The Amazing Race, Sept 27 (Ep. 2) – The Duck Whisperer
Hi again, reality friends and travel aficionados. In case you missed the thread, we have a recap of the first episode for the season (and the earlier of the two hours aired on the same night) located here: http://www.fansofrealitytv.com/forum...ml#post3713701
We introduced this year’s teams in the prior recap, so we’re going to jump right in. At the end of the last episode, married yogis Lisa and Eric were eliminated at the starting point after failing to find the correct license plate for the area of Japan that was their destination. They were somewhat Zen about their departure, and everyone else seems to have not even noticed that they were even on the show.
Not going unnoticed were Maria and Tiffany, a pair of ace poker players who bluffed to their competitors that they were actually volunteers at a local homeless shelter who work with homeless kids. It took all of one leg for other travelers to recognize one of them (Tiffany, I think) and bust them out as big old liars. This may cause some teams to resent them, but Lance doesn’t even know this and has decided to put a major hate on them just because they came in last and “should have been eliminated” even though Phil already knew that no-one was leaving at the end of the first leg as they have an order for a set number of episodes. This stuff isn’t completely random, you know.
“Self-made attorney” Lance feels that having a 2 hour penalty in addition to having to perform a Speed Bump is not justice, and feels the need for a repeal of Phil’s non-elimination leg declaration. Phil finds Lance’s objection out of order, and this litigator will need to cool his heels at the airport with a team he deems unworthy of his continued presence.
Good Morning, Vietnam.
As the team depart, they find out they will be heading for Vietnam. Whatever happens in Vietnam probably won’t compare to the experience Teri and Ian had seasons ago as it was the first time Ian had been back since being deployed there 30+ years ago during the war. The teams are bickers while getting tickets, including Keri, who is already frustrated with Lance being too pushy – of course.
When we aren’t watching Lance spew his venom about women, we see the interesting dynamics of the teams grouping up to get plane tickets. Some teams are trying the internet, but most are at the airport, and there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference in arrival times.
By now a number of teams have found out that the alleged “homeless children’s charity workers” are really professional poker players, and are not really impressed with their deception. Zev and Justin didn’t actually overhear the poker reveal, but have speculated that these “mean ladies” are not the type who would work with homeless kids. That is pretty perceptive for a person with subpar social skills, and his friend with Aspersers Syndrome. Just kidding, I’m sure Justin is a very astute judge of women’s feelings. Whatever ill feelings Kev and Justin perceive about Maria and Tiffany are apparently very mutual.
I Hope this Bus is Actually a Duck Boat
The teams arrive in Vietnam, take cabs through some seriously flooded streets, and then race to get onto a couple of different buses, which are quite crowded. The contestants needed to walk through about a foot of water to board their buses. I thought this would be a perfect time for them to ride on duck boats, but unfortunately, they aren’t in Wisconsin Dells, home of most of the remaining ducks in existence. Ok, now you know about my summer vacation, but seriously, that is some deep water, and the ducks would have been awesome: Wisconsin Duck Tours - Wisconsin Dells, WI And yes, I was thinking about the duck boats before the later challenge involving real ducks of the poultry variety rather than military surplus.
The teams on one bus realize that another bus with teams on it has left, while they still have more than an hour to depart. They calculate what it would cost to buy the rest of the tickets so that their bus can leave early, and they do it, so hopefully they won’t be missing that money later. Generally this is a good idea, as falling an hour behind another group could pretty much guarantee that someone on that bus would be leaving, so catching up is wise – in most instances. But not necessarily. Especially when they arrive at their destination and realize that they all need to wait until the next day to do the next challenge. Ah yes, the great equalizer. No-one can really predict it, much like the Spanish Inquisition. That was money they’ll never see again, but at least they weren’t squished and uncomfortable on their bus like the other group was (with chicken carrying passengers in tow).
All of the buses arrive, but can’t do the next activity, so we get to see them all hanging out, sampling the local cuisine. The poker chicks say that they can’t stand Zev and Justin, shortly after we see film of Zev giving his jacket to a local man who was wet and cold. Let’s hope that Zev doesn’t regret that move if they end up going someplace with cold temps and no cheap clothes alternatives. Maria and Tiffany, well, they aren’t very good liars for poker players, but they are on their way to their extra challenge.
Maria and Tiffany head to their speed bump and need to serve a tray of pho to the dock master. They run around with this tray of food for a while, but find him eventually and then catch a boat to the group challenge. They claim that they would rather eat Pho than serve it. Well, wouldn’t most people rather be customers than employees? Working a real job is not fun. Which they apparently don’t realize because for their job, they play poker, an activity most people do for fun. They call it work because it isn’t fun, ladies.
Playing in the Mud – My Son Would be Great At This Challenge
The rest of the teams are starting the next challenge, which involves planting trees by moving around heavy pots of mud. They have varying degrees of comfort with playing in the mud, It is heavy work, as they are hauling pots full of mud to place around a tree. Gary and Matt don’t seem phased by the mud, as they are country folks. Brian and Ericka seem to actually like playing in the mud (hey, people pay good money for mud masks at a fancy spa). Some of the other teams are complaining, as if this is the toughest thing they’ll have to do. Justin managed to fall off the dock, but seemed no worse for wear (other than losing their clue in the process, but he doesn’t know it yet). I think he’s going to want that later.
The teams continue to slog around in the mud, which actually looks a lot like clay and is not nearly living up to its muddy potential. Someone has sunk down in the mud pile up to his thigh, and makes a big “slurrrrp” noise when he pulls out his leg. I’m wondering if he lost a shoe in there, but that doesn’t seem to be the case later. Teams are getting the green light after doing much less mud spreading than I would have thought necessary to properly plant these trees, and are on their way on their boats to the next location.
Justin and Zev are taking off in their boat and realize that they’ve lost their clue. There is a moment of panic and backtracking, but they found it stuck to the side of their boat, a very lucky break.
Duck, Duck, Duck, Duck, Duck, Duck, Duck, Dang it, get in line Duck, Goose?!?!?!
The boats take them to their next challenge, which involve herding ducks across a path that they needed to complete in 10 minutes. It is a classic TAR animal challenge, and I think it is hilarious to watch. If you’ve seen the movie Babe (about the pig who wants to be a sheep dog), the challenge is a lot like herding sheep, only using flags in each hand and leading dozens and dozens of ducks in a out of a pen. And without the talking pig, as that would just be weird.
Mr. America Brian tells Ericka “the ducks can tell how you feel, so stay cool” which is easier said than done. Except for Zev, who has some Zen “duck whisperer” connection with the ducks. He completes the challenge on the first attempt. It appears that one of the Globetrotters (I didn’t catch which one he was) was also at an advantage as his arms are so long he was able to completely surround the ducks.
Pink-haired Matt also had no problem with the ducks. Matt “herded some animals in his day” according to his report, and it shows. Prospective teams for this show should probably try herding some animals, as it shows up more often than not.
Don’t Miss the Boat
Matt and his dad Gary, (nicknamed “Pinky and the Brain” by some of the other teams) follow the directions to find a specific boat in the harbor. They are the first team to arrive at the next pit stop, and win a kayak.
We see more duck herding. Tiffany and Maria have caught up with the pack and have passed some of the teams who are having particular problems with their poultry. Most of the teams are getting it done are watching some of the others succeed.
Team after team arrive at the pit stop with little fanfare. Two teams are stuck at the duck challenge. Both are couples with the female partners attempting to herd the ducks. Ericka was somewhat supportive of Brian when he had problems with wasabi challenge in the prior leg, but he is getting a little frustrated with her multiple attempts. Jessica and Garrett are pretty frustrated with each other. It’s a challenge to see which of these bickering duos will get it together first. Ah, the poor ducks, having to witness such strife.
As if the ducks secretly voted to give them a break and just end this already, Ericka and Jessica both manage to complete the challenge just a couple seconds apart. Ericka announces that they are eating duck for dinner. You may have plenty of free time to eat whatever you want, if you come in last.
Brian and Ericka arrive just in time, while Garrett and Jessica arrive last and are eliminated. After seven years of dating, Garrett still “isn’t sure” about marriage, However, the look on Jessica’s face when he said that makes me think that someone made up their mind about their future. Let that be a lesson to any couples who want to go on a reality show to check out their compatibility, as you just might find out about it.
Join us next week for the next episode of The Amazing Race, where we’ll see more action in Vietnam. Will Lance be angry that Brian and Ericka are still in the race despite finishing second from last? Will Tiffany and Maria continue to hit on the gay brothers?