“The Amazing Race” 2103: “Put Your Mouth On This Thing!”


Caitlin & Brittany (Team Blonde)

In the second Leg of The Amazing Race 21, ten teams flew from Shanghai to Indonesia where they witnessed some bullsh-…uh, bull racing, lured innocent children onto their adongadongs and chose between hauling ice and sorting fish. Twins Natalie & Nadiya served fishy realness at the market and claimed first place along with the Express Pass, which will allow them to skip a task later in the Race. Rob & Kelley were thoroughly unpleasant to everyone and so of course made it through to the next Leg. Team Gay remains at full strength with the Beekmans going from seventh to fifth and Team Chippendale jumping all the way from last to third. Gary & Will were the first team to threaten to quit… but didn’t quit hard enough, coming in at ninth and causing Amy & Daniel to be Philiminated.

Also still racing are Trey & Lexi (Team Longhorn), James & Abba (Team Headbang) and Caitlin & Brittany (Team Blonde).

Phil welcomes us back to Surabaya, the second-largest city on Java which is one of the more than 17,000 islands that make up Indonesia. He reminds us of the stuff I covered in my opening paragraph and you guys? How can I have watched twenty seasons of this show and not noticed before now that Phil wears the same outfit for his intros that he wore at the previous Pit Stop?

Natalie & Nadiya leave first at 6:07 AM. They rip the clue and are advised to travel to Antika Jaya Padang restaurant. Please, not another grossout eating challenge already! The twins caution us that there’s a U-Turn ahead. Trey & Lexi rip their clue at 6:12, followed by Jaymes & James (who one of the twins calls “the stupid Chippendales”) at 6:16 and Abbie & Ryan at 6:19. The four teams quickly coalesce into a single unit and catch cabs for the restaurant.

Josh & Brent rip their clue at 6:26 and take off down the street. Josh interviews that the teams are splitting into an “Alpha” faction (which the Amazing Editors illustrate with quick shots of the leading teams) and “the rest of us” who can win if they just do their best. Bless. They also suggest that only “great people” win The Amazing Race and to that I say: Flo.

James and Abba leave a few minutes after them and we cut to Team Longhorn arriving at the restaurant in first place. They rip the clue to discover tonight’s Roadblock: “Who’s ready to serve a balanced meal?” Phil explains that the Roadblock challenge is to serve a meal “Padang style”. Racers will have to balance 20 plates of food in their arms at once and deliver it to a table of diners. Or more accurately breakfasters. If they drop anything they have to return to the kitchen and start again. Lexi takes it for her team.

The rest of the front pack plus Team Beekman arrive at around the same time. The twins are noticeably absent. Brent, Ryan and Jaymes do the Roadblock while the twins diss their cab driver and switch taxis. Normally I’m not big on cabbie-bashing but in this instance I’m in full agreement. How do you get lost when you’re following three other cabs who all make it?

Team Blonde rips its clue at 7:08 and warn us again about the upcoming U-Turn. I still can’t tell which is which; I hope that won’t be a problem for much longer.

Blonde on the Left tells us that we’ll see her angry before you see her cry. Is that a spoiler? Blonde on the Right says that we could punch her in the face and she won’t cry and there are going to be several Indonesian pedal cab drivers ready to test the validity of that statement by the end of the day.

Lexi makes it to the table with her 20 plates but dumps them before she can get them set. Padang it! Ryan makes it to his table and gets everything placed, although not in the fancy arrangement we saw in the demonstration. Jaymes, who’s holding one of his plates pretty much vertically, draws upon his experiences both at “Aunt Sarah’s Pancake House” and slinging drinks in Vegas to get his plates down on the first try.

Brent gets his plates to the table and asks, “Am I doin’ a good job?” The two plates he immediately drops on the floor answer “No.”

Team Chippendale and Ryan & Abbie rip their clues and are directed to Surabaya Gubeng Train Station, where they will catch a train to the town of Bangil. They will have to keep their eyes open on the train for their next clue.

Abba takes the Roadblock for his team and Lexi finishes up in third place. Brent finishes in fourth and Team Beekman is off to the station. Team Headbang heads out in fifth and the twins finally arrive. Nadiya takes the Roadblock and biffs her first load of plates. Brittany takes it for the Blondes.

Rob & Kelley leave at 7:22. Next!

Gary & Will rip their clue at 7:32. So for all of their bitching last week they were only ten minutes back. Imagine if they’d actually, you know, raced.

Nadiya finishes her plates but not without giving herself a bit of a douse in some yellow sauce. The twins depart in sixth as Team Trucker rolls up. Rob takes the Roadblock and unexpectedly knocks it out. Gary hauls plates for his team.

 

Teams Longhorn, Chippendale, Beekman, Headbang and Ryan & Abbie (who I suppose need a nickname, but they have zero distinguishing features) make the 7:36 train. The twins, in between screaming nonsense like “fast train, fast train!” for no good reason, just miss it. They along with the rest of the stragglers will have to wait for the next train which leaves at 10:55. They return to the station. One of them is yelling “Tickets! Tickets! Tickets!” and the Amazing Editors insert a random chicken whose squawk sounds dead on just like her. Hi-larious.


Will this get me my SAG card?

The teams on the first train learn of the three-hour delay before the next one. James & Abba note which teams are riding with them: “The chipmunks, goat farmers, Abbie and boyfriend and Texas.” See, even they can’t come up with a nickname and they’ve actually met the people! The chipmunks suggest agreeing not to U-Turn any of them and everyone goes along, except for Headbang, who keep their own counsel.

The stragglers straggle into the train station to buy tickets. One of the horrible blondes tells a local to “ASK. THOSE. PEOPLE. IF THEY HAVE SEEN. PEOPLE LIKE US. EARLIER THIS MOR-NING.” Because people who don’t speak English suddenly do, so long as you speak it loudly and slowly enough. Tool.

Everyone learns of the three-hour delay and take note of who’s on the first train, including someone they identify as “Marathon Man”. No idea.

Gary finishes his plates and he is a sweat-drenched mess. I would send every one of those dishes back.


James & Jaymes

On the train Jaymes is maybe a little too excited at the possibility of snacks but then when he spots a vendor with clues he leaps from his seat and practically bowls the guy over in his enthusiasm. There are worse fates than being on the receiving end of that.

The clue turns out to be for the Detour, which you’ll remember is a choice of two tasks, each with its own pros and cons. The choices this Leg are “Lion’s Head” and “Egg Head”. Phil explains that teams will get to experience “two Indonesian art forms that have been in existence for hundreds of years. In “Egg Head” teams have to retrieve four eggs from a local shop and take them to a park where, I kid you not, “the local magician will place coconuts on their heads and light them on fire” to cook two eggs each. After scarfing the eggs with a metric ton of sriracha sauce, they’ll get the clue. In “Lion’s Head” teams don traditional costumes, including gorgeous lion headdresses that weigh 50 pounds each, and walk in a procession performing a series of steps along the way.

Everyone except Team Beekman chooses Lion’s Head. I’d have gone with Egg Head because for one, free meal and for two, I dance like a white boy.

Gary & Will arrive at the train station and Will finds some money on the ground. Enjoy it, Will, it’s the only money you’ll be taking home from the Race.

The second train pulls in and everyone piles out heading for pedal taxis. Jaymes & James barely fit and their driver tries to make them take separate ones. The Lion’s Head people all find the park and start donning their costumes. Sadly they go on over their clothes so no gratuitous shots of any of the boys changing. A few cute locals are shirtless, though. James interviews about how the headdress was “sitting on your face” and I suppress about thirteen different dirty jokes. Then Jaymes starts in about how he was “tasting years of culture right there in my mouth”. The “steps” the teams have to perform amount to a few spins and squats although James spices his up with some pelvic thrusts. All the teams make it through without incident.

Meanwhile, Team Beekman is having a little trouble finding the egg vendor but eventually locate her. They rush to the park where they are outfitted with cunning ’do rags and coconut halves which are set alight. Eggs are cooked, eggs are eaten and they’re off with the rest of the lead teams to Perliman POS 1 where the U-Turn awaits.

It’s actually a Double U-Turn, meaning that two teams can U-Turn two other teams. If a team is U-Turned, they must go back and complete the other Detour task. This U-Turn is anonymous, so if it’s imposed on a team they won’t know which team did it. Meaning we would be spared from listening to the U-Turned team complain about how using a legitimate tool of the game makes the team that used it morally inferior.

The lead teams all keep the pact they made on the train and no one U-Turns anyone. This is in my opinion a mistake. Sure, go ahead and keep the pact for the lead teams but U-Turn the heck out of a team in the second pack. Although, with the exception of the twins no one in the second pack constitutes the slightest threat so maybe keeping the U-Turn option open for the next one does make sense.

 

Speaking of, the second train is finally leaving with the Final Four. The Blondes interview about how they realized they’d be competing against the teams in the second pack (no flies on them) but that their physical and mental superiority would allow them to triumph. They get the Detour clue and everyone decides to do Lion’s Head.

The lead teams rip their post U-Turn clues and are directed to Sma Negeri 1 Bangil School, the Pit Stop for this Leg. Phil warns that the last team to check in “may” be Philiminated.

Abbie & Ryan are the first to check in and are greeted by Phil and a cute as a bug’s ear student. They win a trip to Fiji. Team Longhorn checks in while Abbie & Ryan are still on the Amazing Mat. They interview that they see Abbie & Ryan as a threat and will not hesitate to U-Turn them should the opportunity arise.

Team Chippendale checks in third, same as last week, and Team Headbang checks in fourth.

Back on the train teams discuss the upcoming U-Turn. Will mentions that it would be bad to U-Turn a team that’s ahead of them and Gary snits “obviously” as if the idea that a team might U-Turn a team that’s in front of them is so incredibly stupid that it need not even be mentioned as a possibility.

Team Beekman checks in at fifth, maintaining their position.

The stragglers get their Detour clues and all decide to do Lion’s Head. Gary & Will are the last off the train (and bitch about it) and don’t recognize the Indonesian word for bike taxi (and bitch about it) and get a slow cabbie (and bitch about it). “We suck,” one of them moans, and I do not disagree.

Team Blonde has trouble paying their cabbie and scream at him for daring to live in a country where English is not a native language and not speak English. Everyone makes it through without incident. The twins finish first and choose not to U-Turn anyone. Team Trucker U-Turns Gary & Will and interview that they did it because they were worried they’d have trouble finding Phil. In other words, exactly how the U-Turn should be used.

The twins check in sixth but think they’re seventh. Phil offers to make them seventh but they wisely decline. Team Trucker checks in seventh.

Team Sub arrive at the U-Turn and learn the bad news. They have the chance to U-Turn someone and they’re vacillating between Team Trucker and Team Blonde. They choose Team Trucker, who you’ll remember have already checked in at the Pit Stop. They go off in search of eggs.

The boys are back getting their eggs cooked and the blondes are completely lost, having gone all the way back to the park. As they’re aimlessly circling the city and complaining again some more about the damn foreigners who don’t speak English, Team Sub rips their Pit Stop clue. The teams are within sight of each other when they come upon a fork in the road. Team Blonde takes the road less traveled by and that makes all the difference.

Gary & Will reach the Pit Stop in eighth place and their always-say-die outlook carries them into the next Leg. Team Blonde arrive shortly thereafter and are Philiminated.

 

The Amazing Rankings

Philiminated with Extreme Prejudice: Caitlin & Brittany.

Hopelessly Lost but Making Good Time: Gary & Will. For “superfans” they’re pretty close to the worst Racers I can remember. They have nothing going for them but dumb luck and I’m looking forward to the day that it runs out.

Don’t Make Me Come Back There: Caitlin & Brittany and Gary & Will. From the girls’ terrible attitudes to the defeatism that the guys wear like shrouds, both teams need a good smack. They make Rob & Kelley look good and that is just unacceptable.

Cruising: Pretty much everyone else. Three of the teams finished in the same place they started in and except for the twins everyone else moved up at least one slot from the last Leg. Even the twins recovered from missing the first train and finished first of the second pack.

This was a placeholder Leg and not terribly exciting. The plate-stacking challenge wasn’t interesting to watch. The egg cooking and the lion dance looked good on paper but on screen they fell flat. Combined with the poor attitudes from many of the Racers and I can only give this episode Three Phlying Phils.