Hoooo yeah!! It’s time for The Amazing Race! Still my favorite reality show of all time, and the things dreams are made of. Yes, I wish I could run this race. I’d be a perfect candidate…I’ve never left the North American continent, I only speak English, and I break down like a little baby in the face of adversity. Oh yeah, I can be an ugly American just as good as the next guy, too. Do you understand-o? Where’s the nearest McDonalds? I wonder, what does a hamburger taste like in Australia? Speaking of Australia, this weeks leg of The Amazing Race whisks the remaining 5 teams from Oman to Perth, Australia, where we start to really see the nasty, spiteful side of Monica, and by extension Joseph, These guys have it in for the hippies. Did I miss something? Did the hippies already try to yield Team MoJo but failed? Monica keeps whining about BJ and Tyler planning to yield them, but I don’t think I ever heard them threaten that at all. I could be missing something. It happens. Anyway, let’s look at exactly what the teams will have to do this week:
1. Leave Jabreen Castle and fly to Perth, Australia. Once there, catch a taxi to King’s Park to find the state war memorial, where they will find their next clue.
2. Travel by ferry to Rottnest Island, one of western Australia’s most popular vacation spots, pick up a tandem bike, and ride 3 miles to the lighthouse and their next clue.
3. DETOUR: Sand or Sea. In Sand, teams must drag 40 tree branches over 100 yards to a marked sand dune. In Sea, teams must dive down into the bay to search 50 crayfish traps for crayfish. Only a few of the traps have crayfish, and each team must bring 2 fish back to the boss to receive their clue.
4. Ferry back to Fremantle and visit Fremantle Prison, a prison built by convict labor back in the 1800’s, and only recently shut down in 1991.
5. ROADBLOCK: Who’s ready for a great escape? In this roadblock, one team member must search cells in the division 4 cellblock for a flashlight with batteries. After putting the batteries in the flashlight, the team member must find the door that accesses the tunnel system below the prison and navigate the tunnels to find their next clue.
6.Make your way to the pit stop at the south breakwater of the Fremantle Sailing Club.
Fran & Barry – Depart 5:35 PM
The frisky old couple is psyched to be heading to Australia, but are certain in their need to keep a lead, as every other team still in the race is 35 years younger than them. They kindly leave some money for the destitute hippies on their way out before they speed off for the airport. Too bad the roads are all congested and traffic is apparently not moving. So the old farts stop to get some gas and figure out what the heck is going on. Fortunately for all of the teams lagging behind, the King of Oman happens to be in town, and when that happens, they close down all the roads to the airport so that he can safely get around town. Once the traffic clears, they get to the airport and book their flight to Perth. Once in Oz, they are slow to get a taxi, and are the last to arrive at the war memorial. However, they opt to just have their taxi take them to Fremantle, so they are one of the first 3 teams to arrive at the ferry to Rottnest. Since there won’t be a ferry until the next morning, they decide to hit the local backpacker’s hostel to spend the night. Luckily for the swinging couple, they are put up in “The PleasureDome” with what sounds like a bunch of other people. *Bow chicka bow bow* The next morning, they luckily have enough energy to get out on a tandem bike and pedal around Rottnest Island to the lighthouse. Barry says that they are probably in better shape then they were when they were younger, so the bikes are a benefit for them. They find the detour and choose Sand. With BJ’s encouragement, Fran and Barry get their branches moved down the beach and head to prison. Before they board the ferry, though, they make a really smart move and call ahead to Fremantle to have a taxi waiting for them at the dock. But it backfires. Their cab never shows up, and these guys have to run down the block looking for taxis, eating up valuable time. Eventually they find a bus to the prison, but who can say how long it took them? They arrive at the prison, and for some reason, Barry pushes this roadblock off on his wife! I think he has made her do the last couple of potentially dangerous roadblocks. Chivalry is really dead. Anyhow, Fran finds her flashlight and heads down into depths of the tunnels. She finds her next clue on the dry side of the tunnels, and walks out grumbling about how much she hated this challenge. Barry is glad to see her, and they head over to the pit stop by taxi, hoping against hope that they aren’t lost…and that Fran won’t lose her lunch all over Phil. They arrive…
Joseph & Monica – Depart 5:54 PM
Team Mojo is rarin’ to go right out of the pitstop. Man, this couple just annoys me for some reason. They think they are bad asses, and perhaps they are so far in the race, but Monica thinks they can do no wrong, and every other team can do no right. They make a point of faking a money drop for the hippies, but then Monica venomously states that the hippies are the team they want out most, and they won’t leave them anything. They soon run into the same traffic as Fran and Barry, and also take a driving break while the King dances his way through the city. Once they make it to the airport, they book the same flight to Perth as the other teams. And once they are on the plane, they are leading the chant for the plane to leave without BJ & Tyler. They really hate the hippies…like Cartman on South Park. Unfortunately for them, BJ and Tyler make the flight, and BJ let’s out a big “Ha Ha” in his best Nelson Munce impression. In Perth, MoJo finds the memorial quickly, and cabs it up to Fremantle to spend the night in a hostel. In the morning, they ride the ferry with the rest of the teams over to Rottnest, and grab a bicycle. Monica gives directions, but eventually figures out they are going the wrong way, and frustrates Joseph by nagging him to know when she is wrong. The vitriol starts to fly from Joseph, but they turn around and get to the detour and choose Sea. Quickly reading the directions, the couple heads out to the crayfish traps and dives down to search. After Joseph finds a crayfish and brings it up, they head in to the crayfish captain, who tells them he needs 2 fish to give them their clue. Monica screeches a little about not reading the clue fully, but finally gives up pouting in order to head back out to the traps. She whines some more since Joseph is making her actually try to bring up a crayfish. Joseph uses the ever popular “Scream-at-the-top-of-your-lungs-drill-seargent style” of encouragement by screaming “Don’t give up” every five seconds. Eventually, she gets one, and they have their next clue to head to Fremantle Prison. En route, Monica borrows someones cell phone, and they call ahead to have a taxi awaiting their arrival. For them, it pays off, and the driver even says he is waiting for Joseph to Fran and Barry, so it’s all legit. Once at the prison, Joseph elects to not have to hear Monica whine through a challenge, and he goes for the great escape. He finds the flashlight and batteries quickly, refusing to help out Tyler when he comes along. Joe gets over to the tunnels entrance, and goes right for a canoe on the wet side of the tunnels. He points his flashlight with the accuracy of a fifth year boyscout, and finds a clue quickly. He gets himself up into the daylight, gathers Monica up and heads to the pit stop. They arrive…
Ray & Yolanda – Depart 6:26 PM
Ray and Yolanda are having a rough time with each other lately. This is quite apparently the most time these two have ever spent together, and sometimes they don’t communicate well at all. Yolanda points out that at least they aren’t MoJo, who she says are simply not nice people. I knew I wasn’t just imagining things. They make it to the airport, and onto the same flight as everyone else. When they arrive in Perth, they grab a taxi and head to the war memorial for the next clue. When Mr. Cab Driver tells them that the ride to Fremantle for the ferry will take 45 minutes to an hour, Yolanda smartly decides that it’ll be too expensive, and the learn about taking a bus to Fremantle. They are relieved when the hippies show up so they are not alone. The next morning comes, and Yolanda hasn’t killed Ray yet, so they join everyone on the ferry and get over to Rottnest Island to claim a tandem bike. You’d think that this athletic pair would be at home riding a bike. On the contrary, they fumbled around on that thing worse than Leon Lett with a football. Once they finally master the tandem bike, they find the next clue for a detour and choose Sand. Ray turns the labor into a shoulder workout, and they hustle to get it done and get back to the ferry. They end up on the same ferry as Fran and Barry and Team MoJo, so they know they are still in the race. At the docks, they wander around looking for a cab but never find one. They do somehow wander right over to the prison, and they even beat Fran and Barry. Yolanda elects to do the escape, and quickly finds her flashlight and the tunnels. She finds her clue on the wet side of the tunnels, and heads upstairs to Ray. They grab a cab to the sailing club and arrive…
Eric & Jeremy – Depart 6:47 PM
The frat boys get their show on the road in 4th place, but with a comfortable lead on their rivals BJ and Tyler. They make their way to the airport amidst a fireworks display that was obviously meant for the King, but I’m sure these guys think it’s for them. *strains of “You’re So Vain” running through my head* They join everyone else at the airport, and get on the same flight as the rest, hoping that the hippies won’t make it on. Is it just me, or are these guys one of the dullest teams to ever run this race? Even when they are trying to be cool ladies men and make degrading remarks about women. Actually, I should say especially when they’re doing that. They’re pretty disappointed when everyone ends up on the same flight, and even more disappointed when they learn that the hippies earned more cash on the plane than they were given. See guys? The girls like the guys with a sense of humor! In Perth, they’re taxi whisks them to the war memorial, and then up to Fremantle, where they learn there won’t be another ferry until morning. After a night in a hostel, the frat boys wake up, catch the ferry, and are the first out of the bike shop on their tandem bike. They find the lighthouse and the detour location and choose Sea. The boys race off to change with some standard silly boy comment about seeing a little ass. He said butt. Uhhh huh huh, huh, huh. Yeah! Of course they have no problem with the task, and are underway to Fremantle quickly. Once at the prison, Jeremy searches high and low to find the flashlight and batteries, but once he is back outside, he fumbles around for awhile looking for the entrance to the tunnels under the prison. After much posturing in front of Eric, Jeremy finally finds the right door to access the tunnels, and heads down. He goes for the wet side of the tunnels first, and navigates the canoe through what appears to be a loop, not really using his light to look into the crannys of the tunnel. Since he is back where he started, he decides to try the dry side instead, and quickly finds his clue over there. He heads back up to ground level, and he and Eric head for the pit stop, forgoing a taxi and running the whole way. They arrive…
BJ & Tyler – Depart 8:21 PM
Whew! My favorite team stayed alive on the last leg with only the clothes on their back. They both read the clue with a sarcastic disdain that can only be pulled off by free ridin’ hippies of their stature. They are the only team that is starting the leg with no money, but are they worried? Hell no! Especially since Fran and Barry and Ray and Yo left them some cash. They drive toward the airport, stopping to ask directions from a couple of locals. One neighborly fellow, Abdul Hamid, not only gives them directions to the airport, but decides to ride along to make sure his new American friends go the right way. Not only that, but he takes them to a gas station when they are low, and fills their tank. Gas is free to citizens of the oil producing countries…right? Either way, BJ and Tyler score a great deal, as Abdul Hamid even gets them some Snickers bars. While they are filling up, BJ explains that Abdul Hamid is a Bedouin, and that he and Tyler are like American Bedouins. I think the word you’re looking for is “nomad”. But whatever. They have their gas, and Abdul has his ride to nowhere, so they ditch him and get moving toward the airport. Once there, they rush to the ticket counter and hurriedly book their tickets on the flight that is about to leave. Ttow!! They get their tickets and run crazily through the airport yelling their battle cry at the top of their lungs, getting to the plane with all the others just in time. Over the course of the flight, they somehow get their hippie hands on $300, which is more—by a long shot—than the other teams received for this leg of the race. Once in the land down under, the boys get busy with the other challenges of the race. They get through all the clues, and at the detour they choose Sand, since it’s all about preventing erosion, and they’re hippies. /stereotype(ok, not really) I don’t know where these guys get all of their energy, but man, I want some! They head to Fremantle and arrive at the prison right around the same time as Team MoJo. Since Joseph is whipped by Monica and must also hate the hippies, he refuses to give any information to Tyler even though he tries to play nice. He finds what he is looking for, puts the batteries in the light, and finds the tunnels with ease. Down in the dark where he doesn’t need his 80 SPF sunscreen, Tyler speedily finds his clue on the wet side of the tunnels. He and BJ take their cab to the pitstop and show up…
First - Eric and Jeremy: the frat boys place first again. It was a close race with Team MoJo, but they eked it out and win a trip to a plush Hong Kong spa for their trouble.
Second – Joseph and Monica: Monica is sure to harp on Joseph tonight since they were unable to beat the frat boys in a footrace. Joseph asks Phil for a second trip for them, but no dice.
Third – BJ and Tyler: Team Hippie is back at the top of the pack! They are hoping their last place days are behind them.
Fourth – Ray and Yolanda: Yolanda is just happy to still be in the race. She had a fun day today, and a lot of the tension between her and Ray has been released.
Last – Fran and Barry: The old baby just gave out. Fran tries not to cry, but she can’t help it. They have run a truly amazing race, and are both very proud of each other for doing so well. That, and the stipend they’ll receive just for competing helps too.
Well, I can’t say I didn’t expect Fran and Barry to be out sooner than later—they just overlooked too many clue boxes and weren’t forceful enough with taxi drivers. They had a lot of fun, though, and I am sure the experience stands on its own.
Be sure to tune in next week when the teams walk through alligators, and the rivalry between Mojo and the Hippies goes to an all new level.
Dreaming of an Australian holiday: firstname.lastname@example.org