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Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

The Amazing Race, Oct. 9 – “Not Over Until It’s Over”

It’s still hard for me to believe that Jenna and Ethan are out of The Amazing Race already. It should be another feather in Boston Rob’s cap, though, as I don’t think there’s anything that those other two winners of Survivor can do that he hasn’t. He lasted longer in both his stints on The Amazing Race. But for CBS, they must be kicking themselves, saying, “Not again!” after watching Evel Dick leave in the first week of Big Brother over the summer. That season managed to persevere, and I think this Amazing Race season will do the same.

The first team to leave Jakarta, Indonesia, are Andy and Tommy at 7:38 AM. Their clue has them joining a group that reenacts the bicycle patrols of the 1940s. When they arrive at Fort Vredeburg, they’ll get the next clue. Andy and Tommy do their best to joke around with the bicycle patrol, but they don’t seem to be biting at all. The snowboarders then just do what they know, and do wheelies and other tricks while riding the bikes.

Next to leave are Laurence and Zac, at 7:57 AM. Zach thinks his dad is one of the best traveling partners, and explains when he sailed around the world, his dad was there in each port. Laurence thinks that experience on the seas will only bring out the best of them. Kaylani and Lisa leave just five minutes later, and Kaylani mentions that as a single mom, her daughter is her motivation for the Race, to show her what the possibilities are in challenging yourself.

Ernie and Cindy leave at 8:14 AM, and she admits freely that she’s a bit of a control freak. She made a packing list three months before leaving for the Race, studied lost of geography books, taken intensive language courses, and did a lot of exercising. This means Ernie was on her schedule for the past six months. I just want to say I don’t see anything wrong with making a packing list three months beforehand and beginning to pack two to three weeks beforehand. It may seem overboard to some, but I also have everything I need. Ernie’s dad is a cop, so she thinks he’s feeling at home right now on the bike patrol.

Liz and Marie leave at 8:18 AM, and make a crack about twins riding bicycles side by side. I’m not sure what that’s supposed to mean. Jeremy and Sandy leave three minutes later, and Bill and Cathi are one minute behind them. They went through all the other teams, and realized they are forty years older than the youngest team. Everyone looks like they could be their children. Yet they’re fearless, and at their age, they know they’re going to die soon anyway, so it’s okay. Hey, she said that, not me.

Andy and Tommy complete their patrol and get a clue telling them to travel by taxi to Salakmalang Village to a get their next clue. Laurence and Zach complete this first task as well. Tommy is figuring there are still teams that haven’t even left the pit stop yet.

Tommy would be right. Justine and Jennifer leave at 8:31 AM. He mentions that the others have all gotten a chance to see how volatile their relationship is. They’re just trying to focus as much as they can on the positives and stay as far away as possible on the negatives. She has a problem riding the bike and even runs square into some shrubs. Amani and Marcus leave at 8:32 AM, and he’s feeling the heat being at the back of the pack, yet was once in a game being down twenty-one points with four minutes left, and came back and won. It’s definitely not over until it’s over.

Cindy’s pedal falls off her bike. That’s one of the things meticulous planning doesn’t help you with. Ernie asks if they can just continue on without the pedal, but the rest of the bike patrol wants to fix it, telling them, “No worries. No Worries. No worries.” Liz and Marie pass them up, and soon everyone else does as well, save for Amani and Marcus. Cindy’s pedal finally gets fixed. It just doesn’t seem like it should have taken nearly that long, as all they appeared to do was tie it back on.

Kaylani/Lisa, Liz/Marie, Jeremy/Sandy, Bill/Cathi, and Justin/Jennifer reach the end of the bike patrol and take off for the restaurant. Sandy doesn’t even want to take the time for Jeremy to read the clue, telling him, “We can’t pronounce it. Let’s go.” They all board taxis, with Cathi saying they are team number one when clearly they aren’t. Ernie and Cindy finally reach the end of their bike patrol, and Amani and Marcus finish behind them.

Andy and Tommy reach the restaurant and find a Detour – Rice Fields or Grass Fed. In Rice Fields, teams ill deliver a midday meal to workers in the field, and while the workers eat, the teams must plant 300 rice seedlings. When the farmers are satisfied the planting is done, the racers will get their next clue. In Grass Fed, teams will need to fill two bags with freshly cut grass, pick up two sheep, and bring them to a shed. They’ll then gather six buckets of water from a well, and pour them in a trough. When all is complete, they’ll get the next clue.

Andy and Tommy decide to do Grass Fed. They start throwing grass into a bag and run back right away. Bill and Cathi are still on their way there, insisting they are team number one. Somehow Ernie and Cindy catch up to this group of taxis. Jeremy and Sandy pass Kaylani and Lisa, and their driver can only laugh. Amani and Marcus have a driver who is also laughing, and they think he’s lost.

Grabbing the sheep, Andy and Tommy walk them and the bags of grass to get the water, only for the farmer on hand to indicate through hand motions that they don’t have enough grass, and need to go back and top off the bags. Of course, they need to do this while dragging two sheep.

Laurence and Zac arrive at the Detour and decide to do Grass Fed. Andy and Tommy have deposited their sheep somewhere and now have bags that are completely stuffed. They pick up the sheep again, drop them off, and begin to fill up the buckets with water as Laurence and Zac arrive. Zac has a hard time controlling his sheep. Tommy notices that the father/son team are getting this challenge done very quickly, but admonishes them to read their clue, as it clearly states to only fill two buckets at a time, and they were doing four. Andy and Tommy finish first and receive a clue telling them to take a taxi to Borobudur Temple, and climb the stairs to get the next clue. Laurence and Zac finish shortly after.

The next teams to arrive are Jeremy/Sandy and Justin/Jennifer. They both decide to do grass fed, as it seems quicker, along with Ernie/Cindy and Bill/Cathi. Kaylani/Lisa and Liz/Marie decide to do Rice Fields. Team members for teams heading to both challenges are slipping and falling as they run. One of Kaylani and Lisa state it’s her first time planting rice, and “I’ll be okay if I never plant rice again.” Cathi is falling down yet again. Jennifer tells her sheep that it sounds like it smokes six packs a day. Cathi falls down yet again. Amani fears that their driver is still lost.

Andy/Tommy and Laurence/Zac reach the Temple. They need to go through the International entrance and have to put wraps on. Andy takes a look at the Temple and says, “That’s why you do The Amazing Race`, for stuff like this right here.” Yet, it’s Laurence and Zac who reach the top first, and they find a Roadblock. One member from each of the teams will move around the temple and count the buddhas with distinct hand positions. They also need to realize while doing this that they need to demonstrate the hand positions and tell how many statues are doing each. With a proper count for statues, they’ll get the next clue.

Laurence decides to do the Roadblock, and Tommy wins Rock, Paper, Scissors to do it over Andy. He suggests to Laurence that they count together. What Laurence likes about he and Andy is their similar roots. There’s a spirit of adventure that the four men all share.

Kaylani and Lisa finish their planting, as do Lisa and Marie. They get their next clue and leave for the Temple. While they’re leaving, they pass Amani and Marcus just arriving. They decide to do Grass Fed. Cathi is finally able to stay upright, but now she can’t control her sheep, as it runs after kids playing. She yells at them to stop. I don’t think anyone listens to her, kids, sheep, or even Bill. She and Bill decide to carry the sheep. For someone who is having a hard time walking walking herself, it might not be a good idea.

Jeremy and Sandy finish Grass Fed and get the next clue, as do Ernie and Cindy. Justin and Jennifer finish shortly after, while Amani and Marcus are working swiftly to get caught up. They catch up to Bill and Cathi, only to be told their bags aren’t full enough. They decide instead to plant rice. Just after, Bill and Cathi finish the task. Amani and Marcus realize everyone else is gone, so they need to hurry.

Tommy and Laurence continue their counting, and come up with 17, 17, 17, and 18, but are told it’s wrong, as they need to know the different hand positions. Laurence says he needs to go back around. Kaylani/Lisa and Liz/Marie reach the Temple, and Lisa mentions it looks like it’s been there a really long time. Wow, that’s astute. Kaylani and Lisa reach the top first. Kaylani tells Lisa, who is breathing heavily while reading the clue, that if she is tired, she shouldn’t do it. Marie does the task, as Lisa insists on doing it as well.

Jeremy and Sandy are concerned about their taxi holding up, and when it breaks down, they just have the driver drop them off. They’re told the Temple is one kilometer away. Bill and Cathi reach the top of the Temple, and she wants him to do the Roadblock, as he’s better with directions. Ernie and Justin will be doing the challenge for their teams as well. Jeremy and Sandy continue to run.

Ernie isn’t sure which buddhas they’re supposed to be counting, He guesses 71 and is wrong. Justin is wrong with 69, Lisa is wrong with 63, and Ernie is wrong with his second guess of 87. On her second try, Lisa not only tries 200, but also 201, 202, and 203. Marie is wrong with 68. She and Lisa compare notes.

Jeremy and Sandy arrive at the top of the Temple finally, which was probably a tough climb after having to walk partially there, and she tells him to do the Roadblock, as he has more energy than her. He tries asking a worker how many buddhas there are. Amani and Marcus finally finish planting rice and head to the Temple. He notes they’re tired, disgusted, dirty, disappointed, frustrated, and angry, but they won’t quit.

Laurence shows how many of each the hand positions and is the first to get it right. He and Zac get the next clue which tells them to head to the pit stop, which is somewhere on the grounds of the Temple. Tommy, of course, is correct as well. Amani and Marcus let their taxi go when they get to the temple, because he was so bad. They run into Andy and Tommy who want to help them out, so Tommy gives Amani the counts and hand signals for the Roadblock. The snowboarders have figured out they can choose who to have in the Race with them. Once at the top of the Temple, though, Amani is too tired to do it, so Marcus does the Roadblock. Marie is wrong with 127, and Jeremy is wrong with 47. Marie reads the clue again, as does Lisa.

Laurence/Zac and Andy/Tommy are both searching around the Temple grounds for Phil and his mat. The first team there are Laurence and Zac. However, since they used more than two buckets back at the Detour, they have incurred a fifteen-minute penalty. They wait it out under the tree. Andy and Tommy run onto the mat and told they are the second team to arrive, then advised of Laurence and Zac’s penalty. The snowboarders have won a trip for two to Dubai from Travelocity. Tommy feels bad about the win, since Laurence helped him on the task. Phil tells them they should give the trip to Laurence and Zach, but Andy doesn’t think that will go over well with their wives. Instead, they tell them they owe them one. Father and son’s time expires, and they are named team number two.

Justin, Ernie, Marie, and Jeremy collect notes to figure out what isn’t working. Ernie then realizes they need to know how many of each hand position. Marcus stood by eavesdropping. He wasn’t paying enough attention to Andy and Tommy to know what he’s supposed to be getting here, but knows it’s something about statues and hand positions. He collects himself and starts counting again. The other four try working together.

Bill tries guessing how many of each hand position, with Cathi admonishing him for being too loud, but he is wrong. Lisa tries again with “four.” It’s obviously not right. She then works together with Marcus. The other group of four collect their notes too. Bill takes another stab at it, and this time gets it correct. He and Cathi have to go down and get their bags from the taxi, settle up with the driver, then start searching for the pit stop.

Justin is finally correct, as is Ernie, Marie, and Jeremy. Lisa is correct too, as is Marcus. Everyone’s done and racing for the end. Jeremy and Sandy are the first of that bunch to reach Phil and be named team number three. The others are all complaining about having to go back and pay their taxis, and this is what will save Marcus and Amani, as they sent their cab away. Justin and Jennifer even have to take the time to argue with their driver about the amount, and Lisa complains to Kaylani that she’s not as rested as she is and is going as fast as she can.

Team number four is Justin and Jennifer and Ernie and Cindy team number five. Bill/Cathi can’t find their taxi, but finally do. Kaylani/Lisa and Liz/Marie are still searching for theirs. Marcus and Amani reach Phil’s mat, and he asks if they know what position they ended up in. They have no idea, and when told they are team number six, they are elated. Phil thinks they look like they just won the Super Bowl. Marcus says he feels like it, as when you do that, you need a lot of luck on your side.

The next to arrive on Phil’s mat are Bill and Cathi and are named team number seven. LizMarie finally find their taxi driver in what looks like a market, get their backpacks and pay him, and take off. They are named team number eight. They are so excited, as they thought they were last.

Kaylani and Lisa finally show up on the mat and are eliminated. Lisa calls it a good experience, fun, and hard work. They went to places they’ve never been to before, and probably never will again. Kaylani can only cry, and says she just misses her little girl so much. She feels like she failed her, but Phil tells her her daughter won’t feel like that. She will be proud of her.

This was a great challenge and the end. It was one where it wasn’t so time-related, but one where they had to figure out exactly how they needed to do it, so the finishing order was questionable throughout. We need more challenges like that, as that’s what makes it exciting.

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