Sunday, October 18, 2009

1x03: Bali, Indonesia

If you thought digging around in sand for hours was excruciating, you should try recapping it.

Previously on Bakso, Bakso Man! I Want To Be A Bakso Man!: Ten teams flew [Lufthansa] from Kuala Lumpur to Jakarta. Unsafe taxi driving ensued. The RoadBlock forced people to get up close and personal with a giant snake. A real one. Apparently, the "Guest Star In A Porno" idea was canned at the last minute. There was a high school, and there was singing, and there was dancing, but Zac Efron wasn't giving blowjobs off camera. As far as we know. Team Idiot lucked their way into the Fast Forward, while Journey sucked their way into a month-long vacation at the Loser Lodge. Nine teams remain. Who will be eliminated... TONIGHT?

Credits. Do we really need to cut straight from that neon "Jumbo" sign to the shots of the Super Marsio Bros.? [JUMBOMP.]

Welcome back to Jakarta. As you may or may not remember, and may or may not care about, Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia. And it's a big city, as these helicopter shots will tell you. In the middle of the city is the National Monument, which was the second Pit Stop in this little race we've been having. As usual, all of the remaining teams get to leave a whole twelve hours after they arrived. The ever-robotic WuWho has been programmed not to care enough about these people to ask questions about their ultimate fate.

At 1:59am, Team Idiot departs. And, knowing them as well as I don't, they probably think they'll be able to keep a sizable lead at this time of night. They won't, because they must now fly to Bali. WuWho tells us that Bali is 962 kilometres away, but he does not add that teams have apparently again been ordered to get there by flying on [AeroMexico]. Bali has surfing, monkeys, and temples, according to the introductory shots. All three will turn up again later in the episode, so you may go ahead and tune out for a few seconds here if you wish. When their [Air Botswana] flight arrives, they have to get to a cluebox on Kuta Beach. Sound familiar? It's, like, three streets away from where the Bali bombings in 2002 took place, and it's where they have the memorial each year. I haven't got anything even approaching funny to say about that, which is probably for the best, really.

On the way to the airport, Prashant calls his driver "James Bond", and I guess he's lucky it's not the real James Bond, because I hear windscreen wipers make good bayonets. (At this point, I would like to point out that anything I say is for entertainment purposes only, and may or may not be accurate. In any case, do NOT try this at home.) In a pre-race confessional, Prashant tells us that they "have both come on the race with a lot of... girth." Um... yeah. ["You'll notice he supports the stereotype by not mentioning anything about length." -- WhoreBoy] He apparently means it in regards to their potential, but that doesn't fit any definition of the word "girth" that I can find. They arrive at the airport and are shocked to learn that it's shut. So everyone's going to wind up bunched. As usual. Sigh. Wait, why does this annoy me? I don't even like Team Idiot. They sleep outside, and we are treated to Prashant saying he's "so hot" (debatable), and a remix of Sahil's quote about getting head. Uh, I mean, "getting AHEAD". Sorry.

2:27am. Good morning, Super Marsio Bros.! As they leave the mat, Marsio is whining about sore legs already. In continuing with the theme so far of We Are So Fat, Marsio tells us that "obviously, [they] are not built for the race". They think that after having two legs in two days, they will not be able to survive, especially without sleep. Did they not know that Pit Stops allow you "to eat, sleep, and mingle with the other teams"?

2:38am. Howard and an unusually chipper Cirran leave the mat. One minute later, Zabrina and Joe Jer do the same. And Sharon and Melody a minute after that. And the Portable Posse a minute after that. And Andy and Laura at 2:42am. Wow, that was much closer than it looked last week. Jacqueline is happy to be going to the beach. I think it might have been because Rose Portable told her they can flirt and wear bikinis while they're there. People get into taxis. Howard tells us that he's surprised he hasn't tried to bitchslap Cirran. Well, not in those words, obviously, but you can tell that that's exactly what he's thinking. More people get into taxis.

Marsio hopes they "make Indonesia proud". And his wife. And Mardy's wife. I think they can safely say they've made Indonesia proud, given they haven't been anywhere near as annoying as people like Andrew or Rose Portable or Team Idiot. In their cab, Jacqueline, still calling the Super Marsio Bros. "M&M's", mentions them and wonders where she left her chocolates. Talk about a ditz. A zombified Zabrina realises that "everybody's going to catch up again". They confessional poolside about how close everyone is. Crap. If Journey got poolside chats last week and these two are getting them this week, does that mean they're getting eliminated? Suddenly, the airport is open, and Sharon and Melody enter. Melody tells us that "the strongest contender could be the weakest, or the most unluckiest". You know, I think grammar might be getting a restraining order of some kind against these two. In any event, it turns out she said it because their cab took them to the wrong terminal. Ouch. Andy tries to tell his driver to go fast in Indonesian, and as usual, he sounds completely condescending while he does it. Sigh. Andy and Laura talk about everybody getting paranoid that they're in last, over a shot of people waiting in front of the [Malev] counter.

Apparently, a lot can happen in four minutes, and Antsy show this by departing at 2:46am, only four minutes behind Andy and Laura. SanFran are last to depart, at 3:07am. SanFran try to claim that any team could be eliminated, even though at this point, it really looks like it's going to be them getting the boot. Fran tells us San is the eternal optimist, while she sits in the back of the cab moaning. She provides an impersonation of this. Hee.

(For the three people who care, I didn't forget to recap the amount of money the teams got, we weren't told because we were too busy listening to "Fly to Bali, Indonesia" over and over and over. I’d understand if it was one of those places everybody sounded ridiculously excited to go to, but many of these teams sound like they’re reading from a phone book.)

Thanks to the wonders of editing, SanFran have arrived at the airport; and immediately after they do, the teams book their tickets on [Thai Airways]. Some guy tries to push in front of Sharon and Melody, and Melody gets a little pissed. And by "a little pissed", I mean "threatening retaliation". Oh, this ain't yo momma's race anymore. Sharon tries to get the people behind the [KLM] counter to tell PokeyPig to "behave himself". In a later scene, Sharon's voice goes all anime-like and she matter-of-factly reminds Melody of some "combat training routine" they apparently both know. Now with added demonstrations! It might just be me, but a busy airport might not be the safest place to show someone a series of martial arts moves, even if "that's what he deserves". Nevertheless, "chin, throat, groin" is my new favourite quote.

The remaining teams get their tickets, with Howard shocked to learn that he's going to have to wait six hours before he can leave. Meanwhile, the Portable Posse is trying to schmooze their way into sitting in the airport lounge for free. Incidentally, the camera guys get a nice shot in which the Filipino flag on the strap of Jacqueline's backpack is prominent, as though they want to remind you which country these two tools are from. Strangely enough, Filipino Fuckwits is a casting category we will return to pretty frequently in the future. Jacqueline offers "facial cleanser" as a bribe to get into the lounge. Soap? Really? The people at the lounge refuse their crappy "gift" (if you can call it that), and the next thing we see is the Portable Posse begging in an airport. The camera guy gets this footage in a pretty long shot, so it's not immediately obvious to the poor schmucks being hit up that they're on camera, which is definitely a good idea, because it negates the whole "Oooh, we're on TV! Let's give them money so we don't look like pricks!" thing that always makes these scenes feel a little contrived. I just wish they would bother to use it when people are actually forced to beg. They get the money anyway. When Jacqueline offers them a high five, the guy (whose face has been blurred) wants a kiss instead. Heh. And, I'm surprised the Portable Posse didn't immediately offer that. They take their change straight to the lounge and get in. God. I can't believe they went to such lengths just to get into the AIRPORT LOUNGE. If you can't last six hours in an airport without bitching and moaning about your lack of comfort, wait until they dump you on the streets of, like, Bangladesh or something. Or even worse, on a train in Melbourne.

Meanwhile, the annoying Isn't This Funny? music continues, as the Super Marsio Bros. get knee massages. Remember back when they said they'd spend their money to get to the Pit Stop quickly? Yeah, this is really helping them. I may have to take back that "they've made Indonesia proud" if they continue to do this. The Portable Posse continues to relax. So do the Super Marsio Bros. Marsio says his wife "always tells [him] to exercise, but [he] never listen[s] to her." Heh.

Antsy is among the teams who have not forgotten that this is a race. Syeon traces a map of the beach from a computer screen. Okay, there's thrifty, and then there's stingy. Just pay the money and print it out already. Syeon tells us they were pissed with finishing eighth.

Everybody boards the [Dragon Air] flight and flies [Air Jamaica] to Bali. Their bags also board the [SAS] flight. The Amazing Yellow Line follows the amazing teams' amazing journey to amazing Bali. Okay, the Amazing Map shows Denpasar, but that doesn't sound nearly as amazing. So let's just keep saying Bali. Besides, it's less work for my tired fingers.

Just like last week, people get into taxis. Syeon describes to their driver what a race flag looks like. Except she gets the colours in the wrong order. Red-yellow-red, my ass. Howard calls the adventure of booking a taxi "a bit of a scramble". And there are more than enough rotten eggs to go around, don't you worry. Sharon also tells their driver about the flag, but at least limits herself to "red and yellow flag". Suddenly, Antsy see the flag. They run onto the beach and grab the clue, as a helpful graphic reminds us that Kuta Beach is playing the role of Kuta Beach today. Back near the street, they notice that it's a RoadBlock. The clue this time is: "Who digs the seaside?" Oooh, sixties slang! Blecch. Syeon takes the task.

Before I forget, do you know what a RoadBlock is? No, it's not "a choice between two tasks, each with its own pros and cons". No, it's not "a pre-determined non-elimination point". No, it's not even "a gateway to another dimension". But what it is is "a task that only one person can perform". WuWho is only too happy to remind you of this fact, because otherwise he becomes as obsolete as a Commodore 64. Instead of doing some actual surfing, which WuWho reminds us is common at this beach, the chosen member of each team must dig inside a marked plot of beach for a itsy-bitsy teeny-weenie wooden toy surfboard, as opposed to the itsy-bitsy teeny-weenie yellow polka-dot bikinis the Portable Posse undoubtedly have in their wardrobe somewhere. From the looks of this clip, all the teams have to help them is a little kid's sandcastle-building shovel. When they find the surfboard, they can give it to a cute shirtless guy waiting next to a full-size surfboard nearby, and he will whip it out. (...By "it", I mean "their next clue". Did I not make that clear?)

In other news, that task sucks. Couldn't they have done something related to actual surfing? Managing to surf on your own? Making a surfboard? Anything at all? Feh.

Syeon runs to a plot. Sharon and Melody find the beach and get out of their taxi. Andy and Laura congratulate their driver for losing the teams behind them. Of course, that could be because everyone else's cabbie knows a short cut, or because you're lost, so don't congratulate him just yet. San reckons he's too excited at the moment. Right now, he's practically comatose, so I wonder how dull unexcited San is. The Super Marsio Bros. can see the flag. But the Portable Posse is already running. Sharon and Melody are there too. Rose Portable, Sharon, and Marsio take on the task, all at the insistence of their partners. Heh. Some things make you laugh for no reason at all, and that is one of them.

Syeon is digging, and the ever-helpful Andrew tells her the others are here. Is there any logical reason to tell her that? It's not going to make the surfboard stick its arm out of the sand and wave a flag or anything.

The remaining teams arrive, with Andy having to tell Laura not to jump over a hedge. If you say so, Andy. We don't yet find out whom Team Idiot picks, but Andy is doing it. For now. As Marsio tries to see whether the surfboard is buried just below the surface, Howard volunteers himself, and Fran volunteers San. In last place for the first time, Zabrina and Joe Jer finally rock up, and Zabrina can tell what the challenge is from all the other teams digging. Or possibly because it's been a task before.

Jacqueline's idea of cheering is saying "do it" over and over, and it makes me want to do something to burst my own eardrums. The surfer guy watches on like she's an idiot. ["He wasn't the only one." -- EmoHunk] Andrew orders Syeon to stop slacking off. Sharon moves a big clump of sand with her hands. Andy has dug a deep hole in one little section of his plot, and Laura tells him that "this is what [they] do everyday". There's some sort of human metal detector joke in there somewhere, but I can't quite find it.

People dig. And dig. And dig. It's not exactly a broken ox in terms of excitement yet. Fran and Andrew both remind their partners that they don't have to dig all the way to Denmark to find their surfboard. Sahil tells Prashant the same thing, and Prashant wants to know how far he's dug so far. Sahil tries to figure out how big an inch is, which has nothing to do with the conversation at this point, and nothing to do with anything we've heard since Prashant's "girth" comment. Laura smartly compares 40 centimetres to a table ruler, although "a little bit more than elbow deep" might have been a little easier in this case.

Jacqueline tries to get SurferGuy to tell her how big 40 centimetres is, and wonders if he even speaks English when he doesn't interrupt her sentence to tell her. Which he probably wouldn't be allowed to do anyway. She then crosses the line from merely annoying to truly unbearable by asking in an accented voice, "Do you understand the words that're coming out of my mouth?" Well, not when you talk like Rose Portable on helium. She then mistakes "I Am Deeply Apologetic, But Unfortunately The Producers Will Not Permit Me To Respond To Your Inane Questions Until Your Partner Completes Her Required Challenge" silence for "Noh Spik-a De Engrish" silence, and to top it off, assumes that if he had any English-language skills, he'd automatically talk to her. Jacqueline is on The List.

People dig with their hands, except for Andy, who has decided to use his shovel. Sahil shows Prashant how to dig quickly. It's exactly the same as how Ken and Gerard did it when they were in Morocco all those years ago. Good times. Rose Portable takes some time off to wonder how she looks. Necessary! Prashant has forgotten what he's supposed to be looking for. Sahil tells him it's a flag, even though it's not, and the snarky editors immediately cut to a flag on the beach. Nice one, guys. Laura tells us the clue actually doesn't tell them what they're looking for, which makes this task even harder. Syeon finds rubbish; San finds a rock. Sharon tells us she hopes she can drink what she's looking for. And some of these teams might actually try drinking a wooden surfboard. Speaking of the Portable Posse, Jacqueline tells Rose Portable that "maybe it's there", pointing in the general direction of her plot of sand. Helpful!

Commercials. If diamonds are a girl's best friend, a girl needs to get a social life.

Thirty minutes later, Sharon has resorted to moving sand around with her feet, and Howard looks as though he's about to collapse. Marsio's back hurts, but he still takes the time to snarkily ask Rose Portable if she's having fun. She calls the task "sexy", which makes no sense, because this is almost literally the least sexy thing you could do on a beach. Mardy tells him off. Jacqueline still thinks she has a reason to be whining. Marsio says that "looking at the TV's easier". True, that. Unless, like we have to see, Jacqueline is dancing again. My eyes! My eyes! Marsio realises he's not cut out to dig for treasure. Heh. These guys are funny, and have now completely made up for the massages they got before.

Locals watch on in amazement that people would subject themselves to this. So does a random shirtless guy with bleached blonde hair.

Andrew bitches at Syeon to work faster. Yes, sir, Admiral Whinypants. Zabrina supports Joe Jer by saying she "would be dead" by this point. Awww. Joe Jer is "such a trooper". San is still digging, and has not shown any signs of slowing down yet. Syeon has finished digging her entire plot, and hasn't found it. Unless they're looking for sand, in which case she's found plenty of it. So Admiral Whinypants tells her to dig lower. Syeon calls it a mistake. I call the three typos I made while writing that sentence the first time a mistake. Admiral Whinypants voices over that he probably should have done it, but he did the snake pit one last week, so they agreed for her to do it whatever it was. Which is an idea so stupid I’m surprised it’s not coming out of Team Idiot.

Prashant is looking around, as though the non-existent flag he's looking for will jump up and down and wave itself in his face. San continues digging, as a panicked Fran tells him not to panic. Heh. Prashant gets rid of The Amazing Bum Bag, which I figured should have been the first thing he did. Fran keeps encouraging San. Sahil's idea of encouragement is telling Prashant that while he might be "ripped" after he finishes, he'll also be sunburnt. Prashant voices over something about patience. I think. His accent is thicker than anyone else's on the race, and it doesn't help that he's mumbling on top of that. Sahil tells him to use his legs.

Cutting from the ridiculous to the sublime, Sharon says "[her] trainer will be proud of [her]". Melody tells her that she, everyone else, and all of Singapore is proud of her. Now that's some good encouragement.

The sun is shining brightly. That's like the opposite of a blunt metaphor at this point. If this were any other show, it would be pissing down with rain right now.

Andy continues digging, as Sharon decides that talking like an old lady on a cruise ship will help her. Joe Jer is digging, but is at least looking happy, even if she is faking it. Marsio realises that it's like finding a needle in a haystack. True. Except you can tell where the haystack ends. Rose Portable sighs.

Commercials. God, finally. Time for lunch. Or dinner. Or whatever meal I'm supposed to be having right now.

The waves at Kuta Beach continue to taunt the racers, who are still digging their own graves. Or at least that's what it's probably beginning to feel like for them. One hour has elapsed. Everybody is drinking water, except for Syeon. Both Rose Portable and Howard try to win the First Annual Amazing Race Asia Wet T-Shirt Contest, but miss their target completely. Rose Portable takes the time to talk to some hot guys staring at them, including one whose boardshorts are practically halfway down his arse. I've mentioned my dislike for saggy pants before, but... mmmm. Melody tries to use The Amazing Bum Bag to provide some shade for Sharon. Cirran goes one step further and grabs a giant umbrella from further down the beach. Heh. Sandy and Rose Portable also request umbrellas. For some reason, Cirran rubs his hand all over Howard's face. Soon, Howard is forced to dig with his feet. (Incidentally, "Dig With Your Feet" is going to be the title of my first self-help book.) Sharon calls Melody a star for getting an umbrella too. Andy is a little peeved that he doesn't get some. Sahil tries to provide advice about where to dig, even while he's busy carrying an umbrella over. Admiral Whinypants orders Syeon to dig in the middle. You will note that he does not provide her with an umbrella. SurferGuy shakes his head.

Cirran points out that Howard has already dug where he's working at the moment, and Howard starts to yell. San tells him to chillax. Andy complains about the temperature being somewhere in the mid thirties. That's nothing. On the current season of Survivor, they're living in temperatures in the high-forties. Without giant beach umbrellas. Andy yells out to Howard and everyone else that if they all take the four-hour RoadBlock quitting penalty, they can all give up and start the next task at the same time. Marsio immediately agrees, but changes his mind as soon as nobody else agrees. Sharon tells us she was shocked Andy came up with the idea.

To me, it looks as though this might be one of those rare tasks where taking the penalty might actually be a decent idea. Yeah, you know someone's probably going to be eliminated, but at the same time, this particular task looks like a bitch, and with people slowing down as they go, there's a huge chance that someone could take a very, very long time to finish. Not to mention that the sun's going to be up for a while, given Kuta is on the western side of the island. And quitting might help you stay ahead of the other teams. But I think that after almost an hour and a half, the chances quitting will be advantageous are diminishing enough to make it possibly harmful to your time in the race. If you're going to quit, you have to do it early, and I think these people have waited a little bit too long.

90 minutes have elapsed. Howard is close to giving up. Fran tells him quitting is pointless unless everybody quits, and since San is now the Terminator or something, he should just suck it up and deal. Andy is still trying to broker a deal with the Super Marsio Bros. and one of the other teams, though it's hard to tell whom. Marsio isn't quitting unless five teams do it, and Andy says a couple of the sheep teams will follow. Insert a cheesy soap opera shot of Marsio staring out to sea and wondering what the others will do.

Admiral Whinypants is still bossing Syeon around, and she wants him to stop. So do I. Howard is on the verge of taking the penalty, and Cirran's telling him to try somewhere new isn't helping. Marsio whines that he didn't get an umbrella. So go get one. It's not exactly rocket surgery. There is more digging, and Sahil tells Prashant to dig some more. Like that thought had never occurred to him before. San gets shirtless, and WhoreBoy's eyes literally bug out. ["They did NOT!" -- WhoreBoy] ["Yeah, they sort of did. It was freaky." -- EmoHunk] Melody tells us San's made a hole deep enough to bury someone. Well, maybe a person less than 40 centimetres tall. And is it really surprising that a person named Sandy is good at this sort of task?

Sahil tells Prashant that he's as fit as San. Really? Because he sure hasn't shown it. Maybe I'm not noticing because San is tolerable to watch, and you're... um, not.

Andy tells us that he's hoping another team will quit shortly after he does, and he'll still be ahead of them after the penalty.

Locals play chess, and it's only the second most strategic thing happening on the beach today.

The Super Marsio Bros. discuss giving up. Zabrina says she and Joe Jer might as well quit if all the other teams are doing it. Admiral Whinypants tells Syeon that they shouldn't quit. Shouldn't Syeon's feelings be taken into account, given she's the one actually doing all the work, as usual? Mardy is trying to persuade Marsio to quit, but Marsio is distracted by a couple of scantily-clad ladies walking past. His wife is no longer proud of him. Andy, who has now for all intents and purposes quit, is trying to explain how the penalty works to the Portable Posse. The camera and sound guys are kinda sorta obvious in this scene. Sahil rants about how "everything is a strategy". He says he "know[s] what to look for, what not to look for", and then follows it up by saying it's a ploy, and that "he doesn't know what it is". Once again, Team Idiot, living up to their nickname. Also, Sahil plays to the camera during his rant. Shut up, Sahil. Don't make me come up there. Sahil tells us Prashant doesn't want to quit. Syeon tells Admiral Whinypants she doesn't want to quit. Sharon is also not quitting. San is shirtless and drinking water. Mmmmmm. Jacqueline asks somebody if they serve food at the beach, like it's a restaurant. Yes, really.

The chess game continues.

Suddenly, Andy thinks he's found something out, and says he's quitting. Andy tells Fran he can't tell her what he knows, because he's not supposed to know. I've watched this episode through about ten times by now, and I still can't figure out what he thinks he found out. I think he's bullshitting here. And if he is, he should have done it in a way that doesn't imply that a producer is rigging the show. Because that's just... I'm trying to come up with a word that finishes that sentence better than "retarded", but I can't think of one. Sorry.

Anyway, Fran tells San what's going on. Now shirtless, Andy runs down to the water to wash the sand off. The Super Marsio Bros. give up. Andy and Laura also quit. Sahil finally makes a smart decision, and tells Prashant to ignore them and find the damn thing already. Except he's still probably thinking it's a flag. And he ends whatever brief moment of liking them I had by somehow thinking he's been placed in charge of Condescendingly Keeping Other Teams Motivated. Sharon is definitely not giving up. San is still digging a moat for his San castle.

Back by the first cluebox, the Super Marsio Bros. open the next clue, accompanied by a graphic that tells them that a "4 Hour Penalty Applies". And you'll be seeing that graphic a lot, so get used to it. Marsio apologises to Indonesia, and then reads the clue, which tells them to find the Internet Outpost Traveller's Lounge. Despite what WuWho says about "navigating the busy streets of Bali", the Bali road map I found says that the street shown (JL Popies II) is just a couple of blocks away from the beach. And when they get to the Internet cafe, they must perform a search on [Google] for the next clue. If you play close enough attention, you may notice that the address of the clue is not a website, but a particular file on the computer. So much for the product placement having any meaning.

The Super Marsio Bros. are in their taxi. Andy and Laura (4 Hour Penalty Applies) read their clue and leave. Andy voices over that people are probably going to start quitting soon, especially after the sun sets. This is accompanied by shots of the remaining players, mostly Syeon and Howard, looking as though they're about to give up on life. Oh, and San is still sans shirt on the sand.

Two hours into the dig, Howard starts praying, and sounds like he has a blocked nose while he does so. San looks around. Yeah, we get it. Put a shirt on already. ["Who are you and what have you done with my boyfriend?" -- WhoreBoy] ["And don't answer that second part of the question unless... actually, don't answer it at all." -- EmoHunk] Syeon digs up a crab and screams about it. Shortly after, she seems to think that you can say "so many crabs", when you've seen, like, one. Hey, look at that! San really did put a shirt on already. Sharon is still trying to dig with her feet.

Rose Portable sits beside a large surfboard buried next to her pit, which has the word "Simple" painted on it. As she quits, because she thinks it's "impossible". Oh, irony. Love you too. The Portable Posse looks on as Rose Portable remarks on how the other teams are having trouble. And I suppose she has a point, because Joe Jer is almost delirious. She doesn't care if she goes home, she wants to find the damn thing! I think we have ourselves a serious contender on our hands there. Not serious about this whole racing thing? The Portable Posse, who are now confirming that they're quitting. Jacqueline wants to take "the two hour penalty", despite the fact that the penalty is four hours. Lady, they do not discount penalties for the pretty.

San stretches for a crowd of gawking onlookers. Zabrina recaps what's happened so far, in a way that is much more concise and much less annoying than The Biggest Loser ever does. She hopes Joe Jer can find the thing within an hour and a half, which by this point would make a total of about four hours of digging.

The Portable Posse (4 Hour Penalty Applies) gets the clue and leaves. Three down, six to go.

San and Howard are still digging. In an interview, Howard muses about whether the quitting teams were playing smarter than he and Cirran were. Howard's hand is blistered from the sand. Diddums. Nobody said this race would involve luxury hotels.

Sharon is still digging, and Melody implies that she's down for whatever, but it's Sharon's decision about whether to quit. Which is how it should be, really. If you're doing the task, it's your decision, but you should have your partner's support. And at least tell them beforehand. ["You hear that, NATALIE?" -- EmoHunk] ["You knew about that?" -- Raceguy] ["What, you expect me to guest star in these recaps and not know anything about the show? Dude, catch your snap." -- EmoHunk]

Suddenly, girly squealing interrupt Sharon's digging. No, it isn't another crab in Syeon's pit. Prashant has just found the damn surfboard. Cirran runs over to see what they're looking for. Admiral Whinypants snaps at poor Syeon to keep going.

SurferGuy finally gets to do what he was presumably paid for, and hands over the clue. Despite being the fourth team to leave, Team Idiot is in first place again, and head off. Cirran realises that Howard has to dig deeper than he has been. Admiral Whinypants continues being Syeon's personal drill sergeant.

Andy, Laura and the Super Marsio Bros. are approaching the Internet cafe on foot. The Super Marsio Bros. are first, and find the clue easily. They ask to print it out. The next thing we know, they are looking at an actual clue, complete with the Route Info envelope. So there was literally no purpose to the entire [Yahoo] product placement here other than to tell us that [Lycos] paid for this episode. Shut up, whoever decided this would work. Besides, I am more interested by the banner reading "Bungy Jump On The Beach".

Anyway, the clue given at The Fakest Lame Task Ever tells them to go to the Ubud Monkey Forest, and "search for a correct clue". WuWho explains that it's 33 kilometres away, on the edge of a town called Ubud. Clever. Also clever? Monkeys stealing clues and opening them. WuWho tells us there are two hundred clue envelopes in the jungle, but only ten have the correct clue inside.

The Super Marsio Bros. leave. So do Andy and Laura. Both teams are concerned with what time the forest closes. The flight must have gotten in pretty late, then, because they've probably only been in Bali for three or four hours at this point.

The Portable Posse is bitching about their own inability to realise when they should quit. Shut up, girls. To contrast, we cut to Team Idiot's cab, where Prashant is doing that annoying "no pain, no gain" thing that nobody aside from personal trainers ever do. And personal trainers are my least favourite people. Aside from, you know, the Village People. Prashant also boasts about being luckier than San, calling him "The Ox". Whatev.

The sun is setting at Kuta Beach, and San has reached the point where he's taping over his hand to stop himself from getting more blisters. Wow. This task is brutal. And, OH MY GOD. The ox is broken!

Commercials. Raceguy's Celebrity Hunk Of The Week this week, though admittedly it is stretching the definition of “celebrity” a little, is Rakhal Ebeli. Fuck or pass?

Fran provides our informative and completely unnecessary post-commercial recap, just as we hit two and a half hours of digging. Cirran tells Howard to try and "make tracks", and Howard bitches about how helpful Fran is by comparison. Cirran voices over that he wanted Howard to quit, because he was tired of being yelled at.

Team Idiot gets to the Product Placement Cafe and "prints" their "clue". So do the Portable Posse. Soon afterwards, Team Idiot is trying to figure out what "a correct clue" is. See, this is the sort of thing that could have been weeded out in the interview process by asking people some basic questions about the show they claim to love enough to audition. Sigh.

Zabrina promises Joe Jer "a two-hour massage". For all you dirty-minded people out there ["Like you and I?" -- WhoreBoy], Zabrina says she doesn't love Joe Jer. She immediately retracts her statement when Joe Jer says she loves Zabrina. Awww. Zabrina voices over that Joe Jer was "a real trooper", and "didn't even stop once". Three hours have now passed since she started, or since the leaders started, or since whenever it was the clock started. San is also still trenching it up, and Fran tells us the task was so horrible that she "wanted to cry", and she wasn't even doing the thing. Instead of crying, she rubs sunscreen on his arms, while Admiral Whinypants kisses Syeon's owies and puts a kid's bandaid on it. Ew. Admiral Whinypants explains how the penalty works. Again. Even though he's completely wrong, and not just because the quitters could extend their lead over the rest of the leg. Everyone else moves their sand around. Zabrina explains that she doesn't want to quit, but that she's beginning to think she might have to. Sharon points out that if you're out there for long enough, the penalty the other teams have will become useless. Unfortunately, she does not know that "long enough" means "until, like lunchtime tomorrow". Howard correctly points out that these sort of tasks are exactly what they signed up for. Oh, to hear the Portable Posse's reaction to that comment.

For no reason, a time lapse shot.

The Portable Posse reads the clue from the cafe, having apparently infected the real cluegiver with Mactoritis while they were in there.

Andy and Laura are at the monkey forest, and so are the Super Marsio Bros. Marsio points out that it closes at 5:30pm, so they have to haul ass to get in and out in time. And all the teams still on the beach will pretty much have to wait overnight. Andy takes the time to scare some monkeys, and Laura tells us that they are only allowed to take correct clues. Well, I'm sure someone remembered to tell the monkeys that. There are a bunch of quick shots of the teams searching, and suddenly Andy and Laura have found one. Monkeys watch on as they read the Detour, which this time is a choice between Wet and Dry. Has WuWho started wetting the bed on the race? He will not say. Teams who pick Wet have to go to "a nearby tropical rainforest" (um, isn't all of Bali tropical?), walk down a path to the Ayun River, and complete a six-kilometre whitewater-rafting course. Physical! Teams who pick Dry have go to a place called Elephant Safari Park, and ride an elephant around a three-kilometre course. Slow! As cool as elephants are, and as cool as rafting is, it's not that great to have a Detour in which the choice is basically Sit On Something or Sit On Something Else. Andy and Laura decide to raft. They leave, as the Super Marsio Bros. keep searching.

San is still digging and so is Syeon. You know how you can tell this is taking forever? Admiral Whinypants isn't even kvetching any more, and all of a sudden Syeon is the one in a hurry. At three and a half hours, Cirran comes up with the bright idea of finding something to make the dig go a bit quicker. Quickly, some guy comes over with a garden shovel, and wishes them good luck. Awww. Soon, everyone else gets their own shovels. How did it take them three and a half hours of digging to come up with this idea?

San is now moving even faster than he was before. Syeon and Joe Jer are both still at breaking point. How did a task with such a lame premise wind up being so entertaining?

Sharon is depressed to see the sunset, because she wanted to finish before dusk. Hee hee.

At 5:58pm, Team Idiot arrives at the Monkey Forest, which is apparently open until six today, probably because of some deal with the producers. They get in, and are scared by monkeys eating clue envelopes. Okay, I know there was that whole racism brouhaha last year with some Indian cricket players being called monkeys, but these are actual, living, breathing monkeys. Am I allowed to call them monkeys, or am I just supposed to ignore everything that happens while Team Idiot is in the forest, to avoid confusion? I really have no idea. So let's just assume that the monkeys are monkeys, and Team Idiot are idiots. Okay?

Anyway, Team Idiot and the Super Marsio Bros. keep searching for clue envelopes that haven't been destroyed by hungry monkeys.

Howard has found his surfboard. San is a little discouraged, and even digs his shovel in to prove it. Howard voices over that he was shocked to have finally found the damn thing. Good for him. But there are still four teams left, three of whom I like, so I'm not celebrating too much. In second place, they leave.

Syeon wonders if she's digging too deep. If you can see a shiny statue of a Little Mermaid and a whole bunch of Lego, then yes. You have reached Denmark, and you have gone too far. Melody consoles Sharon.

A barbecue torch is starting to burn out.

Joe Jer and San keep digging.

Howard wants the window seat, because he's going to be sick. Somewhere, Al Gore starts a letter telling him not to ruin the environment.

Syeon worries that they'll be in last place, even with the penalties. San finally finds the surfboard. Woo!

After about four hours, the two Malaysian teams decide to give up. Ouch. Sandy goes for a swim to wash off the effects of a few hours of shirtless musclework. So now Sharon is the only person left. Sniff. She's still using the dinky little kid's shovel.

At the monkey forest, the Portable Posse gets their cab to wait for them. He doesn't have to wait long, because it's already closed. Team Idiot is still inside, and Sahil says something about not being able to read the clue. Since they haven't actually failed to read the clue yet this episode, you may take this as a piece of Foreshadowing. I hear it goes great with baba gnouche.

Howard and Cirran get to the Internet cafe.

Syeon is whining in Antsy's cab about being in last place, even though they know they're getting through the leg quicker than Sharon and Melody. Admiral Whinypants blames her bad luck on him not doing it. Syeon makes a right royal bitchface. Heh. She says she should have given up at the beginning. In their cab, Zabrina wipes away Joe Jer's tears. Awww.

Howard and Cirran get their clue. Yawn.

After four hours, the barbecue torches are replaced. Melody tells Sharon that they're in last place anyway, so they might as well quit. Sharon tells Melody that if they get eliminated because she quit, she "couldn't take that". So she's staying here until she finishes, no matter how long it takes. Right here, EmoHunk betrays his name again, as usual, and starts slow-clapping. Seriously, he's like the happiest little Emo kid ever. Someone should tell him that there's more to being Emo that the hair (swoop, there it is). ["*Bitchslaps Raceguy*" -- EmoHunk] A little monkey or something runs along the beach and into Sharon's plot. Melody asks it if it wants to help Sharon. The monkey does not appear to understand.

The sun sets even more, and it's almost completely pitch black. Fran tries to keep San awake by rubbing the side of his face. You know there are other things you can do in the back seat of a car that'll be more successful.

Zabrina and Joe Jer print off their clue. They actually print it off, and lose half of the word "Forest" as they do so. I predict their cabbie will be the one who's all "Ubud Monkey For? Where's that?" Antsy gets a real clue, from the look of it. Random people cheer as they run back to their cabs. SanFran finds the cafe, and gets both versions of the clue without too much hassle. Sandy hopes that his work has helped them get closer to being in the lead. And it has, because with five teams having the little "4 Hour Penalty Applies" graphic, they're ahead of three of the teams in front of them.

We've spent practically half the episode down at the beach, and, as nice as that is, it's time to move on. So we get time-lapse shots of Sharon digging and digging until she finds the surfboard. Yay! Even the locals are clapping! Sharon takes some time to wallow in her pride, before they get the clue, now officially in fourth place.

Team Idiot and their headlamps find a correct clue, and Prashant wastes his time proudly showing the camera that he can read seven letters. They're still in first place, and they've chosen Wet. Sahil mentions some resort they had to go to. I can't decipher it, and it's not thanked in the credits, so anyone who cares is on their own. This is that sort of episode, really. But with his accent, it comes out sounding like "The Royal Poopy Taj Mahal Resort". Make your own joke.

The Super Marsio Bros. and their torches (remember those things? Welcome back to the real world!) are trying to see if there's a clue in their hands. One of them voices over that he didn't know at this point that so many teams quit.

Outside the gates, Antsy ignores the big sign and asks what time the forest opens. Zabrina tells him. Syeon sits on a ledge and hopes Sharon didn't find the souvenir. I don't remember if she was already on The List or not, but she is now.

Speaking of Sharon and Melody, they get their Internet cafe clue, apparently writing it down by hand, with the people working there cheering as they leave. You know, they've really done a good job fighting the "Indonesians suck!" vibe the media tends to give off down here in Australia. Now, if only they could work on making Bali look as amazing as it is.

Howard and Cirran arrive at the monkey forest and learn they have to wait overnight. They see everyone else sitting outside, and start talking to them. We don't hear what he says, because he's busy voicing over that they're "in a fairly good place", because they're even with people who are going to end up around four hours behind them the next day. Soon, the Super Marsio Bros. are joining them, because they got kicked out. They're a little annoyed that their quitting didn't pay off, while Andy and Laura got through the monkey forest unscathed. Fran asks Cirran if they've caught up with any of the teams of quitters, and he says there are two. Of course, there are three, because Howard and Cirran themselves quit, as well as Zabrina and Joe Jer, and Antsy. Oh, and the Portable Posse are probably off begging to get into a hotel. So make it an even four. Sharon and Melody turn up, and immediately try to find somewhere for a massage. I recommend the Monkey Shiatsu. Very refreshing.

Commercials. I hear Jamie Oliver got some steam burns on his dick. So he really IS a Naked Chef!

The next morning, the sun rises, as it is sort of prone to do around here. Sharon and Melody leave their hotel and walk to the forest. A creepy-looking spider crawls through its web, and monkeys fight on a wall. I think I saw this on The View. Howard says he brought bananas for the monkeys, and a shocked Cirran tells him it's dangerous. How was he able to even buy the bananas without Cirran knowing? Everybody else walks up and waits at the entrance. Statues abound.

The monkey forest opens, and people run down the hill. A monkey scurries away from the mean, mean Sri Lankans who forgot their bananas. Everybody runs around looking for the correct clues. The first to find one, sadly, is Cirran. They choose the elephants. Monkeys are still in the monkey forest, and one of them comes about a foot away from accidentally scratching Marsio's eyes out. Really. As Rose Portable climbs up a monument, Jacqueline says she feels "like Lara Croft in Tomb Raider". Except she's not actually in a tomb, she's not raiding anything, and she's standing around doing nothing while Rose Portable climbs up the little altar thingy. But aside from that, it's exactly like the movie. Sharon compares searching for clues to a scratchie. Heh.

Howard and Cirran get back to the entrance. Marsio finds a clue. The Super Marsio Bros. choose Dry, as a real live monkey eats a real live banana. Admiral Whinypants has a clue, and a monkey has a baby. While Antsy deliberates, a different monkey plays with a clue envelope. Zabrina tells us that one of the monkeys helped her. Admiral Whinypants is trying to convince Syeon to go rafting. Meanwhile, other people search, and monkeys remain cool. When will monkeys not be cool? Never, that's when. Antsy exits the forest, and they learn that their taxi driver has decided to go and get breakfast. Sucks to be you. A monkey impersonates Rose Portable, as SanFran find a clue. They want to ride an elephant. A monkey scares the Portable Posse. That monkey is my new hero. Admiral Whinypants and Syeon run through the streets of Ubud looking for their cabbie. Some lady wants SanFran to wait an hour for their cab, but Fran bitchily puts the kibosh on that idea. I know they don't want to waste the time, especially after their last two finishes, but they've got to remember they've got four hours on most of the teams at this point, plus the fact that the Detour options apparently aren't open yet, so they might as well wait and look at the monkeys. San tells Fran to relax. Syeon wants to pay more and just take another team's cab, but Admiral Whinypants whines that they'll be penalised. Yeah, and getting penalties is something you're opposed to. Hypocrite. The Super Marsio Bros. leave in their cab. SanFran's one-hour wait has magically been transformed into a fifteen-minute wait. Antsy's driver has finally shown up, and they leave. Boy, that was close. Antsy almost threatened to be interesting for a little while there. Melody wonders where all the monkeys are. Joe Jer has finally found a correct clue. Melody tells Sharon to "watch out for monkey poo, by the way". Heh. Zabrina and Joe Jer have chosen Dry. Sharon and Melody are still looking, while Aubrey and Jacqueline take the time to hit each other with sticks. As you do.

In their cab, Joe Jer tells us that although they'd prefer to go rafting, they think the elephant is "the smarter, faster way". Which, to me at least, makes a fair bit of sense. It's a shorter route, it's easier to get to, and it's not physical at all, which is exactly what Joe Jer might need after spending so long at the beach yesterday. Speaking of the elephants, Howard and Cirran are the first team to find them. Meanwhile, Antsy wants their driver to drive faster. Jacqueline squeals again, and giggles. Ugh. Melody finally finds a clue. The Portable Posse is still trying to be adorable with sticks. The sticks are more adorable than they are, purely because they don't shriek and focus on their hair, so it's not exactly doing them any favours. Sharon explains that after everything that happened yesterday, she wanted to do something gentle, and be "clean and Dry today".

Zabrina and Joe Jer arrive at the elephants, and realise they have to wait until 9am. Cirran wonders about whether everyone else has found clues yet. Right on cue, the Portable Posse, in last place with or without the penalties, find the clue. They try -- and fail -- to dance adorably. They immediately decide to go rafting. A drum beats to show... something.

Andy and Laura make a long-unawaited return to the episode. Laura explains that she was hoping that "there were a few people who quit on the RoadBlock". Lucky her. Of course, now everybody is completely even again, so they've lost any advantage they had by quitting so soon. In their cab, Team Idiot complains about how "boring" elephants are, because two old people are riding them in the flyer they have.

As if to point out what a stupid remark that is, Cirran calls his elephant "Mr. Elephant as he and Howard get on. Howard tells us that riding elephants was going to be easy, because they're from Sri Lanka, and Sri Lanka has elephants too. I think the actual point of what he was trying to say was something along the lines of the elephant task being easy, because they live on the planet Earth. They and Zabrina and Joe Jer are having the time of their lives, and comment on how beautiful it is. Zabrina and Joe Jer have called their elephant Nicky, and ask him to go faster.

Andy, Laura, Antsy, and Team Idiot are all at the rafting. Admiral Whinypants orders his driver to stop the meter. Why the hell should he? He's losing business while you're out rafting. Tool. Sahil wants to "kick some boo-tay". Can you start with your own? Thanks in advance. Everybody gets in and leaves. It's only the two team members and the guides in their raft, and the river isn't moving that fast, so this might take a fair while.

So let's cut back to the elephants. Nicky spins around for the cameras. She's all "Does my bum look big in this?", and Zabrina and Joe Jer are all "Just get us to the finish, and we'll give you some fashion advice we learned from the Portable Posse". Howard exposits what just happened with the girls, and Cirran chortles. And, as much as I like them, I probably would be laughing too if I was in Cirran's situation. But Nicky is still going in the right direction, even if he's walking backwards, which helps them. Right around here, I realise that Cirran's voice reminds me of Kamahl, and not in the good way. ["There's a good way?" -- WhoreBoy] ["Why are people so unkind?" -- EmoHunk] As Nicky finally turns back around, Zabrina voices over that she was scared because she thought he was going to drop them, and they would get trampled or hurt somehow, and it was "terrifying". Again, a very rational fear. Suddenly, Nicky is facing the wrong way again. These two just can't catch a break. Howard and Cirran are now riding their elephant as it goes through the water. Luckily for them, they remain dry and do not let me start referencing that Chernobyl joke from the Australian Survivor recaps that made EmoHunk wet his pants. ["That was ONE TIME!" -- EmoHunk] They're having fun. Not having fun? Zabrina and Joe Jer, ready for another spin. Soon, Howard and Cirran are finished and get the clue, which sends them to the Uluwatu Caves. WuWho adds in the information that the caves are on the southern tip of the island (Ubud is in the northeast), and that they'll have to find a clue "hidden within the cave". Which is "hidden" in plain sight, practically screaming "I'm over here, Portable Posse". See?

So basically, it's a place they're going before they go to the Pit Stop, even though there's no reason to. It sort of feels like they were supposed to go to the caves between the monkey forest and the Detour, but the mass quitting changed the producers' plans. It's definitely weird. As Howard and Cirran leave, the girls get their clue.

The Super Marsio Bros. are speaking Indonesian to their driver, and ascertain that he doesn't know where the fuck he's going. The Portable Posse tries to get to the rafting.

At the rafting, the teams raft. Andy tells us they don't have many whitewater rapids in Thailand, so they decided to do it so they could say they have. Good idea. It's sort of the exact opposite of the strategy Howard and Cirran have adopted, and both make complete sense to me. But Andy says it wasn't a great choice, because he had forgotten that rowing a boat six miles, rapids or not, is going to be very physical. Sahil and Prashant blather on about how they beat "everyone" at the rafting, despite the fact that over half the teams chose to ride elephants, and all the other teams who went rafting have women in them who have decidedly less upper-arm strength than you two. Arrogant pricks. They get the caves clue and leave. Andy and Laura follow. So do Antsy. The "4 Hour Penalty Applies" graphic starts to wear out from overuse.

SanFran, in a rare trip to the middle of the pack, are at the elephants, and Fran asks if they run. Only when there's a mouse in their way. The Super Marsio Bros. also get to the elephants. SanFran is happy to be ahead of them. One of Sharon and Melody can tell that they're at the elephants because she "can smell elephant poo". What is with these two and their turd obsession? SanFran are now finished. You may notice that everything's getting a wee bit truncated down here towards the back of the episode. I think it's partly because we spent so long at the RoadBlock and at the monkey forest, and partly because it's really boring to watch people doing stuff. As a general rule, things that are exciting for the teams aren't that great to watch. Sharon and Melody leave with their elephant after asking his name, and just before the Super Marsio Bros. finish. Sharon and Melody snark about how this task is relaxing.

The Portable Posse puts on their rafting helmets. If Rose Portable fixes her hair, we don't get to see it. They raft. The teams who have already finished the rafting are whining about not having taxis. Admiral Whinypants Foreshadows that hitchhiking is strictly verboten. Eventually, they get locals to call taxis for them. Andy and Laura are the first to leave. Admiral Whinypants comes up with the bright idea to get someone to go back to the start of the rafting, and get their taxi to come down to them, because apparently they're still waiting up there.

Sharon and Melody finish the elephant ride. They're in fourth place, but they're the eighth team to finish the Detour. This is a little confusing, but I can live with it, because the advantages to having penalties assessed at the Pit Stop are greater than the advantages of having it assessed on the race route.

Uluwatu Caves. Howard and Cirran, and Zabrina and Joe Jer are the first two teams to arrive. Howard and Cirran get to the cave first, and read the clue, telling them to go to the Pit Stop. It's at the Tanah Lot Temple, which, per WuWho, is "perched on a rocky outcrop at the sea's edge". It's one of Bali's most important "sea temples", and it's accompanied by a graphic saying "Proceed to: PITSTOP". Helpful. How about telling us where it is, graphics guys? WuWho's Robo-Speech program also malfunctions and calls it "the third Pit Stop in this leg of the race". WuWho does look abnormally sweaty here; perhaps that sweat got into his mainframe. The last team to arrive may be eliminated. In the event of a tie, it's time for WuWho's Annual Chili Cookoff!

Howard reminds us that a Pit Stop is a Pit Stop. Zabrina and Joe Jer read the Pit Stop clue. Pit Stop, Pit Stop, Pit Stop!

The Portable Posse finishes rafting. On the side of the road, Sahil gets pissed that a taxi got sent over from the starting point, but it was Antsy's taxi. I guess their motorbike guy moves fast. Sahil goes all moralising and blames them for taking a taxi they called, even though Antsy had already sent for him. Shut up, Sahil. You are probably already on The List, but you can go straight to the top of it.

Commercials. Do they even bother trying to make highbrow television any more? In the nineties, we had Frasier, The X-Files, Seinfeld, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Friends, and so on. Now? Um... Wipeout?

Sahil continues ranting, and Syeon thinks they're pissed off. Very observant.

The Portable Posse leaves the rafting. SanFran are already down at the water's edge, reading the clue. Mardy and Marsio are next to read it. Team Idiot's cab finally turns up. Andy and Laura are at Uluwatu and are searching for the caves. Andy is telling Laura they need her legs to be strong enough to make it to the cave and back. Which would help. Marsio talks about how they might be eliminated. Andy reads the Pit Stop clue. Sharon and Melody arrive in Uluwatu, and the beach amazes Melody. Unsurprisingly, Sharon is somewhat less outwardly enthusiastic.

We are shown a market or something in Tanah Lot, where Howard, Cirran, Zabrina, and Joe Jer have all arrived.

Sharon and Melody read the Pit Stop clue. Remember, they're in third place because of all the penalties.

Epic, impressive music plays as Zabrina and Joe Jer run up to the mat, with Howard and Cirran literally about five steps behind. The greeter, who looks like they just picked a random person out of the market, welcomes the teams. Welcome, Zabrina and Joe Jer, you are "the first team to arrive". But you quit the RoadBlock, so you don't get to check in yet. Welcome, Howard and Sahran, you are Team Number One, and you don't have any penalties! You also win a [Panasonic] video camera each. It sort of seems a little bizarre to have to give this away in a leg where the first team has to deal with a penalty, but it's also really, really, really funny. Even if it is Zabrina and Joe Jer.

Andy and Laura are driving through the streets, and Laura tells their driver they can't afford to get lost. Unless he gets lost deliberately taking you in the wrong direction, which might actually help. They pass a parade of people, who are all wearing white and carrying buckets or lanterns or something. Andy whines that he wants to drive, and Laura reminds him that he doesn't exactly have an Indonesian taxi driver's licence. Not a real one, anyway.

Antsy reads the Pit Stop clue at the caves. Team Idiot follows them. And the Portable Posse.

The Super Marsio Bros. run to the Pit Stop. But SanFran finally uses their muscles for something other than looking damn hot, and beats them to the mat. Welcome, SanFran, you are Team Number Two! Good for them. Especially after the past two weeks, that might be the result they need to start taking the race a bit more seriously. The Horns Of Perseverance play inappropriately as the Super Marsio Bros. approach the mat. You are the fourth team to arrive, but you have a penalty. You'll still be safe, because the other teams with penalties haven't rocked up yet, but you're going to be leaving hours after the teams who didn't quit.

Team Idiot mumble about how hard the leg was. They just sat around! It's been practically the easiest day in non-Family-Edition Amazing Race history, and they're still whining about it. Fuck off already, guys.

Andy and Laura get to Tanah Lot and run. Sharon and Melody also arrive and run. Welcome, Andy and Laura, you're fifth, but come back in four hours. Welcome, Antsy, you're sixth, but go join Andy and Laura. Welcome, Sharon and Melody, you're Team Number Three! And congratulations for not giving up. Seriously.

In their cab, the Portable Posse put their makeup on, so they won't look bad when they get to the Pit Stop. It's the sort of thing which seems perfectly normal and cute when you know the team knows they're doing well, but here, when you know the Portable Posse know they're not in the lead, and that they have a penalty on top of that, it comes out looking like you're trying to save face (no pun intended... for once).

Team Idiot arrives in Tanah Lot. So does the Portable Posse. For some reason, the editors are trying to give off the impression the race to the Pit Stop between these two teams is tense. Which is pointless, because Team Idiot doesn't have the penalty to deal with. And, besides, they get to the mat first anyway. Welcome, Team Idiot, you are Team Number Four. Sad music plays as the Portable Posse jogs up, and it really feels like the editors weren't trying hard enough to make us care about the Portable Posse. In my ideal episode, we would have been treated to, like, circus music here. Anyway, welcome, Portable Posse, you are Team Number Nine, which -- despite your happiness -- means you are last, and you are eliminated. You will not be missed. ["Speak for yourself." -- EmoHunk]

As the sun sets over Tanah Lot, we get a set of graphics telling us that, in addition to the four teams already properly checked in, Zabrina and Joe Jer are fifth; the Super Marsio Bros. are sixth; Andy and Laura are seventh again; and Antsy are eighth.

Over their final message, we see some slomo shots of their time on the race, including one of Jacqueline fixing Rose Portable's hair. Rose Portable regrets taking the penalty. She says they've "learned a lot from [them]selves, like, almost every day". Given they were on the race for, like, four days, it's not exactly the glowing endorsement she probably intends it to be. Jacqueline says she loved the experience.

Executive Producer? Michael McKay. Art director? Darren Waide. Pit Stop Hotel? Again, not listed. The contestants must not have learned when to stop eating yet. Also: Is that a gong right at the end there?

Next time: Didgeridoos play music. People run out of an airport again, because, as you know, we haven't seen that enough yet. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is climbed, and ferries are ridden. SanFran gets cheeky, while Andy and Laura get sneaky. Laura falls over. Syeon and Admiral Whinypants enjoy the slight advantage they can get. Howard "wrestles" some sharks. Crikey! (But, thanks to the crappiness of technology, and a huge chunk of people sounding like flu-ridden Daleks right in the middle of the episode, I won’t be recapping it. Episode 5 will be the next episode recapped.)

1 comment:

  1. Wow. This task is brutal. And, OH MY GOD. The ox is broken!

    Thank you - that made me laugh out loud.

    I got to the end of watching this episode and wondering what the hell happened to team Porteous. Talk about completely fail to understand the concept of "race", particularly the bit when they arrived at the pit stop. Weird team.