A very astute TAR historian made the comment after last week’s oddly emotional leg that “India has a way of humbling even the strongest teams.” They were referencing the Green Team’s dominance, and its potential to lag in this ninth leg of the rrrrrrace around the world. And while the seemingly infallible Green Team did fumble a bit in a tuk-tuk, they still won the leg handily. I know I’m not the first to say it, but it’s kind of hard to pick a team to root for this season…
And just as hard to pick a team to root against! I think that’s because either these teams fluctuate drastically in personality from leg to leg, or because the editors have been choosing to show them in different lights each week. Now, that’s not true for every team—Denise’s breathless panic is steady as a drum, as is her vocal mantra: “James Earl! JAMES EARL. James Earl! JAMES EARL.” But teams like the Texans go from being cutthroat one week, to big hearted the next; the Cheerleaders are positive rays of light, then piles of emotional “fust-rated” goo in the next leg; the Green Team, humbly weeping at their first-place finish in one leg, and then cockily strutting in another. What’s a recapper to think?!
Am I sad that the Texans are gone? I’m not sure! Am I annoyed that the Green Team keeps winning? I guess, but I don’t really want another team to win more than them. It’s a weird one, but I know I still enjoy watching the show even if my personal stakes are pretty low for who makes it to that Final Mat first. I mean, they had one of the most physically grueling legs of the season so far tonight and it was doing laundry, so I’ll still count that as a win, I think.
To do that laundry, the six remaining teams travel from Kraków, Poland to New Delhi by plane. From there, they take a taxi to the New Delhi train station, and then a train to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal. When the teams spot the always-ahead Green Team at the airport they’re all, “They do exist!” like they’re the Peanut M&M and Justin is a supremely hairless Santa Claus. I don’t totally understand what happened next, but basically, the Paparazzi are trying to convince the Green Team that they should agree to U-Turn the Texans at the end of this leg, and then Logan lets slip that the Cheerleaders U-Turned the Green Team the last time (even though it didn’t matter). So when the Green Team asks the Cheerleaders about it, they lie and say they didn’t do it, and then confront the Paparazzi about why they would have said such a thing (the truth).
And somehow this turns the Green Team and Paparazzi against each other even though the Cheerleaders are the team that both U-Turned the Green Team and then lied about it right in front of the Paparazzi. But everyone makes it to the Yamuna River without incident to find the clue to their ROAD BLOCK: COMING OUT IN THE WASH. The Texans also find out that the Road Block will serves as their Speed Bump, with Josh having to do it all over again once Tanner has finished. That’s not great news because this one turns out to be a toughie.
As India is home to the largest outdoor laundries in the world, one member from each team must grab a bicycle loaded down with dirty laundry, wheel it down a big ‘ol hill toward the river, wash all the clothes Indian-style, and then properly lay all the saris out to dry. “Indian-style” turns out to be a difficult-to-master process of folding the saris over three times and knotting them, dunking all the fabric in boiling water, stirring, and then carrying it by hand to the drying area. It’s much more physically taxing than your average sorting of brights and colors, and while Denise and Krista struggle to transfer their wet, heavy saris from place to place, Joey breezes through (even though his mom “likes” to do his laundry for him), with Diana shortly behind him. Tanner does fine, but frankly, this one really blows as a Speed Bump. Usually Speed Bumps are, like, puzzles and maybe a coloring book, but Josh having to complete the Road Block behind Tanner puts them almost a full challenge-length behind everyone else at the DETOUR: CANS vs. CANDY.
NEXT: Mmm, pumpkin tubes…