Wet: swimming down a river filled with insects and poisonous plants, or Dry: taking a trek across the back country of Australia for a relatively complicated process involving a didgeridoo, an Aborigine, and possibly the moon's gravitational pull. I'm not entirely sure. Anyhow, BJ & Tyler go for the Wet route, possibly hoping it'll be as fun as a slip ‘n slide.

Eric & Jeremy go for the Wet route as well, angling for the more physical task. Ray & Yolanda's fear of water resurfaces (see: Russia) and they go for the Dry task. Jumping out of a plane seems to have reinvigorated Monica (oh, if only it were just that easy) although they are significantly behind at this point.

BJ announces that he's planning on doing the hike in his underwear, perhaps because people just don't think he's weird enough. They dive into the river and are quickly followed by Eric & Jeremy, who are in full hunt and kill mode. Or maybe just trying to finish off their "hit on" checklist.

Joseph & Monica lose some more time by asking for direction but are clearly still obsessed about the day's events. Monica calls the Yield tactic – a widely known rule of the game, mind you – sleazy. Oh Monica, why won't they just lay down and let you win? They finally reach the termite mounds and decide to go for the Dry task.

The river swim proves to be quite taxing and tedious, with some huge honking spiders in the path, slowing down BJ & Tyler significantly. Ray & Yolanda have a little more luck with their Detour, finding a matching didgeridoo, and producing something almost, but not quite, resembling a note from it. They're first to finish it, and get the clue for the Pit Stop, located at Lake Bennett, a resort nearby. Learning from their past navigational mistakes, they've pre-bought a map of the area.

Joseph & Monica reach their Detour finally, hustling out into the bush to find their matching didgeridoo, with Joseph producing a rather sour note out of it. Suddenly he's an expert in it, advising Monica how to play to the bewilderment of the Aborigine there who's been playing it all his life. They managed to work themselves back into second place, with the Wet Detour proving to be a bad choice overall for the Hippies, with Eric & Jeremy now right on their tail.

Ray & Yolanda arrive at Lake Bennett in plenty of time, winning this leg handily. There's even time for Ray to do a pratfall before reaching the mat, though the Australian cowboy greeter may use his super whip cracking power to punish them for their insolence. Or something. The prize for this leg is two one-year leases on Mercedes SUVs "just like the ones they were driving today". An astute Ray sees a problem here and gets confirmation they'll be left-hand drive.

BJ & Tyler and Eric & Jeremy are both a little insecure about their navigation, stopping to ask for directions, which lets Joseph & Monica catch right up. It's now a three-way battle and NASCAR race to the Pit Stop.

Once they hit the resort, it's a complete mad dash to the finish. All six racers are running in a huge pack towards a single file bridge, when BJ spots a potential problem and tries to take a shortcut around it on rocks. Eric & Jeremy hit the mat first, with Joseph getting there next, followed by Tyler. The shortcut proves costly, as Monica is able to beat BJ to the mat, putting the Hippies in last. Tyler shows some sportsmanship by offering a handshake to Joseph, who's a bit of a sore winner. He's better than Monica, however, who is taking this whole thing awful personally, who refuses his hand and shoots BJ & Tyler a snotty look. That's wiped from her face when Phil informs them all it's a non-elimination leg, although this one hurts more than others, since BJ never did put his pants or shoes back on. Smart move running on the rocks, dummy. They'd better find him some clothes, quickly, since a half-naked BJ running around the world could cause an international incident.



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