Last week’s season premiere of The Amazing Race shows they’re trying to keep it interesting, as they have added more to the game. They have kept the Express Pass and added in the Hazard. Additionally, they are going with a double elimination this week following a non-elimination last week. And they’ve also kept up with CBS’ current reality show ploy of having past contestants come back, even if it means bringing them over from a different CBS reality show. Let’s hope it stays new and exciting all season.
The first team to leave Taipei, Taiwan, are Ernie and Cindy at 9:28 PM. Their clue tells them to fly to Jakarta,, Indonesia. One there, they’ll take an overnight train to Yogyakarta. Cindy is nervous about the double elimination, not because of a fear of their own safety, but because this new twist means it might be one of many.
Jeremy and Sandy leave at 9:35 PM, and she’s worried about it as well, as it means they have to make sure they beat two teams, not just one. Justin and Jennifer leave four minutes later, and ask their cab driver if they can borrow his phone to get flight information. He notes sibling rivaly is a real thing, and they both may get angry, but they’ll keep moving. She tries getting the flight info. He asks her if she wants him to do it instead. Her reply? No.
Ethan and Jennifer leave at 10:07 PM. He was okay with coming in fourth place, as if they were first it would have put an even bigger target on their backs, as being the Survivor winners already makes for a big enough target. This is “kinda cool,” as it allows the others to see that they make mistakes and bicker.
Amani and Marcus leave at 10:15 PM, and Laurence and Zac leave seven minutes later. Zac tries to explain what the double elimination could mean for them, but Laurence is only interested in pointing out he has a banana. Andy and Tommy leave at 10:23 PM, and joke that Indonesia is the ultimate place for a snowboarder to go. It’s just the first few minutes, and I think I’ve already heard “Dude” about ten times. Andy even tells Tommy, “Don’t ‘Dude’ me, Dude.”
The teams begin arriving at the airport. Ernie and Cindy ask around for flights, and find the next available flight is at 9:45 AM, as she pints out, “It looks like a night at the airport.” Ron and Bill leave at 10:48 PM, with Bill noting they’re not on a mission to change the way people think about gay couples. but they have a thirteen-year relationship with truth and honesty, and are truly in love with each other and best friends. Kaylani and Lisa leave at 11:09 PM and Kaylani hits her head on the way into the taxi, making the driver crack up. LizMarie leave at 11:31 PM, and one of them admits she’s being negative, then agrees not to be anymore.
Ethan and Jenna arrive at the airport, with Sandy knowing they have a pretty good shot at doing well in this game like they did on Survivor. Justin figures Ethan and Jenna are expecting to be top competitors because of their time on Survivor. Ernie thinks Jenna seems nice, but mentions her Medusa eye thing she has going on, where you can’t really trust them too much.
The big talk among the racers is what happened to Bill and Cathi, or “Ma and Pa,” as Andy refers to them. No one has seen them, and they thought they were eliminated, but now with the double elimination, they wonder if they’re still in the game. They leave at 3:57 AM, with her admitting to their shock at the non-elimination. He notes it’s only making them step up their game, as they have to worry about the speed bump now, as well as the double elimination. They know the other races won’t be so happy to see they’re still in the game, “We’t not toast yet.” Instead, the others are happy to see them, with Andy noting Mom and Pa have a good energy about them.
All the teams make the same flight for Jakarta. Once the flight lands, they all take off looking for the overnight train. Ron and Bill are told the earliest train will be 5:30. Justin wants a phone to find out more about the area, but Jennifer asks if he’d rather take the train now or talk on the phone. This breaks out into a brother vs. sister argument, and the other racers are definitely noticing. The irritating thing is they both continue to try and talk over the other, and neither stops. But they both think the other is the bad communicator. She leaves to go wait it out on the train.
The train takes off with everyone being a little upset that they’re still all bunched together. Once they arrive in the morning, they will travel by taxi to Goa Jomblang Cave to get their next clue. One the train arrives, they all race to the taxis, with Cathi being excited that their driver has them in the lead. Amani and Marcus oddly try to push the car from inside to get them into the lead. It works to get them past Laurence and Zac.
Bill of Bill and Cathi is worried about the speed bump, and it’s making him anxious. The others are all worried about the double elimination. Additionally, LizMarie are worried about being driven in a foreign country and cling to each other in the back seat of the taxi. The other racers are worried as well, with Ernie noting their driver is driving like a bat out of hell. Bill knows it’s making Ron tense.
Bill and Cathi are the first to arrive at the cave and find a Roadblock. One person from each team will have to go spelunking. They will descend into the dark cave and search for a Japanese mask and indigenous dagger. They’ll then scale a large bamboo ladder and deliver the artifacts to get the next clue. But first, Bill and Cathi need to complete their speed bump. They have to untangle a knotted rope, and having that done, will continue on with the Roadblock. He considers this like “Christmas tree lights gone crazy.”
The other teams are beginning to arrive, with Marcus comparing the bumpy road to the ones found in Detroit. Ernie is shocked to see Bill and Cathi there already. Cindy decides to do this task as LizMarie arrive with one of them doing it, of course. Bill and Cathi make it through their speed bump, with Bill doing the Roadblock and Cathi urging him to hurry to stay ahead. Amani and Marcus arrive, with him agreeing to do it, even though he doesn’t know what spelunking is. Cindy has a blast doing this, comparing it to a Jurassic Park jungle.
The graphic has helped me out to show me it’s Marie doing the Roadblock. Now that he knows what spelunking is, Marcus calls it no problem, as he’s a deer hunter and used to being up in trees. Bill, Marcus, and Marie all enjoy the experience of the spelunking, calling it beautiful.
Jeremy and Sandy arrive at the Roadblock, with him deciding to do it. Andy and Tommy arrive as well, with Tommy doing the spelunking. Justin/Jennifer and Ethan/Jenna also arrive, and Justin and Ethan do the challenge. Lisa of Kaylani and Lisa will be spelunking, as will Zac of Laurence and Zac, and Bill of Roger and Bill.
Cindy and Lisa are on their way back, and Ethan marks he feels like a monkey on his descent. Someone refers to this as Indiana Jones and the Temple of Jakarta. Kaylani is impressed with the beauty. Cindy has a hard time climbing the ladder as her legs are too short for the wide gaps in the bamboo. Marie explains her legs are much longer, so is climbing much faster, and Bill of Bill/Cathi is faster because he says he has upper body strength.
Bill is the first to return his found items, complete the Roadblock, and get the next clue. This sends them on a Detour – Shake Your Moneymaker or Be a Ticket-Taker. I love those titles! In Shake Your Moneymaker, the teams will go to a congested intersection, and one team member will learn a complicated dance, while the other accompanies them on a percussion instrument. They need to earn 30,000 Rupiah in tips. In Be a Ticket-Taker, teams will head to a mall and work as parking attendants to earn 15,000 Rupiah. All teams will then head to an orphanage and donate earnings to get the next clue. They must also realize the fine print on the sign at the orphanage telling them to also give “all the money in your possession to help the orphans.”
Bill and Cathi decide to be ticket-takers. Marie finishes, and she and Liz decide to entertain, as do Ernie and Cindy. Bill is upset to find out that while their driver did a fantastic job in getting them there first, he parked badly, and now Liz and Marie have left ahead of them. Marcus completes the Roadblock and decides he and Amani will dance.
Zac knows he and his dad are dead last right now, and it’s not a good place to be, but Kaylani and Lisa are even further behind, as are Ron and Bill. Bill notes Ron is a great motivator to him, and he needs that. Ron continues to talk him through this.
Liz and Marie hit the Moneymaker Detour, and work on getting tips. Bill/Cathi and Ernie/arrive at the mall and compete with each other at parking the bikes.
Jeremy and Sandy get done with the Roadblock, and she’d rather dance. Justin and Jennifer finish as well, and he wants to be Ticket-Takers. Andy and Tommy also decide to be Ticket-Takers. Tommy is fine with whatever happens, as long as they don’t come in last or second to last. Sandy realizes a mistake at this point could be fatal. Ethan finishes the Roadblock, and he and Jenna decide to do the dancing. He thinks there is only one team behind them, but she corrects him that there are three.
Zac finishes the Detour, and he and his dad decide to park motorcycles. They realize this could be the game. Kaylani and Lisa finish the Detour and decide to shake their moneymakers. Ron and Bill finish and decide to shake their moneymakers. They know being dead last they have to raise the money quickly. Bill is concerned they’re going home on just the second leg.
Liz complains her rhythm is completely off, prompting Marie’s dancing to be off. Ernie and Cindy are “upstream” for the bike-parking, while Ernie and Cindy are in the middle. Because of this, Ernie and Cindy are getting all the customers. Andy and Tommy arrive and start in the same spot as Ma and Pa. Marcus and Amani arrive to shake their moneymakers. Bill sees Ernie and Cindy leave and knows they had the better spot. Marcus is breaking out the latest Michael Jackson for Amani as she dances.
Bill and Cathi earn the money they need and take off, and Liz and Marie finally have enough as well. LizMarie have never been to an orphanage their whole lives, but just lost their dad, so it makes it more special to them. Ethan and Jenna arrive, and she dances while he plays the drums. He calls it easy.
Ernie and Cindy arrive at the orphanage and give the money to the orphans, telling them they have a gift for them. The note telling them to give all the money in their possession is posted there very largely on the table. Their clue tells them to make it to Kraton Palace, where the current Sultan of the town lives, and the pit stop of this leg of the Race. Bill and Cathi arrive with her telling the orphans they have had a wonderful day in their city. Liz and Marie arrive and give their money as well.
The bike parkers keep working on this with each feeling they’re close. Andy and Tommy finish, with Justin and Jennifer right behind them. Laurence and Zac arrive to park bikes, and Kaylani and Lisa arrive to shake their moneymakers. Marcus and Amani finish, as do Jeremy and Sandy. Ron and Bill arrive to entertain, and rhythm just isn’t their best friend. Andy and Tommy arrive at the orphanage and give up their earnings.
Ernie and Cindy are the first team to arrive at the pit stop, but are informed there was a problem. Right then, Andy and Tommy are leaving the orphanage, and Andy sees the large sign telling them to give all the money in their possession. They do so, as Ernie and Cindy are being told to go back and give all their money before they can be checked in. She loses it and starts crying, explaining she grew up in a competitive Asian environment, where nothing short of success is accepted. Andy and Tommy are happy to have saved up these first two legs, as all of that goes to the orphans.
The entertainers are working on earning their cash, as Ethan and Jenna finish. They leave their Detour clue behind, as he asks her if she has everything, and she “yeah yeah yeahs” him. Laurence and Zach finish parking, and Kaylani and Lisa finish dancing. Ethan notices in the car that they don’t have the clue, and they argue over whose responsibility it was to have it as they run back to get it.
Justin/Sandy, Marcus/Amani, and Jeremy/Sandy arrive at the orphanage. They give up their tips and no one seems to notice the clue to give all their money. Liz and Marie are the second team to arrive on Phil’s mat, but as he explains they didn’t hand over all their money, they realize they need to go back. Laurence sees the sign about giving up all their money while at the orphanage, as does Kaylani when she and Lisa arrive.
Bill and Cathi are the third team to arrive at the pit stop, however need to go back and hand over all their cash. Ethan and Jenna pick up the clue, and he reprimands her for the clue being left behind. Andy and Tommy are the fourth team to arrive, but because the others had to go back and give up all their money, they are officially team number one and have won a Travelocity trip to Ireland. Andy notes they’re having an awesome time so far, and Tommy calls it huge to see that sign at the orphanage.
Cindy is still beating herself up for missing the sign as she and Ernie arrive at the orphanage. They give up all the money and take off again. Ron and Bill have finally earned their money, as Ron notes it’s the most money he’s ever earned with his moneymaker. If they’re going out on this leg, he’s happy to have done it with style.
Jeremy and Sandy didn’t hand over all their money and are told to go back and do so. Justin and Jennifer are arguing again, this time about her not moving quickly enough on their way to the pit stop. Lord help them if they have to go back and give up their money to the orphans. Sure enough, they are asked to go back, as are Amani and Marcus.
Liz and Marie hit the orphanage and give up the rest of their money and take off again. Ethan explains in the taxi that this money is going to the orphanage, and that’s what he’s all about. However, he appears to miss the sign instructing them to give up all their cash. Laurence and Zac are the eighth team to arrive, but because they are only the second team to give up all their money, they are officially team number two.
Jeremy and Sandy give up their money, just before Bill and Cathi. Ethan and Jenna are told to go back and hand over all their money. He calls it unbelievable. Kaylani and Lisa are the tenth team to arrive, and it’s a double elimination, but because they gave up all their money, they are team number three and still in the Race. Ernie and Cindy are now pronounced team number four. Liz and Marie, Jeremy and Sandy, and Bill and Cathi, are now team numbers five, six, and seven. Justin and Jennifer are now team number eight. He announces to her raised eyebrows that his goal isn’t to pick on her, but to win a million dollars. She explains through tears she feels terrible because she can’t run.
Ron and Bill arrive at the orphanage and give their tips, although don’t appear to give them the extra. Amani and Marcus give them their extra, as do Ethan and Jenna. They see Ron and Bill and know they were in last place, but as Ethan points out, they don’t know if they gave up all their money or not. Ethan is sure they can outrun the others.
Ron and Bill arrive at the pit stop and are told they were meant to hand over all their cash. They have to go back. The race is now between Amani and Marcus and Ethan and Jenna, to see who will be in ninth place, and who will be the first of the two teams to be eliminated tonight. The next to arrive are Amani and Marcus.
Ethan and Jenna arrive and are told they are the tenth team to arrive and are being eliminated. Something these two aren’t used to. Ethan calls it sad news, and says they’re disappointed, but can’t fault themselves for trying. After he beat cancer, they made a promise to themselves they were going to take advantage of every single moment. Just to be there traveling the world is what matters the most.
Ron and Bill get back to the orphanage to hand over the rest of their cash, Bill knows they have more than anyone could ever win on a TV show, and people would pay millions to have what they have. He tells Phil they can take the news, as they’re strong. They are indeed eliminated, as Bill says it was absolutely incredible. Ron calls it fun, exhilarating, and amazing. Bill calls it a chapter in their race. It’s been amazing and will continue to be so. Leaving early doesn’t take anything away for them.
Sadly, it seems the two teams leaving this week are two who were doing this not for the money as much as the experience, which seems to counteract with the Detour was all about. They should have been the two who were first to the mat. The good news about that is that they succeeded with it. The orphanage challenge was a good one, and it gives these teams something to take away with them. They may not have won the Race or made it very far, but they’ll always know they helped some very needy children, and that just might be worth a million.
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