The Amazing Race recap: '
Eight teams struggle to pour a perfect pyramid of cocktails or pretend to be DJs at a Malaysian nightclub
Party Time! Excellent. All the racers deserve a pyramid of cocktails for surviving the most stressful party to ever take place in a Malaysian penthouse. Well, except Luke. Oh, what’s that? Luke just broke everyone else’s glasses? Okay then. NO DRINKS. The cruelest fate.
The Leg 4 party kicks off as one member from the eight remaining teams must jump on a bamboo trampoline — manned by a dozen or so also-bouncing, well-costumed Murut people of the Borneo region — and reach for a flag adjusted to their heights in the Leaps and Bounds RoadBlock.
Most racers achieve this with minimal/comical trouble, but a lack of “Cord”-ination keeps Cowboy Cord from succeeding until his whopping 47th try. It’s fine, though — they’re still so far ahead it doesn’t matter. Big Easy defies everyone’s expectations by not breaking the bamboo trampoline. It’d have been funny if he had and they’d try to mend it using some of the thousands of Harlem Globetrotters sweatbands these guys seem to have lying around (How adorable was that beaming kid who received one?!), but of course that would have been unfair. The point of a bamboo trampoline seems to be that it in no way resembles an actual trampoline. Obviously!
The bamboo non-trampoline absolutely destroys poor Jessica’s feet, while Rachel encounters the opposite problem; she keeps slipping on the bamboo because of her pantyhose. “Ladies at home, if you’re wearing pantyhose, don’t try to do jumps on trampolines!” Rachel warns the TV-viewing audience, most of whom gape back at her and say “Woman, why in HELL are you wearing pantyhose?” It’s beastly hot outside, plus, if no one is forcing you to wear pantyhose then why would you ever do that? But I guess it’s so her legs won’t look pasty on camera. So if it’s a question of not lookin’ good vs. discomfort/infections, then Rachel’s gotta go infections.
A particularly zealous hugger seems determined to never let Caroline go, but eventually all the teams grab their flags and make it over to the airport, where they’ll fly from Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. We’ve got three flights: Flight 1 (Jet and Cord, Leo and Jamal, Dave and Connor) lands an hour and a half ahead of the others at 9:42 p.m., but Flight 3 (Caroline and Jennifer, Brendon and Rachel, Jessica and John) ends up barely edging out Flight 2 (Margie and Luke, Flight Time and Big Easy) due to a delay. Now that’s what I call The Amazing Race! Flight delays! They’ll getcha. It’s nice to have some chaos up in here for a change. [Cue thumping house music…..]
NEXT: Juicin’ up wholesome-style with Dave and Connor
Awwww, yeah. Who’s ready to party? Malaysia is known for its booming nightlife, so Dave and Connor are pret-ty lucky to be on the Skybar’s guest list. They’ve never even seen a cocktail! “We’re just two Mormon boys from Salt Lake,” Dave kept hammering home to anyone who suspected they might have been enjoying themselves even just a little bit in the nightclub. No sir. It was a completely foreign experience to them. What’s a DJ? How you say… rhythm?
Well, they didn’t need to. In this week’s ultra-dramatic Detour: Mix Master or Master Mix? most teams initially choose to pour a complicated bi-level “cocktail pyramid” (Master Mix) instead of learning from a “scratch coach” how to DJ (Mix Master). These names were killing me even though of course the names of the challenges don’t really matter. I keep thinking, wait, a DJ would be more likely to produce a “Master Mix,” or even a megamix — after all, we’re in Malaysia — and that the “Mix Master” would be the person who could successfully keep the orange juice droplets and the cranberry juice droplets from fighting with each other and swirling into TOTAL F—ING DISASTERS. But again, it doesn’t matter what anything’s called. The red and the yellow just aren’t supposed to mix, okay?!
Oh, God, this cocktail challenge is the best. Everything has to be perfect — the mechanics of the pour plus the partnership’s overall mindset — for a Master Mix to be pulled off correctly, and there’s just endless teeny tiny opportunities for failure. The racers with overinflated senses of Bartender Bravado — Leo and Rachel — get drenched over and over again (in Rachel’s case, it was mostly her own sweat) by corrupted fruit punch. And the best part of this challenge, to me, is that I’m sure everyone, under such stress, was desperate to just gulp down a few (dozen) of these colorful treats. I was dying for some myself! The whole concept was just hilarious. It is humanly impossible to watch a professional pour a perfect, flavor-separated martini pyramid and not immediately fall head-over-heels in love with the concept, the process, etc. But then it comes time to try it out for yourself, and….oh, crap. IT’S SO HARD. Loved it!
Anyway, the cowboys — mechanical geniuses that they are — pour the perfect pyramid first, followed by Dave and Connor a whopping two hours after they’d arrived. By that time, the other five teams are trickling in, and finally! We have a full-blown Detour that contains all the teams in the same skybox… and it’s a raging party with Dancing With the Stars Troupe-esque fringed background dancers flanking the bars?! This is perfect. I’m having a blast. Pour me a perfectly separated set of seven martinis, you rubes!
NEXT PAGE: Loose Cannon Luke intentionally smashes seven more glasses
The Afghanimals, Leo and Jamal, wisely switch to the Scratch School (humans only, no cats) just before everyone else pours in, so they really need to focus and “feel the crowd” on their second DJ attempt. And they get it! “They were loving us,” Jamal raves, possibly referring to the same three happily roaring young men the cameras keep showing. Hey, it’s a crowd! Meanwhile, Flight Time and Big Easy have to head back to Scratch School — stay in school, kids, get some education — before they can master the mix.
The poor Globetrotters get booed… twice! But the Head Deej In Charge — one of the most affable clappers I’ve ever seen on The Amazing Race, and that is really saying something — is clearly rooting for them despite his “You know, you know, you know you’re bad” public smackdown of Flight Time and Big Easy. Caroline and Jen and Jessica and John carefully scratch their way to DJ victory. Meanwhile… oh, God. LUKE.
Luke is having a moment. First he’s obnoxiously baby-begging the bartender to completely ignore the point of this challenge and let him and his mama off with major fruit swirls. Not gonna happen, sweetie. Luke recalls the dreaded Tea Challenge from season 18 and we see a haunting flashback. “You have very low… frustration level,” Margie signs. And suddenly…. [SMASH!!!!!] Luke hurls all seven connected pouring glasses onto the floor following yet another failed attempt to correctly handle the fruits.
Ohhhhhh my God. This is not right. “That is not acceptable behavior. That is not!” Margie urges. “You clean that up!” So, yeah. That’s gonna take some time. (Hilariously, other team’s glasses were accidentally smashing left and right, no cleanup necessary.)
Now this is interesting: Brendon and Rachel suddenly become bastions of moral support for Luke, bopping around him and making the “applause” sign. It’s very cute, but will it work? They’re the last two teams at Skybar, the city center of shattered martini glasses and dreams. Margie suggests they both take the time penalty and just race to the pit stop. But Rachel’s like, “No, we can do this, let’s race it out. We can do it.“
NEXT PAGE: The final standings of Leg 4, hero worship for Rachel
Margie’s shocked. When she’d watched Rachel on TV before, “I thought she was the biggest crybaby ever,” she admits. “But tonight, she was there for us.” Luke’s attitude changes after Rachel presided over the situation with her magical, sheer nylon touch. And get this: Margie and Luke get it. “Rachel turned it around for us!” Margie beams.
Misery sets in. “This is so not fair,” Rachel keeps muttering. Actually, you know what’s really not fair? Unlike any of the other teams, Margie and Luke never had the chance to opt out and switch to the DJ challenge, because Luke can’t hear. Does that make his frustration more understandable? Sure. Did he need to fling seven glasses at a hard surface? Probably not.
Winners of Leg 4: Jet and Cord, who are too nice to ask Phil for some cold hard cash instead as they learn they’ve just won a trip to… London! It’s tea time for the big hats. Congrats to the cowboys!
2nd: Dave and Connor
3rd: Leo and Jamal
4th: Caroline and Jennifer
5th: Jessica and John
6th: Flight Time and Big Easy
7th: Margie and Luke
8th: Brendon and Rachel
No worries, kids! It’s a non-elimination leg. Luckily the leg had been wearing pantyhose today, so no one could escape its clutches. Brendon and Rachel will have to suffer a Speedbump (fingers crossed it’s “exchange shorts with a local and wear them instead of your own for the rest of the Race”) during Leg 5.
What’d you think of the episode? Could you have built a cocktail pyramid in less than a day? Discuss!