Much of Buddhist philosophy revolves around suffering, which was only appropriate for tonight’s episode. Whether they suffered broken bicycle parts, feisty sheep, an inability to read clues properly, or plain bad luck, the teams struggled despite a mostly straightforward set of challenges. The one team to emerge as a true contender was, surprisingly, Team Olympian (Andy and Tommy). And it only seemed right. How would you have felt if Team OCD (Cindy and Ernie) had emerged victorious this week? Cindy is the opposite of Zen. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the Olympians are best suited of all the teams for the path to Nirvana — at least according to The Noble Eightfold Path (an especially notable speech: “Don’t ‘dude’ me, dude”). All in all, they’ve really knocked it out of the park these past two weeks, and their dudesy charm is really growing on me.
On the other hand, this week’s elimination seemed a bit unsatisfying, no? As happy as I was to see Team NFL (Amani and Marcus) stick around, the fall of Team Showgirls (Kaylani and Lisa) seemed unfortunately arbitrary. The Showgirls were not strong players by a long shot, but given the choice I would have much rather seen Team Twins (Liz and Marie) go, if only to never have to hear another anguished groan coming out of either of their mouths. In fact, between their grunting, Team Sibling Rivalry’s (Justin and Jennifer) bickering, and Cindy’s grating perfectionism, I can think of plenty of teams I’d rather have seen eliminated first. Then again, Buddha did say that suffering is an ingrained part of existence.
This leg of the race began at Kraton, the Sultan’s palace in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Team Olympian were first to learn that they’d be following in the bicycle tracks of Indonesia’s Dutch colonizers by peddling through the city with a 1940s-style bicycle club. Before donning khaki uniforms and riding in formation to Fort Vredeburg to receive their next clue, the Olympians tried to get a feel for which of the cyclists would be most in tune with their chillaxin’ sensibilities. It was an occasion for some spectacular side eyes from the bicycle squad members. But the Olympians’ spirits would not be crushed, as they spent the bike ride (and the rest of the leg) goofing off and basically living life like the heroes of a silent movie. You could practically hear the zany piano music playing underneath their physical comedy shtick.
NEXT: Problematic pedals and tardy taxis