Picking up from last week, we begin at the second leg's pit stop, riverboat Bassac III docked in Cai Be in Vietnam. The boat takes the racers to another Vietnam location, My Tho. "Hard to believe that our Pit Stop is moving," the Brain says. Pinky and the Brain are first to get the clue, which instructs them to go to Ho Chi Minh City's Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theater. At the theater, the puppets dance in a pool of water to live traditional music. The Globetrotters steal the lead at the theater but struggle to grab the clue from the can't-swim-still puppets. The vertically superior pair finally lean into the pool and get a gold bullet with the clue inside of it: a stamp of the Ho Chi Minh City Main Post Office.
All of the teams have difficulty trying to capture the clue from the dancing dragon puppets. For some bizarre reason, God squaders Mika and Canaan get jiggy with it in front of the pool. We guess that they hoped the water dragons would pity their lame dance moves and just hand over the clue (which didn't happen). Then, of course, screaming comes from bickering couple Lance and Keri. The bickerers got the bullet, but it took them awhile and lots of yelling to figure out the clue was inside the capsule.
This time around, the poker pals lay low and don't generate much drama. Instead, some real-life drama comes from senior Marcy and Globetrotter Big Easy, who both reminisce about their dads. Being in Ho Chi Minh City reminds Marcy about her pops, an Air Force general who was gunned down in the city, but heroically managed to survive. Big Easy makes us well up when he reveals that his father died two days before the race and that he wants to win it all for him.
At the post office, the teams find a detour. They must choose between "child's play" or "word play." In child's play, teams head to a park, choose a large concrete animal from a kiosk and transport their new pet through park on a dolly, collecting five different colored balloons from vendors along the way, and deliver the goods to a children's playground. In word play, players go to Rex Hotel's observation deck and spot six oversized Vietnamese letters from the traffic below, on car roofs and the hats of scooter riders. Once the teams write down the letters and get the okay from security guard that they are correct, they have to create a Vietnamese term with the letters, word jumble style.
Most of the teams choose child's play. The Globetrotters get the lead and lug a lamb through the park, encouraging the concrete pet with "Here, sheepy, sheepy." Big Easy makes time to also encourage a crazy lady with funky-patterned pants dancing by herself in the park. "Work it girl, work it," he says.
Sweetie pies Zev and Justin have a hare-brained idea to pick the animal closest to them—a gargantuan giraffe—rather than the lightest concrete creature. The giraffe falls over during the park trek, with the guys scrambling to pick up the pieces. The poker girls have some trouble when their trolley breaks. But it ain't no thang for Maria, who leaves poor poker pal Tiffany to do all of the pushing. The bickerers prove to be most annoying team of the day, not only for letting go of a balloon and leaving their concrete animal in the middle of street traffic to chase it. Throughout the episode, Keri begs Lance to stop yelling at her so many times, it's material more appropriate for Dr. Phil rather than TAR.
The seniors were the only team to pick word play. But instead of asking locals for help unscrambling the foreign word, they first try to look around at signs and figure it out themselves. Finally, they get smart and ask for assistance. The seniors piece together "Doclap," a Vietnamese term for "independence."
In this challenge, teams have to go to Dien Co 008, where they use tools to break down two VCRs—for you young'uns, a VCR is an old-fashioned contraption that was the precursor to DVD players and DVRs—and separate their parts in piles. The Globetrotters keep their streak going and finish first. Despite smack-talking of a surfer boy's inability to disassemble a VCR, Cheyne takes second for the beautiful blonds. Again, poker lady Maria sits on her bootie while Tiffany has to learn how to make the tools work. Everyone laughs at Tiffany's cluelessness, but she gets the hang of it. Lance ignores the tools altogether. "I decided to shred it with my hands as opposed to take out each bolt," he says. "It was kind of the man thing to do." A man? A caveman, maybe.
The pit stop is Reunification Palace, whose gates were once crashed by a North Vietnamese tank, signaling the end of the Vietnam War. At the palace grounds, it becomes a foot race between the Globetrotters and the beautiful blonds. Cheyne arrives at the finish line first, followed by the Globetrotters, whose long gams give them an unfair leg up in the foot race. But since Meghan lags behind, the Globetrotters snatch first, winning a five-night trip to Aruba, which surely would have made Big Easy's dad proud.
Pinky and the Brain come in third. The sweetie pies and the bickerers also are neck-in-neck, with Zev and Justin just beating out the couple. At the finish line, Phil asks Lance about his competitive streak. The d-bag answers, "I will wrestle you right now on the ground." Phil is taken aback—the host isn't used to threats, even sort-of jokey ones. But in a surprise move, Zev coolly comes to Phil's rescue, offering to take on meathead Lance.
Seniors Marcy and Ron take too long unscrambling their word and arrive last. Marcy leaves with the words of her father. "You can't hit a home run without stepping up to the plate," she recounts him saying. At least she and Ron stepped up.
Zev dons on a monkey outfit and one team loses its passport...dum, dum, dum!
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:
While Vietnam, (the Motorbike capitol of the world,) puts New York and LA’s traffic to shame, the teams did not seem to have problems communicating or finding willing local helpers, as a quarter of the country’s population speaks English. I can remember feeling “clueless,” just as Lance and Keri did when they didn’t open their bullet to find their next clue at the Water Puppet Theater. Lance continued to get annoyed with both his own mistakes and his fiancé throughout the episode, and in my opinion deserves a swift kick in the chins!
All of teams except one chose the Detour – “Child’s Play.” They looked so silly pushing their cement animals and gathering their colorful balloon arrangements. Thanks for the belly laugh! Zev and Justin, one of my favorite teams, chose the giraffe, which was top heavy and went crashing to the cement in slow-mo. But luckily, they remained in the game. Ron and Marci are the only team who chose the Detour – “Word Play” involving unscrambling a Vietnamese word, and should have known not to mess with a language they didn’t know.
During the Roadblock“Who’s ready for a break down?” (besides Lance,) one member of all the teams disassembled 2 VCR’s. Lance blew threw it a violently rapid rate, with Keri cheering him on. As Phil mentioned, the country as a whole is big on recycling. We Americans really need to step it up!
The Pit Stop, Reunification place, marked the end of the Vietnam War. Doing it for his deceased Dad, the Globetrotters did in fact beat Meghan and Cheyne in a foot race, and landed on the mat as team number one. They’ll be headed to Aruba later, thanks to Travelocity.
“Deliciously sweaty” dating couple Meghan and Cheyne took second place. If Meghan had hustled just a little more (or perhaps been born 6’7’’) they would have finished first, as Cheyne actually beat the Globetrotters to the mat, but teams must arrive in full before they are placed.
And so, the trend continues. The older couples seem to have less of a sense of urgency than the other teams. Although, Ron and Marci “stepped up to the plate” by even attempting to compete in the physically challenging and uber-stressful Amazing Race, they crawled up to the mat, and were eliminated.
All in all, I think Marci and her whistle are really getting under Ron’s skin. The lessons to be learned here are chose the easiest, most fun task and be quick enough on foot to not get eliminated! Prepare for careless devastation next Sunday night when one team loses their passport, which also happened on my season. Oh brother…
[Photo: Eustaquio Santimano]