I was finally put out of my misery last week with the elimination of Liz and Marie. Not that I didn’t like them as a team, as I did. It was just impossible to tell them apart. Actually, there aren’t really any teams this season that I don’t like. It’s an fun season.
The first team to leave Bangkok, Thailand, are Amani and Marcus at 7:22 AM. Their clue tells them fly to Lilongwe, Malawi, in Africa, where they’ll head to a Tobacco Warehouse to get their next clue. Marcus mentions the patience he needs at home with their special needs child. Amani knows this is how they have learned to appreciate even the smallest of milestones. He wants to be able to show their daughter to never give up. They’re very excited to be headed to Africa.
One minute later, Bill and Cathi are the next team to leave. She calls Africa just fabulous. One more minute later, Ernie and Cindy leave. She notes they have made a mistake in every single leg, except for the first one. They want to try and minimize those. Justin and Jennifer leave at 7:29 AM. She teaches Special Ed., and says she would do almost anything for her students. and that’s how she feels about this race. It’s her baby. Andy and Tommy leave at 8:06 AM, and Laurence and Zac leave one minute after that. Jeremy and Sandy are the last to leave at 9:22 AM. They’ve been dating for about eight months, but had a strong friendship beforehand.
Amani and Marcus hit the airport first, but find there is only one flight out to Malawi, and everyone will end up on the same flight. One of the racers notes they’ll all be together like “one big freaking family.”
Once they hit Malawi, the teams flag down taxis to take them to the Tobacco Warehouse. Jennifer explains they’ve never been to Africa, so they’re just going to try and relax and take it all in. Cindy uses the opportunity to expound on some of the trivia she learned about Malawi. Over sixty percent of the country’s income comes from the sale of tobacco leaves. Tommy mentions the reason he’s never been to this country is because there’s no snow there. And apparently he doesn’t have use for buying tobacco leaves. Bill and Cathi get out of the airport in last place. She tells the driver that as farmers they love this country, as it’s very spacious.
The first team to arrive at the warehouse are Jeremy and Sandy. They find a Roadblock. One person from each team will don a worker’s uniform and steer massive bales of tobacco through a maze-like warehouse using a short-handled dolly. Once they’ve transported ten bales, they’ll get the next clue.
Sandy requests that Jeremy do this task, as to her it looks really hard to do this amidst a lot of chaos. Ernie and Cindy arrive next, followed by Justin and Jennifer. Both of the guys will be doing the heavy lifting here. Jeremy states the obviously, that moving these two-hundred pound bales is a lot of work.Not only are they heavy, but everyone is running into each other and their bales. Sandy says the workers are getting in their way. Hmm, they might think it’s the other way around.
Laurence and Zac arrive next, and the senior member of this team will be performing this task, interestingly enough. Andy and Tommy arrive just after with Tommy agreeing to do this Roadblock. Amani and Marcus are caught in traffic that resembles a parade, and Bill and Cathi are just behind them, resigned to making up this time somehow. Both teams are very frustrated.
While the racers continue to transport the bales of tobacco, Cindy notes that the people here have so much energy. Everyone is so happy and vibrant, singing and dancing. They sing and dance and cheer the whole time while they’re watching the others move around the bales.Andy seems to be enjoying it.
Amani and Marcus arrive at Gate No. 7, but don’t see the cluebox, so continue on. Bill and Cathi get out of the car and reach the cluebox. Bill will be transporting the tobacco. She knows with Amani and Marcus behind them that there’s no way she could make up any time moving these heavy bales. He spent a couple years behind hand trucks, and explains, “When it’s time to cut the hay, it’s time to cut the hay.”
Amani and Marcus finally find the cluebox, and he wisely decides to do this Roadblock. She just laughs at him in his orange outfit. Justin is starting to have a hard time breathing with all the tobacco all over, but Jennifer thinks it smells like her dad, as he’s been smoking her whole life. It’s like a piece of home to her. Laurence is really tired, but he’s moving. Marcus feels like an NFL rookie all over again.
The first to finish delivering his bales is Jeremy. He and Sandy get a clue telling them to make their way to Memorial Tower and search the area for their next clue. Ernie is the next to finish, followed by Justin. He talks about Marcus struggling, and says none of them have ever done this before, except for possibly Bill on the farm. Tommy finishes next.
Jeremy and Sandy reach Memorial Tower and find the next clue, a Detour – All Sewn Up or Not Grown Up. In All Sewn Up, teams will make their way to a tailor shop in the Old Market, use old style manual sewing machines, and fix the unfinished seams of the suit jacket and pant legs of a customer. When he’s satisfied with the fit, the teams will get their next clue. In Not Grown Up, teams will visit a school and use scrap materials to build two traditional toy trucks that will be test-driven by the students. Sandy decides they will do Not Grown Up, as she can’t sew to save her life, and doesn’t know if she can hem a pair of pants.
Laurence is the next racer to finish transporting the bales of tobacco, and calls the task “killer,” and a “young man’s deal.” Ernie/Cindy and Justin/Jennifer land on the grounds of Memorial Tower, the first team deciding to do the sewing, and the second team deciding on the toy trucks, as Justin thinks sewing machines can be tricky, getting tangled up all the time. Jennifer likes this task as well, as it’s something for students at a school, and that’s her whole life.
Andy and Tommy arrive, and they, too, decide on building the toy trucks, as Tommy doesn’t think they’re quite grown up yet. Laurence and Zac arrive just after them, and they also are choosing to build the toy trucks. Laurence suggests they’ll be like animals building it.
Cathi calls Amani and Marcus good people, but says every leg is survival here. It’s every woman for herself; every man for imself. The farmer does this task well, as he surprisingly finishes before the football player. Bill remarks it reminded him of hauling hay. Marcus finishes shortly after with Amani saying he enjoys hard work and admires what these Malawian men do for a living. The workers chant and shout and help him out of the work clothes. Near tears, he says that moment of those men supporting him was very special to him.
Jeremy and Sandy reach the school and start building. Jeremy has a six-year-old son, and notes going to this school makes him miss him like crazy. While it’s great to see these other kids, he wishes he could see his son. Ernie and Sandy’s driver can’t find the tailor shop and has to stop for directions. Bill and Cathi land at Memorial Tower, and she is a really good seamstress, so they decide on All Sewn Up.
Justin and Jennifer arrive at the school to build the toy trucks as Jeremy and Sandy are in the process of building theirs. Justin mentions being a physician, and at the root of surgery, it’s about breaking things down to build them back up, and he feels it’s the same with these trucks. Sandy wants to play soccer with the boys, and indeed gets to head butt a ball back to them.
Amani and Marcus reach Memorial Tower and decide to do the sewing. His mom and grandmother are both sewers, so he hopes this will pay off for them. Andy/Tommy and Laurence/Zac arrive at the school to build the toy trucks at the time same time. Laurence tells Sandy he would have figured she’d do the sewing challenge, figuring that’s what she does in the O.R. She’s a nurse practitioner, and does sew bodies, but not clothing. Laurence sticks himself with a tool as he’s saying all this, so it’s probably good he didn’t sew either.
Ernie and Cindy arrive at the tailor shop at the same time as Bill and Cathi. They get the clothing to start sewing, and sit down at the machines. Cathi gets Bill’s help with the pedal. Jennifer is finding appreciation being at the school, saying it’s easier for them to buy toys at the store, while these people have to make their own. Tommy wants to build one of these trucks for his son later, but needs to remember how to do it.
Amani and Marcus arrive at the tailor shop while the other two teams are hard at work with this. Cathi knows some thing is not right with what she just sewed. The man at the shop tells her she wasn’t really sewing anything as the thread wasn’t in the needle. They sewed a whole leg without really doing anything. Bill knows they should have switched machines, but didn’t. Ernie and Cindy are still holding onto their Express Pass, but want to save it for later in the game when they really need it. Cathi gets the pants done, and Cindy knows she’s killing them. Marcus sits down to get this sewing done, saying his grandma is a great seamstress.
Jeremy and Sandy think they have the trucks done. Once two kids are able to play with the trucks they built, they receive their next clue. It tells them to find the R-K Furniture Shop, a roadside market. Sandy kicks a soccer ball on her way out. Justin and Jennifer finish this task as well, as do Andy and Tommy. Tommy compares American kids with their fancy toys, to these kids that don’t need that much, just a simple truck that’s handmade.
Back at the tailor, Ernie makes note that he holds the pants normally in their relationship, but with her doing the sewing, it seems to make things work more efficiently, as it was with Cathi doing the sewing for her and Bill. Meanwhile, Amani and Marcus are both doing the sewing. Cathi’s machine comes unthreaded again, while Ernie and Cindy finish. She is hoping the other Detour task was tougher.
Sandy knows Justin and Jennifer are right on their tail, and indeed Justin and Jennifer reach the furniture shop just before them. They will now have to transport and carry two locally-made beds to Kumbali Village, the pit stop for this leg of the Race. They’ll need their beds for an overnight stay here. They are also told in these clues to have someone at the shop call a driver to help with the transport. Andy and Tommy arrive at this step as well.
Laurence and Zac finish building the trucks, with the dad being a little down that the task is over already. Bill and Cathi finish sewing their suit and take off for the furniture shop. Justin and Jennifer have their beds loaded and are on their way to the pit stop. Jeremy and Sandy are looking for a driver, but Andy and Tommy grab the next truck that arrives. Sandy is asking why they don’t have a truck when they got there second. Ernie and Cindy arrive at the furniture shop just before Bill and Cathi.
Marcus and Amani finish sewing the suit, with him saying his grandma would be proud. They take off for the furniture shop, but when the drive doesn’t seem to go very quickly, he says he’s on a high speed chase, and they seem to be on the opposite of that.
Laurence and Zac’s driver brings a car. The beds can’t fit in there, but Zac is trying to find a way to open the doors and get it to fit anyway. Jeremy and Sandy finally find a truck, while Laurence and Zac go back to ask for a different driver and vehicle. Ernie and Cindy get theirs loaded in a truck, and as they ride in the back with it, she says she’s never felt so unsafe in her life.
Laurence and Zac flag down a truck and load up their beds while Bill and Cathi ride in the back of a truck with their beds. He stands up yelling, “Yeehaw!” while she admonishes him for the danger in that. Laurence tells their driver they’re in a race and if the others get there before them, they’re done. Amani and Marcus arrive in last place again and quickly grab a truck and get on there way, while she pleads, “Please don’t let us get eliminated.”
Justin and Jennifer arrive at the village, with Andy and Tommy doing the same. They have to carry the beds quite a distance through the village. Jeremy and Sandy also arrive and start carrying their beds, but she’s struggling to carry hers, telling him she’s trying, so she needs him to stop yelling at her. Amani and Marcus’ vehicle breaks down, as he yells, “Shoot!” I think I’d be yelling something stronger and only four letters long, whether I’m being filmed for a reality TV show or not. They get another cab pretty quickly, but he’s still really worried.
Justin and Jennifer carry their beds all the way to Phil’s mat, and are welcomed by some villagers, as Andy and Tommy are arriving right behind them. Phil announces they’ll be sleeping on these beds tonight. Justin and Jennifer are told they need to go back and pay their driver before they can be checked in. This means Andy and Tommy are the winners of this leg of the race, grabbing first place once again. They have won a Travelocity trip for two to a private island in the British Isles. They are stoked.
Bill and Cathi start carrying their beds, as she says they only need to pay the driver if he asks. Jeremy is complaining that Sandy isn’t carrying her bed correctly. Cathi is doing okay with this, saying that living on a farm, they understand manual labor. Cindy is struggling some with this, like Sandy, saying she was hoping for a day without bruises, but she doesn’t think it’s going to happen. Cindy tries carrying the bed on her head, but the weight collapses her with her now being trapped under the bed.
Justin and Jennifer are still running back to the beginning. They pay their driver and find Bill and Cathi’s driver waiting as well, knowing this gives them a little time to get back to the pit stop. Cathi is carrying her bed without much trouble, saying it’s not bad for a 62-year-old woman. Meanwhile, Sandy is still struggling. Ernie and Cindy get passed up.
Justin and Jennifer end up back on the mat to be officially named team number two. Bill and Cathi arrive and are told to stay where they are, as Jeremy and Sandy arrive as well. Jeremy and Sandy are team number three, and Bill an Cathi are told they need to go back and pay their driver. Amani and Marcus arrive and begin carrying their beds.
Laurence and Zac reach the mat, and Laurence gets a big hug from a local as they are named team number four, with Ernie and Cindy team number five. Bill and Cathi pass Amani and Marcus and pay their driver. It’s a race back to Phil’s mat, but Bill and Cathi get there first. Amani and Marcus arrive in last place. She’s not ready for it to be over. They are told they will need these beds, as they are still in the Race. It’s another non-elimination leg. She sheds tears of joy, again saying they want to show their daughter to keep trying. She finds it a great example for not just their kids, but all kids.
Amani and Marcus will still have a Speed Bump to complete, but even if they don’t have an equalizer of a flight on the next leg, they are only minutes behind the lead here. They are still very much in this race. Having started this leg in first place, they can still easily get back there again.
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