The Amazing Race recap: 'I Thought We Were Playing It Nice'/'Riding a Bike Is Like Riding a Bike'
It's gut check time on The Amazing Race, so Phil is going to pull out all the stops to thin the herd. And he's going to use mannequins, ladders, bicycles, and the stifling humidity of a very hot country to do it.
But first, the five teams must head to the Corinth Canal in Athens, where half of them are harnessed in for the bungee jump of a lifetime. All bless Scott's heart for having to execute this particular ROAD BLOCK. I'll admit, it did look intimidating. I haven't heard that many OMGs since Gossip Girl was on the air.
Joey is first to take the plunge. The height of the bridge bothers Tara more than her partner. He flies without a care in the world. Matt follows him with the cheers of Redmond echoing above. When Matt is lifted back up to the bridge, he giggles and says, "Scott's going to cry so hard."
In Scott's defense, he didn't cry so hard. I think he cried and screamed and shook a normal amount. I sure hope he got one of those "I did it" T-shirts.
Logan owns the jump like a boss. A very handsome boss. And Becca does the same. All teams pile in an airplane bound for Hanoi, Vietnam, in search of their next clue. Welcome to a somewhat even playing field!
Becca and Floyd, who were in last place, are now in first. They find the clue on one of the dozens of ladies conducting their morning exercises by waving around jaunty red flags. Next stop? Quan Su Buddhist Temple. The others are all close behind.
Bamboo Climb: Ladders are long
Window Design: Mannequins are cumbersome
Every single team decides to do the bamboo climb challenge. Unfortunately, there are only three ladders with the official Amazing Race red and yellow markers. Floyd and Becca get one. The Boys get another. Brooke and Scott are there, but they can't manage to stop complaining long enough to look up where a marked ladder is hanging. Team LoLo arrives, and London shouts for Logan to help her pull the ladder down. I consider this an informal "dibs," but Brooke scrambles up another ladder anyway to fight for the prize. London beats her to it.
That's when the claws come out. Not between London and Brooke. They pretend to be cool. Brooke lays into Scott for not helping her with the ladder the entire time on their way to the mannequin challenge. They are like an annoying old married couple. Or maybe I should say a loud, defeated couple, because the act of carrying three mannequins is equal to having bamboo from those ladders shoved up your fingernails. Brooke cannot deal. Her back hurts, so Scott holds her backpack. Her legs hurt, so Scott takes on another mannequin arm. Her head hurts, so Scott rolls his eyes. I join him.
Meanwhile, the parents are rocking their mannequins. Even though arms and hands are falling left and right, it's somewhat easier for them to maneuver through thousands of people on scooters and in cars on the streets of Hanoi. Why? Because Tara read the card wrong, and they only picked up two mannequins. Uh oh. They have to go back and get the third, while Scott and Brooke finally finish the challenge. It's a miracle Brooke actually made it to the storefront.
Across town, the other three teams are having a time shoving a ladder up a stairwell. Getting it through the city was a bit of a challenge, but there's one particular turn that forces the ladder to be wedged. I'm convinced that at least two people said, "PIVOT!" a la Ross Geller in Friends. CBS probably edited it out. I know some of you believe in this conspiracy theory, too. At the very least, I shouted it.
The ladder people PIVOT through the stairwell, grab a bird cage, go back down the stairwell, go through the city, and deliver the cage and the ladder to a man on the street for their next clue. Becca and Floyd, along with the Boys, are neck and neck making their way to Thong Nhat Park, with Team LoLo and Brooke and Scott close behind. The parents are stuck lugging another mannequin across town.
1. Becca and Floyd: As first-place winners, this is the moment when Becca and Floyd begin to overuse their new word "fun-stoppable."
2. Matt and Redmond: Always a bridesmaid, am I right? Becca says they are "un-boy-lievable." #killthefunmeter
3. Team LoLo: The PIVOT almost got them, but they somehow made it through. Logan was this close to chucking the ladder off the roof.
4. Scott and Brooke: Although traffic almost bit them in the butt, they do secure fourth place.
5. Mom and Dad: Joey falls into Scott's arms, exhausted from the running. Brooke asks Mom if they are okay, and Tara responds with an ice-cold response: "Now you care?" It seems that the parents are a bit miffed at Team Loudmouth for not telling them to skip the ladder part, since there were no more ladders left. MEOW!
When Phil tells Tara and Joey that it's not an elimination round, Joey begins crying. He should have waited for the next leg to do that. He ain't seen nothing yet.
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It's leg 10, and the teams must catch a bus to Ninh Bình. Becca and Floyd secure tickets on the first bus, along with the Boys. The rest of the teams follow 30 minutes later, even though Brooke tried to pay the driver to leave Mom and Dad behind. Brutal.
Floyd, Becca, Matt, and Redmond travel by bicycle to Bich Dong Temple. Here they retrieve their Travelocity gnome and their next clue. Get ready for the ROAD BLOCK, because it's a doozy. Those jokers in season 3 couldn't even do it. (Aside: Have we done everything in the entire world after 29 seasons? Why are we recycling challenges?)
Floyd and Matt decide to work together. They load "shrimp traps," which look like lightweight baskets, onto fancy bicycles. Attention to detail is key. Matt piles up his bike and pedals off down the road, swaying every now and then. Floyd piles up his bike and pedals off down the road, crashing every five seconds. As he falls over, traps fall off. This is not good.
Over at the bus stop, the rest of the teams scramble onto bikes and head to find their gnomes. LoLo is so over it. Tara is in love with the scenery. And Brooke makes such awful screaming noises as she pedals, Scott asks if she's giving birth back there.
Sometimes, I love this guy.
Everyone finds their gnome and clue, except Mom and Dad. They find their SPEED BUMP. Tara and Joey have to collect six dozen eggs. It sounds easier than it is, but they figure it out. They are still in last place.
In other news, Matt dominates the bicycle challenge and secures a clue. He runs into Floyd on his way back and helps Floyd balance his bike. When he pulls into the field where Becca and Redmond are standing, Becca is alarmed that her partner is lost. Nope. He's just horizontal again.
Floyd finally makes it to his destination, but he doesn't get a clue. He's been dropping traps up and down the road the entire time. He's cool with this news because he thinks he can leave what he hauled and just go back and get more. Not the case. He has to go back to the beginning with the entire load. When Floyd rolls up on his bike, just as LoLo and Team Loudmouth arrive, Becca begins to lose her cool.
Scott pedals and gets a clue. LoLo can't seem to balance her bike. Sweet Floyd, of all people, helps her. At their destination, the man gives LoLo a clue. Floyd is left empty handed. The poor guy dropped one basket. He hauls off to get it while Joey receives his clue. Sadly, LoLo's bike breaks, and Joey passes her right up on the way back. Floyd is somewhere on the side of the road suffering from heat exhaustion.
Meanwhile at the DETOUR, Matt has to row a boat with his feet, looking for a ceremonial dragon boat so they can extend a gift to its sailors. It's the first time Redmond seems defeated by his artificial leg. You need toes to do this challenge, and he doesn't have any. Matt steps up and crushes it. Of course he does.
Scott halfway crushes it, but it's hard to crush things when your partner is yelling at you to JUST KEEP ROWING. Tara rows with very few complications. Logan has a tough time since he's too tall for the boat. And Floyd finally gets the clue. He gets road rash from falling over on his bike, too.
By this time, Matt and Redmond have been hanging out with Phil on Hang Mua Peak for hours enjoying the spectacular view. On the bike ride to the Peak, Brooke makes birthing noises again and Scott declares she's having twins this time. LoLo, the parents, and Team Fun are on the struggle bus.
1. Matt and Redmond: They deserve to be team number one.
2. Scott and Brooke: I'd like to point out that Scott carried Brooke's backpack up the 500 steps to reach Phil, because she just can't even. Scott should win a million dollars for putting up with Brooke.
3. Mom and Dad: Third place with a SPEED BUMP. Take that, millennials.
4. London and Logan: This middle of the pack team just might surprise us when we least expect it.
5. Floyd and Becca: Team Fun is down a man.
Everyone buys a clue when poor Floyd keeps falling off of his bike. The dude is seriously dehydrated and is clearly suffering from heat exhaustion. Becca looks on with sad eyes, fearful for her friend and overwhelmed by the reality that her Amazing Race journey is about to end. Phil walks up to break the bad news. Floyd's positivity literally ran him into the ground.
Are you sad to see Becca and Floyd go? We're down to four teams now. Who do you want to win? Do you think we need to make T-shirts with some of Scott's better one-liners? I think I'm onto something…
Phil Keoghan hosts the globe-trotting adventure series.