Happy belated Valentine’s Day TARashies. We have another(!) 2 hour episode as we continue to whittle down the teams. The last leg in Zimbabwe was brutally long and included a partner swap and course the catchy African song. Jess lost her sneakers, which made me realize TAR never shows us the money part of the legs anymore (I get that they don’t want teams begging on the streets of poor nations, but it would be interesting to have to make a choice between taxi or subway due to $). Also, they haven’t done any of the “sell something on the streets” tasks in a while, either.
At 8:11AM Doomed (& the rest) board a flight that will connect them through Dubai, then to the Kingdom of Bahrain. From there they’ll drive to the capital city of Manama. Somewhere between Africa and Dubai, Brittany loses Lucas’ passport so they are unable to board the connecting flight, putting them at least an hour behind, and that’s if they found the passport right away. As it turns out, they have to go to the US Consulate in Dubai to get a new one. And just like that the Doomed nickname feels apt again. Conor provides the title quote – everyone knows the first rule of Amazing Race Club is to not lose your passport. Jess is a little too happy, stating Karma kicked in earlier than she thought.
Bahrain is really gorgeous, in that expensive, modern way the Middle East can be. Indy makes obligatory racing puns and tells us they have both been to Bahrain several times. Conor knows it is where the big money is, hence the need for a racetrack.
On the docks, boats have been built for many generations. This is the site of the Route Info: Tipping the Scales, where teams will have to collect, carry and weigh 300lbs of wood. Indy is taking 1 at a time (between the 2) while our Xtreme Skiers are taking multiple. To be fair, they were probably lighter than Indy’s giant 1, but my point is these ladies are no joke. Other than BB arriving after everyone else is done (navigation trubs), there is nothing exciting that happens. Next Route Info: Showaiter Sweets has teams trying to find the location of “King of Halawa”, which they think is the store name. It’s really a congealed-looking dessert that everyone seems to enjoy.
After sampling the local treat teams drive themselves to the Delmon Pottery Industry and while BB has a cute car exchange, Evan is “expressing concern” about their navigational skills, since they haven’t found the candy shop yet. Indy is sitting in traffic and Conor feels like everyone who sits in traffic: that he’d “rather hang upside down naked being set on fire arms first.” Word.
Alex gives a rare look to the cameraman – “do you believe this guy?”
Yale eats sweets then proceeds to get lost like everyone else on the way to the pottery area. Every team is lost, and they note that turning around means tons of extra time in traffic. I don’t know if I’ve seen a leg with every team this befuddled. The signs are confusing too but I guess no one said the race would be easy. Finally BB arrives and we learn that the locals have been making pots out of clay for 4,000 years! Since our guys aren’t masters, they will instead participate in the Route Info: Pot Luck, searching through thousands of clay pots to try to find 10 tiny relics.
The relics are little swords, marbles, chess pieces and they need to exactly match. The differences in these trinkets are very minor (i.e., a different tip color ), so each team repeatedly finds incorrect items. Skiers and Yale arrive, so Indy must have gotten way lost. Guess the pottery area isn’t close to the racetrack. All teams are trying to be methodical, being careful not to have to re-check areas (again, they are searching through thousands of pots). Jess is bitching but finds joy in a kitty and we’re shown her picking up a stray kitty during leg 3’s fish stacking task. They finish and head to the Bahrain Endurance Village.
That’s not the Travelocity gnome
Smarterthaneveryoneintheworld Yalies can’t find their 10th relic and end up having to re-search some areas. When it comes time to get their clue, which is baked into a clay pot, they have to smash it on the ground THREE FRIGGIN TIMES before it breaks! Weaksauce.
Perhaps due to their knowledge of the area (since the Village is close to the racetrack) Indy arrives first to the next Route Info: Getting over the Hump (I guess no Detours or Roadblocks this leg). Camels are a huge necessity in the desert, and they produce milk for their young just like everyone else (Keisha). In this mini task, one team member will milk a camel (only to the bottom of the gray tape line below) while the other one pets the animal and keeps it from wandering. Conor is a riot, and after a few thwarted attempts he’s allowed access to the proper spot.
Got milk now
You know Jess is gonna make a big deal about this. She says something like she didn’t like how the testicles were right there, behind the other things. I’m pretty sure that’s not how animals work. One means a girl, the other a boy. I don’t know if the teams were offered the milk to drink, we saw a shot of Jen holding a glass in her hand, but we definitely got to watch Cody chug his glass down. I’d definitely want to try it, when else do you get the chance to drink milk right from the camel’s body? Prob warm and gross but worth the experience, IMHO.
After the milking teams are headed to see Phil at the Pit Stop: the Tree of Life. Somehow this tree has grown and flourished in this arid desert for over 400 years, though no one knows why.
1. Indy (winning $7500 each, in addition to the $5k they already won. Phil tells Conor he can afford to pay rent now)
Sadly for the newly engaged couple, Phil meets them at the boat building wood task, and not only is it too dark to do the task, all of the other teams have checked in. They are Philiminated, and while they are bummed, Lucas finally put a ring on it so at least one of them is happy. Good luck you two. Prove my nickname wrong!
10:18AM is the departure time for the only all-boy team left, but again who cares since they are all on the same flight, this time to Chiang Mai, Thailand. Riding in the back of a Sŏrng·tăa·ou (a minibus taxi) to the Royal Park Rajapruek, teams will have to search the park for a bunch of elephant statues. Hidden in the area are some lei necklaces and teams have to find a pretty lady roaming the ancient grounds to swap it for a clue. Only BB struggles finding the lady (holding a giant parasol, certainly not the Thai girl hanging with her friend). Thailand, while very wet, is quite gorgeous:
See the rainbow?
Indy knows the final 4 teams are all good, and it appears Yale is not part of their cool kid clique. The outsiders debate booking a flight different than the other teams, but get smart(er) and hop on with everyone else. If they missed a connection they’d have no chance. In fact, the lost passport is the only airport drama we’ve had all season. Even when they’re delayed, all teams are on the same flight so we aren’t shown, nor do we care (though that’s gotta mess up some challenges).
Annnyyyhoozle all teams are finding it difficult to communicate with their taxi driver, due to the language barrier and the tiny window they are talking to him through. Finally we get to a Detour: Size It or Seize It. Both are animal tasks, and we all know how unpredictable they can be (what with having both lady and man parts). For Size teams have to go to the Bata Elephant Farm and get various measurements from an elephant: the circumference of each foot, their head, the body height (meaning a teammate has to climb on), etc. Then do some calculations to determine the height and weight.
Too cute not to post
After rice paddies are cleared they become playgrounds for frogs. Local kids love to play in the marsh, catching frogs and wearing them as hats. For Seize teams have to catch 20 of the giant slimy fellas. The Skiers have a rare bickering sesh while they determine which task to chose. Indy & BB arrive at the marsh, but at first they don’t see any frogs and they’re hard to catch (& even harder to hang onto while you walk to the basket to drop it off). So when the Skiers arrive, they immediately switch tasks. At first I was worried about the froggers, but Cody has no problem catching them and the boys find an amphibious-friendly area and start to fill their basket. It must be noted that Jess doesn’t catch a single frog – she’s basically not even trying. I’d be squicked out too, but at least try. Shit Cody is on all fours. He has a 5yr old daughter, and wants to win the race to help her have adventures. I can’t help but to like him, I dunno why. It’s like he’s in on his own joke.
The boys get to frog steppin’
Yale and the girls are both lost in their taxis and when Yale’s driver tries to ask the Skiers’ guy for directions the girls tell him to drive away. Jen says too bad so sad from the front seat where she super smartly sits for the remainder of the taxi rides. Easier to talk to him and see the road. Yale isn’t happy about the diss, but they end up at the sanctuary first, due to the girls going to frogs initially. The couple is excited to have chosen the “math” task. Before they can take measurements they have to learn to befriend the pachyderms. Speaking little words in Thai they feed the mama and baby fruit before getting close and personal with the tape measurer. The elephants are a little skittish so it’s not easy. The Skiers arrive shortly after and get to it.
Jess is alternating between complaining and giggling throughout the frog task. Cody catches his 20th (slightly) before Indy, which is impressive since BB arrived after Indy, and since it was only 1 person doing the catching.
Yale fails the math task and when Henry suggests maybe the measurements are off, not the math, Evan hilariously long-pauses and asks “why?” Then when Henry assumed both feet were the same measurement she gives him this hands-on-hips stare down. He should run, now. It takes them 3 attempts and methinks they should get a refund on that fancy edumacation of theirs. The Skiers passes on their 1st attempt and to finish out the task they have to climb an elephant and ride her down the trail, then chat with her in Thai and feed her one more piece of fruit. Very cool task.
Can’t you just tell us your height & weight?
(FYI it was 7,716lbs)
There was a lot of place-switching this leg, like when BB leaves the rice paddies in 1st place but get passed by Indy after their taxi stops for unknown reasons. The boys are first to arrive at the Original Khantoke Restaurant for the Roadblock: Thai Something New. Finally, an eating challenge! And scorpions, which are nutritious/high in protein. Since they wear their skeletons on the outside, they’re sure to be nice and pointy. Our racetestants also have to eat a frog, which is consumed much more frequently, so thusly is less gross. I tried frog legs, and you know what I’m gonna say it tasted like. But the kicker is whoever isn’t eating has to have 3 live scorpions placed on their chest the entire time their teammates tries to choke down the crunchy insects. Conor: “Boom, right on my nips!” Dude is cracking me up. And he holds it together, unlike Jess, who I’ll admit is actually doing it, which is more than I thought she’d do. Yeah, she’s freaking but I don’t blame her at all for that. When they get to the frog, which looks awfully bony, Conor quips it’s not fair that he doesn’t have a frog on him, instead of the scorpions (imagine? They’d last a millisecond and jump off. Though they were staying on those kids’ heads.) Then he says he is glad Joey Chestnut is out of the race as he’d eat a ton of scorpions. He’s en fuego this leg. They are done, as is BB (Cody tells Jess on the way out the door she still has a scorpion on her shoulder – another funny!) Jen eats for the Skiers and Kristi is cool, she’s used to the little critters.
Phil tells us there are over 40,000 Buddhist temples in Thailand. Wow. The Pit Stop for this leg is the sacred Wat Chedi Luang Temple, and teams are instructed not to run while searching for Phil (respect and all). And it most likely would have been a foot race to the mat as Indy gets to Phil only seconds before BB.
1. Indy (winning a trip to Curaçao)
3. Skiers (still top 3 – so impressive)
So yep, it’s a NEL and next week will be our third with these 4 teams, considering poor Doomed wasn’t even part of leg 8. Yale will have to complete a Speed Bump but those are usually easy and take little time. Personally I wanted them out this leg. I’d actually be happy with any of the other teams winning, which is a rarity for me.
Have we ever had a leg with only Route Infos before? Or one with so many navigational blunders? Is Evan getting too big for her britches? How badly do you want to sit on an elephant? Is Conor super funny to anyone else? Do you think Indy will take it all? I’m Team Skiers. Sound off in the comments below and thanks for reading.
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