The Amazing Race Season 9: Episode 11

I Think This Monkey Likes Me

By Reagen Sulewski

May 31, 2006

Wasn't it funny when the hippies called her a slut?

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After a chaotic and bitterly fought leg in Australia, our four remaining teams will have to be able to set aside their hatred of each other in order to run a smart race. Or we could just put them all in a cage with one weapon and let them settle it that way.

After winning their first leg of the race, Ray & Yolanda are first out of the gate at 1:13 a.m., where they're off straight away to Bangkok for one night in Thailand. Once there, they'll travel about 90 miles inland to visit a monkey-infested temple. Yolanda does BJ a kindness by giving the pantless racer (due to non-elimination wackiness) her spare pair of pants. This is merciful to the rest of us too, as nobody wants to see a half-naked hippie racing around the world. What it says about BJ that he fits into women's pants in another thing entirely.

Eric & Jeremy are second out at 1:20, which means that the finish last time was even closer than we initially thought. They show their first shred of humanity by leaving BJ & Tyler a pair of sandals. It's one thing to be competitive; it's another to kick someone when they're down. Plus, I think they're still a little frightened of that karma kickback for last leg.

One minute behind them are Joseph & Monica, whose schadenfreude seems boundless at the prospect of the Hippies having no dough. Unsurprisingly after the events of the previous day, they are not leaving them any money or clothing. These two fear no karma, or else are hoping their alignment with evil helps them through.

Finally we have BJ & Tyler out one minute later, our last team to go. They're cashless and relatively clothesless, but find some help from the lost and found and collect Yolanda's purple pants from their vehicle. I suspect they'd have found some way to make money in Thailand though.

The earliest flight to Bangkok doesn't leave for several hours, leaving teams with tons of downtime. BJ & Tyler decide to head into town to start begging for money. As they pull beside a nightclub, BJ asks, "no pants or gay pants?" I bet that's not the first time you've said that. An embarrassed looking BJ is actually asked to take his shirt off by one aggressive local – don't do it, dude, she's gonna take you back to her lair! At any rate, the night's whoring session does well for them, and they have enough money to continue. Unfortunately, their dilly-dallying has screwed them out of the first flight, as it is now completely full. Hey Monica, your face is gonna freeze like that if you keep sneering.

It's time for a karma whack, though, as seats open up on a flight via Perth that arrives 15 minutes ahead of the other three teams. However, after that, race karma asserts itself by bringing in the other three teams 45 minutes ahead of schedule. Hey, we want to give Joseph & Monica every advantage so that when they fail, it's all the more embarrassing.

Getting in to Thailand, Joseph is disturbed by all the strange looking people around him who are about to rip him off, or at least that's his general impression. Since when do xenophobes travel? His apprehension at his cab driver slows him down, and Eric & Jeremy and Ray & Yolanda are able to beat them to the bus station, leaving ahead when Joseph & Monica get some bad info on where to buy tickets.

This allows BJ & Tyler to catch back up, which seems to be leading to the inevitable Odd Couple-esque (or Alien vs. Predator-esque) situation where the two sworn enemy teams end up on the same bus. Fate has other plans, however, with Joseph & Monica arriving late and getting the third bus out and the Hippies in front of them. They're justifiably freaked out to not see any other teams, though Joseph continues with his confident façade.

The first bus arrives in Lopburi, with the first two teams finding out that their destination doesn't open until 8 a.m., of course. Eric is fascinated by the monkeys at the temple, finally finding his intellectual equal on the race. He and Jeremy get fairly friendly with them and are quickly swarmed. Go for the face, Guiseppe!

BJ & Tyler catch up to this group, and despite the bunching, are able to maintain a little bit of a lead. The clue contains a mystery envelope, a Roadblock and a Fast Forward. The Fast Forward has them traveling to a diner and eating crickets and grasshoppers, although they're not told this little fact. It's a brilliant time for a Fast Forward, as completing it gets you into the Final three, and trying it and missing it puts you behind the 8-ball. Both BJ & Tyler and Ray & Yolanda try for it.

This leaves Eric & Jeremy alone to try the Roadblock, since they previously took a Fast Forward. This has a team member preparing a monkey feast in a traditional style. Eric takes this one, since he's apparently got the most catering experience of the two.

At the Fast Forward, Ray & Yolanda are more than willing to put their fried food eating skills up against the Hippies, though Yolanda gets a little concerned at the volume of food they need to eat. She and Ray bail to go back to the Roadblock, leaving the Hippies to have it to themselves.

Team MoMo is just now arriving at the temple and find out they're in last place, sorta. Joseph does the Roadblock for his team, though I wonder if he'd have left Monica alone with Eric if the places had been reversed. Ray & Yolanda arrive back, with Yolanda taking the Roadblock in penance for bailing on the Fast Forward.

Back with the Hippies, we see they're finding the crickets a tough slog. BJ says, "You know what I'd like? To throw up," and "I thought I ordered Pad Thai!" Now that's comedy.

At the Roadblock, we start to get a little scene from Night of the Monkeys, as their creeping menace threatens the teams' projects. Eric is able to fight them off long enough to finish, and they get to head away first. They must take a taxi about 90 miles to Koh Kret Island and search a Buddha garden for their clue.

Two teams are still working on their Roadblock, with a priceless little bit of editing as we cut from Monica cursing the monkeys to a shot of her nearly sticking her whole hand in her mouth, filled with food. Oh, ironic editing, how I've missed you. Joseph finished the Roadblock just before Yolanda, keeping this a really tight race.

The Hippies are in tough at the Fast Forward, with copious vomiting from both of them and still more crickets to eat. They look about halfway finished so it's either give up and be way behind, or buckle down and take the lead. Plus, free food! *ralph* In a superhuman display of gastronomy, BJ wolfs down the rest of his bowl, leaving Tyler to wrap it up.

Eric & Jeremy arrive at the Buddhist gardens first, receiving the Detour clue. Their choices are between transporting 72 clay pots through the town balanced on a long board and making a shrine to Buddha in a nearby temple. Eric & Jeremy take their shot at arts and crafts and head to the temple. Just seconds after declaring "no more mistakes", Joseph starts to wander off the path to light incense. Find clue, then relive your college days. Ray & Yolanda beat them to the clue box and decide to head to the temple, closely followed by MoMo.

Tyler finishes his big bowl of crickets finally, with a celebration and hugging following. Dude, don't pick up BJ unless you want him to throw up again. They're now able to head to the Pit Stop, a temple in the middle of Bangkok. They can't believe they ate the whole thing!

When Joseph & Monica see the other two teams already started at the temple, they bail and go for the pottery Detour, which is an interesting tactical strategy, but if you're afraid of racing other teams on an even keel, you may not belong on this show. The frustration sets in quickly for MoMo, as they find out the delivery spot is very far, the pots are very heavy, and neither of them have particularly good balance.

In contrast to the last leg, BJ & Tyler are able to stroll into the Pit Stop, with all their clothes. They are indeed first and are greeted enthusiastically by Phil. They present their mystery clue envelope, but it does not contain the golden gnome that carries the prize for this leg. This does put them into the final leg, in a strong position.


Joseph & Monica lay down their first batch of pots near the pier where they have to drop them off, and are about halfway finished. However, the teams that chose the temple task are faring much better. Eric & Jeremy prove surprisingly adept at gold-leafing, and get through this Detour first. They're headed to the Pit Stop in second place for now. MoMo can catch up if they don't screw up... whoops! Time for Drama Queen Barbie to make an appearance. All but two of her pots slide off her board and the waterworks break out. The sound of her crying is like unto a racket to Joseph, which just exacerbates the situation. I think if you looked closely on the replay, you could see the finger of karma come down and tip her board. This leaves them seven short to move on.

The Frat boys are having trouble finding a taxi back to Bangkok, leaving an opening for Ray & Yolanda to pass them if they hurry as well as Joseph & Monica if they don't screw up yet again. Joseph carries the pots over with some extras, and does well not to laugh when Monica offers to help out with carrying them. They're in last but still racing.

All the teams finally have taxis and it looks like a tight three-way race to the finish for the second straight leg. Eric & Jeremy have enough of a lead that their taxi struggles didn't sink them, and they hustle in for second place, and hitting on the greeter at the mat. They don't have the prize either in their envelope.

It's now down to Ray & Yolanda and Joseph & Monica, and even slowed down by a requirement for Yolanda to cover her arms, it's not close. They come in for third, and not only that, they have the golden gnome that gives them the prize of a trip around Sydney Harbor (and presumably, a trip to Australia as well). They also get a ritzy hotel stay for the night.

Joseph & Monica get the bad news that they're eliminated and after initially taking it well, Monica proceeds to water the ground around her. Amazingly, she considers Joseph to be "supportive" despite all the yelling he did at her in this race. He credits her with not letting him flip out so much, which makes me wonder how many rage issues this guy really has.



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