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Hello dear readers! Please excuse the tardiness of this rendition of the trials and tribulations of our intrepid racers. Not going to get into the gory details, but let’s just say there are some nasty bugs out there that do not like Chocolate. Anywho, when we last saw our racers they were rushing in Russia with the doctors getting to the mat first. They will be leaving the mat first and lets all join them on their journey to who knows where…

Equalizer: An event within the Race that allows teams who have made horrendous mistakes or who have been the victims of lousy cab drivers to catch up to the rest of the pack thereby resetting or equalizing the start times for a particular task.

Well, we know where fairly quickly as the little yellow card tells them to fly to Muscat, Oman. I hope they brought sun block! Once there they will need to find Burj Al Mubkaharah and receive an engraved ingot with the time they can begin the climb for their next clue. Nat and Kat decide a travel agent would be their best bet and found seats on a plane that would have them arriving in Oman at 8:55 pm. HSN’s eerily perky hosts Brook and Claire were able to make that flight as well but the rest of the pack had to take a later flight that would land at 10:35. Well, except for one of the teams: Chad and Stephanie snoozed right through their departure time. Loudly. They did finally wake up two hours past their departure time and were lucky to book a flight that landed in Oman that landed only 10 minutes after the second flight that held the majority of the teams. When their plane landed early in Muscat, the other teams were astounded to see them. The doctors and the HSN’rs snagged the earliest start time of 7:30am, Jill and Thomas and Chad and Stephanie (apparently quite alert with all the extra rest they got) grabbed the 7:45 times and Gary and Mallory and Nick and Vicki had to make do with 8am departures.

Ever have those times when you wish TV was a two way thing? And that you could reach in and grab someone out before they made a horrible mistake? Or could at least yell at them to watch the footage and get counseling g before saying yes? I know I do. And one happened Sunday when in a moment (certainly not scripted at all despite the setting and the teams who all happened to be there to witness it /sarcasm) Chad got down on one knee and proposed to Stephanie and she said yes. Oh lordy lordy. I do hope he didn’t say no take backs because certainly when she gets home and sees on the big screen what she is really going to be marrying she is going to want to run. I know I was screaming at her to run from my living room. I guess she didn’t hear me. For some reason the chords to “Another One Bites the Dust” went racing through my head.

At their appointed times, the teams ascended the tower to get the clue to the next destination: they need to drive themselves to Jabel Shams, the tallest mountain in Oman and then have a driver take them to the top of it for their next clue. It can be a tossup for the teams whether to follow the map or ask a local for directions sometimes. This time around Nat and Kat and Gary and Mallory chose to use their own navigational skills while the other teams chose to ask for directions. Nick’s ugly side reared again when Vicki shared her information with the HSN’rs who had pulled into the gas station just behind them. “Shut up. Dude, I’m so serious about that. Shut up. You have no common sense in your whole body.” Dude, you shut up. I am so tired of listening to your tirades and even more tired of seeing Vicki, who seems really sweet, having to take it. Was Ghana really that long ago? Or do you just have the brain of a pea

Roadblock: A task that only one person of a team can perform.

Chad and Stephanie made it to the next clue first with Jill and Thomas in a close second. At the top of the mountain they find a Roadblock: one of the team members will rappel down the side of the mountain 500 feet to an area that had hundreds of lamps with only a few containing Aladdin’s magic ring. Once they had the ring to the attendant, they will receive their next clue. Chad and Jill elect to do the roadblock for their teams, even though Jill has a tremendous fear of heights. They both make it to the bottom and begin their search of the lamps. Chad finds it first but Jill is close behind. The clues they receive tell them to drive to Nizwa and find the giant stack of books in the middle of town. Two other teams had arrived at the Roadblock and Vicki and Claire choose to do the roadblock. When Nick and Vicki were reading their clue a wannabe actor goat tried to muscle in on their scene. I think Vicki should have taken him up on his offer to dump Nick and take him for the rest of the race, but she did not take that route. They finish about the same time and receive their clues however Nick and Vicki had a delay of a flat tire to deal with. I am sure you believe me when I tell you that Nick took the delay in stride and dealt with it graciously. Yeah. Right.

Meanwhile, my two favorite teams of the docs and the dad/daughter are lost! Oh no! It turns out the maps of Oman are a little less than accurate and they have been led astray. Both teams stopped and asked for directions and are now hopefully on their way to the mountain.

Detour: A choice between two tasks, usually one a bit more physical and the other a bit more time consuming

Chad and Stephanie arrive at the giant pile of books with Jill and Thomas right behind them and they find a clue for a Detour: Water Table or Wedding Table. For Water Table they will need to pump water into a water truck and make a delivery to a local address. For Wedding Table they will need to buy 25 frozen chickens from a local market and other ingredients to make a soup to present to a bride and groom. None of the teams chose this obviously very long and time consuming task.

With Mallory and Gary still roaming the countryside and Nat and Kat already at the Roadblock, Jill and Thomas Chad and Stephanie are able to fill their trucks and deliver their water to the local addresses. As Vicki and Nick and Claire and Brook grab their detour clues, the top two teams begin filling their truck and making their deliveries. After they have made their deliveries, they receive a clue to go to the Muttrah Souq (a famous market in Muscat) and find the vendor who will give them frankincense which they will have to deliver to Ali Baba within the Souq for their final clue. Jill and Thomas narrowly make their H2O delivery before Chad and Stephanie do. They maintain this small lead through the market and through getting the last clue but then make a costly mistake: They hire a taxi to follow to the Pit Stop. Have they learned nothing? Are they the only ones who do not know that this season that is a huge no no? So even though they find Phil at the Pit Stop on the grounds of the Al Alam Palace, they will have two sit and wait out a 30 minute penalty and watch as Chad and Stephanie arrive and claim first place and a trip to Belize. Peoples, peoples, peoples. Read the rules. They are your friends.

With Mallory and Greg finally arriving at the Roadblock after 9 hours of driving and the doctors watering the locals, Nick and Vicki and Claire and Brooke find Ali Baba in his suit and then make their way to the Pit Stop. Gary and Mallory made up some time with the water challenge and indeed saw Nat and Kat and their hopes were buoyed, but in the end they could not overcome the doctors lead and they arrived last at the Pit Stop. Disappointed yet very proud of each other, Mallory and Gary were Philiminated.

And that was the Race for this week folks - See you all next week!

Race Stats:

Did the Roadblock: Chad, Jill, Vicki, Claire, Kat, Mallory

Detour Water Table:
Nat/Kat, Chad/Stephanie, Gary/Mallory, Brook/Claire, Jill/Thomas, Nick/Vicki
Detour Wedding Table: no one

Finish Order:

1. Chad and Stephanie
2. Jill and Thomas
3. Nick and Vicki
4. Brook and Claire
5. Nat and Kat

Gary and Mallory are Philiminated.