Well, they did it. The Wrestlers broke me. I thought as a Silver Jubilee gift that I would make it out of Season 25 mostly liking every team—I know, I know, I let too much slide already in the name of an occasional laugh—but you simply do not go to a beautiful country with beautiful people and complain for a day straight about how bad it smells. Look around you: you’re plowing a field with oxen! That’s straight-up magical.
I live in New York City. When it rains in the summer, it smells like you’re getting cozy with the mutant offspring of a litter box and flaming trash. But never have I seen a tourist fake gag while standing inches from the people who call this place home. And while I don’t technically know the stats on Cash Cab, the average NYC tourist isn’t even in the running to win $1 million … they just have a little respect for the place.
So, no, I don’t like the Wrestlers. But do I still see the entertainment value in a pair of cartoon-like villains who can’t find a taxi, or read a map, or plow a field, or find a giant human TAR clue that is walking directly toward them? Of course. Bring on the spandex.
Anyway, now that I’ve stepped off my pedestal made of an overturned sidecar, let’s get down to business: The ninth leg of the race saw the Final 4 teams racing from Singapore to the Philippines.
It’s funny how the Final 4 have kind of presented themselves as two opposing sets:
1. The brains vs. brawn match-up of the Scientists and The Wrestlers. Neither are teams you would have expected to make it this far, and yet here they are, theoretically just as likely to win as …
2. … the ever-positive Surfers and however you’d classify Jim (excluding Misti, who her seeming perfectly delightful).
But in the ninth leg, it doesn’t really matter whose Race enemy is who anymore, because everyone ends up on even, muddy ground in the end.
The Surfers depart first to the capital of the Phillipines, Manila. They book what they hope is the earliest flight possible, arriving in Manila at 11:00 PM. I was really happy for how much appreciation travel agents got this episode, because let’s face it, they’re not getting it at every corner these days. The Wrestlers head straight to a travel agent, the Dentists head straight to the airport, and the Scientists call a travel agent from the taxi. Guess who gets the later flight? It was the team that said, “Legs 10 and 11, we’ll break everybody’s spirit.” There’s only one team that would have ever said that. (It’s Jim. Jim said it.)
But even though they broke their own spirit because they can’t book a good flight these days, the Dentists end up camping outside right along with everyone else when they arrive at the flower vendor near Baclaran Church and learn that, like the other teams, they can’t get their clue until 6:30 AM.
NEXT: Catch a flying fish, and put it in your basket …