Pack those parkas, TAR fans, we’re finally leaving the blah of Siberia and heading to the sweltering heat of - you guessed it - India. You knew it was coming. The Amazing Race crew spends so much time there, they probably have their very own welcoming party by now.
Not Coo-Coo For Kacca
None of the racers seem too broken-hearted to be leaving Siberia. Really, the highlight of that leg for me was Phil in his drawers, if that says anything. Luke looks ecstatic as he and mom read the clue directing them to Jaipur, India, and I can’t blame the kid. After running around in the bitter cold clad in next to nothing, I’d be more than happy to get a little closer to the equator, UV rays be damned.
Victor shares that he’s loving the Race because it’s so liberating for a type A eldest son Asian guy such as himself. None of those stereotypical roles to fulfill and all that. Cara then explains how she’s so easy going and Jaime is so...not. She tries to describe Jaime’s “aggressivity,” then wonders if that’s actually a word. That’s a negative, Cara. The redheads can’t wait to leave the cold and ditch their poofy, stylin’ marshmallow jackets.
No airport drama this week, either, since all teams have to connect through Moscow and will end up on the same flight regardless of when they leave craptastic Siberia. Mel makes a funny when he sees the name of the airline, asking the others if they really wanted to fly Kacca Air. The stuntmen note that there are several tall females in the Race, but claim their little legs will do the job when needed. Then they comment that they might just get one of those dots on their foreheads when they get to India. Er, yeah.
And *poof* they’re all in Jaipur. Holy cow, the traffic. The scramble for taxis is a complete cluster, with teams trying to get the same car, language barriers, etc. Mel and Mike go to switch cabs only to discover that they can’t get their stuff out of the first one’s trunk - it’s stuck. They finally get it open, but not until they’ve fallen to last place. Mel feels bad for flipping out on the new cabbie a little because he says the race isn’t important enough to “dehumanize” someone by hollering. I didn’t think he was hollering, but okay. Cabbie v2.0 promises to drive fast for them. And he does.
Continuing their streak of crummy luck, Christie and Jodi’s cab pulls over for gas after he insisted he had enough gas to make the trip before they got in. Did you know Jodi had a daughter at home? Neither did I, it’s the first time it was mentioned on the show. Not looking good for the blondes so far.
If You Can't Read Directions, Please Press 3
Driving through a rather run-down part of town, everyone is amazed at the poverty. Animals walk the streets, trash is strewn about, and children run around with no clothing. Cara cries over the stray animals while Luke sobs after seeing some kids eating out of the trash. Margie tries to comfort him. Being plopped smack dab in the middle of abject poverty makes them realize just how good they have it back at home. At least, I hope it does.
Finally, they arrive at the enormous sacred tree they were to find. Underneath, a couple of bored looking mystics, some goats, and....a red phone? Vic and Tammy read the instructions on the phone and dial the number, but cannot understand the language and call their cabbie to come translate. He comes running. Talk about service! On to the Amber Fort they go.
The next wave of Racers arrives at the tree and they proceed to wander around, looking for the clue. Ever play what’s wrong with this picture? Wouldn’t you think a glaring red phone would sort of stand out from the scenery, here? Gah. Not to this group. They hunt under tree roots, ask the uninterested mystics, and just generally wander the area like kids hunting Easter eggs. Finally, Jen has the sense to look at the note on the freaking phone and off they go.
And someone explain this to me: Kisha and Jen misheard the instructions as “The mad football,” yet their cabbie instantly knew they meant the Amber Fort. What?! The blondes arrive at the tree just as the caravan of fools is leaving, and they realize that they’re still in last place.
Whooped By a Camel
At the Amber Fort, a Roadblock: Care for a camel. One team member must bring both water and food to a colorfully dressed camel until said camel has sated his furry little self. Victor, in full manic mode this week, gets right on it and slides into the ginormous pile of camel chow, stuffing it frantically into his little metal bucket. The camera cuts to a shot of the nice, big, straw baskets sitting in a pile that they should be using for the hay. He eventually figures it out, as the others engage in a road race to get there.
And get there they do, somehow making it through the traffic and road critters in one piece. Jaime shows her ass, getting irritated because the locals don’t all speak English. This is fast becoming one of those teams that I only like half of. And she's not the half I like. Margie, Kisha, Mark, Jodi (eventually) and poor old Mel trudge through the camel task. Mel looks like he’s one bucket away from heat stroke, breathing like Darth Vader. Son Mike looks on and wishes he had done this one. Too late.
As worn out as he was, Mel was the only one to begin using the straw baskets for the hay. Everyone else was using the metal water buckets and stuffing it in their shirts until they saw Mel, who smoked them all time-wise and left in second place.
Just when I think this task isn’t going to be nearly as fun as the camel milking was a few seasons back, a camel kicks the living crap out of one of the handlers in the background, sending him to the ground in a heap. Then, Tammy trips over a rock and does an epic faceplant into the dirt. She’s okay, but I can’t speak for the poor dude who was kicked. That left a mark, for sure.
Victor Likes to Move It, Move It
On the way to a puppet store for their next clue, Tammy and Victor stare in amazement at an elephant strolling down the road. I feel for the guys whose job it is to clean up the streets. Yeesh. At the puppet store, they find the Detour: Movers or Shakers. In Movers, they must choose a bicycle loaded with barrels, take it 1 ˝ miles to a certain location, then find a small elephant charm hidden in some hay. In Shakers, teams must don brightly colored horse costumes, join a dance troupe, and dance in the streets until they earn 100 rupees.
Victor gets into this in a big way, shaking his booty with abandon as Tammy tries to keep up. I’m thinking he’s going to hate when he gets back to real life. They earn their rupees and head to the Pit Stop at Jaigarh Fort as the others play catch up. The remainder of the teams choose to dance except for Mark and Michael, who choose to do the boring bike task. Luke does his best to “dance” to music he cannot hear, letting his mom take center stage while he follows her lead. Mike ponders how the people there can still be so festive and generous when they are so poor.
On the flip side of niceness, we have Jaime, who rants and raves after they lose their cab driver in the madness. She hollers about stolen bags as Margie comes over to investigate what’s wrong with them. An uninterested Luke grabs his mom’s hand and says “Let’s go!” So much for alliances. Heh. The redheads find their cabbie in the crowd, fussing at the guy the entire way to the car. If I were him, I’d drop their stuff on the ground and tell them to get bent.
Christie and Jodi run into their Speedbump, where they have to play paint by numbers on an elephant and prepare him for a festival. They keep saying that they hope to make up time, but honestly, it feels like they know they’re doomed no matter how hard they try. They do manage to get to the Detour just as Kisha and Jen are leaving, giving me hope that they might have a shot - only because the stuntguys stupidly chose the other task and are wasting copious amounts of time digging through the hay.
At the Pit Stop, a bemused Phil awaits the teams as a guy plays nose flutes next to him. Nose flutes.
1st - Tammy and Victor, winning a pair of ocean kayaks.
2nd - Mel and Mike
3rd - Kisha and Jen
4th - Margie and Luke
5th - Cara and Jaime
6th - Mark and Michael
Philiminated - Christie and Jodi
Alas, the blondes were just beat out by the stuntmen. By only a minute or two. Sadness. Christie and Jodi cry a bit and comment that the experience was priceless, and that they’re better friends after going through it together.
Next week: teams go wild in Thailand, getting up close and personal with elephants and tigers. Yay for more animal tasks. Plus: the heat gets to Margie and she passes out in the street. Medic!