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Last week: Shanghai, China. Where giant puzzles threw teams for a loop, Brent threw a fit over gusty winds, and non-elimination leg number 3 saved Michael and Louisí collective butts. *cough* This week: still in Shanghai. Brent needs some Depends, Dan throws a spectacular hissy fit and threatens his taxi driver with bodily harm, and there shall be no more non-elimination legs. Hallelujah.

Lost in Translation
Philís outdone himself with the hair product this week, creating enough spikes to make Sonic the Hedgehog proud. Teams are to find the Garden Bridge to start off this leg, he tells us. Unfortunately, the ďGarden BridgeĒ translates into something incredibly different, and not one of the locals knows what the heck all these silly Americans mean when they beg for directions. And no, spelling it out and speaking slowly like youíre talking to a toddler isnít going to make a bit of difference, Dan and Jordan.

Confessionals! Cord shares that he was almost killed by a hoof to the head in 2004, and gives much credit to his brother for helping him through that. Why did editing wait so long to share this story? Things that make you go hmm. Caite wants to prove to the world that sheís much smarter than people give her credit for, and wants to bury the Miss Teen flub of 3 years ago. Some advice? Quit bringing it up. Nobody really cares anymore. Dan is glad to give his brother his dream of running amok around the world, but he hates hates hates China and never wants to come back.

Back to the Garden Bridge. What helps confuse everybody is that there is a bridge right by the clue box, but itís not the Garden Bridge. After getting plenty of dumbfounded looks from locals, Caite spies a teen with a phone, and gets her to search for the translation of Garden Bridge. Ah, now they know what sheís talking about. Off they go, with Jet and Cord not too far behind them.

After having no luck with being somewhat rude to the locals, Dan and Jordan decide to toss their two hour lead over Louie and Michael by going back to wait for them. Because they wanted a partner to run with. Er, okay. I would have spent those two hours figuring it out on my own, but whatever. And if I were the detectives, I would have let the brothers flounder on their own. This isn't the time for making friends.

The hapless detectives finally arrive, and Michael wastes no time in pulling out his Super Duper Secret Spy Binoculars in hopes of spotting the Garden Bridge from where they are. Like itís going to have a huge neon sign (in English, nonetheless) pointing to its location. In lieu of said huge neon sign, he instead spies a street sign with *gasp!* two jackets hanging on it! Michaelís superior detective powers tell him that there MUST be a clue there, since it looks so out of place. They all make their way to the sign to check it out - nada. The four stooges eventually borrow a phone (Mike's idea) and use a translation service. Díoh!

Try, Try Again. And Again. And Again.
Now: the Roadblock at Longhua Temple. One lucky person gets to count 523 gold statues. If they get it wrong, they must wait ten minutes before guessing again. First to get there, Caite takes it on while Brent sits outside, appreciating the culture there. Itís ďneat to see how other people do things,Ē he opines. Meanwhile, Caite gives the clue guy her first guess: 520. Nope. She goes back. 522? Nope. Back again. 524?! Wrong. While she goes to count yet again, Jet and Cord arrive, so focused on finding the clue box that they walk right by a bemused Brent, who laughs at them. If he was a snake he would have bitten them.

Jet gets it right on his first try. Cowboys for the win!

Caite finally turns in the correct number after wasting their lead. Off in lala land, Dan and Jordan try in desperation to get their taxi to follow Louie and Michaelís. The driver, however, doesnít understand a damn thing theyíre saying, no matter how rudely and slowly they say it. Follow. Follow! F-O-L-L-O-W!! Dan is close to having an aneurysm, getting more agitated by the minute. Beads of sweat pop out on his forehead, his nostrils flare, teeth grit, and veins are bulging at his temples. He wants to hit something, he says. Epic meltdown ahead!

While the cowboys zoom off on their chosen motorcycle with a hearty ďYi yi yi!Ē - the bikes are a nice addition, TAR guys - the taxi gods have taken pity on Dan and Jordan and miraculously let them catch up to the detectives. Even more amazingly, Dan gets the count right on his first try, even in his agitated state. While heís counting, Michael and Louis are doing their Speedbump.

And folks, this is the Lamest Speedbump Ever. Lamer than doing a yoga pose or sipping tea. All they had to do was toss one coin a piece into the top of a huge incense burner. For real. It took all of one minute, Iím sure.

Louie takes a couple tries at counting statues before succeeding (read the clue, dammit!), and they all hop on the motorcycles in search of the Detour. Dan gets in a dig at his brother, giggling that ďJordan rode bitch!Ē in the sidecar. Jordan just rolls his eyes.

And This Little Piggy Went Wee Wee
On the way to the Detour, Caite gets all kinds of irritated with the teeming groups of locals trying to sell her their wares, mimicking them in an ugly way. Ugh. Every time I try to like this girl, she pulls something like this that makes me change my mind.

Totally off topic: on the way, they flashed a street sign bearing the name Fangbang Rd. Which reminded me that I canít wait for the new True Blood season. Hurry up, June!

Anyhow, the Detour. Teams can choose Pork Chops or Pork Dumplings. Nobody wanted to deliver dumplings, so I wonít bother with it. In Chops, they had to search a store full of carved decorative stamps for the ones with both a pig and their name carved into the bottom. Iíll spare you the pig jokes. Besides, Brandy is no longer racing.

So now Jet, Cord, Brent and Caite are all hunting through the thousands of stamps. Except, Brent has to pee. Now. NOW. He whines to Caite, she tells him to hold it. Heís all but bouncing around holding himself and Iím afraid heís going to have an accident right there on the floor, as insistent as he is. Still, Caite refuses to leave. Jetís never seen a man have to use the bathroom so badly, he said, and took a little pity on poor Brent. Finally, Caite relents and she huffs off with him to the bathroom. Why didnít he go before they got there? Who knows.

A much relieved Brent returns to the stamps, joking about how his stamp is a big one, much like other parts of him. Har har. Both teams find their stamps at about the same time, and they all take off for the Pit Stop. Several hours later, Dan, Jordan, Louie and Michael arrive. Jordanís being a jumpy spazz, letting the tension get to him. Dan snaps at him to ďStop complaining!Ē Michael once again pulls out his Super Detective Flashlight in hopes of using it to see through the bottom of the shelves without having to pick up each stamp - I donít think he was very successful. Louie, however, did succeed in knocking a bunch of them off the shelves like a bull in a china shop.

Dan and Jordan barely finish ahead of the detectives, and grab a couple of bewildered girls who were shopping to help lead them to the Pit Stop. And once again, they get a clueless taxi driver who gets them lost - Dan loses it at this point, with Jordan not far behind him. Dan bounces around in the backseat, eyes bugged out, looking like he wants to kill the driver for being dense. If you're very quiet, you can almost hear the ulcers forming...

And with that, hereís how they landed on the Amazing bathmat:

1st - Brent and Caite, barely edging out the cowboys and winning a 7 night trip to coastal Spain. Letís hope those bothersome locals donít pester her there.
2nd - Jet and Cord. I canít help but love these guys.
3rd - Dan and Jordan. I hope they take a Valium before the final leg. Sheesh.

Philiminated: Louie *cough* and Michael. I donít think they lost by much - it sure wasnít that stupid Speedbump that put them here. Wasting time working with Dan and Jordan? Maybe. Michael canít say anything bad about the experience, he loved it all. Louie was happy to have shared it with his good friend. Letís hope he invests in a gym membership when he gets home.

Next week: This is it, guys. The finale. No more TAR after that for a while. *sniff* Looks like the teams end up in San Francisco, play with a virtual reality game, and crawl around the Coit Tower. Poor Brent isnít even mentioned in Philís finale tease. Maybe heís in the bathroom again.

So what do you think? Did you ever imagine these three teams in the finale? Whoís your pick to win? Iím on Team Cowboy all the wayÖ