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How Quickly Things Can Change – The Amazing Race 9, Episode 8


by LauraBelle

I was really thinking that last week’s episode of The Amazing Race was going to be a non-elimination round, but it wasn’t, and Lake and Michelle just couldn’t be spared. It has to be one this week, doesn’t it? I mean, there’s usually at least two non-eliminations, and there’s only five teams left.

Eric and Jeremy are the first to leave the pit stop at the Fortress of Rion in Athens, Greece at 11:54 PM. Their clue tells them to cross the bridge on foot, find the Visitors Center, and sign up there for one of two charter buses that will be leaving the airport. Once at the airport, they will fly to Muscat, Oman, and search for a giant incense burner. Eric and Jeremy reach the Visitors Center well before anyone else, and sign up for the first bus, leaving at 9:00 AM.

Monica and Joseph leave much later, at 4:31 AM. Joseph says when the other teams have better luck it drives them nuts, simply because there is nothing you can do about it. Monica thinks it’s just a sign they need to do it all on their own. Ray and Yolanda leave just ten minutes later, with Yolanda saying part of their relationship is that they joke “pretty hard” about things others wouldn’t joke about. They have fun, but she says the bad part is when you’re always playing like that, you don’t know when the other person suddenly gets serious. Of course, right after this, they start arguing, She tells him she’s being serious when she asks him to stop cussing at her, then asks if he just shot her the bird. He apparently thinks she’s being demeaning, as he reminds her he’s a grown man. They, along with Monica and Joseph, sign up for the 9:00 bus departure.

Fran and Barry leave at 6:20 AM, and say their goal is the get to number three. They realize they aren’t good at physical sprinting, but they do have endurance, and they are just going to go for it, regardless. They also sign up for the 9:00 AM bus. Leaving at 8:51, BJ and Tyler obviously won’t make the 9:00 bus. They seem just happy to be there, and celebrate as they leave, saying, “We are still in the fricking Amazing Race!” They decide they will just enjoy the race and feel each moment. While they’re crossing the bridge on foot, the 9:00 bus passes them.

As the hippies are signing up for the 10:00 AM bus, the other teams arrive at the airport, and search for flights to Oman. Fran and Barry find a flight arriving at 10:50 PM, and then decide to not share the information, hoping to keep the first lead they have had this entire game. Everyone else, though, catches on quickly, and follows them to get their tickets. Just going through all that pressure already has Barry sweaty. He and Fran decide they are beyond the point of being the congenial grandparents they were in the first half of the race.

On the second charter bus, the only people on the entire bus are BJ and Tyler. They decide the “ghosts of their fallen comrades” are with them along for the ride. They talk about Lake and Michelle being with them, and BJ does a hilarious impersonation of Lake, and pretty close to being dead-on as well. They decide Dave and Lori are behind them kissing, and the Pinks are sitting back there wondering if Oman is in China. Once they arrive at the airport, no one wants to help them and give them information, which is pretty sad. The hippies have always shared their information and helped the other teams. Doing their own checking on flights, BJ and Tyler are told the 10:50 flight is the earliest, but it’s booked up. They book another flight, leaving at 11:45. The other teams wonder if the hippies might be mad at them. Typical of the hippies, though, they don’t seem to be.

Arriving in Muscat, Oman, the first four teams get in assigned cars and look for the giant incense burner. I swear to you, that’s what this item they are looking for is called. A giant incense burner. I just can’t imagine the usage for it. Eric and Jeremy think this country is cool. Ray and Yolanda decide it’s by far the prettiest place they have been, and think the McDonalds looks like a temple. Joseph and Monica say American people think they’re rich, but these people are “freaking billionaire rich.” Driving, Ray says he doesn’t know what language they speak here, but he can’t read what the signs say. They’re all “squiggly.” I don’t know either, but I’m guessing Arabic. Yes, the official language of Oman is Arabic. Gotta love that Google.

As their flight arrives, BJ and Tyler grab a native and bring him with them to help find the incense burner quickly. As Eric and Jeremy find the giant incense burner, they find the gates don’t open until 6:00 AM – yet another equalizer, as it allows BJ and Tyler to get caught up. As Ray and Yolanda wait in their car, she asks if he thinks it’s cool to be cussing her out and shooting her the bird. He claims he was just teasing, and she gets upset, and tells him not to talk to her the rest of the time. Does she mean the rest of the race? That could be a little difficult working as a two-person team. Ray says they have never seen each other for more than four days in a row, and are now seeing differenet sides of each other. He thinks this is just something they will have to work through.

Once the gates open at 6:00 AM, the clue at the incense burner sends the teams to the town of Sur. It was once a key trade center for East Africa, but is now a sleepy fishing town. Sometimes you have to love Phil’s history and local culture lessons. The teams must find the ferry crossing known as Baith Al Battha. Eric and Jeremy take off quickly and try their best to not allow anyone else to follow them. The hippies follow Monica and Joseph, but once they stop for directions, BJ & Tyler drive off ahead of them, upsetting Monica. Yolanda argues with Ray that he should be asking for directions as well. They try, but can’t find anyone that speaks English.

BJ and Tyler are leading everyone, but get stopped at a flooded area. They tell Joseph and Monica to go ahead, but both teams are reluctant to try it and get stuck. Eric and Jeremy decide to go for all, saying they don’t care if they get stuck. This has everyone else following them into the flooded area. The water is very muddy, and Tyler refers to it as the most awesome chocolate surprise. Eric and Jeremy say “Now we’re back in this. Take that hippies!” Monica is now pissed that Eric and Jeremy passed them. Hey, this is The Amazing Race. There’s no room for politeness. After everyone else has passed, Ray and Yolanda finally reach the flooded area.

Joseph and Monica are the first to arrive at Sur, followed by the hippies and Fran and Barry. They find a Detour – Camel or Watch Tower. In Camel, teams must use a block and tackle system to load a camel into a pickup truck. Once the camel is secured, they must drive to a camp where they will deliver the camel to get their clue. In Watch Tower, the teams will search among three watch towers for a message box. Not all the towers will have a message box, however. After they have the message box, they must deliver it to a silver shop.

The first three teams all decide to do Water Towers, but realize if they all go to the same one, they could be in trouble. Eric and Jeremy arrive and decide right off the bat to do Camel. BJ and Tyler find a message box right away, as do Fran and Barry. When Joseph and Monica come up blank, they decide not to try another tower, and to just do Camel.

BJ and Tyler ask someone to guide them driving to the silver shop. On the way, BJ draws a picture of a camel that is pretty good. They arrive at the silver shop around the same time as Fran and Barry, although it’s Fran and Barry with the slight lead in the game. How’s that for a change up? Their clue sends them to the Al Hawiyah village, where they will find their next clue. BJ and Tyler convince the man giving them the clue in the silver shop to take out his knife to show them.

Joseph and Monica argue over directions while delivering the camel. He is driving, and she is yelling in the back of the truck, “Wooh!” She is sitting with the camel and Oman natives helping deliver the camel. Eric and Jeremy still haven’t found it yet, and are actually quite lost. They believe they will drive until they are dehydrated, and then will die. They call themselves idiots for getting lost. Hey, you said it, not me. They finally find the correct camp to deliver their camel, and realize it could have taken just two seconds to get there. Ray and Yolanda are doing hurdles, literally to make it to the Detour, and decide on Camel. She worries that the camel’s elbows are getting hurt. They must be bonding, as she also decides he doesn’t smell that bad. They seem to get to the camp very quickly to deliver the camel, and think they might be in last place. Yeah, you are.

Fran and Barry and the hippies are the first to arrive at Al Hawiyah, and find a Roadblock asking who is willing to work for food. One person from every team must dig for Shuwa, through 117 small sand mounds, until they find a buried dish, wrapped in a woven palm leaf bag and steamed in the ground. They will need to keep this with them, as it’s their dinner for the evening. BJ and Barry decide to do the Roadblock. Joseph and Monica arrives just after this, with Monica doing the Roadblock. As they all start to sweat quite a bit in the hot sun, she tells Joseph he isn’t going to want to sit next to her in the car after this. Eric and Jeremy then arrive, and while Eric does the challenge, Jeremy sits nearby putting on chap stick. When a camel starts growling, he says, “Hey, I don’t need your lip right now. Maybe he was just looking for your chap stick.

Barry is the first to find the Shuwa, but it’s huge and covers the whole mound. Monica finds one as well, and they both have trouble pulling it up, as Barry’s collapses be into the ground. Monica is the first to get the Shuwa out of the ground, and receives the next clue. They are to drive to Jabreen castle for the next pit stop. I am still wondering if this is a non-elimination round, with the hopes of saving Ray and Yolanda. Barry eventually pulls his Shuwa out, and complains of being exhausted and that his back hurts. Fran tells him there is no way she could have done it.

BJ is still searching for his Shuwa, while Tyler waits nearby petting a camel. Eric begins freaking out, and then finds a Shuwa. As Eric and Jeremy are leaving, Ray and Yolanda are arriving. It’s Yolanda doing the task. BJ is starting to get frustrated, saying he was the one that had to dig for gnomes, and now has to dig for dinner. Tyler, though, got to bungee jump. Yolanda figures out the pattern, and quickly gets a Shuwa. After looking through what he feels is every single one of the 117 sand mounds, BJ finally gets it.

It’s Joseph/Monica and Fran/Barry who are racing for the lead. Fran says she’s going to run in as fast as her legs will take her, and Barry says he thinks it would be nice if the old couple won just one. Eric and Jeremy think if they do it just right, they can move up from third place to first or second, so they take a shortcut. Ray and Yolanda, once again, argue about directions. BJ and Tyler think they tried their best, and know they’ll make it, whether they are eliminated or not. I know some are irritated by their constant jokes, but I have to appreciate their attitude. They always help everyone else, and take everything as is. They don’t argue, etc. The only time they ever got a little down was today, looking for the Shuwa.

It’s Fran and Barry that run into the pit stop, taking first place. When they are told they are first to arrive, they scream, “Oh my God!” Of course, Phil has some good news for them. They have won a Travelocity trip for two to Rome, Italy. They thank Phil profusely, and say they never imagined they’d be number one.

As Joseph and Monica arrive at the pit stop in third place, Eric and Jeremy, on their “shortcut” realize the place they are headed certainly doesn’t look like a castle. They imagine if they are having trouble, other teams are as well, but … everyone didn’t take the “shortcut.” They’re making too many mistakes on this leg. Ray and Yolanda run in to take third place, and Phil asks if they are still in love, or if they are having a bad day with each other. Yolanda has to admit that she hasn’t had the best last two days with Ram. Yet with with the problems they have had, they managed to overcome it and maintain their position in the race.

Eric and Jeremy decide to go back to the main road, and decide they were stupid to even try this. BJ and Tyler are fighting to get to the pit stop as quickly as they can, and hope someone else managed to get lost. I don’t think they ever would have figured that lost team to be Eric and Jeremy, who are worried that they managed to go from first to last in this one leg. It is them that arrive in at the mat for fourth place, and Phil just can’t resist asking if this is all a little humbling for them. The frat boys admit they may need to rethink some things.

BJ and Tyler run in literally kicking their heels, and are told they are the last to arrive. Phil informs them it is a non-elimination round, so they are both still in the race. Phil takes all they money, and informs them they will be starting with zero dollars on the next leg. He also takes all their possessions, except for the clothes on their back and passports. The hippies figure their fun loving goofy attitude has gotten them this far, and that they will come back, as the other teams aren’t going to see them coming.

What I am hoping for next week, is that these two teams that are now in fourth and fifth place, team up together again. When they worked together, they were always number one and number two, as they seemed to provide a balance and check system for each other. Apart, they’ve managed to stumble and make too many mistakes. Maybe it’s a good lesson for all of us, that we all need each other, no matter how much we’re different. The frat boys need the hippies, and the hippies need the frat boys.

Read more about other shows at LauraBelle’s Blog

Comments? You can email me at LauraBelle@realityshack.com


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