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Sunday, October 08, 2006
The Amazing Race--The Mystery of the Vietnamese Junk

Entertaining and emotional episode this weekend, as we see the stresses on many of the teams sparking anger.

At the start, teams get an audio clue to take a cab to a bus station. Smartly, some of the contestants drag their driver to listen to the clue to make sure he gets it right. But Rob & Kimberly's driver seems to get lost and they seem to be falling behind. Fortunately, it's an early bunching routine as the bus will not arrive for several hours. The bus takes them to Ha Long Bay, where there are junks (Oriental boats) and a roadblock. "Who's got strong arms and legs?"

Unfortunately, team triathlete decides that Sarah should be the member to take this challenge. It's almost as if idiot Peter is trying to market his miracle prosthetic leg to America rather than win the million dollars. Even worse from the standpoint of the show is that it's a repeat challenge--climb a rock formation. Predictably, Sarah falls behind while Peter overdoes the "You can do it!" routine. Still they finish this challenge ahead of the beauty queens.

Next they must make their way to the Sung Sot Cave:

At the cluebox there is a detour. Teams must choose between underwater and overwater. They are to row sampans to either a series of oyster traps, or deliver fresh produce (also in sampans). Tempers really start flaring as the teams deal with learning how to row the sampans.

Only Team Gump attempts the delivery chore and it seems to work out fairly well for them. The rest of the teams chose to hoist the oyster traps up from the bottom. We see Peter snapping at Sarah and indicating he wants to give up. Not going to impress the audience with griping like that. Everybody seems to have trouble with this chore and at one point one of the teams even starts to sink.

Team Beauty Queen is seriously behind at this point, but they start to catch up on Tommy & Terry on the oyster traps. Eventually they leave while Team Gay is still working. But the Beauty Queens have not read the clues carefully. It says to
"Take your junk to Soi Sum Island". Not realizing that means the powered boats that took them out into the bay, they try to row around looking for the island. Worst still, the clue has been shredded and so they can't re-read it. But they get lucky and decide to head over to the power boat.

Meanwhile, Team Gay is having trouble rowing. Tom's arms seem completely unable to handle rowing, and in a move that would make Jack LaLanne proud, he hops into the water and tugs the boat to the junk. Rob & Kimberly have finished first, getting his and hers jet skis, with Peter and Sarah coming close behind. The woman in Team Coal says something about Phil being "scrawny and beautiful". It is apparent that the race tonight is between the Beauty Queens and Tommy & Terry. Although TAR dramatizes it a bit, you can see by the shadows that the Beauty Queens finish well ahead of Team Gay, which is Phil-liminated.

As always, check out the Viking Pundit's recap of the show here.
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