Task 1 – The Rappel – I hope no one had to commute in Pasadena that morning, as Racers rappelled off a bridge to get to their Product Placement Transportation. We see that Trey is quite the runner. The Blondes are as well, as are Magic Mike. The Goats were surprisingly agile on the ropes, and Abbie unnecessarily yodeled. Of course, most yodels are unnecessary, I understand that.
Destination – Shanghai – Long gone are the days of airport drama. This time we only get one – Goat Josh allowed the Monster Truckers to go ahead in line. That enabled them to get the seventh and final slot on the early flight. This could have been a Race-ending move by the Goats – just remember poor Dennis in Race 5 giving up the last cab to Colin and Christie. Dennis did that late in the leg, at least the Goats had a fighting chance to move up in China. On the first flight – Magic Mike, Blondes, Hair Metal, Amy/Dan, Apprentice, Twins, and the Monsters. Second flight – Fantasy Island (tall and tiny – hey, they brought it up) , Goats, Texas, Lumberjack.
Roadblock #1 – Who’s Ready To be Paddled? – Doing a Roadblock? That’s a paddlin’. No rituals here for the Racers – the Roadblocker has to earn a point vs. a 10-year-old junior champion female ping pong player. That’s right Twins – she’s a girl. Stop calling her a he. I was immediately against this challenge – they’ve done this before and it is lame. The teams usually just wait for unforced errors to earn their points. And to earn just one sounded way too easy. Except this task was designed for a whole other reason – it was difficult if a huge group of Racers arrived, which was likely for the first wave of Racers. So this helped break up the pack, and slow them down a bit to allow for the other four to kind of catch up.
This is because if you fail to earn a point, and there’s another team playing, you have to wait until she cycled through all of the teams. The fun twist was that she’d forego the paddle and start using other items for subsequent rounds – a clipboard (the paper side!), a saucepan, a tambourine, a metal pencil case, and a Race clue. As it turns out, every team got their clue due to unforced errors, not be earning a point with skill. Abbie is first, followed by both Jameses. Daniel earns his on the tambourine.
Roadblock #2 – Yummy Dessert – Welcome to the first gross eating challenge of the season. The other Racer on each team must eat a serving of Hasma. What’s that? Well, of course, it is a two halves of hollowed out papayas filled with frog fallopian tubes. And you can’t lift it up, and you must use chopsticks or only your mouth. My question is – how did this dish ever become a thing? And, to paraphrase an amazing bit by Louis C.K. – this is how you know we have utterly dominated the frog as a species.
The teams didn’t do as badly as I expected. Jaymes was an animal – he spilled some on the table and sucked it up no problem. Amy was also an unexpected rock star here. Monster Rob makes a big error by picking it up to eat it. Nuh uh! You get a second helping, sir. Next time, read your damn clue! Lexi thinks she is eating intestines – and I am afraid to ask if Texas’ education system has managed to educate Lexi about her own anatomy.