Last week, nine teams continued to race through Indonesia. They acted as waiters, wore forty-pound lion masks on their heads, and generally stayed in roughly the same position that they ended the previous leg in. Abbie & Ryan reclaimed the lead by a hair over Texans Trey & Lexi, copping their second leg win and a trip to Fiji. Best friends Gary & Will got U-turned but still managed to squeak by two other best friends, Caitlin & Brittany, who, like so many past contestants, figured that if the locals can’t understand English, they’ll try “loud English” instead. Eight teams remain. BOMP.
Starting Line - The SMA Negeri High School in Bangil, Indonesia. The racers’ first clue told them to fly to the city of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and from there find an unnamed bus-repair shop. All the teams left the Pit Stop after dark, so obviously all of them would once again be on sequel footing in the next leg. Not a surprise.
I’m sure Bangladesh has its share of beauty spots, but most of what we saw in this leg revealed the country to be what it is: one of the poorest and most densely populated countries in the world. Traffic is noisy and crazy, and if I ever go there, I’m having my olfactory glands removed, judging by the copious amount of livestock that roams the streets. Anyway, at the bus-repair shop, teams found this leg’s Roadblock, which required one team member to join a repair crew and perform a requisite amount of puttying, sanding, and seat removal.
This leg also featured a Fast Forward, which if won allowed one team to skip both the Roadblock and the Detour and go right to the Pit Stop. Surprisingly, several teams decided to pass on it, secure in their position in the lead. One team did go for it, and it involved the totally gross task of filling a bag with dead rats, a vital task given the amount of trash strewn about this city. Well, it’s Bangladesh, you couldn’t imagine that they’d be picking flowers!
The next clue following the Roadblock was located in the Kawran Bazar Shootkir Market. After digging through a huge bag of dried fish looking for the one orange-and-yellow one, teams were treated to this leg’s Detour, and the choices were Pound the Metal and Pound the Cotton. In the former, teams had to use sledgehammers to help pound a local blacksmith shape some red-hot metal into a spike. In the latter, teams would help craft a Bengali mattress by beating the cotton with a bamboo rod into a fine, linty pulp, and then sewing the stuffing into a hollow quilt. After completing either task, teams were given the location of the Pit Stop.
The Pit Stop for Leg Four was at the Shambazar Chan Mia Ghat. And yes, I had to look up what a “ghat” was: it is a series of steps leading down to a body of water, usually a holy river. Thank you, Wikipedia!
Below is the order the contestants finished in, along with some of their more interesting moments.
#1. James and Abba - I’m glad Team Rockstar decided to go for the Fast Forward, because now I finally get a chance to see what they can do with a lead. No team ever had an easier victory, as no one else decided to even try for the FF, and as a result, the two dudes will be chillin’ in Antigua sometime in their future. Cool, man!
#2. Abbie and Ryan - The best image of the season was courtesy of Abbie, who stood behind a constantly-jabbering Nadiya and simulated putting a gun to her own head and pulling the trigger. Yeah, five minutes of Nadiya makes me want to do that, never mind 24/7. Anyway, since they passed on the FF, second place was the best they could hope for, and that’s what they got. They are clearly the team to beat this season.
#3. Natalie and Nadiya - Despite being loud and obnoxious, the twins knocked it out on this leg, totally kicking butt on the bus repair despite being the only all-girl team left. I don’t know how long that particular task took, but I swear, by the end of it, everyone in the immediate zip code, racers and locals alike, wanted to strangle Nadiya. Her voice is so shrill, and it never stops.
#4. Josh and Brent - Team Capricorn really surprised me this week, and seem to be slowly creeping up the ladder. Despite resembling the proverbial 95-pound weaklings, they proved that looks can most definitely be deceiving. Despite being at least thirty minutes behind Rob and Kelley, they were able to score their best finish yet. They are definitely this season’s Bopper and Mark.
#5. Rob and Kelley - Team Monster Truck looked like they were going to make a move, leaving the Roadblock in second place. Naturally, Rob and his enormous biceps chose the blacksmith option, and they finished that task in short order. But there seems to be one point in each leg where they just lose steam, and that’s never good. In this case, they misread a clue, and it ended up costing them one spot. I think they’ll be out in the next leg or two.
#6. Jaymes and James - It’s obvious that if Team Magic Mike decide to change careers, it will not be in the field of bus maintenance. Despite his physique, Jaymes (or was it James? I can’t tell!) was a lost cause at applying putty, and this cost them a lot of time. They weren’t much better at being quilt seamstresses. I’m betting this was just them getting another bad leg out of their system.
#7. Trey and Lexi - After just missing first place in the last two legs, a letdown was probably inevitable, and Team Texas hit a wall in Bangladesh. They are fortunate that there was one team with less gusto this week, and I’m hoping that the next leg, which will also take place in Bangladesh, will not see them get eliminated.
The following team came in last and was eliminated:
#8. Gary and Will - Well, I did call it last week, didn’t I? Despite all the equilizers, Tenn and Peller still managed to come in last. They professed to being TAR’s biggest fans, so good for them, they got to live their dream, and I’m sure they had a good time, but I really hope they had no allusions about winning, any more than I would have if I got to run the race. I mean, I would totally do it if asked, but if the first task involved me dragging my fat ass up the Andes on a llama, I wouldn’t be too optimistic about my chances, you know?
Next week: More Bangladesh. Here’s hoping the twins meet their Bangla-doom.