Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


The Amazing Race recap: It's a Zoo

In Thailand, who is more vicious: the trainer-mauling tiger, or Jaime?

Posted on

Jaime Cara
Sonja Flemming/CBS

The Amazing Race

TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Phil Keoghan
Jerry Bruckheimer
Current Status:
In Season

For those of you who don’t know, the Parents Television Council is a family values group that cites all arguably ”adult” content in every TV show, so sensitive parents can know what their kids shouldn’t be watching. Currently on their site they say that the only major issue on this season of The Amazing Race is language: ”The first episode featured a moderate amount of foul language.” Well, PTC, I think it’s time to update your site, and add to your language warning, ”…and a future episode included scenes of elephant date rape.”

Seriously, what kind of circus act was that? Phil said it was a ”typical Thai performance,” but what happens next? Does the elephant blow some dollar bills out of its trunk and trumpet, ”Now pick up your clothes and get a cab home.” And how do the Racers explain what happened when they get home and their loved ones say, ”Welcome back, Sweetie, tell me all about the Race and…hey, why do your underpants smell like peanuts?”

So much to say about the Phuket Zoo, but I’ll get back to it in a minute. (That’s what they call a ”tease” in the recap business. In the Thailand zoo, however, a ”tease” is what they call an orangutan who dry-humps your leg and then claims it has a headache.) Last night’s leg started with the teams leaving India for what seemed like the only hotter spot on Earth: Thailand. Speaking of the PTC, I’ll bet they had their FCC complaints already stamped and ready to go in anticipation of someone mispronouncing ”Phuket.” Alas, the only person who did that was Kisha, who called it, ”Fikoot.”

Tammy and Victor left the pit stop first, and we got another glance into the fun, repressive world of their family. Tammy said she had been to Thailand before on a family vacation, but ”Mommy and Daddy” wouldn’t even let her go to the beach. Apparently, she recounted, her parents favored Victor, and always thought he was right; this didn’t really explain why she was treated like a skittish puppy, however. Unless they were overprotective of Tammy on Victor’s orders. Man, that guy really does call the shots. Later in the episode, Tammy and Victor ended up winning this leg, and they received a trip to Oahu. Hopefully Victor will allow her to visit the beaches, although he may make her do it in a burqa.

Lovable Mel and Mike left in second place. When they first got into the cab to the airport, they had this interchange: Mike: ”Do you speak any Thai, Dad?” Mel: ”Yeah, mai tai!”

It was so oddly formal a question that it sounded like Mike was setting his father up with a straight line, an oddly vaudevillian move for a nuanced screenwriter. But I quickly realize it was unscripted when Mike didn’t react at all to the joke: It looked like he was doing his best to hold in a deep sigh. Finally, after the longest silence in reality-TV history, Mel said, ”That was a pun,” to which a weary-sounding Mike said, ”I know.” It seems like whenever Mel makes a goofy joke, Mike just stares off into the middle distance, presumably going to his Happy Place. We all know that Mel is a loving, unsinkably upbeat dad, and a delight to watch, but it just goes to show that even when everyone else thinks your dad is the coolest guy in the world, he’ll always drive you crazy. (Except for you, Dad Wolk, you’re A-Okay! P.S. Okay, I think my dad’s gone now. Recap readers, let’s meet out back by the EW.com dumpsters and I’ll tell you some stories.)

NEXT: Jaime screams at yet another country