The 9th leg of The Amazing Race begins and Margie & Luke leave the Pit Stop first with their clue telling them to make their way to Guilin, China. There, they will take a taxi to Qing Xiu Lu street, find a hair salon and their next clue.
They head to the airport. Jaime & Cara leave almost an hour after them (not excited about another non-English speaking country) with Tammy & Victor minutes behind. Tammy says she went to Guilin for Spring Break a few years ago and both she and Victor are excited to speak Chinese.
At the airport, Margie & Luke find a flight out of Bangkok first. They are going to fly to Guangzhou and then make an 8:30pm connecting flight to Guilin.
Jaime & Cara and Tammy & Victor take another flight to Guangzhou, but they catch up to Margie & Luke. They learn their flight is delayed however.
Jen & Kisha leave Bangkok at 3:20pm and have a connecting flight leaving Guangzhou at 9:10, which they make and they leave before the first three teams.
Mark & Michael bring up the rear, leaving Bangkok almost 7 hours after Margie & Luke.
They all arrive in Guilin in the dark, but it is daylight by the time they get to Qing Xiu Lu.
Jaime & Cara arrive first at the clue telling them to go to #24 Bridge on the banks of the Li River for their next clue.
Tammy & Victor arrive just as the girls try to get directions. They decide to leave first and the girls follow them.
Margie & Luke catch up to Jen & Kisha and they arrive at the salon at the same time. They see the Speed Bump, but not the clue that is sitting right next to them. When they finally see it, it is Jen and Luke to the box.
Luke opens the box and Jen is right on his back. He uses his arm to get her out of his way, which prompts her to call him a “bitch.”
In their taxis, Luke says it’s time to play dirty, but Margie says he can’t get physical. She tells him about Jen calling him a bitch and he says if he could only hear, it would have been “on” right then and there.
Jen says what he did was a “bitch move.”
Meanwhile, Tammy & Victor continue speaking to their taxi driver in Mandarin and they get to the bridge first and find the Road Block.
In this Road Block, teams have to fish the old fashioned way by training Cormorant birds to catch fish with their beaks. While on a raft in the river, they will throw fish into the water and after the birds are able to catch 10 fish, they can get their next clue.
Tammy & Cara decide to do the Road Block.
They head out into the water.
On the other side of town, Mark & Michael are trying to get directions and they are determined to fight til the end.
Arriving at the river, Margie & Luke and Kisha & Jen look for the clue box and once again it is Jen and Luke running towards it first. They try to get in front of each other and their momentum results in Kisha running into the clue box. There is obvious contact, intentional or not, but Luke puts his hands up just in case. Margie tells Kisha to cut it out when Jen pushes his hand out of the way as he did earlier.
“What’s wrong with that woman?” Luke says.
The four teams are in the water and they begin throwing the fish into the river. Tammy’s birds are having a little trouble and are being uncooperative, sometimes even getting into fights causing them to lose the fish.
Cara’s birds fight as well, but Jen seems to have an easy time. Luke isn’t having a good time and he especially isn’t enjoying the task after he gets bit by one of them.
Meanwhile, Mark & Michael arrive at the salon to find their Speed Bump.
In this Speed Bump, they must wash and dry two ladies’ hair. They’ll get their next clue when they’re done. They speed through it and they head to the river.
Back there, Cara and Jen finish first and both teams head back to shore.
They get their next clue telling them to make their way to the Ancient South Gate for their next clue.
Luke finishes, leaving Tammy & Victor in the water. Their birds are flying away.
They talk to their birds in Chinese and they finish and head back to the shore.
They pass Margie & Luke whose boatman is slow.
In their taxis, the teams discuss the continuing drama. Tammy & Victor aren’t sure if they heard what Kisha & Jen told them right while Margie tells Luke that the sisters said he pushed Jen, which he denies. Jen says she’ll laugh in their face.
At the gate, Jen & Kisha find the Detour.
In this Detour, teams have to choose between two ways the locals express themselves artistically; Choreography or Calligraphy.
In Choreography, teams must join in a popular exercise, dancing. Making their way to the central island, they must join a group of locals and learn a dance. They will then perform the dance for a pair of judges. And if approved, they’ll get their next clue.
In Calligraphy, teams must try their hand and find the first of four calligraphy stations and copy the series of Chinese characters which spell out their next station. If the artist approves of their characters, they’ll get stamped. After getting stamped at four stations, they’ll be handed their next clue.
Victor & Tammy, Margie & Luke, and Kisha & Jen go to do Calligraphy. Tammy & Victor talk to the calligraphers in Mandarin and usually run off first to the next station with the other two teams sticking close behind, figuring the siblings know where they’re going since they speak the language.
Jaime & Cara learn the dance from their instructor who “mandhandles” them according to the girls. They decide they are ready to perform it, and their instructor laughs as they run off.
They go to perform with the rest of the group, bumping into people, stepping on feet, entangling legs, (“Just walk over them, I don’t care.”) and the judges tell them “No.”
They do it a second time, but again, they don’t get it.
With them not speaking English, they switch. But they decide to go back.
At the calligraphy stations, the teams have reached the fourth one. Tammy & Victor finish first and get their next clue, a drawing of two pagodas.
They must now make their way to Banyan Lake on foot and find the view in the drawing of the famous sun and moon pagodas, the next Pit Stop.
Margie & Luke are 2nd and Kisha & Jen are 3rd as they follow Tammy & Victor to the Pit Stop. Phil is explaining what is going to a couple enjoying a meal by the lakeside, telling them that three teams are coming.
They are all neck and neck, but Kisha & Jen are Team #1, Tammy & Victor are Team #2, and Margie & Luke are Team #3.
Kisha & Jen win a trip for two to Barbados.
Phil says he feels things are getting a little more tense now.
Tammy agrees the competition is getting stiff and Victor adds it is all just good, fun, spirited competition. Kisha & Jen strongly disagree. (No!?!?! a surprised Victor & Tammy say.)
Meanwhile, Luke is getting riled up, but Margie is telling him not to say anything.
So much for that, both of them begin telling Phil about what happened. Margie says Jen came up from behind and shoved him and then called him a bitch.
Jen doesn’t deny it.
Phil says it could’ve just been a misunderstanding.
Jen says they had seen the clue box together, he put his butt out, she almost got an elbow to the face, got her clue and called him a bitch because it was a “bitch move.”
Margie says Jen bashed into him from behind, Luke corrects her and says she grabbed him.
They recount the clue box at the lake and Jen says she somehow got in front of him and that’s when she ran into the clue box.
Luke walks off, turns and calls them a bitch.
Phil calls him back to the Mat so he can tell his side of the story.
Luke tells them to stop because it’s his turn to talk, and Kisha lets out her familiar giggle. That sets Margie off.
She tells him they are rude for laughing at her son because he’s deaf. He’s lived with being deaf his whole life and that they should “understand oppression because you’re black and you’ve lived with it.”
Kisha apologizes for laughing and them possibly misunderstanding that, but she wasn’t laughing at him or the way he expresses himself. Phil doesn’t think they meant it in an insulting way.
Tammy & Victor are smack dab in the middle. The Chinese couple is enjoying their meal and the free show.
Meanwhile, in non-drama land, Jaime & Cara finally finish because they had to keep doing the dance until the music stopped.
They finish as Team #4.
Mark & Michael finish their (slow-mo) dance and head to the Mat. They are last and are finally eliminated from the Race, and we are treated to a montage of their greatest moments, including the shot of their heads poking out of the train in Europe, which really is an awesome image for the Race.
So, it was a pretty exciting leg. The tasks were great, it is always great to have tasks that highlight the local culture of wherever they are that leg. The Cormorants were pretty awesome. Hard working, tough fighters, and funny.
Guilin looked very beautiful. In the post-fight Mat Chat clip posted at CBS.com, Phil makes note of the beautiful mountains that pop up everywhere. It really does look like great countryside.
Add this leg’s Pit Stop greeters to the Hall of Fame. Sitting back, relaxing, eating a delicious meal, all while enjoying the Race AND the impromptu dramatic presentation at the Mat. Awesome!
As for the fight… the Race, especially now with the Final Four, brings up so much tension within teams and with other teams. You are almost at the Finish Line, this is the time to get serious.
So every little thing can set you off, especially after traveling for a few weeks already.
I think both teams definitely had their part in both incidents, but I thought Margie & Luke overreacted at the Mat. It is definitely understandable to be heated after that tense leg, but it didn’t help the situation with them blowing everything out of proportion, so much that Phil didn’t even seem to agree.
Well, it really was the most heated Mat Chat ever, and we’ll see how (if it does) affect their Race next week.