Recap: The Amazing Race 23, Episode 9 – "Don't let it ram my ass!"


Recap: The Amazing Race 23, Episode 9 – Part Like the Red Sea

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For this 9th Leg of the Race, it’s time to head to Bandung, Indonesia. All teams are on the same flights to Bandung via Bangkok and Singapore, which allows Leo & Jamal to confront Nicole & Travis at the airport about the U-Turn in the last Leg.

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Nicole & Travis explain that they are not going to stoop to their level of lying and cheating while Leo & Jamal say it’s only a matter of time before the doctors break.

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Once in Bandung, teams must hop into taxis to head to the Ram Arena in the village of Rancaekek for their next clue. Nicole & Travis arrive first and read the Route Info… an actual task!

Teams must pick-up two rams waiting in nearby trucks and take them to a traditional West Javanese festival. Once the two rams have butted heads, teams will return them to the trucks and head back to the arena to receive their next clue.

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Ally & Ashley arrive 2nd and both teams take their rams to the arena where an excited crowd cheers them and the rams on. The rams butt heads and the teams return them to the trucks. The next clue directs them to catch a train back to Bandung from the Rancaekek Station.

They hurry to the train station and learn there’s a train leaving in12 minutes. Hoping no other teams catch up, Ally & Ashley are excited to be Racing with consistent frontrunners Nicole & Travis for the first time. But to the married doctors’ dismay, Leo & Jamal manage to arrive before the train leaves.

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Tim & Marie get their clue before Jason & Amy at the rams, but their taxi breaks down, putting them further behind. Both teams get to the train station, but miss the train by only a minute or two. They must now wait an hour for the next one.

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At the Bandung train station, teams find the cluebox and the Detour.


In this Detour, teams will choose between two tasks, both involving animals.
In For the Elephants, teams head to Pasar Simpang Dago where they will pick-up eight watermelons, two bunches of bananas, 12 sweet potatoes and five stalks of sugarcane. They’ll bring them over to Kebun Binatang Bandung Zoo where they will use a hand trolley to deliver the food to a hungry elephant. Once the elephant has enjoyed its snack, teams get the next clue.
In For the Birds, teams pick-up two peach-faced lovebirds from Kios Pak Dedi at Sukahaji Market and deliver them to a bird song Grand Prix at Sumber Sari Arena. After hanging their birds in the competition arena, they must encourage them to sing. Once the judge scores the bird, they’ll receive the next clue.

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Nicole & Travis choose the birds while Leo & Jamal and Ally & Ashley choose the elephants. The ice queens have their taxi take them to the zoo first and start running around looking for trolleys. Leo & Jamal correctly head to the market first where they pick-up the food and load up their taxi. They have to figure out a way to load the long sugarcane into the car.

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Nicole & Travis, meanwhile, pick up their birds and head to the arena. They hang the cages in the competition area and join the other locals encouraging their respective birds to start singing. Once Travis’ bird sings, they are given the next clue. Teams must now make their way to Saung Angklung Udjo for the next clue.

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Ally & Ashley finally realize they need to pick up the food first and they hurry to the market. They let their taxi go then realize they need a taxi to bring the food over to the zoo. Once they finally find a taxi, they can’t figure out how to load the sugarcane onto it. The driver won’t let them bring it along.

Ashley says they should switch Detours, but Ally is not ready to do so. They decide to leave the sugarcane, but Ashley is upset and frustrated which makes Ally upset and frustrated.

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Ashley says she wanted to do the bird Detour in the first place, but Ally asks why didn’t she fight harder to choose it instead of going with her decision to do the elephant side. They proceed to yell at each other on the way back to the zoo.

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Meanwhile, Leo & Jamal arrive at the zoo and start moving their supplies through. Once they feed the elephant, they grab their clue and head back to the entrance where they run into their wifeys. They give Ally & Ashley their scarves to help keep the food on the trolley. The ice queens are shocked when Leo & Jamal say they were done and that transported the sugarcane by taxi.

Across town, Nicole & Travis arrive at Saung Angklung Udjo where they find the Road Block.


For this Road Block, teams must assemble a traditional Indonesian instrument made with bamboo, an angklung. Once they have assembled it correctly and can play a full octave, a little kid will give them their next clue.

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Nicole decides to do the Road Block and gets started.

Meanwhile, Jason & Amy and Tim & Marie finally arrive in Bandung. They both decide to do the elephant side of the Detour and are neck and neck collecting the food. Ally & Ashley drop off their bananas and watermelons and must go back to the market for their sugarcane. They run into Jason & Amy and Tim & Marie on their way back.

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Leo & Jamal arrive at the Road Block and after making a bunch of noise, Leo starts assembling his angklung. Nicole is having trouble though and Travis can’t believe she doesn’t know what she’s doing.

Nicole goes to the kids to have her angklung checked, but they reject it after the little boy plays the notes. Leo is right behind her and he has the correct notes, but the stand is wrong.

Jason & Amy and Tim & Marie arrive and Amy and Tim do the Road Block.

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While Ally & Ashley finally finish the Detour, Leo goes for a 2nd check of his angklung and he gets the thumbs up from the kids. They give him the next clue.

Jamal yells over to Leo to destroy his angklung just as Nicole runs over to the judging area. She tries to look at Leo’s angklung, but he doesn’t let her. Tim finishes and he runs past Nicole who asks what the solution is. But he and Marie hurry out as well.

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Leo & Jamal and Tim & Marie head to the Pit Stop at Bosscha Observatory where they finish first and second respectively. Leo & Jamal win $7500 each.

Back at the Road Block, Travis’ frustration with Nicole grows. Amy goes to the judging area and gets the thumbs up from the children as Ally & Ashley arrive.

Jason tells Amy to help the struggling Nicole. Amy starts arranging the parts for her when Jason sees Ally & Ashley walking into the auditorium. He calls over to Amy for them to leave, but Nicole pleads with Amy to help her.

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Amy arranges the parts for her and hurries over to Jason as they run out to their taxi. Jason is annoyed Amy took so long even after he asked Amy to help Nicole.

Nicole heads to the kiddie judges and they finally give her the next clue. In the taxi, Travis vents and says he is embarrassed by Nicole’s horrible performance.

Jason & Amy arrive at the Mat and are officially checked in as Team #3. Nicole & Travis come right up behind them and Nicole quickly tells Amy that she loves her “forever.” The married doctors are Team #4.

Phil notices Travis’ long face and he says he is speechless after their miserable day. In their Pit Stop confessional, Travis says they gotta just move forward and see if they can stick together. (!?!?!)

And that leaves Ally & Ashley in last place. They finish the Road Block and head to see Phil who tells them that their Race is over.

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Episode Thoughts
Damn. This might have been one of the best Legs and episodes TARUS has had in a long time! The tasks were amazing, the drama was on fire and Indonesia delivered.

First of all, OMGWOW!!!11! They actually had an extra task that wasn’t a Detour or Road Block. AND it involved animals to boot! Amazing. The task itself was pretty insane too. If I designed TAR Legs, I’d have an extra task on every one. Even if they’re cheap, budget tasks, as long as Legs aren’t so straightforward.

Also, the rams were almost an hour away from Bandung. Most of the Leg took place in Bandung, yet TAR had them go out of the way to complete a whole other task. I love it. We need more of that.

The Detour was great. The elephant feeding had elephants! That’s enough to make any task amazing, but it was both physical and mental. It was crazy to see teams actually get challenged by having to transport all those fruits and vegetables then having to roll them through the zoo. That extra challenge of having to figure out the sugarcanes was an excellent detail.

The bird side of the Detour was not as challenging, but still great for having teams right in the thick of it with the locals. Getting to interact like that with locals has been missing from TARUS for a while.

And that Road Block. It definitely provided for one of the craziest moments ever on the Race and maybe one of the most uncomfortable meltdowns ever on TAR. A simple task that has teams, again, celebrating with the locals turns into a nightmare for one team. Might have been unintentional on TAR’s part, but the simplest tasks are always the ones that provide the most drama on TAR.

An amazing Leg. Indonesia delivered. And I think this is the Emmy episode for next year. Because I certainly doubt TAR24 will have any Emmy-worthy episodes. Ugh.

The Teams
in subjective order
GAP

Jason & Amy continue chugging along. They were definitely more interesting to watch this week, maybe because they were in the back and fighting to survive. With a pretty strong final 4, it is anyone’s Race at this point.

Tim & Marie, meanwhile, continue their bickering shtick, but they back up their drama with solid Racing. Sometimes I feel like their bickering is almost too scripted because they are Racing so well when they don’t feel the need to perform for the camera. Just Race!

Ally & Ashley could’ve secured a spot in the final 4 if they had not given up on those sugarcanes. Even with their mistake of going to the zoo first, and that was as much the taxi driver’s fault, they had a good shot of beating Nicole who would probably still be struggling without Amy’s help.

Nicole & Travis. Wow. What was Travis talking about at the end there? Because it almost seemed like he was hinting at divorcing Nicole over octaves. It was strange. But the scene at the Road Block was even worse. An incredibly awkward and uncomfortable sight. Maybe one of the most insane meltdowns ever on TAR. And yet, they survived. Nicole’s trying to sneak a peek at Leo’s angklung was hilariously desperate. But I hold her begging Amy to stay and do the task for her as much worse. That was… it was just insane. What a complete meltdown for BOTH Nicole and Travis this Leg. Unbelievable.

And finally, how insufferable were Leo & Jamal this Leg? And what we see on the episodes is the edited version of them. Imagine Racing alongside them! They are loud, annoying, cocky and apparently rude, cheaters and liars. (You’ll be hearing a lot about that in the coming months.) Horrible.


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