Monday, October 17, 2011

Amazing Race 19: Leg 4 Recap!

(Even if The Race don't last forever, The Doublemints know they've still got each other. They can lounge under their umbrellas. Ellas. Ellas. Hey Hey Hey.)

Episode Four Fake Title: Phuket Doesn't Rhyme with "Bucket"

Starting City: Borobudur, Indonesia
Pit Stop City: Koh Panyi, Phang Nga Province Thailand (Floating Soccer Field)
1st Place: Team Tricky, Again!! Reward: 5K in cold hard cash
2nd: The Squabblings
3rd: That Other Dating Couple
4th: Team Bert & Ernie
5th: Team Nemo
6th: Team Footballers Lives
7th: Team Out-To-Pasture
 Last Place: The Doublemints - Non-Elimination!!

Detour: A choice between Coral Reconstruction and Beach Preparation. In each task, teams first road on speedboats to another island's beach. (The boat chase was gorgeously shot. Well done, Show.) In "Coral Reconstruction," teams built a coral nursery out of pipes. Once it was built, they had to use a kayak to take the structure and a bunch of coral out to a buoy to create an underwater nursery. Once complete, a marine biologist would give them their next clue. In "Beach Preparation," teams would have to set up 20 beach chairs and 10 umbrellas in a replica of how an existing set was arranged. Once they were set up correctly, teams would receive their next clue.All chairs and umbrellas had to belong to the same set which was specific to each team and they started out all jumbled up and packed into a small storage area, so sorting them out became a time-consuming ordeal.

Roadblock: Teams traveled to Koh Yao Noi Island, where one team member would have to climb the island's sheer rock wall until they reached a bird's nest that held their next clue. It seemed like later teams might have had to climb higher to different bird's nests once the lower ones were snatched up. This task was not as much of a challenge as it might sound in writing. No one was shown having a problem with the wall. The detour was the tougher part of this leg by far.

Also of Note This Week: Teams could not fly directly to Phuket, which meant stopovers in Jakarta where the top two teams on an earlier flight became the bottom two teams when they got screwed in the changeover. But then it became a moot point because all the teams got bunched up for a night sleeping outside waiting for the area holding their next clue to open for business in the morning.

Several teams mispronounced Phuket, so that it rhymed with "bucket." I wonder if Standards and Practices considered bleeping it considering what it sounded like, even though it was clear they were not trying to curse. It still made me laugh to hear it. Heeheehee!

I would've picked the Coral Detour, because it seemed much cooler, but it was also deceptively a lot harder. The frames of the nursery did not want to stay together in the water, and the tides made it almost impossible not to drift away from the bouy. 6 teams initially tried the coral, but only two teams completed it. Everyone else had to double back. The Doublemints had a terrible time with the umbrellas despite all the other teams stopping to give them advice.

The Squabblings had their best outing to date. They only fought with each other a little bit, and actually seemed to be enjoying themselves. The clue given to the teams after the Detour was just a compass and dubloon with holes in it. They were instructed to travel north for 13 minutes until they reached the island which you could see through the holes in the dubloon, called Soap Island. This can only be scored as a total shout out to Goonies, and I love the show more than ever because of this. The Squabblings also get extra points in my book for correctly identifying the Goonies shout out and for delightedly quoting the movie as they sped along on their way.

That Other Dating Couple had some communication breakdowns this week. It was bound to happen. I think it came mostly from stress and lack of sleep and not either of them being total assholes. Still the fatigue is only going to get worse. They are gonna have to dig deep in order not to fall apart completely.

Team Nemo somehow got lost in their boat after getting to Soap Island. This is extra hilarious since they had a map AND they are trained sailors.

The Doublemints were not eliminated at the end of the leg. I'm okay with that because I still like all the teams and don't feel the need to say goodbye to any of them soon. I'm still kind of amazed that there's no one on the race this season that I actively dislike. Team Tricky continues to impress, finally winning a leg without another team incurring a penalty. Everyone else seemed to really appreciate the beauty around them and treat the locals with courtesy and respect. Where have all these people been hiding during casting previous seasons??

The Pit Stop was a floating soccer "arena" which seemed to be a floating dock that was set up as a soccer pitch. I was confused. If the ball went out of bounds - as it tends to do A LOT in soccer -  wouldn't people have to keep jumping in the water to retrieve it? It seems like that would slow a game down considerably, no?

Next Week: It's a good thing all the teams loved Thailand because we are hanging around for another week. The Doublemints will have to face a Speed Bump and the challenge of getting along with no money, since they never got theirs changed into Thai currency.  As if they needed to make the next leg harder on themselves, they certainly found a way! Onward, Racers!

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