From Phnom Penh, Cambodia, the Amazing Racers are directed to the Persian Gulf to find the world's tallest building. Hot guys leave first with the Globetrotters and Mr. and Mrs. America following. Unlike the train wreck Miss Teen South Carolina, Mrs. America knows her geography, being the first to realize that the building is in Dubai. The couple hoof it to the airport, where they find the hot guys asking for tickets to the Persian Gulf, with a perplexed ticketing agent giving them a WTF look. The good-deeders tell the guys that they need to go to the United Arab Emirates. "It's a big game of karma, so we're trying to be nice to everybody and help people out," Mr. America says.
With the help of Internet cafes, all of the teams figure out the destination is the Burj Dubai, a mild obsession of ours. The towering Burj, which is still under construction, is almost twice the height of Empire State Building. All of the teams make it onto a flight through Bangkok to Dubai. Upon landing, they have to find an unnamed fountain to sign up for one of two elevator rides up the Burj's 124th floor. The two rides leave 15 minutes apart. The first groups in the building are the poker girls, the beautiful blondes and Mr. and Mrs. America. The anticipation almost kills acrophobe Mika, who's petrified they'll have to jump off the building somehow. Luckily, all they have to do is grab their clue on a sky-high balcony, with a stunning view of clouds and nothing else.
The clue sends the racers to the Dubai Mall's parking garage, where they find marked Audis and put the pedal to the metal to get to the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. There they ride 4x4s to the next clue. The teams are so excited that the Brain of Pinky and the Brain says, "I'm about ready to wet myself." We hope he packed extra undies. The bickerers struggle to find their ride in the garage, but the usually squabbling couple keeps its cool, even when they get lost after leaving the garage. "Nothing could tear us ah-paht," Keri says in her charming Bah-sten accent.
The beautiful blondes are the first to arrive at the clue on the 124th floor of the Burj, where they find the season's first and only fast forward. If a team completes a fast forward challenge, it will go directly to the pit stop. This fast forward is in the Dubai Autodrome. Teams must finish a lap in 45 seconds or less in an open-top small race car that speeds up to 100 miles per hour. The beautiful blondes are the only ones who decide to risk it and do the fast forward. Cheyne volunteers to go behind the wheel. While driving he declares, "I am the man!" with a fist pump. And apparently he is the man, because he completes the lap in 40 seconds and then gets to cruise in a chauffeured Maserati to the pit stop with his lady.
Mr. and Mrs. America get to the roadblock first. The teams have the seemingly impossible task of finding water in the desert. Urns have been filled with water and buried in the sand. The racers have to locate them, fill their bag with water and give it to a bedouin. Not knowing where to start in the vast desert, Mr. America sees something and starts digging with his hands, but no urn. "I think they are, uh, camel droppings," Mr. America says about the items he spotted. Nasty.
As the teams search for the hard-to-spot urns, poker pal Tiffany excitedly comes across several, only to find out that—surprise!—not all them have water. Mr. America finally finds a water-filled jug and he discreetly fills his bag. Keeping to his karmic code, he tells hot guy Dan and Tiffany where to get the H2O on his way out. Dan's ladle breaks while getting the water out, but since the guys are in an alliance with the poker pals, Tiffany helps a brother out. When Dan and Tiffany get their clues, they hurry out of there, but the girls run over a stake that slices their radiator open. True to the secret alliance, the gallant hot guys wait till the ladies get their replacement vehicle. The other teams have a difficult time in the blazing desert. But Flight Time has confidence in his teammate. "He walked through Hurricane Katrina he can take this." The God squaders lag among the group and the bickerers get to the desert last.
The teams get a reprieve from the scorching desert sun as they proceed to Ski Dubai, an indoor ski resort that's the size of four football fields and is a frosty 28 degrees. At this detour, they have to decide whether to build a snowman or find a snowman. In the former, they must carry snow outdoors—where it's 120 degrees—and build a snowman before it turns to slush. In the latter, teams take a chairlift to the top of a mountain and sled down to mounds of snow, where they must search for a tiny snowman doll. Pinky and the Brain get to Ski Dubai first and opt to find a snowman. They have a ball sliding down the hill but their fun ends abruptly as all the other teams gain on them and also choose to find a snowman. Although she initially complained, "My butt's cold," Mrs. America gets her rear in gear and manages to find an itty-bitty doll.
The poker gals and Pinky and the Brain abandon the needle-in-a-haystack challenge and decide to build a snowman instead. The hot guys then join them, thinking that the Globetrotters will never find the baby snowman doll. But as soon as the guys leave, the ballers spot one. Pinky and the Brain say enduring Montana's snowy winters gives them an advantage, and they are the first to make a snowman. While all the teams are working in the winter wonderland, the bickerers are still on the road and lost, again. "We are directionally challenged," Keri says, and Lance laughs. When they finally arrive at Ski Dubai and make a snowman, the Lance we all know and hate shows his aggression issues by asking an employee if he could kick the snowman.
The beautiful blonds get to the pit stop, the old-Arabian-style marketplace Souk Madinat Jumeirah, first. The couple wins a five-night trip for two to Jamaica. "I'm just really proud," says a teary Meghan. And showing that nice guys don't finish last, Mr. and Mrs. America come in second and the Globetrotters snag third.
While the God squaders lagged this leg of the race, the bickerers' lack of direction did them in. What does this mean for the future of the engaged couple, who have fought non-stop since day one of the race? Looks like their next race will be down the aisle. "I don't think I want to marry myself," Lance says. "I think it would suck."
It's trouble for the God squaders as a terrified Mika refuses to ride down a steep waterslide and her boyfriend, Canaan, tries to force her down to avoid elimination. WWJD?
RECENT RACER'S RECAP by Kelly Crabb
Kelly Crabb competed in Season 13 of The Amazing Race, taking 6th place with her best friend, Christy. Coined as "America's Divorcee," this freelance writer and travel enthusiast lives life to its fullest in Houston, Texas and remains "bitchy with a heart of gold." This is her take on the show:
I think it’s pretty awesome that the teams got to go to Dubai, the International Hub of the World. Yes, everyone got on the same flight, AGAIN! It’s called a "bunching point." The Burj Dubai, tallest building in the world, was quite a sight to see and makes me want to visit even more. However, it’s a different story for Mika, who is deathly afraid of heights. Meghan and Cheyne are adorable and did a swift job on the Fast Forward at Dubai Autrodrome. Sadly, I didn’t know who Ricky Bobby was, and clearly need to rent Talladega Nights.
I started to have flashbacks when I saw Brian digging in the sand during the Roadblock, “Beat the Desert Heat.” My teammate Christy and I did the same thing on a beach on Brazil. Sometimes, you just get overwhelmed, though I was laughing out loud at their frustration.
All female team Tiffany and Maria furthermore proved to America that women cannot drive. Thank Goodness they received their replacement car in a timely manner after busting the radiator by backing into a stake. Sam and Dan felt obligated to stick around and wait for them, but that will later hurt them! Those two teams are clearly an alliance, but only one team will win the Race. It’s starting to annoy me…
I’m quite jealous that teams also went to Ski Dubai, the world’s third largest indoor ski slope inside the world’s largest mall. After butt-sledding, most teams ended up switching Detours, from “Find a Snowman” to “Build a Snowman.” All I know is: I need to speak with the polar bear that gave them their next clue, about borrowing his costume for Halloween. Unbenounced to Brian, the Race is actually not about karma, my friends, it’s about LUCK, which Canaan will need to stay in the Race. Mika really needs to buck up and not be scared of things like fun slides. It looks like he all but pushes her down the slide. I guess we will see what happens next week when remaining teams visit Atlantis–The Palm in Dubai.
[Photos: CBS and Ski Dubai]