Last week, seven teams continued their trek through Bangladesh. They threw themselves into some of the largest industries of the place, including hauling bamboo and making jute-fiber bags. Team Rockstar, James and Abba, held on to first place for the second straight leg, while goat farmers Josh and Brent wilted under the intense heat and finished last. However, this was a non-elimination leg, and they were spared. And if history has taught us anything, it’s that teams tend to rebound from that position more often than not. BOMP.

Starting Line - The Lok Shilpa Jadughar Museum, where teams checked in at the end of the last leg. The teams’ first clue told them to fly to Istanbul (not Constantinople), Turkey, and to make their way to the Kabatas Ferry Terminal. As per usual, all teams ended up on the same flight, so they touched down in Turkey all on equal footing again.

One major development occurred at the travel agency booking tickets: James/Abba accidentally left a wad of cash (about $100) on a counter, and when their backs were turned, Natalie/Nadiya picked it up and walked out the door with it. Trey/Lexi told them to give it back, but they didn’t, and then they got on my shit list by walking out behind the twins without telling Rockster what happened. That is wrong in just so many ways. Really, it’s down to base thievery now? What’s worse, they didn’t even suspect another team stole it, figuring that they had dropped it in their cab.

Anyway, after taking the ferry from Kabatas to Urskudar, teams were directed to go right back to the Asian side of Istanbul, and from to the Misir Carsisi (Spice Bazaar) to find their next clue. This was the site of the Speed Bump, where Josh and Brent alone had to eat a two-scoop Turkish ice cream cone. Wow, all tasks should be so difficult! (And they still screwed it up… see below.)

The Bazaar was also the site of this leg’s Detour, and the choices were Simit or Scrub It. In the former, teams had transport large quantities of simits (Turkish bagels) to three different addresses, walking through the streets carrying their loads upon their heads. In the latter, teams had to go to a centuries-old authentic Turkish bath house, where they would be subjected to the scrubbing of their lives. Not surprisingly, almost everyone chose Scrub It. I probably would too, especially after Bangladesh, even though the scrubbers are required to be the same gender as you. Awkward…

After the Detour came the Roadblock, which was located at another bazaar called the Kapilacarsi (Grand Bazaar), one of the largest covered markets in the world, covering 61 streets and home to over 3,000 vendors. According to Wikipedia, between a quarter to a half a million people visit there every day. Yikes, that’s a lot. Anyway, one team member had to don a fez and other local garb, strap a large brass object to their back and sell forty glasses of Turkish Sherbet – referred to by Phil as the “world’s first soft drink” to marketgoers. Cumbersome, but not too disagreeable.
The Pit Stop for Leg Six was the good ship Savarona near the Kurucesme Topuzlu Park.

Below is the order the contestants finished in, along with some of their more interesting moments.

#1. Trey and Lexi - I’m happy Team Texas finally won a leg, but I’m quite disappointed that they took part in a criminal enterprise, but hopefully they’ll make up for it later. Lexi turned out to be a good sherbet saleswoman, but her voice got so annoying that one local offered to give her money just to go away. Hee.

#2. Abbie and Ryan - We learned this week that Ryan is kind of a tool, as he ditched the playful mocking and went straight into bad-mouthing other teams in front of them. I was prepared to take his side over the whininess of the twins, but dissing Team Rockstar because they go their own way is just uncalled for.

#3. James and Abba - After losing all of their cash, Rockstar benefited from a very nice lady, who gave them enough money to make it to the airport. I am so happy about this, because they were able to retain their position near the front of the pack. I am firmly on their bandwagon, and their solitary approach to the race seems to be paying off so far.

#4. Natalie and Nadiya - My low opinion of the twins bottomed out this episode, and now they are one of my least favorite teams of all time. Offering to split their ill-gotten gains with Team Texas to soothe their guilt just reaffirmed how despicable they are. They need to be out of this race, now. I can’t wait for karma to bit them right in their thieving asses.

#5. Jaymes and James - Kudos to Team Magic Mike for realizing that the Turkish train they were on was putting them behind, so they hopped out halfway there and caught a taxi the rest of the way. They are still alive in the race, but they need to make better decisions from here on out. Awesome moment: in the middle of the leg, they weren’t sure what place they were in, so they pointed to the bottom of the “screen” so that we would know how they were doing, and right on cue, we saw that they were in fifth place at the time. Well played, show!

#6. Josh and Brent - Team Capricorn learned first hand the cardinal rule of racing: read the damn clue. Their Speed Bump clue told them to eat ice cream from a “marked stand”, but instead they went to the first stand they saw. Lucky for them, chowing down on an ice cream cone is not time-consuming, but it’s little things like this that cost teams the race. They were spared once again, but I’m betting this will be the last time.

The following team came in last and was eliminated:

#7. Rob and Kelley - It all came down to one decision after touching down in Turkey: teams could either take a train or a taxi to the ferry, and Team Monster Truck chose the much-slowed train. As a result, they were unable to catch up. I liked them, despite Rob’s consistent overconfidence, but Kelley was a real trooper, and I hope Rob appreciates his better half.

Next week: it’s off to Russia, where I’m praying that the Tovar-bitches end up in a gulag or something.

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