On the ninth leg of this edition of the Amazing Race, the five remaining teams travel to Singapore. At the Victoria Concert House, Alan Wu (the host of Amazing Race: Asia) offers a choice of “detour” tasks: teams must either “pound drums” by learning a traditional lion drum routine or “pound pavement” by selling 25 ice cream sandwiches. After the detour, teams are given the option to U-Turn one other team. If a team is U-Turned, they must return and complete the other detour task. The roadblock this leg is at the boat dock, where one team member must count the links in a giant anchor chain. After all the tasks are completed, teams race to the pit stop located at the Marina Barrage.
Yet there was another task, too — the Fast Forward, a task that allows the first team to complete it the ability to bypass all other tasks and proceed directly to the pit stop. Brothers Dan and Jordan were the lucky ones to do this challenge, probably my favorite Fast Forward task ever, which requires a team to ride the Singapore Flyer (the world’s largest observation wheel) to the top, get out of the safety of their car, and then crawl from one car to the next, 541 feet above the ground. Dan and Jordan show tremendous competitiveness and courage and finish despite Jordan’s clear fear of heights. Kudos!
For the rest, they opt to “pound drums” instead of sell ice cream. I’m not sure why “pound drums” was the preferred choice, especially since it didn’t seem that difficult to sell the ice cream. Nevertheless, teams struggled as they tried to learn the traditional drum routine from elementary school children. Even so, Caite really stood out. Not only did she have no difficulty learning the routine, she also helped Brent focus and talked him through the task. As a result, the two were able to get to the U-Turn quickly.
That proved critical as the elimination this week was decided by the U-Turn. So — spoiler alert! — Brent and Caite decided to U-Turn Carol and Brandy, which set the two women back and led to their last-place finish.
Caite went into this race looking to prove herself to the nation after her embarrassing moment at the Miss Teen USA competition where she fumbled an answer about geography. Throughout the Race, Carol and Brandy made sure Caite did not forget that moment by asking where her tiara was, impersonating her answer, and commenting on her intelligence. Well, Caite had her redemption moment. Not only did Brent and Caite succeed this leg because of her smarts and ability to learn a complicated routine under pressure, but Caite was able to exact revenge on Carol and Brandy by U-Turning them. This was not strategic — it was personal. Carol and Brandy’s biggest mistake, then, happened long ago during the very first leg. They made an enemy.
But back to the Race! We are close to the final leg and only one team away from the final three. In terms of momentum, Louie and Michael are going the wrong direction. They survive this leg because they stoke Brent and Caite’s dislike of Carol and Brandy. I’m worried they will not crack the top three. I really like how Dan and Jordan are working together. It was nice to see Brent and Caite stay calm — this is a new and more confident team. And what’s not to like about the cowboys Jet and Cord? What’s great this season is that there is no one favorite or dominant team. It will be very interesting to see what happens next. — Victor Jih
Tell us: Why do you think every team chose drums over ice cream? Which team would you have U-Turned? And now that only four teams are left, who do you think will be in the final three?