Friday, October 28, 2011

Amazing Race 19: Leg 5 Recap!

(Operation Dumbo Droppings - The Doublemints have the time of their lives cleaning up after the cutest baby elephants you ever did see.)

Episode Five Fake Title: I'm Gonna Get You on a Slow Bus to Bangkok...

Starting City: Phang Nga Province Thailand
Pit Stop City: Bangkok, Thailand - M.R. Kukrit Heritage House
1st Place: Team Footballers Lives (they were thrilled like they won the whole race) Reward: Trip to Bali
2nd: Team Out-To-Pasture (also thrilled like they won the whole race and they didn't even win the leg!)
3rd: Team Bert & Ernie
4th: The Squabblings
5th: Team Tricky
6th: Team Nemo
7th: That Other Dating Couple
 Last Place: The Doublemints - Eliminated!!

Roadblock: Surprise Double Road Block! In the first Roadblock, one team member had to search in the jungle for a man playing a traditional Thai flute. They then had to search underwater in the pond in front of him for a bundle that contained a ceramic carp. There was a clue in the carp that led the teams to a nearby location where they had to take apart a traditional spirit house which they then delivered to Wat Chalong. The second Roadblock saw the team member that sat out the first Roadblock rebuilding the spirit house they picked up after the first Roadblock. Upon assembling it exactly, a monk would give them a bag of food and their next clue.

Speed Bump: Liz & Marie had to shovel elephant dung and wash an adorable baby elephant before they could proceed to the first Roadblock. The Doublemints were over the moon for both tasks, screeching with glee upon seeing the elephants. If they had to be eliminated, at least they didn't miss out on the elephants. 

Also of Note This Week:No Detour on this leg!

Teams did not start exactly where they checked in from the last leg. I'm not sure why they moved off the floating soccer field, but they did.

Teams got to ride elephants to the first Roadblock. This was fun for some (Tricky, Doublemints) and stressful for others (That Other Dating Couple.)

The clue about the Spirit House did not tell teams they would have to reassemble the Spirit House when they brought it to the next location. Some couples thought to take notes or pictures (Footballers Lives, Out-To-Pasture) while others had to go back and look at the proper placement for all the decorations (Nemo, Bert & Ernie). I find it amusing that while so many teams have difficulty reading their clues, on this task mos of them intuited the twist that they ha to reassemble it. I am sure if the clue actually SAID they had to reassemble it, somehow more teams would've missed that info and lost time. :)

Team Tricky out of nowhere suddenly got the Super Religious Christian Edit. I don't know what that was about. I firmly believe God doesn't care where you end up in a reality competition. I like when they are more fun and taking it all in and not praying to God to pull them through to victory. That's just me.

Team Nemo is having some communication issues based on the power dynamic of the relationship. They made two big blunders this leg - first when Dad-partner Laurence dismissed Son-Partner Zac's idea to take notes on the Spirit House before taking it apart, and then Dad getting mad at him for having to go back and take notes, and then later Zac wrongly convinced his dad they had to get off the first class bus they were taking to Bangkok for a local bus instead, forcing them to go back to the bus station and lose several hours of travel time on other teams.  They don't really fight, but they don't listen to each other in stressful situations, which is weird to me given that they are experienced sailors. You'd think they'd be strong communicators, but they seem increasingly out of their element - even last week when they were lost in the boats! Even at the mat this leg, Phil was like "you can't win racing like that."

Getting to Bangkok by bus proved crazy for almost everyone. Most teams took regular buses that travelled overnight and took FOREVER. Then they had to cab a million other places. Cabs were ripping people off left and right. Except for the Doublemints who had ZERO money and were given charity rides seemingly all over the country. They were very humble and grateful for it though, so that was nice, but clearly it was their time to exit. Ernie & Cindy  had the sweetest deal by taking the (not forbidden by the rules) express bus while everyone else had the local.In Bangkok, teams went to Noi Canal, and fed fish at the canal using the food they got from the second Roadblock, before they got the clue to the pit stop. this struck me as a pretty random task, considering it was still another taxi ride to get to the pit stop, but I guess they had to do something before ending the leg in Bangkok. Maybe it was a cooler experience in person.

The Doublemints were very gracious in their exit. They obviously had a very tough year with the passing of their father, and while they were not the strongest racers, I enjoyed their positive adventurous spirit and their expressed understanding of the special opportunity the race is to see the world. They will be missed.

Team Footballers Lives continue to be lovely and awesome and strong and smart. They are my current pick to win! Hopefully this doesn't doom them to be eliminated in the next leg!

Next week: Racing through tobacco fields? Does next week's episode come with a warning from the Surgeon General?? Onward, Racers!

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