Sunday’s episode of The Amazing Race had its contestants running and sweating around Vietnam’s crowded Ho Chi Minh City. Some teams are getting used to the frenetic pace and working well together while others are already starting to come apart at the seams. Too bad they didn’t have our rules with them. –Carrie Bell
1. Get your bearings: For the first time, the pit stop was not stationary. Overnight, the boat sailed to an undisclosed city and the clue didn’t tell teams that the water puppet theater they were looking for was two hours away by car. The Massachusetts Almost-Marrieds (Lance and Keri) fell behind when they assumed the theater must be around the corner and wandered the streets. The teams that asked locals for help immediately got a head start.
2. Puppets are immune to feminine charms: Grabbing the clue from wily dragons’ mouths proved more difficult than most imagined and players with good timing, longer reach and no fear of getting wet retrieved them the fastest. Hot Chips unsuccessfully tried a come-hither finger while the celibate country singers (Mika and Canaan) used dance moves. But a swift snatch wasn’t all they needed. The Almost-Marrieds failed to realize they had to unscrew the bullet to find the picture stamp that instructed them to find the post office.
3. Proceed with caution: The Globetrotters were the first to arrive at the Child’s Play detour, where teams had to find a local park, wheel unwieldy concrete animals along a bumpy path and through traffic while collecting five balloons and deliver both to the playground. The ballers took it slow and steady, communicated constantly and manned both ends of the dolly enabling them to finish first and without breakage. Team Special (Zev and Justin‘s self-given nickname) chose the tall, unbalanced giraffe which left them scooping up carnage for several minutes after it hit the ground. The poker players chose a broken cart. Dan got karma points for trying to help, but it’s doubtful they’ll return the favor.
4. Stop and smell the roses, but not for too long: The Globetrotters took time to encourage a local woman dancing like a harem girl without slowing down, but faux Larry David and Sally Field (Marcy and Ron), the only ones to perform the Word Play option, spent too much time taking deep breathes, looking around and getting emotional about the locale. They located the letters in traffic from the observation deck quickly, but squandered away precious minutes trying to find the answer in signs. Asking someone for help with the jumble seemed to produce the correct answer immediately. Unfortunately, they could never catch up and were Philiminated.
5. Purchase trip-appropriate luggage: What possessed the poker players to choose rolling suitcases instead of backpacks? During the detour, Maria dragged only her bag and balloons while Hot Chips unfairly did all the heavy pushing. She even had the gall to repeatedly ask her dripping-in-sweat friend to hurry up. “Every other team has a man to lean on,” complained Hot Chips.
6. Don’t get cocky: Lance labeled himself the lion and the others mere gazelles. (For the record, gazelles are generally faster.) The Almost-Marrieds were never once in the lead and couldn’t outrun Team Special to Phil’s mat. Their numerous directional disasters, destination overshooting and silly challenge hiccups (like losing a balloon) was reminiscent of last season’s mistake-prone stuntmen. They were the only duo that had a hard time finding not only the fourth clue, but also the busy intersection where it was hidden. Admittedly, his aggression came in handy at the roadblock where teams had to disassemble two VCRs and sort parts for recycling. He said, “Beating it to hell was the man thing to do.” (As was challenging the host to a wrestling match apparently.)
7. When you can’t lead, follow: The Globetrotters, seemingly motivated by the loss of Big Easy’s dad two days before the Race started, finished the disrepairs first but had no luck getting directions to the Reunification Palace pit stop. The All-Americans found a knowledgeable driver first so the Globetrotters tailed them and then beat them in an old-fashioned foot race. Cheyne predicted it would be the first of many to come. Mr. & Miss America also deserve props for digging deep and moving from dead last to fourth place.
Tell us: Still rooting for the same team as last week or have your loyalties changed? Would you stop and help another team with a broken dolly? CBS