Starting City: Bangkok, Thailand
Pit Stop City: Kumbali Village, Malawi
1st Place: Team Tricky Reward: Trip to Private Island
2nd: The Squabblings
3rd: That Other Dating Couple
4th: Team Nemo
5th: Team Bert & Ernie
6th: Team Out-To-Pasture
Last Place: Team Footballers Lives - Not Eliminated!
Roadblock: At a giant tobacco warehouse, one team member had to put on a workman's uniform and transport ten 200-pound bales of tobacco leaves through a maze-like path to a drop-off zone using only a hand-cart,one bag at a time. That's 10 trips! This seemed like an incredibly physical task. Throughout the path, there were many workers blocking their way, cheering and shouting and dancing, perhaps because there were 14,000 pounds less of tobacco they had to move themselves that day. Once completed, teams got their next clue. It must have been extremely hot in there because whenever someone finished they looked absolutely wrecked in the taxi afterward.
Detour: Teams chose between "All Sewn Up" and "Not Grown Up." In ASU, teams went to the White Horse De-Sign Tailor Shop in an old packed-crazy market and used a manual sewing machine to finish the suit of a customer in order to receive their next clue. In NGU, teams went to Lilongwe LEA School where they use provided everyday materials to build toy trucks. Once it was properly constructed and functional, the headmistress would receive their next clue. I cannot imagine the nightmare of trying to sew on one of those machines. I still have anxiety flashes about trying to sew scrap pieces of fabric together in Basic Production Techniques for Theater Studies at Wesleyan. Still, I guess if you can sew this seems like a no-brainer. Most teams chose the school and had a delightful time building toys for the children there and interacting with them.
Also of Note This Week:
The flight path from Bangkok to Malawi had to be one of the longest in race history. The Amazing Yellow Line bounced around the globe through Singapore all the way to Johannesburg and then up to Malawi. It looked like a day of flying at the very least.
Half the legs so far this season have now ended in non-eliminations. Producers, I like this cast too, but eventually you are gonna have to start letting people go. I'll give you a pass this week, because the team that would've gone home was Team Footballers Lives and I just said last week they were my pick to win. So naturally they had a close brush with elimination.
Team Out-to-Pasture and That Other Dating couple are getting increasingly lopsided in their Roadblock distribution. I'm pretty sure no team member can do more than 7 throughout the race. They are already at 5-2 in favor of the men. Cathi and Sandy are gonna have to start taking some challenges for their respective teams. Especially with the threat of an upcoming eating-large amounts-of-strange-things challenge looming on the horizon. Neither of these ladies look like they could pack away a lot of exotic cuisine.
Team Tricky didn't mention God once this week and I didn't miss hearing about Him one bit.
Team Footballers Lives got added character depth by talking about a daughter with unspecified "special needs." I think she's basically okay though since they're alright with separating from her for the weeks required to run the race around the world. It seems like the show is trying to manufacture some family drama that might not really be there. Regardless, Marcus and Amani have been conducting themselves throughout the race that would make all of their children proud. I dig these two.
After the detour teams raced to the R-K Furniture Shop, where they had to pick up and transfer two handcrafted wooden beds to Kumbali Village, by vehicle and then physically carry the beds to the Pit Stop map.Teams would use these beds for an overnight stay at the village. I was just thinking to myself earlier in the day that they hadn't done a pit stop camp out in a while!
The clue at the Furniture Shop also told them they could ask the shop owner to call a truck for them to move the beds. So of course Team Nemo doesn't read this and tries to have their cab shove the the beds on top or inside their tiny cab. The cab driver sanely declines. THEN they read the full length of their clue. Guys, read the effing clues in their entirety! Useful information is provided all the way to the end!!!
Team Tricky wins their fourth leg so far out of six, but it's their THIRD where they won thanks to penalties faced by teams who got to the mat ahead of them. This time it was The Squabblings neglecting to pay the truckers that took them to the village that caused a last second reshuffle of the order. Team Tricky are strong competitors. The other teams can't afford to let these late-in-the-leg stupid mistakes give the snowboarders these freebie wins.
On the march to the Pit Stop, Cindy of Team Bert & Ernie tried to balance the bed on her head as she was walking. This was... ill-advised as it was way too heavy for her to walk that way. Ernie was too far away carrying his own bed as she collapsed to the ground - uninjured, thank goodness - but rather hilariously she wound up completely flattened by the bed frame. Both Cindy and Ernie laughed about it which was endearing to see.
Less endearing was the increased bickering of That Other Dating Couple. The bickering is increasing. Tempers are high. Nerves are fraught. They are still using the Race to decide the future of their relationship. If that's the measuring stick they want to go by (and I don't think it's a good one) then it looks like they should split up. They both seem nice, but The Race seems like a more intense experience than their relationship is ready for. Sorry! :(
Phil mentioned via voiceover how Team Bert & Ernie still has that Express Pass in their pocket allowing them to skip one task. They haven't needed it yet, but I wonder if they will actually get out of Malawi without using it since Phil brought it up. If i was them, I'd be holding it for that aforementioned Food Challenge that by looming. Skipping food or a needle-in-a-haystack challenge would be the best use of that Pass. They'll have to play it sometime soon though. I don't think they get to keep it past Leg 8 or 9 per the rules.
Next week: More Malawi. More bickering for That Other Dating Couple. Racers work as Bicycle Taxi Drivers. The shoe is on the other foot now, Racers! A Speed Bump task for Footballers Lives that will probably take 15 seconds to complete. Onward, Racers!