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The Amazing Race: Season 29, Two Episodes in Vietnam, 5/18/17

May 24th, 2017 · No Comments

by Lyn Jensen

Already Season 29 of The Amazing Race is down to its final four teams, and tomorrow (Thurs.) we’ll see the set-up for the finale. CBS scheduled the ninth and tenth episodes back-to-back last Thursday, and there were some unusual deviations from the race’s standard format. The five teams that started from Athens, Greece, were:  Joey/Tara, Matt/Redmond (The Boys), Brooke/Scott, Logan/London (Team LoLo) and Becca/Floyd (Team Fun).

9th Episode/Leg:  Athens to Hanoi

As the teams leave the pit stop in Athens, Greece, they’re immediately directed to take taxis to the Corinth canal for this leg’s roadblock. It’s a revival of a challenge last seen in season 9–one of the world’s highest bungee jumps. Joey/Tara arrive first and he complains, but jumps. Matt jumps next, and as he and Redmond leave, they talk about how “Scott’s gonna freak” and cry because of his fear of heights.

Scott and Brooke are two of the highest-maintenance contestants this season, and they found each other. Scott doesn’t know what the RB is yet but he hopes it’s not a bungee jump. He says whatever it is, he has to do it, to keep the number he does even with the number Brooke does. (Given Brooke’s performance in the challenges so far, I’m not sure she’d be good at a bungee jump, either.) When Scott sees it is a bungee jump, he doesn’t cry but he does scream. He complains about how he’s done four roadblocks and three have involved heights. He straps in but he’s paralyzed on the ledge until Brooke reminds him about a $1 million prize. When he does jump his screaming sounds like the soundtrack of a horror movie. He’s says he’s never doing that again–then he says he wants to do it again. Really?

After Logan and Becca jump for their teams, everyone catches the same flight from Athens, and travels 5,000 miles to Hanoi, Vietnam. Once teams disembark, they take taxis to a certain city square, where dozens of women are waving red fans and doing an exercise that looks like tai chi.

Teams are at first looking for a clue box but then Becca/Floyd notice some of the women’s red fans have yellow sticks–indicating race colors. They ask one of the women waving a red-and-yellow fan for a clue envelope. She gives them one. It directs them to a nearby temple.

Team Fun tell Brooke/Scott to look for a red fan with a yellow stick. That makes them next to get a clue envelope, and they tell LoLo to look for a person, not a clue box. Matt/Redmond and Tara/Joey also notice some red-and-yellow fans, and get their clues.

At the temple, the clue is for this leg’s detour–the bungee-jump RB was performed in Greece but the detour is being performed on the hot crowded streets of Hanoi. This detour limits the teams that can do each task, so some will have to do one and some, the other:

  • For three teams, they may get a fifteen-foot bamboo ladder from a bamboo shop, and carry it through the city streets to a cramped narrow apartment building, go up to the top floor patio, and fetch down a bamboo birdcage. Then they must squeeze the ladder back down through the apartment halls and stairs, and carry it and the birdcage back to the bamboo shop.
  • Otherwise teams will have to carry manikins through the city streets and set up window displays in fashion boutiques.

Everyone tries for a ladder at the bamboo shop first. Becca/Floyd are at the head of the pack. They grab one ladder, and are on their way before anyone else arrives. Brooke/Scott and Matt/Redmond arrive, and the boys grab the second ladder even as Scott’s reaching for it. The third ladder’s up high where it’s hard to see. LoLo arrive, spot the third ladder, and London climbs up and grabs it just as Brooke’s trying to climb up, too. That means Scott/Brooke have to go set up a fashion-manikin display. They fight about who didn’t grab the ladder, etc., etc., for most of the rest of the episode.

Becca/Floyd get to the apartment and maneuver their ladder up the stairs. She wasn’t afraid to bungee jump, but she’s afraid to climb the ladder to get the birdcage. He holds the ladder for her. On their way down, they encounter “the boys” coming up, and the teams have to help each other get one ladder up and one ladder down.

Brooke/Scott pass Tara/Joey on the street but don’t warn them that all the ladders at the shop are taken. When Tara/Joey reach the shop, they’re not happy that the ladders are gone and they weren’t told about it. They have to dress a boutique window, too.

At the apartment house Matt/Redmond, coming down, encounter LoLo going up, and teams have to work around each other once again. LoLo has the hardest time of the three teams getting their ladder up and down the stairs but they never lose their cool.

Becca/Floyd return their ladder to the bamboo shop and give the man the birdcage. He puts a bird in the cage, then gives the team a clue envelope. It’s for this leg’s pit stop, at Thong park. Team Fun grab a taxi.

Matt/Redmond are minutes behind. They get their pit stop clue and catch a taxi, too. At the park Becca/Floyd find the mat along with the host Phil Keoghan, who tells them they’ve won the leg and a trip to the Galapagos islands. Matt/Redmond join the party on the mat, and take second place.

Joey/Tara and Brooke/Scott pick up manikins at a shop and lug them through the hot, humid, crowded streets. Joey/Tara are the first to start setting up a window display, copying a photograph. Brooke/Scott soon start setting up a display at another shop on the same block. Joey/Tara think they’re finished but the shop woman doesn’t approve. They look at the picture they’re using–and suddenly realize they were supposed to get three manikins and they only got two. (A look at the picture should’ve told ’em that, right?) They run back to the manikin shop. That gives Brooke/Scott an opening, since they have all three manikins they need. They get their window display approved and catch a taxi to the pit stop.

LoLo have by now taken the ladder and the birdcage back to the bamboo shop. They take a taxi to Thong park. Phil tells them they’re 3rd.

Joey/Tara get their third manikin to the boutique, dress it, position it, and get the display approved. They catch a taxi to the pit stop.

Brooke/Scott find the mat and Phil. Scott guesses they’re 4th. He’s right. Joey/Tara arrive while Brooke/Scott are still on the mat. They exchange words about the detour.

The weather in Hanoi’s been so hot and humid that the cameras are picking up the contestants’ sweat. Barely has Joey’s feet touched the mat than he half-collapses from the heat. Fortunately it’s nothing serious, and it turns out arriving in last place isn’t serious either. Phil tells them this is a non-elimination leg so they’ll have to perform a speed bump–a separate challenge–on the next leg.

10th Episode/Leg:  Still in Vietnam

Hanoi’s in north Vietnam, and as this episode opens teams are directed further north, to travel by bus into the mountainous Vietnamese countryside. Becca/Floyd and Matt/Redmond, at the front of the pack, catch a bus that departs at 9 a.m.

As for the trailing three teams, Joey/Tara get delayed at the bus station’s ticket counter while London/Logan and Brooke/Scott get on the 9:30 bus. They try and pull a Boston Rob stunt, offering to pay the driver to leave early. The bus driver sticks to his schedule and Joey/Tara board.

Once teams get off the bus, they have to ride bikes through the countryside to a temple. Some contestants hoped the countryside would be cooler, but the heatwave continues, and teams have to ride bikes in it.

Waiting at the temple are the next clue and some Travelocity gnomes. (Travelocity product placement came late this season.) Each team gets a gnome to roam with them for the rest of the leg. The clues near the gnomes send teams biking to another rural location, where they’re to perform a challenge last seen on TAR season 3. Bikes are waiting here with large racks, and there are also bundles of woven shrimp traps.

When Becca/Floyd and Matt/Redmond open their clue envelopes near the shrimp traps, they find “Roadblock:  Basket Case.” A team member has to hang dozens of bundled baskets on a bike’s huge rack, pedal the loaded bike about a mile, to where a shrimper-man’s waiting, unload the bike, get the next clue from the shrimp fisherman, and ride back. The Travelocity gnome goes along, too.

Floyd and Matt work together to load the bikes, and pedal away at about the same time, but Floyd doesn’t notice he dropped some of his load before getting to the road. Becca notices but she’s forbidden to help him. Matt manages to stay upright for the whole trip. Floyd doesn’t. He drops more baskets. He thinks he can just go back and pick them up later.

The three trailing teams are riding to the temple. Joey/Tara are 1st to reach it, and they find they need to do their speed bump at this point. They’re to go to a nearby duck farm and collect six dozen eggs. The eggs are from free-range ducks, so the racers need to dig through thick grass and thorny bushes to find enough eggs. LoLo soon get to the temple, too. Brooke/Scott are running last.

Matt/Redmond are the 1st team to complete the RB, and they stay in 1st place the rest of the leg. They leave Becca waiting for Floyd, and bike some distance to the next destination, a body of water where, Phil explains via voiceover, it’s customary for women to row boats with their feet, to keep their hands free.

This rowing task isn’t designated as a second RB but it’s not part of a detour either. As we’ll see, there’s no detour on this leg, so this is like a detour with only one choice. Out on the water is a ceremonial dragon boat procession. Teams are to row out and make offerings (incense, flowers, funny money) to the dragon and row back. One team member rows using feet instead of hands, and the other team member just goes along for the ride. Since Matt has two feet and Redmond doesn’t, this is a task Matt has to do.

LoLo bike their way to the RB. LoLo loads a bike and starts her delivery run. Floyd got to the shrimp man but found he had to deliver the entire load at once. He had to bike all the way back to the start, pick up the baskets he dropped, and start again. On his second trip, he drops more baskets–and doesn’t notice. He also has to stop and help London right her bike. They work together for a while.

When Scott/Brooke make it to the RB, he loads the bike, makes his delivery, and passes the struggling London and Floyd. He and Brooke vault into second place, which they hold for the rest of the leg.

Matt/Redmond complete the rowing challenge and get the clue for the pit stop. After returning their bikes, they have to catch a taxi to Hang Mia, or Flying Dragon Mountain. (It resembles good ol’ Brokeback Mountain.) Five hundred steps stretch up and across its ridges. Once again teams are climbing steps up a mountainside. At the top is Phil and the mat. The boys estimate they have to climb about 1,000 ft.

Even Matt the athlete and Redmond the vet–two tough guys–are huffing and puffing up the stairs. Phil sees them covering the last hundred yards or so and yells at them how they’ve won 1st place. When they get to the mat, he tells them they’ve also won a trip to Costa Rica.

LoLo and Floyd get their loads to the shrimp man. She has a full load so she can unload and get her clue. He doesn’t, so he has to go pick up the traps he dropped somewhere. He has to stop and lie down for a while before he can continue. At the RB Becca’s thinking out loud how she’s the better bicyclist and should’ve done this RB. She puts her fun meter, pinned on her shirt, as far down as it goes.

By now Joey/Tara have finished collecting their duck eggs and arrive at the RB. He loads the shrimp traps and makes the bike ride. He passes the struggling Floyd still trying to complete his delivery. He passes the struggling LoLo–whose bike is broken down and she has to walk it back. He and Tara depart the RB in 3rd place.

LoLo depart the RB in 4th place. Becca/Floyd were the 1st team to arrive and they’re the last team left. Floyd finally delivers all his shrimp baskets and returns. He tries to ride with Becca to the next destination but he falls off his bike twice. The second time, a medic’s already on the scene, who tells him to stay down, and administers first aid.

At the waterhole Scott’s rowing with his feet and Tara’s rowing with hers. Logan’s rowing, but he’s complaining he’s too tall for the job. Word passes around about Floyd and Becca being stuck at the RB.

Brooke/Scott are the second team to complete the rowing challenge. On the return bike ride Brooke grunts so much Scott suggests she’s giving birth to twins. She gets louder when she sees the 500 steps they have to climb. They know they’re team #2, however, and when they get to the top, Phil confirms it.

Next Joey/Tara complete the rowing, return their bikes, catch a taxi, and climb the 500 steps. When they reach the top, Phil remarks about how, even with a speed bump, they still moved into 3rd place. LoLo are mere yards behind and take 4th place.

All but one team has touched the mat. Back on the course, a medic is still treating Floyd for overheating. How many times has Phil had to go on course and tell a team they’re eliminated? Perhaps six times before this season? This is the second time this season he’s had to do it. He comes to Team Fun to tell them the other teams have checked in, meaning they’re eliminated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: Amazing Race