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The Amazing Race, Oct. 23 – Smiling Through Elephant Poop

Last week was a great leg of The Amazing Race. It wasn’t predictable at all, until the last few minutes when it just took on the feel of a non-elimination leg. Twins Liz and Marie survived coming in last place, but will now have to complete a Speed Bump during tonight’s leg of the Race. Whether or not they succeed mainly depends on two things, if there will be some type of equalizer of time, such as a flight out of Thailand, and how great the time difference is between them and the team that came in second to last, Bill and Cathi. 

The first team to leave Ko Panyi, Thailand is once again Andy and Tommy, departing at 10:07 AM. Their clue tells them to use local transportation to a river, then travel by elephant up the river to get their next clue. Andy talks about his faith in God being very important both to himself and to Tommy. On his belt, he has written “Proverbs 19:2,” which he explains is “Do not have zeal without knowledge, or be hasty and miss the way.” Tommy’s reads “I Thes 5:16,” which he explains is “Be joyful always; pray continually.” They want to run the Race with a lot of joy. Andy feels God opened up the door, and they’re just grateful to be there.

Andy and Tommy reach the elephants and ride together on the back of one. Andy never dreamed elephants could be this nimble. When the Race is over, he’d like to buy an elephant, as they can do some serious four-wheeling. 

Justin and Jennifer leave nearly an hour later at 11:01 AM. Jeremy and Sandy leave at 11:44 AM, and Laurence and Zac one minute after that. Laurence is proud of his son and all he’s accomplished at such a young age. Yet he recognizes every young person wants to be seen as wise beyond their years, but they don’t always have the wisdom for that. He knows as the father, that Zac will always heed what he says. This doesn’t bode well for this leg. Either Zac will refuse to listen, or Laurence is going to be wrong. He tells Zac now they have to be sure they stick to the clue and travel by local transport. This is after they messed up the clue and received a penalty a few weeks earlier.

Jennifer is happy to be riding on the elephant and says, “I feel like I’m in the circus.” Ernie and Cindy leave at 11:52 AM. She knows they grew up in very different environments. Academics just wasn’t pushed as much to him as it was in her family. He went through life being a B student, and wonders why someone like Cindy would even love him as much as she does. He wants to prove during the Race that he can take it to the next level.

Amani and Marcus are the next to leave, one minute later. Andy and Tommy finally reach the next clue while riding on the elephant.  They find a Roadblock. One person from each team will need to follow the sound of the music which will take them to a waterfall with a traditional Thai floutist. They’ll search at the site for their next clue. 

The snowboarders do rock, paper, scissors, and Andy is the loser, meaning he will do this task. He dives into the water and finds the floutist right away, but isn’t sure where to look for the clue. He goes to the spot in the water directly in front of the musician, and finds the clue right away. Wrapped in burlap is a ceramic koi fish that when broken bears a clue telling them to travel to a local shop where they will disassemble a spirit house, then deliver all the pieces to a temple to get the next clue.

Bill and Cathi leave at 12:22 PM, while Justin and Jennifer have reached the next clue on the back of the elephant. The circus is over, as Justin decides to do this Roadblock. Justin pokes around in the water with a stick, saying he’s not finding anything. 

Jeremy/Sandy and Laurence/Zac arrive at the elephants, as Sandy says she loves her Dumbo. I think she means the elephant and not Jeremy. Justin keeps looking for his clue, and finally finds it, while Jennifer appears to be having an intimate moment with the elephant. Ernie/Cindy and Amani/Marcus arrive at the elephants, with Marcus being a little nervous to go up the hills riding atop the elephant’s back.

Andy and Tommy arrive at the local shop and look for a spirit house. They try to take a mental note of how the house is put together in case they end up putting it back together in the end. They get it taken apart quickly and are on their way to deliver it. Sandy is not enjoying the elephant ride, being “a little scared.” 

Andy and Tommy get the next clue and find a second Roadblock. I don’t remember ever seeing a second Roadblock before, but I could be wrong. If you remember one, email me at LauraBelle@realityshack.com and let me know. Whichever team member didn’t do the first Roadblock must reassemble the spirit house, just as the snowboarders were assuming. Tommy must do it this time, which Andy acknowledges is his friend getting stuck with the hard part. Tommy talks about them being Christians, making it interesting for them to work with the Buddhists and their temples. Faith might come into play here, as he has no idea where some of the spirit house pieces go. 

Jeremy/Sandy and Laurence/Zac arrive at the first Roadblock, with Sandy and Laurence jumping in the river to search for the clue. Tommy reassembles the house, but it isn’t correct. He did one side, and Andy the other, when they were taking it apart, so he doesn’t know what the other side is supposed to look like. His second attempt fails, so he and Andy run back to the local shop to look at the houses already set up. The only thing working in their favor with this is that others will probably struggle as well. 

Laurence and Sandy find their clues and take off for the local shop. Tommy draws out the spirit house on the back of the clue and takes off before anyone else sees him. Just now, Liz and Marie are leaving the pit stop at 1:35 PM, over an hour after Bill and Cathi. They aren’t sure why they’re smiling being in last place and having to do a Speed Bump, and they next launch into a story about their dad recently passing away, and that he taught them to stay in it and be successful. 

Amani/Marcus and Ernie/Cindy reach the first Roadblock with Marcus and Cindy opting to look for the clue in the water. Tommy finally reconstructs the house and gets a thumbs up from the person judging it. Their next clue tells them to travel by bus to Bangkok, and head to the Bangkok Noi Canal where they need to feed the fish to get the next clue. It makes sense to Tommy, as he thought it smelled like fish food.

Justin and Jennifer arrive at the local shop, and Marcus has the same concerns the snowboarders did. He’s worried they will have to put it back together and won’t remember how. Jennifer gets smart and has their cab driver take a picture of it with his camera phone. 

Marcus finds the next clue just before Cindy. They both take off for the local shop with their partners. Amani and Marcus arrive at the second Roadblock, and she will have to do this one. Jeremy/Sandy and Laurence/Zac arrive at the local shop, and Sandy tells Jeremy to pay attention, as she’s sure they’ll have to reassemble the spirit house. Jeremy takes notes, and Zac feels they should as well, but his dad tells him no, which will bite them in the butt in a little bit., and could be the reason we hear Laurence explaining earlier about Zac following everything he says

Amani wants to be sure she gives the proper respect to the spirit house as she reassembles it, saying she wouldn’t want anyone to come into her church and disrespect her crosses. She gets the rebuilding wrong on the first try and asks for the driver’s phone to refresh her memory. She had forgotten a few pieces in the taxi. She gets it approved on the second attempt, and they take off for the bus terminal..

Liz and Marie are ecstatic to be around the elephants, as it’s the favorite animal of one of them. (Still can’t keep them straight unless they are saying their names.) Laurence/Zac and Jeremy/Sandy arrive at the second Roadblock, and Zac and Jeremy must do the task since their partners did the first Roadblock. 

Bill and Cathi land at the first Roadblock, and Cathi decides to do this one. Zac fails at his first attempt at rebuilding the spirit house, as Jeremy notes he’s doing it all wrong. Zac fails for a second and third time, and says his dad didn’t want him to take notes, but he’s going to have to go back and take them anyway. Meanwhile, Jeremy passes, and he and Sandy take off for the bus station. Laurence is ticked that Zac has to go back and take notes, feeling he could have sailed through it himself. I wonder if that would turn out like him saying how easy it was to navigate off a map, then getting lost last week.

Cathi finally finds the clue, and she and Bill take off. Liz and Marie get to work with the elephants for their Speed Bump, and they’re ecstatic. They have to/get to wash and clean up after the elephants. They enjoy it. Zac takes his notes and heads back to the Roadblock as Ernie/Cindy and Amani/Marcus are arriving at the local shop. While Amani takes notes, Cindy just wants a second look at what the houses are supposed to look like, but Ernie doesn’t even want to take the time to do that, reasoning it doesn’t say they have to reassemble it.

Zac arrives back at the second Roadblock and this time is approved when he rebuilds the house. He and his dad take off for the bus station, and he explains they lost some time because they were rushing through it. Amani and Ernie start rebuilding the spirit houses, with Ernie saying he thinks he remembers what it’s supposed to look like. 

Liz and Marie are still cleaning up elephant poop, and are so ecstatic to clean the baby elephants. Bill and Cathi come striding by on their elephant transport and ask how it’s going. The twins say it’s awesome. They get done and get to “board” their newly cleaned transport.

Andy and Tommy pay their cabdriver, and give him the $150 he’s demanding. They only had $186 to start off with. They go to buy bus tickets and are told the next bus leaves at 4:30 PM, and will get them there at 6:00 AM, a thirteen hour ride. Justin and Jennifer arrive and buy tickets, as do Jeremy and Sandy after also paying their cab driver a large fee. Laurence and Zac also arrive and take a bus departing at 4:30 PM, but theirs is a “first class” bus. Zac asks his dad if he thinks it will be an issue, but is told no.

Ernie’s first spirit house rebuild fails, and he has to go back for a second look at the houses. He notes it’s another bad day for Team Ernie and Cindy, explaining they have a lot of them, and they all seem to be his fault. Amani is passed on her first attempt at rebuilding the house. Cindy knows they should have just written it down earlier. 

Liz and Marie arrive at the first Roadblock, and Marie decides to do it. I only know that because they mentioned her name. She gets the clue fairly quickly, and the twins head to the local shop. Bill and Cathi arrive at the local shop as Ernie is arriving for the second time. Ernie jots down his notes and takes off, and knows if he doesn’t get it right, Cindy will kill him.

Zac convinces his dad to get off the bus, as they aren’t supposed to take first class transport. They start walking back to the bus station. Ernie works on putting the spirit house together as Bill and Cathi arrive, with Bill having to be the one to rebuild the spirit house. Ernie gets it right this time, and he and Cindy head to the bus station.

Laurence and Zach run back to the bus station to buy new non-first class tickets, as Liz and Marie arrive at the local shop, and start taking apart the spirit house while taking notes in case they have to reassemble it. Bill gets the rebuilding right on his first attempt, and they take off for the bus station.

Liz uses her notes to try and put the spirit house back together, but Marie is worried, and her twin doesn’t always remember things very well. Amani and Marcus book tickets on a 5:30 bus to Bangkok, as do Bill and Cathi. Ernie and Cindy arrive, and their driver asks for 4500 baht. Ernie decides that’s $100 American. The driver then comes after them and tells them that’s not enough. Ernie argues it out with him, saying $100 American is more than 4500 baht. The driver wants them to pay in Thai money though. Someone Cindy explains is a “crazy woman” insists they’re ripping off the driver. Ernie tells her he doesn’t even know who she is, as Cindy is insisting to the driver the he was a “terrible driver.” The crazy woman offers to call the police. She finally tells them to pay him $150. They do, and it’s all good. 

Laurence and Zac arrive at the bus station just after the 5:30 bus takes off. They will now have to wait for the 8:00 bus, after originally being on the 4:30 bus. Liz’s spirit house is approved, and they’re on their way to the bus terminal. Laurence and Zac board their 8:00 bus, with the twins arriving shortly after. They buy tickets for the bus to Bangkok, and are told they need to get on the bus right then. Not so fast, as their driver is looking for more payola. They tell their driver they don’t have any more money, yet their bus is leaving. Not only will they be stuck further behind, but they don’t have any more money to buy more tickets. Their driver agrees to take the last of their money, and he then drives them to catch up to the bus. 

Ernie and Cindy are nervous being on a bus alone, while Sandy and Jeremy are nervous on their bus with Andy/Tommy and Justin/Jennifer, as they were supposed to arrive at 5:30, and it’s now 6 AM, as they still continue to drive. Bill and Cathi are worried that the bus carrying them and Amani and Marcus spent too much time dropping off passengers. 

Ernie and Cindy’s bus is the first to arrive, arriving ahead of schedule. She remembers being in Bangkok a few years ago, but he doesn’t think that’s going to help them at all. She jokes the only way it will is if they are told to find “lady boys,” whatever that is. The bus carrying Jeremy/Sandy, Andy/Tommy, and Justin/Jennifer arrives, and they take taxis to the fish pond. The bus carrying Amani/Marcus and Bill/Cathi arrive as well. Laurence/Zac’s bus and Liz/Marie’s bus are still in transit. 

Having fed the fish, Ernie and Cindy’s next clue tells them to head to the M.R. Kukrit Heritage Home, the pit stop for this leg of the Race. Their driver doesn’t know where it is, but he agrees to phone a friend for help. Maybe he should ask the audience instead. 

Jeremy’Sandy, Justin/Jennifer, and Andy/Tommy are stuck in a traffic jam, as Bill/Cathi and Amani/Marcus are the next teams to arrive at the fish pond. They feed the fish and get the clues sending them to the pit stop. Laurence and Zac’s bus arrives, followed by Liz and Marie’s. They are told it’s three blocks away and try walking since they’re out of cash, as Ernie and Cindy are stuck in traffic. They get out and try hoofing it. 

Bill/Cathi and Amani/Marcus are on their way to the pit stop. Marcus notes the other team may look like “Ma and Pop,” but they can run. Cindy is now pissed that she and Ernie got out of the cab. They other two teams arrive and run for the pit stop. The first team to arrive are Amani and Marcus. They are the first team to arrive, and are definitely ecstatic. So are Bill and Cathi standing nearby, as they know they are now team number two. Amani and Marcus win a trip for two to Bali. Marcus thinks they’re starting to get momentum and could be a team to watch out for.  Ernie and Cindy arrive and are told they are team number three. More ecstatic people.

Liz and Marie ask for directions, and this person tells them it will probably take them five hours to walk to the fish pond. That’s a long three blocks. They don’t have any money, so have no choice but to do it anyway. They’re in a really poor area and don’t feel right begging those people for money. 

Andy and Tommy arrive at the fish pond, just before Jeremy and Sandy. They feed the fish and head to the pit stop. Andy and Tommy try to run it, while Jeremy and Sandy hop in a cab. Justin and Jennifer arrive and feed the fish and take off for the pit stop. Liz and Marie stop walking and beg a taxi driver to take them, telling him they have no money. He agrees. 

Andy and Tommy stop for directions at a school, and the woman takes their clue and runs off to find someone with the answer, telling them to wait. They hope she gets an answer and that they’re not wasting their time. Laurence and Zac arrive at the fish pond and take off for the pit stop. 

Andy and Tommy are still waiting for the woman to come back, and Andy suggests they start pacing. A woman comes out and tells them the other woman is upstairs teaching, so they need to come inside and wait. They explain they are on a race and can’t. They ask to go up there, and are told no. They ask if they can call her. Andy feels it’s God’s will. A man comes down with their clue and the directions. They get in a cab this time. 

Justin and Jennifer arrive on Phil’s mat to be named team number four. They were hoping for first place, but will take fourth. Do they have a choice? Jeremy and Sandy ask for directions when their taxi stops and decide to walk. She doesn’t want to, saying they don’t know where they are. Liz and Marie arrive at the fish pond and know they have to beg for another free cab ride. They get another taker. 

Jeremy and Sandy are still out wandering around looking for the pit stop. Jeremy isn’t sure how others will do this, as everyone is low on cash, and they’re taking cabs all over the place. Andy and Tommy arrive on the mat, with Laurence and Zac just after them. Somehow after all this, these two teams are together again. They’re teams five and six. Phil asks what father and son were thinking to get off the first bus. They explain, and Phil tells them the first class travel rule only applies to air travel. They got off the bus for nothing. 

Sandy explains if this this the end for them, she’s very proud of Jeremy as he’s done more than she expected. He’s proud of her too. They wanted to make it further along than this though. Liz and Marie note that it eventually worked out for them, slowly but surely. It’s Jeremy and Sandy who are the next to arrive with Phil. He suggests they know what he’s going to say. Sandy starts crying, saying it’s been a rough day. He’s pleased to tell them, though, that they’re team number seven. She sheds even more tears, and Phil offers to eliminate them anyway.

Liz and Marie arrive on Phil’s mat. They are the last to arrive, and this time they are eliminated. He asks if this was about the money. They cry saying their dad passed away in December, and they wanted to do it for him to show him they’ll never give up. Phil suggests he’d be proud of them anyway. They think he would be too, as they’ve done a lot.

Not only that, but Liz and Marie should be proud of themselves. They showed a lot on this last leg of the Race. They were down, but not out. They continued through most of it with a smile on their faces, even though they knew they had a good chance of being eliminated. Even when faced with a five-hour walk, they tried it, instead of quitting. No matter what faith you have, Dad has to be smiling about that, no matter where he is.

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