Hi, and welcome back to the Amazing Race, which is almost amazingly over. One more after this eppy, folks, and we can say sayonara to this whole rather dreary cast. But first, we’ve got this episode, which involves monkeys, which always make anything worth watching.
We ended the last leg of the race in yet another non-elimination leg, which again proved lifesaving to the hippies, who somehow manage to be last only when they’ll not be eliminated for it. These dudes must have some powerful karma or something. Maybe they saved the Dalai Lama’s life, or maybe karma knows they’re going to run over Kevin Federline with a bus next week. Either one would earn major karma points for that. Anyway, they’re still in the race but of course have no clothes and/or money, other than what they were wearing, and apparently one of them was not wearing pants or shoes. Um, why? Why would you even take the pants off? And if you did, wouldn’t you take those two seconds to put them back on? Especially on national TV?
Please, Kind Stranger, Help Me Clothe My Skinny White Ass
Teams must fly nearly 7,000 miles to Bangkok, Thailand, where they’ll then take a bus 97 miles to the city of Lopburi. In Lopburi they must find the Three Spire Pagoda, a Buddhist temple home to hundreds of sacred monkeys. Dude, I totally could get into a religion that reveres monkeys. Not worships them, mind you – I have no Planet of the Ape fantasies.
Anyway. Ray and Yolanda, the first to arrive at the pit stop, are the first to leave, at 1 in the morning. They drop off a pair of pants for BJ. Lycra pants. Running pants. The kind of pants where you seriously weigh which is more shameful, being pantsless or wearing those things. I say the jury is still out. At least BJ’s a skinny boy. Who’d have wanted to see those pants on that gay guy who got eliminated first? Not I, my friends. Not I.
Eric and Jeremy are next to leave, just a few minutes later. They leave BJ some sandals. Monica and Joseph leave right after, and they actually don’t leave the hippies anything. Apparently they’re still all huffy about being yielded, and they ramble on about mind games. I have trouble listening when those two speak, so I didn’t pay that much attention. I really don’t think I miss anything.
BJ and Tyler, leaving last, find the things the others have left on their car and are grateful, especially for the sandals, which they believe they wouldn’t be able to enter the airport without – apparently that whole “no shoes, no pants, no service” thing is really ingrained in their brains. I’m not convinced other countries abide by that, but then, I’ve never tested it. I’m a fan of wearing pants.
The hippies do, however, recognize that it’s Mojo who left them nothing, and blame this on Mojo just being all-around bad people who are also too cocky. The boys decide to head downtown first to panhandle before going to the airport, since they’ll need some cash at some point. This works out well for their wallets, although not their self-esteem – after BJ gives in to a woman’s request that he take his shirt off for money, she begs him to put it back on. Hah!
However, while the hippies were dawdling and begging, the flight to Bangkok that the other three teams got on became full. You know, I like these boys a lot, but sometimes I think they’re somewhat lacking in the common sense department. Couldn’t they have got tickets, then begged at the airport? However, they’re overflowing in the luck department – they manage to snag a different flight that arrives 15 minutes before the other flight.
Tastes Like Chicken. Or Exoskeleton.
In Bangkok, the flight with the three teams actually arrives 45 minutes early – what? When in the world has anyone ever been on a flight that got in early? I call b.s. So they’re 30 minutes ahead of the hippies, for those keeping score at home. And then the hippie plane is late anyway, which is more like my own airline experiences. Everyone takes cabs to a bus station, but Mojo have some sort of disagreement with their cab driver, and they somehow miss a late-night bus that Ray and Yolanda and the frat boys all managed to catch. Monica and Joseph decide to get a hotel for the night until the bus station reopens in the wee hours of the morning.
So we’ve got two teams on a bus, one in a hotel, and the hippies decide to sleep in the bus station. This turns out to have been smart – they catch a 4:20 a.m. bus, while Mojo wander in later for a 5:20 a.m. bus, wondering why no one else is there.
Meanwhile, the first two teams, Ray and Yolanda and the frats, arrive at this monkey temple, but it doesn’t open till 8 a.m. Can you say “bunching?” The frat boys decree that the monkeys look like “rats on steroids.” Why oh why couldn’t that place worship great gorillas who could tear the frats limb from limb? Maybe these little monkeys will at least give them fleas.
At 8 a.m., BJ and Tyler arrive, giving us three teams in the monkey place and no sign of Mojo, which everyone finds curious. Not enough to stop and wonder, though, because they all rush in to get their next clue.
It’s a roadblock. But wait! It’s also a fast-forward! Teams choosing the fast forward can race to a local school and partake in a local delicacy – a bowl of stir-fried crickets and grasshoppers. Um, barf. (Side note: what is the difference between a cricket and a grasshopper anyway? Discuss.) First team to lick their bowl clean can go straight to the pit stop. The hippies and Ray and Yolanda both decide to go for it.
Once there, Yolanda thinks cricket means that odd English sport. Why would any American automatically think that? Anyway, she first decides that her southern upbringing, which was heavy on deep-fried food, has prepared her for a bowl of insects. But she quickly decides this is not the case. She and Ray decide to leave the hippies to it and head back to the temple.
I’m going to just wrap up the insect-eating portion of our program. BJ and Tyler find it hard going, and one of them at least throws up several times. They consider giving up, but decide that will put them hopelessly behind and that their only choice is to see this one through. They finally manage it, and receive a clue sending them to the Marble Temple Buddha Shrine, this leg’s pit stop. They skip in in first place – presumably having stuck their fingers down their throats to debug themselves – but they don’t win a prize. Boo! There’s some nonsense about a golden Travelocity gnome or something. However, they’ve cinched a spot in the final three, and say they’re having a great time. Woot, hippies!
Now, back to the monkeys. In the roadblock, one person per team must prepare a feast for the monkeys, which apparently involves cutting up a lot of fruit and vegetables, and then displaying them ornately on a table, because we all know monkeys care so much about the aesthetics of their food. I’m sure that time at the zoo when I saw one eat its own poop, it had a lot to do with the artistic arrangement of said poop on the floor.
By the time Ray and Yolanda get back to the temple, Mojo have arrived, still mightily confused about how the other two teams got that early bus. They all comfort themselves by thinking it’ll take the hippies hours to eat those bugs, and they might all still be in it. The monkey feast thing isn’t as easy as it sounds anyway – the monkeys are not content to wait for that artistic display of a finished meal and keep stealing the food.
Eric and Jeremy finish first, and receive the next clue – to take the ferry to Koo Kret Island. There they’ll search the Buddha Garden for the next clue.
Rubbing Buddha’s Belly for Luck, Goldleafing it for the Win
Since there’s not a lot of drama involved in riding a ferry, I’ll go ahead and tell you that the clubox in the garden is a detour. Teams can either choose Move It or Alter It. In Move It, teams must walk to a pottery factory, where they’ll transport 72 clay pots by foot through winding streets in a market. They have to deliver the pots to a boat in the river, but they also must carry the pots in the traditional way – placing the pots on a board on their shoulders. In Alter It, teams must build a shrine to Buddha, and then cover a Buddha statue in gold leaf, and put it in the shrine, to get their clue.
The only problem is, Mojo can’t find the clue box. Ray and Yolanda pass them, find the box and head off to build a shrine. That’s the task the frat boys choose as well. In last place by now, Monica and Joseph decide to try the clay pots, hoping they can pass one of the other teams.
However, carrying clay pots on boards is harder than it looks. After their first trip, Mojo have only carried 40-some pots. They keep dropping them, and Monica is a whiny beyatch. While they struggle, the frats finish their statue and, despite trouble finding a taxi, do manage to get one. Ray and Yolanda aren’t far behind. Mojo finish, and also get a taxi, and it’s a race to the finish.
And…. *drumroll* it’s a race Mojo loses. Eric and Jeremy get in second, without the gold gnome. Ray and Yolanda and Mojo run around the temple for a while looking for the right door, but Ray and Yolanda make it. And they do have the winning gnome, which earns them a cruise around Sydney Harbor and some exploring of the Great Barrier Reef, plus that night they get to spend in a nice hotel, where they can use the Internet to look at their trip. I’m thinking they’re more likely to use the shower and the bed, but hey, what do I know about the priorities of people in a race for $1 million?
Mojo straggle in last, and aren’t surprised. Monica gets weepy, says she’s proud of what they did, and Joseph says they’re just great together and this experience improved their relationship, and they say they’ll get married one day. Blah sappy blah.
So! There we have it. We’re coming up on the finale, which of course all three teams think they’ll win. The last leg will take them through the Far East and back to North America, and by god if there’s not tension and drama, the editing team will create some.
No, I would not eat insects for a million dollars. firstname.lastname@example.org