Poor Jen. Water has not been her friend in China. First, the swimming challenge of last week almost made her quit, and this week it finally did her in. But first we must revisit the Margie/Luke/Jen/Kisha mat drama for the umpteenth time in the weekly recap. And Jen’s pool meltdown. And then my personal favorite, the look of utter shock on Jaime’s face as a smiling Phil hands her the next clue and informs her that no, ma’am, you won’t be getting any prizes this week. Keep on trucking. I almost want to screencap it and make it my wallpaper. Almost.
So Phil (looking good this week, I might add) hands the stunned redheads their next clue after informing them that they’re still racing. Hyper, they rush off to get another cab, whacking Cara’s head with the door in the process. Or was it Jaime’s? Please tell me it was, that would make it so much sweeter.
A grumpy Margie says that if Luke yells “Moooomm!” at her one more time, she’s going to...to...well, get even more angry. Looks like momma bear got up on the wrong side of the cave this morning. Tammy laughs that “we were tricked!” after finding out that it wasn’t a real Pit Stop.
Kisha and Jen run up to the mat with tears in their eyes, fully expecting to be Philiminated. When Phil hands them a clue, Kisha exclaims “Shut. The. Hell. Up!” Grins knock the sadness from their faces as they run off to the next task: finding that little Travelocity gnome dude hidden somewhere in an open-air mall store.
Of course we have a team waltz right by the gnome in the store, standing in full display on a shelf and laughing a silent evil gnome laugh at Victor, who wanders to another store, letting Margie and Luke take the lead. When he finally finds a gnome, Victor gripes to his sis about having to carry both a doll AND a purse. Just think about the lifelong shame your parents will stick you with if you don’t win, Vic. Hush and carry the gnome.
News flash! Jaime is berating yet another cab driver. Full story at 11.
Next task is to find a set of electric bikes and ride them past Tiananmen Square, in search of the Detour. Tammy takes a minute to fully realize the electric capacity of the bike and stop pedaling the darn thing, and Victor enjoys seeing the flag raised over Tiananmen Square as he cruises by. Paying too much attention to scenery, perhaps, because he almost made himself a hood ornament zipping across a busy street in front of cars.
Margie and Luke almost plow into Kisha and Jen with their bikes as the girls run up, but no elbows were thrown and no names were called in this little incident. Too bad, we would have had some fresh material for next week’s recap.
For the Detour, teams could either get painted up in traditional opera garb, complete with makeup, or play Chinese waiter and take a table full of orders, relaying them in Mandarin to the cooks. Tammy and Victor hop right on that one, while the others smartly go to the Beijing Opera house to tackle makeup.
With names like Good Luck Squid and New Taste Beef (I prefer Old Taste, myself), even Tammy and Vic have an opportunity to screw up translating the orders. And they do, taking two tries to get it right. Annoyingly, Tammy keeps telling Victor to shut it and let her do the talking, and right after he agrees, he chimes in right along with her like he just can’t help it. He needs a big helping of Shut Up, Big Brother.
Calling Tammy Faye
Over in Opryland, makeup is being troweled on in a frightening fashion. Luke is fluffing tons of white powder all over Margie’s face, irritating her into constantly checking out her new look in the mirror, and not liking what she sees. It’s when he smears a line of thick black makeup over her eyebrow that she begins ranting about being made to look like Alice Cooper. They have a model to copy the makeup from, but Luke isn’t doing a spectacular job of it. Margie squirms and fusses until Luke throws his hands up and says he’s done. Done, done, done. Yeah, right. He finally gets her to stop moving and they continue the mall makeup counter makeover.
Kisha and Jen have finished theirs during all of the griping, and the girls go out to take their bow and get the next clue. Jen tells Kisha that she’s going to scare a lot of children with her new look, and they both confide that while they have no ill will towards Margie and Luke, they wouldn’t hesitate to use any tools available to put them behind.
Tammy and Victor run into the last U-Turn of the season, and it’s not a blind one like the first was. They say that Margie and Luke are the strongest team, but Tammy is afraid of getting into a foot race with the faster and more athletic sisters. So they decide to U-Turn Kisha and Jen. Yeah, that logic is fuzzier than the stuff in that forgotten container in the back of my fridge. If you think Margie and Luke are the strongest, why not give them the smack down? Yeah, I’m bitter. Foo.
Meanwhile, Jaime and Cara are having their usual translation troubles in getting to the Detour (Bitchese doesn’t translate well to Mandarin) and after pretending to sing opera, their driver takes them to the National Opera House instead of the Beijing House. Jaime fumes. They have trouble finding another cab, probably because the cab driver’s union has put out an APB for two American redheads who are being a pain in the ass. Don’t pick them up for any reason!
I'll Have Extra Crispy, Please
It took a while, but the nasty food Roadblock has arrived! This season, one sucker will be chowing down on a mixed platter of fried scorpions, huge starfish, grasshoppers, and big funky grubs. Yum-o. In his haste, Victor goes to grab the critters and eat them raw, until the vendor informs him that they haven’t been cooked yet. Because I’m sure frying makes big funky grubs just so much more palatable.
After jokingly asking for ketchup and not getting any, Vic crunches into his buffet of grossness, giving critiques as he eats. “Crunchy. Difficult to keep down.” Tammy looks on in a mixture of disgust and bemusement, a secret part of her probably enjoying this scene. Remember leading me all over that mountain in Transylvania, Vic? Remember not listening to me when I said we were going the wrong way? Enjoy that chewy starfish, sucker...
Jaime and Cara finally arrive at the Detour and get to applying makeup, but no amount of makeup in the world is going to cover up that kind of ugly. Cara looks cute, anyway. They end up wandering the streets, looking for the clue box with Margie and Luke. It must be rather warm there, as the makeup is starting to run and it’s not a pretty sight, let me tell you. Margie’s starting to look like some scary clown out of a horror movie.
And I hate clowns.
Margie and Luke eventually realize that the clue box is back at the opera house, and find that Kisha and Jen have been U-Turned, much to their delight. Kisha and Jen, not so much. Tammy has written “Sorry, I can’t outrun you!” on the sisters’ picture, but that slight compliment does nothing to cheer them as they go back to do the Chinese waiter task.
Jaime and Cara have basically given up, and plop down in the street in disgust after walking all over in search of the clue box. They can’t get any help from locals - maybe it’s not just cabbies who have banned them - and after much pouting and poking out of lips, they decide to go back to where they started and *duh* there’s the clue box. Meanwhile, Tammy and Victor are on their way to the Pit Stop, a place they’ve been before: Niao Chao, aka the Bird’s Nest, home of the Beijing Olympics.
While the redheads are pouting, Kisha and Jen are tackling the waiter task. Horribly. With every little inflection of a syllable giving the word a different meaning, they end up asking the cooks for “Good Doll Basket Drum” and “Monthly Use Taiwanese Chicken.” They do get it right, but I wonder how many tries it took.
Margie has since eaten her fried things on a stick and left, leaving the redheads and the sisters to race. Kisha and Jen get there first, with Jen offering to do the eating. Maybe to make up for last week. Kisha tries to joke, asking if the crispy critters taste like chicken. Jen chokes and gags and barfs some of it up, tearing it into tiny pieces and washing each one down with big swigs of water.
Urine Trouble, Now
Jaime and Cara arrive, and Cara practically inhales the nasty treats, much to Jaime’s delight as she giggles in awe behind her friend. Jen manages to finish first, having downed four big bottles of water, also. This is a problem, because water needs to make an exit soon after entering. Kisha and Jen find a cab, but soon Jen is squirming in discomfort, telling her sister that she has to pee. NOW. Kisha tries to talk her through it (read: hold it in!) but when they arrive at the Pit Stop, Jen just can’t take it and bolts to a nearby porta-potty.
And here comes the redheads. Shot of them getting out at the Bird’s Nest. Shot of porta-potty. Will Jen finish her unscheduled pit stop before the redheads get to the real Pit Stop? Will we finally get to see Jaime sent packing?
Alas, no. Phil checks the cheerleaders in while Jen’s still tinkling - or so editing made it seem. Here’s how they finished:
1st - Tammy and Victor, winning a trip to the Galapagos Islands.
2nd - Margie and Luke. Luke does a happy dance.
3rd - Jaime and Cara. Phil tells them they could be the first all female team to win. Hush, Phil.
Philiminated: Kisha and Jen. Jen cries, and says she feels “guilty as hell” for stopping to pee. Kisha says she’s not going to hold it against her, they’re a team and she loves her sister. But you know Jen will never live it down at family gatherings. I can see gag gifts of Depends in her future...
Next week is the finale! A chintzy, too short, one-hour finale. But we’ve got beautiful Hawaii on the agenda, along with luau pigs and surfboards. At least they speak English there, so Jaime should be relatively happy. See you then!