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Sunday, October 29, 2006
 
Please, Sir, I'd Like Some Mauritius

This was actually a mediocre episode from a racing standpoint, but terrific on the characterization and conflict. Teams must make their way from Kuwait to Mauritius, an island in the Indian Ocean off Africa. As it turns out, the only way there is via London, rather uninituitively. The major drama comes when the Beauty Queens convince a travel agent to help Team Recovery before Team Gump. But it's all for naught as the teams make the same flights.

Once in Mauritius, the teams must find a ship in the harbor and swim out to it. Although Team Cho waits for Team Coal Miner, Team Gump finds the cars and dashes off after the Beauty Queens and Team Abuse. Team Recovery gets lost at this point and falls well behind, so that even though Team Gump and Team Coal Miner are gasping for air, they are returning to shore as the male models head out to the ship.

The next clue takes the teams to a dilapidated Post Office building. Here we see some of the competitive nature of the BQs, as they fret that Rob and Kimberley are following them. They decide to quickly jump off onto an alternate route, while their pursuers get boxed in and can't come after them.

Things get worse for Team Abuse, as Rob can't get the car in gear. They are pushed to the side, to the delight of the other teams. Of course, eventually a replacement vehicle shows up, bu they are behind.

At the post office is a Detour: Sea or Salt. In Sea, the teams motor out to an island and must hike to hidden sails using a treasure map. In Salt, they have to sift through a mound of the saline substance for a salt shaker containing their next clue.

Surprisingly, the Beauty Queens are the only ones who choose Sea. The rest choose to sift through the salt piles, which are immense. I shudder, thinking of the poor Gaghan mom, looking through all those white beans for the one red bean. To make it even more fiendish, they discover that the producers have hidden numerous empty salt shakers and even ones filled with pepper.

Well, the order of finish is pretty much determined by the order in which the teams give up on the Salt task, and here's where the "Sixpack" alliance actually works against the teams as they stay the longest. The Chos and Bama eventually bolt, as does Team Coal Miner, when Mary reminds David that they'll be the idiot couple that stayed forever and couldn't find the shaker.

But apparently finding the sails isn't that easy either, although the BQs find them well before the other teams reach the island, and they are on their way back. At first they fret that they were the only team to choose that option on the Detour, but then they see the other teams making their way to the island. The clue consists of diretions to the next Pit Stop.

Rob and Kim arrive and find the sails next, followed by Team Recovery. The Six-Pack looks doomed. But they work together again once the sails are found. The BQs finish first and win motor scooters (and don't quite manage to hide their disappointment). Phil suggests that the scooters have room for a passenger, so they could go out on dates sometime, and one of the gals asks him for a date. Disappointingly he doesn't give us the arched eyebrow this time. Team Recovery finishes second with Rob & Kim in third despite getting lost again.

The three teams in the Sixpack take off together, with the Chos in front, Team Coal Miner in second and Team Gump in last. The Gumps admit that they would not wait for the Coal Miners just as Mary announces that she's going to wait for the Alabamans. But that noble sentiment may be for nothing. Following a hunch by Mary, Team Coal Miner darts off to the right at an fork, but it turns out to be a mistake. Team Cho drives through the gate of the resort that is the Pit Stop, followed by Team Gump. David and Mary must turn around and are clearly hosed.

But at the mat, TAR actually surprises me. I fully expected Team Coal Miner to be Phil-Liminated, but today was an non-elimination leg. They must finish first next week, or face a 30-minute delay at the mat. It will be interesting to see if there is another Fast Forward next week; we know David & Mary cannot use the next one.

My prediction for the winners: The Chos. I think we're being sold on their nobility. I'd love to see David & Mary get it, but at this point you've got to question their common sense, and as I said last week I have zero confidence in their ability to solve the inevitable puzzle at the end. The Chos could easily have pulled away today and they didn't; they actually stuck back to work together with the alliance. Granted, they knew that in any dash to the mat they'd win, but that's my current prediction.

Wouldn't it be interesting if the Chos get the Fast Forward next week and hold off stepping on the mat to see if David and Mary can make it to them in the lead?

As always, check out the Viking Pundit's recap. In an eeeevil fashion, he's rooting against the common man.
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